I didn't know him, nor where he had come from, and he became known as "that big bugger round the back".
We ignored him.
This year I was heard to exclaim "That big bugger round the back has brought his mates round!"
I have only recently learned his name - Heracleum Mantegazzianum or Giant Hogweed as he is less than affectionately known.
Unfortunately, with that knowledge comes other, more alarming knowledge.
It is not the fact that he is poisonous that alarms me.
We have plenty of poisonous plants, including Daphne who we introduced you to earlier this year.
And I am quietly impressed that he has chosen Daphne, Foxglove and Lily of the Valley as his 'bed mates'.
What does alarm me is that it is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 to plant or cause Giant Hogweed to grow in the wild.
The Giant Hogweed is an escapee from the gardens of our Victorian Forefathers.
It's a familiar tale.
This particular plant is now a problem along our riverbanks and on derelict land. For some reason it can also be found in large numbers in Edinburgh City Centre.
The Giant Hogweed contains furocourmarins which can be released simply by brushing past the leaves. They affect the cell structure of your skin, making it more sensitive to the UV radiation in sunlight. This is known as photodermatitis.
It can cause severe burns, with long lasting scar tissue, and once your skin cells have been damaged it can take several years to rebuild your natural protection from UV radiation.
Scary stuff, eh?
He's a scary fellow too.
He also contains furocourmarins in his leaves.
It worries me that more is known about the furocourmarins in the Giant Hogweed than is known about the same chemical in a vegetable that is grown by gardeners across the land.
We do not know how concentrated the chemical is in Parsnips, nor whether the concentration varies at different stages of the Parsnip's life cycle.
We do know that handling the leaves may cause mild to moderate irritation. There have been reports of severe blistering and burning, although these appear to be few and far between.
I'm left dissatisfied with the information I can find.
All I can say, with a straight face, is
wear gloves when you're pulling your parsnips!