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Exotic sea gardens save money and water

Posted Jul 01 2009 6:35pm

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This morning I was on Eastbourne sea front by 7am taking photos of the wonderful range of exotic flowers and plants that are basking in this glorious hot weather.

The scene has not always been like this.Ten years ago the parks and gardens manager Gareth Williams, inherited a costly and time consuming planting plan and a high maintenance horticultural regime. Economic restraints and a determination to create a sustainable planting plan led him to seek an alternative. With a team of seven rather than the 20 full time gardeners available 20 years ago, his priority was to source plants that needed less attention  but still look good throughout the year.

Gareth has kept the orginal hard lanscaping but dug up most of the traditional bedding and replaced it with drought resistant plants that simply thrive in the current temperatures of 30c. The mixed planting uses plants such as Echinacea, Agapanthus, Sea Holly and Red Hot Pokers which are beautifully punctuated by the exotic silhouettes of cordylines and palms creating a truly tropical feel.

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With the ever increasing pressure  on water supplies in sea-side resorts such as Eastbourne, Gareth’s planting proves that it is possible to create impact with plants as well as being eco-friendly and ec-onomical .

Is this the way forward for gardening in SE England? Let me know your thoughts - hello@globalgardening.org

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