Delighted to see my article on “The world of pavement weeds” (beautifully illustrated by Lynn Bailey) in the March/April issue of Resurgence & Ecologist Magazine and also published on the magazine website

It’s an overcast day in South Norwood Country Park but I’ve brought my camera, ever hopeful. Picking our way through the mud, my friend, her dog and I come across a small tree with flowers emerging snowy white just as the sun makes its presence felt. I’m pretty sure this is not a Blackthorn; for […]

I blame Stephen Moss – writer, birder and all round nice guy – for getting me started on compiling a garden bird-list. After reading his latest garden bird in the Somerset Levels, I sat down with a cuppa one morning to remember everything we’d ever seen in our five by six metre suburban back garden […]

I’d have felt adrift from the botany twitterverse today if I hadn’t posted a picture of a female hazel flower. I was particularly pleased with this one which growing directly over a couple of male catkins; the red styles looking like the fiery breath of a tiny dragon. What passes for quite a lot of […]

The banks on the east side of our local rail station are carpeted with the round fresh green leaves of Winter Heliotrope. A few frothy pink flower spikes have appeared in the sun, with a warm unmistakeably almond scent, despite my Rose’s guide saying they smell of vanilla. I read that all the naturalised plants […]

Shush! I’m almost embarrassed to admit it but, as a suburban botanist in learning, the smaller numbers of weeds in flower this month is welcome. It gives me some time to take my relationship with some of our most common London weeds to the next level. Total standing-on-my-head with-my-eyes-closed familiarity is my ambition. I’m only […]

Last week it became clear that our dozy prime minister doesn’t understand the concept of ‘local’. But then what does local mean if you live in a city? An urban development organisation based in Germany promote the idea of “the five minute city” in which everything a person needs in their daily life can be […]

The parks, green spaces and streets of south east London become instantly full whenever the winter sun emerges as it has this morning. I find myself idly wondering what London would look like if everyone who lived here came outside at the same time. And it makes me feel a bit faint. I’m trying to […]

The Thames is sketched in greyscale this morning. At Blackfriars Bridge, the low-tide rocks and gunge whiff of hydrogen sulphide and even the fairground paint of Southwark Bridge is muted. Despite the gloomy prospect I’m on a mission to find colour. Today, the first one of the year, is special for botanists. All over the […]