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


Returning to the gardens

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Aimee Irving-Bell

  • Head Gardener
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Usually when the garden department get some time off it's for a few weeks over Christmas. I am not sure any of us have even had a two week holiday, so returning to work after almost three months off has been very strange, especially when the College is devoid of the usual buzzing life of students and our conference guests. My favourite time of year is when the conferences come in and I have missed them greatly this year.

The most important thing during the time off was not the gardens, which with a bit of hard work are quickly returning to pre-lockdown standards, but my staff. Calling them each week and making time for them was a priority. All the garden staff live alone so it was a difficult time for us.

Coming back to work was exhausting but it is nice to have a routine back. We are still working on the lawns which were reseeded; the new seed has taken well and we are waiting for September/October to scarify it to help knit the new patches in with the old. Previously, we had some invasive grass which was a pale colour and grew very long; we are hoping to have removed most of this now.

The window boxes are continuing to look great and we even have our first proper water lily flower down at Bear Lane - this is the bud on our Nymphaea Madame Wilfron Gonnere (below).

Tortilla is still residing at my house although hoping to be returning to College soon! We recently had the field of wheat harvested from behind my house and ended up with a homeless two day old pheasant chick which has taken to snuggling up with Tortilla.