London (change)
Today 15°C / 14°C
Tomorrow 16°C / 8°C

Living with lichen


by Pippa Greenwood

It's certainly been a year of surprises. The latest unusual visitor (or perhaps it will become a resident?) is the gelatinous lichen.


Pippa GreenwoodIt's certainly been a year of surprises. The latest unusual visitor (or perhaps it will become a resident?) is the gelatinous lichen. They were something we were asked about on occasion when I was working at the RHS gardens at Wisley giving out gardening advice to the RHS members...but never before have I had my own.

All of a sudden they cropped up, just down towards the bottom of the drive (which is basically soil that we compacted and then added scalpings to shortly after we moved in about 11 years ago). My son calmly asked me why we had bladder-wrack growing on the drive when he thought it should be on the seaside! The greeny brown bobbles looked just like that very common seaweed and at first sight I could see exactly what he meant. They disappeared again yesterday - presumably because we have now had so little rain for the last week or so. I wonder if anyone else had had them appear?



Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Living with lichen
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

Gardeners' World Web User 19/09/2007 at 15:02

I have removed a number of leylandi trees, and replaced it with a wooden fence. the soil now looks all dried up and out of condition. Q. how can I bring it back to good condition, and what type of plants would grow in the plot now that it is cleared.?

Gardeners' World Web User 20/09/2007 at 20:08

We have a witch hazel tree in our garden which usually flowers just before Christmas (after all of the leaves have fallen) through until the end of January; sometimes longer. We have just noticed that it has started to flower in earnest and the leaves are still green. This has not happened before (29 years!)

Gardeners' World Web User 02/10/2007 at 23:09

I also had this on the edge of our drive,but have just had a new layer of chips put down, so it is not visible at present. It did come and go depending on the dampness.

Gardeners' World Web User 03/10/2007 at 18:08

Is Helianthus Lemon Queen a perennial? If so, how tall does it grow and should it be cut back? I have one in the garden smothered in flowers but it is about 8ft high and dwarfing everything else.

Gardeners' World Web User 04/10/2007 at 13:50

Doug: Just goes to show that lichens don't harm anything - if they're happy growing on a felt roof as you describe!

See more comments...