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Trick or treat, Southend-on-Sea

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Trick-or-treat themed window decoration with plastic pumpkins, Southend Pier, Southend-on-Sea, Essex, 22 September 2020.

REMINDER: Two events this week

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

The South London Botanical Institute is organising two plant-walks, led by Roy Vickery, this week:

Wednesday 23 September:  Herbal Heritage:  Uses of our Native Plants, in St Leonard’s churchyard, Streatham, London Borough of Lambeth, starting at 2 p.m. Fully booked.

Report:  5 people, the maximum number allowed, booked and turned up for this walk.  Unfortunately Lambeth Council which cares for the site has recently changed contractors and the new ones aggressively mow wherever possible.  However we were able to find sufficient plants to examine and discuss around the churchyard’s perimeter, and on gravelled graves.  Participants seem to have enjoyed the event, which one described as ‘very engaging’.

Friday 25 September:  Tree Walk, Streatham Cemetery, Tooting, London Borough of Wandsworth, starting at 11 a.m.

Report: Although 5 people had booked only 3 turned up, for a chilly walk around the Cemetery examining many of the trees growing on the site.

Booking essential; see

Image:  Indian bean-tree, Catalpa bignonioides, Streatham Cemetery.

Hallowe’en is coming

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Hallowe’en items, including plastic pumpkins ‘with LED lights’, and ‘Hallowe’en garlands’ featuring pumpkins,  on sale at Flying Tiger Copenhagen, Richmond-upon-Thames, southwest London, 19 September 2020.  Despite its the shop’s name, most of its merchandise  is produced in China and elsewhere in Asia.

Memorial tree, Kingston-upon-Thames

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London plane, Platanus x hispanica, beside the River Thames, at Kingston-upon-Thames, southwest London, decorated in memory of 15-year-old Rosie Mitchell, of Kingston Rowing Club, who collapsed and died nearby while rowing on the river, on 17 September 2016.

Photographed September 2020.



REMINDER: Early Autumn Plant Walk

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Roy Vickery will be leading an Early Autumn Plant Walk, in Leader’s Gardens, Putney, London, on Friday 18 September, starting at 11 a.m.  Booking essential, please see the Events page of this website for details.  For a report on an earlier walk in these gardens see

Report: Only two people had booked for this walk, but both turned up, and we spent a pleasant 90 minutes exploring the wild and culivated plants of a rather unpromising looking area beside the Thames.

Rose to commemorate Covid-19 deaths

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‘Remember Me’ rose (Rosa cv.) bush planted in St Paul’s Covent Garden churchyard, London, in memory of ‘all those who died in Covid 19 pandemic of 2020’.

Perhaps rather optimistically the plaque’s wording seems to imply that the pandemic will be over by 2021.


Mushrooms at Somerset House

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

The exhibition Mushrooms: The Art, Design & Future of Fungi, at Somerset House, London, is now in its final few days, closing on 13 September.  With ‘leading artists exploring fungi’s colourful cultural legacies’, it provides a thought-provoking insight into the world of larger fungi, and appeals to a wide range of people regardless of whether or not they have any previous knowledge of mycology.

Image: Mushroom Suitcase, Carsten Höller, 2008.

REMINDER: Plant walk, 11 September

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Potluck in Vauxhall, a plant walk in Spring Gardens, Vauxhall, led by Roy Vickery, on Friday 11 September 2020, starting at 11 a.m.  Booking essential, see Events page on this website for further details.

Report:  Only two people had booked for this walk, and of these only one turned up.  However we had a pleasant time looking at the various plants in the area, including gallant-soldier, Galinsoga parviflora, from South America;  purple toadflax, Linaria purpurea from Italy; and stag’s-horn plantain, Plantago coronopus, what was a coastal species, which spread inland initially along salted roads, and is now becoming establised away from roads.

REMINDER: Wetland Plants

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Around the Lake: Wetland Plants, walk on Wandsworth Common, led by Roy Vickery, Friday 4 September, starting at 11 a.m.  For details see the Events page of this website.

Report:  Four of the people who had booked turned up, the absent person having hurt her foot.  About 75 minutes were spent wandering around the Lake and discussing the plants growing beside it.  These ranged from native water-mint, Mentha aquatica, to the swamp cypress, Taxodium distichum, a massive tree introduced from south-eastern U.S.A.  People seemed to have enjoyed the  event, and it is hoped that a similar walk can be arranged for the Friends of Wandsworth Common.

Image:  gypsywort, Lycopus europaeus.

Plant-lore Archive: August 2020

Date of the post: Posted on by royvickery |

Material continued to steadily flow in throughout the month with 21 items of information being received from 19 contributors, bringing the totals to 8437 items from 2731 contributors.

Five plant walks were led on behalf of the South London Botanical Institute, and one talk was given, via Zoom to the Dulwich, Peckham & Crystal Palace Rotary Club.  Early in the month Maria Balshaw, director of the Tate Galleries, selected Vickery’s Folk Flora as the book she would like to take with her on Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’.

Image:  flowers placed beside the tomb of St Hugh of Lincoln, Lincoln Cathedral, August 2020.

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