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Holland Park - Arches

Holland Park: Arches

The wooden arches around Holland park, as lovely as they are, serve more than just a decorative purpose, acting as a scaffold for a number of flowering plants. Native climbers like honeysuckle are not only pretty in their own right but offer the lure of nectar in their delicate flowers for passing pollinators. The planters below are often full of colourful species, both native and non-native, like the small, four-petalled, blue speedwells, white-pink columbine flowers and deep red roses. Non-native species aren’t necessarily a bad thing, all living things are a part of biodiversity, but it’s all about balance. Certain non-native can become invasive, displacing other species, but many get along just fine with the local flora and fauna.

Fun fact: Japanese knotweed, one of the most well known invasives in Ireland, reproduces clonally rather than by seeds. As such, all of the knotweed in the country are copies of each other, and probably even clones of the first plant that came into Ireland in the 19th Century.