Even the names for the wonderous echium pininana are magical, being pride of Madeira, giant viper's bugloss, tower of jewels and even rocket trees.

They are rosettes that grow a single flower panicle up to four metres high that is spiked with hairy silver leaves. The height is startling and all the more so when the funnel-shaped blue flowers blossom from the ground up to head height and beyond. They are beloved by bees

Echium pininana originates from the Canary Islands but are happy to grow in milder climates in the UK.

As they flower every second year and self-seed, it’s planting seeds for the first two or three years so that you will not have a year without the echiums.

If your echium is in flower send a photo telling us how high you think it's grown to editorial@smallholder.co.uk and we'll share it in the next issue of Smallholder magazine and post it online.