Friends of Meads Parks and Gardens
Great news for The Helen Garden
We have just heard from Gareth Williams, Senior Specialist Adviser at Eastbourne Borough Council that his capital bid to replace three pieces of play equipment in The Helen Garden has been successful.
Fellow Council Specialist Christine Aldous will now be obtaining quotes for new equipment. The top three designs will be taken into local schools where the children will have the final say by voting for the equipment that they like the best.
Gareth tells us that the Council has been using this method for over ten years and it has proved to be very successful. The children feel a sense of 'ownership' having been part of the decision making process creating play areas that are less prone to vandalism in future years.
Terrie Rintoul, Chair of the Friends is delighted by the news: "Of the three parks and gardens within our remit it is The Helen Garden that is particularly loved by families with young children. The replacement of these three tired and outdated pieces of equipment in the play area will provide them with even greater enjoyment. This will also tick a big box in our strategic plan which is just brilliant."
The pictures below show the equipment to be replaced. Bring it on!
Regular visitors to The Helen Garden may have already noticed the two beautiful Stone Pines that have been planted either side of the path leading to the centre of the Bowling Green fence - see photos.
Our thanks to Meads Councillor Kathy Ballard for making the funds available through the devolved budget and Lee Michael (the Council's tree specialist) and his team for doing a great job planting and staking the trees.
Also known as Umbrella Pines because of their habit of forming a full high canopy, the trees have been planted to celebrate the achievements of Eastbourne residents Mrs Elizabeth Sedgwick, also known as Dolly Shepherd, the Edwardian Lady Parachutist, and her devoted daughter Miss Molly Sedgwick.
When Molly was in her mid eighties she completed a freefall parachute jump with the Red Devils to commemorate a daring mid-air rescue carried out by her mother in 1908.
Molly raised over £6,000 which she donated to St John's Church Meads, St Wilfred's Hospice and the Poppy Fund.
As these stunning trees continue to grow in The Helen Garden it is hoped that they will become known by another name: The Parachute Pines.
10th October 2016
I thought I would let you have an update on the re-planting of the beds in the Helen Garden. The diggers came along to remove the Spanish bluebells which had taken over. It's true that they were a lovely sight when they were in full bloom but unfortunately that only lasts for about three weeks and sadly everything else in their path suffered.
So the beds were cleared, new soil put in and the re-planting has begun. The inspiration behind the plant choice was a visit to the beautiful garden at Great Dixter so if that is anything to go by, come the spring we will have a lot to look forward to.
The new plants include:
Sedums, Alchemilla, Silver Astellia, Orange Callendulla, three varieties of Euphorbia and the Geranium 'Elizabeth Anne' (photo below). It is a beautiful colour plus that bronze foliage will look stunning.
The replanting of the triangular flower bed is a great improvement too. Thanks to Christine Aldous and her team.
And finally, before today I hadn't realised that there are two beautiful young Cedars of Lebanon in the Helen Garden. Their grey green foliage looks wonderful against the sparkling blue sea.
Let's hope that this lovely spell of Autumn sunshine lasts a little longer.
10th October 2016