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. […]

Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history , Travel

Ahhh Biska!

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In urban myth Tequila is flavoured by a worm in each bottle. This is, of course, untrue. Only certain types of Mezcal (similar to Tequila) bottles have worms – and even those aren’t worms, they’re moth larvae from the Agave plants that are fermented to make the drink. Not worms, and not in Tequila. Popular belief will also tell you that mistletoe is toxic, dangerously so. So you might think it’s a myth that there’s […]

Current Affairs , druids , Mistletoe , social history

Hanging the Mistletoe, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

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By the mid-nineteenth century hanging mistletoe at Christmas was all the rage, featuring regularly in accounts of celebrations, particularly newspapers and magazine, often with pictures.  And of course there were paintings too, some by very famous painters – a favourite of mine is Bringing in the Mistletoe, a druid-themed painting by Edward Atkinson Hornel.  But that’s not the one I’m featuring today! Most were of a much more domestic scenario than Hornel’s picture, and one […]

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 […]

Current Affairs , Doctor Who , druids , Mistletoe , Science , social history

Whovian mistletoe from 1978

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A little light relief from current affairs – for Doctor Who fans anyway. I’ve commented before on mistletoe having bit parts in Doctor Who – notably protecting Queen Victoria (and David Tennant’s Doctor) from a Werewolf in a 2006 episode.  And also mistletoe featuring, unremarked but possibly significantly, outside a portal in a 2017 episode with Peter Capaldi’s Doctor (I met Mr C briefly this year. Nice man, he said ‘hello’). Now, via the magic […]

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? […]

Blogroll , Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe auctions covid-cancelled

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Just a quick update re the Tenbury Wells Mistletoe Auctions – these have now also been cancelled, as well as the Mistletoe Festival. Which seems to raise the possibility that, not only will there be no kissing under mistletoe because of Covid fears, there’ll be no mistletoe to kiss under either! Never fear, not all mistletoe comes from Tenbury’s auctions! There are many other ways for wholesalers, retailers and the public to buy mistletoe – […]