Visits and Events

Visits and events for Friends and their guests

To book online for any of the events or visits please click here. Please note that your online booking receipt is confirmation of your place. A list of attendees will be passed to the organisers of visits and lectures.  Please note that if an online VISIT is SOLD OUT it is worth checking with the Friends Administrator (tel 0165 610303) if hard copy booking form places are available.  We allocate 50% of tickets to online booking and 50% to hard copy booking forms.

 Garden visits 2017

Please note attendees make their own way to the gardens.We are unable to facilitate lift shares.

Double visit to Coton Manor & Holdenby House

Wednesday 24th May
Coton, Northampton NN6 8RQ & Holdenby, Northampton NN6 8DJ         

Coton Manor's owner, Ian Pasley-Tyler, will introduce this exciting garden about to burst into full, but wonderfully fresh, colour. The main players will be irises, lupins, alliums, nepeta, euphorbias, paeonies, salvias, clematis and early roses. As the bluebells in the wood fade, the adjacent wildflower meadow starts to come into its own. The Water Garden is at its best and the borders begin to look abundant. Refreshments on arrival. Lunch is not included. Bring a picnic or there is a café
at Coton Manor.

Holdenby House, originally an Elizabethan palace, was restored in 1870. We will be given a tour of the house and then visit the 20 acre Grade 1 listed garden which includes an Elizabethan garden designed by Rosemary Verey, using plants only available in 1580, a pond garden, herbaceous borders, King Charles's walk and a delightful walled kitchen garden with the original
Victorian greenhouses. Refreshments included at the end of the visit.

Friends Tickets £30.00
Guest Tickets £35.00

Private visit to Appleton Manor

Tuesday 6th June
Eaton Road, Appleton, Oxon OX13 5LW

Appleton Manor, originally a Norman Hall, dates from the 12th century. Over the years it has had as many alterations as owners. In 2001, its current owners began work on the garden with the renowned designer, Arne Maynard. It has been an ongoing project for both ever since. Features range from topiary shapes and pleached crab apples to a kitchen garden with beautifully restored antique glasshouse. All are set around the manor (not open) and moat. The owner or head gardener will introduce the garden and take us round. Refreshments included.

Friends Tickets £16.00
Guest Tickets £21.00

Private double visit to Rooksnest & The Old Rectory

Friday 9th June
Lambourn Woodlands, RG17 7SB & Farnborough, Wantage, Oxon OX12 8NX

Rooksnest is an exceptionally fine traditional English garden mostly designed by Arabella Lennox Boyd. There will be a short presentation about the garden’s history. Its 10 acres feature glorious rose and herbaceous borders, a pond, herb and organic vegetable garden with glasshouses along with many fine specimen trees and shrubs. Orchard and terraces recently renovated and replanted. A visit not to be missed. Refreshments included.

The Old Rectory owners will welcome us with an introductory talk. Their garden features rare and interesting plants in a series of immaculately tended garden rooms, including herbaceous borders, arboretum, rose, pool and vegetable gardens. With stunning views across the countryside, it is the perfect setting for this 1749 rectory (not open), once the home of John Betjeman, in memory of whom John Piper created a window in the nearby church, which should be open. Some steep slopes. Refreshments included.

Friends Tickets £20.00
Guest Tickets £25.00

Private visit to the garden at Manor House and tour of Dorchester Abbey

Thursday 15th June
Manor Farm Road, Dorchester-on-Thames OX10 7HZ

The owners will introduce this beautiful two acre garden set around a Georgian house and medieval abbey. A spacious lawn leads to a riverside copse of towering poplars. There is a terrace with a rose and vine covered pergola around a lily pond, with colourful borders, small orchard and vegetable garden. The visit will include a guided tour of Dorchester Abbey and refreshments.

Friends Tickets £20.00
Guest Tickets £25.00

Private visit to Tythrop Park

Thursday 22nd June
Kingsey, Bucks HP17 8LT

Seldom open to the public, Tythrop Park's 10 acres of gardens surround a Grade 1 listed manor house (not open). In recent years the grounds have undergone major changes and now blend traditional styles with more contemporary planting. Features include an intricate Parterre,
deep mixed borders, large greenhouse, walled garden, kitchen/cut flower garden, meadows, many old trees and shrubs. The tour will be led by Head Gardener, Phil Kusmishko. Tea, coffee and cake will be provided. 

Friends Tickets £15.00
Guest Tickets £20.00

SOLD OUT - Online and hard copy Double visit Westwell Manor & The Old Vicarage

Friday 30th June
Westwell, Nr Burford, Oxon OX18 4JT & Main Road, Bledington, Chipping Norton, Oxon OX7 6UX

Westwell Manor (not open) is surrounded by 6 acres of glorious garden. The Head Gardener will talk about its many delights followed by a tour through the knot garden, potager, herbaceous borders with shrub roses, the topiary, earth works, auricula ladder, rills, the water and moonlight gardens. Refreshments not provided.

The Old Vicarage (not open), dating from 1843, is surrounded by a 1½ acre garden. The owners will introduce their garden which, planted for year round interest, features borders and beds filled with hardy perennials, an informal rose garden with over 300 David Austin roses, a small pond and vegetable patch. Also a paddock with trees, shrubs and herbaceous border. Plants for sale. Tea and cake included.

Friends Tickets £30.00
Guest Tickets £35.00

Private visit to Longstock Park Water Garden

Longstock Park, Stockbridge, Hampshire SO20 6EH
Thursday 6th July

The International Waterlily Society considers Longstock Park Water Garden 'the finest water garden in the world'. Created by John Spedan Lewis in the 1940s as a place to reflect and relax, the crystal clear River Test flows through the garden. Owned and managed by Waitrose, a garden team member will give us an introductory talk. The garden hosts plants from around the world, including over forty species of waterlilies many of which will be flowering when we visit. Refreshments not included. The Longstock Café, farm shop and nursery only 1/2 mile away. The nursery includes national collections of Buddlejas, Clematis viticella, and the Gilchrist Collection of Penstemons. Plants for sale at the nursery.

Friends Tickets £15.00
Guest Tickets £20.00

SOLD OUT - Online & Hard copy Upper Slaughter Manor, the Gardens and the Feller Needlework Collection   

Upper Slaughter, Nr Cheltenham, Glos GL54 2JG
Sunday 23rd July
A rare opportunity to privately visit this Elizabethan Manor House with its Jacobean porch and late 14th early 15th century two-vaulted crypt. Examples from the Feller Needlework Collection will be on view. The manor house is set in grounds of 22 acres and the extensive Gardens include a rose garden with a reconstructed 18th century folly and a lake plus a self-guided nature trail. Tea/coffee and a slice of cake included.

Friends Tickets £30.00
Guest Tickets £35.00

 Other events 2017

Friends’ Summer Garden Party at the Botanic Garden

Wednesday 28th June, 6.00-8.00pm
Bookings only - please book online following the links below. Your booking will be added to a list of attendees for this event (no tickets will be sent out)

Join us to view the latest improvements to the Garden and for sparkling wine and cake. We will say farewell our outgoing Chairman, Richard Mayou, and will thank him for devoting years of work to building the Friends. You can also take this opportunity to meet Sarah Taylor who will be taking over the role from May 1st.

Guests are welcome and free, so please, introduce your friends to the Friends and to the Garden on this most enjoyable evening.

• There is no charge but donations will be very welcome.

Annual Alfresco Opera Event 

Performance by New Chamber Opera and The Band of Instruments of The Barber of Seville by Giovanni Paisiello In the Warden’s Garden, New College, Oxford

Wednesday 12th July 2017

The evening will begin, if wished, with a pre-performance talk at 5.00pm given by Professor Michael Burden in the ante chapel. Tickets for this are available separately to the opera tickets, see below.

This will be followed by a welcoming glass of sparkling wine in the wonderful setting of the cloisters of New College chapel. The Warden’s Garden (off New College Lane) will open at 6.00pm. The opera will begin at 6.30pm, in the garden, or in the chapel if wet, and will end at around 10.30pm. Seats will be numbered and will be allocated on a ‘first applied, first served’ basis. Please bring a picnic to enjoy in the cloisters during the 75-minute interval. Tables and chairs will be provided.

We have 200 tickets for sale (the price includes a glass of sparkling wine). Please cut off and send the booking form below. Tickets will be dispatched at the beginning of June. If you wish to have confirmation before then that your application has been successful, please provide us with your email address or enclose an extra stamped addressed envelope. Please note that refunds are only possible if we are able to re-sell your ticket(s).

There is generally parking available in Mansfield Road. Due to building works, it is unlikely that there will be any disabled parking available in the College.

 If you have queries, please phone 01865 610303 (Garden office) and leave a message, or e-mail:

Regular events (no need to book)

Friends’ coffee mornings at the Garden.

The first Friday of every month (except January, and August) in the Garden’s Conservatory. The coffee morning for December will be the Friday 15th December.  No fee and no booking required, just turn up. 

Insight tours at the Arboretum

Friends are very welcome to join these free tours on the first Wednesday of every month, which are a great opportunity for Arboretum staff to show off the latest developments, and for visitors to give their thoughts and opinions as well as to ask questions. 1.30pm to 3.00pm, no fee and no booking required, just turn up.


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