I was recently given some meadow seed from another college so we decided to lift the two small lawns outside the Maplethorpe building as they had been laid on green carpark matting leading it to dry out severely over the summer. The improvement of this area is something we had been discussing for a while but due to the labour-intensive task of lifting the matting, we had not been able to proceed. This particular type of seed will greatly benefit college butterflies, pollinators and micro fauna.
The biodiversity of the gardens is something deeply important to myself and the team, the following are areas are where we have been recently working especially hard to achieve this:
- Using organic vinegar-based weed killers and not using pesticides at all on site.
- Compost and recycling waste, 80% of green waste is now composited and used as mulch and feed on college borders, only invasive weeds or non-compostable root balls going to landfill. All hard wood prunings are wood-chipped and used throughout the garden in weed control.
- Only using organic fertilizers on lawns and homemade fertilizers for plant feeds.
- All two-stroke and handheld machinery has been replaced with electric formats.
We have recently finished our two-year project of renovating the main herbaceous border, hopefully the plants will continue to thrive and fill out, it’s just a shame there are no staff or students on site to enjoy the fruits of our labour.
Many of the shrubs and plants we have recently planted to take advantage of the south facing aspect of the main terrace and MGA borders have flowed strongly this year.
The Callistemon and Romneya have been particular favourites of mine.