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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.


Our Societies support hundreds of local arts and heritage projects. Each day we highlight a grant given in 2021.  

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.

All donations from the Artvent Calendar will go towards The Arts Society’s grant giving fund, which awards grants to help preserve our artistic heritage, support the skills of artists and makers, and improve access to the arts for all.

Please click here to support projects like this one by making a Donation.



Very enjoyable and informative.

Duncan Fri, 17/12/2021 - 23:26 Permalink

Thoroughly enjoyed this talk. Very informative and amusing too.

Patricia Hudson Fri, 17/12/2021 - 23:03 Permalink

Such a good talk, thank you. I feel
inspired to read more about Christmas flora. Maybe Timothy could delight us with a book with more stories hidden in the leaves.

Carol Pritchett Fri, 17/12/2021 - 22:58 Permalink

As a plantophile from way back and endlessly aspiring gardener I particularly enjoyed this unusual perspective on Christmas. Thank you very much. I'm in Canberra, by the way, where gardens are enjoying an unusually wet spring/summer.

Sally Petherbridge Fri, 17/12/2021 - 22:50 Permalink

Absolutely fascinating. Thank you.

Christine Callow Fri, 17/12/2021 - 22:17 Permalink

Brilliant. The best talk so far!

Anonymous Fri, 17/12/2021 - 20:14 Permalink

One of your best talks! I’ll have to watch it again!

Elizabeth Fri, 17/12/2021 - 19:01 Permalink

Well done, Timothy. Brilliant professional presentation, all with lovely touches of understated British humour.

ps: I am located in Canada.

Andrew Clarke Fri, 17/12/2021 - 18:24 Permalink

Fascinating talk from an erudite and witty speaker. Enjoyed all the talks so far, but this is the best.

Claire Robertson Fri, 17/12/2021 - 18:12 Permalink

One of the best very informative and interesting

Margaret Read Fri, 17/12/2021 - 18:11 Permalink