Author Archives: carolinemmurray

Drought

According to the National Geographic Society, a drought happens when: ‘Below-average precipitation affects the amount of moisture in soil as well as the amount of water in streams, rivers, lakes, and groundwater.’ Alternatively, the United States Government says it is … Continue reading

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Another Botanic Garden

Coudeberg, Pierre Coudebergus, Petrus Coudenberch, Peeter van Coudenberg (Petrus) Coudenberg (Pierre) Coudenberg, Pieter Coudenbergh, Peter Coudenberghe, Peeter van Coudenberghe, Peter Coudenbergius, Petrus Coundenberg (Pieter) Koudenbergh Koudenbergh, Pieter are all the alternative spellings I have so far come across for this … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: July 2022

Three or four years ago, I bought a Phygelius capensis (Cape fuchsia or Cape figwort) at Cambridge market. It performed extremely well, and when I revolutionised the garden layout in January 2021, it was one of the plants which (to … Continue reading

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Two Duchesses (Part Two)

For those who are still with me, we now go back in time to look at the life and travails of Maria Luisa of Bourbon-Parma (1782–1824), queen of Etruria, duchess of Parma and duchess of Lucca. Her father was Charles … Continue reading

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Two Duchesses (In Two Parts)

I have to say that I am getting a bit fed up with the after-effects of Covid – eight weeks after I first tested positive and had very mild symptoms, I am still feeling exhausted and completely brain-fogged, hence the … Continue reading

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Reasons To Be Cheerful

I posted this blog ten minutes ago, at which point everything except the title disappeared (possibly not unconnected with the content). So I’m having another go … Among the (very first-world) disadvantages of Covid are: having to cancel a trip … Continue reading

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St Clement(s)

Out and about in the wilderness populated by dragons that is north Cambridge a few days ago, I visited (as well as Kettle’s Yard – Ai Weiwei, do go!) St Peter’s church, and, on my way back down, St Clement’s. … Continue reading

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Plant of the Month: April 2022

I first (consciously) saw an Amelanchier lamarckii in the Abbey Gardens at Bury St Edmunds in spring some thirty years ago. At the time, it seemed a delightful, delicate and exotic rarity, but either they have become more popular or … Continue reading

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Saint Pantaleimon

We’re recently back from a week in Venice, where the weather was glorious, and we spent a lot of time in churches, not least because some seem to be open now which never, ever, were in the last twenty years … Continue reading

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Buds

March is all about anticipation: admittedly, whitethorn and Prunus cerasifera are doing their thing, and Mahonia is almost over, but, in the Botanic Garden, I don’t imagine I am the only person checking up on the great Prunus x yedoensis (the Yoshino cherry) … Continue reading

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