Monday, 11 June 2018

Clematis viticella 'Madame Julia Correvon'

Clematis viticella 'Madame Julia Correvon'

Climbing up the wires on the old stone wall, between the orchard and the Nash Building, the clematis planted last spring, Clematis viticella 'Madame Julia Correvon', is putting on quite a floriferous display of claret-red flowers with creamy yellow centres. Its mid to dark green leaves provide an excellent background to the masses of star-shaped flowers, another worthy introduction to the college's small clematis collection. For other clematis in the gardens see blog 17th July 2014 Clematis 'Etoile Violette', 'Black Prince' and 'Rooguchi' and 4th July 2016 'Shades Of The Colour Purple'

Masses of Star-Shaped Flowers

Star-Shaped Flowers

Claret-Red Flowers With Creamy Yellow Centres

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

A Combination of Circles and Straight Lines

17th May 2018, First of the Circles

Three weeks ago this year's early summer pattern on the quad lawn began to be cut into the grass, circles and straight lines. In previous years curves, straight lines, diagonal lines, wavy lines and circles have all been seen individualy but never a combination of two of them until now.    

Since the first cut on the 17th May the pattern has become more defined as the lawn is cut two to three times a week. This pattern is created using two differant mowers, the circles are cut using the Allett Buffalo 24, the 24inch cylinder mower and the straight lines using the Honda HRX476, the 19inch rotary mower, the 24inch and 19inch are the width of cut. However, the circles are not just one width of the cylinder mower but four. To create them the mower is pushed round in the same direction four times and, at the end of each full circle, the mower is moved to the edge of the previous circle until the end of the fourth when the mower is turned around and pushed in the opposite direction. This pattern will remain on the lawn until the end of June when it will be changed to another pattern for the rest of the summer. (Below is a short clip of Joss mowing the quad lawn to create the quadruple width circles, click to play).

The Pattern From A High Vantage Point


For a sample of previous spring/early summer patterns click on the following links:

26th March 2012 'Round In Circles'

26th March 2012

28th April 2014 'A New Pattern On The Quad Lawn'

28th April 2014
9th May 2014

17th April 2015 'Creating A New Pattern On The Quad Lawn' (This pattern was quickly replaced by the 'Triple Width Diagonal Lawn Pattern' of the 3rd June 2015).

17th April 2015

  3rd June 2015 'Triple Width Diagonal Lawn Pattern'

3rd June 2015

4th August 2016 'Views Of The Quad Lawn From The Roof Top And Ground Level'

4th August 2016

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

A Vision Of Blue From Iris sibirica 'Persimmon and Geranium x magnificum

The Iris Borders, 7th July 2017

Looking Towards The SNSC, July 2017

July 2017

A Vision of Blue, Iris sibirica 'Persimmon and Geranium x magnificum

The Iris Borders, 30th May 2018

The borders around the new Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre (SNSC) were planted twelve months ago, see blog entry for the 11th July 2017 'Soft Landscaping Around The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre'. Two of these borders are now a vision of blue as the Iris sibirica 'Persimmon' and Geranium x magnificum reach their floral best.

Geranium x magnificum
View Of The SNSC, Earl Building and Gloucester House

The clump forming, early flowering Geranium x magnificum, has filled the border it occupies, its dark green leaves and rich violet-blue flowers drape over the edge of the border softening the harsh lines of the metal edging of the path. As the many mounds of geranium end the iris planting begins, hundreds of Iris sibirica 'Persimmon' filling two borders. The graceful, rich violet-blue flowers sit atop strong, erect stems and sword like leaves, creating a rather elegant display, even on a dullest of days the planting seems to make the nearby lake water more blue! 

Iris sibirica 'Persimmon'

View Across To The Sainsbury Building

Iris sibirica 'Persimmon' and Allium 'Multibulbosum'

Iris sibirica 'Persimmon'

Monday, 21 May 2018

A Competition Between The Rosa Banksaie 'Lutea' And Wisteria Floribunda

On The Left Wall, Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

On The Right Wall, Rosa banksiae 'Lutea'

Two of the spring flowering plants in the college gardens seem to be trying to upstage each other. The two in question are the Lady Banks' Rose, Rosa banksiae 'Lutea' and the Japanese Wisteria, Wisteria floribunda. On two of the walls of the Provost's lodgings the roses are covered in clusters of small, double primrose yellow flowers, producing the best floral display ever seen on these plants.   

Covered In Clusters Of Small, Double Primrose Yellow Flowers

Side by Side, Rosa banksiae 'Lutea' and Wisteria

Wisteria Floribunda (Top Terrace)

However, the many wisteria are also putting on a very impressive display and, as they are greater in number, seem to be tipping the balance in their favour. As can be seen by the series of photographs, the more flamboyant wisteria may well be the winner. This year, as with previous years, the displays have been covered on the blog, here are the links to show how they just keep on giving:

27th April 2011 'Wonderful Wisteria'
29th May 2012 'Wisteria 2012'
29th May 2013 'Wondrous Wisteria'
16th May 2014 'Worcester's Wisteria'
26th May 2015 'Marvellous, Magnificent, Majestic Wisteria'
31st May 2016 'Wisteria Hysteria'
19th May 2017 'Wisteria Old And New'

  • Note how early the wisteria flowered in 2011, a month earlier than most years, this was due to an exceptionally warm and dry spring, (March, April and May), quoting The Met Office:
 "It was the warmest Spring across the UK in the last 100 years, just warmer than Spring 2007, and the second driest Spring across England and Wales, with 1990 marginally drier. April was an exceptionally warm, dry and sunny month - the warmest and third sunniest April on record for the UK."

Provost's Front Door

Like A Waterfall

Trailing Over The Railings

Far End of The Quad

Over The Arch

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A New Irrigation System For The Tree Ferns


Wrapped up for whatever weather was to come over the winter and, as it happened, it was not until early spring that brought the cold, freezing temperatures. Storm Emma, freezing rain, minus daytime temperatures, the 'Beast from the East' and heavy snowfall all seen and felt in March, (For the wrapping of the tree ferns see blog entry for the 28th November 2017 'Protective Hessian Collars').

New Frond Unfurling

At the end of April, with the weather now warmer, the decision was made to unwrap the tree ferns. The protective hessian was removed and the old fronds were cut off exposing the young fronds hiding in the crown, the protection has worked and the tree ferns are alive.

Young Frond In The Crown

All Unwrapped

A Heathy Crown

New Drip Feed Irrigation System Kit

With all the ferns unwrapped last month the key for caring for them is to keep them watered so a new drip feed irrigation system has been set up today to provide water directly to the crown where it is needed the most. A sufficient length of 4 Bar MDPE pipe was cut to reach all the tree ferns in each group and the water source, a tap connector placed on one end and a stop bung on the other. Cutting the pipe at the location of each tree fern in the group, a barbed reducing tee was placed in the space reconnecting the pipe. (Why the photograph of the jug of hot water? Placing each cut end into the water softens the rigid pipe and makes it easier to insert the hard plastic barbed reducing tee into the pipe).

Barbed Reducing Tee

Jug Of Hot Water

Connecting 5mm PVC Spaghetti Tube to MDPE Pipe

Lengths of 5mm PVC spaghetti tube were then cut sufficient to reach the top of the tree fern crown from the MDPE pipe below. One end of the tube is then fixed to the barbed reducing tee, secured to the tree fern with florist wire and the other end at the top of the crown fixed to a loop of 5mm micro bore pipe using a 5mm barbed tee completing the circuit. With the tap turned on the water drips out of the micro bore pipe down into the crown.

5mm Barbed Tee

Looped 5mm Micro Bore Pipe

Watering The Crown

Spaghetti Tube Fasten With Florist Wire

This new irrigation system has been set up on both groups of tree ferns and tested, a timer will be connected to the tap so regular watering can be given throughout the summer. This system is more efficient than using a hose or a sprinkler system, less water wastage delivering water to where it is need the most.

New Watering System