This Vallea stipularis has had a tough life. Firstly it was torn out of its home ground by the generous gardeners at Exeter University and transported bare rooted to Cliffe. Since then it has systematically been nibbled, recovered, chomped, recovered, munched, recovered. The fact that it is on the tender side has been the least of its worries. So now, six years after it arrived, it has bravely flowered. Named in honour of the Italian botanist Felice Valle it is a South American native where it can allegedly reach 5m high and 7m wide. This would suggest to me that there are not many hungry deer down that way. It is a little tender, enjoys full sun to part shade but dislikes drought conditions, perfect for us in the soggy south west. The stars of the show, however, are the bell shaped dusky pink flowers which luckily for us are just out of reach of bambi, whilst the stems below and out of sight are stripped bare. I like to think this is one for the good guys.