Virginia Barton

Honorary OUS Gardener’s Notes, June 1988

Garden 5


Entries in the Oxford Union Society Garden Journal


June 2, 1988
Went into the garden having been hors de combat for a week. The set for Charley’s Aunt is up and the play is full swing despite atrocious weather. Needless to say a certain amount of tramping over the beds has gone on plus trailing of cables. For some reason a huge wireless is placed in the middle of the newly-planted snapdragons. I felt it wise to leave — and not go back till the play’s over — unless I go to see the show!  Chris mowed last Sat.

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June 6, 1988
Spent 2 ½ hrs in the garden — dry if not hot.  Crowds of young Argentinians on an English course, very noisy but clean so far. Set for play being dismantled and removed (slowly). They broke even, which considering the awful weather was good.

Paving finished bar some grouting. It looks marvelous! May have to re-plant weeping pears deeper. Removed large stones and tried to level off bed. Have lost 4 begonias in there somewhere but put some more in there anyway. Two of Zelman’s tree peonies OK, one looking “iffy.” Gave Bill Dohar lunch there; he is interested in the wall since he helped build it, 2 years ago!

Lots of colour in the garden — dicentra and last year’s snapdragons looking great. Had a happy time and tried not to worry about the aunt’s decline in health.

The boys doing the play sold Brenda some trellis sections, £5 each, real bargain. Hope to put up round hideous bins. And hope to pave last bit in front of Steward’s house in autumn. . .

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June 10, 1988
Neck playing up so having to be a bit careful. Went to the garden centre (Wests) and got another strip of petunias, an aquilegea (alpine), heuchera (coral bells), and an Epimedium, all to put in shady bed by chamber.  Also got the Passion Flower Kasia’s babies have given! Put all that in bar the last. Have to shift huge kerria for that.

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June 12, 1988
Nipped to garden for ½ hour and stayed for 2½ as it was the first hot day. Union closed so only Brenda and me and one of Brenda’s “lads,” a loony driver called Richard. He referred to himself as an “ignorant worker” and did sterling work bashing in the trellis round the bins. I don’t think they’ll stay up more than a fortnight but we’ll give it a whirl.

The play people left £70 worth of potted shrubs so I put the cypresses either side of the main doors, the “vine” up the trellis and the little plum is yet to be placed.

Andrew Sutcliffe (past pres.) was working in the garden, an old pal of Kasia’s and Phil’s, very pleasant and nice. Adam Bruce beat Ed Vaizey for Michaelmas Term which is OK. Brenda has weddings every Saturday until Sept.! Lawn needs mowing.

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June 24, 1988
Spent a lot of time spraying this week. It’s been so dry and black and green fly are rife again. One or two parties played havoc with the lawn but Chris raked up for me. It’s all more or less under control anyway.



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