About Us



Mike's Blog




The Garden

Contact Us


Members' Blogs - Week 1 of Lockdown


To start this off, because I have had time, I emptied the old half of the compost bin, and spread the wonderful mixture on the garden. The fuschia should benefit this year. 

That means that the last year's compost had to be turned over into the now-empty side.  It doesn't fit!  I had to raise the side and back!  But it did give me the chance to get to know several different worms. 

It already looks good, but by next year should be just wonderful for the garden. 

Oh, and the frogspawn is coming along nicely - I just hope the ducks don't get in and eat it all like they did last year. We have a pair of mallards who keep appearing and looking bewildered as if they cannot remember quite where the pond was. In 2018 they brought their ducklings for a swim one day and rested overnight in the border adjacent to the pond. The tadpoles were agile enough that most escaped. Last year, the mallards appeared a week after the frogspawn, ate the lot, and weren't seen again.

Elizabeth M

This photo was taken earlier this week, before the wind came.


I am sending this photo of our camellia, taken this morning, each year we have neighbours coming to view it!


Brian has had to cancel his annual corydalis open day but to remind you of what you’re missing, here’s a few in our garden.


Here is a pic that I took earlier this month.  I was trying to include our main building and the outside eating area, plus, most importantly, the beautiful ‘boot display’ of spring bulbs.



Crocuses in Hexham.


Two photos of animal sightings, where there's an imagination!!!!!, and very close to...yes, Kepier Hospital!!...you guessed!!


It's a flowering currant that's adding some spring colour to our garden.


These are a couple of images of the back garden. I don’t know if the photo shows it but it looks as if the right hand trunk of the elder is dying. Any suggestions why would be welcome.  Wishing you well in these challenging times.



We live in central Durham. It's an interesting Spring. Lots of plants that I put in years ago seem to have finally settled in and look to be growing well. In particular, some native Spindle and Blackthorn that I planted many years ago is looking strong. A few flowers on the blackthorn this last week, and some amazing shoot elongation on the spindle. The wild garlic I planted years ago is suddenly plentiful, and I've been harvesting it and Roberta has made some wonderfully nippy pesto with it.

Visits from Long-tailed tits and a goldcrest in the garden. Always a lovely sight.

The most recent thing I've got involved in is the North East Bee Hunt organised by the Natural History Society of Northumbria (https://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/activities/the-north-east-bee-hunt/). I don't know anything about bees so this has been fun. I can't recall if the botanic garden has any hives, but I'm sure it has bees! I've spotted tree bumblebees and buff-tailed bumblebees on the willow flowers in the garden in the last couple of days (I've attached a couple of photos) and I'm always on the lookout now.

More photos of March 2020 in my garden are here: https://www.dougie.scot/garden-march-2020


A photograph from my garden of a different type of daffodil or should I call them Narcissi?  They are multi heading with an orange centre and the bulbs were brought back from the Scilly Isles.


Being unable to get out and about as one would normally there is more time to spend in the garden, particularly if the weather is fine, as it is now. I have had a few projects in mind for the garden and now seems the time to get cracking! The first project is a new flowerbed situated around the stump of an ash tree that was taken down 18 months ago. I had a go at burning the stump, without much success, and access to our back garden is such that we cannot get a stump grinder or digger in to remove the offending lump. I therefore decided to incorporate it into the bed. Removing the grass and digging down revealed an array of large roots radiating out from the centre. The whole area was dug over and compost added before moving some plants from other parts of the garden into the area, including primrose, foxgloves and forget-me-nots. I also relocated three Delphinium plants that were in the way of a second project, more of that another time. I have ordered some Acanthus, Centaurea, Candelabra Primula and Monarda from Parkers, although I’m not sure about delivery!

Elsewhere in the garden I have a bamboo in flower and the winter pansies are still going strong.


I am not sure how everyone else is coping but for me a pattern has developed of breakfast, read the paper, go for a walk for an hour or two around Nevilles Cross, have lunch and then a couple of hours in the garden. By the end of this the garden may never have looked so well looked after and never will again.

Please see a few photos taken on the walks or in the garden as Spring begins to explode.

Wicker man practicing social distancing.

Butter Burr next to River Deerness in Langley Moor.

Cyclamen coum.