My Squash-Patch Dog
Sometimes, fate, chance, luck … call it what you will .. happens. And it’s glorious. For some time now, I have been very envious of my friend Aimee’s trips to Wisley with her children. There always seems to be something wonderful happening there. A butterfly house, a night-time walk with candles are just 2 of the occasions I remember. So when a FB page popped up saying that Wisley was opening to dog walkers for one night only, it just jumped out and grabbed me by the throat. Further investigation resulted in that I could do the date – 23rd of August, and I could even get there for not long after it started … and it was only £7.
Betty and I set off down the A3 and were there just after 6.30pm. A very encouragingly busy car park and lots of families with dogs. From the moment we arrived, we were made to feel very welcome. There was a greeting party outside the entrance, and all I had to do was show my print out of my ticket and we were in. I had come fully prepped with my ‘dogging bag’ of treats and bags, but we were offered bags as we went in. There had a been a goodie bag, but I think we arrived too late, so I didn’t see what was in it – more’s the pity as I love a take home gift! The weather was fabulous – warm and sunny but not too hot. Betty and I set off on the sculpture trail as we were Wisley newbies, and I love a map , and we like sculpture so that was a winner. And then we basically got side-tracked by glorious planting, along with sculptures. To Betty’s embarrassment, I made her pose for photos a lot … but she was well rewarded. I especially loved the species specific beds – the petunia and Monarda beds were eye-catchingly pretty. I don’t think I expected such variety too and loved the kitchen garden beds hiding away on top of a magnificent rockery area. I have long hankered after a rockery area myself …
There were lots and lots of dog water bowls too. I thought I was pushing my luck getting into the tropical and cacti glasshouses … but no, we were gaily waved in to marvel at the stunning plants – some are enormous. Betty was cautiously puzzled by a hippo head (sculpture) peeping out of a pond. Strange as she’s not come across one before on Clapham Common! She was transfixed and tip-toed towards it, ready to flee, with her tail in hunter mode. Even when it didn’t move, she wasn’t sure about it and backed away, keeping an eye on it at all times.
Everyone we passed was so friendly and we did lots of ‘isn’t this glorious? what a treat!’ meeting other well behaved dogs. Needless to say, everyone was picking up poop as we went by. I think this is the difference with a special evening – everyone is on their best behaviour. Unlike poor old Battersea Park, where if people bother to bag the poo (and that’s not everyone by a long chalk), they either leave the bag where the poo was or hang it from a tree. How decorative, not. Gggrrrr.
We left just before 8pm when it closed having have a splendid cruise around such a stunning setting. I have got even more of a craving to have a kitchen garden, and a rockery, and some sculptures … but there is a limit to what you can do with 3 square metres in Battersea! One day …
Betty loved a peaceful, (and it was – no madly barking dogs, everyone on lead and happily mooching around) social evening scenting her way around a stunning and huge, new garden. A top night was had by all.
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