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Mike's Blog - Day 172

Good news! The first step in the garden opening again:  Friends of the garden will be given access from Monday 14th September. It’s garden only but it’s going to be great to see people enjoying the garden again.

Welcome back Friends!

I’ll keep the blog going a bit longer though.

Exactly one year ago today, we opened “Fungate” with the Friends of the Garden and our Chancellor Sir Thomas Allen. It was a very nice event and a lovely evening.

 

The Friends have a video of the speech here:

http://friendsofdurhambotanicgarden.org.uk/images/fungate.mp4

Fungi are very important in ecosystems so the giant metal fungi made a fitting feature for the entrance to the old woodland.

Fungi had badly infected the roots of a large beech down there as it happened, so it was quite ironic as we had to have the tree chopped down. Rather than cut it off at ground level though, we had it “fracture pruned” so it looked a bit more natural, as though it was continuing it natural decline back into the soil.

Here is the trunk in close-up.

The process is still going on and the fungus has reappeared. Eventually we will no doubt have to pull the giant stump over and rest it on the woodland floor, where other species of fungus will continue to work on it.

Graeme Hopper, the artist who made it for us, has also added a few fungi to the sections of trunk we have left there, and another as a seat.