Category Archives: Natural history

Naturalists of the Three Counties

It is an article of (my) faith that the ‘Three Choirs Counties’ – Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Gloucestershire – are the most beautiful and amazing part of England. Imagine my delight, therefore, when I discovered quite by chance all sorts of … Continue reading

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Quinquennium

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

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Fede Galizia

One of the perks of my part-time employment is that my job description includes an injunction to open the mail, which regularly contains interesting Stuff, not least the beautifully designed and printed catalogues of auction houses trying to tempt us … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: February 2020

Looking back, I discover that I have never written a ‘Plant of the Month’ piece about clematis, which is very odd, given that they are my favourite plants and by far my worst botanical extravagance. At the present count, I … 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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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

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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

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