Artist Carolina Rodrigues has spent two weeks during July at Cylinders. Her ongoing project is to identify and map the self-sown plant species that are colonising the roof of the Merz Barn, and assist the process by building up the compost cover with soil and leaf-litter taken from elsewhere on site.
This is the drawing she made of a small-flowered willowherb that grows prolifically at Cylinders. We had hoped to identify the exact species but this has proved impossible due to the number of very similar variants – to me these are lazily known en bloc as ‘lesser willowherb’. This one is very pale pink.
Carolina will return to Cylinders at intervals in future to monitor progress on the Merz Barn roof, where already some species would seem to have a better chance of survival than others. Inexplicably, since we have not seen this species elsewhere at Cylinders, an alien garden escape has introduced itself, Leycesteria formosa, which apparently grows up to 6 ft high.