As part of Go Green Week, a walk around campus was organised, led by Simon Smith, Assistant Horticulture and Landscape Manager, to provide information about what produce there is to eat on campus. Several members of the Garden Society joined the walk along with Victoria Johnsen and a few of members of staff.
In front of the Austen Pearce building, next to the visitors’ car park, there is an Olive tree which is quite a new addition to campus. However, it is over 100 years old. It has not yet produced any Olives of useful sizes, but there is still hope. It is currently being protected from the winds by a green mesh surround.
Towards the end of the car park heading towards the lake, there is a Greengage hedge. Going across to the hill towards the lake there are some sweet chestnut trees. These are the remnants from the deer park that used to cover Stag Hill – named from the deer.
Going round to Terry’s Pond there is a weeping Mulberry tree and if you go down the steps to the lake at the bottom near where the laurel bushes used to be there is a wild pear tree.
Behind the AX building there are some Hazel trees of the ‘Contorted’ or corkscrew variety. More can be found at the top of the amphitheatre and between Battersea Court and the shops.
Moving across campus to the Stag Hill Residences on the wall of one of the buildings there is a fig tree, able to provide fruits up to four times a year. However, in our climate it only fruits once a year.
New additions to campus by the Old Library are some Banana trees. They are currently covered up, but should get bigger as the weather warms up. We are not sure if they will fruit, but if you see fruit on them make sure you tell Simon!
Our walk finished on the Spine Road, where there are some Crab-Apple trees opposite the PATS building. These were once stars of The BBC’s Gardeners’ World show as an example of most diseased ridden trees. Despite this, the trees survived and every autumn their branches break under the weight of the fruit.
Photo by Victoria Johnsen
Written by Susan, Garden Soc member