Looking good now
The multitude of golden black-eyed Susan is setting the Autumn Garden aglow.
The multitude of golden black-eyed Susan is setting the Autumn Garden aglow.
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‘Marry Me Monday’

The Cambridge University Botanic Garden is offering free admission on Monday 29th February in honour of Leap day this year.
Marry Me Monday at the Botanic GardenMarry Me Monday at the Botanic Garden
The Botanic Garden has provided the perfect setting for many a marriage proposal since it opened in 1846.

This Leap Year Day, Professor Beverley Glover, Director of the Botanic Garden has decided the Garden will open its gates for free, but, she says, popping the question is optional:

“Normally we have to charge our visitors a small fee in order to maintain the Garden’s collection of plants and to fund the many events and education courses we run throughout the year. However, we thought as we gain a day this year, we should open the Garden for free. We’ve called the day ‘Marry-Me Monday’ in recognition that Leap Year is traditionally a time when women might propose.”

The Botanic Garden is a 40-acre haven and home to the University’s living plant collection, displayed in a patchwork of gardens and set within a wonderful collection of trees – providing the perfect setting for a romantic winter-time proposal.

Beverley continues: “The Garden changes on a daily basis and what we want to say to everyone is come and see how amazing it is in winter – and should you be looking for a special, secluded spot you will be sure to find one.”

One of the things that make the Botanic Garden so magical is that it has an enormous range of different areas and is as diverse as people and their relationships.

For a sturdy, solid partnership that might provide the foundation of a long family line then the Botanic Garden suggests couples seek out the Cambridge Oak, hidden away in a secluded spot in the Gilbert Carter Woodland just south of the Main Walk. It is the first of its kind - a unique hybrid that was first grown here in Cambridge. It is a beautiful old tree – sturdy and with stunning red leaves in spring. Many cuttings have been taken from it over the years and planted in different gardens around the country - so a great spot if anyone is thinking of starting a dynasty.

For a relationship focused around hearts and flowers, then the romance of the scented garden, towards Hills Road will provide a beautifully sheltered spot, planted with flowers and foliage
that give fragrance all year round.

Beverley says: “Our primary role is to look after the plants in the Garden as these are used for scientific research and teaching. However, the Garden is a place of peace and tranquillity enjoyed by local residents, visitors and tourists. There are many beautiful spots to discover, offering a welcome escape from the buzz of busy, city life or for a memorable proposal! The Winter Garden is particularly colourful and striking at this time of year, the snowdrops offer beacons of brightness throughout the Garden and the perfume from scented winter flowers hangs heavy in the air. We are also holding a fascinating Orchid Hunter display in the warmth of our Glasshouses for anyone wanting to escape the winter weather and admire these exotic plants."

Even though a marriage proposal is not a requirement to gain free entry into the Garden on ‘Marry-Me Monday’, Beverley says love has been known to blossom in the Garden:

“We do know of married couples among the staff and visitors who first met in the Garden, and we have heard of several proposals, although they’ve always been private and low key. We are just happy to share this beautiful location and it’s lovely to know it could be a chosen place for such a special question.”

Look out for more secluded spot suggestions including the hot house flowers of the Glasshouses or following the path to wedded bliss through the Garden Maze on the Garden’s Facebook page and our #MarryMeMonday twitter feeds.

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