The Life of Pi

The idea in both areas was to try and do something fun with the planting and to reflect the subjects taught in the adjacent classrooms.

During his Speech Day address this year, Julian Thomas quoted Winston Churchill in observing that ‘We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us’ and added that the same applies to landscapes. Thanks to the innovative work of our gardening team, this statement would not be more appropriate. This year, the Wellington gardeners have surpassed themselves in terms of creativity and commitment with a project that has brought together the academic and horticultural lives of the College. Head Gardener, Mark Dodd, tells us more…

‘The idea in both areas was to try and do something fun with the planting and to reflect the subjects taught in the adjacent classrooms. Due to the grandeur of the main college building a lot of the planting has to be kept very formal but at both Maths and Chemistry we could play around and had a lot more freedom to be quirky and a bit different.

The basic theme to the Chemistry block is a molecular structure. The Box balls represent molecules with the low-level hedging as the bonds that join them. The show piece is without doubt the Cupressus tree grown in a ‘Niwaki’ style which means Garden tree as opposed to Bonsai which refers to an indoor tree. However, the Japanese love of showcasing their trees meant we were able to use this specimen to show a greater degree of molecular structure which is a real eye catcher.

At the Maths block it was felt that the old lawn area was very tired and not particularly inspiring and, following the refurbishment of this area, we had an opportunity to soften it and make some positive changes. It is often said that Geometry is at the heart of Mathematics and we chose a range of geometric shapes from the Yew pyramids and spheres, the Beech cubes, and the Photinia circles to show this. The Pleached Hornbeam at the centre gives a sense of height to the garden and it is finished with a bench in the shape of the pi sign made from recycled timber and created by the college carpenters so people can go and sit and enjoy the space’.

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