Category Archives: Botany

Plant of the Month: June 2017

There is no doubt that, for a very long period, the pineapple was THE evidence, across Europe, of your wealth, your taste, and your ability to choose a head gardener for your estates who could manage a stove-house. This exotic … Continue reading

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Bark

It may seem a little weird, when summer seems at last to be arriving, to be considering bark. On the other hand, in my wanderings on the Italian peninsula recently, I found myself photographing as much bark as I did … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: May 2017

When an unfortunate juxtaposition of my slippery sandal and the glass-like surface of a marble step in Venice had fairly uncomfortable consequences a couple of weeks ago, my second conscious thought (the first having been ‘I hope this wasn’t caught … Continue reading

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Thunbergiana

I was picking stems of my Deutzia to bring indoors (an activity which presents a rather more domesticated and delightful image of the châtelaine of Château Hedgehog than the reality), when it occurred to me that although I have been … Continue reading

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A Skeleton in the Cupboard?

One of the things I’m doing at the moment is browsing through nineteenth-century issues of the Gardeners’ Chronicle (online – God bless the Biodiversity Heritage Library!), cross-checking references to the Cambridge University Botanic Garden. A lot of the material is … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: April 2017

The forget-me-not is one of those plants which are ‘only a …’. But like so many apparently over-familiar pieces of nature, it repays closer examination. It must be one of the most widespread (and toughest) plants in the northern hemisphere, … Continue reading

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Only Connect

As I never cease to remind everyone, everything is connected to everything else. This was once quoted in the immortal Yes Minister: as I recall, Sir Humphrey asks Bernard ‘Who said that?’; Bernard: ‘The Cabinet Secretary?’; Sir H: ‘Almost right, … Continue reading

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