I planted a passionflower in my Lewes garden last year and it seems deliriously happy there. The passionflower or Passiflora edulis to its Latin scholar friends, is only just frost resistant so it usually grows in hot countries like its native Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay where it is the national flower. Lewes in the UK is a long way from Brazil and even further from Paraguay, but my little English urban garden with its sturdy flint walls is very sheltered and it retains the heat so my plant isn’t feeling a bit homesick. I hadn’t expected its fruits to be viable though as fruit but, knock me down with a feather, it has been covered with lovely orange fruit. I had assumed that these were unripened versions of those well-known brown-skinned passion fruits but, another feather please, they are the real thing and they’d be pretty enough in the garden even if they weren’t edible.
Well, I picked up some windfalls and thought I’d see what they looked like under their skin.
Inside they are the most exotic things to come out of my garden since a certain fancy dress party a couple of years ago. They weren’t poisonous either, unlike some of the people at that party (only joking), and, in fact, they are deliciously sweet without being sickly. These are the last fruits of my mini-harvest. I hope to have a lot more next year – a bit of passion in the garden does you good.