Thursday, 30 July 2009


All woody material is taken to the chipping pile at the far end of the college grounds and stored until it is chipped and eventually used as a decorative mulch. Graham, Mickey and Ali were set the task of clearing the current chipping pile in order to make room for the next lot of material to arrive.
As the pile reduces, Simon then begins to deliver the next lot of pruned shrub and tree material he has produced from a morning of chain saw work.

Finally, when all the chipping has been finished, Simon then moves the huge pile of chipped material away from the chipper, clearing a new space for the next time.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Country Life Magazine

Click on the picture to read this very complimentary article!

Spick & Span

With everything having been cleared from the greenhouse, Mick was unleashed to put order into the chaos left behind from planting out and bedding up. The man does no thing by half, and after a rainy day with assistance from Joe and Lulabelle, the leftover plants were moved outside into the cold frames, the weeds were pulled from under the benches, and the paths were swept with gusto. After the dust died down Mick was left to douse the place with a good helping of Jeyes fluid, and scrubbed it to within an inch of it's life. It is now to be left, closed up for a week, for the Jeyes fluid to work it's magic and kill any nasties that may be lurking on the potting benches.When that week is over, we will burst back in there eagerly potting up our babies and sewing the seeds for the spring bedding and new planting season to come.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Old Members Garden Day

Sunday 26th July and Sunday 23rd August are Gardens Days for old members of the college. The days start with coffee in the dining hall followed by guided tours of the garden by Simon and Allison, ending with drinks in the Provost's Rose Garden and lunch in the hall. The guests, 50 in total, for the tour today, 26th July, included members matriculated from 1940 to 2005 and their families and friends.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Tonnes Of Plums

Well, not literally tonnes of plums,
but it rhymes, so it makes a good title!
The Victoria Plum, originally
bred in Sussex around 1840,
is the best known and most
popular of the English plums
and has given us a very high yield
of deliciously sweet plums.

Lucy and Joe were given the task to harvest some of the
plums, eventually, filling three trays.

The judges have visited the college to inspect the grounds for Oxford In Bloom, mentioned in an earlier blog entry. We now await the result which will be announced in September.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

And Then There Were Eight

Twelve months ago we took delivery of twelve young ducklings, which, after a few weeks of settling into their new surroundings, were released on to the lake. Not long after their new adventure started, we lost two, but, for the remainder of the time, we have watched them as they have grown and started families of their own.
Readers of this blog will know that on the 29th April, I announced the arrival of thirteen ducklings, only to have to give you the sad news, two weeks later, that they had all died.
Around this time we also lost another one, well, now I have some more bad news, our beloved Tufty, has died. It looked like he died following a run in with a fox. A very sad day for the gardeners, perhaps we shouldn't name our ducks!
Tufty can be seen in the video blog entry of the 9th February 'We'll Get There In The End'.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Oxford In Bloom

This week and next, will all be about preparing the gardens for 'Oxford In Bloom'. It is a competition run by Oxford City Council and Worcester College gardens have been entered in to the 'Display By University and College' category.

A team of judges will visit the college, week commencing 20th July, and award marks accross a number of categories; general impression, colour, impact, cleanliness, tidiness, absence of pests and weeds, quality, choice, height and colour of plant, arrangement and design.

All the gardeners are working extremely hard the make the gardens ready for inspection and fingers crossed, the Gold Award will be ours.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Fur Balls, Fishing Rods and a little bit of Passion

July has seen some more beautiful and unusual plants coming into flower. Gomphocarpus physocarpus, the Fur Ball (or Hairy Ball) plant, produces stems of insignificant white flowers which magically transform into unusual translucent, soft, spiny balloons. These balloons will eventually explode and release hundreds of fluffy seeds into the air. These can be seen in our tropical border.

Dierama pulcherrimum, Angel's Fishing Rod or Wand Flower, has long, arching spikes rising above grass like leaves and resembles a fishing rod, each spike drooping under the weight of its pendular pink bells. This can be seen up on the terrace in the front quadrangle.
Passiflora caerulea, the Common Passion Flower, also found on the front quad terrace, is said to have got its name from the early missionaries in South America. They thought they saw, in the parts of the flower, various signs of Christ's crucifixion. If you look closely, the Corona became the crown of thorns, the five Anthers represented five wounds and the three Styles the three nails.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Fruits Of Our Labour

Back on the 28th February I wrote about the huge fruit tree pruning project the gardeners were about to start, well, we are now beginning to see the fruits of our labour. The trees, slightly smaller then before, are now starting to produce a bumper fruit crop of apples and pears.
Over the next few months the fruit will swell and some may drop if the tree can not support them all, but a good crop is expected.

The fig tree was cut back at the end of March, but this too is showing a large number of figs slowly rippening in the high temperatures currently being experienced.