Brixton Flower Watch: Hedera in Brixton Water Lane

Welcome to Brixton Flower Club’s weekly flower spotting! Each month we will choose one road or area in Brixton, provide you with a weekly post on something beautiful that we spot and tell you a bit more about it. Thank you to all the local gardeners who work so hard to add some colour and nature to Brixton’s streets.

Ivy seed head

Location: Brixton Water Lane
Week 2: Hedera
Common Name: Ivy (ivy seed head pictured above)

Love it or hate it… Ivy is absolutely everywhere! The floristry side of me loves ivy because it lasts forever and trailing ivy can add real drama and height to arrangements. But the gardening side of me can’t stand how quickly it takes over whole areas as soon as my back is turned!

Shown here is the fruit of the plant which can be black, purple or yellow. The seeds are dispersed when birds eat these berries. Wherever you stand on the ivy debate, there is no denying that it is a valuable food source to birds when supplies are scarce during the winter. The berries are very bitter in flavour and toxic to humans, so be careful!

In ancient times ivy was one of the symbols of the god Dionysos, who wore an ivy crown. Legend has it that Dionysos used to eat the poisonous ivy berries in order to become intoxicated.

Brixton Flower Club is run by Jennifer Woodcock, a local florist specialising in weddings. Visit for more details.


  1. Absolutely critical for birds too. The trend for tidy gardens and less with ivy probably linked to decline of house sparrows 🙁

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