Thursday 8 March 2007

Moss, Lichen and Dereliction

Saturday morning will see me at Bedfords Park, near Romford, where Lois Amos and the Friends of Bedfords Park group have finally been given permission to renovate the Georgian Walled Garden. This is the only major remnant of the old house that used to look out over the Thames basin, and it has been derelict for some years, after the London Borough of Havering, who own the Park, stopped using the garden as a nursery for the borough.

Lois has been and is passionate about the need to renovate and get this feature back to it's former glory. Now that permission from the council has been given, the Friends group can crack on with clearing debris, restoring the greenhouses and cold frames, reinstating beds, etc, but first there is to be a plant survey, to see what's growing there at the moment.

Ten years of nature taking it's course can easily lead to all manner of things sprouting up, and with 12 foot walls, a sheltered climate can produce so rarities and oddities. So along with the usual flowers and grasses, there'll be an expert looking at the variety of mosses and lichens. Not me, but I'll be there to capture this first step in a long journey, which will hopefully only be part way through when the garden is up and running again.

I love shooting mosses - for a start, they don't run away! But better than that, they have all manner of peculiarities to inspect at close range. And with the right lighting, they can look spectacular...

I'll let you know how we get on, and what we find in amongst the broken glass and twisted metal.

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