The flagship garden of the Royal Horticultural Society, Wisley covers more than 200 acres and features richly-planted borders, rose gardens, trial fields and a state of the art glasshouse. The site was purchased in 1878 by George Fergusson Wilson, who established the 'Oakwood experimental garden' with the idea of making 'difficult plants grow successfully'. Given to the RHS in 1903, Wisley remains true to the original concept. In the trial fields, the best flowers and vegetables are identified from new introductions. Elsewhere, cultivation techniques are tried and tested, and a series of model gardens address a variety of conditions and circumstances. The glasshouse covers an area equal in size to ten tennis courts and has three climatic zones, recreating tropical, moist temperate and dry temperate habitats. Family activities at Wisley include thematic trails around the site. There’s also a bird hide and the ‘plants for bugs’ area, with seasonal insect identification events. Wisley hosts a number of shows and fairs throughout the year, including the Wisley Flower Show (Sep 6-9 2012).