The weekend didn't go to plan, not that we really had one anyway.
Basically, this time of year we would like to go down to the southern heaths-New Forest, Thursley and concentrate on the plants and insects, with the added bonus of picking up a few birds in the process. The weather forecast on Friday seemed to suggest that Sunday was no good, but Saturday would be reasonably warm, with sunny spells throughout the day. What we got was overcast skies, a constant breeze with occasional gusts and it wasn't quite as warm as expected so we gave up fairly quickly.
In order to make something of the day, I thought it might be worth visiting a garden. A quick online search for anything in Hampshire didn't produce anything obvious, so I took advantage of my RHS card and got Colin into Wisley. Big problem for me is that I didn't really have the right camera lenses with me apart from the 100mm macro, so I had to resort to the iPhone (using one of the apps that enable it to take TIF files) for the more general wide shots.
The borders weren't all that colourful, its an in-between period where the early spring flowers have gone over and the high summer perennials and tender plants have yet to get going. We basically had Geraniums and Veronicastrums, with a few odd spot plants among the grasses. The meadows looked good, particularly the one based on African plants-dominated by Berkheya and Dieramas. Shame about the wind.
The woodland areas naturally were a bit quiet, a few Rhododendrons were still flowering, but the main shrub colour was provided by Hydrangeas Viburnums and Dogwoods. The banana and tree fern grove was looking pretty good. Would love to be able to get my tender plants to overwinter like these ones.
The alpine house, with a bonsai display outside had some interesting plants and bulbs, and the main glasshouse had the usual orchid display. Fuchsias were also on display, including a few of the more unusual species. Would have liked to have had my other lenses and the flash in here, plus the polarisers as only a few of the large tropical and african plants came out well on the iPhone.