Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Of this and that

Thought for the day         
 If all the insects were to disappear from the earth, within 50 years           
life on earth would end. If all humans disappeared from the earth,
within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.

                                                                   Attributed to Jonas Salk

For what it's worth, I don't agree with the first premise, but it is an interesting thought.


The catkins on our male Garrya elliptica continue to lengthen and have reached an impressive 200 mm. Pity there's probably not a female specimen within 50 miles.


Plants of Stinking Hellebore, Helleborus foetidus, are coming into flower in gardens and waste ground. This was the classical name (pronounced hel-le-bor-us) for these plants. It is native in some parts of Northamptonshire but hereabouts it is a garden escape.

Although completely unrelated, the orchid, Epipactis helleborine, is known as the Broad-leaved Helleborine, but if there is an etymological link I don't know.

Also in local gardens plants of Skimmia japonica are putting on a fine show. For a good show of holly berries both male and female plants must be within a reasonably close distance. With this species of Skimmia that is not the case although Skimmia reevesiana does require the two plants - as is the case with Garrya.


In Beckett's Close, Byfield, a few snowdrops have been in flower for a fortnight or so. They are too large to be Galanthus nivalis but I can't work up much enthusiasm for these plants although a woodland floor with masses of them in flower is impressive in its way.

In the meantime we patiently (or in my case, impatiently) await the arrival of the far more pleasing crocuses.

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