Category Archives: Botany

Plant of the Month: June 2019

This seems to be an amazing spring/summer for roses – even mine are looking good (or were until it just started raining), and they are by no means my most successful plants. And it’s not just locally, either. We’ve just … Continue reading

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Rome In Three Days

I am sitting in an apartment in Venice with a glorious view which encompasses the towers of San Stefano (looking worrisomely more lop-sided then usual), San Marco, San Francesco della Vigna, and even, in the most extreme distance, the three … Continue reading

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A Life in Footnotes

I mentioned some time ago that I was going to investigate (at my usual superficial level, naturally) the life and career of the physician Francesco Travagino (sometimes Travagini), who appears to have taken advantage of a space on somebody else’s … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: April 2019

Which came first, fritillary as the name of a plant (Fritillaria meleagris, the snake’s-head fritillary, also known as chess-flower, Lazarus-bell, leper-lily, frog-cup, or drooping tulip), or fritillary as the name of a butterfly? It seems that the plant has priority, … Continue reading

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The Vernal Equinox

‘The vernal equinox has come too soon’ is, Him Indoors assures me, the opening line of a welcome ode written to celebrate the visit of Her Majesty The Queen to his school at some point in the 1960s. I have … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: March 2019

May I strongly recommend the new exhibition in the Fan Gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum (it’s on until January 2020, so you have plenty of time)? It is a selection of the fan collection of the Hon. Christopher Lennox-Boyd, given … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: March 2019

As I have mentioned in passing before, the botanist Pierre Magnol (1638–1715) was born in Montpellier, and spent most of his life there. His father and grandfather were apothecaries, and his mother’s male relatives were physicians. His older brother César … Continue reading

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