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Members' Blogs - Week 7 of Lockdown


Lanchester Wood beside Pace Egg hill.

Do you remember the photo of the Tesco croissant box?

A trio of watering cans.

Nasty little lily beetles. I shouldn't but I fond a quick blast from 'Raid' does it for me!

Bees around the bird bath. Got this from the RSPB but only the bees use it!


Garden visitors. Some less welcome than others. This hungry hedgehog likes cat food but dont give them any with fish in. He ate so much he got the hiccups!


We went on a walk in Upper Teesdale and saw these four indigenous flowers. The gentians were as prolific as we have ever seen them.

Teesdale Sandwort.

Bird's Eye Primrose.

Teesdale Pansy.


Here’s a photo taken on 20 May of the wisteria growing on the back of our house in Newcastle.

It’s been in the ground for almost 30 years. Its perfume is gorgeous an the flowers are alive with bees.

For the first two years after it was planted, it put an a couple of leaves in summer but didn’t grow at all. And then the dog ate it, just leaving a 6 inch stump and we thought that was the end of it. But the following summer it shot up to the first floor window and has needed serious hacking back twice a year ever since.


This is my effort to dissuade the resident sparrows from breakfasting on my sweet peas. So far the birds think that they have found a new sparrow playground and the hawk (Mike's suggestion) keeps an eye on them. Not quite what I had in mind. ONE DAY I will show you it covered in flowers. Until then stay safe.


My dull back yard lacked privacy so I added trellis with many climbers that flower across 8 months of the year. To create a tropical conservatory feel, I include plants that survive the winter  like grasses, cordylines and castor oil plants.


When we first started to develop this bed we had in mind a garden we had seen in France that was comprised solely of plants with blue flowers. With this in mind we have planted it up with aquilegias, Jacob’s ladder, delphinium, clematis, phlox, ajuga, rosemary and knapweed amongst others, all with blue flowers. Over the years some other colours have crept in with geums, lychnis and aquilegias amongst the culprits.

An aquilegia, also known as columbine or granny’s bonnet that has not kept to the not so strict dress code!


Here are some photographs of our garden at home. Let’s face it, we have not left here for weeks, so home it has to be.

The first is of some Pleionies that spend the winter in our cool greenhouse.

The second the aquilegia are just starting to come into flower in our rose garden.

Finally a little piece of wilderness, under the silver birches. The puppy has not yet destroyed this area, unlike the flattening of almost everything growing around the pond.


The strelitzia flowering for the second year in the conservatory.


The tulip display at the front door.

Finally, my favourite corner of the garden almost at its best in colour variety, shame the dark red peonies are not quite open.


Can anyone identify this?


I’ve got a horticultural type question. Last year I had a lot of Aquilegia plants around the garden so dug some up an gave them to friends. The plants had dark outer petals and white inner petals. The flowers I gifted have just one colour this year- see the photo below.

Do aquilegia change colour or is it something to do with the pollen carried by insects from flower to flower?


A couple of images from my walks around Waldridge. 

The broom is in full flower and the fell is just a mass of yellow and, hidden in amongst it, I came across three carvings.  I wonder how many more there are?

The views on the way up to Waldridge are spectacular these days. Across the fields you can see for miles as far as Newcastle, the new Spire Bridge in Sunderland, the Nissan Factory then around to Lumley Castle, Houghton and then to Durham and beyond.  Just a pity my camera is not good enough to capture the view, I only managed a view across the fields.

John and Kristin

Chestnut trees in blossom are always a splendid sight but if you get close enough, you see that the flowers are surprisingly colourful. We saw this one at eye level on one of our daily walks.

Peter and Margaret

Shiny, shiny green leaves. Most of our garden is green. There are very few actual flowers. Nearly all is trees, bushes and hedges. The ivy is something else. The ivy has a mind of its own. From two or three small cuttings here is the result.

1. Close-up.

2. By the front door.

3. Round the cloakroom and small downstairs bedroom.

4. Reaching for the sky.