Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year

The cold weather continues but this blogging gardener is off to a warmer climate for three weeks to warm my bones, so this will be the last post till the new year.
The team would like to take this opportunity to say thank you for your continued support and hope you have enjoyed our activities highlighted in our blog during 2010.
May we wish you all a "Merry Christmas and a prosperous New year".

Freezing Fog

Not only have we had snow and ice, now we have freezing fog that seems to get right into your bones.
Another good job to keep you warm, in these freezing temperatures, is chipping. Whilst Ady and Joss continued clearing out the leaf pit by the Provost's garden and moving it to the top of the sports field, Simon, Graham and Ali cleared the chipping pile. By the end of the session, it may still have been cold outside but we were certainly warm on the inside.

video

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

The End Of The Ditch

Today was the third and final session to clear the ditch that surrounds the sports field of all its leaves. By lunch time the last leaf had been removed to the leaf pit and the ditch finished for another year, although without this type of work the team would have frozen in the minus temperatures seen over the last few weeks, a god send.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Callicarpa bodinieri var.giraldii 'Profusion'

The berry producing shrubs this year have produced an abundance of fruit for the wildlife this coming winter. If the old wives tale is true, the more bountiful supply of berries, the worse the winter, this old wife has been warning people for months!
One plant that stands out from the rest is Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'. Its berry display can be seen from mid autumn when the shrub produces a spectacular display of large, packed clusters of vivid, shiny almost metallic, bead like purple berries. It is fully hardy, grown best in full sun or dappled shade, a deciduous shrub that loses its leaves to reveal this amazing display.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Must Keep Warm!

The ditch and path that runs along the sports field to the canal building has now been cleared of all its leaves and created a huge leaf pile. This will be pushed back and mixed, eventually creating leaf mould for us to use as a mulch on the borders around the college.


video

The ditch, however, continues around the sports field and needs to be cleared of leaves. Joe and Graham spend the majority of the day blowing the leaves out, for Ady, Simon, Joss and Ali to fork and rake onto the woodland area adjacent to the canal. No big machines to help today, as the path is inaccessible to them, just sheer strength and will power, and the need to keep
warm!

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

North Easterley Wind

The north easterly wind is bitterly cold today, but no more snow has fallen overnight. The team continue on from yesterday, working in the sheltered part of the college, clearing up leaves from the path that runs along the side of the sports field.

All the trees have now dropped their leaves onto the path, shrub borders and ditch, so now is the perfect time to clear them. This job is too big for rakes and brute force, so the large machines are brought out again.

Armed with blowers, rakes and pitch forks, the team move the many millions of leaves out of the ditch and shrub borders and out onto the path.

The New Holland and its grab, perfectly driven by Simon, then picks up the leaves and places them into the hydraulic trailor until it is full.
Once full, the fully loaded trailor is driven to the nearest leaf pit and emptied.