Winterbourne Botanical Garden

Location: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Website: Winterbourne Botanical Garden website

Winterbourne is a rare surviving example of an early 20th-century suburban villa and garden. The house was built in 1903 for John and Margaret Nettlefold, of Guest, Keen & Nettlefold.

Originally designed as a small country estate with rustic outbuildings and large gardens, Winterbourne followed the style of the Arts and Crafts movement with examples of local craftsmanship throughout the house.

Margaret Nettlefold designed the garden, inspired by the books and garden designs of Gertrude Jekyll. After a period of restoration, the garden was Grade II listed by English Heritage in 2008.

When the Nettlefolds left in 1919, two subsequent families called Winterbourne home. The latter, John Nicolson, was an avid gardener and built on the existing foundation with further features such as a Japanese bridge and scree garden. When the University took ownership in 1944, the botanical garden was used for study and relaxation by students, and research by the School of Botany.

Today the botanical garden offers interest throughout the year. The restored walled garden, complete with crinkle-crankle wall, is a riot of rainbow shades from May until October. The lawns are fringed with striking colour themed borders, and beyond lies an original sandstone rock garden and a woodland walk through Gunnera leaves and Rhododendron displays. The botanical garden contains plants from around the globe with collections of plants from China, North and South America and the Alpine areas of the world.  These are housed in a range of glasshouses, including an Arid House, Alpine House, Orchid House, Carnivorous Plant House and an original Edwardian Lean-to Glasshouse.

Winterbourne has a history of hosting HBGTP and WRAGS trainees. A trainee based at Winterbourne will have the opportunity to train on a wide variety of garden machinery. They will also acquire skills in glasshouse management, lawn care, fruit and vegetable production, propagation, and the use of a plant records system.

Placement opportunity: 1 year

Staff numbers:
5 full-time horticulturists, 2 part-time staff, and around 40 volunteers

Ease of access:
Winterbourne is located on the University of Birmingham campus in Edgbaston, Birmingham. Only a few miles from the city centre, it is just off the main A38 route leaving the city towards the South West.

Trains run from Birmingham New Street on the cross city line to University station. Winterbourne is then a 10 minute walk across campus. The X20, X21 and X22 buses stop just round the corner from Winterbourne. These pick up from the city centre by Moor Street Station.

The nearest supermarkets are 15 minutes’ walk away in the Selly Oak area. Birmingham has a multitude of shops and restaurants, as well as its own airport and excellent transport links to London.

Accommodation: No dedicated accommodation available

Gallery

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