Hayle: Isis Garden

The garden is dedicated to the RNLI and named after the first lifeboat, Isis, which was given by the University of Oxford and named after the River Isis. It was a rowing boat, which was in service for 21 years, during which it went to the aid of 11 ships and saved 51 people. There were lifeboats stationed in Hayle from 1866 to 1920.

This green space close to the railway viaduct and the ASDA supermarket is at the end of Penpol Creek in Foundry Square. The area has been landscaped with  a new granite walkway, walling and seating areas. The planting follows the sub-tropical look found in Tresco (Isles of Scily) and the George V Memorial Walk. Because this area is so close to the sea there is little frost so there are agaves and aeoniums, trachycarpus and olive trees.

The planting beds are themed with hot and cool colours. In the hot beds are butia palm, yucca, restio, a lot of different aloes, alstroemeria, helenium, rudbeckia, leucadendron, euphorbia and echium. There are about 30 different varieties of agapanthus in the cool beds, and also artemisia, fuchsia, convolvulus, eucomis, echeveria, sempervivum, osteospermum, hardy geraniums and different eryngiums.

The gardens were originally the site of Hayle’s first railway station which opened in December 1837 and operated for fifteen years before a new branch line and station was opened. The viaduct which is still used today was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel.

There’s not just colour though, there is texture and scent and a feeling of movement in the planting.

A somewhat unfortunate name though in the 21st century…


  1. bushboy says:

    A wonderful garden Jude. Thanks for taking me along 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      A pleasure to have your company Brian 😉

  2. restlessjo says:

    I can see why you like it 🤗💕

    1. Heyjude says:

      Hayle has changed a lot in the few years we’ve been here. New houses and apartments going up on the north quay. Not at the sort of prices locals can afford though.

  3. margaret21 says:

    This is a lovely garden. It seem to achieve a perfect balance between ebullient wildness and design that allows it to look good from every angle. I bet it works in all seasons too.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I did take some photos in autumn, but it’s much more a summer garden so I waited until the agapanthus were flowering. I wonder how many people take notice of it as they pass through from the ASDA car park to the shops. No one sitting there now.

      1. margaret21 says:

        Their loss….

  4. beetleypete says:

    I really like this, and the connection to the RNLI. I have been a Shoreline Member of the RNLI since the mid- 70s, and it is the main charity I support.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      There are helmets and lifebelts hanging from lampposts too, but difficult to photograph well.

      1. Cathy says:

        I especially like the way that it is nestling next to the viaduct and buildings – it sets off the colour and form of the planting and I hope that more people use the space than seems apparent

  5. Sue says:

    What a lovely little space, Jude

    1. Heyjude says:

      Very different from the usual bedding plants in municipal gardens. It all looks very exotic.

      1. Sue says:

        Yes, it certainly does!

  6. Leya says:

    A completely lovely garden, Jude – love it that they use colours and textures so well.

    1. Heyjude says:

      The garden team in this town do very well. The planting alongside the creek is equally lush with many more agapanthus and hydrangeas. Not at all like traditional public spaces planting.

      1. Leya says:

        love them – I wish we could have more agapanthus and hydrangeas in our parks as well.

        1. Heyjude says:

          They are very Cornish plants!

        2. Leya says:

          They are?!

        3. Heyjude says:

          What I meant to say was that they are very common here. South African and Australian / New Zealand plants grow well in this climate.

        4. Leya says:

          Ah – you live in a beautiful and lush area with many opportunities for interesting plants!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Beautiful and maybe we can work together to reclaim the original word Isis!

  8. What a beautiful garden 🙂

  9. Su Leslie says:

    Thanks for taking me along on this walk Jude. It is a beautiful garden.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not much of a walk Su, unless we continue along the creek, but it is a very pleasant spot for us to sit and chat 🙂

      1. Su Leslie says:

        That sounds lovely Jude.

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