Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Mowing The Banks For The Last Time, (For A While Anyway)

The task of mowing the banks was seen in the college for the last time today, for a while anyway, because, on Friday, the grass will be killed off as the decision has been made to replace it. In September 2009, the banks were returfed with a Crested Hairgrass, Koeleria macrantha, but have been plagued with an infestation of a rogue grass since that time, see blog entry 10th October 2011 'Brown Patches' for a previous attempt to remove it. The spraying of the grass with a glyphosate based herbicide will start the long process of replacing the grass, only this time it will be seeded with Ryegrass and not turf.

Friday, 8 August 2014

Cutting Down The Long Grass

The areas of long grass in the college gardens are now beginning to flop so it's time for them all to be cut down. The first three areas to be cut were in the Fellow's garden, Nuffield lawn and the Provost's garden leaving the largest area, the orchard, to be cut down today. Using the Iseki ride-on-mower with the cutting deck and blade height set at its highest setting, Joss cut down the grass whilst Callum, using the mulch mower, worked on the areas around the trees.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Around The Sports Field

Nelson Street Path

Ady, Callum, Kieron and Graham have spent the last three days maintaining the area around the sports field. A regular mid summer task, see blog entry 10th August 2010 'Back Behind The Line' and 28th July 2011 'Strimmed, Trimmed, Blown and Sawn'  they sarted by working their way up the Nelson Street path, cutting back the over grown shrubs, trimming the box hedges and strimming down the long grass. Having completed this first section they moved to the canal path, tidying this area and finally finishing by cutting back all the over hanging shrubs that border the sports field.

Canal Path
Sports Field

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Perfect Conditions For Box Hedge Trimming

The trimming of the box hedge, the longest in the college grounds, was started two weeks ago, see blog entry 24th July 'The Trimming Of The Long Box Hedge Begins'. Since then the sun has been shining and the risk of scorching too great to continue the task, until today, when the sun hid behind the clouds creating perfect conditions for box hedge trimming.

Joss took full advantage of the cooler, cloudy weather and finished trimming the hedge. Another hedge finished, a few more still to go though.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Cucumber 'Bella'

This year's cucumber 'Bella' has been producing a large number of fruit, the longest has been measured at 17 inches! These long cucumbers are giants when compared to the 'mini' cucumber varieties that have been grown in previous years. Crisp and sweet in flavour, this cucumber is becoming a firm favourite of the team.

Friday, 1 August 2014

Leonotis nepetifolia (Lion's Ear)

This year the plant that has raised the most enquiries as to its name is Leonotis nepetifolia, the Lion's Ear. In previous years it has been 'Gomphocarpus physocarpus', and 'Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf', see blog entries on the 12th August 2013, but they have been surpassed by the numerous enquiries about this 6-8 foot tall, unusual looking plant. A member of the mint family, these plants were grown from seed in the spring and now form part of the display in the hot colour section of the herbaceous border and corner border.    

The exotic, bright orange, tufted clusters of flowers encircle the strong, erect stems every 8-12 inches, with the new clusters developing at the top of the stems as the plant grows taller and taller. A stunning plant that will continue to draw the attention of visitors to the gardens, all asking the same question "What is that tall, orange flowered plant?

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Giving The Wisteria A Summer Prune

The many wisteria in the college gardens are pruned twice a year, summer and winter. Having provided a wonderful display of flowers in May, see blog entry for the 16th 'Worcester's Wisteria', it is time for the summer prune.

The plants are putting all their energy in to growth, producing long, wispy shoots, a number of which have found their way in through windows. Ali and Callum spent the day pruning this young, rampant growth on two of the wisteria, bringing them back under control, for the time being. The long shoots were cut back to five to six leaves, any further shoots that grow will be cut back in the winter prune in January.