Category Archives: Cambridge


Well, the plan was to be writing from lovely Lucca to mark the fifth anniversary of La Vita Nuova, but fate has decreed otherwise. Instead, I sit contemplating the garden, and will shortly be going with Him Indoors on a … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Italy, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Deacon Also Paints

The Flowers Gallery at the Fitzwilliam Museum (currently closed, alas, because of COVID-19) is one of my favourite places – I can’t get enough of the botanical paintings, the glorious jumble of blooms which you would never find (even in … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, Cambridge, History, Museums and Galleries | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

The Naming of Plants

Richard Chandler Alexander Prior (1809–1902) does not (yet) appear in the pages of the ODNB, though his day may come. He knew and corresponded with many of the great scientists of the nineteenth century; he was a physician whose health … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Plant of the Month: January 2020

One of the most mournful utterances you will hear from a gardener is: ‘I had one, but it died.’ Next up is, ‘I had one, but it doesn’t flower any more.’ This is the case, alas, with me and Iris … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Tree of the Year

In 2017 I took monthly photos of a particular tree @CUBotanicGarden, and in 2018 I did the same for a hedge. Neither sequence when laid end to end was in fact particularly inspiring, so in 2019 I went for one … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Natural history | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Christmas Is Coming …

Not the words you necessarily want to hear on Hallowe’en, but I must just put in a plug for my stall at the (Cambridge) Mill Road Winter Fair, on Saturday 7 December. This year I have a pitch on Petersfield, … Continue reading

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I just made it to ‘Artist: Unknown: Art and Artefacts from the University of Cambridge Museums and Collections’, the current exhibition at Kettle’s Yard. (It continues until 22 September, but the Hedgehog ménage will be away – Venice, since you … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Venice | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment