Do you have plants that you’ve longed for, ever since your early days of gardening, but you’ve never acquired? Stuff that you think you should have grown out of, but haven’t, given that the longing has remained unfulfilled?

Right at this moment, my Prunus ‘Ukon’ is flowering for the first time. I’ve loved and longed for this extraordinary plant since my apprenticeship days at Rippon Lea in the mid 80’s. Embodied in it are layers of romance, of deep longing (that kind that resides in partnership with Joy), of the wonder and mystery of my life ahead (as I saw it back then) of constant discovery of new, wonderful plants. The beauty of the flower is as subtle and elusive as these feelings - green suffused with a faded rose, carrying a kind of antique patina unique in the plant world.

Why, then, has it taken me nearly 40 years of gardening to finally get hold of one? The most poetic part of the answer is that I’m a little suspicious of ownership. I can just as easily enjoy yours as having a plant of my own. The more prosaic answer is that my garden needs have been at the very bottom of a financial priority list that has been as endless as anyone else’s in full-on family mode. We’re just nearing the end of that now. Hence the relatively recent acquisition.

What plants you have you been longing for, for years?