New sustainable planting takes root in Seaton

East Devon District Council workers in Seafield Gardens, Seaton

East Devon District Council workers in Seafield Gardens, Seaton - Credit: East Devon District Council

Planting work will continue this week at Seaton’s Seafield Gardens, as part of East Devon District Council’s move towards more sustainable, wildlife-friendly parks and green spaces. 

Last year the council began changing its planting to a more sustainable system involving perennials instead of ‘single-use’ seasonal flowers. 

Its new displays across the district are being designed to look interesting throughout the autumn and winter months through flowers, foliage and architectural structures, as well as providing nectar for pollinators. 

Seafield Gardens, Seaton

Seafield Gardens, Seaton - Credit: EDDC

The work to transform the section of Seafield Gardens between the tennis court and the glasshouse into a sensory garden began last autumn. Seaton Town Council paid for sensory equipment and the installation of a 'fedge' (half fence/half hedge – a living willow hedge) and a living willow arch that was installed by Windrush Willow. Further planting will be carried out over the next couple of weeks. 

The new arch at Seafield Gardens, Seaton

The new arch at Seafield Gardens, Seaton - Credit: EDDC

The district council says there are sound environmental reasons for the change in policy, moving away from traditional flower beds. Bedding plants are intensively produced and provide a monoculture environment which does not allow wildlife to flourish, and they do not attract enough pollinators.  essential to biodiversity. 

They require intensive watering, which is an unnecessary waste of natural resources, and the constant digging over of the beds disturbs the natural soil culture. 

The plants can also be divided and recycled in future seasons, meaning less use of plastic pots and trays. 

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Councillor Denise Bickley, EDDC’s assistant portfolio holder for climate action and emergencies said: “I am excited to see how the perennials planted last year look now that they are bedded in, and to see what our clever team have in mind for our parks and gardens across the area this year. It will also be very interesting to see how wildlife is reacting to the new regime and I have no doubt we will start to see an increase in pollinators, as more and more of us are gardening with the natural world in mind.” 

An EDDC spokesperson said: “Our mission is to provide more sustainable planting that gives year-round interest and colour but lessens the impact on our planet. This action is a small but important part of our work to help meet our climate change action plan as part of signing up to the Devon Climate Emergency.