Virginia Barton

Annual Report on the Oxford Union Society Garden, Michaelmas 1990


Submitted to the Senior Officers of the Oxford Union Society 

Michaelmas Term 1990


In spite of the ravages wrought by scaffolders, cable-layers, the boots of Members, and the severest drought since 1976, the garden grows. Of course there are black spots, to which I will refer in a moment, but overall I think we must acknowledge some modest improvement.

Probably of more interest to the Standing Committee, and unusually from this quarter, the request for funds this term is equally modest, a mere £60 if possible for the purchase of spring bulbs and plants, any extra to be ploughed into more of that excellent dung.


Garden 3


There are two black spots, the so-called “lawns”, and the rubbish. The “lawns” have been subjected to exceptionally heavy use this year because of the fine weather. The Ball didn’t help, though I would like to acknowledge that the marquee men went to great lengths to minimise damage.

The grinding-in of cigarette ends, ring pulls and splinters of glass and plastic inhibits the growth of honest grass. Re-turfing was suggested to me but unless a very regular groundsman were employed to take care and police the new turf, I would consider it a waste of money.

The rubbish is a more urgent problem. The Union generates a huge amount of it. Perhaps the Cleansing Department might be consulted? Oxford City Council may justly be criticised for its failure to keep the city clean and tidy, we are but a symptom of that failure.

The entrance from St. Michael Street should be a charming introduction to the Society. Too often one is greeted by a sprawl of unsightly, malodorous rubbish awaiting collection.

I would be grateful if someone would take up this question and solve what has been a growing problem.

As usual I would like to thank the Senior Officers, bar and library staffs, and particularly the Office staff, for their kind support and encouragement this past year. Without it the Hon. Gardener would long ago have thrown in the trowel.

— Hon. Gardener



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