berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe Auction Time

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The first Mistletoe Auction of the year takes place tomorrow morning, which to many means the proper start of the mistletoe season. The auctions are run by Nick Champion and are held at at Burford House Garden Centre, Burford, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8HQ.  Details on Nick’s website nickchampion.co.uk but shortcut for buyers is nickchampion.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/buyers_information_2021.pdf and for sellers (too late for tomorrow now but there’s another next week!) is nickchampion.co.uk/site/assets/files/1015/sellers_information_2021.pdf. The berries are already nice and […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history

It’ll be mistletoe time again soon

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With just a few days until October, we’re yet again at the start of the mistletoe season. So it is perhaps time for a quick review of how things are looking this time round: As is fairly usual these days, there’s a reasonable crop of berries forming, so it could be another good year for quality mistletoe. This seems to be the norm, and indeed there is research that suggests berry numbers per branch don’t, […]

berries , Blogroll , Gardening , Mistletoe , Other parasites

A tale of two mistletoes

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There’s a new mistletoe species here at Mistletoe Towers, all the way from Africa originally.  Though this particular set of seeds came from, er, Malvern.  It is Viscum minimum, related to our familiar Viscum album, but, as the name suggests, a much reduced plant.  Tiny actually. I haven’t ever grown it before, though have seen several specimens grown indoors.  For it isn’t an outdoor species, not here in Europe, as its hosts are tropical succulents. […]

berries , Current Affairs , druids , Food and Drink , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Mistletoe and Orchards on ITV today

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Plenty of mistletoe mentions on ITV this morning – all within the 2 hour show Love Your Weekend with Alan Titchmarsh (on ITV Hub here).  Helped along a bit by Sir Cliff ‘Mistletoe and Wine‘ Richard being the main guest. Christmas swag-making featured about 30 minutes in – with plenty of mistletoe incorporated into a very long decoration.  Some good mentions of how sticky the berries are, and their need for light when germinating, but […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

The Mistletoe Boats

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Going through old trading accounts of mistletoe ( as I am today, compiling some figures for a research paper) I’m often surprised at the attention given to mistletoe imports, once acknowledged to be the main source of Christmas mistletoe in Britain.  Yes we do grow our own, and do still cut and sell our own, but there was once and probably still is a flourishing trade in imports, mainly from France. Newspaper coverage of these […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Another berry good year

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Loads of berries, again, on the mistletoe this year. Which would, normally, mean lots of harvesting, sales and, of course, use of mistletoe. But we have two problems this season, already mentioned in recent posts, both caused by the Covid pandemic.  Firstly fewer mistletoe sales – the Tenbury Wells Auctions are cancelled.  And secondly social distancing – how can you kiss under mistletoe when you can’t get closer than 2 metres and wearing a mask? […]

berries , birds , Current Affairs , Gardening , maths , Mistletoe , Science

Mistletoe in May, and Maths (and pandemics)

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May Day! Summer will be here soon.  And mistletoe is doing fine, just keeping on growing.  My first picture here is, literally, mistletoe in May – a small mistletoe growth growing low on a May (Hawthorn) tree in full blossom.  Taken in late April actually – on the banks of the Severn near Framilode earlier this week.  Hawthorn/May is one of mistletoe’s favourite hosts, though the growths are often rather small and mis-formed compared to […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Spring – mistletoe has nothing to do but grow…  

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April, in lockdown, and the main mistletoe action season is over – berries ripened (Nov/Dec/Jan), seeds planted (Feb/March), flowers over (Feb/March), pollination done (Feb/March). From now until next winter mistletoe has nothing to do but grow.  For the seedlings it’s a bit more challenging – they still have to link into their new host’s vascular system, but for a mature mistletoe there really isn’t anything else to do now.  Just grow new shoots and new […]

berries , Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history

Mistletoe trade – then and now

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Many of my mistletoe talks this season have had a history theme, looking back at mistletoe in days gone by – both ancient (myth, legend etc) and modern, describing how Christmas demand for mistletoe from the 19th century onwards made it a saleable product, not just a curious tree parasite. The trade in mistletoe grew and grew – built on the growing popularity of the kissing custom in the Victorian era and a desire, requirement […]