Dating pewter marks

Evergreens come into their own in winter, but some are more vibrant than others.Myrtle (Myrtus communis) is one of the most luminescent of all, with glossy, emerald green foliage that resembles a miniature bay in form.In midwinter, many of the shoots are crowned by a series of radiating pink stems that are themselves topped with small heather-pink stars.These are immature fruits that eventually berry into purple-black, but in their unformed state they brighten the foliage and give this ancient, egg-shaped evergreen extra sparkle.In the wild, myrtle is found in dry, warm areas of southern Europe and western Asia.It arrived in Britain from Spain in 1585, imported by Sir Walter Raleigh and Sir Francis Carew, who are also said to have introduced orange trees to Britain.

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As a result, all over the Mediterranean mature myrtles can be found planted close to temples dedicated to the goddess of love.The variegated form (Myrtus communis 'Variegata') has pink-tinged flowers and silver-green leaves and it shines and sparkles in winter and summer sun.A more compact form with smaller leaves, Myrtus communis subsp.The fragrant flowers, though small, are packed with a mass of gold-tipped stamens that gleam in full sun.So it's not surprising that myrtle is associated with the Virgin Mary, or that it was a Victorian symbol of love and constancy.