Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Frosty mistletoe auction

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Last Tuesday in November = first mistletoe auction of the season at Tenbury Wells. A satisfyingly frosty day, with the mistletoe bundles glistening with hoarfrost in the sun.  And excellent stock – green-leaved and fully-berried (compare this time last year when the foliage  seemed  little yellow and the berries a little under-sized). But what’s this? Not a lot of lots? There seemed to be significantly fewer piles of mistletoe than normal. Nevertheless, and as usual, […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history , Travel

Urban mistletoe – normal or abnormal?

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Last week I joined a brief, early morning, urban mistletoe hunt with BBC Radio Gloucestershire. They had spotted mistletoe on trees in central Gloucester and wanted to discuss whether this was unusual.  The short answer to that is, no, not at all unusual here in Gloucestershire where mistletoe is common, but both yes and no elsewhere in the UK.  It all depends on where you are. [The hunt was broadcast during Mark Cummings’ show on […]

Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Lots of berries – and they’ll be all white on the night…

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Nearly mistletoe harvesting time, with the berries ripening nicely. And, on the mistletoe here in the Severn Vale at least, there are lots of berries.  Again (several years running now). There’s a slide show below showing some pictures I took this week in the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust‘s orchards at Longney, demonstrating the huge number of berries in the (handful of) mistletoe-laden apple trees there. Most of the berries have whitened up now, though some are […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistle Thrush , Mistletoe , social history , Travel

Mistletoe in The Quercy Local

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The French have a lot more mistletoe than we do here in Britain – their climate is better suited to it, and it is a common sight in many regions (though also, as in Britain, utterly absent from some parts).  That abundance doesn’t lessen its mysteriousness though – there are many French traditions and customs relating to le Gui. It was once (and possibly still is) especially valued as a un Porte-Bonheur, a Good Luck […]

Biodiversity , Current Affairs , Food and Drink , Gardening , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history , Travel

A visit to Cotehele’s Christmas Garland, and to see their mistletoe too

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Cotehele House, the National Trust estate on the Tamar estuary, is famous for its Christmas Garland; a 60-foot long flower-filled decoration they hang in the Hall each year. The dried flowers used are all grown in the estate garden, where there is also, as I’ve probably mentioned before, a large colony of mistletoe in the apple orchard. Mistletoe is fairly rare in this part of the south-west, so the mistletoe is significant. The orchard is […]

Biodiversity , Current Affairs , Gardening , Religion , social history , Travel

‘Training’ mistletoe, and thoughts on Churchyards

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A day out in London last week, at a conference discussing churchyard trees. Not about mistletoe.  But a surprising number of mistletoe angles… Starting with the journey there – as I caught the train in from Windsor (the conference was at Waterloo, an easy commute from Windsor) and Windsor is a mistletoe hotspot.  Regular readers will, obviously(!), know this already as I mentioned it last year when reporting on a drive up the Thames valley. […]