This beauty was spotted outside a little local garden centre outside Knutsford, which if you’re not from round here is a Manchester-y town best known for its notorious ‘service’ station on the M6 motorway.

So there I am buying a modest tray of autumn leek seedlings when we nearly reverse the car in to this – about 4 phallic metres of bedding plants somehow maintained in perfect condition in a fully 3D you-know-what-shape.

Now, with maturity comes an appreciation of what the Victorians did for us, and along with bridges and kedgeree I am increasingly fond of civic and domestic bedding displays with their 2 fingers to sustainable gardening fashion and old-fashioned aesthetic common sense.
Bless the maker of this vast vertical flower bed, with all his optimism and green-fingers. But somehow it just wasn’t enough to see our team of ‘the country’s thickest millionaires’ (as Charlie Booker so kindly put it) through…