Oxfordshire's Glorious Gardens
By: Tourist Information Centre. 12 June
Oxfordshire has some of the most glorious, varied, historic and
interesting gardens in Britain - just what you'd expect for a
county of rolling green hills, stately homes and honey-coloured
There are formal gardens, clipped and tamed, in awe-inspiring
settings as Blenheim Palace where fountains sparkle and dance
on the Water Terraces. Or Oxford’s Botanic Garden's Rose
Garden, amid trimmed yew hedges, commemorating Florey, who
There are exuberant herbaceous borders - a speciality of Oxford
- on show at Magdalen College, Christ Church, Rhodes House and
the Botanic Garden as well as at Waterperry Gardens.
On a grander scale the landscaped glories of Capability Brown's
Blenheim Park or William Kent's Rousham and Shotover evoke a
bygone era of leisure and wealth for the privileged few.
Gardens form a wonderful setting for exhibitions - such as the
Chapungu sculptures from Zimbabwe at Waterperry Gardens - and
for events such as Art in Action and the Blenheim Battle
Smaller, private gardens have their glories too - sometimes on
show for Britain in Bloom or through the National Gardens
Scheme. And throughout the county people work their allotments
- each creating their own special, edible garden.
Oxfordshire still boasts several orchards - Waterperry's
produces fresh apple and pear juice of named varieties - from
the tangy to the mellow-sweet.
And plants flourish indoors too - Newington Nurseries breed and
raise their own magnificent orchids - at their best in winter
when gardens outside have been 'put to bed'. The Oxford Botanic
Garden's glasshouses are a treasure-trove of plants all year
An excellent way to visit Oxford's gardens is with an Official
Walking tour booked through the Tourist Information Centre.