Music making trees

One of my very favourite records is a 1965 recording of the Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor played by Jacqueline du Pre with the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli, himself a cellist.  This is regarded by many people to be the benchmark performance of this much-loved work.  The fact that this concerto is played so beautifully on an instrument crafted from wood only occurred to me when Ray Steward OAM took us on his excellent tree walk in the Australian Plant Communities on 23rd July 2013.

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Virginia Woolf’s Garden – a book review

Caroline Zoob and her husband, Jonathan, rented Monk’s House, Rodmell near Lewes, East Sussex, from the National Trust for 10 years.  This had been the home of Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard.  They bought it in 1919 and took to the garden with passion.  With Virginia’s help Leonard turned an ordinary cottage garden into something special.

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War Gardens – a review

This book and its theme are timely and poignant. We won’t stop waging wars. Some parts of the globe have long histories of it with competition for resources, land, water, trade and souls. Dwindling water supplies suggest more will come. We also won’t stop gardening – for food, shelter, beauty, solace – and this book is revealing on why. What gardening does for us – something that seems worth pondering and talking-up, as peace-fostering.

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Keeping a promise….

While holidaying in Vietnam in 2010, I spent a couple of days helping out at the Da Nang Social Support Centre. This centre caters for people that are unable to look after themselves because of bad health, they are too young, or too old, or just too poor.

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Hawaii: a paradise for plants

Islands are Nature’s kitchen and the Hawaiian Islands, sitting in splendid isolation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, are the perfect place to see where evolution has cooked up a smorgasbord. When the first humans arrived on the islands around 400 AD there were already thousands of plant and animal creations.

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