Friday, 5 September 2008

John Caldwell et al - "The Grounds and Gardens of the University of Exeter"

Publ: 1969 ISBN: 978-0900771033
Rating ****

The University of Exeter has one of the most beautiful settings of any University in England. It's estate, of some 300 acres, sweeping across hills which face south and west, contains a great range of plants and trees. Some of the property was laid out and planted by the firm of Veitch in the second half of the 19th century; and the arboretum includes trees from all the temperate regions of the world.
There are supporting notes on the history of the acquisition of the parts of the estate and the University buildings, and on climate and soil. The whole is illustrated by eight colour plates and 65 black and white photographs
There are eight plans. with 350 individual species / sub-species of tree and shrub marked on them. Sadly, the fact that it was published 40 years ago means it is well overdue for an update, some of the trees having disappeared and a large number having been planted since then. One whole plantation lacks any species marked.
Nevertheless, it is essential reading and reference for anyone with the time to wander around the grounds throughout the seasons of the year.
The book is available on-line at

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