Blog Archives

Growing Nux vomica- The Strychnine Tree

  I need a photograph of a Nux vomica plant, the strychnine tree for the book that I am writing about poisonous plants, ‘Death in the Garden.’ Gerard the herbalist wrote about the medical use of the seeds; the name

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in Historic Gardener. Gardening-Horticulture, historic gardening, Michael Brown, Uncategorized

The Georgian Garden

The Georgian period was one of great advances in gardening, but also one of changing fashions and taste. The formality of the grand parterres in the French Style were soon to fall out of favour and be grubbed up as

Posted in Uncategorized

Illegal Mandrake Collecting

I have just read about an online petition that has been set up by the RSPCA to ban the illegal use of dogs to harvest mandrake roots.  Mandrake, Madragora officinarum, has been harvested for millennia for its medicinal properties.  

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Uncategorized

William Cowper- A critic of Lancelot Brown

Although we are celebrating Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown this year, he was not without his critics. One was the poet William Cowper who lived in Olney – famous for the Pancake Race- and later Weston Underwood, a short distance away. Cowper

Posted in Uncategorized

A Valentine’s Day Rose

  Who Saint Valentine was is not at all certain. He may be a conglomeration of more than one saint, and although no churches in England are dedicated to him, his popularity is now virtually un-rivalled across the world. Chaucer

Posted in Uncategorized

The Georgian Surveyor. The equipment that Capability Brown could have used

The Georgian period was a good time for to be a surveyor. At home estates needed mapping to ensure that you could fend off land-grabbers, so you needed to know where your boundaries were. Surveying was needed so that you

Posted in Uncategorized

Mascall’s ‘Hare Pipe’ Trap

I was preparing some items to take to Aston Court to give my talk, ‘Those Tempestuous Tudors.’ The talk is about the use of plants during the Tudor period, but it includes poisons and a few other gruesome gardening subjects. I

Posted in Uncategorized