The Jephson Gardens are what gives Leamington Spa its description of a 'Town in a garden'. These beautiful gardens beside the River Leam are open to the public all the year round. Most of the pictures on these pages were taken in the early Spring, but the gardens are beautiful at any season.
The gardens were given to the town in the 19th Century by Dr. Henry Jephson, and are named after him. This temple is the Jephson Memorial, and the family arms are over its wrought iron gates.
The River Leam runs through the gardens, and there are beautiful ornamental lakes, teeming with waterfowl.
The fountains, one of which is seen playing here on a summer day several years ago, were switched off when I visited in spring 2000, because of a moorhen's nest built among the jets. The birds seem to have used a plastic shopping bag to add some variety to their nesting materials. The fountains would not be turned on until the birds had vacated the nest. This is a fairly frequent spring occurrence in the Jephson Gardens.
There are spectacular formal flowerbeds, carefully planted with flowers whose flowering seasons overlap, so as one variety is fading another is opening and the beds remain attractive for weeks before they have to be replanted with another season's varieties. There are benches everywhere where visitors can sit and enjoy the flowers and the wildlife.
There are also intimate little corners and interesting changes of level so that the gardens have a surprise around every corner and curve.
There are a huge variety of trees - native English species, decorative ones like this flowering cherry, and exotic species like this one on the right, which seems to be a type of palm.
Move on now to look more closely at some of the flowers and the wildlife in the gardens.