Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Narcissi 'Minnow'

Ali spent the early part of the morning in the greenhouse planting bulbs into pots for an early indoor display in the senior common room. Narcissi 'Minnow' produces two to four small, creamy yellow flowers in February/March on stems between 15-20cm. Planting several bulbs in each pot, covering with compost and watering in, Ali places the pots on a warm, sunny position in the greenhouse in order to force the bulbs into flowering early, hopefully when the fellows return after Christmas.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Bursting At The Seams

The leaves just keep falling and the ride on mower is seen regularly, two to three times a week on the Nuffield Lawn.

To give you some idea of the sheer volume of leaves being cleared from the college grounds, the compost bay seen empty in the blog entry 4th October 2012 'Six Old Beds' is just one of three bays around the college now bursting at the seams with leaves.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Leaves Everywhere

The annual battle with the leaves has started for 2012. A slow leaf drop to begin with has now increased with the windy and wet conditions. Leafing will now be a regular activity over the next few months as the team try to keep the paths and lawns clear, even the lake is covered this year, mother nature will have to clear this!

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Wallflowers and Sweet William


Looking tired, after having provided a lovely display all summer, the border at the bottom of the front quad needs replacing for its winter/spring display.

The summer annuals are removed to the compost heap, the border weeded, forked through and mulched. Whilst the border is clear Ali takes the opportunity to prune the climbing rose on the wall, rather than leaving it till the January/February when the border is full.

Ali is then joined by Callum and Graham to plant out the Erysimum (Wallflowers) and Dianthus barbatus (Sweet William).

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wrapped Up For The Winter

With the temperatures due to drop over the next few days and winter fast approaching, Ady and Callum wrapped up the hardy banana today.

The Musa basjoo, Hardy Banana, is the only banana left out in the college grounds during the winter whilst all the other have been dug up and repotted in the greenhouse. In 2011 and 2010 the banana was covered on the 18th and 20th October respectively, only a few days later this year, but surprisingly a month earlier than 2009. Wrapped up on the 19th November, the weather must have been a lot warmer for us to have left it so late. On checking weather records we enjoyed an 'indian summer' during the last 10 days of October 2009, with temperatures 5c above average, followed by temperatures 1.5-2.5c above average for November and very few days with an air frost.

Friday, 19 October 2012

It Now Looks Like A Shed.

Great progress has been made with the construction of the new potting shed. By the end of Wednesday the back, two sides and front were in place but by the end of today, Friday, just look what has been achieved, it now looks like a shed! Kieron, Simon and Ady have worked so hard over the last two days putting the roof on, lining the front, sides and roof as well as nailing on all the feather edge board.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Holes In The Ground

Making holes in the ground was the order of the day today. Joss, Callum and our volunteer gardener, Crystal, spent the day spiking the banks whilst Graham and Ali spent their time planting 300 bulbs in the college grounds. 100 tulips were planted in the orchard to bulk up the wonderful display of 'National Velvet' and 'China Pink' that appear in May underneath the apple blossom, 60 Allium hollandicum 'Purple Sensation' were planted in the tree fern glade and 40 in the serpentine border along with 50 Tulipa 'Spring Green' ,and 50 Tulipa 'Ronaldo' and 'Jimmy' were planted in the pump quad pots.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Short Back and Sides

Yesterday the building of the new potting shed started, two panels were constructed that would form the back when joined together. However, this morning when they were put in place, they were too short so an extra section had to be made to attach them together.

The next step, before attaching the back to the base, was to line it with a breather membrane, highly breathable and waterproof, then nail the feather edge board to the outside.

Whilst Ady and Simon covered the back with the feather edge, Kieron built the two sides, by the end of the day the back, two sides and front were in place.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Apples And Pears

A soggy summer has hit the apple and pear harvest this year, reducing the yield on the trees that have managed to produce fruit with the other trees remaining bare.
The year started well in the orchard with plenty of blossom appearing in March due to the lovely warm weather and a high yield was expected as with last year. However, the cold nights in April and May, and all the rain that followed the announcement of the hose pipe ban on the 5th April, caused the blossom to fall off and the pollinating insects to stay in the dry. Result, a low yield and poor quality fruit for this years harvest, managing just 12 trays which have been taken to Waterperry for juicing.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Four Strong Men

It took 'Five Strong Men', see blog 24th May, to get the large banana plant into the herbaceous border, today, having cut the top off, just four strong men were needed to get it out.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Cut Flower Bed

Simon and Ali cleared the cut flower bed of its summer planting and replanted it for spring cut flowers. Four rows of Sweet William, various colours, two rows of Narcissi 'Sweet Love', a fragrant, white with a white edged, yellow cup and two rows of mixed coloured Tulip Triumph.


Monday, 8 October 2012

Ronaldo & Jimmy

Callum & Simon

The first of the tulips have been planted today in the ten stone pots that will adorn the steps in the Provost's garden. The chosen tulips are 'Ronaldo', a deep purple-maroon, and 'Jimmy', a dusky rose, both flowering in April-May. On the top of the soil purple pansies and ivy were planted, the ivy trailing over the edge of each pot.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Summer Out, Winter In

Summer 2012
It's that time of year again when the planting in the corner border is changed, for the May planting see blog entry 30th May 2012 'All Change In The Corner' .

The theme this year was 'edible', not always literally as in sweet peas and ornamental bananas, but close enough! The vegetables that were edible, runner beans, courgette, sweetcorn, carrots, beetroot, chard and lettuce have all added to a wonderful display supported by the not so edible, time though to rip it all out. 

Once cleared, and any debris removed, the area was levelled in preparation for the new planting for the winter display.

For this years display we have chosen box balls to add structure, with cornus and their colourful winter stems planted towards the middle and back amongst the box.

The under planting, to add colour in May, will be provided by the wallflowers we have grown from seed  'Sunset Purple' and 'Sunset Primrose' .

New Young Plants

Ali has been checking the cuttings daily to see whether roots can be seen growing through the base of their pots, see blog entry 'Cuttings 2012' 11th September .

A number of pots now have roots growing out of the holes and are therefore ready to be potted up individually. Simon and Kieron spent a few hours this morning carefully prising the cuttings apart and potting them up, the first of our new young plants for the 2013 display.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Egg Shaped Fleece


The dead turf in the Goldfish Bowl had been stripped earlier in the week so Joss spent the day working on the area to create a beautiful lawn. First he added top soil to the area and levelled it to make a flat surface. A light dressing of autumn/winter fertiliser was then scattered across the area followed by the grass seed. An egg shaped blanket of fleece is now covering the newly seeded area helping to keep it warm, as the grass emerges the fleece will be removed.

Six Old Beds

When old beds no longer provide a comfortable nights sleep, what other possible use could they have? New compost bays is the answer. Ady and Kieron recycled the six beds that had been removed from an accommodation block and used them to replace the broken wooden sides, a perfect solution, sides that allow the air to flow through.

The Winter Display Planting Begins

Summer 2012
Having cleared the oak pots of their summer display on Monday, today they were planted up with the winter display plants. Many of the plants used, Holly, Phormium, Willow and Fatsia were removed from displays around the college at the end of May and heeled in to the new nursery bed where they were stored until now. Wallflowers and Pansies, grown from seed, were also added to the new display.
Winter 2012/13

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Freshers 2012

Today was Freshers Day at college, the arrival of the new first year students. Every year the garden team welcome them as they arrive, many in fully loaded cars and assist in transporting their bags to their accommodation. Graham, Joss and Kieron were on the tractors, Ali, Callum and Ady on car park duty guiding the cars in and Simon welcomed the students as they arrived. The photographs show the team in action.