8 September 2022

Blank image

September has already seen some of that rare stuff that we didn’t see for so long……rain.

It has slowly started to green up some areas around college so they look a little more familiar. August continued to see long periods of hot, dry spells and to be honest most of August saw the gardeners simply trying to keep the plants alive. It was a case of daily monitoring and inspection of the plants and watering where necessary. Established plants suffered as much as the new but it was hard trying not to use more water than necessary.

Although not officially with a hosepipe ban in this area, it was still declared a drought and reservoirs were running low. We didn’t want to use more water than was necessary, so things like the lawns looked like straw at times. It is this month that we hope to see some improvement before starting our lawn repairing programs in early October. We aim to scarify the lawns to remove some of that dead grass to enable new grass shoots to emerge.

Late August and into September saw the team turn our attention to the meadow management. It is the time of year to cut down our meadows. We have had good continued success this year in the Emmanuel meadows but like all meadows this summer, they were a little dry. Still worth all the effort as we had a good wildflower display and saw plenty of pollinators, essential for the growing biodiversity of the college grounds. The garden team were fortunate to be able to take part in the management of the meadows at King’s College this year. The team went over to see the display of the cutting down of the meadows, using traditional methods of using the Shire horses. The meadows at King’s are able to be situated in a much vaster area than that of Emmanuel’s. It enables access to allow a horse drawn scythe to cut the meadows. Usually these meadows are cut and bailed by tractor but for the last couple of years the meadows have been cut be the traditional method, making it a greener activity whilst be a great nod to the past. As a result of the Emmanuel College garden team’s involvement, we get to keep some of the bails to extract some seed for our own meadows. This is a great way of sharing and at the same time adding flowers that we do not currently have. A great fun project.


                                         Above; The Emma team assisting with the meadow cutting at King's College 

Our own attention in the Emmanuel Garden has been continuing with our composting program. The beds around the college have been lacking nutrition over the years and we are working hard so that we can mulch the beds next spring. This will also help retain some of the moisture into the flower beds, should it be such a dry spell next year too. We have added a wormery to help condense the compost. The worms have been added to break down the compost faster, a very ecological way of compost management. 


                                                                        Above; Worms added to the compost 

Autumn is officially here now and the early drop of leaves are the telltale signs. Another sign to look for is the lovely Colchicum bulbs under some of the trees. Colchicum (the Latin/ Botanical name) in German is called Herbstzeitlose. It roughly translates to ‘the one that fortells Autumn’. It certainly does exactly that.


                                                                                   Above; Colchicum 


Best Wishes

Brendon Sims ( Head Gardener).

Back to All Blog Posts