Visits and events for Friends and their guests
Artists in the Botanic Garden
Friday 7th February 2014, 7.00-8.30pm
Plant illustrators Rosemary Wise and Barbara MacLean are recording the plants of the Botanic Garden and the Arboretum. Come and see their work and hear how this exciting new project is progressing. Senior Curator Alison Foster will host the evening and wine will be served.
Tickets £7.50 for Friends, £12.50 for guests
Painswick Rococo Garden
Sunday 23rd February 2014, 2.30pm
Painswick, Glos GL6 6TH
The only complete Rococo garden left in England, dating from 1720 to 1760. It has undergone complete restoration over many years and is well known for its wonderful snowdrops. The garden was designed as a Regency playroom, and there are winding woodland walks, lovely vistas and unusual architectural styles that have been created as eye-catchers and viewpoints. Tea is included.
Tickets £15, guests £20
No limit on numbers
Kelmarsh Hall and Gardens
Thursday 27th March 2014, 2.00pm
Kelmarsh, Northampton NN6 9LY
This is the first “Nancy Lancaster” house and garden we visit this spring. We will start with a guided tour of the Hall, built for the Hanbury family in the 1730s, by virtuoso architect James Gibbs. Nancy Lancaster’s taste is evident in the interior decoration, combining as it does comfort with formality. She set the trend for the 20th century’s “country house” look. Her spirit still pervades the house today in the delicate terracotta colouring of the Great Hall, the exuberant Chinese wallpaper and seasonal flower arrangements. After the Hall, we will visit the gardens (no guide), into which Nancy Lancaster extended her interior style of “shabby chic” charm. Around the Hall the landscape architect Geoffrey Jellicoe laid out a formal terrace and horse chestnut avenues leading down to the lake. The daffodils should be splendid. Tea is included.
Tickets £18, guests £23
Maximum 50 people
Ditchley Park [NOW FULLY BOOKED - SORRY!]
Wednesday 2nd April 2014, 1.15pm
Ditchley Park, Enstone, Chipping Norton OX7 4ER
This is the second “Nancy Lancaster” house and garden that we will visit. The mansion at Ditchley was built by the second Earl of Litchfield in 1722 to a design by James Gibbs. After 1760 the park was “naturalised”, with smooth lawns sweeping down to the lake and the Great Temple. In 1933, Ronald and Nancy Tree bought Ditchley Park. Nancy (later Lancaster), was the well-known interior decorator and garden designer, originator of the so-called “country house style”. The Trees restored the house and employed Geoffrey Jellicoe to remodel the grounds. During the Second World War Ditchley Park was used as the official country residence of the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, for two years from November 1940, when Chequers was not considered safe from German bombing. We will visit the garden when the daffodils are in bloom and have a guided tour of the house. Tea will be served.
Tickets £17, guests £22
Maximum 50 people
Blewbury Manor and Ashbrook House [NOW FULLY BOOKED - SORRY!]
Friday 25th April 2014, 10.00am
Blewbury Manor, Berry Lane, Blewbury OX11 9QJ, by kind permission of Mr & Mrs MR Blythe
Ashbrook House, Westbrook Street, Blewbury OX11 9QA, by kind permission of Mr & Mrs SA Barrett
We will start at Blewbury Manor, a part-17th century manor House (not open) with moat set in a delightful garden of about 10 acres. The garden includes a parterre, pergola, spring bulbs, herb garden, stream planting, lake and woodland area. The visit will be guided by the Head Gardener, Richard Roslyn.
We will then move on to Ashbrook House, where we will visit the 3½ acre chalk and water garden. The slopes above the lake will be a mass of spring bulbs. This garden has associations with Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows. Mill Brook runs through both gardens. Refreshments at Blewbury Manor are included.
We will be parking at Blewbury Manor. Please note that the visit involves a 10 minute walk to and from Ashbrook House, though there is limited parking near Ashbrook House for those who find walking difficult.
Tickets £16, guests £21
Maximum 50 people
The Friends’ Plant Sale, Sunday 1st June 2014, 11.00 to 4.00pm,
at Harcourt Arboretum
We are planning for the 2014 Plant Sale, the largest regular fundraising event on the Friends' calendar. This biennial event relies entirely upon donations of plants from the Garden and Arboretum, from professional nurseries, large private gardens, Oxford college gardens and many individual Friends. We welcome the rare and unusual to the more commonplace, trees to the tiniest alpines, and single or multiple plants. If you would like us to store plants that you have potted up recently, we can collect them or we can take clumps of plants that can be divided and potted up.
As well as plant stalls, the Sale boasts second hand garden books, pots, a garden-themed tombola and wonderful refreshments baked and served by our army of volunteers. Parking and entry are free, with a wheelbarrow delivery service. Hopefully you will also have time to stroll around the Arboretum viewing all the wonderful new improvements made by Ben Jones and his team, including the Barn at the southern end which will have weathered its first winter. We hope also to provide entertainment for children and woodland craft demonstrations.
If you would like to volunteer on the day, for teas or plant stalls, or in the week beforehand for plant labelling and collecting, or to donate plants or become involved in publicity, please contact Maura Allen firstname.lastname@example.org, 01865 311711. Thank you.
Regular events (no need to book)
The first Friday of every month (except January and August) in the Garden’s Conservatory. After coffee a member of staff leads a tour of the Garden.
Fridays: 7th February 2014, 7th March, 4th April 10.30am to 11.30am, no fee and no booking required, just turn up.
These tours are with the Director Timothy Walker, structured around plants of particular interest for the time of year. They are crammed with botanical information and horticultural tips and are great fun. A plant list is provided.
Sundays 26th January 2014, 6th April, 10.00am to 11.30am, Friends £2.00, guests £3.00 (plus the charge for entry to the Garden if applicable), no booking required, just turn up.
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.
Wednesdays 8th January, 5th February, 5th March, 1.30pm to 3.00pm [note new, earlier time], no fee and no booking required, just turn up.