Poor old stock. As if its name wasn’t the most flatly bland out there, it’s also part of the same plant family that includes turnips and broccoli. There are different types of stock though, so many of them are given descriptive prefixes to help them stand out from the crowd. But wait - the most common type? Hoary stock! Poor old stock.

Okay so there’s also some much more evocatively named varieties out there, like evening-scented stock, and their gently twisting flowers are increasingly popular choices for eye-catching centrepieces. This is particularly true of double-flowered stock, which is exactly what it sounds like. Same stock - twice as beautiful! Like all the most attractive beauties we come to love though, there is a tragic element to them. You see, double-headed stock are sterile, thus meaning that while they bloom magnificently, they can never be part of that wonderful journey of seed dispersion and rebirth that most flowers take part in. If you’re wondering how they come to exist at all, it’s all down to clever breeding and something called ‘the Mendellian laws of genetics’ which I won’t bore you with here.

Anyway, enough of that: let’s celebrate instead their fleeting beauty! And try not to overthink the irony in them having come to symbolise long life and beauty that doesn’t fade…