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Andrew Little

Andrew Little, Head Gardener

  • Andrew Little

    Andrew Little

Andrew Little, Head Gardener

Andrew Little joined Wadham as Head Gardener in 1984. Ably assisted by Michael O’Day, he is responsible for tending the five acres of gardens across the College site in Parks Road.

Wadham's gardens

Before joining Wadham Andrew worked for the London Borough of Ealing as a Parks Supervisor and before that as a Foreman of a landscape gang, having studied Horticulture at the Somerset College of Agriculture and Horticulture previously.

Apart from the sale of a northern section of the gardens to the Rhodes trustees in the 1920s, the overall design of Wadham’s gardens has not changed dramatically in recent years. The Warden’s Garden and Fellow’s Private Garden have changed shape but the greatest difference is the gradual loss of trees, including the two hundred year old copper beech in the Fellow's Public Garden and the Evergreen Oak in the Warden’s Garden – now replaced with new specimen trees.  One of Andrew’s favourite trees is the Dawn Redwood, a deciduous conifer, in the Fellows’ Private Garden. It’s part of Wadham’s collection of rare ‘fossil’ trees such as the Monkey Puzzle and Ginko.  It has a very lovely twisting shape that you can see clearly when the branches are bare. The tree was thought to be extinct until one was found in a Chinese monastery and propagated.  Another of our more recent planting of rare trees is the Wollemi pine given by Robin Robbins.

The range of shrubs and herbaceous plants in Wadham’s gardens is exceptional.  These range from Phyllostachys bamboos – excellent for their resistance to honey fungus – to unusual species of Euphorbias, Clerodendrums, Mahonias and Escallonias – not forgetting the twelve varieties of Helleborus that come into flower when the rest of the gardens are still dormant. The Barbara Naylor garden has brought added interest and colour to the back Quad, with its climbers and aromatic plants.  The white scented garden behind the Okinaga room provides another oasis of calm while the planting in front of the Goddard building brings further interest to the Back Quad.

Contact

Andrew Little
andrew.little@wadh.ox.ac.uk