It was a warm afternoon when we arrived in Oxford after travelling by car and Park and Ride bus – on the top deck, of course. It was lovely to walk around the peaceful and tranquil Botanic Gardens basking in mellow Autumn sunshine. Despite the late season, the herbaceous borders were full of colour as were the glorious dry borders with their grasses and seasonal flowers such as asters, Rudbeckias, Verbenas and Cosmos. The displays of dahlias, Autumn crocus and cyclamen added jewel-like tones to the floral beds.. It was sad to see the famous old black pine (Tolkien’s tree) reduced to pieces on the ground, after being deemed unsafe when a large branch had fallen in July. However, it is good to know that steps have been taken to propagate the tree. The glasshouses were full of tropical greenery, vibrant colour and powerful perfumes and the large water lilies looked magnificent in the aquatic house. After a stop for tea in a High Street café, we caught the P&R bus back to Thornhill and made the car journey back to Risborough after a lovely afternoon.