- Specie: London Plane
- Location: Various
I have totally fallen in love with the London Plane. No, it is not some geometry reference in metaphysics, but what I have come to discover is a wondrous urbantree species in our cities.
I have to confess that my first meetings with the London Plane wasn’t very memorable. I do remember the distinct broad maple-like leaves and the patchy barks, but I had originally dismissed them as plain common maples.
My first official introduction to them was through a single individual inside a cemetery in canada. Even then I wasn’t too impressed. After all, it wasn’t even a maple. And what’s London got to do with a tree in Canada? I remember asking myself before filling the specie among the numerous others I encountered that day.
But the London Plane didnt give up there. It courted me again on the other side of the world, in Shanghai, China to be exact, where it lined numerous streets. More importantly, it reintroduced itself to me again inside a park, reinforcing its presence even in a completely different urbanscape.
That feeling of recognition, familiarity and empathy hit me again during a walking tour of the historic neighborhood of Alfama in old town Lisbon. As our guide took us down one of the winding street, there it stood, down a cross street, a majestic London Plane reaching as tall as the old apartments, with a noteworthy crown that occupied most of the gap above the street.
The more I admired the London Plane and its perseverance, its quiet elegance, its dignified grandeur and its gorgeous broad leaves, the more they happen to appear around me. On the streets on Lisbon and along the mountain roads in Sintra.
Then there is the individual growing in the park that surrounded the fantastical Palacio da Pena.
Plus this magnificent member guarding the main bridge that links the historic town of Porto and its neighbourhood Gaia.
And this spectacular grove on the grounds of the fabulous Yeatman hotel.
Last but certainly not least, there is this ‘avenue of planes’ in the ‘jardins do palacio de crystal’ in Porto.