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Dried thistles

These dried thistles beside the River Thames in London are spiky, pointy, bristly, prickly and spiny — definitely not something to fall into.

March’s square theme is Spiky Squares (spiky, jagged, pointy, bristly, serrated, prickly, spiny, and/or barbed)

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Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden

That’s the London Eye in the backround, and beyond it the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament in scaffolding.

Atop the roof of the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Southbank Centre, London) you’ll find a garden. A few months ago I posted this bee photo and said I’d follow up with a post about the garden itself.

A moment too late to capture this bee on the flower!

The trees and other plantings provide a pleasant spot to relax for a while.

Bubbly is optional. 😉

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Bee on a flower

A bee in London

I spotted this bee (and quite a few of its companions!) at the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden in London. The garden is a delightful spot, beside the River Thames but removed from the bustle below. Bees face such threats these days so I was pleased to see so many of them here, apparently thriving. I’ll do a post on the garden when I’ve finished editing the photos, but I’m quite proud of this bee so thought I’d share it now. 🙂

update: By coincidence, a few hours after I posted this photo I watched an episode of “Hidden Britain by Drone” which featured the honeybee hives atop Fortnum & Mason in London. According to the program, London has the highest concentration of honeybees in the country, and bees can fly up to 5km for food. I wonder where ‘my’ bees’ hive was?

Wildlife in the Garden: Squirrel in London

Squirrel in rose pot. He looks soooo guilty!

Squirrel in rose pot. He looks soooo guilty!

For March, Jude is looking for wildlife in the garden. These photos from when I lived in London (circa 2005 in this case) are pretty rubbish quality, but you can see the furry little devil in action. (This patio and the pot of mini yellow roses also appears in this post.) This squirrel and I had ongoing battles marked by offensive and counter-offensive. For example, I set up a feeder for the birds, which he promptly began to climb …

You have to admire his determination.

You have to admire his determination.

… until I added a homemade anti-squirrel device. Try as he might, he could not climb around that cone!

This is the pole after I added my nifty DIY squirrel defence.

This is the pole after I added my nifty DIY squirrel defence.


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Winter Garden 2 – Walpole Park

Exotic spiky palm-type plants in the snow.

The sunken garden, and exotic spiky palm-type plants in the snow.

I’ve gone with a large interpretation of “garden” for this winter garden post. These photos are of Walpole Park, which is in Ealing Broadway (London). I lived across the road from this 28-acre site for a year or so (not the same place in last week’s snowy patio photos).

Fountain and cherry tree

Fountain and cherry tree, a sprinkle of snow — and a bench! 😉

According to Wikipedia, “In 1987 Walpole Park was registered by English Heritage on the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. Within its boundaries are the Pitzhanger Manor museum & art gallery and Perceval Lodge. These buildings and part of the boundary wall are also statutory protected structures of Grade I and Grade II respectively. There is also a late Victorian ornamental lake bordering the House’s rear lawn and further west a pond which has a pair of fountains, both of which attract waterfowl. The original house which stood here, and its grounds which make up the present park, was once the property of John Soane the architect, who bought it in 1800. After several more changes of ownership it was purchased by the Urban District Council of Ealing in 1900.”

Tulips and pansies in the snow.

Tulips and pansies in the snow.

Rosegarden in the snow.

Rose garden in the snow.

“Most of the park consists of open flat grassed areas bordered by tree lined avenues.” (Wikipedia) You can get an idea of those open areas and trees in these next two shots.

Tree blossom weighed down with snow.

Tree blossom weighed down with snow.

A line of flowering trees dusted with snow.

A line of flowering trees dusted with snow.

And I just like the whimsy of this cute little guy with his flower petal buttons, and branches for arms.

Snowman with petal buttons.

Snowman with petal buttons.

“The park was extensively renovated from August 2013 onwards and reopened fully in the summer of 2014.” (Wikipedia) My photos were taken in late winter/early spring 2008, so I’ll have to go back and see how this lovely park and its gardens have changed.


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