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The natural history of Christmas

Apart from the pear tree in which sat the partridge, there are no plants in the 12 days of Christmas according to the folk song. Sadly, even that reference is erroneous, because partridges are ground dwelling birds. And yet at Christmas we are surrounded by plants. This talk by Accredited Lecturer Timothy Walker puts the record straight and rewrites the zoocentric song replacing partridges with poinsettias, and maids with mistletoe.


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The Arts Society Dukeries have recently awarded a grant for Hallcroft Infants School to run art and nature workshops with their pupils. Local artist James Brint will run the workshops outdoors, giving the children experiences and skills that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

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I can only chime in with all the others - the best talk so far!
Informative and fun, it puts a fresh twist on the Christmas celebrations and all those plants upon which they depend. Bravo!

Ann Dünki Fri, 17/12/2021 - 18:04 Permalink

Loved this talk - like others, think it has been the best so far. Well done to Timothy. Could he be inspired to write a new '12 days of Christmas' version, and if there was an accompanying illustrated book, I think it would be a winner!

Christine Knight Fri, 17/12/2021 - 17:52 Permalink

What a zoophobe. Would have been a great talk but for his start. Just look at the TV schedules to see how very popular gardening and gardens are after Covid times. You cannot have Christmas cake without eggs and butter from animals! Otherwise a great talk.

Dorothy Fri, 17/12/2021 - 17:34 Permalink

Think someone should re-write the 12 days of Christmas using all the plants mentioned and give the Lords a leaping and the Drummers drumming a well earned rest.
Thank you for a lovely talk and I no longer feel guilty about the ropes of ivy on my back wall

Virginia Moodie Fri, 17/12/2021 - 17:11 Permalink

Fascinating, humorous and enlightening. Wonderful delivery, Timothy and substitution of plants with their photos, inspiring. Thank you.

Maggie Fri, 17/12/2021 - 17:06 Permalink

One of the best talks in the series. Thank you

Diana Gill Fri, 17/12/2021 - 17:06 Permalink

Loved the talk, so much to learn about plants, it made me go out into our rather large, rather overgrown garden and pick some evergreens for arranging in the house. I love ivy and always argue against cutting it back. Enjoyed the humour in this talk as well. Thankyou

Sheila Mason Fri, 17/12/2021 - 16:16 Permalink

I am guilty of removing the ivy from my garden wall. I feel now that I should let some of it grow back

Julie Fri, 17/12/2021 - 15:42 Permalink

Absolutely brilliant talk. As a garden enthusiast, it was the best so far. Thank you so much.

Pauline Briggs Fri, 17/12/2021 - 15:00 Permalink

Hurrah for Plants.

Judy Fri, 17/12/2021 - 14:58 Permalink