Archive for 25/02/2014


20140225_123456My friend Jennifer sent me these lovely pictures of the spring flowers at Myddelton House, Enfield today.

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This was the home of E.A. Bowles who transformed the garden at Myddelton and, as a keen traveller, especially to Europe and North Africa, brought home with him many specimens of plant. Such was his collecting zeal that, by the turn of the 20th century, he was growing over 130 species of colchicum and Crocus- very much the ‘Crocus King’.

If you’d like to see something of the gardens in summer here’s a link to an article I wrote last August.

Old School Gardener

 

The Benefits of Winter Outdoor Play

Great ideas from Wilko Life! Click on the title for the full article.

Old School Gardener

Convolvulus tricolor
Convolvulus tricolor

A genus of about 200-250  shrubby annual, perennial herbaceous and rock plants, the name Convolvulus comes from  the latin convolvo, referring to the twining habit of some species. It is widely distributed around the world and is commonly known as Bindweed and Morning Glory, both names shared with other closely related genera.

Growing to 0.3–3 m tall, their leaves are spirally arranged, and the flowers trumpet-shaped, mostly white or pink, but blue, violet, purple or yellow in some species.

Many of the species are problematic weeds, which can swamp other more valuable plants by climbing over them, but some are also cultivated for their attractive flowers. Some species are globally threatened. Convolvulus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera.

Other species names include:

C. althaeoides – like an Althaea (hollyhock)- referring to the flowers

C. cantabrica Cantabria, Spain

C. cneorum – meaning is obscure, from the greek Kneoron, a plant

C. lineatus – with lines

C. mauritanicus – of Mauretania (Morocco)

C. nitidus – somewhat glossy

C. soldanella – leaves like a Soldanella

C. tenuissimus – most slender

C. tricolor – three- coloured

C. althaeoides- from Flora Graeca
C. althaeoides- from Flora Graeca

Sources and further information:

Wikipedia

RHS- growing C. sabatius

RHS- growing C. cneorum

Old School Gardener

My Botanical Garden

Viburnum tinus is among  stars of the Mediterranean spring. Its dark green leaves contrast fragrant pentamerous flowers in white or pale pink, evolving into dark blue fruit resembling small pearls. Yet this obvious picture from maquis has its invisible side .It is called domatium, after Latin word domus, for home. Domatia are microscopically small chambers at the under sides of the evergreen leaves. Plant grows domatia to host mites. In this way Viburnum tinus can be seen as a botanical skyscraper with many  tiny apartments for arthropod neighbors. Imagine a little mite calling her friends to come over for a party at her condo! I am kidding, it only fascinates me to recognize there is another life underlying the botanical beauty of the plant we can see with our eyes. It is like a parallel world. Only the question remains, are the mites, or are we , at the right…

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Municipal Dreams

A few weeks ago, Keeling House in Bethnal Green featured in BBC2’s Great Interior Design Challenge.  Its presenter Tom Dyckhoff paid due homage to the building’s architecture – a Denys Lasdun brutalist masterpiece – and to its history.  But let’s pay a little more attention to the latter here.  Now privately owned, Keeling House was once a vision of high quality housing for the people.

Keeling House (55)

Before the Second World War, Bethnal Green was the heart of the traditional working-class East End – with social conditions to match.  At the height of the Great Depression, it was stated that 23 per cent of the borough’s men were unemployed and some 43 per cent of its population living in overcrowded conditions. (1)

Claredale HouseBoth the London County Council and Bethnal Green Metropolitan Borough Council built extensively to rehouse local people.  The Claredale Estate was a local council scheme, begun in 1932.  Claredale…

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