Triffid-like tendrils could grab me as I walk past

SOUTHSEA GREEN: With Irene Strange

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The courgette plants are doing what courgette plants do when there has been a lot of warm, sunny weather followed by a protracted soggy period – sprout courgettes as if they were going out of fashion.

And in amongst the four plants that I carefully deposited in the beds, a small courgette-like plant has been growing, presumably thanks to a rogue seed in the compost.

Not one to remove a healthy looking plant (a failing of mine, I know), I have allowed it to flourish.

This is because I believed, in my innocence, that there was space for another courgette plant.

But this last week I have noticed that it is not quite acting as a courgette plant should.

It is throwing out tendrils, triffid-like, across the bed and now spewing on to the path, threatening to grasp my ankles as I walk past.

The flowers look the same, but I am now wondering whether this interloper, this cuckoo plant, is in fact a pumpkin or squash plant similar to those I grew last year.

These plants put a lot of energy into creating a dense forest of foliage and, with my lack of ability to keep any of it in check, managed to produce just one sad, slightly damaged pumpkin.

But the plant is healthy and happy and I can’t bring myself to remove it. In my mind, I still see it as a freak courgette plant. But the day may come when it secures itself to my leg as I walk past and I will get my comeuppance.