When you picture The Championships at Wimbledon, what comes to mind? If you think of pristine grass courts,
all-white sporting attire, stylish British spectators and the BEST tennis ever, you’d be correct, but did you know it’s a horticultural feast for the eyes as well? During my recent visit with my daughter eBh who was working at the event (if you follow The Gracious Posse on Instagram you likely deduced my location), I was delighted to discover the exquisite grounds of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club expertly cultivated to create a Tennis in an English Garden setting.
Tennis in an English Garden
As I entered the All-England Club in Wimbledon
with my Grounds Pass (thank you IBM Events Team),
ivy and petunia planters decorate the exterior of Number 1 Court
I was immediately captivated and surprised by the magnificent horticultural displays at every turn. How do you balance looking at some of the best tennis and magnificent gardens in one day? Just like the Augusta National Golf Club works to achieve that perfect southern landscape with its bountiful azaleas and lush grounds peaking at the Masters, the gardeners at AELTC achieve the classic English garden look with herbaceous borders,
small succulents create the tennis ball definition
topiary celebrating the camera crew dominates the roof of the press building
formal planters and benches,
and charming beds.
Official Colors: Purple, Green and Lovely All Over
The AELTC chose the official colors of purple and green in 1909. The flowering plants throughout the grounds follow suit. A small army of gardeners care for the containers, hanging baskets and ground installations, keeping them looking lush and fresh throughout the tournament.
more fountain fascination
Something for Everyone
Visiting Wimbledon with a Grounds Pass enables you to wander the outer courts at leisure, viewing a variety of match play from singles, doubles, men, women and juniors.
juniors doubles match at Court 6
Although the Grounds Pass does not grant a seat at the Show Courts (Centre, Numbers 1 and 2), the flexibility to spectate on your own schedule suited me. You can still experience a big match if you don’t have a show court ticket. Just join the party-like crowd watching the big screen on Henman Hill, so named after spectators gathered there in the 1990’s to cheer on fellow countryman Tim Henman as he competed in four semi-finals.
When it’s time to get up and stretch, the gorgeous grounds await. You can bet I spent equal time watching tennis and garden-gazing.
There’s nothing like going on holiday to bring inspiration to the soul. I’m grateful for the unexpected pleasures of visiting Wimbledon. It’s hard to beat prestigious tennis on revered grounds under a glorious sunny sky.
July 16, 2015