Cambridge University Botanic Garden

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The fountain with the glasshouses behind.

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is a botanical garden located in Cambridge, England.[1] It lies between Trumpington Road to the west and Hills Road to the east, close to Cambridge railway station. The garden covers an area of 16 hectares (40 acres).[2] The site is almost entirely on level ground and in additional to its scientific value, the garden is highly rated by gardening enthusiasts.[citation needed] It holds 10 National Collections. The botanic garden also forms an oasis of tranquility in Cambridge and is frequently used as a place to escape to for lunch by workers in the surrounding area.[citation needed] The garden was created for the University of Cambridge in 1831 by Professor John Stevens Henslow and was opened to the public in 1846.

According to the garden's own statistics there were more than 200,000 visitors in 2011.[3]

Garden features[edit]

An apple tree that is reportedly a descendent of the tree that inspired Isaac Newton to formulate his theory of gravitation
  • Autumn colour garden
  • Bed of British native plants
  • Dry garden — demonstrates planting requiring reduced watering
  • Fen display
  • Genetics garden
  • Glasshouses, containing about 3,000 species, have been restored and almost entirely replanted to display global plant diversity, and comprise:
    • Continents Apart, comparing and contrasting the fire dependent, floristically rich plant communities of South Africa and SW Australia, once conjoined in the supercontinent Gondwana
    • Oceanic Islands, exploring the floral diversity peculiar to island archipelagos
    • Mountains, exploring how plants survive life in a cold climate
    • Tropical Rainforests, a hotbed of competition
    • Carnivores, displaying the diversity of traps in carnivorous plants
    • Arid Lands, displaying drought tolerant plants from continental Africa and the Americas, including many Succulent and Cactus species, and demonstrating the phenomenon of convergent evolution.
    • Life Before Flowers, full of ferns and filmy ferns.
  • Herbaceous borders
  • Lake
    The lake with the glasshouses behind.
  • National plant collections of:

Important scientific and research collections of:

  • Rock gardens — for alpine plants
    • Limestone rock garden
    • Sandstone rock garden
  • Scented garden
  • Systematic beds — 144 island beds representing 80 families of flowering plants
  • Tree collection
  • Water garden
  • Winter garden (December to April)
  • Woodland garden — containing spring bulbs

Public events[edit]

Regular public events and courses are organised in the botanic garden including the hugely popular Apple day. Other events in 2005 included:

  • Tree Selection and Care
  • Making Rush Baskets and Hats
  • Illustrating Plants using Pen and Ink
  • Painting the Autumn Harvest
  • Wood: the Inside Story
  • Gardening Seasons: Winter
  • Winter Tree Identification

Many of these events are run or supported by the Friends of Cambridge Botanic Garden who support the garden by volunteering and helping raise funds.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Garden, Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
  2. ^ TL4557: Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Geograph.
  3. ^ "Cambridge University Botanic Garden celebrates milestone in visitor numbers". Cambridge University News. 10 December 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-11. "In the last decade, annual visitor numbers to the Eastern region’s only botanic garden have more than doubled, and in November passed 200,000 for the first time in the Garden’s 165-year history." 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 52°11′38″N 0°07′40″E / 52.19382°N 0.12789°E / 52.19382; 0.12789