In the first 10 years, much has happened, giving cause to celebrate at Driftwood. Exciting things, from 3 national garden competition successes, several appearances on national television, receipt of amazing community awards, writing for national gardening magazines and web sites through to amazing invitations to Buckingham Palace.
On 5th June 2018 I had an invitation to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace and took my 91 year old Mother.
After we closed, on 2nd September, it was utterly amazing to establish that 2018 had been our best year ever for fundraising, with £19445 in the bank for all charities and a grand total of over £114,000 raised since 2009.
In August 2018 we were page 3 in the Daily Mail and had a 7 minute film made about the garden for BBC South East Today.
Meanwhile we topped £100K raised for charity in July 2018 too.
2 well-known faces will visit the garden this year to open garden trails! On the 10th June, TV Presenter from Channel 4's "Village of the Year" and Chelsea gold medalist, Juliet Sargeant will come and open the Mayors Trail.
Then, on 28th July Jim Buttress, the people's gardener, will come and open the Macmillan Garden Trail. Please put the dates in your diary and come and meet them both!
The garden featured in an American gardening magazine in April 2018 too. Read the whole article here.
Geoff will be giving 10 talks to local gardening clubs and societies throughout the year and many large groups are booked to see the garden, including ones from Sweden, San Francisco, Dublin and the UK.
Below are 3 shots of the garden in 2009 when we opened for the very first time.
How different it looks 10 years on with these three pictures below taken at roughly the same point in the Summer of 2017.
Over that 10 year period, nothing would have been possible without the undying support of a team of willing volunteers who have given up many hours of their own valuable time to help open the garden. Below those that helped in 2017 at the end of season thank you tea party.
Pictured, left to right, standing: Geoff Stonebanks, Linda Wallraven, Liz Holland, Celia Hughes, Mark Glassman, seated, Wendy Everest, Michele Findlay, Rosa Botterill, Helen Roberts and Diane Marquess.
Other helpers not pictured, Clare Mayers, Alan Clayton, Barbara Stonebanks, Edna Bradbury, Richard Walsh, June Jaundoo, Martha Sparkes, Amanda Haines and Melanie Shaw.In the sections below, click on all logos to reveal more information.
I certainly had not envisaged cooking and serving over 7000 portions of cake to sell to visitors, all on vintage china in the garden.
During that time the garden has appeared on both ITV and the BBC as well as local Latest Tv.
Over the 10 years Geoff has been extremely fortunate to have been recognised for the charity fundraising, almost £100,000. His services to the community being acknowledged in 2018 with 2 visits to Buckingham Palace.
Driftwood Garden has been fortunate to have won and become a finalist in 3 national garden competitions in both 2012 and 2016.
The garden has featured/mentioned in many national newspapers and magazines, as well as a French gardening magazine. Here is a selection below.
Geoff writes monthly articles for Richard Jacksons Garden website, Garden News Magazine, a weekly diary for The Argus newspaper, frequent blogs for Thompson & Morgan and other gardening organisations.
In June 2017 Driftwood Garden was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor due to it's many excellent reviews.
The garden was also listed on the following two garden websites and opens regularly for the National Garden Scheme, pretty amazing.
Come and visit in 2018 and help us celebrate our 10th birthday!