Above: A fine specimen of a Magnolia to be seen in Mayow Road.
If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the picture above will save me writing all those words. Perhaps it might be worth just adding a few by way of explanation. ‘London Seen’ (which could also be written ‘London Scene’) is the first in a series of articles that will appear from time to time with a picture that is topical or of interest just for its own sake – without any history being related to it.
The magnolia is named after the French botanist Pierre Magnol (1638-1715). He was one of the first botanists to realise that plants came in ‘families’ and who started to classify plants accordingly. In 1703 Charles Plumier (1646–1704), another French Botanist, named a flowering tree from the island of Martinique ‘Magnolia’, after Magnol and it became the name of a large genus of ornamental flowering trees found around the world, mainly in warmer zones.
Mayow Road is a quite long, extending from Forest Hill to Sydenham. It still has about a third of the original Edwardian large houses, with large gardens front and back, which used to line much of the road before the Second World War. At this time of the year one particular front garden presents the spectacle of the pink variety of Magnolia, seen in the above picture. In these days of the digital camera, there is nothing finer than to fill the frame with a riot of colour. It has hopefully been caught at just the right moment.