Canal deco

DAY 115 (29 JULY) – Princess feather (Persicaria orientalis) (Regent’s Canal, London)

There were moorhens cheeping among the moss on this hot afternoon on the canal by Camden Lock. A tattoed man with a pale belly sunbathing on a narrowboat deck. Other boats empty, letting their scattered flower pots do the talking. Cyclists. Joggers. Musicians. Lovers. Tourist rides up and down, parting the viscous green water.

And these spear-headed flowers, thin but bright, leaning into the unfolding scene. Their common names include: Gentleman’s cane and Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate. And in Spanish: Cordón de cardenal (Cardinal’s braid). I quite like the Swedish, too: Purpurpilort, with two dots on the ‘o’ of course to make that special Scandi-sound.

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