7Jun 2023

Guide to plants of Abruzzo Park

Member and MPG guide Goffredo Filibeck is lead author of a new guide to the plants of Abruzzo “Guida al Paesaggio Vegetale del Parco Nazionale d’Abruzzo Lazio e Molise”. Laura Cancellieri, who was co-leader on MPG’s tours in the Maremma in spring 2019 and 2022, is a co-author. Photo captions include scientific names of plants. The book can be ordered here or here. Those who understand Italian can watch a 1hr 30m video in which Goffredo starts to speak 11 minutes in.  The book is published and sold by the Abruzzo National Park and all income goes to the Park for supporting its environmental conservation activities. Goffredo’s photo shows Apennine endemic Cymbalaria pallida on Monte Meta, where it lives on screes.

23May 2023

MPG at RHS Chelsea

MPG members are at RHS Chelsea today, arriving well before normal opening time, to explore in peace before a full sit-down breakfast in the restaurant. Picture shows Savills “pot-to-plate” garden from which a chef chose goodies to make lunch for Chelsea pensioners which they ate on site.

5Apr 2023

Weather records broken at Wisley

Statistics collected at RHS Wisley over the last nine months show that in July and the first half of August 2022 there were just 3mm of rain in 46 days. The drought broke on 16 August then came 33.5mm of rain on 25 August. This followed a dry April to July with only 41 per cent of usual rainfall. Total rainfall in September was 93.6mm of which 59mm fell in four days from 5 to 8 September and 44.6mm fell on 23 October (the average for a whole month in summer). The highest temperature was 38.6 °C on 19 July, a new record for Wisley. The lowest temperature was –8.1 °C on 15 and 16 December: the winter was the coldest recorded since 2010.

27Feb 2023

Kite flying or plant hunting here?

Many MPG members have an affinity with Greece because of its rich flora so it’s fun to see a local low-key sample of the traditional thing children and adults do on this day, Kathara Deftera (“Clean Monday” – the first day of the Eastern Orthodox version of Lent), though it has nothing to do with plants. This little girl was doing her best to get her kite high on Stoupa beach in the western Mani today. Families celebrate with delicious fasting foods. The significance of kite flying is its association with ascension of the soul, flying into the skies and getting closer to God.

20Jan 2023

Expansion for future security

Mona Abboud’s garden in north London, home to many unusual plants from Mediterranean climates and New Zealand and also the National Collection of Corokia, has been enlarged with the purchase of an overgrown derelict patch of land next door. Work started on it a year ago and it will open for visits in May. It retains some mature trees, an oak, a magnolia, a Ginkgo biloba and a fig tree. The house and garden will one day belong to Perennial, the charity which supports horticulturists, so Mona will build a propagation greenhouse. She is creating a raised exotic border and a prairie area. Felled wood has been used to delineate paths. Large amounts have been chipped to go towards compost.

3Jan 2023

Peter Watts bursary fund contribution

We are touched and very grateful for the kind contribution from Peter Watts’ family to MPG to support a full bursary. Melvyn Jope was instrumental in helping in the distribution of Peter’s extensive plant collection and also distribution and sale of books from his comprehensive library. Peter’s family were very supportive of the suggestion that from the proceeds an MPG bursary contribution might be a good way to honour Peter’s memory. Peter was a keen and very knowledgeable horticulturist with, among other plants, a special interest in cyclamen and bulbous plants. He was well known as the person that found Crocus wattiorum in its natural environment in Tahtali Dagi Turkey. The picture is a pale yellow form of Sternbergia lutea from his collection.

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