Category Archives: Nature-spotting

Planting Neal’s Yard – a slideshow

If you’ve ever admired the bright oil drums filled with trees and plants that bring colour and life to Neal’s Yard, take a look at the hard work that goes into keeping them healthy! Watch a slideshow of how we repot a tree.

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Planting Neal’s Yard’s trees

As everyone who has been to Neal’s Yard knows, one of the delights of this special place is its greenery and nature – right in the heart of Covent Garden. The trees and plants in their brightly coloured tubs are loved by all but they also need love and care and attention to stay healthy and strong.

As part of the Neal’s Yard Community Days, the Neal’s Yard community worked together early one autumn morning to replant one of the trees – which turned out to be quite a task!


How come – a field of buttercups!

Buttercups in Neal\'s Yard

I was walking in the city bemoaning my fate of having to work on such a lovely spring day. Really, it should not be so. The Japanese have special holidays to look at the cherry blossoms. Now that is what I call civilised. In fact I must look up those haiku poems tonight. They are so inspired. Why don’t we have holidays to go to the bluebell woods, en masse, in awe, going oohhh and ahhh… Would that not do a lot to lift the heart of the nation! To bring the spirit of nature and a touch of wildness into our lives.

And so I was ranting on in my mind on my way to get a Tesco sandwich when I bumped into an old friend. Had not seen her for years, totally lost touch. Surprise halted us in our step. A quick checking out, a hope of recognition and then a broad smile, a hug and a simultaneous “How are you? What are you doing here?”

”I work here,” I said.

“I live just around the corner,” she said.

“Really? I didn’t know people lived here.”

“Have you got time, would you like to come up for a drink?”

“I have to be quick,” I replied, “it’s only my lunch-break, but yes I’d love a cup of tea.”

We went up, and up and then further up, on the roof. I gasped! How come! A field of buttercups!. Basho inspiration flooded me. I stepped out and danced between the buttercups.

waves of wonder moving
buttercups by the hundreds
on this tiny roof

How did they get there? Where did they come from? What useless questions. How delightful to be here in the middle of a yellow dream, a lunch-break holiday in nature wonderland in the middle of the city.

Neal’s Yard in bloom

Neal's Yard in blossom

Guess the flower to win a prize

The honeydrums (yes that is what they are, not oildrums . . .see the history page for more info) have been painted and look all fresh again. Yellow, green blue and red, the brightest colours you’ve ever met! To celebrate we have put some new plants in the soil to provide more covering. The plants will hopefully in time spread their greenery all around and provide us with pretty flowers. Have you spotted them yet? Their name starts with a ‘P’. . . and the first person who can email us with the right (common) name will receive a half price main course meal at the World Food Cafe.


Camelia 2

Neal’s Yard has had its share of winter too. Easter eggs were covered with hail and snow this weekend but when the sun comes out the place turns into a picture of spring and blossoms jump out at you. Camelia was the first one to bloom boldly in bright shades of magenta two weeks ago and crab apple has followed in its own delicate way last week.