Friday, 10 October 2014

The First Cut Of The Banks


The damaged grass

The Flymo mower has been gathering dust in the tool shed since it was last used on the 12th August, see blog entry 'Mowing The Banks For The Last Time, (For A While Anyway)'. The grass has now grown sufficiently since it was sown last month, 15th September, blog entry 'Grass Seed And Horticultural Fleece' so the Flymo has been dusted off and brought back into action. Unfortunately this morning, before the team could begin the first cut, someone had slide down the banks ripping out some of the month old grass. Hopefully it is not too late in the season to repair this damage before the winter arrives. "PLEASE KEEP OFF THE BANKS!"

 

The first cut


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Welcome To Worcester Freshers 2014




The gardening team cleaned out the trailers and wheelbarrows in readiness for the annual arrival of the freshers. Today is the day for all the new students 'Freshers' to arrive at the colleges of Oxford University and the gardeners spent the day helping them by transporting their possessions to any rooms furthest away from the car park. "Welcome to Worcester" from the gardening team.

Monday, 6 October 2014

From Nursery To Portakabins


 

The development of the former Ruskin College site by Exeter College on Walton Street, behind the nursery/orchard area of Worcester College, is continuing at pace. The old building has been knocked down, apart from the old 1913 facade which will be incorporated in to the new design. How does this effect Worcester? The answer is reflected in the following series of photographs. The nursery area has been leased to their contractors for the next two years and has been undergoing a transformation since the beginning of September.


Simon and Ali cleared out their two vegetable plots, the result of the 2012 nursery reclamation project, see blog entries 31st March 'Weeding, Levelling And Measuring' and 16th April 'The Nursery Is Reclaimed', to make way for the temporary cold frames for the next two years.


Once the temporary cold frames were in place the old frames were emptied ready for development of the nursery site.


 

By the end of September all that remained of the frames were the cement bases that had been done last year, see blog entries 22nd August 'Cementing The Cold Frame Floors' and 25th September 'Another Concrete Cold Frame Base'. The site was now ready for the arrival of the seven portakabins that came in yesterday. Walton Street was closed for the day and the portakabins delivered by crane over the top of the cottages and in to the old nursery area.








The Gardener's Tea Shed V Portakabins
The transformation is now complete, from nursery to portakabins, which will remain in place for the next two years.



Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Apple Picking 2014



It is that time of year when the gardeners go in to the orchard to pick the fruit that will be pressed for this year's 'Worcester College Apple & Pear Juice'. This year's yield is considerably lower than the bumper crop seen last year resulting in just 24 crates being filled and taken to Waterperry Gardens for pressing.



Friday, 26 September 2014

Unveiling The New Grass On The Banks




The grass seed was sown on the 15th September and has been covered in horticultural fleece since. Joss has been checking under this white blanket daily to see how the seed is germinating and, now that the banks are sufficiently green, the fleece has been removed. Over the next few weeks the seed will continue to germinate and the areas of brown soil will turn green as the new grass emerges.



Thursday, 25 September 2014

Two New Areas For Wildflowers


Orchard

Areas of wildflowers have been introduced the gardens over the last few years to increase the variety of pollinating insects whose numbers, worldwide, have been steadily declining and to reintoduce wildflower species, many of which have steadily declined over the last 60 years. Last year one such area was developed in the Fellow's garden, see blog entry 26th September 2013 'Wildflowers In The Fellow's Garden', successfully creating a wildflower meadow, see blog entry 14th May 2014 'The First Wildflower 'Fairy Toadflax'.  

Nuffield Lawn

Following its success two more areas have been created today, one in the orchard and the other on the Nuffield Lawn. The ground was prepared by mowing and scarifying the grass to reveal bare earth then this was raked to a fine tilth. The wildflower seed was mixed with silver sand, scattered over the soil, gently raked in and rolled. The seed mix contains the following wildflowers; Betony, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Bulbous Buttercup, Californian Poppy, Catsear, Cowslip, Common Knapweed, Cornflower, Fairy Toadflax, Ladys Bedstraw, Oxeye Daisy, Salad Burnet, Self Heal, Shirley Poppy, White Campion and Yellow Rattle. 



Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A New Lakeside Border For Iris sibirica 'Flight Of The Butterflies'



Ali and Graham spent the day working by the lake creating a new border. Being very careful not to fall in, they striped the turf from the area to reveal the compacted soil.


Once all the turf had been removed they then spent the afternoon forking it through, breaking up the soil in to smaller clods then breaking them down to a fine tilth. Leaf mould will be added tomorrow, forking it in and dressing the surface. Iris sibirica 'Flight Of The Butterflies' will then be planted in the new border, an excellent waterside plant with violet blue, white veined flowers.