The weather today made grown men cry. I saw it with my own eyes. It may also have had something to do with me pinching them but it was mainly the north-easterly wind of doom that was doing the damage. It was unrelenting and the sun didn’t even make the effort to cheer us up. We needed something seriously warming. And as luck would have it ……..
Last summer I met a group of visitors in the garden, I believe I was lurking in the Road Bank Border at the time, who enquired about the Wachendorfia thyrsiflora that was flowering at the time. As they hadn’t seen this plant before and it seeds itself quite merrily around I dug them up a small clump to take back to Belgium with them. One of the gentlemen offered to send me some seed in return and, never one to refuse either plant or seed, I gave him my contact details. A couple of weeks later I received an email where he let slip that he is President of the Royal Horticultural Society of Antwerp and conditions had been so wet at their Botanic Garden they had been unable to collect any seed. My mind slipped back to our conversation in the summer where I had casually asked him if he enjoyed gardening. He had been modest enough not to point out my faux pas.
Fast forward to yesterday when I received another email telling me that he had now posted some seed, listing them with full descriptions and corresponding photos. The package arrived decorated with the most beautiful wildlife stamps and containing fourteen packs of seed including such gems as Tinanthe pringlei, Dicentra torulosa, Agastache Green Candles and some bulbils of Dioscorea japonica. His generosity far outweighed my meagre gift; it made me feel all warm inside.