Monthly Archives: October 2015

Tree Following: October

Last month, I missed the deadline for tree following with Loose and Leafy. Well, not this time!


From  a distance, the tree I am ‘following’ looks like it is still green in canopy but a closer inspection shows another hue is slowly taking hold.. Not as fierce an autumn colour as other Acers such as the Japanese Maples, which flame up in oranges and crimsons, Sycamore takes on butter tones.


It will be interesting to see how long this tree takes to shed all its leaves – Cherries are very quick, I’ve noticed, whereas London Plane trees can take up to three months to dump their foliage. Think about it.. that’s quarter of a year!!

Until next time, Tree Followers….


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Save the Wildlife Garden at the Natural History Museum

Nature matters more than egos.

I’ve recently found out about a threat to the Natural History Museum’s wildlife garden… by the Natural History Museum itself! A redesign of the grounds places a path right through the central pond and surrounding habitats, and would destroy half of the existing garden that has taken twenty years to develop.

A statement from the NHM states: “Feedback from the museum staff and local residents has been positive, and we are consulting museum scientists and biodiversity experts so that the current wildlife and its habitat is disrupted as little as possible.” This is disingenuous because “as little as possible” could well mean a lot! And my source at the museum says that the plans are going ahead against the advice of the scientists and ecologists. Those pushing the redesign are “suppressing dissent within the museum” and “grimly warning staff not to talk to the press.” Public consultation is negligible as the plans have been put on display where only small numbers of visitors will see them. Credible alternatives to the redesign have been brushed aside, and the egos of the landscape designer and public engagement bigwigs prevail.

Ecosystems evolve and cannot be recreated overnight. The placation by the museum that the habitats will be “translocated” is rather ignorant, in my view, as if habitats are like rooms that can simply be re-painted.

So if you, like me, think that nature matters more than egos, please sign the petition to stop the new design being implemented by going to this link …

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…of the Wall

It’s not uncommon to spot a Buddleia growing out of a wall, but whilst on holiday in sunny Anglesey last week I noted some things I’d never before seen growing from the cracks and crevices of walls. During a wander around Menai two plants in particular caught my attention: Fuchsia and Tutsan. I’ve noticed the latter beginning to make inroads into Barons Hill woodland, where there is a ruined mansion and gardens (for more about this place, have a look-see at the 2014 posts A Puzzle In The Woods parts 1 and 2).

PicMonkey Collage

Fuchsia and Tutsan

During my first visit to Anglesey eight years ago, I remember being surprised by seeing Leycesteria formosa as a wall weed though, after my most recent rummage around the ruined mansion, I’ve concluded this plant is becoming the shade-loving equivalent of Buddleia.

A trip to Beaumaris castle gave ample opportunity for wall-weed spotting. As well as the usual suspects such as Pellitory-of-the-Wall (Parietaria judaica), Ivy-leaved Toadflax (Cymbalaria muralis) and Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber)….


Ivy-leaved Toadflax


Red Valerian

…I saw the likes of Black Medick (Medicago lupulina) and a very nutrient deficient Tomato seedling (I think the purple colouration indicates potassium deficiency).  I’d be interested to read what unusual wall-weeds other people have spotted.


Purple tomato seedling

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