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Christmas trees, Canary Wharf, London

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

One of many identical artificial Christmas trees, Cabot Place, Canary Wharf, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, 3 December 2021.

Plant-lore Archive – November 2021

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November was an unexceptional month with 15 items of information being received from 14 contributors, bringing the totals to 8969 items from 3042 contributors.  Most of the material received came in following talks at Morden College in Blackheath, and Ralph Perring Court in Beckenham.

One minor publication was produced:

Cemetery Flora:  Great bindweed, Calystegia silvaticaFONC News 154: 8-9.

Image:  Advent wreath, Croydon Minster, London Borough of Croydon, 29 November 2021.

Reformers’ Tree, Hyde Park, London

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Mosaic marking what is believed to be the site of an oak (Quercus), or possibly an elm (Ulmus), around which members of the Reform League, which campaigned for the right of all adult men to vote, gathered in the 1860s.  The original tree is said to have been burnt down in a ‘riot’ in 1866.  Protestors continued to meet near its stump, though later such activities moved to nearby Speakers’ Corner.

Photographed November 2021.

Plant-lore walks and talks 2022

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Roy Vickery hopes to be available to provide walks and talks discussing the folklore and traditional uses of plants throughout 2022.

The walks, which rarely cover long distances,  can take place anywhere where there is a variety of  common plants – churchyards and cemeteries, parks and commons, and even, providing they are not too busy, pavements.  The talks are similar to the walks, but instead of taking people to the plants Roy brings the plants to the people.

There is usually no charge for events in the London area, and only travel expenses are charged for events elsewhere.

If you would like to arrange a walk or talk, or would like to discuss the possibility of doing so, please contact

Image: Roy Vickery, discussing ash, Fraxinus excelsior, Tooting Common, London Borough of Wandsworth, October 2021, © Carlos Bruzon.

Event, Saturday 13 November

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Where do they all come from? –  a botanical exploration of our local pavements with Roy Vickery, Saturday 13 November 2021, Lavender Hill, London Borough of Wandsworth, a contribution to the Wandsworth Together Climate Change Festival, held at the Battersea Arts Centre from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Nearest station Clapham Junction.  Meet at the junction of Lavender Hill with Town Hall Road, at 1 p.m., and continuing for about 30 minutes.  Free, all welcome.

Report:  The Festival was well attended,  but its main value appears to have been providing people who were already involved in environmental concerns with an  opportunity to network, few members of the ‘general public’ seemed to be present.  One person attended the walk, but we were able to spend a happy 30 minutes or so discussing the plants growing in planters and on the pavements of Town Hall Road.

Christmas tree ornaments

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Christmas tree ornaments on sale at Neal’s Nurseries, Heathfield Road, London Borough of Wandsworth, 7 November 2021.

Christmas trees on sale

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Christmas trees on sale, Neal’s Nurseries, Heathfield Road, London Borough of Wandsworth, 7 November 2021.

These large trees are presumably mainly used in commercial premises rather than family homes.


Orange Order Remembrance Parade

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The Orange Order holds a Remembrance Parade in London early in November each year.  In 2021 it was held on Saturday 6 November.  Members assembled outside the Morpeth Arms, in Millbank, between Vauxhall Bridge and the Tate Britain, at 3 p.m. and formed a procession about 70 strong, led by a piper, to march to the Cenotaph, in Whitehall, where poppy wreaths were laid.


Flowers for Sir David Amess

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Flowers placed outside the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, in memory of Sir David Amess, Tory member of parliament for Southend West from May 1997, and before that MP for Basildon, who was murdered while holding a constituency surgery at Leigh-on-Sea, on 15 October 2021.

Photograph taken 6 November 2021.

All Souls Day, west London 2021

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Visited two west London cemeteries:  Gunnersbury Cemetery, which belongs to the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but is in the London Borough of Hounslow, and South Ealing Cemetery in the London Borough of Ealing, on Monday 1 November, the day before All Souls Day 2021.  Both cemeteries are still receiving new burials and thus have many recent graves.

Gunnersbury Cemetery contains the graves of people from many parts of the world, and although there many of the graves were receiving care, for the most part this seemed to be the sort of attention which they regularly receive.  However, a few Polish graves (see first image) were decorated for All Souls.  Presumably the red and white roses were chosen as these colours are those of the Polish flag.

South Ealing Cemetery contains many Polish graves, and some of these were receiving attention, having lanterns and flowers placed on them (see second image).

Presumably there would have been greater activity in both cemeteries on 2 November, All Souls Day.

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