Jonathan's Mistletoe Diary

November 24, 2015

Mistletoe Auction, with guard cat

Filed under: Current Affairs,Gardening,Media,Mistletoe,social history — Jonathan Briggs @ 8:41 pm

Guard cat?

First mistletoe auction of the year at Tenbury Wells today. Good to see some security staff on site keeping out any mistletoe rustlers. Their van said they had dogs, but the fiercest animal I saw patrolling the mistletoe lots was this cat.


Worried dog

This, though it looked charming, was probably capable of playing rough. And judging by the mud covered paws, face and flank it had done so quite recently.

A small Chihuahua type dog nearby shivered continually. When I asked its owner if it was cold he said no, it was worried by the cat. Which I should perhaps have guessed – it was also standing on his shoulders at the time…


A general view across the mistletoe and holly lots

Lots of mistletoe lots, as usual, all with loads of berries – yes, it has been another berry good year. And all gathered from local apple orchards, where mistletoe is plentiful.

Some of the mistletoe was a little too yellow

Some of the mistletoe was a little too yellow

But many of the lots were also a little yellowy-leaved, which was slightly worrying. It may, or may not, suggest that more than usual was coming from over-stressed trees – i.e. trees with too much mistletoe.

I’ll be saying more about the issues of too much mistletoe in some blog-posts in the next few weeks. There was no obvious effect on prices today though – but any trend won’t be visible until after the later auctions next week and the week after.


Nick Champion in mid-auction

Lots of people too – in a straggling crowd of buyers, sellers, hangers-on (my canal background makes me want to call them gongoozlers) and media people. Including, predictably, several familiar faces ranging from Nick Champion the auctioneer to a variety of friends, acquaintances and, er, online mistletoe trade competitors.

Ben Sidwell of BBC Midlands Today, doing a piece to camera, clutching a little mistletoe sprig

Ben Sidwell of BBC Midlands Today, doing a piece to camera, clutching a mistletoe sprig

The latter are always worth chatting to, though I think we’re all slightly wary of saying too much about business! It would have been fun to get a competitive group photo – me from the English Mistletoe Shop, Nick from Intermistletoe, Mark from Kissmemistletoe and Simon from the English Mistletoe Company. But we were never quite all together at the same time, so that opportunity never quite arose. Maybe next time…

Media presence included the usual handful of stills photographers plus BBC Radio 4 Farming Today and BBC1 TV Regional News (Midlands Today). For broadcast next week (R4) and tonight (BBC1).

Nick from Intermistletoe, and Vernon Harwood from Farming Today. Not the most flattering portrait of either of them!

Nick from Intermistletoe, and Vernon Harwood from Farming Today. Not the most flattering portrait of either of them!

More Mistletoe Matters – links to mistletoey things to read, buy or do

Grow-Your-Own Mistletoe – kits and gift cards from the English Mistletoe Shop
A Little Book About Mistletoe – printed and Kindle versions
Mistletoe Matters Consultancy – all about mistletoe in Britain
The Mistletoe Pages – even more about mistletoe
Mistletoe Surveys – seeking your input…
Mistletoe Matters on Facebook
Mistletoe Matters on Twitter

Coming soon from Mistletoe Diary:

  • Mistletoe Surveys – updates and new links
  • Mistletoe Management – issues and opportunities
  • Mistletoe Conservation – news and views
  • Mistletoe Auctions 2015 – quality and prices
  • Mistletoe Oaks – news and views
  • Mistletoe in the Media – 2015’s hits and misses
    And other marvellous mistletoe minutiae…



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