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The Christmas Forest

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Christmas trees for sale at The Christmas Forest – ‘prime-grade, real Christmas trees since 1998’ – Streatham & Marlborough Cricket Club, Dulwich Common, London Borough of Southwark, 8 December 2018.


Walks and talks, 2019

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Roy Vickery will be available to lead walks and give talks on plant folklore throughout much of 2019.  Some idea of what’s on offer can be obtained from looking at the Compiler and Events pages on this website, and looking at past events on the Blog page.

The main theme for 2019 will be Wondrous Weeds.

For further information please contact

Image: Roy Vickery leading a walk in Stambirune Woods, London Borough of Croydon, © Sarah Johnson, September 2018.

Civilians also remembered

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Streatham, now part of the London Borough of Lambeth, is, I think, unusual in having two war memorials, one for service men and women, and a much more recent one for civilians.

In 2017 wreaths were placed at the memorial to service personnel, but the civilian memorial remained  undecorated.  In 2018 about 60 wreaths, mostly of standard Royal British Legion red poppies, were left at the base of the service personnel memorial, and a vase of white lilies was placed on the civilian memorial.

It still seems as if all victims of war are not yet equal, but at least the civilians, many of whom were children,  who died are receiving some recognition.

Photograph taken 3 December 2018.

Plant-lore Archive: November 2018

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Activities during November concentrated on the correcting of the first set of page-proofs of Vickery’s Folk Flora, which were returned to the publishers on Thursday 29th.

Nine items of information were received from four contributors.  The Archive now contains 7862 items of information from 2338 informants.

Use of the website continued to decline, with 5450 searches being made, down on both October 2018 and November 2017.  However, the amount of messages received increased slightly.

A visit was paid to Brixham, Devon, to see what plant symbolism was involved in the annual Orange Order march.

One minor publication was produced:

Cemetery Plants: Nettle (Urtica dioica) – Food and Medicine, Friends of Brompton Cemetery Magazine 62: 4-5.

Image: inn sign depicting national emblems, the Union Inn, Newton Abbot, Devon, November 2018.

‘Folk Flora’ upate

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

The first set of page-proofs were returned to Orion, the publishers, yesterday, three days ahead of schedule.  At present the work consists of 21 pages of introductory matter, and 881 pages of text, including end-notes, bibliography, a geographical index, and a plant-name index; the colour plates still need to be added, and it’s possible that the publishers will want to add an extra index.

Publication remains scheduled for April 2019.

First Christmas trees on sale

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |



First Christmas trees of the year on sale in Streatham High Road, London Borough of Lambeth,  26 November 2018.





Trees on atheists’ graves

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Of the three atheists’ graves recorded in Hertfordshire early in the twentieth century, two were enclosed in substantial iron railings, inside which trees grew.  Lady Anne Grimston, buried at Tewin, is said to have declared that in the unlikely event of Christian teachings being correct trees would grow from her grave; at present a sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), grows from it.

As pointed out in the account of Lady Anne’s grave on this website, placing railings on the grave would probably encourage the growth of trees, as they would protect it from being mowed or being grazed.  Bearing this in mind, a grave in the well-tended churchyard of St Peter and St Paul’s church, Ormskirk, Lancashire, vividly demonstrates what happens when a grave is fenced.  This grave has two birches (Betula pendula) and an ash (Fraxinus excelsior) tree growing on it; if you don’t want trees to grow it’s best to leave your grave unfenced.

Photographed November 2018.

Ormskirk poppies

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Hand-knitted poppies attached to railings near entrance to St Peter and St Paul churchyard, Ormskirk, Lancashire, similar poppies adorned the gate at the entranc to the church porch; photographed 17 November 2018.


Cenotaph poppy wreaths

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Wreaths, mostly composed of artificial red poppies produced by the Royal British Legion, placed at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, on Remembrance Day, 11 November, 2018.

According to The Times of 10 November 2018:  ‘The centenary of the armistice has captured the national imagination for remembrance commemorations like never before … with poppy donations likely to hit a record high.’  The Legion’s factory has produced about 33 million poppies, and has switched to 24-hour operations to cope with the demand.  It  has also produced more than 120,000 wreaths.

Photographed 14 November 2018.

Christmas tree in Brixham, 2 November

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |


Artificial Christmas tree, one of three decorating the public areas of the Smugglers Haunt Guest House, Brixham, south Devon, 2 November.  Artificial Christmas wreaths were also being prepared, but not yet displayed.

The owner explained that his wife loved Christmas and liked to get things out early.


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