The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening tours by J.C. Loudon 1831-1842
Chapter: Middlesex, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Wilshire, Dorsetshire, Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent in the Summer of 1832

Oxford college gardens

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Oxford. - August 13. We passed this day chiefly in looking at the colleges and other public institutions. The ancient garden of Trinity College used to be remarkable for its yew hedges, which are now overgrown, and getting naked below. Yew hedges were planted against walls in former times, because gardeners had nothing better to cover them; but they should now give way to the ornamental climbing and creeping shrubs, of which five hundred species and varieties might here be introduced and named. The narrow border in front of the wall might be stocked with numerous species and varieties of bulbs to flower in spring, and these might be succeeded by annuals for summer display. The effect would be most splendid throughout the year, and the names being added to each species might be the means of exciting a taste for plants in many of the students. In all probability, however, the yew hedges are considered as much a part of the college as the stone walls against which they are placed, and, of course, neither will be removed.