RHS Garden Wisley and the British Science Festival (5 – 13 Sept)

September 5, 2009toSeptember 7, 2009

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) invites you to step into a ‘natural’ laboratory to discover the secret side of garden science at RHS Garden Wisley as part of British Science Week. A specially designed Trail will highlight the Society’s work advising the nation’s gardeners.

Visitors to Wisley will be able to talk to botanists, entomologists and plant pathologists around the garden on specific days. The scientists will be on hand to answer questions on a whole range of topics including pests and diseases; climate change; composting and the plight of the honeybee. The garden will become part of an extended research laboratory where people can have a close up view of the scientific work of the UK’s leading gardening charity.

RHS Garden Wisley and the British Ecological Society will be giving guided walks on Sunday 6th September around the famous garden focusing on Climate Change and the effects on the British garden. The tour covers areas threatened by climate change, like woodland gardens, herbaceous borders and lawns, and examines areas better suited to change, from Mediterranean plantings to orchards.

The RHS is carrying out an unique experiment at Wisley called ‘Plants for Bugs’. The ongoing project will help discover whether the geographic origin of plants is a factor in attracting wildlife. The plants are divided into native/near native and exotic.

Dr. Andrew Halstead, who wrote the RHS Dorling Kindersley’s ‘Pest and Disease’ book, will be demonstrating a moth light trap – a key tool used as part of the Rothamsted survey, a nationwide experiment to monitor moths. Andrew and his colleague, Dr. Andrew Salisbury, who have an amazing 23,000 insect specimens in their collection, have also been working on the mapping of garden pests such as the scarlet lily beetle which is the bane of many gardeners.

For more details www.rhs.org.uk/wisley