The Barbican Steppe PlantingsDetailed month by month overview, and photo galleries
The steppe plantings are the main feature of the transformation project at The Barbican, and these plantings form the basis of the other planting types too. In nature, steppes or steppe grasslands occur in dry regions with continental climates (hot dry summers, cold winters). Plants are adapted to these harsh conditions. The plantings at The Barbican are not attempting to copy any naturally-occurring steppe grasslands, but are a designed version, using perennials and grasses from steppe regions or dry grasslands and meadows. A matrix of tough, drought-tolerant grasses (Sesleria nitida, Helicotrichon sempervirens, Melica ciliata) creates the backdrop to a long succession of flowering species through spring to late summer. Later in the summer, and into autumn and winter, the emphasis switches to beautiful textural contrasts as foliage and seed heads take over the display.
Steppe Plantings April and Early May
In April and early May the first wave of flowering comes from the spring bulbs and early flowering perennials. Everything is set against the background of the grey-leaved grasses, and emerging foliage of the later flowering perennials. This is the main dominant visual character at this time of year in the plantings: Euphorbia polychroma, with species tulips, and the wonderful dancing flower heads of the grass, Sesleria nitida For a more detailed overview, and photo galleries of the steppe plantings in April and early May, click here
Tulipa turkestanica flowering amongst the new growth of the grasses and perennials.
For a more detailed overview, and photo galleries of the steppe plantings in April and early May, click here