Thursday, 29 July 2010

Making Space

Our order of compost arrived today, ready for the hundreds of cuttings that will taken in September and their subsequent potting on through out winter and spring. Once the phone call came to let us know the delivery van was on its way, the compost bay had to be emptied to make space for it, the 25kg bags were then neatly stacked.

Outside on the Nuffield Lawn, the arborist team from the Unversity Parks, spent the day thinning out the large evergreen Holm Oak, Quercus ilex. The tree has been casting a large shadow over the herbaceous border and was becoming very top heavy, the team have been removing branches creating space for any new growth and for the sun to shine through.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

All Scrubbed Up

Ali, Simon and Ady, with the help of Joe, returned to the garden mentioned yesterday, to clear the remainder of the rubbish left over from yesterdays clearance. To complete the job, Simon power washed the patio removing years of dirt, grime and moss.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

On the outside

Ady and Ali spent the morning weeding the nursery area and tidying the coldframes. Joe and Kieron continued their hedge cutting, this time outside the college boundary, a hedge opposite the Provost's drive entrance on Walton Street.

In the afternoon, continuing a tidying theme, Simon, Ali and Ady moved their focus to a college property in need of attention. Greeted by an overgrown Laurel and Ceanothus as well rotted leaves from the last few autumn's and ivy covered walls, they set about their task.

By the end of the afternoon, the previuosly metioned shrubs had been cut down, ivy removed from the walls and leaves raked up. Power washing the patio would have to wait until tomorrow.

New Path

This blogger has been on holiday visiting gardens, Arley Hall and the Tatton Park Flower Show, hence the lack of updates on the blog. Whilst away, the guys have had an extremely busy week, with one of their achievements being a new path leading to the compost heaps and a storage area for the wheelbarrows and trucks by the machine sheds.
They also spend a number of days in the Provost's Rose Garden preparing it for the second Old Members Garden Day held on the 25th, weeding, mowing, edging the beds and dead heading the thousands of faded roses and early flowering perennials. The day, as with the first one, was a tremendous success and the gardens looked wonderful.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Britain's Best Family Days Out

The college gardens have been mentioned in the Daily Telegraph newspaper this weekend in an article 'Britain's best family days out' mentioning great family days out around the British Isles. St John's, Corpus Christi, Worcester and Christ Church Meadow are all recommended.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Going To Blow Your House Down

Apart from the rain, the very strong gusts of wind have brought about a small amount of damage. Conditions outside feel more like autumn, along with leaf fall, a large amount of twigs, sticks and small branches have fallen on to the large Nuffield lawn, all must be cleared up before Kieron can mow the lawn. Branches have snapped off heavily leaved trees and need to be removed to the chipper pile. The areas of damage, where the limb has split from the tree need to be tidied, so Simon, using the chainsaw, cleans the splits in order to help the tree to heal the open wound and to prevent disease.
Joe and Ali come across an unusual looking character as they prune the Ceanothus behind the Linbury Building, seen this time last year, this caterpillar will become a Vapourer Moth.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

St. Swithin's Day

It's St Swithin's Day and it has been raining for the last few days, now it should be raining for the next 40 days! In between the rain showers and heavy down pours, the team continue their work around the gardens. Ady and Graham have spent the day clearing the Provost's drive, cutting the hedge and the over grown shrubs back to the edging stone line.
Having finished cutting back the long tendril growth of the wisteria on the front quad terrace, Joe and Ali continue to cut back and dead head the climbing and rambling roses in the college grounds, whilst Josh takes the opportunity to put some feed down on the Provost's lawn knowing that rain will continue, at least, for the next few days or will it be 40?
'St. Swithin's day if thou dost rain,
For forty days it will remain,
St. Swithin's day if thou be fair,
For forty days 'twill rain nae mair'

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Garden Tours

Today was a day of garden tours, not just of our garden but around other college gardens.
After months of dry, hot weather, the rain arrived making it a very damp day for touring. First, Ali and Simon led two groups from the Longstock Garden Group around the garden, joined by other members of the team, Joe, Ady and Graham.
Then in the afternoon all the team, in the drizzle, visited Trinity College (above) and St. John's College (below) to look at their gardens. A very enjoyable day was had by all, despite the weather's best intentions to ruin it.

Thursday, 8 July 2010

It's A Jungle Out There

After a few hours in the greenhouse sowing two hundred Wallflower seeds into individual cells, Ali moved on to strimming the over grown area behind the Provost's garden, no access allowed to the public.
With the strimmer cord breaking every few minutes and refusing to automatically feed from the spool, the job was eventually completed, all that was left to do, was to rake it all up.
Ali, rarely seen on the blog, was captured for the second time in four days by the camera's remote control.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Hedge 4, 5 and 6

Over the last few days the hedge cutting has continued at pace, Ali cut hedge number four, the small yew hedge in the Provost's garden.
Kieron and Joe embarked on the privet hedge next to the large glasshouse, once finished Joe moved on to the yew hedge running at a right angle to the privet. One hedge left, the huge hedge that borders the entrance to the car park, scaffold tower or a cherry picker required.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

First Of Two

Today, Sunday 4th July, was the first of two Old Member's Garden Days for this year. 19 old members, matriculated as far back as 1950, along with their guests, joined Simon and Ali in tours of the garden. The sun shone on us again this year and the day was enjoyed by all, we are looking forward to our next Garden Day on the 25th July.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Lucy (Lulabelle), Our Budding Apprentice

The Gardeners Arms, an appropriate place for the team to say their fond farewells and good luck to our budding apprentice, Lucy. Apprenticeship completed, Lucy is moving on to run her own business 'Millwood Market Gardens', with her husband Jonathan, who she met whilst at horticultural college.
We shall miss our Lulabelle, her passion for all things vegetable, her wonderful baking skills and her invaluable knowledge of the best ales and ciders.
Good luck Lucy in all your future endeavours, I hear the best locally grown veg can be found at the Eynsham market on a Saturday morning.