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.

January Bulbs

January is not one of the garden team’s favourite months, longer nights and shorter days which are usually cloudy and grey. During the first few weeks of this new decade, clear blue and cloudless days have been few and far between, in fact, the first named storm of 2020, ‘Storm Brendan’, has already made its present felt with gusts on average of 40mph whipping through the college grounds. However, even with the sun hidden behind many a cloud, it hasn’t stopped the winter bulbs from bursting through the sodden ground brightening up their surroundings and effecting everyone around them, a very welcome arrival indeed.

Carpets of winter aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), with their sunny, buttercup yellow flowers, have appeared en masse on the Nuffield lawn, each head being supported by a rather elegant dark green ruff collar. Not to be out done, twenty five thousand snowdrops (Galanthus spp.) have pushed their way through the soil of many of the borders and lawns, clean, fresh white drooping bells with many different green markings, truly a joy to behold.

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.