Category Archives: Natural history

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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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

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Francesco Cupani

The Alpine House @CUBotanicgarden is pretty stunning at the moment, what with the cyclamen, autumn crocus and colchicums – do go and have a look! Among all the incredibly photogenic flowers, I came across Colchicum cupani, which compelled me finally … Continue reading

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Pills

An appurtenance of any self-respecting apothecary’s shop was, it seems, a pill-tile. Made of pottery, and sometime lavishly decorated like that other essential, the pharmacy jar, it provided a flat, smooth surface on which to roll pills. The Fitzwilliam Museum … Continue reading

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The Immortal Peacock

I first saw a real live peacock when I was quite young, in Victoria Park in the city where I was brought up. An area of grass and trees very close to the railway station, and therefore – in the … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Art, Classics, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Secret Garden

Of course, a great many gardens in Venice are secret – that is, invisible to the normal passer-by in the calle. But the garden of Palazzo Soranzo Cappello is probably the most famous secret garden in the city (with the … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Botany, Gardens, History, Italy, Literature, Natural history, Printing and Publishing, Venice | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Anon.

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