I had a meeting today in Worcester at the rather splendid Hive, the new combined university and public library and all round community hub for the city. In front of the main entrance to the sleek glass and gold tile clad building is a large elevated courtyard, underneath which the county archives are kept in 25 miles of shelving and a strong room.
The courtyard is lined by wide beds that have been planted up in an informal prairie style garden. I have a few of these plants at home but it’s great to see them en masse like this. The tall purple stems of verbena bonariensis look especially effective in this setting but are equally at home in my mixed borders.
There are other specimens here though, like the blue leaved eryngium maritumum or sea holly that I’ve been unable to establish in my heavy clay soil. Seeing them here has made me think about squeezing a couple in to the perennial bed on my allotment that has dry stony soil, perfect for these coastal plants.