University Parks team commended for Jesus College planting design

In the latter part of 2022, Jesus College initiated formal discussions with the Parks team, responsible for the maintenance of their grounds, with a view to improve the College quads and Principal’s garden.

The college aspired to revitalise the historic quadrangles by means of selective re-planting and enhancing the aesthetics of the Principal’s Garden. This endeavour was underpinned by a commitment to sustainability and biodiversity, while simultaneously placing emphasis on the perennial allure and visual appeal of the gardens.

Within the ancient quadrangles, the landscape had reached a state of over-maturity, prompting extensive pruning of substantial shrubs to ensure containment, leaving gaps underneath and in between.
An intricate aspect of the restoration effort lay in accommodating the microclimates that characterized the quadrangles.

These microclimates showed contrasting conditions, varying from sunnier, more humid exposures in the south- and west-facing borders to shadier, drier conditions in the north- and east-facing borders.

Striking a balance between these divergent environments and crafting a cohesive planting scheme required thoughtful consideration.

Planting high in nectar and pollen, like catmint, yarrow, daisies, sedum and verbena weaves soft colours between roses and peonies. Bulbs, especially daffodils which echo the College’s Welsh heritage, will provide colour in spring.

In adopting a systematic approach, the College decided to undertake the project in phases, beginning with the First Quad, followed by concerted efforts in transforming the Principal’s Garden.

Subsequent years will see the extension of this endeavour to include the Second and Third Quads.
This comprehensive undertaking forms a vital part of the college’s overarching vision to enhance these spaces, rekindling their splendour and re-establishing them as iconic sites within the College campus.

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