Last October, I posted an entry about my visit to Wildside Nursery in September for the Memorial Service for my dear friend Ros Wiley. Ros was a wonderful, welcoming and creative lady and artist, taken from us much too soon.
Keith Wiley was determined to open the garden again this year. Unfortunately that determination was overtaken by the coronavirus, and the garden is now closed until futher notice. I would encourage anyone to visit when the opportunity presents itself again. It is wonderful at any time of year.
With the loss of Ros, the cost and effort required to maintain the garden at Wildside will increase. Keith can only open the garden if the income from visitors covers the cost of maintenance; thus, the future is inevitably uncertain. This is without a doubt the most inspiring garden I have ever visited, and I would urge anyone who is remotely tempted to visit soon.
Keith has now published on his website details of his plans to create a tribute garden for Ros in the final unfinished corner of the garden. He and Ros discussed the concepts for this during her illness, and he is very excited about the vision they produced together. The idea is to produce a South African style garden with running water in an abandoned quarry setting. This new area of the garden will contain a pavilion which he hopes will in the future become a cancer respite facility.
With the loss of Ros, and the consequent increase in maintenance costs, Keith feels the income from visits will not stretch to fund the creation of this new garden. For this reason, he is trying to raise funds to support this new development. There is a link at the bottom of the webpage to a JustGiving campaign, where those who wish to contribute financially to support this development can do so.
Jon lives and gardens on the north side of the Hogsback on the border between Hampshire and Surrey, on a heavy clay soil. He is a long standing member of the AGS and has been treasurer of the local group in Woking for many years. He is especially interested in bulbs of all sorts, particularly those from South Africa, and is progressing slowly towards his Gold Medal at shows, at the rate of roughly one first per year.
However, Jon is best known within the AGS as an enthusiastic amateur photographer. For about 10 years he was responsible for organising the artistic and photographic section of the AGS shows around the country, and also for organising the show photography. During this period, he set up and ran the AGS Digital Image Library. He is still actively involved in plant photography, both at shows (he visits many shows each year to catalogue the extraordinary achievements of the exhibitors) and in gardens both public and private, and he makes regular outings to view and photograph wild flowers in the UK.
If you have any comments or queries for Jon, you can contact him direct at firstname.lastname@example.org