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Members' Blogs - Week 9 of Lockdown

Penny and Robin

One of my favourite little clusters of hostas in our garden.


I thought this week I would concentrate on the garden but I couldn't let pass the red poppies on the pavement where the A690 from Crook joins the A167 at the Nevilles Cross traffic lights. An example of the benefits of lockdown with the Council not herbiciding the roadside. Maybe they will see the benefits of untidiness.

But then I really like this photo of the wooden statue in the garden of the Durham Museum and Heritage Centre. I have always meant to go in but so far haven't. The little garden looks really interesting and well maintained. It's quite atmospheric. I will go.

This leaves me two photos from the garden. One is a late red Rhodo which my wife cares for.

And the final photo is a David Austin climbing rose called " A Shropshire Lad" which is just starting to flower.

I am not allowed near either plant. It's more than my life is worth. I am accused of being too prone to that man thing of wanting to tidy things up and prune here and there, forgetting when to stop. It's a calumny!!!!

Agnes and Ken

Bougainvillea houseplant.

Agave Americana marginata. Love these. They keep having babies and this is just a small selection.

Mexican daisies giving much colour in crevices in pathways.

Celmisia Spectabilis Eggleston Silver. Bought one at Eggleston Hall gardens years ago. Didn’t like where it was planted and was moved three times until it settled here.

Trailing geranium houseplant.

Evening primrose but can’t remember species name. It’s really a lovely plant.

Oriental poppies with clematis.

Dougie and Roberta

Here's my last few weeks ...

We've lived in our Durham garden for about 15 years and I keep meaning to put together a species list. Some shrubs were planted by the previous owner and the ones I've kept I'm not trying to identify. A couple of them are doing really well in this warm, sunny and sometimes wet spring.

A buff-tailed bumblebee was too engrossed in what I believe is a Beauty Bush (Linnaea amabilis) to pay me any attention.

The showy big red (or it could be purple, or mauve, or pink) is, I'm sure, a Weigela, although I wouldn't like to be pinned down on the species. Weigela 'Eva Rathke' perhaps.

I've grown quite fond of the tree bumblebees that have taken up home in the nestbox above our balcony, although it can be very disconcerting to have them buzzing a mere socially distant 2m away when you're trying to enjoy a cold beer in the evening sunshine.

It has been really interesting to watch them hopping around the garden flowers. I have a lot of wild flowers. They ignore the Cow Parsley, are indifferent to the buttercups, but they can't keep away from the vetch. I have lots of vetch around the garden and I couldn't tell you what they are, or where I got them from. But the bees love it.

I didn't plant the Enchanters Nightshade (Circaea lutetiana) which is appearing everywhere. Every year it shows up, and I forget what it is. Its young leaves remind me of basil, but without the nice smell. I love its common name, but will no doubt be finding it a nuisance soon and be pulling it out where it gets in the way.

The rowans are doing well and has come into flower even on the small trees. Although one of them has a lot of damage to its leaves which I'm curious to know about.

One of my plantings, which I've forever regretted, is appearing too. As it does every year despite my attempts to rip it out. The rather pretty but incredibly invasive Yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) which initially delighted me when it seemed to love the garden so much.


This week's collection of photographs of our garden also includes one of the prime cause of this year's garden destruction. She proudly stands in the pond, a favourite play area. Hopefully next year it will recover.

The subsequent photographs are of bearded irises, which have this year not flowered as prolifically as usual.

Finally one of our first peonies to flower this year. More to follow, I hope.


I'm really getting concerned about the lack of loose screws in Wilko. I can't sleep for worrying. Where have they all gone, who's bought them, why have they bought them? So many questions. Do you think it could be the same people who bought all the toilet rolls, where they worried their shelves would fall down with the weight of them that they bought extra screws just in case? Will we ever get an answers?

Just to take my mind off the problem of no loose screws in Wilko I went to Ushaw to see the lovely rhododendrons and azaleas.


This is the next door field full of buttercups and a heavy walk up it.