As the first lockdown began, we decided to split the gardening team into two separate shifts. our aim was to maintain our high standard of work by putting in extra effort with less time available. This has resulted not only in our usual upkeep of the grounds but also in a planting project throughout the woodland walk.
In phase one we planted around 300 trees and shrubs there. We plan, in phase two, to plant more trees in the winter of 2021. This came about after a request from students keen to raise funds and help with planting. Thee additional trees and plants will improve the walk in general and also be beneficial in terms of biodiversity.
Another improvement, this time in environmental sustainability, was the introduction of five new bespoke compost bays. We will produce a large amount of our own compost from College and garden waste, as well as from spent hops from the brewery and coffee grounds from the Roost Café. Coffee grounds in particular are an excellent contributor to top-quality compost and will greatly benefit the various gardens in Jesus.
With spring arriving, the wisteria in First Court (arguably the most photographed part of the College) is starting to bud and by early May it will be in its full glory. The Chapel Court wisteria is also coming along nicely and continues the theme throughout the grounds towards Library Court.
The lawns have fared less well, with extensive damage from cockchafer grubs, but we’re working hard to remedy this in the coming months. poor weather early in the year has made them easier to maintain and the longer we can keep activity off the grass the better.
We are very pleased with our new wildflower area outside north Court (seeded from King’s College wildflower meadow), sown back in October 2020. it has germinated quickly and will provide a fantastic display this summer. plans are now in place this autumn to sow a good proportion of Library Court with the same seeds, which become a vital food source for bees and pollinators, and provide a year-round habitat for local wildlife.
Paul Stearn, Head Gardener