Category Archives: Natural history

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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Bark

It may seem a little weird, when summer seems at last to be arriving, to be considering bark. On the other hand, in my wanderings on the Italian peninsula recently, I found myself photographing as much bark as I did … 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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Not a Lion

The Twitter community of medieval historians have a recurring thread called #notalion. I ventured a humble contribution myself after our jaunt to Lisbon last year, but today I have come across a horde (herd, pack, pride) of not-quite-lions, all conveniently … 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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Object of the Month: April 2017

Over the Easter weekend, the children who live opposite were applying the life lesson of the Parable of the Talents to raise money for charity. Their school had given them £1, which they had to make grow, and the options … Continue reading

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