Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

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A traditional use of carrots

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Traditionally carrots (Daucus carota) are used as noses for snowmen, at least in illustrations.  The photograph here was taken on Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, on 24 January 2021.

Although most people made do with locally found twigs as noses for their snowmen, two or three groups had brought a carrot with them for this purpose.  Some families were making snowmen, but most of the makers seemed to be young adults.


Ghost bike in Streatham

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |


Ghost bike – a white-painted bicycle, decorated with flowers, placed where a cyclist has been killed – in Crown Lane, Streatham, London Borough of Lambeth, near its junction with Beulah Hill, Knights Hill and Crown Dale.  The history of this bike, and the cyclist it commemorates is unknown.

Photographed January 2021.


Mistletoe, 1871

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Report in the Sheffield Independent, 17 January 1871:

Commemorating David Bowie – 4

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |



Flowers placed at the memorial to the musician David Bowie, Stansfield Road, Brixton, London Borough of Lambeth, 10 January 2021, the fifth anniversary of his death.


Red carnations for Sanchez-Prado

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Red carnations (Dianthus caryophyllus) placed on statue of Antonio Lopéz Sánchez-Prado, born 1888, communist mayor of Ceuta, Spain, executed by firing squad on 5 September 1936 by Franco’s fascist rebels during the early months of the Spanish civil war.

‘He was a doctor and a communist politician; a lot of people in Ceuta venerate him and they think he was a kind of “saint”, although he was an athiest and freemason.’

Photograph © Carlos Bruzon, 5 January 2021.

Trafalgar Tree

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

‘Trafalgar Tree’ –  a fastigiate oak, Quercus robur f. fastigiata ‘Koster’ – planted in 2005 on the village green at Ferring, West Sussex, to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.

Were such trees widely planted?  Does anyone know of any Trafalgar Trees elsewhere?

Photographed December 2020.

TALK Tuesday 12 January

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Roy Vickery will be talking at an on-line  ‘meet the author’ event, organised by the Friends of Carnegie Library, on Tuesday 12 January, starting at 7 p.m. and lasting for approximately an hour.  He will discuss how he became interested in wild flowers and folklore, how he attempts tocollect material, and the production  of Vickery’s Folk Flora, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2019.

To book please contact

Report:  After some technical problems 41 participants were let in to hear the talk which lasted for some 40 minutes, followed by questions and discussion.


Burning the Ashen Faggot, 2021

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

As usual an ashen faggot was burnt at the Squirrel Inn, Laymore, on the Dorset/Somerset border, on the evening of 6 January.  Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the burning had to take place behind closed doors, and was not a public event.  However, ‘if you fancy participating in a bit of fun, guess how long it is going to take to burn … this year it is shorter and measures 7ft’

‘The last band broke at 3 hours, 17 minutes and 46 seconds’.

Floral decorations, Earlsfield Cemetery

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Floral decorations, composed of chrysanthemums sprayed in appropriate colours, placed beside extravagantly decorated grave in Earlsfield Cemetery, London Borough of Wandsworth, 3 January 2021.


Christmas church decorations, Ceuta

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |












Christmas floral decorations, Church of the Virgen de África, Patrona de Ceuta, Spain, 5 January 2021.

Photographs © Carlos Bruzon.




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