Wednesday, 29 June 2011

No Stone Left Unturned

Whilst the ball moves ever closer the garden team continue to tidy the college garden. Ady and Graham spent the morning working on the path leading into the Provost's Garden, an access point to the dining marquee.

Joss works on the banks carefully cutting away the turf to define the top edge, using just a small knife, he painstakingly removes an inch of turf all along the back.

In the afternoon, Ady and Graham join Simon, Kieron and Ali on the Broadwalk who are weeding and raking this path that runs from the Nuffield Lawn to the sports field along the lake edge.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

After Two Days

After two days in the Provost's Garden things have changed, the faded rose blooms have been gone, weeds removed and edges tidied and a rather large marquee has been erected. However, behind this marquee a smaller one has also been erected for the catering, marquees in all shapes and sizes are appearing at a staggering rate, seen in numbers on the Nuffield Lawn.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Piles of Steel (Aluminium)

As the gardeners dead head the roses, piles of steel (aluminium) are moved on to the Provost's lawn to construct the huge marquee where the dining will take place on Friday. This is the first of many marquees that will be erected in the gardens as we move closer to the day of the ball.


The hundred or so roses now need dead heading in the Provost's Rose Garden. On the hottest day of the year, I think it reached 33 degrees, Simon, Ali and Kieron spent the day chopping off the faded blooms. By the end of the day the roses looked refreshed but the three gardeners were wilting, but they will be back tomorrow, the borders are in need of a weed and the grass needs edging, cooler temperatures please!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Welcome To Worcester College

With Joe completing his apprenticeship and departing for Kenya, we have a new member of our team. Callum, our new apprentice, 19 years old, started yesterday and will be working with us for the next two years, welcome to Worcester College.

Check SpellingCheck Spelling The Privet hedge that borders the car park and greenhouse area was last trimmed at the beginning of July last year and was in desperate need of attention. Greeting Ady as he arrived for work everyday, he couldn't stand looking at this messy hedge any longer, so with Kieron, they worked together to bring it back to its wavy best, same time next year hedge?

Thursday, 23 June 2011

All Change

Sorry for the lack of blogging, this blogger has been away on holiday visiting gardens and wildlife areas of Yorkshire and Northumberland.
Upon my return the gardening team has had a change in personnel. Joe, having completed his apprenticeship, finished working at the college Tuesday and has gone off to Kenya, volunteering for two months for an agricultural project.
The team have been extremely busy during the last week, roses have been dead headed, lawns fertilized, tree canopies raised, climbers growth reduced along with all the day to day tasks, their focus, the college ball on Friday 1st July.

Monday, 13 June 2011

The Fox

Finally managed to get fairly close to the fox today and, although not the clearest of photos, it let me take these pictures before it ran off again.

Hedge Trimming

June is the month for the hedge trimming around the college to start. Graham and Simon worked together to trim the longest hedge, a box hedge that borders our nursery area.

Kieron and Ady worked together on another hedge, this one outside the college grounds, on the junction of Walton Street and Beaumont street. Dressed in high visibility vests they taped off the sections of pavement next to the hedge and worked their way along using the high reach hedge trimmer.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The New Border (The Fallen Tree Border)

The planting is complete and we are very pleased with the result. Here are a series of photos for you to enjoy.

The Last Piece

The sound of Simon's chainsaw was heard again this morning carving the last few pieces of wood for the newly designed border we started planting yesterday. After about an hour the last piece was brought over and gently lowered into place.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Tulip Tree's First Flower

About three years ago, in the garden of the newly finished Ruskin Building, three young Liriodendron tulipifera 'Festigiatum' were planted. Commonly known as the Tulip Tree, this variety is a very narrow, upright, columnar form of its big brother found growing on the Nuffield Lawn.
Well the waiting is over, the first and only flower has opened on one of the trees. The flower, orange, green and creamy yellow, resembles a tulip. A beautiful tree, but for now to see a tree covered in flowers, we will have to wonder over to the Nuffield lawn, maybe next year there will be a few more on our young trees.

An Old Cedar Tree

The sound of the chainsaw has been heard echoing amongst the machinery sheds at the back of the Nuffield Lawn for most of the morning, not cutting down trees but creating pieces of sculpture from an old cedar tree that fell about six years ago. Simon is recreating the fallen tree and they way it splinters as it breaks into pieces. The first few large pieces are brought to the corner border using the New Holland tractor and its grab as they are too heavy for man alone.

Once at their position the sculptured wood sections are carefully lowered into holes and secured in place.

The plants are brought over from the greenhouse and placed into position, moved, placed and sometimes moved again until they are in the right place and then planted, (that's the fun part, playing with plants to create a new display). At the end of the day they are all watered in and we will all return tomorrow to continue creating this wonderful new display.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

At The Bottom Of The Quad

At the bottom of the quadrangle is a border that is planted up twice a year, June and October. In amongst the shrubs and perennials the plants grown from cuttings and seeds are inter woven to produce summer and winter displays.
This summer the display will be created by cool pastel colours and foliage from the following plants; Cleome spinosa 'Colour Fountain Mixed'; Heliotropium x Hybrid Marine; Salvia 'Penny's Smile'; Diascia personata; Cuphea blepharophylla; Pelargonium 'Lady Plymouth' and Plectranthus argentatus 'Silver Shield'. Over the next few months, as the border matures, further plants may be added to fill any gaps.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Chafer Grub

The Cockchafer (May Beetle) and the Garden Chafer Grub are to lawns what the dreaded Vine Weevil is to container gardening, a nightmare.
The grubs are the larvae of beetles and live just below the surface feeding on the grass roots disconnecting the turf from the soil surface. When the population gets high birds come in to feed on the grubs tearing at the loose turf, as can be seen in the photo above.

Joss has applied a granular pesticide 'Merit Turf' to the whole lawn, not just the area of damage, in order to try and eradicate the grubs and break their life cycle. The lawn will then be watered over the next few days to push the pesticide through the thatch and into the root zone where the larvae feed.

First Banana

After three months of unseasonably high temperatures the risk of frost has past, it is time to bring out the first of the tender banana plants. Having spent the last six months in the glasshouse its huge leaves have reached the roof, so it has to be carefully maneuvered out through the door.

Once it has been transported to its summer position a very large whole is dug, the banana is then gently lowered into place and watered in.