Category Archives: Botany

Plant of the Month: September 2021

At this time of year, the colchicums are at their best, spreading out (usually under trees) in Cambridge University Botanic Garden in an apparently effortless, though brief, display. Come to think of it, I am not sure if I have … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, Natural history | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Plant of the Month: August 2021

When I was at school, a sign that autumn (and therefore the end of the holidays) was on its way was that buddleia started flowering – i.e. the end of August to early September. These days, it seems to start … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

The Duke of Argyll’s Tea Tree

In a recent stroll around the Systematic Beds in the Botanic Gardens, I was intrigued to spot this label:

Posted in Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, London, Natural history | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Mr Kick and Mr Frankcom

Mary Capel (1630–1715, also spelled Capell), was the daughter of Arthur Capel, first Baron Capel of Hadham, Herts. (1604–49). He was already, by inheritance, a very rich man, but by his marriage in 1627 to Elizabeth Morrison, heiress of Cassiobury, … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, London, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Virtual Knowledge

Now that The End may be in sight (touching wood, not counting my chickens, not jinxing it by booking holidays, etc. etc.), I’ve been pondering what, if anything, about life in lockdown I might actually miss. It is of course … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, London, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Venice | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Litter

A couple of months ago, I became a signed-up, official Volunteer Litter-Picker for Cambridge City Council. This came about because I get furious about litter all the time, but had no idea what to do about it in any systematic … Continue reading

Posted in Archaeology, Botany, Cambridge, Natural history | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

2020 in the Research Plots

Not all of 2020, in fact, as the Cambridge University Botanic Garden was sadly but inevitably closed between March and June … I began following a particular plant or hedge throughout the year in 2017, with varying degrees of success … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Natural history | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Plant of the Month: November 2020

I am in the throes of having my garden made over. This is because, when I was young, and even more ignorant than I am now: (1) I put too many shrubs in too close together; (2) I maximised planting … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Botany, Cambridge, Exploration, Gardens, History, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

Anna Maria Garthwaite

It is a well-known fact that the Spitalfields district of London was, during the eighteenth century, entirely populated by French Huguenot refugees, all busy weaving away in their loft workshops, producing gorgeous silks for worldwide trade, and breeding auriculas and … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, London, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Ole Worm

I was prone to nominative determinism for more than half a century before I knew what it meant. A children’s biography of Grieg in my primary school library (who now remembers this series by Opal Wheeler and Sybil Deucher, which … Continue reading

Posted in Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Cambridge, History, Natural history, Printing and Publishing, The Netherlands | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments