Thursday, 19 December 2013

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Another busy year in the gardens is complete and the team are taking a well earned break over the festive period, returning on the 2nd January 2014.
The team would like to thank you all for your continued support and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New year. Next year will be another busy year as the team prepare the gardens to celebrate the college's Tercentenary Year, 1714-2014. 

2000 Bulbs Are Waiting

Having planted 1000 Scilla siberica in November, see blog entry for the 21st, another 1000 bulbs were delivered this afternoon along with 1000 Chionodoxa luciliae. Arriving too late to be planted this year due to college shut down, 2000 bulbs now await the team when they return on the 2nd.

In Need Of A New Home

As with last year, the Christmas Tree from the Pump Quad is in need of a good home over the festive period, see blog entry 19th december 2012, 'Free To A Good Home'. This year the tree is even bigger so will take some moving to its new home, but after several hours, the tree finally dissappeared from outside the college. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all the gardening team at Worcester College.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Giant Leaf Of The Chinese Parasol Tree

There are few trees in the gardens that are still dropping their leaves. One such tree is the Chinese Parasol Tee, Firmiana simplex, which has giant leaves. The photograph below shows two of the giant leaves in comparison to Beech leaves and Oak leaves, but to truly appreciate the size you will need a tape measure. From the tip of the leaf to its base measures 17 inches, from leaf tip to the base of the petiole, the stalk that attaches the leaf to the stem of the plant measures 30 inches, and from its widest margins it measures 20 inches across,  a true giant amongst leaves.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Seven Christmas Santa Hats

It's the last week of work for the team before the Christmas break begins. Dressed in their Christmas Santa hats, Graham's hat plays a Christmas song whilst the rest of the team have just flashing pom poms, they have spent the last two days in the Provost's garden.

Yesterday was spent pruning the many old fashion roses that fill the ten beds, as well as clearing all the autumn leaf fall that still covered the soil. Today was spent planting two hundred tulips bulbs into the beds, 100 'China Pink' and 100 'National Velvet', adding to the few hundred already in the beds from previous year's plantings.

Once all the bulbs had been planted, the beds were forked through, weeded and edged. Whilst the rose beds were titivated, Joss gave the big lawn its last cut before he applies a winter granular feed tomorrow.

Friday, 13 December 2013

A Christmas Visit To Merton College

With the Christmas break fast approaching, the team spent a few hours spreading Christmas cheer to their friends, and fellow gardeners, at Merton College. Founded in 1264, the college will be celebrating their 750th anniversary next year so, as with the team here at Worcester and next year's 300th anniversary, it will be a very busy time as they prepare the gardens for the year of celebrations. Thank you to Lucille and your team for your hospitality, best wishes for next year.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A Refocus On Pruning The Climbers

With best intentions the team started to prune the climbing plants in the front quad earlier than previous years, hoping to get a head start, as well as taking advantage of the warm temperatures felt this autumn, see blog entry 31st October 'One Month Earlier Than Last Year'. However, since that blog entry at the end of October, no further pruning of the climbers has taken place, as the team have had to focus their attention on leaf clearing instead. This autumn the leaves seem to have taken a very long time to fall, but steady enough to need clearing constantly from the college grounds. Now that the leafing is finished, well almost, time can now be made for the pruning of the climbers on the top terrace, in fact, four days have been spent this week, enough time to complete the task started so long ago. 

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Great British Garden Revival

The BBC have confirmed that the 10 part series 'Great British Garden Revival' will start on Monday 9th December at 7:00pm on BBC 2. The episode that will feature the quad lawn of Worcester College will be broadcast on Wednesday 8th January 2014.(See blog entry 30th August, 'Great Garden Revival')

8 January AT 7:00PM
In her revival, Sarah Raven investigates why the British are so proud of their lawns. She visits Worcester College Oxford, to catch a glimpse of lawn perfection and talks to author Tom Fort about the lawn's history and why it has fallen from favour. She visits the winner of Britain’s best lawn competition and discovers a radical new approach to growing lawns, with the world's first 'floral lawn' - composed solely of flowering and foliage plants, without a blade of grass in sight! With the help of a family of four, she also road-tests three types of lawn: a wild flower meadow, traditional grass and fake grass - with surprising results. The grandeur of Polesden Lacey - with its vast expanse of lawn - is the central location for Sarah’s revival, as she shows us how to keep our lawns in tip top condition; how to inject a splash of colour into grass by naturalising bulbs; and how to deal with those irritating bald patches in the lawn, which are the blight of every gardener.

Friday, 6 December 2013

580 Bottles, Sold Out

Sold Out, 580 bottles of the Worcester College Apple & Pear Juice 2013. Thank you to all the staff, students, fellows, family and friends that have brought the juice this year, and for your continued support of this venture that has been steadily growing since it began in 2009.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Billy Goat Leaf Vacuum

Once a week Callum takes the giant Billy Goat vacuum cleaner to the netball court to suck up the leaves. Unfortunately the task had to be abandoned today as the swirling, westerly wind was blowing the leafs in all directions, making it impossible to vacuum them up. Mother Nature seemed to be having so much fun, waiting for Callum to clear a section of the court and, as he turned the Billy Goat around to clear the next, she blew leaves back all over it!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Two Days In The Ditch

The leaf clearing opporation has moved into the ditch that surrounds the sports field, the overflow for the lake. Usually done on a freezing cold day in January, the team spent the last two days, unusally warm for December, using leaf blowers, leaf grabs, rakes and pitch forks getting the leaves out of the ditch.

On the canal side, the leaves, once out of the ditch are blown up against the hedge, the Nelson Street side are blown up against the boundary wall and at the top end of the sportsfield they are removed to the gigantic leaf piles.