The world-famous Carpet Gardens on Eastbourne seafront are already drawing the crowds this year as the brilliantly colourful beds flourish under the spring sunshine.

Designed by Eastbourne Borough Council’s expert in-house team and planted by the council’s horticultural contractor, Idverde, some are already saying that the 2022 display may well be regarded as the finest ever in the long history of Carpet Gardens.Harold Fawthrop from Yorkshire has been visiting Eastbourne since childhood.

He said: “Father and mother swore by Whitby and Bridlington for a day out by the seaside, but they were in no doubt that outside of Yorkshire there was nothing to beat Eastbourne, especially the seafront. I visited as a child and I’m now in my eighties and I always look forward to a week here. A walk along promenade is good for the soul and when you reach the carpet gardens on a sunny day, it lifts my heart.”

The winter / spring bedding on show now consists of 10,000 Polyanthus, 6,000 Bellis (daisy), 2,000 Hyacinth bulbs, 7,000 Tulips and 1,200 crocuses. In early June, Idverde will be busy working on the Carpet Gardens again as they replace the current plants with summer bedding.

During the pandemic plants could not be supplied and the beds were left empty, giving the team a chance to replace the soil and remove a persistent weed (Oxalis) which has also helped generate the magnificent display this year.

Councillor Colin Swanborough, Cabinet Member for Place Services, said: “In my view the Carpet Gardens have never looked better. You can see from the expressions of people walking along the promenade, they are awestruck by the kaleidoscope of colour and can’t help but stop and comment on what a fantastic job has been done this year. “Great thanks are owed to the council officers and Idverde for everything they have done. “I feel very lucky to live in Eastbourne and grateful to have such a fantastic seafront to visit and I’m delighted those millions of annual visitors from across the UK feel the same way.”