Oxford Botanic Gardens.

We enjoy visiting gardens, it usually features in any holiday plans, besides giving pleasure they provide material for the blog and my garden presentations. In March 2017 we visited Oxford University Botanic Gardens.

Oxford Botanic Gardens
Oxford University Botanic Garden.

The river Cherwell runs along the one side.

IMG_0920Growing on the bank is this lovely multi stemed silver birch.


The garden was founded in 1621 making it the oldest Botanic Garden in Britain. It was originally founded to grow plants to support the teaching of medicine at the University, something that still continues today. Beneath the Parrotia Persica tree spring bulbs were in flower also in the distance a Cornus mas.

IMG_1023Almost everything growing here is classified whether it be by botanical family, geographical origin or by its use.   The family borders are planted to demonstrate which plants are related to each other. This Salix ‘Britzensis’ is in one of those borders, we have this willow in our garden. It has also been planted along side the river at Upton upon Severn a town close to us, in the Mathew Wilson designed borders. It looks particularly good alongside a pool, reflecting in the water, providing brilliant winter colour, hence its name.


Within the wall borders they grow plants from different regions New Zealand, the Mediterranean and South Africa.

Going down to the Lower Garden, you pass the Rock Garden, first built in 1926.


Plants that changed the world feature in the four allotment style beds in the Lower Garden. This one, for some reason cought my eye!


The Lower Garden has been redeveloped since 2009 by Kim Wilkie Associates to more reflect its role as a Botanic Garden.


There has been a glass house here for over 300 years. today there are more than 700 square metres of glasshouses.

The Palm House.

This is home to mainly crop plants, such as Banana, Pineapple and the Pink Banana, Musa Velutina, a species of seeded banana.

The lily House.

Here their giant Victoria Water Lily, takes pride of place the leaves of which you can see in the front of this picture.

IMG_0936This is a tropical water lily, its date of origin is prior to 1856. It is described as highly viviparous, in that its seeds begin to develop before they detach from the plant.

Oxford Botanic Garden.
Nymphaea x daubenyana

The Arid House.

Is home to their collection of cacti and succulent.


Alongside the three main glasshouses are three smaller ones.

The Alpine House uses a traditional plunge sand bed to display the plants.

Lithodora Zahnii,at first glance looks like rosemary, it is a member of the borage family.

The Fern house is devoted to displaying the many different forms of this group.                  I do like the look of Staghorn ferns or Elkhorn ferns, there are 18 species in this family.


The Insectivorous House is home to the insect eating plants.

Pitcher plant.

Throughout the glasshouses and the connecting passageways, there were many interesting plants, a few examples are in the slide show.

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I hope you have enjoyed visiting the Oxford Botanic Gardens, if you have the chance to visit for real please do. There is also the Harcourt Arboretum.

Do you have a Botanic Garden you enjoy visiting?

24 thoughts on “Oxford Botanic Gardens.

  1. Looks like a comprehensive garden. There is a small teaching garden with glass houses at Smith College, which I like to visit, particularly in winter. The Palm House is like taking a mini-vacation to the tropics and their orchid collection is extensive. I’ve posted about their spring bulb and fall mum shows.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes Brian, I for one have enjoyed the visit to the gardens in Oxford very much.
    Each picture and explanation is a joy and of great interest. Such diversity in one place.
    Thank you for showing all this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a bit daft . . . I used to visit Oxford moderately frequently when I lived in the South but never went to the Botanic Gardens. And now I am a long way away. Typical!


  4. I too used to live fairly close, and to the question shall we pop into Oxford, it was always certainly, as The Botanic Gardens was always on the agenda. I used to love the succulents etc.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a coincidence – we were there just a month ago, during a birthday weekend visit to Oxford! Sadly it looked very different from even your March pictures – the w/e fell during that bitterly cold spell and it was drizzling the day we went to the gardens too. But if there are botanic gardens to visit, we will visit! I did take a lot of photos though, particularly the grasses which formed lovely clumps amidst a fairly grey background. The glasshouses were warm though!


    1. The one thing missing there is a coffee shop. There is no where to go when the weather turns ugly. We had a huge thunderstorm while there with everyone squashed into the ticket office!


      1. Yes, I almost mentioned that as well – they did have a mobile unit when we were there as there was a Christmas craft fair on but we still had to drink our coffee in the cold and wet 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never visited the Oxford Botanical Gardens, although I would love to. It’s wonderful to see some flower colour – just the fillip I need at this time of year! A reminder that it won’t be long until spring!


  7. Thanks for the tour Brian. It looks as if there was much of interest to be seem even so relatively early in the year. I’ve admired the planting by the river at Upton-upon-Severn before now and hope to do so again if we make it to the Malvern Show this year 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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