The Artichoke

I have been to Strawberry Hill twice now, and on both occasions the weather was foul. Luckily, the house is well signposted from the station, and barely five minutes’ walk away, but I really must try and get myself over there at a slightly more clement time of the year. Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: January 2019

A lot of choice, during this (so far) mild winter. I wondered about Sycopsis chinensis, of which the yellow filaments are currently glowing , or one of my own winter-flowering clematis, but – not only because it is glorious in its own right, but because of its role as a sentinel at the entrance to the Winter Garden at the Botanics, which celebrates its fortieth anniversary this year – I’m going for Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’, possibly the most famous of the daphnes, not only for its flowers but for the unmistakable fragrance which you walk into like an invisible wall, even on the coldest day, as you approach the plant. Continue reading

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Object of the Month: January 2019

I have mentioned before how the heroic toilers of the Fitzwilliam Museum rotate the displays, especially in the ceramics galleries, on a regular basis, so that one has to keep one’s eye peeled for novelty as one moves through. Last week’s surprise was a number of pieces of British red stoneware, most of them (almost inevitably) from the Glaisher Bequest. Continue reading

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Almost a Year …

In 2017, I photographed one conifer @CUBotanicGarden once a month. I have to admit that the result was not completely gripping, so I thought that for 2018 I would track the development of the laid hedge there. I failed at the second post, as I don’t appear to have a picture for February – and June, August and September are also apparently absent. This is pretty embarrassing, given that I walk past it at least once a week. (I was getting so worried about memory lapses that I did a couple of those on-line ‘Diagnose your own Alzheimer’s’ tests, and am apparently absolutely fine (assuming I remember the result correctly, of course).) Continue reading

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Woman’s Work

… (a) is never done, proverbially, and (b) consists of cooking, cleaning and home-making (oh, and child-bearing), traditionally. Therefore it is always interesting, and sometimes quite astonishing, to come across a historical figure who worked in a role which, according to the patriarchal scheme of things, was totally unsuitable for a woman. Continue reading

Posted in Biography, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Venice | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Plant of the Month: December 2018

Not a traditionally Chrismassy plant, but something I came across @CUBotanicGarden the other morning, flowering its socks off against the glasshouse range, Correa backhouseana (or backhousiana according to some sources) is interesting not merely in botanical but also in history-of-science terms. Continue reading

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The 205

Over three years ago, I made some Resolutions for my unemployed dotage.  My dotage has in fact turned out not be completely unemployed after all, and a delightful proportion of the rest of my time is now taken up with grandmotherly duties (which will only get better since the number of grandchildren has risen by 200% (I hope that’s mathematically accurate?) in the course of 2018. Continue reading

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