Despite the lack of sun, our few sweet peas thanks to abundant rain, have flourished this year.
It could be a form snobbery to refer to plants by their Latin names, suggested Lorenzo da Ponte here a few days ago. Possibly, but the numerous different names given to flowers and herbs in different parts of the country justify a single, precise nomenclature to avoid confusion. Take Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) for example. Geoffrey Grigson's The Englishman's Flora lists more than 50 local English names. Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) has nearly 30.
"The ardour which we do not share, chills us," said the Victorian poet Coventry Patmore. I think of this and wilt a little at the ecstatic reaction to a few gold medals, well earned though they may be. Well done, I say, but that's enough. "Patriotism," said Dr Johnson, "is the last refuge of the scoundrel. I sometimes agree with him.