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.

Spanish Flags

These days inspiration can come from many sources: visits to gardens, social media and television, and on this occasion it was from the latter. In March an episode of the BBC’s ‘Gardener’s World’ focussed on many annual climbing plants at Parham House in Pulborough, West Sussex, and this segment of the show gave us the inspiration to create tripods of Ipomoea lobata. Commonly known as ‘Spanish Flag, this quick growing annual with its strong, reddish twining stems can reach up to 12ft, a perfect plant to climb up tripods made from tall hazel canes. On one side of each of the stems are racemes of tubular flowers from flame red at the tip, fading through to cream that creates the illusion of many hundreds of fluttering Spanish flags.   

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.