Sussex by the sea

The team at Select Gardens is a fortunate lot. We get to work outside (yes, even in all weathers!) doing a job we love and gaining the satisfaction of really making a difference to the gardens we maintain.

One of the real perks to this business is maintaining gardens along the Sussex coastline. With gardens in Hove, Brighton, Worthing and Littlehampton to look after and having just expanded the business into Seaford and Eastbourne, we spend a fair amount of time each month tending contracts across a large section of Sussex’s 70 mile coastline.

While some may see the constant bombardment of salt and strong winds as posing a real restriction on plant choice, personally, I don’t think you can beat a plot which comes with a different backdrop every day. Working with, rather than against, Mother Nature is always a good plan, so here are my top three plants which no seaside garden should be without. They are also native species so perfect for attracting wildlife.

Top three native seaside picks this month –

Sea Thrift (Armeria maritima) – A hardy little native forming clumps of green foliage. Despite its dainty appearance, it is tough as old boots and can tolerate the most salty and windswept of positions. Flowers late spring to early summer.

Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum) – Help our beleaguered bees by planting this evergreen perennial. The metallic blue thistle-like flowers are real show stoppers, admired by insects and humans alike. Avoid acid soils.

Sea kale  (Crambe maritime) – Another robust native with large blue-green also known as the sea cabbage. Mainly grown for its foliage, Crambe is another plant popular with bees attracted to its fragrant white flowers. Enjoys full sun and well-drained soil.

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