In the second of our regular series of blogs, Guy Fuller, Head Gardener at Robinson since 2009 tells us about the College’s annual May Plant sale and about the challenges and joys of his job.
I have worked at Robinson in a variety of roles since 1982 and together with my team of five, look after the College’s 13.5 acres of grounds which incorporate lawns, numerous flower beds, hanging tubs and greenhouses.
May is a busy time for the gardening team - not only because everything is literally springing into life – but also May Ball looms and, very importantly, the annual May Plant sales.
The Plant sale has become an important fixture in the Robinson calendar. We hold it on Thursdays and Fridays from the end of May in the College’s Garden Yard. There we set up stalls selling a wide range of Summer bedding plants, shrubs, herbaceous varieties, cuttings and seedlings.
All proceeds – apart from the first £500 to cover the planting costs – go towards specific College projects. For instance, last year we funded hanging tubs for the College Court and for the future we would like to use the proceeds to redevelop an area around the lake to create a seating area.
Having said that Spring is very busy, it’s also my favourite time of year, with everything looking fresh and new, shrubs, plants and trees coming into bud and leaf and at last being able to get out and tackle the jobs I have been planning over the Winter months.
There are lots of aspects of my job that I enjoy, especially being able to work outside, seeing something the gardening team and I have done in the garden come to fruition, such as newly planted border and enjoying the pleasure that the grounds give to everyone in College, including the many visitors who come here.
Of course there are challenges, just as with any job. Probably the biggest one for me and my team is trying to get everything done and completed that needs doing at this time of year. This includes all the pruning, forking over of borders, planting, lawn-care, re-instatement of damaged lawns, potting up, seed sowing - the list seems never ending - and probably is!
Look out for the first May plant sale on Thursday 31st May 2012.