They were bang on today, those weather guys and gals.  Ten o’clock the deluge began with what I have recently learnt is known as “blanket rain”.  At metereological HQ they must be feverishly looking for new phrases and synonyms for the wet stuff, just to add a bit of spice to the reporting same old same old, and I particularly liked this new one.  Very appropriate.

So we were confined to quarters again.  Hero valiantly tackled the overgrown nectarine and peach trees that this year are being less than fruitful and very foliageful and therefore shading out the rest of the greenhouse.  So up the steps she went and although there was must huffing and puffing and a near catastrophic moment when one of the (few) peaches fell off and hit her on the nose, it is greatly improved.  We need all the light we can get.  I comfreyed and seaweeded the inside plants, did lots of potting on, and attempted a mega clean of the potting shed including serious de-cobwebbing (no spiders were hurt cleaning this potting shed although most will have nightmares tonight in part due to Bossman’s hand held Dyson).

If you are going to have a persistent weed in the greenhouse it might as well be a passion flower.  When I arrived at Cliffe this was already waiting in the wings for its revival and had previously been seriously discouraged.  Well I say “hats off to a trier” and this plant certainly is that.  It is Passiflora caerulea or the Blue Passion Flower and is native to South America.  Although it does produce tempting looking fruit it is Passiflora edulis that is specifically cultivated for its fruit as this species is far more flavourful than the somewhat banal Blue.  It arrives each year in the greenhouse from nowhere, emerging from the clinker or slightly ominous no man’s land beneath the benches and is chopped back and ripped out each winter. It receives zero maintenance and only minimal direction towards the wires and away from a less robust Mandevilla laxa with which it shares the back wall wires.  Now children, please play nicely.


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