New Resident Landscape Architect Seniz Ocal arrived on 30th March 2015 to continue work on the Dragon Garden.

One of Seniz’s first tasks was to plant the orchard with small apple and apricot trees which had been growing in the nursery. Here are some extracts from her weekly reports:

Our first trial was with manual digging. That was hard and slow despite the labour support. So it was going to be the JCB. The digging was finished by Friday evening. Saturday we moved on with the planting.

Seniz 2

First we prepared a good mix of human waste manure, animal manure and compost in the nursery area to go inside the tree pits. We cut our stake ties out of old garments that we found in storage!

After getting stakes, compost and water ready in the area we went up to the nursery to lift up the trees that were going to be planted, working as a team of seven.

We picked the larger sized trees and the ones with no flower buds, also opening up space for the apples that are going to be planted. The trees in the nursery bays had grown good root mass in the three years they spent there.

The small truck was very handy for carrying the compost bags and the trees to the orchard area.

A total of 13 apple trees and 7 apricot trees were planted. First part of the orchard planting came to an end with the tying of the stakes and watering.

Seniz 3

The next day we went ahead with tidying up the orchard. We sowed alfalfa and raked it in. We had plenty of seeds so we were easily able to sow the whole area.


We had our meeting with the vice president and the teaching staff on Monday and decided to officially start the garden competition on 25th April. On Saturday I visited each class, talked about how to proceed and how they will be assessed with the students and teachers. Classes were given the judging criteria for reference. It was good to see the students interested and busy making their gardens.