Monday, 18 May 2015

The Summer Planting Begins (Being Careful Not To Tread On The Fledlings!)

Planting up the first pot

The nighttime temperatures are rising reducing the risk of frost, the screaming call of the swifts can be heard overhead, and the Blackbird chicks have fledged in the Pump Quad. All these signs tell the gardeners that it is time to start changing the displays around the college, removing the winter plants and replacing them with those grown for the summer. Ali and Simon begin with the central display pot in the Pump Quad, being careful not to tread on, or disturb the four fledgling Blackbirds that are moving awkwardly around the quad, calling out their location to their parents as they fly in and out of the area with food for them.  

A well hidden Blackbird nest

The young Blackbirds fledged over the weekend from their nest in a buddleja growing out of a wall. They were spotted on the stairs in staircase 15 and 11, the most unsuitable of places in a busy college, but now seemed to have settled out of harms way, in plant pots, on window sills and behind drain pipes!

Fledgling on a window ledge
Fledgling hiding behind a drain pipe

Can you see me?

Here I am!

Summer display pot
The first pot display consists of the succulent Aeonium arboreum 'Schwarzkopf', the variagated Swedish Ivy  Plectranthus coleoides and the deep crimson, velvet flowered Pelargonium 'Lord Bute' (grown from cuttings by Mr Beardmore, Thank you). The team will now spend the next few weeks creating the displays for the summer from the large selection of plants waiting in the cold frames and greenhouse.

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