Thursday, 16 March 2017

Narcissus 'Ice Follies'

Newly Planted Bulb Area  25th October 2016

At the end of October last year the team planted approximately 425 bulbs in to an area in front of the Linbury Building, see blog entry for the 25th October 2016 '25Kg Bag Of Daffodils, Narcissus Ice Follies' and it is only now that the results of the time they spent planting the bulbs is being seen.

Narcissus 'Ice Follies' In Flower

The Narcissus 'Ice Follies' is a large cupped daffodil so, rather than having the distinctive trumpet shaped part in the centre, it has a large flattened cup which, in this variety, opens yellow which will turn white in the coming days as it fades with age complimenting the white perianth of outer petals that surround it, for a comparison of flattened cupped and trumpet see the photographs below. (The team are so pleased with this display they may well be planting more 'Ice Follies' in the autumn to make an even better display for March 2018). 

Narcissus 'Ice Follies''
 Cupped (Narcissus 'Ice Follies')

 Trumpet (Narcissus 'Peeping Jenny')

Daffodils And Scilla siberica (Blue)
Additional Note:

27th March, the flattened cups have started to fade.

Flattened Cup Faded To White

Monday, 13 March 2017

Shades Of Lemon And A Rich Violet Purple

Primula acaulis 'Primlet Lemon Shades'

Primula acaulis 'Primlet Lemon Shades'

The two Primula flowering in the gardens at the moment were grown from seed sown in mid July last year, see blog entry for the 15th July 2016 'Eleven Half Trays And Six Shallow Pots'. Ali and Simon saw the picture of the plants in the Ball Colegrave  catalogue, the seed was duly ordered, sown and the resultant plants are everything they had hoped they would be.
The Primula acaulis 'Primlet Lemon Shades' has clusters of scented, pale lemon flowers that look like rosebuds before they open whereas the Primula polyanthus 'Stella Neon Violet'  has rich violet purple flowers with a bright yellow eye in the centre, both these plants are a great new addition to the gardens and may well be seen again in the future.  

Primula polyanthus 'Stella Neon Violet'

Primula polyanthus 'Stella Neon Violet'

Friday, 3 March 2017

Spreading The Spectacle Of Galanthus 'Magnet'

Snowdrop 'Magnet' 8th February 2017 Beside The Urn, A Sparse Display

The project of lifting, splitting and replanting the Galanthus 'Magnet' to fill the herbaceous border has now moved in to its 5th year. Every year since 2012 the largest clumps of these snowdrops have been carefully lifted out of the ground using a border fork and, after replanting a much smaller bunch back in to the space in the border from where it came, the rest of the clump is placed in to a trug. The snowdrops have finished flowering so it is the perfect time to move them, still in leaf and 'in the green'.

Top End Of The Border, A Sparse Display
Galanthus 'Magnet'

Three areas of the border are being focused on this year, the rather sparsely filled area at the top end of the border, a similarly sparse area around the urn at the lower end of the border and the other section of the border that is yet to be filled with Galanthus 'Magnet'.

Full Trugs

Area Around The Urn Filled
Top End Of The Border Filled

With the trugs now full the large clumps of snowdrops they are taken to the areas where they are needed, split in to much smaller bunches of 5-10 bulbs, placed out on to the bare soil and, using a trowel, planted in to the border. 

Starting To Fill The Empty Border

With heavy overnight rain due in the next 24-48 hours the newly planted bunches will be well watered in, now it is a case of waiting until this time next year to see the ever improving display of snowdrops in the herbaceous borders. 

Wednesday, 1 March 2017


 ( Worcester College Gardener's Team Member June 2004 - March 2017)

His basket now lays empty in the tea shed and the team miss him terribly. Thank you for your loyalty and companionship, and for many happy memories, RIP Henry.

Fun In The Snow 9th February 2009

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Goosander Sightings For Winter 2017

2 Pairs of Goodander 1st February 2017

The Goosander visit the college lake every year stopping off on their journey, whence they came and to where they go, the gardeners do not know, but it is always a pleasure to see them. Ali has been recording their arrival dates since 2009 with a more detailed account since 2014:

9th January-12th January 2017, 1 male/1 female (Pair)
17th January 2017, 2 male/2 female (2 Pairs)
30th January 2017, 1 male/1 female (Pair)
31st January 2017, 2 male/2 female (2 Pairs) * at 8:42am a single male landed on the lake joining the 2 pairs making 3 male and 2 female.
1st February 2017 2 male/2 female (2 Pairs) * single male has flown off.
3rd February 2017 1 male/1female (1 Pair)
6th February 2017 1 male only
16th February 2017 1 male/1 female  (1 Pair) *joined by another female making 3 birds (all remain on the lake until 22nd February 2017
28th February 2017 1 male/1 female (1 Pair)

Additional Sighting 

22nd March 2017 1 female

2 Pairs Of Goosander 1st February 2017

For 2016 dates see blog entry for 21st March 'Swans Lay Their First Egg (And Bird Update)'.
For 2015 dates see blog entry for 26th February 'Goosanders, Just Passing Through'.
For the arrival dates for 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 see blog entry 7th February 2014 'Goosander's Arrival 2014'.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Aftermath Of Storm Doris

Raked Up Old, Dead Wood

The team spent the day dealing with the aftermath of 'Storm Doris' that had blown across the country yesterday bringing with it gusts of about 70 miles per hour across Oxfordshire. A visual inspection of all the trees in the grounds was completed and, in response to the findings, a number of dangerous 'hangers' were removed from their precarious positions over paths and lawn areas. Luckily no major damage had been caused to the trees by 'Doris', she only managed to blow a huge amount of old, dead wood from the trees canopies and deposit it safely on the ground, which, of course had to be raked up!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Restoring The View

Obscured By The Vigorous Laurel

From the Nuffield lawn the view of the Provost's lodgings has, over the last few years, been gradually obscured by the growth of the laurel in the tree fern border. Last week, in order to to rectify this, the team began to restore the view of this building by reducing the height of the largest of the laurel shrubs.

Cutting The Laurel

Today the team returned to the border to continue reducing the laurel's height, once again chipping all of the removed branches to create a wood chip mulch in another of the college borders. By the end of this second day the view of this beautiful 18th Century building had been restored.

Dragging The Laurel

Ready For Chipping


View Of The Provost's Lodging Restored