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  1. 1. Botanic Gardens Presentation:Slide 1: Title pageSlide 2: What is a Botanic Garden?-A botanic garden is a garden for the exhibition and scientific study of collectedplants.Slide 3: How did botanic gardens begin?-Cultivation goes all the way back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamian eras. Thiswas because the reason and use behind plants back then was that they needed formedical purposes. The first botanic gardens were created in the 8th century and theywere known as monastic gardens because they were cultivated and arranged bymonks. This then lead to physics gardens, which is what we see today in Oxford.These appeared in the 16th century.Slide 4: What was the main purpose for botanic gardens at first?-Many donors were giving the donations to universities and they were then puttingthese funds into action for creation of these gardens, meaning they were firstintended to be used for academic and scientific study purposes. Mainly for studyingthe plants used in medicine. Now when Oxford University was putting the ideatogether for a botanic garden or back then a physics garden they too wanted to haveit for academic use, but also wanted to glorify God.Slide 5: Before the Botanic Garden-Before the construction of the botanic garden the land was used as a Jewishcemetery, which was purchased in 1177, but in 1231 most of the land wasappropriated by the Hospital of St. John. The little area they had left only last until1290. There is a plaque commemorating the Jewish cemetery that is fixed on thegates of the garden. It was unveiled in 1931 by the city council.Slide 6: The First set of Funds-The garden was given a very large donation of 5,000 pounds in 1621 from a HenryDanvers, also known as the Earl of Danby. These funds went to building theentrances, great wall, and archway in front of the garden which is all still intact tothis day. The garden was placed in an area outside of the east gates of town by thebanks of the river Cherwell. Because of Henry Danvers the botanic garden at OxfordUniversity is the oldest physics garden in all of England.Slide 7: The Archway in front of the Botanic GardensThe gateways were one of the first all classical structures in Oxford. The frontentrance which you can see here is very richly carved with the columns beingbroken up by bands that are very rough and ridged. You can also see that thekeystones and voussoirs of the arch are very grotesque. Then on top we have theRoman pediments and on each side of the arch are niches with two very largestatues in them.
  2. 2. Slide 8: The Statues-Charles I is on the ….. and Charles II is on the …. Dressed in Roman attire in veryclassical poses meaning that they looked more realistic. Now why put Charles I andII on the archway? There are two reasons for this. Henry Danvers was actuallyappointed by Charles I to a number of commissions. Also he was appointed Earl ofDanby and became a member of the Privy Council with the help of Charles I. Alsothe gateway and garden were being built and established during the reign of CharlesII.Slide 9: The Pediment- Now lets take a look at the pediments above the statues andarchway. In the center pediment there is a bust of Sir Henry Danvers, Earl of Danby.This is how he was recognized for donating 5,000 pounds to the university. Andunderneath his bust along the frieze of all three pediments is a saying all in Latin“Gloriae dei opt. Max. Honori Caroli Regis, in usum Acad. Et reipub” Now if my Latinis correct then it says somewhere along the lines of “Glory of God. I honor KingCharles in the mist of our friendship and the republic” Now as you can see themiddle pediment and bay is recessed and the edges of the center and largestpediment are lost and taken over by the two smaller pediments in front, withinthose two smaller pediments are crests.Slide 10: Back of the archway-The back of the archway is a little different from the front. There is now just onelarge pediment and eight smaller niches. It is still classical but with a lot less detailto it. We do still see the rough stone being used as a decorative design. Thisdecorative design can also be found on the walls and around the windows of theadjacent buildings. This is because those walls actually used to be part of the wholestructure of the Botanic Garden it was an elegant library and lecture room until itbecame the bursary at Magdalen College.Slide 11: Nicholas Stone-These three gateways were made possible because of master mason Nichoas Stone,he was the architect and builder assigned to the assignment of designing theentrances and walls to the garden. All three were meant to represent variations ofthe theme of the Roman Triumphal Arch but they came out to be in a moremannerist fashion.Slide 12: Roman Triumphal ArchSlide 13: The Walled Garden-The first garden was completely enclosed by a large wall that was also funded forby Danvers and also the design was done by Nicholas Stone. He wall is starting toreally deteriorate so it’s hard to see in any detailing in his design, but you can stillsee the classical structure on top acting almost like a pediment.Slide 14: The Bobarts
  3. 3. -Jacob Bobart the elder was the first superintendent for the garden. He wasemployed to cultivate the garden. He had to pay out of his own personal earnings togrow and cultivate plants in the garden, because all the funds were used on thewalls, archways, and entrances. He was an amazing gardener and botanist and grewthe whole place just by starting from scratch. Now for a little fun fact these personalearnings of Jacob Bobart’s actually came from the establishment his café whichbelieve it or not is The Grande Café which is the oldest coffee house in all of England.Now while working at the garden he published the very first catalogue of plantswithin the garden in 1648 and it had over 1600 different species, and the second listthat came out had over 2,000 different species of plants and more than half of themwere not native. Bobart the elder kept held his job in the garden for thirty sevenyears, and after that his son Jacob Bobart the younger took over in 1679. Hecontinued the curiating, cultivation, and cataloguing just as his father did. Alongwith all of this he also created a list of seeds in the garden and was so that gardensall around the world could trade and exchange plants between each other. Thissystem is still used today.Slide 13: Greenhouse/GlasshousesThe 1st house was built over 300 years ago but it did not end up being thatsuccessful because the windows were too small to let enough light in. But todaythere are now eight houses all set to different temperatures to accommodate everyplant from around the world.Slide 14: The Lily House-The lily house was built specifically to house the Victoria Lily. So in 1851 ProfessorDaubeny successfully grew and flowered this type of lily pad for people to see. Buthe decided o charge people to come and see it but that didn’t do the plant anyjustice and drove people away so the house was shut down in 1859 and it stayedthat way for the next 150 years. But now today the house is back up and runningalong with the papyrus plant that was used to make paper by the ancient Egyptians.Slide 15: The Arid House-This house is where all the cacti are grown. And a lot of the plants in here are usedfor cosmetics and body products, like the aloe vera plant for the lotion.Slide 16: The Palm House-This house is the largest of all the houses it is also quite new because it had to beremodeled in 1999 and not very many of the plants survived that. This is the homeof many crop plants also the big deal about one of the crops in this greenhouse isthat the rosy periwinkle produces a chemical that saves the lives of childrensuffering from infantile leukemia.Slide 17: The Alpine, Fernery, and Insectivorous Houses-These three houses are a little bit smaller in size, but they house plants from the farcorners of the world. The alpine house has alpine plants, the fernery has ferns, it is
  4. 4. very green in here, and the insectivorous house has plants that survive by eatinginsects.Slide 18: The inspiration for the green houses-Charles Daubeny became the Sherdian professor of botany in 1834 for the botanicgarden. And in 1849 he was invited by the duke and duchess to join other botaniststo their Chatswerth house to see the Victoria Amazonica Plant. Right then and thereDaubeny decided he need to have one of these lily pads, so they started work on theLily house and it was done and up and running by 1851.Slide 19: The garden and the university-The Botanic Garden was first established with the hope that science would start tothrive within Oxford University and that it would be a great resource for thestudents. And it was and still is to this very day. Not just Oxford University studentsuse it now these days students who are studying plants and botany come from allover England to use this very amazing resource, that is obviously very hands on.Slide 20: The garden today-Today the garden still continues on with all the things I just talked about along withit being a main tourist attraction in Oxford. One of the newest attractions within thegarden is its compost area, which can be used by the public and is encouraged to beseen. This year was the first year that the Fascination of plants day was held at thegarden on May 18th. And the reigning Sherdian Professor at Oxford holding theposition since 2009 is Liam Dolan.