Tonight we went to the botanical gardens in Oxford for a guided tour given by the lovely and very knowledgeable Katherine French who is currently studying ethno botany at the university. In short it was fascinating! We started off in the poisonous bed
Belladonna which has modern uses for dilating the pupil
A Harry Potter favourite the Mandrake, the things you can see on top of the soil are the fruits.
I had to take a photo of this also – some of the biggest Rhubarb I have ever seen!
Then it was onto the plants used for dying materials via this rather stunning flower meadow
We started off with dyers favourite Woad which produces a blue dye & then some samples of bamboo and other plants used to make fibres were passed around (sorry no photos of those)
Rapt attention by the dye bed
Then it was off to the hothouses to see the weird
And the oddly familiar
There were some beautiful but unusual plants
And some more common edibles, orange anyone?
Or maybe some ginger?
Need some new tyres?
Or a boost to your 5 a day?
One of my favourite plants was this Cardamom plant
I really loved the buds on it, they looked like little creatures.
Here are some other favourites from the hot house.
This first one is tea, shaped and bearing its owners mark to be used as currency.
Then a coco bean was passed round
So came the end of the tour and we headed out to explore on our own. Massive thanks to Katherine for giving up her time & the Botanical Gardens for having us.
I’ll leave you with some more shots of the general garden. Tickets and info on visiting can be found here.