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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?