Category Archives: Exploration

Plant of the Month: July 2020

The other day, I found myself standing under a Broussonetia tree in the Cambridge University Botanic Garden (so happily now reopened, though you do have to book), and was reminded of my oft-repeated note to self to find out more … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: June 2020

I never cease to be amazed that garden centres and nurseries actually sell seeds and plants of the Mexican fleabane, Erigeron karvinskianus. In my garden, nothing (except perhaps the dreaded pellitory) flourishes and reproduces better, and it grows best in … Continue reading

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The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary

I have long been attracted by the above-named beast, which I came across for the first time in my previous existence, when skim-reading John Bell’s two-volume work of 1763, Travels from St Petersburg in Russia, to Diverse Parts of Asia. … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: August 2019

Passiflora, the passion flower, is – perhaps unsurprisingly – a genus in the family Passifloraceae, which is itself part of the enormously varied order of Malpighiales, which includes everything from the willow to the violet by way of poinsettias. The … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: July 2019

The nasturtium (occasionally nasturtian, or, if you are an A.A. Milne fan, mastershalum) is one of those plants which it is quite easy to overlook for their ubiquitous familiarity. Simple to grow (and to regrow if you save the seeds), … Continue reading

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The Great Belzoni

… is today hung on display in the Fitzwilliam Museum – or, at any rate, a spectacular likeness produced after his death is. I mentioned this fascinating character several times in my previous blogging persona, but his arrival in Cambridge … Continue reading

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Sedgwick’s Boots

I begin with an appalling confession, made because of my reasonable confidence that nobody (least of all @TheMuseumOfLiz) actually reads this stuff … Here goes: although the Golden Jubilee of my arrival in Cambridge is only just below the horizon, … Continue reading

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The Loss of the ‘Royal George’

Was Proust the first or merely the best to describe the extraordinary moment when a completely forgotten incident in your life rises fully formed in your memory? In my most recent incident, it was a phone call at work about … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: February 2019

I had always thought that Garrya elliptica, usually at its most spectacular at this time of year, was an Australian plant. I have no idea why … In fact, it comes from a quite restricted strip of coastal western America, … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: January 2019

A lot of choice, during this (so far) mild winter. I wondered about Sycopsis chinensis, of which the yellow filaments are currently glowing @CUBotanicGarden, or one of my own winter-flowering clematis, but – not only because it is glorious in … Continue reading

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