10th December 2012

It's been a while since my last blog! The moth trap has been put away for the winter so nothing to report from there. However, the work on Union Square that started this time last year has now finished (see below). As part of the scheme we were consulted over what trees we would like to see planted. Some were not available and substitutes were found.

Outside the shops are two Red Maples (Acer rubrum) and three cut-leaved Silver Maples (Acer saccharinum 'Born's Gracious') which turn red and gold, respectively, in the autumn, matched by the golden autumn foliage of six hybrid elms (Ulmus clusius) in front of the library and the contrasting deep green foliage of two upright Persian Ironwoods (Parrotia persica 'Vanessa') and a Japanese Hornbeam (Carpinus japonica) between the Chapel and the Union - the University colours.
The colours are further developed by the foliage of two Norway Maples (Acer platanoides 'Princeton Gold') and two Honey Locusts (Gleditisa triacanthos 'Sunburst') on the way to the bus stop that are golden-yellow all summer.  Autumn colour is added to by the Persian Ironwoods that turn a wonderful mixture of orange, red and purple.  For some variety in winter, there are two Sichuan Birches (Betula szechuanica), with chalk-white bark planted at strategic locations. By the bus stop is a rare form of the Oriental Plane with deeply dissected leaves (Platanus orientalis 'Digitata') and an unusual lime (Tilia henryana), which has bristle-teeth along the edges of the leaves, both from China.

We should not forget the sculpture in the centre called "Forest of Light". The walk-through installation - designed by Diane Maclean to commemorate Keele's 50th Anniversary - reflects the open nature of the University, its many disciplines and the different backgrounds and countries around the world from which students are drawn. Cluster lights set in the ground shine through and reflect on the many angled surfaces of the columns. All in all the renovation of the Square has been a great success

December 2011

December 2012

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