I have just spent a very lovely warm and sunny week in Cornwall, a place thick with the Cabbage trees which have inspired this post. I love the Cabbage tree (Cordyline australis) because of its association with the seaside and the fantasies of palm fringed tropical beaches that it brings to mind. The ‘Cornish palm’ […]
A couple of weekends ago I was staying in Dorset where I heard about Wyndham’s Oak, an ancient tree I felt compelled to seek out. It is a pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur) and it is ancient, maybe 1000 years old. It is a shrinking hulk in an unlikely setting but it is a local landmark […]
In my recent post about the Wild Service tree and it’s elusive fruits, I reproduced an English translation of a German recipe for Wild Service vodka, or Chequer schnapps as I now prefer to call it.
Around my neck of the woods there are many fine Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and Whitebeam (Sorbus aria) street trees now super-abundantly laden with ripe, red berries and leaves beginning to take on autumnal hues. With these local fruity indicators appearing, it was time, I thought, to go on my annual quest for chequers, the semi-mythical […]
Soon after I first became interested in plants and conservation I became aware of the concept of native and non-native species. I grew up in Dover, a port town where xenophobic attitudes are paradoxically ingrained in a population who perceive themselves to be on the frontline of an unfinished European war and are ever ready […]
I have been on a sojourn to the North and spent several days in The North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Sandwiched between the Yorkshire Dales and Northumberland National Parks, it attracts far fewer visitors than its glamorous neighbours. That said, the Glorious 12th having just passed, the area was thrumming with Land Rovers […]