How’s this for a proud example of an Echium Pininana plant - resplendent in the grounds of Lytham Hall?
Officials at the Hall were quick to react after reading national newspaper speculation that a 14ft example, in a back garden in Devon, might be the tallest garden flower in the country.
“We can top that easily,” said the Hall’s activity plan officer Marianne Blaauboer.
“The Echium in our South Prospect garden stands proudly at 4.9m – more than 16ft – and it isn’t even fully grown yet!
“Basking in the protection of our Paradise Wall, the Echium, also known as the Giant Viper’s Bugloss or Tower of Jewels, flowers every two years and originates in the Canary Islands.
“The Canaries have a special connection to Lytham Hall as the squire John Talbot Clifton died in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, while travelling to Timbuktu in 1928.
The Echium flowers in a giant spire with blue flowers all over, which are very attractive to our bees.
“It is cared for by our grounds volunteers, who water it occasionally, as they do with the entire border along the Paradise Wall. They tend to grow to 4m but ours is well on the way to topping 5m.”