In the deserts of… West London?

(With apologies to Ian Dury for distorting his lyrics.) West London does not conjure up images of sand dunes, mirages, and whatever else you expect from a desert, does it?

But allow me to backtrack a day or so, when I saw an unusual orchid on sale in a local high street shop known for its food and clothing. It was, as Joseph Heller said in Catch-22, love at first sight. I won’t bore you with details of the flowers, save to say they are white with splotches that look like someone splattered ink on them. (If it was Halloween I would say blood.)

Naturally, having got home with my new purchase, I rushed to my A-Z to see if there is an Orchid Street.

There is; it is part of a cluster of streets just south of the A40, where the streets were all obviously ‘theme’ named (a topic on which we’ve not yet really touched in this blog so that may be something for the future).

This theme would seem to hinge on the fact that the streets are in the College Park and Old Oak ward/electoral division: street names here include Old Oak Road, Daffodil Road, Foxglove Street, Lilac Street, Primula Street, Wallflower Street, and Yew Tree Road. They kind of make sense in the context of an English city.

However, there is also the less than comforting Hemlock Road and, to come finally to the point, a Cactus Walk. I have yet to discover why Cactus in West London, so if anyone knows anything I’d be most grateful for any information.