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 September 2008

A Fuchsia Post

in honour of the wonderful Megaera: the disputatious divinity of syntax, the winged goddess of serpent hair who personifies conscience and punishes crimes, particularly those related to conjugation and punctuation! The deity, who, when she is not pursuing those who do evil against English grammar, is trying to grow fuchsias in her garden.

(Alan Titchmarsh)

Charles Plumier first identified these flowers in the 17th century and named them after the German botanist Leonhard Fuchs. There is a bit of a debate as to whether it was Plumier who introduced fuchsias to Europe or a sailor named Captain Firth who brought it to the UK from America. Be that as it may, there are today, over a hundred varieties of fuchsia in the world, growing everywhere from South America to India to New Zealand and Europe.

These flowers grow in whorls and have a really pretty teardrop shape. My friend N says some species of fuchsia remind her of ballerinas' tutus. You will notice a thin stalk, which swells out to form a seed case. This seed case leads to form a sort of tube formed by four sepals. The main flower petals grow out of these. I have so far seen fuchsias in their typical fuchsia pink, and also from the deepst purple to pure white. It is my ambition to spot blue and flaming reds.

In Shimla, they grow in profusion in springtime, but have been seen in P's garden in autumn as well. P refuses to divulge the secret of this! My guess is that they grow well in her garden because of the abundant sunshine it gets from all directions - a rare commodity in most Shimla gardens. S says there are some hardy varieties which grow practically round the year in her garden. She takes care to move the potted plants indoors when it begins to snow. The classification is as follows:
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Myrtales
Family: Onagraceae
Genus: Fuchsia

1 comment:

d SINNER!!! said...

beautiful flowers...


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