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By 'Echium!

The Daily Mail wrote on 30 May about the discovery of an Echium Pininana of 14ft high, in the back garden of Mr Philips in Devon. They wondered whether that could be the tallest garden flower. Well, at Lytham Hall we can top that easily!

When you come into our South Prospect garden, you will see an Echium of 4.90m (over 16ft), basking in the protection of our Paradise wall. This flower, also known as the Giant Viper’s Bugloss or Tower of Jewels, flowers every two years and originates in the Canary Islands.

The Canary Islands of course have a special connection to Lytham Hall as the squire John Talbot Clifton (1868-1928) died in Tenerife, Gran Canaria, whilst travelling to Timbuctoo.

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, like they do with the entire border along the Paradise Wall. They tend to grow to 4m. At nearly 5m, Lytham Hall’s example is not even fully grown yet and it may well top 5m.

It is thought that although no specific efforts have gone in to grow the Echium to this height (no special manure, no frost protection), the Lytham climate and its exceptional setting in the shelter of the 18th century wall has enabled the Echium to grow to this towering position.

Are you aware of a taller Echium in Lancashire? We can’t wait to find out!

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