Category Archives: Natural history

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

Posted in Botany, Gardens, History, Natural history | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

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

Posted in Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, Natural history | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Brother of the More Famous Jan

One of the treasures of the Fairhaven Bequest at the Fitzwilliam Museum is the series of twelve flower paintings, one for each month of the year, by van Huysum. Until a few days ago, I had assumed that the artist … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Cambridge, Gardens, History, London, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing, The Netherlands, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Graven Stones

I had a Grand Day Out in London this week, not the least of its grandeur being my success in walking from Pimlico (where the plane trees have suffered remarkable pruning) to the Garden Museum at Lambeth, then back past … Continue reading

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

The Nuremberg Hesperides

This blog was going to be called ‘The Hand of Buddha’, but, as so often, one thing led to another. The inspiration was found in the Chinese herbal garden at the Hortus in Leiden, which was in good autumnal form … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, Gardens, History, Italy, Museums and Galleries, Natural history, Printing and Publishing, Venice | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Dawson Turner

I have just discovered, down the side of the metaphorical sofa, another large piece in the fascinating jigsaw of who knew whom in the Victorian artistic and scientific community. Dawson Turner (1775–18580 was a Great Yarmouth man, his father being … Continue reading

Posted in Art, Bibliography, Biography, Botany, France, History, Natural history, Printing and Publishing | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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 , , , , , | 7 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