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SW London
A semi-mature, hardy individual who tries to get away with doing as little as possible in gardening as in life, still expects the best results & wonders why she is frequently disappointed! She likes to keep a photographic record of everything, good & frequently bad!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

The Bastard

Kew Gardens 17 Jan 2010 003

This is not a rant or a moan about some despicable individual despite the title, although I am sure I could manage a fair bit of it if pushed. No, this is about a tree; the Bastard Gumwood tree (Commidendrum rotundifolium).

I was happily listening to the radio whilst driving back from Norfolk yesterday when I heard the fascinating story of this poor bastard of a tree on St Helena, the last of its kind, which a scientist from Kew Gardens is trying to save. The problem is that the tree is not self-fertile so they are hand pollinating every flower in the hope that there will be some slight genetic mutation which would then allow self-pollination. The poor thing has also to be covered in netting to prevent pollination from a closely related species. Apparently it was thought this tree was extinct but it was re-discovered! I imagine it was trying to live out its last days in peace!

The news story can be found here.

I just loved the story.

The photo is part of the Japanese garden in Kew Gardens. I would not have one myself, too neat & tidy, but they are very calming to look at.


  1. Ssshh...say this very quietly.
    Is it really worth all the effort? It is obviously not a very genetically strong tree so maybe......
    Or is that mean?

  2. I agree with James - maybe the fate of this tree has already been sealed? Survival of the fittest, and all that...

    Whatever a Small Bastard Cabbage Tree is, I want one!

  3. When I read "The Bastard" and saw that gravel I thought you had created a gravel garden and that some bastard (probably of the feline variety) had crapped in it. I should have none of course that you were far too much of a Lazy Trollop to have bothered to make a gravel garden.

    PS. I know what you did last week.

  4. I did consider calling this 'Leave the Poor Bastard Alone' as I do feel perhaps it should be left in peace!

    I am not sure I dare ask what I did last week. Have I forgotten?

    Oh & I do have lots of gravel in my garden but it is of the crazy mixed up variety. We, daughter & I, used to make patterns with the different colour/size stones, but hey, life is far too short.

  5. Dontcha just want to run through all that gravel and mess it all up?

    Thanks for the info re the Wildlife photographer of the year hoo-ha. I updated my post yesterday with various links after hearing the news yesterday lunchtime. Spookily I was particularly thinking of you at the time because of your original comment about the winning photo. It just reinforces why I didn't like it in the first place!

  6. A lazy trollop appearing on twitter... & keeping company with the likes of Ryan and James A-S...
    count me in.
    And if future, give lessons in doing as little as possible!

  7. Thanks BAT. Sorry for not responding earlier but our internet disappeared for almost 24 hours.
    As for lessons on doing as little as possible, as a general rule I have found avoidance is the best technique.

  8. I agree with James - maybe the fate of this tree has already been sealed? Survival of the fittest, and all that... blu-ray authoring