Monthly Archives: May 2017

“Doubtles God could have made a better berry…”

After last week’s post about the early history of strawberries its time to look at how the various wild species were transformed into garden and commercial varieties by an 18thc botanist and a handful of 19thc nurserymen.       … Continue reading

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Saints, Sinners, Sex and Strawberries…

Strawberries are quintessentially English. Or so you’d think. But actually they’re not. Although there are indigenous European strawberries the ones we eat are hybrids derived from a species from New England and another from Chile  introduced surreptitiously into France in … Continue reading

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Nun Appleton

Nun Appleton House is a sad place these days in every sense. The Yorkshire estate was once the home of Thomas Fairfax, the great Parliamentary general, and  also for a short while to Andrew Marvell, the poet, who acted as tutor … Continue reading

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The Strange Case of Doctor Ward…

Most readers of this blog will be familiar with the Wardian case, the method of transporting plants that transformed the world’s gardens and hothouses from the mid-19thc onwards and which were in regular use by Kew for the international transportation of … Continue reading

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