Friday, 22 August 2014
The temperature has dropped from those felt through the hot summer months since the first week in June, making it feel quite autumnal outside. With this in mind, it feels only right to be going back into the greenhouse to pot up the 690 wallflower plug plants that will help create next the floral display for next spring. Arriving late yesterday afternoon, the first 100 were potted up in the quarter of an hour before home time, the remainder were put in to their individual pots this morning.
Wednesday, 20 August 2014
The hardest hedge to maintain, due to its location, is the canal side hedge. Bordered on one side by the Oxford Canal and the other side by the Broadwalk shrubs, the access to cut the hedge is restricted, so a path has to be cut to get to it. Once in, the hedge can be cut, which was started today by Graham and Ali. The process of cutting its entire length can take time, see blog entry for 14th September 2011 'After Five Weeks', with the team working along the hedge, dividing it into smaller sections.
Friday, 15 August 2014
The day has come for the grass on the banks to be killed off. Yesterday afternoon, Joss placed string guidelines along the banks to make the process of spraying easier, dividing them into sections.
This morning, he and Simon worked their way along the banks using a knapsack sprayer to apply the liquid herbicide, Proliance Quattro. A sheet of plastic was held up along the string to prevent any drift of the chemical onto the quad lawn. Over the coming weeks the grass will now start to die, turning brown, making it easier to remove in preparation for reseeding.
Thursday, 14 August 2014
Over the last few months, a huge pile of woody material, needing to be chipped, has built up at the bottom of the sports field, the last of which was added following the cutting back of shrubs around the field, see blog entry 7th August 'Around The Sports Field'. Today Ady, Callum and Ali spent three hours untangling the wood and feeding it through the chipper, creating a new pile of wood chip to be used as a decorative mulch around the college grounds in the future.
The top part of the orchard is occasionally used as an overflow car park, with the entrance/exit cordoned off by unsightly orange guard barriers, so three weeks ago the process to change this began.
The awful looking barriers, that are always blowing over in the wind, are being replaced by a new, wrought iron gate that has been made by 'Cotswold Decorative Ironworkers'. Before the gates can be hung the posts had to be put in place, carefully measured out by Kieron and Danny, the holes were dug out and the first post put in.
On Tuesday the second fence post was put in place, four new yew planted next to the posts and the gate hung. Today three tonnes of hoggin was delivered and spread in front of the gates, raising the level of the hard surface to that of the grass area behind them, a piece of decking was put into the ground to separate the two areas.
A layer of top soil was then raked over the grass and seed broadcast over the top, to speed up germination, fleece was pinned down over it.
The entrance/exit to the orchard is now guarded by a beautiful, hand crafted, wrought iron gate.
Tuesday, 12 August 2014
The task of mowing the banks was seen in the college for the last time today, for a while anyway, because, on Friday, the grass will be killed off as the decision has been made to replace it. In September 2009, the banks were returfed with a Crested Hairgrass, Koeleria macrantha, but have been plagued with an infestation of a rogue grass since that time, see blog entry 10th October 2011 'Brown Patches' for a previous attempt to remove it. The spraying of the grass with a glyphosate based herbicide will start the long process of replacing the grass, only this time it will be seeded with Ryegrass and not turf.
Friday, 8 August 2014
The areas of long grass in the college gardens are now beginning to flop so it's time for them all to be cut down. The first three areas to be cut were in the Fellow's garden, Nuffield lawn and the Provost's garden leaving the largest area, the orchard, to be cut down today. Using the Iseki ride-on-mower with the cutting deck and blade height set at its highest setting, Joss cut down the grass whilst Callum, using the mulch mower, worked on the areas around the trees.