24 January 2019, The Tablet

Glimpses of Eden

Glimpses of Eden

The Persian ironwood tree glowed like an ember. Though leafless, it was in blossom and the winter sun caught the tiny red flowers growing on the lattice of interlacing branches. A little further on, we walked under a Caucasian alder tree, gigantic as a church steeple. In the middle of a British city, here in the botanical gardens we were surrounded by plant specimens from all over the planet. A Mongolian mulberry graced the January morning; swamp cypresses rose from the waters of the little lake, as though from their native Florida Everglades. The hothouses held palms and cacti.

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