Glow at RHS Wisley

The Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley Glow 2018. RHS Wisley laboratory and Jellicoe canal with water lilies

I recently got to see one of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Gardens in a new light at their preview of Glow at RHS Wisley. I love a scamper through a beautiful garden at any time of year, and Wisley is still surprisingly gorgeous with lots to see in the winter. However, Glow at RHS Wisley is something else – think Christmas lights on steroids, set amongst lush landscapes. I wandered through an enchanting trail of artistic illuminations, through the grounds and the glasshouse, ending at the Grade II listed laboratory building. This view at night was my absolute favourite – pictures further on…

Wisteria Walk

RHS Wisley Glow 2018 at sunset. Royal Horticultural Society. Wisteria Walk

Follow me on the beautiful trail starting at the Wisteria Walk… I have to come back in the spring to see this in full bloom! If you’re as big a fan of Wisteria as I am, have you seen my favourite spots to find Wisteria in London?

RHS Wisley Glow 2018 wisteria walk at sunset
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 illuminated flowers during day
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 illuminated arch. Wisteria walk and fountain.

The Glasshouse

RHS Wisley Glow 2018 Lake and lantern walk at sunset
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 Glasshouse at sunset and pampas grass

At night the glasshouse glowed in a rainbow of colours, luring you in to see the festive displays inside. This year the glasshouse display is inspired by a 19th century poem, A visit from St Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore. You can wander around a woodland glade, complete with poinsettia ‘trees’, ferns, red flowering azaleas and an abandoned sleigh. There’s a little challenge to find all the reindeer who escaped from the sleigh… 

RHS Wisley Glasshouse Glow 2018
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 reindeer display in Glasshouse
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 wicker man in the glasshouse
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 uplit pink palm trees in the glasshouse
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 reindeer in the glasshouse. Christmas at the Royal Horticultural Society's Wisley.

It was so warm in the glasshouse that after spotting all the ‘escaped’ reindeer, including the adventurous one at the top of the waterfall, venturing back out into the crisp air was welcome for a change! We meandered along a fairy-lit path next to a lake, and under illuminated mistletoe arches.

Back on the trail… 

RHS Wisley Glow 2018 Mistletoe arch. Royal Horticultural Society.
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 Reflections on lake and Oriental pagoda
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 illuminated flowers

These gigantic flowers were so much fun and some of them were even interactive! Cue my inner child running wild… There were buttons you could press to change the colours. You can see more in the video below!

The Laboratory Building & Jellicoe Canal

RHS Wisley Glow 2018 Uplit tree
RHS Wisley Glow 2018 Laboratory Building and reflections in Jellicoe Canal.

Glow at RHS Wisley

The trail ends at the spectacular Laboratory building and Jellicoe Canal. I stood mesmerised watching the water lily lights casting rippling reflections for much too long! If you fancy escaping the city and seeing some different Christmas lights, I highly recommend Glow at RHS Wisley. You can pick up a hot chocolate or a cup of mulled wine from the café and enjoy the fresh air and fantastical flowers. Glow is on at Wisley until the 2nd of January 2019 and you can find out more and buy tickets here.


1 Comment

  1. December 15, 2018 / 11:14 am

    Oh wow this place is absolutely stunning- I love going on walks throughout the Summer but hadn’t even thought about it at this time of year! I love all of the different coloured lights and that water fountain is just classically beautiful- I’d love one similar in my own garden.

    Soph – x

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