It’s on days like this I wish I had taken botany instead of humanities at Uni, because in the middle of one of the parterres in the Italian Garden is what I confidently decided was a blue thistle, but on further investigation discovered it is actually a sea holly, Eryngium amethystinum. Obviously nothing to do with the red-berried Christmas variety, it is instead a member of the carrot, dill and parsley family. Its shoots and leaves can be eaten as a vegetable and the roots taste like chestnuts. Must put it on the menu for this year’s celebration, wonder if Lisa would notice it missing? I can always blame it on the rabbits.
Trivia Alert! Sea Holly is the county flower of Liverpool and grows on the sand dunes of the Wirral. Ours in County Down is a nice little blue wildflower, the Scilla Verna, also a coastal plant.