Columbia Road Market 6
Sometimes, at this time of year, my father would return from work with a mysterious parcel wrapped in newspaper and, to this day, I feel the allure of anything wrapped in newspaper, whether fish and chips, old china from a car boot sale, or wallflowers. It was Wallflowers that my father bought wrapped in newspaper each autumn and today I bought a bunch to plant in my garden from Columbia Road for just £1.50. These are the most egalitarian of plants because they are so cheap yet come in such rich colours and have one of the most attractive scents.
Thinking back, I remember walking through an old passageway into a tiny medieval stone courtyard at Merton College, Oxford, one spring, and the soft breeze blowing through the passage carried the scent of the wallflowers that grew in the yard beyond and it stopped me in my path with its beauty. I like to think it was the contradiction of that austere yard paved with its ancient stones and the ephemeral moment of the lush wallflowers in bloom that overwhelmed me, but maybe it was simply the pure sensuous thrall of their scent.
What more could you ask for a mere £1.50?