The Haggerston Mulberry
After I published my portrait of the five hundred year old Bethnal Green Mulberry yesterday, a reader invited me over to photograph the Haggerston Mulberry which has its own claim to longevity.
I hopped on a bus up the Kingsland Rd as soon as I got the message and I was filled with wonder to be led into a hidden garden where this magnificent ancient specimen flourishes in a sheltered corner surrounded by protective walls.
Its deeply-textured, gnarly bark was riven with the scars of innumerable branches gone long ago yet the old Mulberry had a healthy showing of new growth, heavy with buds unfolding into the fresh green leaves of spring. Like its relative in Bethnal Green, this tree produces a heavy crop of fruit each year.
Liz, the fond custodian of the Haggerston Mulberry told me that within living memory there were once two other Mulberries close by but people took them down “because the birds dropped red berries and juice over your washing.” Older than all the buildings around, local lore has it that these trees were planted at the time of the arrival of the Huguenots.
If readers know of any more ancient Mulberries in the East End please get in touch and I will come and photograph them.