Okay, well of course I realise that in order to produce seeds, lettuce plants must flower; I remember that much from dim and murky memories of school science lessons. But I've never actually seen lettuce flower, until now.
I bought the plants from a friend earlier in the year, not because I particularly like eating lettuce, but to save money on catering for our two guinea pigs' insatiable appetite for edible greenery. And they've grown beautifully, somehow outwitting our voracious slug population, sitting on top of the soil like huge, fat green cushions. But then something weird began to happen. They began to grow upwards.
They've grown up and up, no matter how many times I've stripped off their leaves for the guinea pigs.
It's as though they're trying to escape their roots. The tallest is now a metre high, with long green fingers bobbled with flower buds stretching up to the sky. And this morning the first flower has opened, buttercup yellow, the shy petals unfolding in the sunlight.
I'm not a salad girl, but I'm fascinated by these guys. It was worth growing them just to see that yes, lettuce really do flower!