Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Our Green Space

Opposite our house, on the other side of the road, is a small patch of Green Space, about 50 metres long by 20 metres wide. It is what architects probably call an "amenity area" (that's to say it wasn't suitable for building a house on!). It's the place where local boys play football in the Summer and snowballing in the Winter.

At the base of the fence along the edge of this patch are all manner of beautiful plants:


The "Bluebell" comes in white as well


A trefoil of some sort - is it a type of Clover?

I'm not sure what this is - looks a bit like a Cranesbill

Stinging Nettle, flowering Dead-Nettle, Grass

If you look close enough, there's lots of wildlife too... 

Ladybird - looks like a native 7-Spot

It's not a garden in the normal sense of the word, but I think you'll agree that the difference between a wild garden like this and a more "normal" cultivated garden is not actually that great. Having a communal area of undeveloped land in the midst of an urban area is a real treat, both for us humans and for the smaller forms of wildlife that inhabit these relatively undisturbed little havens.

The patch of land I have written about has one special connection for me: one of the trees out there was originally in our garden when we moved in, in 1991. It is a Scots Pine, which although currently still quite small will eventually grow into an enormous tree. We didn't think it appropriate to have such a monster-in-waiting in our tiny garden, and asked for permission to remove it (and a sibling which has since died). Fortunately the Council agreed , and the saplings were re-located, to be replaced by us with the Bronze Maple and the Prunus Autumnalis trees that I have often mentioned. As the years go by I watch that re-located tree getting steadily bigger and think to myself: smart move! I'm glad it's now part of the communal "amenities".

There is more info about 7-spot Ladybirds here:-


  1. Wild flowers look so colorful and add cheer to onlookers. Stinging nettle, viewed for the first time, and the blue and white bells are so cute.

    Having communal amenities, sounds like some new-term , unheard of in this part of world :-).

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. The wild flowers are very nice. I find it very strange that you have to ask to take a tree out of your yard.
    Wild areas here are so plentiful that I guess I don't think about it much but I can understand why you would love your little woods area.

  3. You are lucky to have such a space opposite to you. Are the bluebells English or the Spanish bluebells. Maybe its the position that the photo was taken from but the top one looks Spanish. It would be a surprise if they had planted this type.

  4. Sue; I'm sorry, but I don't know how to tell the difference between English and Spanish bluebells. Can you enlighten me please?

  5. The bluebells look very upright which would lean towards Spanish bluebells. These have the 'bells' on both sides of the stalk, whereas English bluebells have flowers on just one side which causes the stalk to bend. We have some woods nearby and the last time I walked the dog there, there were a few bluebells out. I must go back this week to see if any more have materialised now.

  6. We have both types in the garden and if you look at the huge amount of foliage produced by the Spanish version for one stem you can see why they are forcing the native Bluebell out

  7. That is a beautiful space and nice to have that green bit instead of a house close by. Love the wild flowers. Someone just gave me a clover plant like that one and it will bloom little purple flowers, she said. I just have it in a pot, waiting!

  8. Its great that you have that space so close, We have a big park round the corner that I aboslutely love but it is becoming more and more difficult to find these patches of green in the city - too much pressure to develop every square inch.

  9. We rare lucky too there is some land that belongs to the railways opposite us where our kids can go kick the footy. Not as nice as yours though - we need some trees.

  10. The bluebells are so cute...

    The third picture though... its a type of clover very native to India and it grows here in Bangalore all over the place like there is a huge weed explosion. It grows in abundance on every small muddy or dusty corner but as the temperature increases they eventually disappear to make room for moss. It has a very mild sour taste to it.

    My mum generally stir fries a couple of handfuls of these leaves with an onion and a chilly. She then grinds it in a mixi-jar with some salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar until it forms a fine paste. You can eat it as a side dish making it as thick or as watery as you like.

  11. A lovely post Mark. Such a great space and amazing what's hidden there if you look closely. The bluebells are so pretty.
    I planted a tree here in Melbourne as part of the council campaign and love to see it growing taller and stronger. I think you made a wise decision.
    Thanks for sharing :D

  12. Thanks for the tour Mark! It's fun to see what one can see when one looks a little closer.

  13. Do you reckon that they have all just seeded themselves there - a nice little selection

  14. I love wild flowers. Have Bluebell in my garden too - the English one! I have brought some bulbs from England. You got all the plants right, Cranesbill, too, probably Geranium robertianum...
    As for trefoil - it might be some Oxalis.

  15. Elaine; I reckon that most of the plants in our Green Space are escapees from the nearby gardens - maybe even ones chucked over the fences by unscrupulous residents! The grass gets cut regularly by the Council, so it is really only along the fence that most of the flowers manage to survive.

  16. Thanks for this post. I love that in Berlin, where I've settled, there are parks like Südgelände, which is a large post-industrial space that has been allowed to go wild, as it were, as well as a number of community gardening spaces like Prinzessinnengärten (, where a mix (in the broadest sense of the term) of people gather to plant and reap together. It's truly wonderful.


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