We ended our 10th year having had the most successful open garden season of all, raising almost £20,000 for charity.

Our running total for the 10 years is in excess of £114,000

Over the last decade, much has happened, giving cause to celebrate in style in our 10th year 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.

Meanwhile we topped 100K raised for charity in July 2018 too.

2 well-known faces visited the garden to open garden trails! On the 10th June, TV Presenter from Channel 4's "Village of the Year" and Chelsea gold medalist, Juliet Sargeant opened the Mayors Trail.

Then, on 28th July Jim Buttress, the people's gardener, came and opened the Macmillan Garden Trail.

The garden featured in an American gardening magazine in April 2018 too. Read the whole article here.

Geoff gave 10 talks to local gardening clubs and societies throughout the year and many large coach party groups came to see the garden, including ones from Sweden, San Francisco, Dublin and the UK.

Back in 2009, when I first agreed to open the garden for Seaford In Bloom did I ever consider the incredible impact it would have on me and the garden. Little did I know I'd opened the flood gates to over 19000 visitors over the years that followed. More importantly, I had absolutely no idea we would raise over 114,000 for various charities nor anticipate the strong relationship that has developed with Macmillan Cancer Support.

Magnet Magazine did a full page feature in March 2018 that outlined my path over the last 10 years to the current day!

Read on and see how the story has unfolded.

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. Taken at a Tea party held for volunteers in 2017.

In the sections below, click on all logos to reveal more information.

I certainly had not envisaged cooking and serving over 8000 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. 2 appearances on BBC SE Today in 2016 and 2018. Click images to view.

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.

On 22nd May 2018 I was awarded the Don Mabey Award for "exceptional services to the Town of Seaford" by the Mayor, Cllr Linda Wallraven.

2018 started in incredible style, with a formal invitation to a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace for services to the local community.

2017 ended well with a formal invitation to Buckingham Palace, to a reception hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales for Macmillan Cancer Support as a thank you, with Macmillan's saying; "Geoff had made a significant difference to the charity, and in turn to those affected by cancer."

Late in 2017, Geoff was nominated and subsequently became a finalist in the Argus Community Stars Awards.

Geoff was nominated in the 2017 BBC Sussex & Surrey Community Heroes Awards for Fundraiser of the Year and received a certificate.

Geoff was nominated in the 2016 BBC Sussex & Surrey Community Heroes Awards for Fundraiser of the Year and received a certificate.

Geoff was nominated in the 2016 More Radio Awards for Fundraiser of the Year, he subsequently became a finalist and won the title.

52 local community volunteers were invited to celebrate the work of people who volunteer their services for the good of the community at the 2016 Unsung Heroes Awards. Geoff was invited for the fundraising he does for Macmillan Cancer Support, through Driftwood Fundraising Group.

In April 2015 Geoff was presented with a special award by the Mayor of Seaford, Cllr. Mark Brown for his charity fundraising in the town.

Geoff was nominated in the 2013 BBC Sussex & Surrey Community Heroes Awards for Fundraiser of the Year, subsequently became a finalist and was invited to the glittering awards ceremony. He was not the ultimate winner but you can see the certificate by clicking the logo.

In April 2012, Geoff was presented with a special award by the Mayor of Seaford, Cllr. Linda Wallraven for his charity fundraising in the town.

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 both June 2017 and 2018 Driftwood Garden was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor due to it's many excellent reviews. In 2018 it was also a finalist in the Lewes District Business Awards, Tourist Destination of the Year Awards.

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 2019 and help us celebrate our 11th birthday!