2 August 2023

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As I am writing this blog entry, the rain continues to pour down.  Be careful what you wish for.  This time last year, the gardens were brown and frazzled.  Skip forward twelve months and the gardens are green and lush.  At a time when most people really want warm and sunny weather for weddings and garden parties, the temperatures have been down and we have just seen the wettest July on record.

This has been a help and a hindrance to the Garden Department.  It has generally meant less watering, which is always a good thing.  The downside to the wet and mild weather is the fact that everything grows twice as fast.  This has resulted in the department chasing our tails this year.  This should be a time when the gardens slow down a bit – fewer grass cuts, a little less hedge trimming and generally a lot less weeding.


The last few months, though, have been even busier than the norm as well.  We managed to get the landscape planting done in time for the Emma enables celebration (just).  This was a huge effort from all the team as the delays to the building project had seriously held us back.  I think the finished project is a huge improvement from the empty planting beds.  It really softens the architecture, as beautiful as that is.


July has also seen some well-needed tree work done to the more mature trees.  This was to remove the deadwood and will enable to keep visitors safe from the risk of falling branches.  The most notable work was done on Emmanuel’s great oriental plane tree.  A large amount of dead wood was removed.  Work was also carried out in North Court, Park Terrace, Chapman’s Garden and in the bike sheds.


August sees the departure of one of our staff.  Kate Cook has completed her one-year WFGA placement with us.  Kate has been a huge help this year.  Her attitude was always first class as she completed her course.  The team will miss Kate and wish her luck in the future.  We have selected this year’s WFGA candidate, and she will start in September.  More news on that to follow in another edition.

Best wishes.

Brendon Sims (Head Gardener)

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