East Finchley Station in Late Spring

Dear Readers, a few weeks ago I wrote about the spring display next to East Finchley Station, created by the N2 Community Gardeners. Well, as I was walking past yesterday I found myself attracted, as if by a magnet, to these magnificent bearded irises. I have never seen them in such a lovely shade of blue. Sadly, a few of them had been beaten down by the hailstorm that we had on Wednesday, but nonetheless they are beautiful.

As I admired the irises, various bumblebees whooshed past en route to the hardy geraniums, which are so attractive to bees.

And can anybody help me out with this plant, that was also proving very attractive to the pollinators? I’m thinking some kind of salvia, but I’m happy to be corrected. It doesn’t help that the photo is a bit blurred because of the blustery winds.


There was also some lambs-ears (Stachys byzantium) which might well attract some carder bees, who will use the hairs from the plant’s furry leaves to line their nests. The little pink flowers are not the most flamboyant but the plant as a whole has a most unusual form which I rather like.

Another plant that called to me right across the car park was the Snow-in-Summer (Cerastium) – It is so white that it really did shine like a patch of snow. This is such a forgiving plant, and it seems to be thriving in this difficult spot.

There is a wilder patch with an elder tree in the corner of the garden, close to the station offices – I heard a wren calling here, and a blackbird was singing merrily from the roof of the station. I’m fairly sure that it nested in the elder or thereabouts last year, so it was most reassuring to see that the birds (or some blackbirds at any rate, it being difficult to tell them apart) was still here.

So, yet again I salute the N2 Community Gardeners – this tiny difficult patch punches above its weight in terms of beauty, but also provides so much in the way of food for invertebrates and cover for birds. It really does include our whole community, not just the people who create it, and those who admire it at the start and end of a busy day, but all the invisible creatures beavering away to create our soil and pollinate our food. I shall be extremely interested to see what the summer brings forth.

3 thoughts on “East Finchley Station in Late Spring

  1. Fran & Bobby Freelove

    These gardens make such a difference, they’ve created a lovely one near our station, it’s so lovely to see bee friendly plants being used so much more. Geraniums are a must have, and you’re right about the salvia, it’s the common sage.

  2. Kate

    Yes it is a salvia. A very old sage plant which does a good job of looking dead over the winter and then lo and behold springs back to life each May and the bees love it.


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