Two summers ago an elderly gentleman called Tony visited the garden on a regular basis. Tony lived in Bideford, a good three-quarters of an hour drive away; he was a Londoner by birth, a Devonian by retirement. He often arrived in the late afternoon and happily sat on one of the benches in quiet contemplation. Most days I had to gently remind him of the passage of time and that I had to lock up the garden. Invariably he disregarded this information and saw it as an invitation for a chat. He was candid as strangers often are. He told me about his struggle to bring up his children after his wife unexpectedly died. We talked about his lifetime working in the aircraft industry. He also spoke of his concern over an imminent appointment with a consultant at the hospital. The last time he visited he brought us two presents, Dianthus ‘Dainty Dame’ and Phygelius aequalis ‘Yellow Trumpet’. Every time I walk past these plants I remember Tony and I am sure he would be thrilled to see how well they are doing.