Cambridge University Botanic Garden PDF Print E-mail

A 40 acre oasis just to the south of the City centre, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a haven of beautiful gardens & glasshouses, recommended by the RHS Garden Finder as an exceptionally attractive botanic garden and ‘essential visiting for any garden lover’.

This heritage-listed Garden was the vision of Professor John Henslow, teacher and guiding light of Charles Darwin, and is today a treasure trove of over 8,000 plant species, including nine national collections and the finest arboretum in the East of England.


The Garden has been designed for both year-round interest and seasonal inspiration.  The tree collection forms the structural backbone to the
Garden and encloses the plantings to form a secluded green retreat.  The magnificent conifers of the Main Walk create an awe-inspiring avenue, leading in one direction to a beautiful fountain designed by the respected cutler David Mellor and in the other to a pair of ornate Gates
that were originally the entrance to the much smaller, city-centre Botanic Garden before it re-opened on its current site in 1846.  These
lovely Gates were relocated at the end of the 19th century.


Seasonal highlights include the renowned Winter Garden, a masterclass in weaving together foliage, flower and fragrance that led the way in gardening for winter interest.  The Rock Garden is laid out geographically continent-by-continent so you can explore alpine plants from all the world’s rocky regions.  Plants from rocky places tend to be the ‘direct marketers’ of the plant world and when brought together into a planting such as the Rock Garden, the result is spectacular in the diversity of flower form and the kaleidoscopic range of colour.  In high summer, the Dry Garden demonstrates that water-wise choices can still make a beautiful garden.  The Grass Maze is perennially popular with children letting off steam as they race around the paths of this puzzle based on the Cretan maze of the legendary Minotaur. Nearby, the Rose Garden, which explores the ancestry of modern garden roses and is edged with fragrant lavender is a summer highpoint, as is the Scented Garden that invites you to linger in its rich fragrance.
 
The magnificently-restored Glasshouse Range has been recently re-planted to explore the drama of plant diversity and offers year-round warmth in which to discover habitats ranging from arid lands of architectural cactus to flamboyant tropical rainforests, from diminutive alpine jewels to the fire-dependent ecologies of South Africa and Australia.   Each spring, the Garden’s magnificent Jade Vine,  probably the best-flowering specimen in the UK, produces over 100 dangling racemes of up to one metre in length of an extraordinary blue-green colour.
Located less than 1 mile to the south of the city centre, the Cambridge University Botanic Garden opens daily at 10am. The Botanic Garden Shop at the award-winning new Brookside Gate offers a beautiful range of stationery inspired by the plant collections, complemented by a library of essential gardening and horticulture books, inspirational gifts and beautiful jewellery, as well as seasonal plants. The Garden Café serves delicious homemade soups, jacket potatoes, paninis, sandwiches and cakes, as well as seasonal specials. 

The Garden is a natural outdoor classroom: guided tours of the seasonal highlights take place at 11am every first Saturday of the month (pre-booking advised on 01223 336265 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and drop-in family workshops are held between 11am-3pm also on every first Saturday.

Telephone 01223 336265
www.botanic.cam.ac.uk