Gardens and Grounds

Worcester is set within 26 acres of award-winning gardens and wooded grounds, including a lake, on-site sports fields, and an orchard. The gardens are unique among all the Oxford colleges in being landscaped in the naturalistic manner, formed at a time when the late ‘picturesque’ strand of the landscape garden was giving way to the more decorative approach, with shrubberies, of the Regency period.  The gardens are distinctive in having the lake, which forms the centrepiece of the design.

Head of Gardens and Grounds, Simon Bagnall, leads the team who have a responsibility to preserve and improve the historic gardens. They provide this beautiful, tranquil environment for the Fellows, students, staff, Old Members, conference visitors and the local community to enjoy.

  • Worcester College’s gardens are normally open to the public from 2-4pm every day.

Summer Sizzlers

Mother Nature’s colour palette has been changing as we have progressed through the summer, with a distinct change from the cool pastels of June to the warm, hot colours of August. Record-breaking temperatures have been felt across the country from the end of July and through August so, not only have the gardeners been feeling the heat, this change in the colour palette has meant we have been seeing the warmth as well. This sensation is from the warm glow of yellow, orange, bronze, mahogany-red and gold of Rudbeckia. Grown from seed, our two favourites are Rudbeckia hirta ‘Chim Chiminee’, with unusual quilled petals around a brown centre, and ‘Cherokee Sunset’, with double and semi-double flowers; together they are emanating a sense of heat. However, these colours are also associated with autumn, reminding us that it is fast approaching.

The content for this section is produced by Simon and Allison Leslie, one of the gardeners with a particular interest in plants and wildlife. You can find out what the team have been up to over the past few months by clicking on each of the months.