Demonstrating in London on the G20 demo day…

…but not really at the demos.  My demonstration was 'how to plant mistletoe seeds' at the Natural History Museum Garden.

For me this was part of the Mistletoe part of the London Biodiversity Action Plan (which I'm reviewing and revising at present).  For the NHM it was part of their wildlife garden scheme (which re-opened to the public for the 2009 season today) – which aims to create a little bit of British countryside, complete with native flora and fauna, alongside the Cromwell Road in South Kensington.     

Some pictures (as usual, click to enlarge) of the mistletoe demo:


Nhm1Nhm3First pic shows some context. For those unfamiliar with the NHM (there might be a few, though it is a famous London landmark) – it's the big Victorian job over my right shoulder.

Not your usual Victorian Gothic – this is a much more interesting Romanesque design by Alfred Waterhouse – we naturalist types like to wander around it, inside and out, marvelling at the flora and fauna depicted in the stonework, terracotta, faiance etc.  My old tutor, the late Michael Stratton would say, at this point, "what a lotta terracotta".  But that's a subject for another blog…

Second pic is a close-up of how to do it.  This is a Sorbus (rowan) (I think, this morning seems a long time ago already and I think there was a Crataegus too) and we also tried planting on Salix (willow) and Malus (apple)).

Third pic is the immediate end-result – a line of sticky seeds on a branch, labelled in case we forget where they are.  And that's it for 12 months or so…

There was no hint of the G20 demos here in South Kensington, though I did get treated as a very suspicious character by the security staff at Natural England's London HQ in Victoria Street (much closer to Whitehall) later in the afternoon – despite the fact I was there for a scheduled meeting.  Maybe I should have worn a tie and had a haircut…

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