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Hawthorn and Blossom - the garden evolves.

"Don’t even think about sitting under the solitary hawthorn tree because you may be whisked into the Fairy World." The Hawthorn is said to bring protection and love, and to be synonymous with fairies - either way I am happy to have one growing in our garden. Perhaps, don't linger too long below it on the first of May though, just incase you slip away for a moment only to find you have been gone for many years.....................

The Straad is home to many keen gardeners, who enjoy sharing tips, swapping advice, and exchanging plants. Last year, they created a small community garden, with plans to grow fruit trees and vegetables. Despite it only having been on the go for a short time, the garden has already yielded a small harvest for the community, and the recent addition of a polytunnel promises even greater productivity. Take a look when you are visiting. 

Meanwhile back at Seaview……..Having made good progress with the main herbaceous border, I shifted my attention to the sad, neglected bed near the patio. Once upon a time the path from the patio to the garden gate was a riot of colour, lined with purple Asters, blue irises and bright orange lillies, but sadly it fell victim to the renovation and builder’s shovels. Salvaging what I could, I relocated bulbs and plants around the garden. Each year I see more irises and lillies appearing. 

In front of the patio lurked a little garden bed, home to a Hawthorn tree, a cluster of untidy Shasta daisies, and a mysterious shrub of dubious charm. The Hawthorn, steeped in folklore for its mystical symbolism of love and protection, underwent a much-needed pruning, with weeds cleared from its base to allow it to breathe again, I am sure I could hear it sigh with gratitude. Thinning out the daisies (read – ravaging with a spade) and transplanting them elsewhere definitely revitalised their vigour, these beauties seem indestructible. As for the mystery shrub, unfortunately it found no place in my design vision and was respectfully removed. I hate parting ways with plants, but sometimes tough love is the only option. I whispered my apologies to it as I bid it farewell. 

Out with the old, in with the new! A larger, fresher bed emerged, integrating the existing Hawthorn and daisies. Generously gifted by David, one of the Straad’s top gardeners, several young lavender plants also found a new home at Seaview. I introduced a variety of Eryngium, their jagged, thistle-like blooms contrasting beautifully with softer companions like Echinops and daisies. They really are the most interesting plants, structurally exciting, with attitude, like little spiky punk rockers amongst the softer flowers. 

Encouraged by the success of the bed, I plan to add a few more plants this year, I particularly like the striking blue Eryngium Big Blue and the pompoms of Echinops Veitch’s Blue. I also added in some smaller supporting plants such as Nepeta Faassenii, Stachys, Geraniums, and assorted grasses. There is a Euphorbia in there somewhere, I may need to relocate it depending on what other growth is taking place around it. I planted a few Campanula, however they don’t appear to have survived…unless they make a surprise appearance this year ??  

I planted daffodil bulbs along the path, they will take time to settle in, but hopefully by next spring there should be a row of cheery golden flowers from patio to gate. As you can see in the photos, the garden bed was beautiful last summer, it was a paradise for buzzing pollinators too.

I am so pleased at how well it has turned out, now as you savour your morning cuppa or an evening glass of wine on the patio you can also enjoy the beauty of the garden. 

Shasta daisy


Geranium Roxanne

Geranium Irish Blue

Eryngium Bourgatii

Eryngium Alpinum

Eryngium Eburneum Ivory

Eryngium Big Blue

Eryngium Neptunes Gold  

Echinops Taplow Blue

Echinops Veitchs Blue

Euphorbia Myrsinites

Sesleria Nitida Grass

Nepeta Faassenii

Stachys Silver Carpet

Zebra Grass

Blue Festuca