The Museum of Oxford run a reminiscence project called Memory Lane. In December they visited the Botanic Garden, to participate in a session entitled Festive Flora. This comprised time in our Education Room, talking about Christmas traditions, and the many plants associated with them. From Christmas trees and yule logs, through holly and mistletoe to nuts, we had a range of handling items to touch, smell and even taste! We passed round Christmas spices including cinnamon and nutmeg, and thought about their origins in far flung places. We finished up with the obligatory Christmas chocolate pennies, and thinking about how we rely on the midge that pollinates the cocoa flowers for all the delicious chocolate we enjoy at this time of year.
We then took a break, to enjoy refreshments in our festivaly decorated Conservatory, complete with Christmas tree.
After the session we took a tour around the Garden to spot the infamous Brussels sprouts on the veg beds, and smell some of the herbs.
Feedback from participants
- This was my first memory day and I really learned a great deal about Festive Flora. The speaker was very clear and the talk held everyones attention and the comments made by everyone were interesting too. Thank you very much.
- A very enjoyable session and enjoyed the smells and tastes.
- Enjoyed handling, tasting and smelling exhibits.
- Loved the chocolate!
- Very enjoyable session. Nice to smell nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc. I also learnt some interesting facts – e.g. midges needed to germinate the cocoa beans, Brussels sprouts on long stalks. A lovely setting too.