ABOVE: Created in 1998, the Boston Square Sensory Garden is a haven of tranquility – and local wildlife!
the installation of four former show gardens in key locations around the town (which are now featured in a special trail leaflet) and the spectacular displays that have become synonymous with the Esplanade Gardens. “Hunstanton is justly proud of its many natural assets and rich heritage,” says borough councillor Elizabeth Watson, Chair of Hunstanton in Bloom. “The In Bloom team works to enhance these assets so residents and visitors can enjoy spending time out and about in Hunstanton. This takes thousands of bulbs, hundreds of trees and shrubs, pallets full of bedding plants, and – most importantly – the hard work of people like Pat and Lesley, who give generously of their time for the good of the community.” As any gardener knows, from early spring to late autumn there’s an abundance of jobs to be done. “It varies depending on the season and what’s planned, explains Patrick. “If we’re putting in a new garden, this takes time and in the run-up to the judges’ arrival there’s barely enough hours in the day!” In fact, Patrick’s been known to spend well over seven hours wth shovel in hand, helping with landscaping works. “We like the fact we can get involved in doing something for the town,” continues Lesley. “It’s a great way to keep active and you can get the family involved too. Last spring we planted flowering cherry trees with our grandchildren and we’re looking forward to seeing their fluffy pink blossom this spring,” she continued. “Of course it can be hard work, but it is really satisfying,” Patrick says. “When we’re working, holidaymakers often stop and compliment us on the gardens. So many people give of their time. We’re lucky because we have a bit of time
KLmagazine March 2011
to spare these days, but anyone can get involved. Even if they only have the odd hour here and there, even just helping to keep the place tidy and making sure their front gardens are neat makes a world of difference.” Patrick, who had holidayed in Hunstanton with wife Lesley and their family for years, had vowed to retire to the seaside town. Three years ago that’s what they did. The sights he’d enjoyed during his stay at the local caravan parks are now familiar and as the unofficial photographer for the In Bloom team, Patrick has always got a close eye on the area. On his favourite area, Patrick has few doubts. “There are lots of beautiful places to sit and enjoy Hunstanton,” he says, “but I think Boston Square Sensory Gardens is my favourite. I like the fact there’s so much going on and that everyone can enjoy it.” The garden includes a wide range of plants and materials chosen specifically for their appeal to the senses. It’s accessible to wheelchair users and because it doesn’t rely on the colour and pattern of traditional floral bedding, it can be enjoyed by the partially sighted. In recent years, bat and bee boxes have been added to encourage wildlife to thrive. The garden is home to a wide range of insects including honey bees and a wide variety of butterflies as well as nesting Pipistrelle bats. Last year youngsters were invited to help monitor the wildlife in the garden when they took part in the Boston Square Bug Hunt, and the trail will be available again this summer. Explorer packs and magnifying glasses can be collected from the Hunstanton Tourist Information Centre (a returnable hire fee applies to magnifying glasses). KL
More details... The ‘In Bloom’ campaigns are centred on community participation and Hunstanton welcomes anyone who wants to help them ‘Go for Gold!’ whatever time you have to spare. Why not adopt a bed in your area, taking care of the maintenance? Plants, information and advice are all provided, as well as a free plaque. Call 01553 782078 to take part. To find out about what’s happening on the Britain in Bloom front in King’s Lynn and Downham Market visit the website at www.westnorfolkinbloom.co.uk More information on the RHS Britain in Bloom campaign can be found on the Royal Horticultural Society website at www.rhs.org.uk
Published on Mar 1, 2011