A friend (you know who you are) has often commented on my propensity for choosing gloomy plants for the garden, alluding to my “dark side” I believe. In fact she encouraged this leaning with “saw this and thought of you” gifts of a more sinister nature; black irises, deep purple penstemon and the odd triffid. However since arriving at Cliffe I have begun to be drawn (probably through osmosis) to the more pretty, feminine colours such as peach and apricot, hues that in the past I would have thrown scorn at. One look at this trillium and I was whisked straight back to my former goth gardener incarnation; the mottled leaves, the dusky flowers. We grew this plant from seed; seven long years it has been pampered and potted on, and the first sight of a flower bud was almost too much to bear, especially with a manic mouse on the loose. Every night it was covered with an upside down measuring jug (Blue Peter kids never die) every morning it was released from its cell and inspected. The day has come, it has been a long wait but it was worth it. Black is back.