If you are ever in Abingdon and are interested in unusual gardens then pop up to Old Boars Hill.
Most people will probably never go to Abingdon in their lives! Once famous for the home of MG, Abingdon sits in the Vale of the White Horse, just off the M40 close to Oxford.
We were recently visiting relatives and after a delightful lunch, they suggested we all decamp for a walk. Well I was all set for a quick nap but alas this was not to be!
It was suggested we drive up to nearby Old Boars Hill. Go to Ordinance Survey Get-a-map and enter map reference SP486022.
We dutifully drove there and left our cars in a lay-by. Our guide pointed out that the gardens were created by the archaeologist Sir Arthur John Evans (1851-1941), a graduate of Balliol College, Oxford, and famous as the archaeologist who unearthed the palace of Knossos in Crete.
Anyway apart from having a rather palatial pad nearby he and his wife set about creating a wild garden area for the benefit of locals.
This survives to this day albeit it has a slightly faded charm about it.
The walk was fascinating and I can recommend it to you.
You walk along what appears to be a track among the woods and the first interesting thing you encounter is a grouping of rocks among the fallen leaves.
Because we didn’t know what we were encountering we couldn’t quite believe these rocks were naturally placed. This assumption is confirmed when you discover there are ammonites among the rocks, so then the picture unfolds of a highly imaginative garden that was created.
Further steps along the pathway reveal stone benches among the ivy, small lakes and a huge earth mound with an observation point that emerges amongst the undergrowth.
For more information about Jarn Mound and Wild Garden go to http://www.abingdonwalks.co.uk/boarshill/intro.php
For more information about Sir Arthur John Evans go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Evans