The great British seaside holiday takes centre stage at London’s Southbank Centre this summer, as a nostalgic component of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Festival of Britain

A Great Day Out on Sea
A Great Day Out on Sea

Members of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Parks Technical Team – who have won awards for their work at shows such as Hampton Court and the Chelsea Flower Show – created a garden titled ‘A Great Day Out on Sea’.

The exhibit takes visitors on a horticultural journey along Southend’s seafront, from its formal gardens to the traditional cockling industry at nearby Leigh-on-Sea.

The design incorporates traditional formal bedding displays typically found at seaside towns including tulips, geraniums and polyanthus, as well as coastal planting with native maritime plants. The garden is sprinkled with cockleshells and features a cockler’s hut and the wreck of an old wooden clinker boat recovered from the mud flats at Leigh.

The 16m by 4m garden runs into a 70m urban beach on Queen’s Walk. Visitors can also enjoy 14 specially commissioned beach huts, traditional fairground rides and a display of 1950s postcards and swimwear.

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