ENGLAND: West Midlands – Winterbourne House and Garden

Edgbaston Park Road, Birmingham, B15 2RT

t 0121 414 3003


Winterbourne Garden
Photograph Gill Mills

The Collection

Winterbourne is an Edwardian House built for John and Margaret Nettlefold in 1903 and is now owned by the University of Birmingham. It is open to the public all year round (see website for details); the house has an exhibition about the lives of the family that lived there. The Grade II listed garden, one of the best surviving examples of an Edwardian Arts and Crafts suburban villa garden, was lovingly created by the Nettlefolds using inspiration from the books of Gertrude Jekyll. It has Mediterranean, Orchid, Alpine and Carnivorous Houses.

Built in 2008, the Arid House contains a large selection of plants maintained by BCSS Birmingham Branch. Cacti include Trichocereus atacamensis, Oreocereus celsianus, Cleistocactus strausii, Echinocactus grusonii, Cereus chalybaeus, Selenicereus grandiflorus, and Denmoza rhodacantha, together with many species of Ferocactus, Astrophytum, Gymnocalycium, Mammillaria and Opuntia. Succulents include Agave americana aurea, Beaucarnea recurvata, Euphorbia ingens, Tylecodon paniculatus, and several species of Aloe. There is an extensive back-up collection of approximately 3,500 plants encompassing most genera of cacti and succulents. This is available for viewing on Tuesdays and Fridays, 10:00 to 14:00.

Nearest BCSS Branch

Birmingham: www.birmingham.bcss.org.uk

Meetings are held at Winterbourne. Please see the Branch website for meeting dates and programme. The Branch also holds an annual Autumn Show at the neighbouring Birmingham Botanical Gardens in early October.

A Member’s View

The house and gardens are a hidden gem, with something of interest all year. The garden has many unusual plants and trees and there is a walk through to a large lake. The Arid House gets many compliments and has a wide range of cacti and succulents all planted out in the ground and there is usually something in flower to enjoy. Entry is free to RHS Members on Monday to Wednesday. There is an excellent tea room where you can enjoy light meals on the terrace.

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