Powerful presence

Flowers of the Variegated Silverberry

Flowers of the Variegated Silverberry

The perfume finds you in sudden gusts.

It took me ages to track down its origin, the first year.

Could it be out-of-season lilies-of-the-valley, or carnations, or late-flowering summer jasmine?

No, it comes from the tiny, fleshy flowers of the Variegated Silverberry.

A shrub with a secret that refuses to stay hidden.


A naughty world

Shining in a naughty world

Shining in a naughty world

“Naughty but nice,”  “Naughty, naughty,” “Naughty bits.”

I had a South American friend once who loved the word because of its cosy connotations.

It’s one of the last epithets we’d think of applying to the world as Shakespeare did in ‘The Merchant of Venice’:

That light we see is burning in my hall.
How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.

In Shakespeare’s day the meaning of the word was closer to its origin of ‘naught -y’ i.e. worthless.

Etymology shifts can be quite amusing.