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Sites in This Category: 3

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Beautiful Britain
Pictures and merchandise depicting Beautiful Britain

This site is a bit of a mystery. There is no About Me/Us page and the person who has put it together and who updates it regularly isn't named anywhere. But it has lovely photographs of Britain's countryside and gardens. I found it while looking for information on the Laburnum Walk at Bodnant in North Wales (that's what's in the photograph here).

The site includes:

* Picture of the Day

* On This Day Events from Britain's past

* Weekly Updates on Britain's changing seasons

* Picture of the Week

* 88 piece downloadable jigsaws

* Monthly Updates

* Wallpaper downloads

Note added on 19 December 2006:

Since typing the above I have received the following information from Howard the owner of the Beautiful Britain site:

Thanks for the e-mail via the Guestbook:

"This is a lovely site, which I will include in mine BUT:

* where is the About me/us page? I can't work out exactly what the site is intended to do/be? Can you send me a summary (which I will use).

* who is "I" throughout the site? The author of the entries doesn't appear to be named anywhere."

I didn’t feel that an ‘about me’ page was needed. I’ve read so many personal ‘blogs’ from people who try to hotlink to my wallpaper pictures and realized that most of the ‘bloggers’ didn’t really have anything interesting to say, apart from such statements as, (quote) - "Hello, my name is Phil. I don't like cheese." J

I don’t think that most people are really interested in who I am, they’re interested primarily in visiting the site for desktop wallpapers etc. The site currently averages 2500 ‘unique visitors’ per day, but this peaks in the spring to 3500 unique visitors as people also browse the website to visit the nesting birds / wildlife / pond sections. Many visit the site looking for one thing and say that they become absorbed in reading the other sections, which is very pleasing.

The site is just a hobby (sometimes it seems more like a way of life!) but people tell me how much they enjoy it and how it relaxes them on stressful days at the office. See - There have been desktop wallpapers on the site now for 5 years and I know from some of my regular correspondents that they have stayed with the site since day one. I’ve even met up with some of them when they’ve visited Britain.

There is some new content each day and a new wallpaper and downloadable jigsaw each week, which gives people a reason for returning to the site on a regular basis.

There’s also a section about where I live - I’m not mentioned by name on the site, and neither is my e-mail address, but it still doesn’t stop me being deluged with spam mail, hence the Guestbook is now the only means of contact. All Guestbook entries with a valid e-mail address are answered …… eventually. Cyber vandals try to attack the Guestbook as well, which is why messages are not posted ‘live’ but are vetted for content first.

Re "I can't work out exactly what the site is intended to do/be?" Maybe a quote from one Charles M. Schulz on of my wallpaper pictures sums us the site’s philosophy (if it even has a philosophy!) "My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?"

The Beautiful Britain site primarily shows the diverse countryside in this small but beautiful island and it gives me a reason for going out and about and sharing my photographs with others, rather than just viewing them on my own computer. I’ve lost count of the number of times people use the words soothing, calming, relaxing, peaceful, beautiful etc. when they write to me about the wallpapers they use from the site, so maybe it’s a form of ‘stress busting’! Google shows almost 700,000 matches for stress busting, but my site comes at no cost and with no medication required. J

Re. "Can you send me a summary (which I will use)." I think that what you’ve put is fine. Thank you for the inclusion.

Re. "The author of the entries doesn't appear to be named anywhere." I used to be the village school Head Master in the area in which I still live. Sometimes keeping your anonymity is no bad thing!

Best wishes,

Added: 17-11-2006 - Updated: 29-12-2006
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NZ Bamboo Society
The website of the New Zealand Bamboo Society

...formed in 1989 to promote the appreciation, growing, and use of bamboo.

Added: 22-03-2007 - Updated: 22-03-2007
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The Poinsettia Pages
The whole poinsettia story in a wonderful website

From the website:

Poinsettia History and Lore

* The Aztecs called poinsettias "Cuetlaxochitl." During the 14th - 16th century the sap was used to control fevers and the bracts (modified leaves) were used to make a reddish dye.

* Montezuma, the last of the Aztec kings, would have poinsettias brought into what now is Mexico City by caravans because poinsettias could not be grown in the high altitude.

* In the 17th century, Juan Balme, a botanist, noted the poinsettia plant in his writings.

* The botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima, was assigned to the poinsettia by the German botanist, Wilenow. The plant grew through a crack in his greenhouse. Dazzled by its color, he gave it the botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima meaning "very beautiful."

* Joel Roberts Poinsett was the first United States Ambassador to Mexico being appointed by President John Quincy Adams in the 1820's. At the time of his appointment, Mexico was involved in a civil war. Because of his interest in botany he introduced the American elm into Mexico. During his stay in Mexico he wandered the countryside looking for new plant species. In 1828 he found a beautiful shrub with large red flowers growing next to a road. He took cuttings from the plant and brought them back to his greenhouse in South Carolina. Even though Poinsett had an outstanding career as a United States Congressman and as an ambassador he will always be remembered for introducing the poinsettia into the United States.

* William Prescott, a historian and horticulturist, was asked to give Euphorbia pulcherrima a new name as it became more popular. At that time Mr. Prescott had just published a book called the ‘Conquest of Mexico’ in which he detailed Joel Poinsett’s discovery of the plant. Prescott named the plant the poinsettia in honor of Joel Poinsett’s discovery.

* A nurseryman from Pennsylvania, John Bartram is credited as being the first person to sell poinsettias under its botanical name, Euphorbia pulcherrima

* In the early 1900s the Ecke family of southern California grew poinsettias outdoors for use as landscape plants and as a cut flower. Eventually the family grew poinsettias in greenhouses and today is recognized as the leading producer of poinsettias in the United States.


* Poinsettia Facts

* Selecting Poinsettias

* Caring for Poinsettias

* Reflowering

* Poinsettia links

Added: 31-12-2006 - Updated: -
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