Saturday, 2 February 2013

London Planes

Pollarded London Plane trees behind Tate Britain.  8 January 2013.
 I took this photo on a grey day in London when I went with a friend to see a Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain.  These trees always look fantastic, winter or summer; they look architectural, as though they were designed to counterpoint the red brick buildings behind, and they seem to go on forever.

They are London Plane trees, a hybrid related to the American Sycamore, and they manage very well in a polluted atmosphere.  I have read that this is because they shed their bark every year.  You can see the patchy effect this creates on their trunks.

London Planes and a view of Lambeth Bridge.  8 January 2013.
Walking back along the river, I tried to get some more planes to frame this picture nicely, but it's not really satisfactory.  But anyway .. those are the fruits of the tree, and behind you can see a typical London scene combining the old and the new.  Straight ahead is Lambeth Bridge with Lambeth Palace behind.  The bridge was opened in 1932, but the earliest part of the palace dates from 1440.  Behind is the Shard at London Bridge Station, dating from 2013. 

The bridge is guarded by two pairs of obelisks.  I always thought their finials were pineapples, but according to Wikipedia they are pine cones.  The London bus on the bridge is advertising the film of Les Miserables.

1 comment:

  1. I love the picture behind Tate Britain as for years I worked not far away and you never {usually) see a picture of what Westminster or Pimlico (or Southwark for that matter) really look like. I love the trees too.