Wordless Wednesday: Merry Trixiemas!!



The Punk Rock Garden

Now, the idea for this ‘Rock Garden’ post’ was given to me by a lady called Gill who writes the ‘ontheedgegardening’ blog….. a blog I highly recommend you read.

Since joining Twitter, I had noticed that as well as a lot of people from the horticultural world were on there, many were and still are; very much into their Punk music. Heavy Metal, will always be my first love when it comes to music, along with: Classical, Blues and of course Punk. Punk has influenced many aspects of Heavy Metal, Thrash Metal in particular. Many Punk bands have covered Heavy Metal songs and vice versa. Although, not all Punks have the same respect towards Heavy Metal well, some of them anyway…….

It was when I had written the ‘Thrash Metal Garden’ blog, that the idea was given to me. So I will start with plant that was suggested…..

Saxifraga x urbium (London’s Pride)

A mat forming beauty. This tough little doer that has beautiful white and pink flowers throughout the summer. A perennial that is easy to grow in any soil and will tolerate deep shade. You can dance on this little fella (but not while in flower), or even do the ‘Pogo’ and it will still bounce back.

The Clash – London’s Calling

One of their most well known of all their songs and probably my favourite Clash song of all time. From their album of the same released in 1979.

The Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show is the most famous flower show in the United Kingdom. Held in the grounds of the ‘Royal Hospital Chelsea’ in London, it has over 150,000 visitors each year.

Now, I have been to Chelsea a couple of times and would certainly love to go again but there are certain things with Chelsea….. that really do annoy me! I was going to go on a massive rant at this point, give it a bit of the old Punk attitude but decided against this….. I’ll save it for another time!

Elvis Costello – (I Don’t Want To Go To) Chelsea

Released in 1978 from his album ‘This Years Model’, it reached number six in the UK’s charts.

Duranta erecta ‘sheena’s gold’

I know very little about this plant but the golden foliage certainly caught my eye. It is a fast growing plant often used for hedging, it prefers full sun and can grow to over two metres in height.

 Ramones – Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Released in 1977, from the album ‘Rocket to Russia’. The Ramones are one of my most favourite top bands, with this song being one of my all time favourites.

Salix babylonica (Babylon or Weeping Willow)

Native to Northern China. Salix babylonica is a beautiful large deciduous tree that along with Salix alba ‘Vitellina-Tristis’, is a parent of Salix chrysocoma (Weeping Willow), the one we are more familiar with.

The Ruts – Babylon’s Burning

Released in 1979, this was a top ten hit for the English Punk band ‘The Ruts’.

Crassula ovata – Money Plant

Also known as the ‘Lucky Plant’, this is a very popular house plant. Native to South Africa, this wonderful succulent has pretty little white and pink flowers, dead easy to propagate.

Flying Lizards – Money

The Flying Lizards were a – New Wave Punk one hit wonder bands. Their only hit ‘Money’ in 1979, was a cover of a Barret Strong song.

You don’t expect to see this in a Punk blog but it is the best version.

Rosa New Dawn

Rosa ‘new Dawn’ is a large glossy leafed climber, that has stunning double pale pink flowers, that carry a wonderful scent. Can grow to over two-three metres in height.

The Damned – New Rose

Love this song. This was The Damned’s first ever single, released in 1976.

Chlorophytum comosum – Spider Plant

Now everyone knows this plant. When I was a kid, every house I went too had one of these. It is another very popular house plant, that is native to South Africa.

Ramones – Spiderman

Can’t get enough of The Ramones. A great cover of that rubbish cartoon show ‘Spiderman’.

Callistephus chinensis ‘Lazy Daisy’

Yep, well, errm….. it’s only in because it has the word ‘Lazy’ in it. It is a half hardy annual that has purple, pink, crimson and white flowers. That’ll do for this one….bored now!

Sex Pistols – I’m a Lazy Sod

I had to fit a Sex Pistols song in here somewhere, you can’t do any sort of ‘Punk’ blog, without mentioning The Pistols. ‘Lazy Sod’ is from their 1976 bootleg demo album ‘spunk’.


All pictures and videos were nicked off the internet – why? Because…………. I DON’T CARE!!





🙂 🙂 🙂

Wordless Wednesday: St Ives Bridge, Great Ouse River, Cambridgeshire



The Shinyleaf Yellowhorn

I started to write this post back in early summer of this year, saved it in the draft section and then forgot all about it. I was going to leave posting it until next year when it is flowering again but thought no, so here’s a right little beauty that not everyone know’s about.

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Tucked in a corner in our most famous of courts, sits a little unknown beauty (no, not me) and that is the….. Xanthoceras sorbifolium (Shinyleaf Yellowhorn).

Great Court, is our largest of all our courts (in fact, supposedly the largest enclosed college court in europe), most famous for the ‘Chariots of Fire’ race, something I will blog about in the future. For me, it’s the Xanthoceras that stills the show especially when it is in flower in May, it is the out right beauty of the court.

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It sits in the corner of what we call our Chapel beds, on a south facing wall. It does have some stiff competition in that area of the court to hold the beauty crown and these are……..

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Rosa ‘The Garland’

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Ceanothus ‘Cynthia Postan’

In the summer it bakes in the sun, which is just as well, as they like the full sun but it is very well protected by those damaging winter winds.

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Xanthoceras is a small to medium deciduous shrub/tree that grows to approximately 3 – 4  in height and has a 2.5 metre spread, it has star shaped white flowers with yellow/red centres in late spring. It likes a fertile well drained soil, where this one sits the soil is very poor, though very well drained but it does seems very happy.

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Now when it comes to propagation, this one is very easy. It grows well from seed and root cuttings, we often pull the seedlings out of the cobbles, whack in a pot and off they go….. simple! Oh by the way, the seeds are meant to be edible but I have yet to try them.

So, if you have space for one of these beauties in a garden or in a small courtyard (or large one) that is protected by the winter winds, this is a must have plant. Easy to keep and too propagate, that will give you beautiful flowers and wonderful shiny pinnate leaves.

Wordless Wednesday: Fog on the Backs






This is post one hundred on ‘the tattooed gardener’ blog! Doesn’t time fly when your having fun, or in my case….. writing rubbish?

The good/bad news is, I still have loads more rubbish left to write about…. so be warned!

I was a little stumped on what to write on this being the hundredth post though, then I remembered what I had found in our gardeners hut one day.

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Not long after becoming Head Gardener, we had our gardeners accommodation renovated. Before the builders moved in, we had to go through piles of old gardeners stuff that had built up over the years and found some very interesting items. One being this old Encyclopaedic book on gardening. So I took it home for safe keeping while we were in a temporary office and forgot all about it.

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It wasn’t until the other day when sorting through stuff at home, I remembered I had found this old book. I then realised that this used to belong to a previous Head Gardener.

Many a book has been written about Trinity and it’s famous past residents and it’s buildings, wealth etc. But, it’s the more recent less known history of Trinity that has always interested me. Some of this I already know, as certain stories are passed down from gardener to gardener, also reading minutes from previous meetings and some old plans and ideas but certain other things get lost in time. So finding this for me , was a real gem.

The date on the inside of the cover is 1946 but I’m sure the book even pre dates this. The next hand written date in the book is 1958, so the gardeners obviously used this for reference for several years. So was this the main book that the Trinity gardeners used for many years? If so, when was the last time it was used for reference?

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Was the calculator I found with the book, a tool that the gardening department use to use in their lawn management, plans/schemes? Have some of the older plantings still in and around the college, started life here with this calculator? This we will never know for sure. With the book was several hand written plant lists, garden records and other items relating to the gardens dept; that I felt I couldn’t really show.

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I also found a bookmark on this page, ‘The Rock Garden’. Funny how a certain Trinity gardener of this day an age, has been writing his own version of the Rock Garden. Obviously, the Trinity gardener who had been reading this section, had the proper way of Rock gardening in mind…. or did they?


Time has moved on in life and in the garden but working in places like Trinity, time seems to stand still. Now, I do mean this in the nicest of ways, as with many a historical garden, there is that special quality that you don’t always get working elsewhere. Walking around the garden you see many things that, many eyes have seen before and many more will see in the future. Then you will find these little bits of history that had been hidden for many years, that had all been forgotten about.

Trinity was founded in 1546 by King Henry VIII, so from the date in the book through to the present day, it is only a small part of Trinity’s history. Even though you feel like you are working in a place that is stuck in it’s own little time bubble, time certainly does move on and changes do happen. For instance, who would of thought that one day, Trinity would have a :long balding haired, tattooed, baseball hat wearing Head Gardener….. I wouldn’t of done for a start! Something I am very proud of and a position I know I am very privileged to hold!


So having came across this book again, I will take it back to the Gardeners Office and put it back on the shelf, along with the more up to date books we now have.