1. Seafield Gardens
Seafield Gardens is located close to Seaton Town Centre; a popular, growing coastal location within East Devon. East Devon District Council took possession of the Gardens in 1974, and the general layout of the Gardens has generally remained unchanged, although planting schemes have altered. For example, due to sustainability and long-term biodiversity issues, there has been a transition from annuals and towards herbaceous perennials in beds and borders that were developed to offer an all year interest, as the selection of plants’ displays change over the seasons. Many of these beds will be redeveloped in 2022/23 to further enhance biodiversity and climate resilient planting.
A recent initiative that was led by the grounds team’s Team Leader is the creation of six wildflower beds and borders around the gardens, with each area focusing on a different wildflower theme, such as a bird friendly wildflower mix, a butterfly friendly mix and a cottage garden mix. The combination of the new planting in the sensory garden, the redevelopment of the beds to expand upon the range of plants, the inclusion of wildflowers around the gardens and EDDC’s ban on glyphosate mean that the biodiversity levels in Seafield Gardens are very high, which adds to the gardens’ importance in the local and wider areas.
There are a variety of horticulture styles across the gardens, as well as associated features, such as a bowling green, clock tower, pond, outdoor gym, cactus house, tennis courts and adventure golf course. The area between the tennis courts and the cactus house was redeveloped in 2022, in conjunction with Seaton Town Council to create a Sensory Garden, where locals and holidaymakers can sit and relax. Windrush Willow built a willow arch at the western edge of the new sensory garden, and leftover willow whips were used to make an edge (half fence and half hedge) of interconnecting willow whips in front of one of the wildflower strips to protect the strip and cover several bird boxes.
The grounds team works hard to keep this important green space looking its best with the resources available to them, which attracts a diverse range of visitors. There are also 2 third parties that operate within the gardens: LED the local Leisure Trust that manages the tennis courts and adventure golf, and the Seaton Bowls Club, which is independent.