University Of Oxford Botanic Garden Houses
Welcome to the University of Oxford Botanic Garden. We are often asked how a botanic garden differs from other types of gardens. Botanic gardens are collections of plants that are grown for purposes other than purely aesthetic reasons but in Oxford Botanic Garden we do try to arrange the plants in attractive, sympathetic and exciting ways. Many gardeners come here to seek inspiration. In the beds and borders you may find new plants that would be perfect in your garden at home and partly for this reason we strive to label clearly every plant in the Garden.
Plants are grown in this Garden to support our teaching programmes, for research scientists in this University and elsewhere and as part of plant conservation projects.
Furthermore this Garden is a national reference collection of 7,000 different types of plant, making it the most compact yet diverse collection of plants in the World there is even more biological diversity here than there is in tropical rain forests and other biodiversity hotspots.
The Garden consists of three sections. The Glasshouses contain plants that need protection from the extremes of the British weather. The area outside the Walled Garden contains classic garden features such as a Water Garden and Rock Garden as well as the innovative Black Border and Autumn Borders. Within the Walled Garden plants are grouped in a number of different ways such as by country of origin, botanic family or economic use.
Much of the Walled Garden at the Botanic Garden is made up of rectangular botanical family borders. These were first laid out in 1884 by Sir Isaac Bayley Balfour using the Bentham and Hooker system of classifying plants, which he had adapted to reflect his own ideas.
The section of the Garden below the seventeenth century walls was annexed in 1947 when the Fellows of Christ Church decided that they did not want their allotments any longer.
In this area can now be found the big Herbaceous Border, Rock Garden, Spring Walk, Water Garden and Bog Garden. Many of these features are recent developments.
The plantings and features in this part of the Garden are horticultural rather than botanical and so may be of more interest to some gardeners.
AddressRose Lane, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 4AZ
Opening times9.00am until 5.00pm
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