Thursday, 28 May 2009

You dont have to be potty to work here...

...but it helps! Today has been spent potting up all over the campus, starting off with the big one standing right next to the Provost's front door!

A nice mixture of foliage from Epimediums, Albitzia and Tradescantia that will hopefully complement the flower of the Fuchsia and Nicotiana langsdorffii All a while I (Lulabelle) was planting this up, the chaps were occupied by the planting of the bottom terrace border.
As you can see, it remained pretty barren after the ruthless ripping out of the wallflowers, but
a rolling stone gathers no moss etc. We soon found eager replacements in the form of Cosmos, Verbena, Osteospermum, and Amaranthus. Anyway, it should look a pastoral, pastel, picture come bloom time.

After all the excitement of the morning, our attentions turned to the vacant pots in the Linbury building...and here's what we came up with...

All in all, by the end of the hot, sultry day, this picture of Henry sums up how we all felt...

Tuesday, 19 May 2009


Back on the 9th April I wrote about "A River of Blue", the Muscari planted back in the Autumn and the wonderful blue river effect. The Muscari have now faded just in time as to not clash with the new display of purple Allium. The Allium were planted to mirror the box balls and the result is just as we had hoped for. Floating heads of purple above all the new fresh growth of perennial planting.

And The Stage Is Bare

The Spring bedding displays have been everything we had hoped for, but now they are looking exhausted and it's time for a change. The Tulips, Wallflowers, Bellis, Viola and Polyanthus have been ripped out and the beds and containers prepared for replanting.

The Tulips are being dried out for reuse, but the plants, grown for just one season, have been added to the compost piles. June is the time for replanting the beds and containers for our dazzling Summer displays, and thumbing through the seeds catalogues to order the seeds for next time.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Josh and Dennis

Simon, the Head Gardener, when conducting his tours of the college grounds, will say " if you want a lawn like this you need to get yourself a Josh". A bemused look overcomes the visitors "What is a Josh and where can we get one?"
Well, Josh is the turf expert within the team and he is the reason our turf looks amazing every year. Lovingly cared for, with his trusty machine, Dennis, the main quadrangle turf is cut two or three times a week to 16mm. The results are for all to see, light and dark stripes on a fabulous lawn.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Banana Man

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's Banana Man. The super hero, Banana Man, can be seen on the college turf when spraying and fertilizing are required. Usually Josh and Banana Man are never seen in the same place together, but when the conditions are hot, the banana suit and super powers are compromised, giving away our super hero's true identity.
When the hard surfaces require a weed kill treatment another super hero can be seen around the college, Snowman. Photo's are a lot harder to obtain of this creature, but I will continue my quest in capturing this image. Question: How come we never see Ady or the Snowman at the same time?

Sad News

Two weeks ago, I had the pleasure of announcing the arrival of 13 ducklings. Sadly, I now have to inform you that all thirteen have been lost, mostly over night. The gardeners have had to watch daily as their numbers have reduced, until finally today we arrived at work to find the last one had gone. Most have dissappeared overnight, maybe our young parents will be more experienced next year. "It's nature's way" they say!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bodge It and Scarper Ride Again!

Yes...That's right ! Back by popular demand, and fresh from their triumphant squirrel proofing of the Peach house ., It's Mick and Ali and their mission to feed the College with the tastiest, juiciest Tomatoes in town ! The first step was to empty the house of all the plants and dig in some good,rich compost. Then Ali planted four different varieties she had grown from seed,they were ; Ailsa Craig, Sub-Artic Plenty, Harlequin and Golden Sunshine. A good watering in and the job is done, now its all down to the Summer sunshine to do the rest.....We live in hope !

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Everything that is green is growing rapidly, grass, plants and of course weeds. This week has consisted mostly of dealing with all things green, edging, mowing, adding supports and weeding. Eventually other colours will join green, but for now it's just GREEN!

Whilst weeding the hebaceous border, one of our female ducks wanted to play hide and seek from the male ducks. Unfortunately she is white and would not stop quacking, so the game did not last long. Baby ducks soon one thinks!