It must have been the slight spring feeling in the air this week which inspired me to finally visit the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens yesterday. It was actually the first time I have ever been, it’s only a fifteen minute walk away from my office and I pass it every day!
The gardens have been at its present site in Cambridge since 1846, covering an impressive forty acres of heritage listed beauty. Originally situated in the centre of Cambridge from 1762, the site is now opposite Station Road with another entrance on Trumpington Road. The University of Cambridge houses its research collections here.
A former Professor of Botany at the University is credited with founding the new site. John Henslow, Chair of Botany at just 29, originally designed the garden to house a tree collection. He also put in to place ideas he had about variation and the nature of species. One of his former students was Charles Darwin, who of course acted up on those ideas in his own research.
The gardens are divided up in to many different sections, including a winter garden (see pic below), dry garden, healthy herbie, rock garden and a fountain section (see above pic). There are glasshouses too on the north side of the site, these are used to protect plants from the climate.
There is much to admire about the gardens, and it gives you a great idea of how beautiful it will be in full bloom during the summer. I am looking forward to returning then to see how picturesque it looks.
The varied plants, trees and wildlife mean that the site is a great educational hub and welcomes school parties. It also runs events such as courses, talks and workshops all year round for those interested in finding out more, or getting involved in the natural world. The website is a brilliant mine of information, do take a look at the link at the beginning of this post.
Click here for the opening times and admission fees.
I am glad I finally visited. It was such a relaxing hour, albeit a tad chilly!