Transplantations Tour

Transplantations Tour, part of Kensington and Chelsea's Across the Street, Around the World season, was a guided tour that I wrote and presented. It took participants around Holland Park, stopping for four transplanted trees and four wonderful performances.

A fence, and a pathway leading away through trees
Holland Park

At each of four trees — the feijoa, the lime tree, the crepe myrtle and the Lebanon cedar — I spoke about the history of the tree and the traditions and folklore that were associated with it. The fruit of the feijoa, for example, has never caught on in England, perhaps partly because its pronunciation is debated, and attempts to rebrand it ("guavasteen", "pineapple guava") never caught on. The oil of the Lebanon cedar was important in Egypt as part the embalming process; sitting beneath a lime tree was sometimes thought to cure leprosy.

After I'd spoken, at each stop there was a performance from artists whose practice was based in the place the tree had originated in: Lebanese oud player Abdul Salam Kheir, Romanian singer Dana Codorean-Berciu, Colombian harpist Diego Laverde and Sinman Dance Company with a Chinese fan and ribbon dance.

A podcast of the talk should be available on the Kensington and Chelsea website shortly.