This article is not about Laindon so bear with me, as you will see the point of it as I go on.
I lived in Pitsea for a number of years on an estate built on what would have been the equivalent of Plotlands. The estate was built up to the roadside while the other side of the road was left as rough ground. This is where many old properties had been compulsory purchased and demolished some years earlier. I used to walk my dog in this area, and couldn’t help noticing the amount of plants that grew there. Apart from small amounts of rubble, these were the only evidence of previous habitation. Through the seasons different flowers could be seen, struggling for space among the weeds and wild flowers. I determined that I would rescue as many as I could, then went equipped with spade and sack to begin my quest. For over a three year period, I dug up anything and everything I thought I could use in my own garden. Shrubs, roses and perennials, during the spring I marked huge clumps of Daffodils and Narcissi to be dug up after having flowered. Well why not ? They had two chances, they would either grow and flourish or die, either way that was better than being bulldozed. My own garden was magnificent, hardly a space without some kind of flower, in fact I didn’t have room to plant all that I gathered. Many of my neighbours and friends even relatives ended up with gardens filled with Day Lillies, Michaelmas Daisies, Lavender, Lilac and Quince etc.
I did however get it wrong on one occasion, I spotted an interesting looking plant, rosette shaped, rather attractive I thought. So I proceeded to dig it up, no mean feat as it had a really long tap root. Anyway I took it home, planted it and waited for it to grow, which it did. Didn’t it grow, it got to be quite large and it was only then that I realised it was one of the Dandelion family. Oops!
Now to get to my point – I wonder if anyone did this sort of thing in the Plotlands of Laindon, Langdon Hills and Dunton. I would like to think that in gardens in the Basildon area, many have mementoes of the old places, plants like mine, rescue plants.