I may have mentioned it before but I have a bit of a thing about cotoneaster, specifically Cotoneaster horizontalis. This “thing” is situated a little south of “hate” and a little north of “irritation”. My gripe is not so much with the plant (it can’t help its lack of charisma) but the fact that it is used as a matter of course in most public plantings, be it supermarket, multiplex or shopping mall car parks. Has a landscaping law been passed that omission of this singularly unimpressive shrub in any planting scheme will result in a night in the slammer? Did the Local Authorities of the UK negotiate a buy one get a million free offer and are slowly working through their massive stocks? Is there some kind of secret and all powerful cotoneaster society (with appropriate handshake) that is championing these wiry grey dullards? Let me introduce you to Euryops chrysanthemoides, the African Daisy Bush, which is widely used in these parts in parks, and other public places. This particular plant, along with fuchsias and hebes, is in a border edging a public car park. Although you could be forgiven for thinking that it is an herbaceous perennial or even a hardy annual, it is actually a fully fledged shrub. The buttercup yellow flowers, which appear throughout the year and are often prolific, brighten the day to day lives of passersby. This surely should be the role of these shared spaces. They shouldn’t be an afterthought, a knee jerk, “bung anything in as it will never be maintained anyway”. Beautiful and uplifting planting should be an integral part of any design. These living works of art won’t be making anyone any money but they will be making people feel better about their environment and this surely is a good thing. My spirit was lifted today by these orbs of gold, I hope they lift yours too.