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The Savill and Valley Gardens - John Anderson

There certainly wasn’t anybody nodding off at the YDGS July meeting, for even on a warm, balmy summers evening, the St Swithuns Centre was nearly filled to capacity! John Anderson told his fascinating tales of his experiences as the 4th Keeper of the Savill and Valley Gardens, Windsor Great Park.

John moved to the 1930’s landscape garden, a garden for garden’s sake and to house trees, shrubs and flowers from all over the world, after 10 years at the Exbury Gardens, Hampshire. John brought with him a wealth of managerial experience, abundant enthusiasm and plant knowledge.

Savill Gardens was created in 1932 by Sir Eric Savill who became the Deputy Ranger and was charged to create a woodland garden

The Savill & Valley Gardens of Windsor Great Park are really fascinating with so much to offer in terms of history, royal connections, plant diversity, landscape use and seasonal interest. They are looked after by a dedicated team of 40 gardeners and are justifiably one of the finest woodland gardens in the country.


Windsor Great Park covers about 8,000 acres and receives more than 6 million visitors a year – more visitors than to the Grand Canyon!

Winter rainfall has reduced by 50% in the last 12 years.

The gardens contain about 450 magnolias, have a large collection of ferns as well as English and Spanish Bluebells. Azaleas are adaptable to drought.

In 1976, due to the very hot summer, the Rose Garden was ruined and was recreated 10 years ago and has approx 2,500 roses. High maintenance dead heading!

Box Blight is a huge problem in the Golden Jubilee Garden.

The Dry Garden has lots of South African plants.

A big feature of the The Valley garden is the Daffodil Meadow.

The gardens contain 392 champion trees and is the 2nd biggest collection in the UK


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