I HAVE BEEN collecting and propagating plants for many years, however, it was not until the last ten years that I became aware through the practice, reading, investigation and research that gardening for lawns, palm trees, the focus on pretty flowers and or aesthetics/history was rather a sterile proposition.
Two books helped tremendously to change my ways:
The Once and Future Forest, Leslie Jones Sauer, Island Press, 1998.
The Ecocriticism Reader, , Cheryll Glotfelty and Harold Fromm,
University of Georgia Press,1996.
More recently, The Unnofficial Country Side, Richard Mabey, Little Toller Books, 2010, has given me a lot of pleasure and insight regarding biodiversity and ecology in our environment, urban/asphalt/concrete context, applied to our garden and/or any other garden in terms of focus/perspective, what a garden, landscape and parks should be.
One of the plants in our collection, Datura Stramoniun, is described and discussed:
"Late in 1970, I came across a case not unlike the hogweed scare. I was coming home on the train one night, and for want of something better to read picked up a copy of British's Rail's Rail News that had been abandoned on the carriage floor.. On the news page was this report:
Hard on the heels of the giant hogweed reported in August Rail News, comes another rare and dangerous plant-the thorn- apple.
It was spotted at New Milton station by retired chemist and local botanist, Bernard Hannan. He told his next-door neighbor, Llewelyn Trudgeon, one of Waterloo's assistants.
The thorn-apple has a strong smell and its flowers are either purple or white. The nasty-looking seed pod is like a horse chestnut with spikes.
Mr. Trudgeon was told by his botanist friend that the plant was poisonous and contained drugs which produced hallucinations and dilating pupils of the eyes.
"It is very rare ans was last recorded in this country in 1962,' he added.
Apparently the drug stramonium, which came from the plant, was once used for the alleviation of asthma. And it is believed wizards in medieval times used it.
New Milton SM Desmond Mantle was told that the plant was in the station car park and arranged for it to be destroyed.
After hacking down the 3 ft plant they dug up its roots and burned the lot".
The Unnoficial Countryside
"What, then, are thorn-apple's credentials, that might justify it being offered a little more respect?
It was originally a native of Peru, and it was John Gerard who first grew it in this country, in his garden in Holborn. So delighted was he by its showy trumpet flowers that he dispersed (it) through this land' - as well as having fun with it in his 'surgery':
The juicy of Thorn-apples boiled with hogs grease to the form of an unguent or salve, cures all inflammations whatsoever, all manner of burnings or scaldings, as well of fire, water, boiling lead, gun-powder, as that which comes by lightning, and that in very short time, as my selfe have found by my daily practise, to my great credit and profit.
The first experience came Colchester, where Mistress Lobel a merchant's wife there being most grievously burned by lightning, and not finding ease or cure in any other thing, by this found helpe
and was perfectly cured when all hope was past, by the report of Mr. William Ram publique Notarie of the said towne."
Now, it is time to rest. I have only one request, if you have a garden requiring irrigation, gas/oil/propane/electricity...then your garden does nothing to improve the countryside/urban context where you live, therefore, useless, sterile for biodiversity, ecology, landscape and the environment.
that is that
Para quienes practican el asunto
planteado, con algun conocimiento en
Spanish, este solidario/irrefutable argumento
de lo que pretendo, un blog fuera de orbita, consistente en sus argumentos, enfoque/perspectiva . .