Magical Magdalen, Part I

Right across from the Oxford Botanic Garden lie the hallowed grounds of Magdalen College, one of Oxford University’s most renowned colleges. The college is over 550 years old and counts among its alumni nine Nobel laureates and numerous other notables. But it was its extensive grounds and the wide variety of its landscapes that fascinated me most the day I visited.

The gardens closest to the academic buildings include a long herbaceous border that is part sun –

Magdalen College gardens, Oxford University

Part of the sunny herbaceous borders on Magadalen College's grounds.

Magdalen College gardens

Same border, wider view. The gate leads to the outer grounds and the Deer Park.

and part shade in its composition.

Magdalen College gardens, Oxford University

The shadier part of the main borders.

I even spied a throwback to an earlier time – a bright red telephone box, next to one of Oxford’s ubiquitous and beautiful hanging baskets.
Magdalen College gardens, summer containers, hanging baskets

These borders flank a gate that leads out to the more bucolic parts of Magdalen’s grounds (more about which in the next post). But wandering around on my own in the Cloisters building, I saw crews pruning massive wisteria on the interior walls – and a serene, carefully composed planting scheme of Annabelle hydrangeas still looking quite fresh below them.

Magdalen College Cloisters, Magdalen College gardens

Wisteria and Annabelle hydrangeas create a rhythmic pattern in the Cloister quadrangle.

That’s all this time – next post, a look at an intriguing steel sculpture in another part of the College grounds, and its deer park . . .

For an interactive “virtual tour” map of Magdalen’s grounds, click here.

Explore posts in the same categories: landscape, photography, Travel

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3 Comments on “Magical Magdalen, Part I”

  1. Mary Says:

    Looks beautiful. I’d love to have one of those British phoneboxes in my garden!

  2. Lynley Ogilvie Says:

    Lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing!

    • Melissa Says:

      Dear Mary and Lynley,
      Thanks for the comments. It is truly a lovely place and I was lucky to be able to see and photograph it on a beautiful day. Hope to go back someday after I retire and spend longer there.


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