Founded in 1621, the Botanic Garden collections have been used in teaching, research and conservation for almost 400 years.
People of all ages and backgrounds use the Botanic Garden. Undergraduates studying biological sciences and related subjects, over 6,500 school children each year as part of the Garden's education programme, and over 5,000 adults participate in courses and tours each year to learn more about botany, horticulture and gardening.
The Gardens are divided into two main sections, the Walled Garden and the Lower Garden. The Walled Garden houses scientific and heritage collections. These include the Order Beds, Geographic Collections, the Hardy Euphorbia Collection, Medicinal Plants, the 1648 Collection and the Woodland Walk. The Lower Garden comprises of the ornamental and thematic collections. These include the Herbaceous Border, Rock Garden, Gin Border, the Plants that Changed the World exhibit, the Merton Borders, Autumn Border, Water Garden, Oxfordshire Meadows and the Orchard.
Within our seven display glasshouses we are able to create a range of climatic conditions, cultivating plants from around the world. Visitors to the glasshouses find themselves traveling the globe as they pass from tropical jungle and oozing swamp to desert and alpine environments.
Unfamiliar and exotic plants grown at the Botanic Garden still amaze visitors today. With 98% of the collection on public display, there are over 150 botanical families and more than 1200 different species grown in the glasshouses. These compliment the plant collections grown outside at the Botanic Garden and at Harcourt Arboretum. The glasshouses provide year-round interest and intrigue for visitors.
Director: Dr Simon Hiscock