Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Cutting Back In The Goldfish Bowl

Having cut down the perennial plants in the herbaceous border last week the team focused their attention on  the garden by The Casson Building, known as The Goldfish Bowl. Until 11 o'clock they used the quiet, manual method of secateurs and hand shears but after this time the faster, and noisier, method was used, the hedge trimmers.

By the end of the day the four borders that create the 'bowl' had been cleared of their tired perennial display, leaving the shrubs and trees for the winter.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Tulip 'Black Hero' and 'Black Parrot'

Last year a further 750 tulips were planted in the herbaceous border, see blog entry 14th November 'A New Colour Scheme Of Tulips', adding to those that had been planted annually since 2009. Today 500 tulips were planted, a mix of 'Black Hero', a double flowered maroon-black tulip and 'Black Parrot', a dark maroon-black tulip with frilled margins and, as with last year, the bulbs were mixed in trugs before being thrown randomly over the border for a more natural, rather than regimented, look next spring.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Cutting Down The Herbaceous Border

Herbaceous Border (Left)

Herbaceous Border (Right)

The herbaceous border is very much past its best so it is that time of year again when the hedge cutters are brought out to cut it down. 

The birch basket plant supports, made back in April see blog entry for the 3rd 'Weaving Plant Supports', were pulled out of the border in order that the hedge cutters could cut through the plant material.

The hedge cutters quickly worked their way through the left half of the border. The cut down plant material was raked off, placed in the trailer and taken to the leaf pit at the far end of the sports field.

At 9:30am, an hour after they started, the noisy hedge cutters had to be changed to the quieter, and slower method of hand shears so as to not affect the tutorials that had started to take place.

By the end of the day the border had been cut down, cleared and raked, and the leaky hose rolled up and put away until next May. A layer of mulch will be added before Christmas.

Herbaceous Border (Left)

Herbaceous Border (Right)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Clearing Out The Leaf Pits

The autumn leaf fall has been keeping the gardeners very busy having to rake and mow them up. The leaf pits have been filling up rapidly and are now at bursting point so need to be emptied before any further leaves are put into them. Joss and Ady the day clearing out one of the leaf pits transferring the contents by tractor and trailer to an empty pit at the far end of the college.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Wrapping Up The Tree Ferns

The nine tree ferns around the college grounds, 'Dicksonia antarctica' and 'Dicksonia fibrosa' have had their crowns wrapped in fleece today to protect them from the cold of the winter. For extra protection another layer, this time of hessian, will be added tomorrow.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Potting Up The Cuttings

The first of this year's cuttings were taken on the 12 September, see blog entry 'Cuttings 2014' and having been out of the mist unit for the past few weeks are ready to be potted on.

The clump of cuttings are carefully tapped out of their pot and gently teased apart making individual plants.

These new 'individuals' are planted into their own pots and, by the end of the session, the 20 pots of cuttings have resulted in 216 new plants.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Wallflowers, Polyanthus and Tulips At The Bottom Of The Quad

The border at the bottom of the quad is well past its best so yesterday the task of changing it from a summer to a winter display began.

The team removed all the annual plants and took them to the compost heap along with the tender plants that were not being kept as stock plants. The perennial plants were also cut down and the shrubs pruned.

The border was then weeded, forked through and a layer of mulch applied to the surface to improve the soil.

This morning the team returned to plant out the border, 180 Polyanthus 'Bright & Breezy Mixed' and 210 Wallflower 'Sunset Primrose'. Some 200 Tulip 'Lily Flowered Mix' were also planted adding to the 300 that went in to the border last year.