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  Aroids in London
From: LisaOthello at gateway.net on 2001.04.17 at 08:29:18(6190)
Hi everybody!

My name is Lisa and I posted a message on here a while back and everyone
was so helpful I thought I'd try it again. I'm planning a trip to England in
September and I've read several posts on this list that have mentioned Sri
Lankan markets in London that have large Amorphophallus tubers for sale. Can
anyone point me in the direction of one of these markets. I've already been
told that if I think I'm spending the entire trip in England looking for a
Sri Lankan market that sells Amorphophallus tubers that I'm sadly mistaken.
Also I was wondering if anyone knows of interesting gardens in England,
besides Kew Gardens, that have Aroids (particularly, Amorphophallus or
Arisaema)? If no one can help me I fear I'm going to be dragged to every
topiary filled English garden in the country!! Not that there's anything
wrong with topiary or English Gardens but I find Aroids to be much more
interesting :)!
One more quick question for anyone out there from England. Due to the foot
and mouth disease outbreak what can I expect when I get to England if I want
to rent a car and drive around the countryside? I've been reading on the
Internet that trails and parks are shut down, are there still places to go
where you can hike and see things? Any information would be greatly
Thanks in advance for everyone's time!

Lisa Baumgartner

From: "Peter Boyce" p.boyce at rbgkew.org.uk> on 2001.04.17 at 09:30:23(6193)
Hi Lisa

Firt and foremost, son't worry about F & M. The only land closed to
the public is land that has hoofed animals (sheep, cattle, deer) on
it. Since that sort of land amounts to about 1% of the entire land
surface of the UK then you're not even REMOTELY affected by this
unless you intend to spend your entire vacation driving across
muddy farmlands!

Markets: THE markets to visit are:

Southall in West London (Sundays particularly good, don't plan to
get there much before 11 and don't have breakfast that day - eat at
the markets). By the way, Southall is a long shopping street rather
than a market, heartland of the Indian and Bangaldesh West
London community, and great not only for aroids but also food,
textiles, spices, etc.

Brixton in East London (Saturdays and Sundays) A real market,
hearland of the Afro-Carribean and asian communities. Another
place to eat at.

Bradford (West Midlands). THE largest asian market in the UK.
Stunning. Sundays very good.


From: GeoffAroid at aol.com on 2001.04.17 at 18:32:35(6195)

I was the person responsible for alerting aroiders to the joys of shopping at
Sri Lankan greengrocers! If you take the underground train to Tooting
Broadway (Northern line heading south) and turn left as you come out of the
station you will see about 4 or 5 greengrocers along about 2 blocks. They all
sell tubers of Amorph paeoniifolius of various sizes. Be warned they are very
heavy! Carrying 3 or 4 of these things around London is no joke. Regarding
the countryside here, do not be too alarmed, only parks and trails likely to
cross farm land or otherwise approach hoofed animals are closed. There are
still lots of forests and parks you can happily walk in.

I dont know of anywhere near London with Amorphs other than Kew although
several places have nice aroids. If you have the time you should go to the
Wyld Court Rainforest in Hampstead Norreys, near Newbury, Berkshire (about 45
mins west of London by car). They have a good aroid collection and the grower
there - Myles Challis - is an aroid enthusiast. He is there Sunday to
Tuesday,ask for him and tell him I recommended him. If you want to give me a
call when you get here, feel free, I have sent my phone number to your
private email.

From: "Derek Burch" derek at horticulturist.com> on 2001.04.17 at 18:33:10(6196)
Thank you for the advice on the markets, Peter. I have looked a number of
times on various trips and in various places, but have had more luck with
gingers than with aroids. I am usually in London in October/November, which
may not be the best time of year. I had forgotten about Southall (I grew up
in Hanwell), and will try to get out there next month. After a lot of years
I decided that I had to do Chelsea Flower Show again while I could still
walk around it - so Southall goes on the agenda.
Lisa, there are a number of sites with news about Foot and mouth to amplify
what Peter says. www.openbritain.gov.uk has a number of links that are
useful , and the Royal Automobile Club site http://www.rac.co.uk/ has
infornmation about specific areas. Let's hope that there is some resolution
of the problem before you are there. derek
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