serendipitous learning - academic on leisurely stroll makes interesting discovery!
How's this for an interesting by-product of the conference? Jana Tietze, of Humboldt University in Berlin, who was speaking at the conference (on attempts to introduce e-learning into Horticulture courses in her university) was wandering around our campus looking at the various trees (her particular interest) and discovered a really interesting looking, old oak near the "quad" of the university (the old building dating back to the 1840s). She photographed it and when she returned to her department consulted a colleague and they identified it as a very old example of Holm, or Holly, Oak (Quercus ilex) which originates in the Mediterranean Region, this species from Spain. This particular one seems to date to a period before the university building (and indeed shows on old maps as a large tree, according to local head gardener). The species was first introduced to England around 1600, thence to Ireland, and this one is likely to have been planted sometime in the 1700s!
The things you learn......
p.s. if you happen to be in Berlin next week (and why not?) then pop in to the Multimedia Days at Unter den Linden or Adlershof.