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The Botanic Gardens cover an area of approximately one hectare and has been owned by the University of Hull since 1948. It is maintained by the University along with volunteers from The Friends of Thwaite Gardens.
The gardens comprise lawned areas, herbaceous borders, winter border, herb garden, bog garden, alpine beds, sub-tropical beds, Salvia bed, Mediterranean and Antipodean beds. The glasshouses contain an evolution-themed display, a cacti collection, tree fern collection, two fern houses, two Southern Hemisphere Houses, a carnivorous bed, an Agave bed and a South African bed.
The gardens were formerly part of Thwaite Hall gardens which has been noted as a Grade 2 Garden of Special Historic Interest, with a lake and woodland in a further 11 hectares. The Thwaite tree collection is an important collection of mature rare trees containing four National Champion Trees and 31 Yorkshire Champion Trees.
The gardens are not open to the general public but members of the Friends of Thwaite Gardens are able to visit at specific times of the week. Please see the Membership page for more details. A number of open events are held each year for the general public to view and enjoy the gardens.