Nature is all around us and I can get my daily dose from nearby Hampstead Heath but, try as I might to ignore it, there's also a lot of bricks and mortar around. That's London for you. Some of the architecture around here is brutal - in a modernist way - the local secondary school for example -while elsewhere in the neighbourhood there are parks and turrets, canals, domes and houses with lovely old walls and neatly planted front gardens. The contrast of old and new, concrete and nature is a daily sight potentially more so here than in the countryside.
Even in this all-embracing environment there are sights that just don't fit and one of these is the ability of plants to self seed into the most obscure places. It's awesome. Photographer Paul Debois held a similar fascination for this subject which he captured in his 'Wildlings' exhibition a couple of years ago.
The definition of a wildling is a plant that's escaped from cultivation. I like that, the idea of a plant planning on how to tunnel out of a tidy garden or leap over the boundary wall - or just the thought of plants having a secret desire to live life on the other side.
Some wildlings are welcome - purple campanula is a regular sight growing out of walls around here, as is Corydalis lutea - and a memory of the lily of the valley and mint that crept into my mother's garden under the next door neighbour's fence has just come to mind. But around here, I'll take what I can get. These for example, spotted on a sunny spring walk - gives a whole new meaning to the phrase 'a weed is only a plant in the wrong place'!
|2 types of fern and herb-Robert | Polystichum setiferum | railway bluebells|