23rd Aug 2022

Vitax sponsors Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary

Vitax is delighted to announce its support for one of the UK’s oldest botanic gardens by sponsoring a commemorative event as part of University of Oxford Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary celebrations.

Attended by 120 guests, including the Chancellor of Oxford University – Baron Patten of Barnes, Vitax sponsored the Oxford Botanic Gardens ‘Act of Celebration’ luncheon to mark the final week of activities, which included a ceremonial tree planting and a full peal of bells which could be heard across Oxford.

“The Oxford Botanic Garden is a fantastic horticultural resource and home to many rare and unusual plants, and we are thrilled to be part of such an historic event,” says Paul Gooding, Vitax’s Chairman.

“The ‘Act of Celebration’ was the perfect start to the end of a year of celebrations. As one of the oldest gardens in the world, guests were not only able to fully explore the Garden and unusual plants, but also learn about the Garden’s future plans as it continues to nurture new plants and prevent the extinction of others to tackle climate change and enhance biodiversity.”

Founded in 1621 by Henry Danvers the first Earl of Danby KG, the University of Oxford Botanic Gardens was originally a physic garden for cultivation of medicinal plants for teaching students in the Medical School.

In 1840 it changed its name to ‘Oxford Botanic Garden’ - the birthplace of botanical science in Oxford. Today, it remains a place of research and teaching in plant sciences and plays a vital role in plant conservation with a collection of over 5,000 plants.

Professor Simon Hiscock, director of the Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum, says: “Over the past 12 months we have had a programme of events to highlight the magnificent plants within the Garden and Arboretum and we are delighted to have Vitax as an anniversary sponsor.

“As we now look to the future, we will be adding new glasshouses and cultivating new plant species to help educate students and visitors in the importance of plants and the role they will play in our future.”

As part of the year-long celebrations, a commemorative rose was commissioned and launched at this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show. The ‘Oxford Physic Rose’ was created by Peter Beales Roses Ltd as part of its ‘Modern Classic Collection.’

The new rose has silky, shell pink blooms, which are open cup in shape and lend themselves perfectly to pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies.

Ian Limmer, nursery manager of Peter Beales Roses, says: “We have been both honoured and delighted to be involved in the Oxford Botanic Garden’s 400th anniversary celebrations.

“We hope that launching this beautiful and very aptly named rose will help support the Botanic Garden’s mission to share with everyone the importance of plants with the world.”

To find out more about the Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum visit


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