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Court Garden

Court Garden Planes - by Janet Pullen, project volunteerCourt Garden Planes

A walk from the main entrance of Marlow's Higginson Park to the river takes you past several handsome London plane trees. The gate is flanked by two fine specimens and in all there are nine in the park. They vary in size but are all about 27m tall and 5m in girth.

Court Garden - photo by Janet Pullen, project volunteer

The first house built in this area was Court Garden, still to be seen overlooking the river. The house was built by Dr Battie, a specialist in nervous diseases, in the second half of the 18th century. Remarkably when it was first designed by Dr Battie himself, it had no staircase; an external one was built, but this is no longer visible.

The trees are thought to have been grown from seeds or seedlings given to Dr Battie by Sambrooke Freeman, who brought them home from his Grand Tour of about 1770. Mr Freeman owned Fawley Court, a grand riverside estate near Henley, and is said to have donated Plane trees to other riverside estates.

Court Garden cedars - photo by Malcolm Wiles

Between the house and Pound Lane is a line of attractive Cedar of Lebanons (Cedrus libani) which are each about 2.4m in girth and 15m tall.

The Park is also host to a statue of Sir Steve Redgrave and is a good starting point for viewing some of the town's other historic features.

Higginson Park Pin Oak - photo by Malcolm WilesHigginson Park Pin Oak

Higginson Park has a young Pin Oak(Quercus palustris) which is estimated to be around 20 years old. It grows close to the main path between the gate and the river. This species of oak is not common in the UK and was introduced from its native eastern North America.

Leaves of a Pin OakThe leaves of this deciduous tree are 5-16 cm long with five or seven lobes. The tree is not especially long-lived, usually living only 90 to 120 years. It is often found in wetland areas which explains why the species name palustris means "of swamps". Unlike many oaks which have deep taproots when young, the Pin Oak has a shallow and fibrous root system.

Court Garden Anniversary Tree - photo by Malcolm Wiles

Court Garden Anniversary Tree

Court Garden House celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2007. To mark the occasion Wycombe District Council and Wycombe Museum planted a x Chitalpa tashkentensis tree in the park, close to the childrens' playground and the cafe.

This unusual tree is is a cross between Catalpa bignonioides (Indian bean tree) and Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow). When the tree is a little older, it will flower from late spring throughout the summer into the autumn.



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