Blog Archives

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.  

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More TV Plant Errors

Another TV plant error. During Endeavour, the prequel to Morse, somebody mentioned that a person had been killed using digitoxin. ‘Ah. belladonna’, somebody else said. Wrong. Digitoxin, hardly surprisingly, derives from Digitalis, the foxglove. Belladonna is used to extract atropine.

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Seed Sowing

I have spent the morning sorting and sowing seeds. My least favourite job was removing the seeds from the very prickly heads of the Milk thistle, Silybum marianum, as it means getting pricked and cut hands. I always start the thistle

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PLANTS ON TV

During the ‘High Art of the Low Countries’ programme on BBC4, the presenter Andrew Graham-Dixon discussed the painting ‘The Garden of Earthly Delights’ painted by Hieronymus Bosch. He remarked that the people holding strawberries were showing a recent discovery from

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2012? IT WAS A FUNNY OLD YEAR…

What a year. No sooner had a drought been declared, it hardly stopped raining. It wasn’t a proper drought like the one of 1976 when I went swimming every evening at Castle Ashby lakes. The lakes were usually so cold

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COPPICING AT PREBENDAL MANOR

November 2012 was the start of a major overhaul of the coppice and Tree Seat at the Prebendal Manor. After a Sunday of torrential rain, Monday 5th was bright and sunny with a clear blue sky. What better weather could

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Coppicing the Nut Walk

Coppicing the Nut Walk   It has snowed and frozen on and off for some days now. The medieval gardens at Prebendal Manor are blanketed in white and imprinted with the feet patterns of people, dogs, ducks, rabbits, sheep, geese

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