Today we went to Morden Hall Park. We took the train to Croydon and
changed onto the trams. I always like to see the different colour seat
materials and wonder how the people thought of the designs, they have to
be interesting and stay clean even when hundreds of people have sat on
We got off at Phipps Bridge Tramlink Stop and crossed the track. We
looked carefully both ways twice, and all was clear and quiet. The entrance to the Park
was just over the other side.
Brown Teddy was happy to see so many streams on the map. They are all
the River Wandle, which
means there will be lots of wildlife to see.
I am sure this grass is bright green all year with all the streams. This
robin was obviously used to visitors and came very close for some crumbs
from our snack sandwiches.
The river widens into large pools. You can see the muddy path beside it,
but we kept to the drier parts. Brown Teddy really liked this
little rivulet leading into the stream, it is something that would look
good in a garden!
These mossy logs must have been here ages, and I wonder if there is any
wood left underneath all the moss. We then crossed a white ironwork
bridge at the far side of the park.
Further along is the mill with a waterwheel. The wheel was not turning
but there was some water running underneath it.
These millstones and gear wheel are on display outside the mill house.
Nearby is the Stable Yard with a coffee shop and a second-hand book
shop. We sat at the tables and had our snack. There were lots of school
children on an outing and some of them were playing in this children's
area. The carved wooden enclosure is shaped like a boat and there
are logs to play on.
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We walked towards the wetlands part. Here is a derelict arched bridge.
The weir is between the upper and lower pools just behind the bridge.
This is the wetlands area but I am glad to say that the paths had a lot
of dry places where we could walk.
Brown Teddy wants to make some hurdles like this when we get home, so I will have to find some
spare twigs in our garden. These huge trees had been felled and they
must have made a big noise falling over.
This tree trunk was quite rotten and the ring pattern has turned into
smooth ridges. We had to cross the tramlink line again. After we were
over, we waited for this tram to go past to get some photos.
Further on we found Deen City Farm. I really like this mural on the
outside covered walkway. It is on
wood and looks as if it can be closed during wet weather! I would really
like to make a cartoon map like this of my garden.
Their website gives all the photos and names of the animals:
Opposite the mural is this wonderful window box painted in a cow
pattern. This is Edna the owl and you can read about why she lives here
on their website.
This goat and sheep are very good friends as they were walking about
everywhere together. The cow looked very friendly and I think she looks
forward to seeing the visitors.
The two pigs have made a complete "pig's dinner" of their field, the
holes they have made are really very deep, which don't show up so much
in the photo. Not a blade of grass anywhere! The farm has a garden to
one side and this hut has been roofed in squashed plastic drinks
bottles. It is very decorative and shiny, and I think they have got a
job on, as plastic cracks very quickly in the sunlight! It reminds me of
a raffia sun hat.
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An very early morning visit to the Recycling Centre to get clear of some
bags. There were hundreds of seagulls and if we closed our eyes
(passengers only!) it was just like being at the seaside.
As it was sunny we decided to go to Hall Place Gardens to see what
spring flowers there were. This is the cut flower garden, and I will be
using this as my "before" picture. It will be absolutely full of flowers
later in the year.
We heard a lot of quacking as we got near the bridge, someone was
feeding the ducks. On the other side, where it is a bit wilder, there
were lots of pine cones and obviously the squirrels have had all the
seeds out of them.
We went to the daffodil and blossom meadow. There were only a few
daffodils out and a couple of blossom trees. This will be full of
yellow, pink and white in a few weeks.
This is the overflow channel and in summer you can cross it on foot. It
was a steep muddy slope today and the stepping stones looked slippery,
so no chance of getting across today, we had to walk all the way back to
There were lots of crows, as the ground is still damp and there must be
lots of worms on the surface.
The sun brought out all the crocuses. These are under a tree where they
won't get trodden on.
This is the turf maze with crocus flowers on the raised parts. It is
better in real life than in the photo.
I know winter is over when they fill the boating pond. I just love all
these ripple patterns in the sunlight and we took lots of movies of the
patterns moving from left to right.
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Today we cleaned up some bikes that someone gave us to send overseas to
people who need them. They are in really good condition so it was just a
cleanup of the oily wheel hubs. I left that to someone else and my job was to
polish the handlebars and test the bells.
At midday we decided to clean all the paths with the pressure washer.
This white stone was black before! The garden looks much lighter all
over, with no slippery mossy patches in the shady corners.
The sunny weather has brought all the goldfish up from the bottom of the
pond. I didn't realise we had so many. Once the water lily leaves grow,
we will not see them all at the same time again. The foamy bits are
caused by the water coming out of the filter box.
Another mild sunny day, so I decided to tidy up round the pond. I
pruned back the clematis and then I had to unwind all the climbing
bits of the passion flower, and then put it all back with more of it up
the top, instead of flopping about. Our robin was very interested in all
the activity, especially when leaves are swept up into a corner.
I put out some food for our special Collared Doves but this cheeky
pigeon seems to have scoffed the lot while I was not looking. I am going
to keep a closer eye on the food next time!
This is the Beckenham coat of arms. The trees are flowering chestnuts,
the lines are the River Beck and there is the White Horse of Kent.
We went on to West Wickham, and in The Barber Shoppe window is this
lovely knitted scene of the Last Supper, with Jesus and his twelve
Disciples. They all have plates and cutlery, there is a plate of bread,
and the tiny fishes are crocheted and stuck onto bits of card. There is
even an embroidered countryside scene in their little window. I really
like this cockerel, which I think is the one that Peter heard later on.
Here is Jesus riding a donkey, and I am so glad there is some hay for
the donkey. On the other side are sheep on the hillside. One of the
black sheep is in the shade under the palm tree. They are knitted by
Mary Sanders, and I wonder how many people go into the shop to ask if
they can get a knitting pattern for it all. It is right by a bus stop
and if I missed my bus looking at everything, I wouldn't mind at all!
Today we went to see Surrey Docks in Rotherhithe. We took the train to
Lewisham and in the shopping centre we saw these shopping trolley cars
for the children. I am sure they all want one for Christmas or Birthday.
At the back of the centre is a large wall with the history of the first
2000 years of the area. They are beautifully painted, I wonder what else
these artists are producing!
Surrey Docks is now all housing, and there are canals and stretches of
water everywhere. This particular one has blue water with a chemical
that stops it going stagnant. I wish it was flowing water with green
plants though, as there is not much life in it other than some reed
At the end just before we get to the River Thames is this giant bridge,
which turns on the curved part to raise the walkway.
This water depth pole needs a cleanup and the tops painting in bright
red, but I don't think that would last very long. More guesswork over
the gear that is left everywhere - Brown Teddy is sure this one is to
put a rope around.
In the open dock are some floating duck houses. A moorhen has bagged the
triangular one, being a smaller bird and it having a smaller door hole.
We walked downriver and found Lavender Pond which is a nature reserve.
There was lots of wildlife and the ducks followed us as we walked around
Back in the dock waters, more duck houses on floating wooden circles. I
don't think the pigeons live there, they are just looking at the people
in case some bread appears. This lamppost has a row of people joining
hands like a paper cutout, it must be something to do with community
things, but there was no notice with it.
This is Stave Hill, a huge mound that was made of leftover rubble and
turned into a lookout hill. There are a lot of steps! At the top is a
steel sculpture of the docklands and when I looked it up on a website,
it said when it rains the dock areas fill with water. When it rains, I
am usually at home, though!
There is a good view all round. This is Canary Wharf area and the second
one has The Shard in the distance. It will be much nicer when the trees
are out and the sky is blue.
Next to Stave Hill is a wildlife area which used to be Russia Dock but
now filled in. These are insect hotels, which are lots of holes drilled
in wood. All the tree trunks and wood is left around for the insects,
which attract the birds, and there is a stream and ponds.
This is Greenland Dock and the iron sculptures are Phyllis Pearsall who
created the A-Z map books by walking all the streets of London in the
1930's, and actor Michael Caine. The bike represents Barry Mason, a
cyclist coordinator for Southwark and wildlife enthusiast.
A good view for eating sandwiches, and we saved a few bits for a swan
and two ducks who swam by. Here is where the grebe dived down and we
waited ages for him to come up. I think he swam away underwater and came
up somewhere else where we were not looking!
The first lot of frogspawn appeared in the pond, although we have not
seen or heard the frogs croaking just yet. There will be more later as
they come back on different nights.
We went to the garden centre for some shrubs. The walk up their driveway
was full of daffodils.
Here are the new shrubs, to fill in along the fence where we have
cleared and tidied a messy area. The trellis needs renewing and here I
am painting the pieces of wood before we make it up into squares. It is
much quicker to paint the separate lengths before they are nailed
More frogspawn. I did see some frogs from a distance, but when I got to
the pond with the camera they all bobbed down out of sight.
Today is Eclipse Day. It is supposed to be about 85 per cent darkness
here in London. It was a cloudy day so we didn't really notice it at
all. On the Popular Science website we saw views of Orkney where it got
really dark, with some strange lighting effects on the water. We watched
all of the eclipse on the screen, much easier!
Dino was very patient waiting for the corona effect, which you have to
watch for carefully as it happens suddenly. I liked the diamond ring
effect a little while later. The white squiggle on the moon is the
computer's buffering sign!
This is Canary Wharf station, where we took the Docklands Light Railway
to the Millenium Dome in Greenwich. This would be very interesting in
heavy rain, thunderstorms and hail, I wonder how noisy it would be on
These people are preparing to walk up the roof of the Dome. They have to
wear special clothing and be tethered with ropes. The Dome is also
called the O2 Centre and this doorway lets you know that is what it is.
Inside there were lots of angel helpers, but they were not flying about
today. The pigeon was outside ready to give them flying lessons but he
did not find any takers! Outside there are bits to read on the path. I
like this one, but I did not feel I was moving at all.
We expected to see the extra high tide at Greenwich but it was not
there! So we took the bus to the Thames Barrier site at Charlton, where
we thought the barriers be raised to hold it back. Here is a little
woodland area, with rocks and spring flowers. This stone table would
look better with a picnic on it.
This enclosed area has a small pond inside. These daffodils have made a
break for freedom outside the fence!
We came here to see the extra high tide. The river came up over the
pathway. We just looked from the high bank. It was quite a chilly wind.
There is a cafe further along and this huge mural has been filled in
with crayons. I would like to have a mural like this! Maybe I should
draw my own. We were getting quite cold so we did not stay very long
after we had got all our photos.
I have made some straw rafts to protect the frogspawn from the fishes. I
think the dots are getting bigger.
After some shopping, we walked through the parkland to see the areas of
daffodils. All the creamy ones were out but the yellows are only just
starting. We went into Hall Place Gardens. In the toilets I noticed this
amazing infinity effect between the mirrors that are on opposite walls.
The daffodil meadow was a bit disappointing, as there were not many of
them out, and also not a lot of bud heads either, but lots of leaves.
I think the bulbs are having a resting year. I had to concentrate on taking close
up photos, and it was a good thing the blossom branches were hanging
down very low for us!
I think this big shrub is a Viburnum Bodnantense, the flowers are very fragrant.
The brightest ones were the forsythia and they were a lot yellower than
in the photograph, as the bushes are very big.
Brown Teddy likes these catkins all hanging down like decorations. I
like these clearings under the big trees, and in the summer when the
leaves are out it will be a
dark shady hide-away.
These are heathers and the orange stems of dogwood, with red tips. It really lights up
when the sun is on it. The big weir was in full flow and there is often
a big log or tree trunk hanging over the edge. I think by next time the
gardeners will have removed it, but it would be interesting to see it
going over the edge on its own!
I got my daffodils picture at last, this is on the verge opposite the
bus stop and I had to be quick on the camera button, as cars kept going
past and hiding it.
Sometimes a swan visits my park and this seems to be a young one as he
still has some brown feathers. The ducks and coots are beginning to
build their nests around the island where they are much safer.
I just love Easter Egg displays in shop windows. We went to Coolings
Garden Centre. This display is plug plants and the pictures look like
the flowers are already out.
I really like these ceramic geckos but I would have to buy three to get
all the colours. Fish sculptures are quite popular in garden centres to
go with the fountains on sale. My pond at home has the real thing,
Not another fish but a dolphin topiary bush. It needs to green up a bit
more. This is the ceiling of Arthur's Tea Room with Easter egg paper
lamp decorations and rows of enamelled watering cans on all the beams. I
like these wooden ceilings, they are much more interesting than flat
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