About Me

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London, United Kingdom
This blog will contain pictures and information from my everyday encounters with nature in London and the surrounding areas. I will log details of the origin of each photograph thus recording what there is to be seen and where it was seen. I very much welcome anyone else who can upload photos and information about nature in London and the home counties. I work freelance in the film industry so have plenty of days off. I hope to update Monday to Friday and once on the weekend posting at around 19.30, I don't post on bank holidays

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Black Mulberry (Morus nigra)

Gnarled lumpy bole

Edible fruit
These photos are of the large Mulberry tree in the walled garden in Brockwell park. I thought it was a nice thing to write about after the riots. This tree is well worth a look at it’s been in the walled garden since Victorian times and it should be there long after this current group of criminal looters are dead. Seeing our live in the context of the natural world is a powerful leveler. One of the gardeners in the park told me that Victorians would often plant these trees in their walled gardens to use as an indicator of spring; they shoot very late so once they shoot it’s a supposed guarantee that Spring is well underway. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this but I like the story. There are many members of the genus Morus. The White Mulberry and Black Mulberry are most common in Britain and are quite easy to tell apart as the black has heart shaped leaves and the white has long oval shaped leaves. This is a stunning tree brimming with edible fruit at the moment well worth a visit.

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia)

Mountain Ash  berries, Herne Hill
Also known as Mountain Ash although they are not related to true Ash. This is a small to medium sized tree that can be seen quite commonly round London and is easy to recognize at the moment as they’re brimming with bunches of red berries. These trees are able to survive at high altitudes, hence the name but are also popular in towns. The berries are a very important winter stable for birds as they persist even after the leaves have fallen, they even attract migratory birds like Waxwing into town. The berries are edible but are said not to be very pleasant on their own. I’ve heard they can be made into a pleasant conserve to eat with game. Be very careful that you’ve made 100% correct identification there are lots of dangerous berries about!