Category Archives: Botany

The Consequences of Varicella (Part 2)

Continuing (rather belatedly – I’ve been busy with retail) the exploration of a small area of the East End of London by foot and buggy – we lose our way, but are guided onward by the pinnacles of an extraordinary … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: October 2017

Earlier this month, I took a picture of the Malus tschonoskii @CUBotanicGarden with the idea of making it October’s plant, but after many interesting and thought-provoking conversations at the chopping-board front line at Apple Day 0n 22 October, I decided … Continue reading

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Garden Work for Every Day

Back in the day, I was involved in reissuing several books by the polemical garden writer William Robinson (1838–1935), he of Gravetye Manor. The Wheel of Fortune having nudged on a bit, I am now spending a few hours each … Continue reading

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The Shoemaker of Banff

Samuel Smiles, biographer and enthusiast for those who demonstrated the ability to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps, was very taken with Thomas Edward, of Banff, Scotland. He name-checked him in Self-Help (1859), as follows:

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The Unusual Grand Tour of Sir J.E. Smith

Although, in my previous existence, I had been involved in reissuing the hagiographic two-volume ‘life and letters’ of Sir J.E. Smith (1759–1828), founding president of the Linnean Society, written by his delightfully named widow, Pleasance, I did not actually read … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: August 2017

Quasi-familial motives led the Hedgehog ménage to Thessaloniki recently, and a jolly time was had by all, in spite of 40 degrees C, 98% humidity, and the overwhelming nature of Greek hospitality. We had time for a little light sightseeing; … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: July 2017

Regrets, I’ve had a few … but none so profound as for the fatal day on which I gratefully accepted a kind neighbour’s gift of a single plant of Meconopsis cambrica. Up to my oxters (whatever they are) in the … Continue reading

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