Category Archives: Exploration

Death on the Ice

Can I enthusiastically recommend the current (until 7 January 2018) ‘Death in the Ice’ exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich? It contains some fantastic Stuff (including artefacts found in the ongoing investigations of the recently discovered wrecks of … Continue reading

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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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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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Lucca

I never quite understood what was so great about St Martin slicing his cloak in two and giving half to a beggar: why didn’t he just hand over the whole cloak and be done with it? He was a soldier … 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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Plant of the Month: January 2017

My mahonia is looking pretty cheerful at the moment: as good a reason as any to find out a bit more about it – including, I hope, the reason for its flowering in the coldest months of the year, when … Continue reading

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