The Corpus gardens provoked garden writer, Jim Cable, to question how much control we should exert over our outdoor spaces. His article Wild flower - or Weed? was published in the Saturday (4 December) edition of the Financial Times.

In the article Jim describes stepping from Christ Church, where he lives with his partner the Sub Dean, “through the gateway atop the south-facing boundary wall into a different world”. Some of “the lawn is kept uncut for the first half of each year to allow the buttercups and cow parsley to flower each summer. It merges into a wild-flower border, where, among poppies, evening primrose and feverfew, a clump of rosebay willow herb stands proud.”

He goes on to say that he was expecting David Leake’s laissez-faire attitude to have been reined in by college officials in the main quad. “Not a bit! … At ground level, every crack and crevice has been inhabited. I spot teasel, feverfew, verbascums, common mallow, greater celandine and valerian. The footfall of students acts as a natural control, much as grazing animals would in a wild ecosystem.”

His concluding reference to Corpus Christi’s gardens lauds the College’s open-minded attitude to weeds: “My visit to the free-spirited Corpus gardens left me feeling that David Leake, at 75, and 42 years into his deployment, was ahead of his time.”

The full article can be read here.