Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , Religion , Science , social history , Travel

Mistletoe Season looms…

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Too early for mistletoe? Maybe. But it’s never off the agenda here at Mistletoe Matters, and we’re already fielding all sorts of enquiries from the press, public etc. So here are a few updates, as they seem to be needed: – It’s too early to say how good a year it is for mistletoe – there are quite a lot of berries, but they are still unripe and it is impossible to say how big […]

Biodiversity , Current Affairs , Mistletoe , Orchard , social history

Getting a feel for GOT’s mistletoe

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A quick visit to the Gloucestershire Orchard Trust (GOT)’s newly-acquired orchards at Longney, to admire/assess the mistletoe there. GOT have recently bought two traditional orchards, Long Tyning and Bollow, plus another orchard (now mostly gone) in an adjoining field. All next to the tidal Severn just below Gloucester at Longney. I’ve known the site for many years, partly as part of a circular walk we like to do along the river, but also because of […]

Current Affairs , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Morrisons turns into Mwah-issons for a day

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Is kissing under mistletoe on the decline? Research commissioned by Morrisons supermarkets suggest it might be. Only 14% of those surveyed said they kissed under mistletoe last year, which is not many. And, worse than that, 71% of those under 35 had never been kissed under mistletoe! So perhaps the custom is slowly dying out, at least among the younger generation. Which would be a shame, as the custom or some variant of it, has […]

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

Mistletoe in the media, so far, 2015

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  It’s been a surprisingly quiet year, so far, for mistletoe in the media. Though we still have nearly two weeks to go before Christmas, so there’s still plenty of time for more… Most of the coverage I’ve seen is in local papers. There have been the usual reports about the Tenbury Mistletoe Auctions and Festival in the regional and local press including the Shropshire Star, Western Morning News and Ludlow and Tenbury Wells Advertiser. Local TV covered […]

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

Too little mistletoe?

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It’s all very well talking about the ‘bumper crop’ and too much mistletoe if you’re in a mistletoe-rich area (i.e Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire, and Somerset) but most of the UK has very little mistletoe. So the situation across most of the country is, as usual, too little mistletoe. Why so much in some areas over others? It’s all to do with mistletoe’s preferred climate, which means it thrives and spreads naturally in key counties but […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Mistletoe , Orchard , Science , social history

Too much mistletoe?

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Can you have too much mistletoe? I don’t mean hanging in the hallway – where garlands of the stuff might be needed if you’ve a high-maintenance kisser in the house. I mean in the tree, where it grows as a parasite. Can there be too much there? The answer of course (as I’ve said many times before in this blog) is that yes, a tree can have too much mistletoe, and if left unchecked both […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , Media , Mistletoe , social history

Mistletoe Auction, with guard cat

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First mistletoe auction of the year at Tenbury Wells today. Good to see some security staff on site keeping out any mistletoe rustlers. Their van said they had dogs, but the fiercest animal I saw patrolling the mistletoe lots was this cat. This, though it looked charming, was probably capable of playing rough. And judging by the mud covered paws, face and flank it had done so quite recently. A small Chihuahua type dog nearby shivered continually. When […]

Current Affairs , Mistletoe , social history

Missable Mistletoe Gadgets 2015 – the Drone

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Tacky and tasteless ornaments are a reliable feature of Christmas, and mistletoe-themed ones are often amongst the worst. This year we are being offered the mistletoe drone, a concept arguably started by TGI Friday last year when they had a version flying round their restaurants. TGI Friday’s promotion, by the way, was somewhat blighted when one of the drones crashed into a customer and sliced off part of her nose…  I hope this new model, marketed by […]

Current Affairs , Gardening , social history , Travel

The first of 2015’s Giant Mistletoes, but will it be the best?

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Giant, pendant, but fake (obviously) mistletoes seem to be turning into a tradition, at least amongst corporate marketing teams and street decorators. In recent years there have many examples of these giant decorations – some stunning works of art (e.g. at RHS Harlow Carr back in 2008), some remarkable eye-catchers (e.g. Heathrow Airport in 2013) and some just plain tasteless (e.g Melbourne’s glow in the dark decorations in 2013, which looked as if was made of […]

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

Not-so-wild but fairly western mistletoe

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How far west can mistletoe grow in Britain? The main population is in the south-west English Midlands, overlapping into eastern-most Wales in Monmouthshire. But despite this being western-ish (this is definitely west of Britain’s geographic centre) it is not really a western plant, being quite rare in Devon and Cornwall, and in the rest of Wales. There are a few isolated populations, here and there, but they can be hard to find. And those odd populations may […]