On the North End railings the wonderfully named Wonga-Wonga vine is just coming into flower. This half-hardy twining vine rarely makes it through hard winters with it's flower buds intact - these are formed in the autumn and are often shrivelled by frost - but the mild winter has allowed them to make it through. The first have just opened their apricot and plum bells and by the looks of the many dusty purple buds the display this year will go on for weeks.
Wonga-wonga vine, Pandorea pandorana, originates from Australia and the southwestern Pacific region. It is an evergreen twining climber that requires shelter, sun and good drainage. It has proved remarkably hardy and drought tolerant at the Phoenix. Our plant has also proved to be remarkably resilient to the irritating attentions of vandals hands, having grown back repeatedly from having it's stems cut through.