Thursday, 17 April 2014

Tulips And Wallflowers

The 300 Lily Flowered Triumph Mixed Tulips planted last November in the border at the bottom of the quadrangle are now in flower amongst the wallflower 'Sunset Primrose'. The "explosion of colour" that the team were looking forward to has arrived and is all they had hoped for.

The display seen in corner border is also, if not more than the team had hoped for when they planted it out last year. The summer display was removed in September, see blog entry 'Before Construction, Comes Destruction' and the Wallflower 'Sunset Orange' planted. The royal blue Forget-Me-Not, Myosotis, was added in October, blog entry 'Adding The Royal Blue To The Sunset Orange' followed by the planting of the yellow tulip 'West Point' a month later, blog entry 'Queen Of The Night, West Point, National Velvet and China Pink'. This week, in the warms spring sunshine, the college gardens are a blaze with colour which the students will be greeted with when they return on Easter Sunday. 

Tulips In The Rose Garden And Herbaceous Border

A few hundred additional tulips were planted in the Provost's rose garden last autumn to boost the display seen at this time in previous years. The result, a truely beautiful show of pink and rich, velvet red.

A display that was changed from last year can be found on the herbaceous border. Last November, 750 tulips were planted in the border, see blog entry 'A New Colour Scheme Of Tulips' 14th November, and now these bulbs are flowering. Tulips 'Black Hero', 'China Pink' and 'Purple Dream' are creating a new, softer pallet of colours compared to the previous colours, the red tulip is being removed as it flowers, see blog entry 27th April 2010 'Tidying Up The Borders'.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Tulips In The Orchard

Last November, Kieron and Ali planted a further 100 tulips in the orchard to extend the area of display.  The two colours, 'National Velvet' and 'China Pink', have been in the orchard since they were first introduced back in January 2011, blog entry 'Not Long Now', and created such wonderful comments when they flowered for the first time in April of that year, blog entry 'Accident or By Design'. This year's display is even better than that first time three years ago.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Magnolia 'Elizabeth'

The River Of Blue, 1st April 2014
The Ruskin Building quadrangle garden, known by the team as 'The Serpentine' was officially opened on the 28th April 2009, see blog entry 'The Official Opening'. The planting has matured over the last five years with the Muscari, Grape Hyacinth, providing a gentle, meandering river of blue around the box balls at this time of year. Also, the four Magnolia trees, that were planted in the spaces created by the meandering shape of the border, have matured into beautiful specimens. These four trees, Magnolia 'Elizabeth', are covered in fragrant cup shaped, primrose yellow blooms. This stunning display is further enhanced by the ivory and green flowers of Tulip 'Spring Green' flowering in the border below.

Magnolia 'Elizabeth'

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Hardening Off Process Continues

The plants that were featured in the blog entry 'Potting Up And Moving Out' on the the 27th March, have been hardening off in the old peach house for almost 3 weeks and are ready for step two of that process, moving out into the cold frames. The space they leave behind is quickly filled by the plants that have been waiting in the greenhouse since they were potted up. These plants will be moved into the cold frames in a few weeks, replaced by the last of the plants that are still waiting in the greenhouse and, by the end of May, will all have been hardened off, toughened up, acclimatised, ready for planting out in the college gardens.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Creating A Safe, Accessible Leaf Pit Area

During the very wet winter the large leaf pit, at the top of the sports field, had become inaccessible to the tractors, with tyres spinning and getting stuck in the mud. Unable to safely load the trailers using the New Holland with the grab attachment, the leaf mould had to be loaded into the trailers with shovels, see blog entry 20th January 'Mulching The Rose Garden'. The team spent the day correcting the problems the winter had caused.
The New Holland tractor, with the front loader attachment, was used to level the area in front of the pit, removing the risk of loaded trailers tipping over in the future.

Once the soil had been removed, holes that had been created were filled with rubble and the wacker plate used to compact them.

Over the day, 20 tonnes of hoggin was tipped into the area, each trailer load levelled by rake and compacted with the wacker plate. A slight camber was created in the centre of the area to allow the water to fall away to the edges and into the leaf pit, removing the water logging that had caused the inaccessibility problems.

By the end of the day, a new, safe, accessible area in front of the leaf pit had been created.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

A Change In Shape

One of the two strips of lawn that run along the front of the herbaceous border has been altered, changing its shape and extending the border at the same time. The problem area, in need of repair every year, has been removed and a piece of metal edging added along the new straight edge.