Behind the Public Library in South Parade, Summertown, Oxford there is a large sunny garden approximately 100ft by 60ft which nine years ago was transformed from an empty, overgrown and uninviting space into an attractive space for library users where people from near and far can see ever-changing sculpture exhibitions or just sit and enjoy the peace.
It is owned by Oxfordshire County Council who were delighted when shown suggestions for a scheme designed by Katherine Shock that could be used by the public to enhance the local facilities. They also enthusiastically supported the idea of showing sculpture by living artists in this setting if funds could be raised for this purpose - you can link to some of the artists who have exhibited above.
A local family, who have traded in the area for many years as Shepherd and Woodward, came forward with sponsorship to enable us to build the garden. Their generosity was motivated by the love of gardening of their aunt, Miss Marjorie Turrill, who lived all her life at 245 Banbury Road, and her sister Betty Venables. Betty was a plantswoman, who had to build two gardens from fields on Cumnor Hill, and then again at Cunliffe Close, where she lived for 14 years after being widowed and had a lovely small front and back garden. It is called the Turrill Sculpture Garden in their memory.
Other people in the area have also been generous in their support which has allowed the garden to become established. The 'Forest of Oxford' scheme run by the Oxford City Council have paid for all the planting, which includes plants (with labeling) suitable for growing in North Oxford front gardens so that it can also be used by local residents as a reference garden and there are more details about the plants on the 'Friends' table by the door to the garden in Summertown Library.