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Members' Blogs - Week 12 of Lockdown


Here is short video of a wild garden that I and others have planted up and managed.

Just click on the link below and, once the platform has loaded, click on the picture at the bottom left of the screen to start the video. Double click on the video to pause and then to restart.


The first two photos were taken on a visit to Harlow Carr the other week and are a great swathe of Harlow Carr Hybrid Primulas.

I am sure one day Mike's collection in the wet woodland garden area will challenge them. It's a challenge!!!!

The other three photos are  of a range of fungi growing on the remnants of the trees that were felled next to the new footpath which runs from the kiosk entrance to the Botanic Garden to Hollingside Lane road entrance. A much pleasanter way to walk than down the roadside path.

Mike C

Down the "Yarden" Path...the lockdown view.


Just a couple of photos this week as the weather has been so grim.

The rose New Dawn was planted alongside the garage/greenhouse almost 30years ago. Each year it has suffered mildew and black spot and never flowered properly. This year it is gorgeous, a beautiful scent. It had been worth persevering with.

The puppy has left a few spikes of the Rodgersia to flower and behind one of the first Lugularia ‘The Rocket‘ spikes.

And finally a record of how grim the weather has been, taken from a bedroom window.


I am not very experienced at sending photos so I hope they make sense.


I love the vibrant colour of the foxtail lily (Eremurus) also apparently known as the desert candle but a new one on me.  This is about the fourth year they have given me flowers (all except for one which is a bit worrying). Aren’t the bulbs big and with a strange spider like form? They come in an array of fantastic colours.  I would love a bed-full of them all.

This Silene certainly is vibrant.   What an intense magenta.  Two plants were given by a friend from her garden so I have yet to experience any care regime.

The Abutilon was a purchase from last year. It seems to have a variety of common names – flowering maple (presumably the variety with palmate leaves), trailing Abutilon and Brazilian bell flower. It can survive (allegedly) down to -5 or maybe even -10 as long as it’s not windy. Even so, if it’s in a pot probably a good idea to give it some protection.  As you can probably make out I’m not sure what to do with the stems.  They are quite flimsy and need support. If I secure them to the fence how do I bring it in in winter?  Any tips out there?  Would be very welcome indeed.


A few photos from my garden. 

Monkshood, bought from the plant sale three years ago.


Persicaria just starting to flower.

One of two olive trees that have survived the wind and rain for the last six years.

A stripy lawn...

...but can anyone tell me what I spotted in the grass before it was cut? The orange beads turned grey as the day wore on and have never come back.


Trod on this dehydrated toad...at first glance I blamed a neighbour's cat for leaving something behind...then it made a slight breathing motion...it revived speedily after I scooped it up and sprayed it with water...hopped away and hid behind a shady log.

Peter and Margaret

Sometimes making it very hard to back the car out of the garage without damaging plants, the lady's mantle seems determined to grow over the paving.

The orange blossom is very hard to see from ground level but just to say possible from upstairs, together with a bit of what might be ash die back.

This white flower (don't know what it is) planted itself in our front garden. We have a few others but they are blue.

This young blackbird is not singing but sun bathing in the cotoneaster.


Here is a picture of Bob, my Chinese Elm bonsai tree. Bob was my birthday present from Fred, our main FOG website photographer (tho’ recently it looks like Mike, our very capable Head Gardener, is now vying for that position!).

I’ve never had a bonsai tree before and I’m petrified that it’s going to die on me, so any tips and guidance would be more than welcome!

Talking of our photographer, Fred, he used to build ships and has recently been working hard in his garage, welding windchimes. Here are pictures of two that I have hanging in the garden: the first consists of various symbols relating to the operas that I have recently directed… There is a crucifix and guillotine which represents Dialogue of the Carmelites by Poulenc, a Phrygian cap and rosette which represents Andrea Chenier by Giordano, a sword and thistle, representing MacBeth by Verdi, and a clock and bat to represent Strauss’s operetta, Die Fledermaus.

The other windchime depicts parts of the body....specifically various bones....which Fred made for my partner, Stan, who is an osteopath.

I quite like having quirky things in my garden, alongside the plants… The old music stand has become a perch for the birds as they lineup for the birdfeeders!