In the flower store I noticed a tiny bundle of daphne sprigs on sale for $22. This has made me look at my daphne with a bit more respect.
But it’s going to be tricky to turn this into a retirement strategy as it has the odd habit of flowering very close to the main stem, so it would be more or less impossible to pick the flowers. It almost has the look of epicormic growth following a bushfire, or on the other hand a tambourine.
I bought it as one of a pair of seedlings from a man who briefly ran a kind of backyard nursery from a tennis court. He closed down about six months later. He told me they were white daphne; one died and one turned out to be this pink oddity with the flowers growing on the trunk. But it only revealed this after not growing at all for five years. Every time I thought I would haul it out, it offered up a leaf or two, and then went back to being a stick in the ground. Then a couple of years ago it started to flower in this strange way, and also developed a lean.
So I have daphne that can’t be picked, but only appreciated when you walk past it in the garden, averting your gaze from its weird appearance. But if you stand with your back to it, it fills the air with its later winter scent, and you notice that the ground under your feet is getting a little warmer.