Thursday, 15 May 2008

*South London Botanical Institute

Greens had a relaxing post election meet-up at the SLBI on Sunday last. It was great to meet and relax with friends and activists from the campaign.

The Institute is a hidden jewel in South and is open every Thursday.
It’s at 323 Norwood Road, SE24 just a few minutes walk from Tulse Hill Tube.
It’s said to have the most compact botanical garden in London with plants from all over the world including a section on poisonous ones like Bella Donna.

Founded by Allan Octavian Hume in 1910, to encourage south Londoners to
take an interest in botany, the SLBI remains something of a sedate
Edwardian time capsule with little change in the house or furniture since it’s founding in 1907. Mr. Hume spent most of his life in the Civil Service in India and became one of the founding members of the Indian Congress Party. Indeed India has issued a special stamp in his honour.

He was also involved in something that I had never heard of – The Great Hedge of India. This was a 12’ impenetrable hedge approx. 6’ wide that ran down the centre of India for 2,600 miles! I can’t understand why I have not heard of it before. It was erected to stop salt smuggling between different parts of India and in the middle of the 19th. Century was guarded by 20,000 troops.

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