The Call of the Wildflower

The Call of the Wildflower

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Excerpt: ... Flowers of Selborne that Gilbert White himself "was once guilty of this misdemeanour." He sowed, not tares in wheat, but seeds of the grass of Parnassus in the Hampshire bogs, and sowed them according to his own statement unsuccessfully; it would appear, however, from what Canon Vaughan discovered that White was "more successful than he imagined." However that may be, the question that arises is whether a judicious extension of the range of wildflowers by the agency of man is really a thing to be censured. May not a flower-lover occasionally sow his "wild oats"? Pg 99 It must be admitted that the objections to such a practice are not retrospective, for if it be a misdemeanour, it is one that is condoned, perhaps hallowed, by time. For as it is impossible to draw a strict line between flowers that were accidentally imported or "escapes" from ancient gardens, and those that were planted deliberately, we wisely ask no questions in the case of old-established plants of foreign origin, but receive them into our flora as aliens that have become naturalized and are honourably classed as "denizens"; when they have once made good their tenure of the soil, it seems to matter little by what means they arrived. Thus, for example, the starry trefoil, which colonized the Shoreham shingles over a century ago, having apparently come as a stowaway on board some foreign ship, was not only tolerated but highly regarded by English botanists, and its recent destruction is felt to be a national loss. Would it have detracted from its value, if, as indeed may have happened, it had been purposely sown on the beach? On the contrary, it seems desirable that it should now be restored in that manner. Such planting, of course, if done at all, should be done circumspectly, and on a fixed principle, not as an amusement for irresponsible persons or children. I know a flower-lover who, in a district where that beautiful St. John's-wort, the tutsan, was dwindling more

Product details

  • Paperback
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 95g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236714865
  • 9781236714862