20 April 2023

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It feels as though spring has arrived at Emmanuel College. Although there still has been heavy rain (and large volumes of it too), there have been some brighter breaks in the weather. The plants are certainly shooting up (along with the weeds), the trees are beginning to leaf up and the early blossom has arrived. There is definitely a sense that the weather is on the up.


                                                          Above: Blossoms form the backdrop for the Jester

Unfortunately, the problems in the new build planting beds are still not resolved and they continue to be waterlogged. I therefore cannot provide the update that I had hoped for at this time. There are still questions to be asked and problems to be resolved, all of which are being dealt with in the background. Hopefully they can be planted sooner rather than later. I hope that everybody can start to enjoy the transitional spaces between the new buildings.

The new reflection pool in New South Court has now been filled with water and the pumps and skimmers tested. It will take a few weeks for the water to clear and settle. There will be an addition of waterlilies to come shortly. This should provide a tranquil water flow, just enough to allow some movement in the water.

The Garden Team has seen some new additions since the last blog entry. We welcome Sally MacKenna and Andrew Luetchford to the department. Sally is an experienced gardener, having worked at Kirtling Towers in Suffolk and also the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens. Andrew is also an experienced gardener, having transferred from Trinity College. Andrew will bring some landscaping knowledge as well and will be able to help us with such tasks as repairing the cobble stones, as the retiring Phil Bland did before him.


                                                       Above: Flower beds line the pathways around college

The Garden Department are currently busy with many seasonal tasks, such as pruning and staking plants as they grow. We have been preparing the site for weddings and conferences, also with one eye on the rapidly approaching Grand Final of the Young Horticulturist of the Year, which the college is proudly holding on behalf of the Institute of Horticulture, the grounds obviously having to look good for that day, as many keen gardening eyes will be looking around.


                                                                           Above: Tulips in Front Court

Highlights of the garden at the moment include the many spring bulbs (various tulips and narcissi in particular). Other plants of special interest include the vivid blue flowers of the brunneras in the Fellows' Garden. The two varieties (brunnera macrophylla and brunnera ‘Jack Frost’) look great in the dappled shade.


                                                                 Above: Brunneras in the Fellows' Garden

What are your favourites?

Best wishes,

Brendon Sims (Head Gardener).

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