Gardening: Cuttings: Misguided Brigittes

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The Independent Online
THE sometimes conflicting problems of conservation are highlighted in Jim and Jenny Archibald's most recent newsletter, which accompanies the list of seeds collected on their expedition to Ecuador last July.

Mr Archibald quotes from a correspondent in Japan, who had made the long journey to the Agawa Gorge to collect seed of tricyrtis (toad lily) and Lilium speciosum. When he got there he found a herd of serow had stripped every plant from the gorge.

'The serow is a graceless, perpetually browsing and belching deer relation that has been taken up as the trendiest cause celebre of the Japanese Brigitte Bardots,' the correspondent writes. 'They had desecrated the landscape all up the river with 'Save the Serow' placards, and it gave me great pleasure to burn a bunch of the things to warm up my lunch. The rare hosta of the gorges was stripped of seed pods, nearly all the tricyrtis has been champed back to half the stem's length, even the arisaemas, which would burn the guts out of most animals.'

The Ecuador list also has details of seed from earlier North American forays, and a smaller selection of seeds from Greece and Turkey. It is available from the Archibalds, Bryn Collen, Ffostrasol, Llandyssul, Dyfed SA44 5SB. Send a large stamped addressed envelope.

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