12 December 2011
Visit Oxfordshire Launches its First Gardens Guide

"Visit Oxfordshire"

Location: Oxford
Visit Oxfordshire Launches its First Gardens Guide

Visit Oxfordshire's first Gardens Guide full colour leaflet, featuring some of the county's most glorious gardens, is now available.

Oxfordshire's gardens come in all shapes and sizes, colours and perfumes, created in different centuries for diverse purposes. Some are the first, the best or even the only one of their kind. As the seasons change, visitors appreciate how skilled gardeners, past and present, create visions of trees, shrubs, flowers and fruit to sumptuous effect throughout the year.

The gardens featured include Stowe, constructed on a magnificent scale with more than 40 temples and monuments, wooded walks by lakes and fun play elements for children, and Blenheim Palace Park, landscaped by 'Capability' Brown. Its formal Rose, Italian, and Secret Gardens as well as Water Terraces seem at their best - as if by magic - almost all year round. Hidden away in a Chiltern valley lies Stonor, whose rolling deer park and walled garden planted with roses and apple trees surprise and delight. Up in the north of Oxfordshire, among the Ironstone Hills, Broughton Castle gazes majestically over its moat, parkland and fleur-de- lys shaped box hedges, enclosing rare and historic roses.

Waterperry Gardens, famed for their magnificent herbaceous borders and productive orchards offers a different experience, encapsulated in the crisp or honeyed apple juices pressed from its own excellent fruit which you can purchase to take home.

Two little gems nestle in the heart of busy Oxford - Britain's first Botanic Garden, and St Edmund Hall, its well the centrepiece of a medieval quadrangle giving onto a serene churchyard where St Edmund of Abingdon's statue sits companionably reading on a bench, almost inviting you to join him.

Central Oxford is the home of the Oxford University's Botanic Garden, where JRR Tolkien's favourite tree still soars above the crumbling walls and over 7000 plant species from around the world rub shoulders in their riverside setting. The Garden's 'country cousin', Harcourt Arboretum at Nuneham Courtenay, displays newly restored wild flower meadows conserving some of England's threatened floral heritage.

The Visit Oxfordshire Gardens Guide also contains some excellent offers to spark that first - or return visit, as well as a competition to win a weekend break at an Oxfordshire Four Pillars Hotel together with 2 tickets to Waterperry Gardens. The brochure can be downloaded from www.visitoxfordandoxfordshire.com, ordered directly from Visit Oxfordshire (+44 (0)1865 252200) or picked up in Oxford Visitor Information Centre.

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