Geoff and the garden have been extremely lucky to have appeared on BBC Gardeners' World twice.
The first occasion was in September 2016
(scroll down page to see all the details of this broadcast)
and most recently, filmed in the Summer of 2023, it featured on the show at 8pm on BBC2, on the 22nd March 2024.

You can view the film of Driftwood on BBC Gardeners' World on 22nd March 2024 by clicking Monty below. The piece is contained within Episode 2, 45 minutes into the programme.

It was wonderful to hear him agree with several of the comments I made in the interview too!

Claire Johnson, Asst Producer on the programme wrote on 23rd March, after I had thanked her for including the film
"You are very welcome, Geoff. And thank you for all the publicity!"

Mark Scott, the cameraman/director wrote after I thanked him for a great film,
Hi Geoff, very glad you liked the film, it was a joy to make. All the best. Mark

There was some lovely feedback on social media too.

In the run up to the broadcast on the 22nd, after getting confirmation on the 19th from the BBC, several organisations published articles online about my appearance, notably National Garden Scheme, Sussex Express, and Bournefree Magazine. On Friday 22nd March, I was featured on the front page of Sussex Express with an article inside. On the 20th March The Argus printed an article in the paper too. Click images below to read!

BBC SE Today came and filmed an interview about the upcoming film on Gardeners' World and the piece was broadcast at 1830 on the evening news. Juliette Parkin wrote after filming: "It was a real pleasure to see you again. Thank you for letting us come and film. Looking forward to seeing your garden in full summer splendour this evening and hopefully we can come back another time when it's warm!"

After thanking her for the finished product she wrote:
"You are so welcome Geoff, glad you liked it! It went down very well in our newsroom, everyone thought you came across really well. I loved watching the full piece on Gardeners' World too, the garden looked stunning! Have a good weekend."

You can see the film below.



In April 2023, by which time my garden had taken on some significant changes to take account of my advancing years, dodgy knees, climate change and hosepipe bans, I decided to write personally to the series producer in Bristol and put my case forward for inclusion in the show again!

I'm pleased to say she was very taken with what I had submitted and passed the details to an Assistant Producer, who subsequently sought details from me along with several garden videos, plus additional photos. Her team then prepared a presentation for the commissioning team, back in May, when a decision was finally taken to run with it. I had been worried they might pull out in the intervening months but had been very proactive and sent monthly updates, which helped keep it on the boil. A zoom meeting was set for Thursday 3rd August with the designated director and producer, during which I told the story of the garden and went through a lot of images and information I had sent for them to go through before the call.

Finally, at 4pm on the 22nd August, the director/cameraman arrived and spent 2 hours filming areas of the garden before the sun went down. See three shots below.

The Director was overwhelmed with the garden and despite having filmed many plots over the years, felt Driftwood was absolutely immaculate with nothing out of place, quite unique in his view. On the morning of filming I was up at 530 making sure everything was perfect, some final dead-heading, cushions and furniture out and a last minute walk around to make sue everything was picture perfect. We were blessed with a lovely sunny day and the crew, director/camera man Mark, sound recordist Brian and Horticultural researcher Claire arrived just after 8, all of whom were lovely.

Mark picked out the best area for filming the interview and set up the area and the session got underway. He chose the back garden as it was more restful with fewer external noises to disrupt filming. The question and answer session lasted almost 2 hours, with a short break in-between with Mark posing questions which I then had to repeat within my answer. There were no trick questions, just me telling it as it was. During the session, Claire was listing all the plants and items in the garden that I may have mentioned, so that Mark could later film “cut aways” of those items to edit into the final cut.

Once the Q&A session wrapped, I was asked to identify 3 of my favourite plants in the garden. After much debate and considering ease of access for filming, we settled on Eucomis (pineapple lily), Buddleia Buzz ( I had a trio in the garden all together, Magenta, Lilac and White) and Verbena rigida Polaris. Mark then filmed me, adjacent to the plants, asking me to talk about them, why they were my favourites, what growing conditions they needed etc. Each of the 3 sessions took time as there needed to be close ups of me touching the plants and distant shots too.

Left, verbena rigida polaris, centre eucomis and right, buddleia buzz.

After lunch the team and I identified a number of tasks they could film me undertaking. The final list was decided and we set about the task. First up was a demonstration of taking cuttings from a fuchsia. I opted to take them from a plant that my father had bought my mother as a ruby wedding gift many years ago, Empress of Prussia. There were many shots taken of close ups, then cutting the stems, preparing, dipping in rooting powder and watering. The whole session took over 40 minutes to film.

Below is a film I had taken of the garden the day before the the BBC came to shoot.


After being approached by the BBC's production team in October 2015, I finally got to have a film crew arrive in my garden on the 25th August. The 5 minute film was shown in the programme, aired on the 23rd September 2016. The programme's Facebook page, billed the episode as including a beautiful garden by the sea! Driftwood!

There had been a great deal of hype locally with it being mentioned in the local news on
BBC Sussex in the morning and I was interviewed by Neil Pringle on the BBC Sussex breakfast show as well.

The Gardeners' World web site said, Geoff Stonebanks’s amazing garden near Seaford in East Sussex is well worth a visit if you happen to be in the area, discover an exuberant garden and gardener whose small space is packed with plants.

Click below to see a copy of the final cut.

There were many lovely comments posted on social media after the show was broadcast!
Carolyn Smith said "Brilliant piece on GW beautiful design, accessible & encouraging. We both watched it saying he's right we could do that."
Anjie said "Just seen Driftwood on Gardeners' World, what a fab small garden x"
Linda said " So beautiful! I've never seen so many beautiful plants. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be looking some more today."
Eileen Elder said"It was a stunning garden, a masterpiece of integrated plants and sculptures."

Below are a few stills from the film broadcast with a new, additional presenter, Jane Moore.

Pictures of the wonderful day they recorded the film are shown below.

Below, the crew arrive at Driftwood for an 0830 start.

The introduction was filmed in the front garden with new presenter Jane Moore.

Geoff gets miked up ready for filming.

The action soon moved to the back garden where Jane chatted to Geoff about the garden on camera.

Tactics were then discussed with director Emma Fitzmaurice and the crew.

Jane and Geoff take a break between filming.

Setting up a scene.

Light, camera, action!

In full swing!

Filming in the centre of the garden.

I'm ready for my close up!

And.... so is the garden.

It's a wrap!

I received a lovely e mail from the dirtector, Emma, after the filming.
Hi Geoff, Thanks for your lovely email and the pic! We really enjoyed filming with you, it was a great day. Your garden is fabulous. And the cake was excellent too! I hope you and Mark had a good Bank Holiday weekend. We'll be in touch about the broadcast date. All the best, Emma x