Why this blog is called "Gallimaufry".

gal-uh-MAW-free\, noun.

Originally meaning "a hash of various kinds of meats," "gallimaufry" comes from French galimafrée; in Old French, from the word galer, "to rejoice, to make merry"; in old English: gala + mafrer: "to eat much," and from Medieval Dutch maffelen: "to open one's mouth wide."

It's also a dish made by hashing up odds and ends of food; a heterogeneous mixture; a hodge-podge; a ragout; a confused jumble; a ridiculous medley; a promiscuous (!) assemblage of persons.

Those of you who know me, will, I’m sure, understand how well some of these phrases (barring the "promiscuous" bit!) fit me.

More importantly, this blog is an ode to my love for Shimla. I hope to show you this little town through my eyes. If you don't see too many people in it, forgive me, because I'm a little chary of turning this into a human zoo.

Stop by for a spell, look at my pictures, ask me questions about Shimla, if you wish. I shall try and answer them as best as I can. Let's be friends for a while....

5 August 2008

Wisteria Redux

I just cannot get enough of wisteria! And no, this is not wisteria season. I'm just nostalgic for them. For their droopy chandelier look, their wistful, not-quite-lavender scent, their shades of mauve, lilac, lavender & purple.....


The Chinese wisteria, now so familiar, was not the first of its kind to be discovered. My vade mecum & other notables inform me that the honour goes to the variety called wisteria frutescens which was grown in England in 1724, then known by the rather prosaic name of "Carolina Kidney Beans"; in other words, like the Holy Roman Empire, neither holy, nor Roman, nor quite an empire!
Wisteria was so named in 1818 by the Anglo-American botanist Thomas Nuttall after the German-American physician-anatomist, Dr. Caspar Wistar of Philadelphia.
This plant flowers twice a year. Shimla is given a pretty opulent display in spring on branches which are otherwise almost bare. The summer version is scantier and often the victim of fierce hailstorms. These lovely flowers are accompanied by bunches of coppery-gold young leaves. A marvellous contrast of warm & cool palette.


2 comments:

abnormallu said...

hey Geetali. My parents house has a creeper near the garage called petria.it is the exact same shade as wisteria and people coming from abroad often ask us if it's the Indian version of the wisteria

Gallimaufry said...

Hello abnormallu (bwahaha, fabulous handle!), thank you for stopping by. I was wondering if you could post a picture of petrea?
Is it this: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tgerus/2914330855/
Just curious!

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