Friday, 5 December 2014

Merry Christmas And A Happy New Year

(L-R) Simon, Kieron, Ali, Ady, Graham, Danny, Callum, Joss

The team gathered for their annual Christmas photograph, hope you like them. Taken early than in previous years as this blog writer is finishing early, off to sunnier climes. The guys are still working, mulching, leafing and pruning, but this will be the last blog entry for this 'Tercentenary Year' so the team would all like to wish you a 'Merry Christmas and a Happy New year'. Thank you all for your comments, for following and reading our blog, please come back next year, 5th Of January 2015 is when it returns.
(L-R) Simon, Kieron, Ali, Graham, Ady, Danny, Callum, Joss

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Pruning The Climbing Roses

The pruning of the climbing roses has begun in earnest starting with the five roses on the cottages in the quadrangle. When pruning each rose the three 'D's are removed, the Dead, Diseased and Dying branches are cut out. The lateral shoots are reduced by two thirds to three quarters, usually to a bud facing in the direction the gardeners wish the new shoot to grow next year. Old, tired and week branches are removed, the strong new shoots are kept and tied in to fill in the gaps their removal creates.

The next of the climbing roses that will be pruned are the seven located on the top terrace along with the three Campsis and three Wisteria. More climbing roses can also be found at the back of the cottages behind the herbaceous border, all needing to be pruned.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Application Of The First Mulch

Ady, Graham and Callum began applying a mulch to the first of the many borders in the college gardens today. Starting in the Goldfish Bowl, where the herbaceous planting was cut back to ground level on the 18th November, they carefully added the mulch on to the border. This mulch is made up of the material collected last year's autumn leaf fall, herbaceous cut down and grass cuttings. Mixed regularly this material rots down into a rich, crumbly mixture that is used as a mulch, perfect for suppressing weeds, retaining moisture, improving soil structure and hiding debris left from the cut down.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Christmas Decorations

It is the last week of term so the gardeners have been decorating the plants in the cloisters and the Christmas tree in the Pump Quad. The three half standard Bay trees, lollipops, in the cloister's pots have had gold ribbon wound up the stems and 1.7 metres of battery powered, cool white, twinkle lights woven into each crown which come on as it gets dark.

The Christmas tree has been decorated with bell and chilli peppers grown by the gardeners, unlike last year when they were bought from one of the large well known supermarket chains. The chefs are preparing the other decorations, dried, thinly sliced orange pieces, which will be added to the tree on Wednesday.