Category Archives: Cambridge

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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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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Madonnas and Miracles

I’ve recently had the pleasure and privilege of not one but three ‘private views’, with talks, of the new exhibition, ‘Madonnas and Miracles’, on at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, until 4 June. I’ve also popped in several times for a … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: March 2017

I have to confess that I had hoped that the Persian ironwood tree, Parrotia persica, had obtained its botanical name (first applied by C.A. von Meyer in 1831) because it was observed to be a favourite perch for parrots, but … Continue reading

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Object of the Month: March 2017

Would you give a home to one of these things (assuming always that you had the space)? I used to think that I wouldn’t – overblown, grotesque, quite unsuited (except in the most utilitarian terms, i.e. they have holes and … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: February 2017

I was thinking in terms of primroses, as mine (in a very sheltered position under a south-facing wall) are flowering bravely, but I haven’t seen any elsewhere yet, so I though I would go for winter aconites, which flower reliably … Continue reading

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Professor Martyn Writes to Dr Pulteney

One of my current voluntary activities consists in part of thumbing through an elderly card index, which reposes in an elderly and beautiful wooden card index case. In the course of this rummaging, I have noticed with alarm the increasing … Continue reading

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