Petunia exserta is relatively new to cultivation and alarmingly rare in the wild, the only hummingbird pollinated petunia. This particular plant, along with a few companions, was bought last autumn on a Plant Heritage trip to Derry Watkins’ fabulous garden and mouth-watering nursery in Wiltshire. It is a tender perennial and so tempting a sight that the plan was, although acknowledging its imminent demise, to collect seed and start again in the spring. That scheme did not take into account the vagaries of the weather and not only has it survived this mild winter and set seed, albeit in an unheated greenhouse, but it is still flowering. Now I call that value for money. On the face of it we don’t have a lot in common with Brazil, apart from the samba dancing, but we will strive to keep it going for when the hummingbirds arrive at Cliffe, which is bound to happen any day now.
We had an unexpected visitor today, unexpected for both visitor and visited. A young woman cycling up the hill had a puncture just outside the garden. She was contemplating the long push home whilst trying to call for a lift when myself and Betsy Bee spotted her at the gates. After some appropriate interrogation I did what my SAS training led me to believe was the correct course of action, I offered her a cup of tea. True, this was unlikely to mend her puncture but it served the purpose of making me think I was doing something constructive and Ms S feel that she was helping me believe that I was doing something constructive. BB said “you broke down in a very lucky place”. Not least because, after Superbaz had loaded the broken bike into Damage’s car, Betsy drove her home. This admittedly, if we are talking constructive, was a little more effective. I washed up.