Monday, 8 June 2009


So as a couple of you may remember I was off to do a talk at the British Museum about the India landscape installed for the summer by Kew, to tie in with exhibitions at the Museum about Indian art. 

I was very nervous, and deservedly so because more than 30 people came. I'm in the black, with the weird microphone necklace hanging around my neck (felt a bit like a medieval instrument of torture. A bit.) We looked at the planting, which varies from Banyan to Meconopsis, and talked about great botanists associated with India, including my favourite, Wallich (of many different Wallichiana/ Wallichii fame). 

I didn't feel like it went all that well, I have to admit. Though people were complimentary afterwards. On the other hand, it was very satisfying to have actually done it. And it was the first time I'd done something like that - in such a small space. At Kew, we have acres to impress people with. My immediate thought was "Oh I wish I could do it again another day, I think I could actually make it good now." 

Well I don't have a chance to do the same garden tour again, but on Friday I am going back to the British Museum to give the lunchtime lecture. It's about Joseph Hooker and Charles Darwin and Indian plants, and if anyone wants to come along I would be so delighted to see you. 

You could make sure to ask me some nice easy questions, too. Eeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkkkk.


Zoƫ said...

Wish I could, in the hossie again this Wednesday for my sense of humour tops ups, grounded 'til next week.

I see the ubiquitous Himalayan Birch has made its presence known in those borders too. I thought about your comment on the FG gardens with the birch(Betula utilis var jacquemontii?) and decided Acer griseum would have look really well against the rust, tone on tone rather than contrast.

patientgardener said...

Good luck - rather you than me

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }

[ Editor- Children’s Poem
& Adult’s Poem ]

Mark D said...

Wish I could be there the way, is that woman in the top photo checking out your butt!?

emmat said...

Hell yeah!
To be honest, if she was, I think she will have been sadly disappointed.

Esther Montgomery said...

You don't say in what way you don't think it worked.

I think it must be very difficult to give a talk or a tour in the open air where your voice may or may not carry, there are all sorts of noises off - and your audience will be looking everywhere except at you for at least some of the time.

Live too far away to come to your lecture - but would you be able to take a stack of questions in envelopes so you can take them out at useful moments? Or ones you can read from emails? Ones that people have 'sent in' earlier or asked already? (Blue Peterish?)