Spring has sprung, the grass is riz

You know spring is here when the Wildlife Trust volunteers are out in force on the towpath between York Way and the Islington Tunnel…

This morning saw them hard at work conserving the wonderful planting around the entrance to the canal at The Cally. I particularly loved the photo of the volunteers behind the stunning sunshine yellow of the gorse flowers.

Also out this morning were a host of naturally seeded plants. These are so important as they have evolved to be very comfy here, to work with local conditions and, vitally local wildlife. They are part of our natural ecology playing a role it’s very difficult to reproduce by planting other species…

I think these are Alexaxders, Smyrnium olusatrum. Regent's Canal behind King's Cross station.

I think these are Alexanders – Smyrnium olusatrum – a long forgotten food source replaced when we discovered celery. If I’m wrong they may be poisonous to eat (but safe otherwise) so until I get confirmation be careful out there folks!

Lucerne, Alfalfa on the Regent's Canal behind King's Cross station

Just coming into leaf this Lucerne, aka Alfalfa, will have a lovely flower later in the year. If you listen to a radio programme about farming folk you’ll know Adam uses this for the good of his soil!

Dead Nettle, part of the mint family. Regent's Canal behind King's Cross station

This little beauty is often ignored, but it and our bees are great, great friends. It’s common name is Red Dead Nettle (there’s also a white variety), Lamium purpureum. Despite being called a nettle it’s actually one of the mint family.

Comfrey on he regent's canal behind King's Cross station

This may have been planted here some years ago but has definitely naturalised. It’s Comfrey, a great friend to bees and possibly moths (plants that are good for moths have recently been removed from the towpath at N1C which is sad. Bats eat moths, without the moths the bats disappear). Later on this plant will have beautiful teardrop flowers.

2016-03-17 11.44.17

Anyone know what this is? I’ll check with the Facebook group British and Irish Wildflowers and update you soon…

I adore this stunning tiny flower more than I can say. It’s a variety of Speedwell, Veronica.

Celandine. Regent's Canal behind King's Cross station

Lesser Celandine – Ficaria verna – never fails to make me smile!

Green Alkinet. Regent's Canal behind King's Cross

A horticulturalist’s nightmare (apologies gardening folk!), Bugloss aka Green Alkanet, Pentaglottis sempervirens. It spreads like crazy. It’s amazingly blue flower is just marvelous.

Dandelion. Regent's Canal behind King's Cross station

Another one generally hated by gardeners yet adored by bees, Dandelion, Taraxacum, in amongst the speedwell. I’m afraid I just love these edible plants that do so much good for wildlife – sorry!

There’s a wealth of wild plants on the towpath. If you fancy taking a photo or few of what you spot, do send them in and we’ll share them.

About Sophie Talbot

Sophie runs a small business designing websites for small businesses and community groups. http://www.cookiewp.com She also manages King's Cross Community Projects http://www.kccp.org.uk
This entry was posted in Community stuff, Green spaces, Wildlife and Nature and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Spring has sprung, the grass is riz

  1. Tony Rees says:

    Thanks for your lovely photos Sophie. In the garden yesterday we saw our first pair of goldfinches of the year and a sparrow was eyeing up our solanum for nest building. On a less cheery note, do you or anybody else know what’s happened to the green wall on the Driver pub?

  2. Rob Smith says:

    Respect to all the volunteers. What a great job they do

  3. Well done to all the volunteers!

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