The Sundials in the Garden of RHS Wisley

The Dahlias at Wisley in August 2018 İVL Thomson, 2018


The Royal Horticultural Society's garden at Wisley is situated in the English county of Surrey, near Woking, GU23 6QB, south of London. It is one of four gardens run by the Society, the others being Harlow Carr, Hyde Hall and Rosemoor.  Those at Wisley are delightfully maintained and people come to Wisley for so many reasons - to enjoy and learn about our renowned plant collections, to get advice and inspiration for their own gardens, to take part in workshops and events, to spend time with family and friends, simply to relax among beautiful surroundings or of course to find their two sundials!

The first is located almost as you come in and the second is in the Herb Garden. This modern dial replaces an earlier 1920's corroded bronze dial by F Barker which had been erected as a Memorial to Mr S.T. Wright, the gardens superintendent (1895-1922) by the then RHS Fruit Committee Members in recognition of his roles at Wisley, both of which ended in 1922. It showed the time from 4am to 6pm in half, quarter and 5 min marks and was delineated using Arabic numerals. This replacement carries a rather more ornate gnomon, EoT graph, eight point compass, the motto Sol Omnibus Lucet "The sun shines upon us all" from Petronius and it shows the time from 5am to 7pm in the same divisions but using Roman numerals.

Images variously İVL Thomson and P.Powers 2018

The second dial at Wisley is in the Herb Garden and is another modern instrument. Made by David Harber it is a five ring armillary sphere made in stainless steel.  It carries a motto which reads: "All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today and yesterday", it shows 6am to 6pm in half and quarter hours in Roman numerals and indicates directions & distances (in nautical miles) to three RHS properties. It is mounted on an integral fabricated stainless steel pillar.

Images variously İVL Thomson and P.Powers 2018