Today is Sunday so, since we are still in lock down I am trying not to go to the heath. But as I was having breakfast this morning I looked out of my study window and realised that, whatever about the heath, we have some pretty darn fine trees up here in Highgate. Well, to be fair, with the exception of my apple tree, what you can see are all in the garden of my next door neighbours at Beechwood – but I am delighted to say that I get the benefit.
(Beechwood, for those who are interested is a Grade 11 listed house dating, like Athlone House next door to it, from the mid 19th century. It has passed through the hands of many of the great and good, ending up, as of 2007 with the billionaire Uzbek businessman Alisher Usmanov, a name well known to Arsenal fans. I understand that he is a charming neighbour, although I have not yet had the pleasure. However, I am certainly hoping to get to know his head gardener who presides over 11 acres of garden….. if for no other reason than that we share a wall which has been seriously overtaken by the rampant ivy.)
Anyhow, having admired our trees I then checked my emails and found a weekly post from the London Wildlife Trust, a really delightful charity whose aim is to protect London’s wildlife. Within the M25 their 1500 volunteers look after 37 nature reserves from ancient woodlands, to sandpits to lowland bogs to wild flower meadows to bird sanctuaries.
Since COVID has forced them to close all of their reserves to visitors, like so many others they have been putting their efforts into on line engagement. Encouraging us to take the 2.6 Challenge that has replaced today’s London marathon, take part in a project to count the wildflowers growing in your lawn, send in pictures of wildlife seen from your window – or do wildlife yoga!
You can support them/become a member for as little as £2.50 a month – definitely a worthy cause….
Anyhow, back to the wildlife garden at Hampstead Lane. I’m afraid that I have mowed the lawn but round the edges is pretty wild – and very prettily wild right now.
Although, while the nettles are certainly wild, I am not sure about that yellow guy…
Anyhow, since I have not moved out of the garden today, here is short video of a blackbird – or is he? – singing in the holly tree. Certainly not long afterwards there was a great kerfuffle in the tree after which one blackbird whizzed out, hotly pursed by a second who, I presume was seeing him off!
(If you want to see the video you will need to click onto the blog as the email notification does not include the video.)
And just to complete the Hampstead Lane picture, here are some lisianthus that I found in the enterprising flower and tool shop in the village, Village flowers who, since COVID, has turned herself into a one woman garden centre and will deliver you trays of those bedding plants that all gardeners are currently gagging for.
My daily blog now has an Instagram account! WalksonHampsteadHeath – the idea being to widen the circle of people who might enjoy a daily ramble across the heath. Please follow us and pass on the news!!
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