Bedding schemes in Filey's park, July 2006

I've never been sure about formal bedding schemes, as laid out by local authorities in our parks. It's a long way from my style of gardening, which is more naturalistic (or messy, if you like).

I think it's because parks so often have riots of uncontrolled colour in hideous clashing shades. But here in the park at Filey, on the North Yorkshire coast, were the handsomest summer bedding schemes I've ever seen. Based on the principle that often 'less is more', in solid blocks of strong colour, and all looking well-maintained.

Red chard in the ornamental vegetable bed

There was a surprise bit of planting here. Though all very traditional around the bandstand, as shown above, a large bed at one end of the park contained less usual summer bedding, like this red chard.

A helpful sign explained that the bed had been created to show the value of vegetables grown in a flowerbed as ornamental plants.

A planting of ornamental veg, in Filey's clifftop park

It wasn't something I expected to find, in front of the handsome stuccoed buildings, in this very traditional seaside town.

Filey became a popular resort with the arrival of the railways in the mid-19th century, and its heyday was the Edwardian period. It has retained an air of Edwardian elegance, a century later.

Its park seemed to reflect changing ideas about plants and planting during the last century, with this very up-to-date addition. The traditional bedding schemes and bandstand, and an ornamental lily pond, then this vegetable bed with its lush chard and cabbages and runner bean tripods.

I've grown some ornamental veg in my garden in the past - though I find it's only ornamental for a while before the snails and slugs find it.

Photos: 21 July 2006.

Lilies in formal pond, sea in background

Top left: ornamental veg. Above: lily pond, sea in background