Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023

As the weather improves and spring is well established, there are lots more opportunities to photograph gardens. One of the best gardens to visit in Birmingham is Winterbourne House. This Edwardian house and garden have a captivating charm. The House was originally owned by the Nettlefold family and has a long history. The House and Gardens are owned by the University of Birmingham. The house has been restored to what it would have been like at the time of the Nettlefold family. The gardens that surround the house are an example of Edwardian living and several acres are planned out to take advantage of the lay of the land. There are several areas including the walled garden, a lime walk, a rhododendron walk and a glass house area. At the furthest end of the garden is the Japanese bridge and sandstone rock garden. All through the gardens is the influence of the Edwardian approach to design and then there are quirky structures created by the University of Birmingham during its ownership.

The Gardens

Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
The classic view of the Edwardian house from the Nut walk.
Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
The Japanese garden bridge in Black and White.
Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
A place to rest and admire the garden.
Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
The bluebell walk adjacent to Winterbourne.

Glass Houses and Alpine Garden

Winterbourne House

The house has been restored and the rooms reflect how an Edwardian family will have lived their lives in the building. There was ample opportunity to view the bedrooms and admire the collections of belongings including children’s toys.

Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
Top of the stairs

More views around the Gardens

Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
Colours in the water of the sandstone rock pools.
Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
Detail in the greenhouse
Winterbourne House and Gardens, The University of Birmingham, May 2023
Pathway to the garden.

There were around 20 IgersbirminghamUK photographers and we all enjoyed taking the photographs and also meeting each other to have a chat and catch up on the world of photography. Many of us met at the terrace for a cup of tea and a chat before moving on to the rest of the weekend. These are a selection of my pictures and I would encourage you to view other photographers pictures which are posted on Instagram.

Follow the tags #igersbirminghamUk, #igbUk_meet_winterbourne and #winterbourneHG.

I have two other posts on Winterbourne one written before the Pandemic and the other when the house reopened after the Lockdowns. They give more insights into this wonderful place in Edgbaston.


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As the University of Birmingham locked down so did Winterbourne house and gardens. There was still a small team of gardeners tendering the gardens during lockdown. As the restrictions eased, the gardens reopened to University staff on the 6th July. It is one of the perks of working at the University that you have free access to the Botanical gardens. I took the opportunity on a Friday afternoon to visit Winterbourne and it coincided with a break in the weather. Yes, the sun was seen in the sky! I brought along my macro lens and decided that it was going to be a close up day photographing the flowers and some of the friends that visit them as well.

A zoom of colour!
Nature’s helper
Prickly
Summer in full swing

I realise now that what I enjoy about garden photography is the symmetry of the flowers. Also I like the asymmetry that is overlayered on the symmetry. The colours and the flower arrangements right down to the petals play a part too.

Symmetry and colours
A busy bee
Lilies in the sunshine

Winterbourne has different areas to it and there is a brook at the bottom of the hill with an Japanese oriental garden. On the way down, there are many flower beds and open spaces. Towards the house there is the walled garden and glasshouses that have a large variety of interesting species.

Can you spot the spider?
Lovely colours
A play on light and colour

Why do I love Winterbourne so much? I think it is the range of plants that come from around the world. Part of my role at the University is Director of Global Engagement. The Winterbourne Gardens web site mentions that the plant collection is taken from countries such as China, North and South America and the Alpine areas of the world. Maybe this is why walking around the Botanical Gardens feels as if you are undertaking international travel in a short space of time and distance.

Temporary entrance with social distancing sign into the walled garden
The lime walk
Walkway through the garden
Symmetry in the onion vegetable patch

Finally, whilst I love taking pictures of the plants, I do not know many of their names. So if anyone is able to help so that I can name them correctly it would be very much appreciated 🙂

Winterbourne house