On a beautiful summer’s evening, last Wednesday 25th July, Susan and I arrived in Oxford and walked across the city to arrive at the Botanic Garden. This was a rather special occasion, as it was Danby Day, and the newly created Herbarium Room was to be opened.
The idea behind The Herbarium Room is to link the ‘living Collections’ in the actual garden with all the botanic records and information kept at the Oxford Herbaria which is now located at the Department of Plant Sciences on South Parks Road. The Herbarium Room will display exhibitions of this information at the Garden, for all to admire. Danby Day celebrates the day the garden was founded in 1621 by Sir Henry Danvers, the first Earl of Danby, so an excellent day to celebrate!
This was my first visit to the Botanic Garden, and I was very excited to see it. I also couldn’t wait to see The Herbarium Room itself, as printmaker Pia Östlund had curated a wallpaper installation for the room, and a new print for the curtains.
The wallpaper was even better than expected. Inspired by the decoration of the home of botanist Carl Linnaeus, it features reproductions of prints from the original work Hortus Elthamensis by Johann Jacob Dillenius, who was the first Sheradian Professor of Botany at Oxford. It is marvellous – beautiful reproductions of plant life drawings, covering the walls from top to bottom, sitting closely together. The print for the curtains, created by Pia, was also inspired by the Hortus Elthamensis (Dillenius, 1732), and is a wonderful depiction of Cereus, the night flowering cactus. The curtains themselves line one side of the room, creating a really charming balance to the wallpaper opposite.
On display in the room was the first exhibition, all about the original ‘Superintendents’ of the garden, Bobart the Elder and the Younger and the plants they introduced and nurtured, and the recordings they made.
It was such a beautiful sunny evening, and we really had a super time, thank you so much for having us! After, we ambled back to the station taking a detour via Christ Church Meadows. Below is a little photo story of the event.