Oxfordshire is steeped in history - from the august honey-hued buildings, to the tranquil courtyards; narrow cobbled lanes to the famed spires. Inside these fascinating buildings we find a satisfying wash of colour and scent - a timeless treat for all to enjoy.
The University of Oxford Botanic Garden, is a particular highlight of our tour - and we will enjoy an introduction from the Curator. The garden consists of three sections - Glasshouses, shielding plants from the extremes of the British weather; the open garden with its water features, rock garden and black border; and the Walled Garden where plants are grouped together by country and botanic family.
At Waddesdon Manor, we enjoy a guided tour of what can only be described as: a fantasy pastiche of a Loire Château, situated on top of a knoll with fantastic views over the Vale of Aylesbury. To the south of the house, are terraced gardens restored to their original Edwardian splendour - with elaborate bedding schemes, and a splendid Rococo ironwork aviary housing exotic birds.
We also visit Broughton Grange, a spectacular garden set amongst 25 acres of woodland. The centrepiece is a large terraced walled garden designed by multiple Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith in 2001, who has skilfully used his vision to blend the gardens into the surrounding countryside. Good early displays of bulbs are followed by outstanding herbaceous planting in the summer.
Friday 4 August 2017
We depart from our local pick-ups and head for our first visit, the garden at Broughton Grange, This spectacular garden is set amongst 25 acres of woodland, formal and informal gardens in an attractive Oxfordshire setting. The centre-piece is a large terraced walled garden designed by multiple Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Tom Stuart-Smith in 2001, who has skilfully used his vision to blend the gardens into the surrounding countryside. Good early displays of bulbs are followed by outstanding herbaceous planting in the summer. A guided tour and refreshments are included here.
We continue to our comfortable hotel in Oxfordshire. Dinner is served in the evening.
Saturday 5 August 2017
This morning, following breakfast, we visit the house and gardens of Waddesdon Manor, a fantasy pastiche of a Loire Château finished in 1889 for Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, situated on top of a knoll with fantastic views over the Vale of Aylesbury. To the south of the house, are terraced gardens which have been restored to their original Edwardian splendour with elaborate bedding schemes, featuring tens of thousands of bedding plants which create a padded effect like a well-filled eiderdown. A splendid Rococo ironwork aviary housing exotic birds overlooks a garden designed by Lanning Roper in the 1960s. Many other parts of the garden are also being restored. A guided tour of the garden is included, after which we are free to tour the house and its opulently decorated rooms. Lunch is available here (not included).
We then continue to the gardens of Ascott House, which was originally a farmhouse built in the reign of James I and was acquired by Baron Mayer de Rothshchild. The extensive manicured gardens were laid out on the advice of the garden designer Sir Harry Veitch in 1902 by Leopold de Rothschild as a wedding present for his wife with a sundial made entirely of topiary. There are paved gardens in the style of Gertrude Jekyll and terraced gardens featuring clipped hedges, topiary, flowering shrubs and a bronze fountain. There is also a Dutch flower garden, a rock garden and a lily pool.
We return to our hotel where dinner is served in the evening.
Sunday 6 August 2017
After breakfast we depart for Oxford and the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, where we will be privileged to enjoy a guided tour by the Curator/Director. The plants are grown here to support the University’s teaching programme and are arranged in attractive, sympathetic and exciting ways and offer inspiration to the many gardeners who come here. There is a national reference collection of 7000 different types of plant, making it the most compact, yet diverse, collection of plants in the world and offering more biological diversity than there is in a tropical rain forest. The garden consists of three sections – Glasshouses, which contain plants which require protection from the extremes of the British weather; the garden outside the Walled Garden which contains classic features such as a water garden, rock garden and black border; and the Walled Garden where plants are grouped together by country or botanic family or economic use.
Following our visit we will have some free to in the historic and photogenic city of Oxford with an opportunity for lunch (not included), before returning to our original pick-up points with arrival due in the late afternoon.
- Two nights’ dinner, bed and full breakfast at the Witney Four Pillars Hotel. All rooms have private facilities
- Comfortable coaching throughout
- Entrance to the house and gardens of Waddesdon Manor (including guided tour of the gardens); the gardens of Ascott House; Broughton Grange (including guided tour and refreshments) and the University of Oxford Botanic Gardens (including guided tour with the Curator/Director)
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Single room supplement £70.00
- Insurance £13.00 (under 65); £26.00 (65-74); £39.00 (75-90)
Hillier Garden Centre Braishfield 10.45 19.15
Hiller Garden Centre Sunningdale 12.00 18.00
Hillier Garden Centre Newbury 13.00 17.00
Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.