3 November 2022

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October has seen some very mild weather for the time of year, following the trend of month on month increases to average temperatures. We are certainly looking like 2022 will be one of the warmest on record, if not the warmest. What the gardens have been thankful for though is a reasonable amount of rain. This has seen the lawns start to recover well. The gardens still need more moisture though as just below the surface of the soil it is still indeed very dry.


                                                                     Above; Lawn maintenance 

One thing that we do notice about a mild Autumn is the colour of the trees are not quite as brilliant in its tones. To truly get those beautiful colours, the trees need two things to happen. Firstly, we need good moisture retention in the ground (which this year we have had very little), and secondly some colder temperatures. We still have some great tree colours but not as bright as previous years. The garden department are working tirelessly to collect the leaves from the college grounds and retain as much as we can for composting. A valuable resource for the future.                                                        

Around the gardens we have been busy harvesting the last of the fruits on the trees for use in the kitchens. The last of the apples, quince and even pomegranates have been passed over to the chefs to create something special with. It is rare in this country to have so many pomegranates grow on a shrub outdoors. Another sign that the hot summer was very hot indeed.


                                                                          Above; Kate harvesting fruit

Despite the leaves, the garden team have been busy with other additional tasks. October has seen some additional bulb planting. We have planted some Tulips in front court, some Alliums near the chapel borders and some additional Tulips and daffodils in the Fellows garden. Fingers crossed for another colourful display next spring. We have also sown some annual wildflower seeds in the meadows ready for next summer.


                                                       Above: Left; Kate collecting leaves; Right; Blulb planting

The construction work on the new build is now starting to get to the final staging. Over the next few months the garden team will be able to start planting. We are currently finalizing the planting plans and getting prices for the plants. Planting should start early next year with some trees going in this side of Christmas.

The garden department are currently recruiting for an apprentice to join our team. It is very important to pass on the skills our amazing department have so that others can learn. Emmanuel garden department now has an excellent reputation and it is important to maintain those standards. If we lead by example, then others will learn that standard and have a great career going forward.

I continue to be proud of my team who work tirelessly all year, but these months up to Christmas are especially hard work. Well done team Emma.

Best Wishes

Brendon Sims (Head Gardener)

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