Started on 7th January 2010 [00.46]

This is a scrap book dedicated to the study of London's weeds and the wild places where they grow.

What is a Wildcorner?

A Wildcorner is a term referring to a gap that has been left to grow wild in the city. The term encompasses every wild piece of land no matter the size, from large disused sports grounds to small patches of commercial wasteland, to a crack in the pavement. As long as this gap in the man made landscape harbours some kind of weed, then it is considered a Wildcorner.

Wildcorners and Wildcorridors* are dotted all over the capitol and vary in content, depending on their location and history. One thing most have in common is that they are normally restricted in someway from public access or boarded off and hidden from public view altogether. In this blog we focus particularly on the Wildcorners of south east London.

* Wildcorridor; a word used to describe a channel or pathway made inside the metropolis that also facilities the propagation and growth of weeds. This includes railway sidings, wild rivers and canals.

Urban and Suburban Weeds

By the term 'weeds' we are of course referring to the cities wild plants and flowers. But their are also two other weeds that grow in the city.

'Graff' like its botanical relation, has many families and strains. Both of these weeds can often be found together, sharing many qualities including their adaptive nature and unregulated status. Both in many cases, originally entered and populated the city using the railway network.

London's third 'weed' is invisible and uses the tops of tower blocks to propagate. Pirate radio like its weed relatives, grows away from the public eye and is constantly adapting to exploit these same gaps across the cities FM radio spectrum, fighting and flourishing in-between the commercial stations.

This scrapbook also encompasses the languages, cultures, legends and folk tales that grow in and from the wild places of London.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

'The Fire Mix' [six sacred weeds]

This is phone footage, supplied by a member of the public. It is of one of my six small shadow rituals, performed live using each one of the six sacred weeds that make up the 'Fire Mix'.
This was inspired by the footage i filmed of Solomon Wild, believed to be performing an ancient version of this ritual at dawn on the Summer Solstice earlier this year [though this ritual was usually performed at dusk on midsummers eve.]
It was believed that the weeds were 'familiars' / spirits of the crops and by burning them, the smoke would cauterise pestilence and 'noisome influences' from the fertile land.
Also there was the belief of 'Sympathetic magic' which at its core, is the idea of analogy, all things in the universe connected by influences, suggested by their superficial appearance. The heat and the light created by theses bonfires was to aid the sun at the exact moment in the year it begins to wane.
The six weeds were believed to be chosen for their resemblance in some way to the sun and stars. For this series of shadow rituals, they were all tracked down and gathered from various wild cornerz of the capitol.
They are as follows:
Ragwort, Corn Marigold, Corn Poppy, Plantain, Vervain and finally the most magic of all in the mix; St. Johns Wort.
The leaves and flowers are cut off each weed and arranged to form a magic circle.

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