On January 13th, viewers of BBC2’s new show ‘Great British Garden Revival’ caught a glimpse of the famous Eastbourne carpet gardens – cared for by The Landscape Group’s Eastbourne team – in the ‘Fruit Trees and Ornamental Bedding’ episode.
Great British Garden Revival aims to do for gardening and horticulture what Great British Bake Off has done for homebaking, with Britain’s top gardening TV presenters getting involved and presenting an aspect of gardening that they feel particularly passionate about in the hopes of reinvigorating the nation’s love for our gardens.
The seafront carpet gardens have been an Eastbourne tradition since 1880 and have been used as a backdrop for other TV programmes such as Little Britain (where they were used behind the ‘Ladies’ features).
Each year, the gardens feature a new intricate design with ‘badge’ features interspersed, this year’s being the ‘Bee Cause’ where the motif was planted up with varieties popular with bees. Creating and maintaining the intricate designs of the carpet gardens is highly specialised work, with skills gained over many years working on the gardens.
The Landscape Group cares for the carpet gardens on behalf of Eastbourne Borough Council and was approached by production company Outline TV in 2013. TV presenter Christine Walkden visited the carpet gardens on 20th August 2013 to film with The Landscape Group team and find out more about the history of the gardens and the care needed to keep them to the high standards seen in Eastbourne. Christine’s crew filmed interviews with the TLG team and members of the public on Eastbourne seafront on a beautifully sunny (Great British) morning by the sea.
TLG team members Darren Pillar (Contract Manager), Keith Lawrence (Seafront Team Leader), Paul Elvey (Grounds Maintenance Operative) and John Tutty (Grounds Maintenance Operative) all took part in filming alongside David Henry of Eastbourne Borough Council (who now works with TLG as Parks and Horticultural Officer on our Hastings, Rother and Amicus Horizon contract).
The team explained to Christine the importance of the carpet gardens and the tourist attraction that they represent – the team have experienced horticultural clubs visiting from as far afield as Canada stopping by to watch their techniques and ask questions.
This was very much an ‘out of the ordinary’ experience, bringing some glamour to grounds maintenance!
For more information on the show visit
If you missed it, the Fruit Trees and Ornamental Bedding Episode can be viewed on BBC iPlayer