Front Quad of Lincoln College, the walls covered in bright green ivy


Head Gardener's Blog - Winter 2023

Headshot of the gardener Mike Hawkins, a man wearing a green shirt with the Lincoln College crest.

Mike Hawkins

  • Head Gardener

Winter is often thought of as a dull time in gardens, with the anticipation of spring being the most cause for excitement. Hopefully though I can convince you to love the winter garden! Winter is a time when we get to see plants in their raw, stripped back form. Take Lincoln’s famous London Plane tree (A) for example, which we can see here as a magnificent silouette against the low winter sun. Winter is also not short of colour through the likes of Witch Hazel in the Grove (B), winter Clematis in Chapel Quad (C) and more unusually Ruscus (D), which flowers from the center of the leaf having apparently evolved to look like a sitting insect to aid pollination.

Sustainability is very important to the college and I have been working over winter to implement some new features in the gardens to help us operate more sustainably. Firstly, we have purchased and installed new compost bins (E). The bins are made from recycled plastic and will last for many years to come. Being able to compost most of our green waste will give us a good annual mulch for our borders which will save on emmissions from haulage and plastic waste from previously having to buy it in. We have also invested in battery powered machinery and I hope to be operating petrol free by the end of spring. I have also been working closely with Lincoln’s sustainability coordinator and a student volunteer to look at ways of increasing biodiversity in college. As a result, we have installed a small wildlife pond into the Fellow’s garden (F) , created a log pile in the Grove, added to the wildflower mound next to the library and identified ways to support song birds and pollinating insects across all of our sites.

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability.

Where next?

  • Lincoln wins silver award for sustainabilityRead more
  • Introducing our first ever Sustainability CoordinatorRead more
  • Sustainability at LincolnRead more