I’ve spent most of the weekend lurking inside, it’s been too hot for me, and my hay fever shows no sign of letting up, so going out is a bit of a trial and to be avoided whenever possible. I did manage to walk the dogs in the evenings when things started to cool down a little and tonight I remembered to take along my camera. There is a tiny grass verge by the telephone box which for the past couple of years has been home to a wonderful everlasting sweet pea. It’s a good job the council never get round to cutting this really or we would be deprived of it’s beautiful flowers. Last year I had hoped to swipe a seed pod but left it too late, maybe this autumn I’ll be lucky.
The other thing I wanted to take a snap of was the huge amount of fluffy seeds coming off a poplar tree in the garden of the Old People’s Home on the corner. They’re drifting down the drive and along the road, hanging on the surrounding trees and making a bit of a mess to be honest. I think this has been one of the best years for seed I can remember, though I suppose the good weather means it has been a lot more spectacular than usual. The drifts of fluffy seeds is the reason that a lot of these trees have been felled in the past, and that Parks and Gardens usually only plant male poplars. I can’t work out if this some sort of hybrid or a proper native black poplar, which are not so common these days. A particular male clone of black poplar is called a Manchester poplar – this is one of only two trees names after a city (the other is the London plane) The Manchester poplar thrives in a polluted atmosphere and needs plenty of water so you can see how it was taken to heart by us Mancunians! Unfortunately there are not a lot of black poplars about and Manchester Council have taken some down in the past few years due to them being infected by a fungal disease called Poplar Scab, so they are getting rarer. This disease is another one to gain a foothold in the UK due to climate change, although it doesn’t seem to have got the same attention as Sudden Oak Death or Ash Dieback.