THE GARDENS OF NEWNHAM COLLEGE HAVE ALWAYS PROVIDED A SPACE OF REFUGE AND SERENITY FOR ITS MEMBERS. THE PHILOSOPHY OF GARDENING – INCLUDING SELF-SUFFICIENCY, FRIENDSHIP, RESPECT AND LEARNING – HAS BEEN AT THE HEART OF THE COLLEGE’S DEVELOPMENT SINCE 1871.
TAKE A BREAK FROM YOUR DAY TO REVISIT THE GARDENS AND DISCOVER SOME NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THESE VIDEO TOURS
Members of the new college garden club show us round their new project: a new permaculture garden in which students can grow their own food and flowers in community with one another. Permaculture is a set of design principles that looks at a garden as part of an ecosystem that reflects the patterns and resilient features observed in nature. It is a philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature. In an area near the existing allotments, the student-led garden will include a ‘food forest’: a low-maintenance, sustainable, plant-based food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables. This project is an opportunity for the student community to come together, to recognise the past and to grow for the future in a truly sustainable and resilient way. The garden philosophy extends beyond the college site, with students stuck at home during the pandemic planting seeds and sharing their progress. The permaculture project is already reaping huge benefits for wellbeing and will be a legacy for the next 150 years.
A tour with Professor Jenny Morton and Sarah Carthew
The College gardens have been blooming away quietly for the past year, with sadly few people being able to come and visit. Many alumnae have not yet seen the new gardens – the Fawcett Courtyard, the Café Courtyard and the Strachey Garden – that were awarded first prize in their category in the 2019 BALI National Landscaping Awards. This film takes us back to what we’ve all been missing and gives an insight into the latest developments in the College gardens.
Professor Jenny Morton, Chair of the Garden Committee, shows Director of Development Sarah Carthew round different areas of the garden from the famous iris borders to the new mixed flower and vegetable potager beds. Biodiversity has become a key focus for the gardens team in recent years, which has inspired the new informal, bee-friendly style of planting. Jenny explains the development of the gardens over the last 150 years and some future plans. Along the way, there is plenty of inspiration, some rare and beautiful plants, and garden design tips for beginners as well as experienced gardeners.
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS
PROFESSOR JENNY MORTON is a Fellow, College Lecturer in Pharmacology and Director of Studies in Medical Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (Pre-Clinical). Her research is focused on Huntington’s Disease. She is the Chair of the College’s Garden Committee.
SARAH CARTHEW is Director of Development. She has recently moved to a new garden, which she is designing from scratch, and she has planted some copper beeches as part of the 150th anniversary Global Tree Planting Project.
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