Reg charity: England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

LAST UPDATED 17th November 2021

Over £98,000 raised by Driftwood Fundraising Group to date.

If you are interested in taking part in 2022, please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser, for more information on the event.

The 2022 trail will take place over the weekend of 23rd and 24th July.
Gardens opening next year will be posted as they declare an interest. We hope to have 20 or more taking part.

If you want to get ahead, tickets for both Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th can be purchased online by clicking below, then click the pay button, select your day and make the payment.

Many gardens that open have steps and narrow paths meaning that disabled wheelchair access is not possible.
For advice on access across the trail, please call
01323 899296.

Never before have Macmillan needed our donations more!
After the devastating pandemic of 2020 and the significant drop in their much needed income to support those suffering with cancer, any donations you are able to offer can be made by clicking here.

Several of the gardens below have yet to confirm if they will open but have been regulars in last couple of years so we hope they will join us, others will be listed as they declare an interest. We hope to have 20 or more by next year.

CITY OF BRIGHTON & HOVE
(Including Woodingdean & Saltdean)

Garden 1...... 11 Rugby Road, Brighton
BN1 6EB

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
It is hoped Adam and Dan will open again in 2022. This little house in Brighton is home to Adam (finalist in this 2021 Great Pottery Throw on C4) & Dan,1 pug and bundles of creativity. Now with beautiful garden, it started as part of the Artists Open Houses, is now a must see on the Open House trail twice a year, get some great deals on original work here too over the trail weekend.

Garden 2...... The Garden House, 5 Warleigh Road, Brighton BN1 4NT

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
We are hoping Bridgette Saunders will open up her amazing garden for the trail this year. The Garden House is one of Brighton’s secret gardens This wedge of land was a thriving market garden back in the 1880’s, providing flowers and food for the local residents. She has lived here for nearly 20 years and their aim is to provide year-round interested with a selection of trees, shrubs, herbaceous borders, with annuals for cutting, along with fruit and vegetables to look and taste good They have two glass houses, rose arches, a pond and rockery which enables the Garden House to provide a learning space for creative and inspirational courses and events.

Details on The Garden House web site. The plants, many propagated at the garden, tell a story, a cutting from the Bishop of Norwich of a Hebe, purported to have been in Queen Victoria’s wedding bouquet, as well as many others from gardens we have visited where the owners have been generous! This is a friendly garden, always changing with a touch of magic to delight visitors, above all it is a slice of the country in the midst of a bustling city and we look forward to welcoming visitors.

Garden 3...... Stanford & Cleveland Community Garden, BN1 6FB

POSSIBLY SATURDAY ONLY.
Hopefully joining the trail. In 2012 the residents around Stanford Avenue successfully petitioned Brighton and Hove City Council to have the road junction (originally a wide coach turning circle) narrowed and a pavement installed on the grounds of safety. This left a large area of tarmac for which the council invited the local residents to submit ideas as to what to do with the space. A Community Garden was agreed which now provides a lot of enjoyment for local residents and passersby alike, with its striking displays of flowers, rich crops of fruit and vegetables and an abundance of herbs.

Reclaiming the space has been a labour of love for a small group of volunteers. The council provided the original structure of a wooden bed, used mainly for vegetables planted on a crop rotation basis, and a triangulated area which sports a lovely maple tree, two olive trees and perennial planting. Last year they built two raised beds on the space on the other side of the road. Being mindful of climate change these have been planted with drought resistant perennials, they also planted a small area with wildflowers. Naturally there are many challenges to maintaining this space which is so appreciated by the community. Ongoing costs are of course an issue. Historically they have received some grants from the Council, the Brighton and Hove Food Partnership and small donations. In 2018 they were the southern region winners for the Cultivation Street Community Garden competition. They won a Gold medal again last year for the South and South East in Bloom Our Community and Outstanding for It’s Your Neighbourhood and also two Gold medals in Brighton and Hove City in Bloom which is testimony to all the work that has gone into maintaining this space. But more importantly this small haven has been created and maintained for bees and butterflies and people passing by who can help themselves to some of the produce whilst leaving some for others, or simply enjoy the bright and verdant space and seasonal changes. They would welcome more volunteers and they meet on a Thursday morning.
They are hoping to serve cold drinks and cake and have some artwork for sale too! See their website here.

Garden 4...... 26 South Avenue, Brighton
BN2 0BP

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
Sarah and Martin are planning to open their garden again this year too! This is their garden in spring. Sarah says, "please come and visit in summer and see the different spaces where we have planted mixed grasses and perennials, roses, coastal plants, a willow arch and vegetables. The outcome of various garden courses that I have attended! There are lots of places to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and cake made from garden produce." There is plenty of on street pay parking by the garden.

Garden 5......27 Balsdean Road, Woodingdean
BN2 6PG

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
We sincerely hope Beryl & Alan Brown will be able to their garden again in 2022. Take home-made tea and cake in the garden or on the terrace outside the Summer house. You can even visit the secret garden down the side of the property! A long garden with established trees and shrubs and a sun trap in the afternoon.

Garden 6...... 144 Rodmell Avenue, Saltdean,
BN2 8PJ

Sue & Ray Warner will be opening their garden again in 2021. They have landscaped their fabulous garden in Saltdean to take on the effect of a jungle. Visitors can follow the winding path through the jungle, and take tea in the clearing or check out the tree root throne.

Garden 7...... 33 Wivelsfield Road, Saltdean
BN2 8FP

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
Chris and Steve are planning to open their amazing, work in progress, for the third year running, a 3 tiered garden which includes a large meadow and field leading out to the Downs. There are beautiful succulents in containers, incredible views from the meadow to both the ocean and the Downs and lovely planting. They will be serving tea and cakes too as well as plants along with garden art and craft items. Steep steps to gain entry to the garden.

TELSCOMBE

Garden 8...... 31 High View Road, Telscombe, BN10 7AY

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
Tracy Williams will be opening her lovely small garden again after a few years break. In her own words it is described as "A garden filled with pots and containers packed with lots of lovely flowers , shrubs and veggies".

SEAFORD

Garden 9...... Driftwood 4 Marine Drive Bishopstone
BN25 2RS

Our patron Christine Walkden will be at Driftwood for the opening of the trail on 23rd July 2022.

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood , has been featured on BBC Gardeners' World, was a finalist in BBC Gardeners' World Magazine's Garden of the Year 2016 and has been seen on Good Morning Britain and had a fabulous 8-page feature in Coast Magazine in 2017. You can also read many reviews of the garden on TripAdvisor. It has also won several national awards and featured in many national and local papers and magazines.

Visitors can enjoy tea on the beach garden or in the brand new sunken garden at the rear. Winner Best Small Garden in UK 2012 and owner of coveted Daily Mail National Competition blue plaque. Check out the Driftwood monthly updates in the national gardening magazine, Garden News.

Garden 10......Seaford Community Garden, Seaford,
BN25 1AD

OPEN SATURDAY ONLY!
A community garden team are hopin gto open again in 2022. the garden offers everyone the chance to work on something positive in the community, and introduce more people to the joy and health benefits of gardening regardless of age or ability. Herbaceous borders, roses, alpines, a pond, a woodland area, fruit and vegetables. Plants and seasonal fruit and vegetables available to the public with suggested donations on their labels. Click HERE for their web site.

Garden 11...... 8 Downs Road, Seaford BN25 4QL

After visiting the trail in 2021, Phil Avery decided he'd like to open his garden in Seaford and hopes to be able to commit in the New Year.

Garden 12......"Burford", Cuckmere Road,
BN25 4DE

OPEN BOTH DAYS.
Chris Kilsby has very kindly offered to open up his garden again on this trail. He describes his garden as having a symmetrical layout with well defined beds that each have a week or two of glory. The beds are not expected to look good the whole time, simple topiary and hedging provide interest when perennials are not in season. The plants used are traditional with plenty of box, roses, lavender and yew.

Garden 13...... 27 Alfriston Park, Seaford BN25 3LS

Sally Attrell is opening her delightful garden for the 2022 trail. A small oasis on the edge of Seaford. With different levels and a tranquil Koi pond to sit and reflect by. A haven for birds and humans. 4 years in the making and delicious tea and cake served on vintage china.

Watch this space for new gardens to be added/confirmed through until May 2022

In 2021 we raised over £8000 for the charity over the weekend of 24th and 25th July 2021, thank you so much to owners, volunteers and visitors. Macmillan tweeted their appreciation as seen below.

Our patron, TV Gardener Christine Walkden, posted this message of congratulations on Twitter.

Emma Hammett, Regional Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in the area said.
"A huge thank you to every single garden owner who participated in the trail over the weekend to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support's Horizon Centre in Brighton. With a special thank you going to Geoff Stonebanks who organised the event and heads up the Driftwood Fundraising Group. Geoff has been supporting the charity for many years and we are so grateful for his dedication and support. Your efforts mean that we will be able to be there for people living with cancer in Brighton and the surrounding areas, which is both fantastic and admirable."

Geoff Brown, the Horizon Centre Manager said "Thank you so much Geoff and thank you to all who opened their gardens. An amazing effort and contribution to enable Macmillan to continue to offer much needed support. Thank you very much!"

Below, our Patron, Christine Walkden, cutting the ribbon to open the 2019 trail at Driftwood with trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks and Ruth Leonard (Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan).

The generous people of Sussex raised £3.7m to help fund the building of the Macmillan Horizon Centre, but more is still needed. The running costs of the centre are covered by Macmillan Cancer Support, and services provided by a team of skilled local volunteers. Macmillan is funded solely by donations and the running costs of the centre are over £650,000 per annum. All monies raised from this trail will support Macmillan in it's operation.

All the monies raised from entrance fees to the gardens, monies raised by selling raffle tickets, along with the proceeds from the sales of teas and coffees will go towards maintaining and operating the new Cancer Support Centre in Brighton. Any stalls operated in the gardens will donate a percentage of their proceeds to the charity as well.

In addition to the monies raised on the trail Geoff Stonebanks also raises money for Macmillan through income from private visits to his own garden, Driftwood throughout the Summer, through raffle of artist donated pieces and proceeds from the sale of tea and cakes at many charity openings. Over £98000 raised to date!

In December 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, received an invitation from Buckingham Palace. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles invited him to a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support in January 2018. Macmillan said it was a thank you for him having made a significant difference to the charity and to those suffering with cancer! Read all about his experience visiting the Palace here.

It was an amazing evening for Geoff at Buckingham Palace, in January 2018, meeting His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, at a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Geoff has attended a Macmillan Executive Team Meeting in the Horizon Centre, Brighton where The Trustees and Board met with groups of volunteers and staff at the centre and heard direct from Geoff about his fundraising work with the charity, both the trail and other events in his own garden Driftwood. He can be seen here with Chief Executive of Macmillan, Lynda Thomas prior to the meeting.
Christine Walkden's horticultural knowledge, combined with her obvious passion for gardening is what has made her a TV and radio favourite, and The One Show’s resident gardening expert, along with being a regular pannelist on Gardeners' Question Time. Autumn 2014 saw her in a 15 part series on BBC1 called "Glorious Gardens from Above". Christine said "I support cancer charities as we have had problems in the family so I know myself what people go through and also how its upsets families as well. I just hope it may help you." See Christine's web site HERE.

Surprisingly the BBC2 series Christine did a few years ago, Christine's Garden is not available on DVD but you can see them all on YouTube for free. Check them out HERE!

In both 2026 and 2019, Christine generously agreed to travel to Sussex to open the event in the award winning garden of organiser, Geoff Stonebanks. She said "Opening gardens and sharing them with others is a great treat for all. It generates a sense of community, camaraderie and interest in the beauty that gardeners create. I am thrilled to continue as patron for the fifth year, especially having seen it first hand."

Christine goes on to say "There are probably umpteen better gardens down my street, but it doesn't bother me - I'm not competitive or pretentious. I don't want a showcase garden. It's the relationship I have with my garden that matters."

Christine can be seen above in Geoff's garden with 2 visitors.

Over £98000 has now been raised by Geoff's Driftwood Fundraising Group since 2012!

In September 2016, Geoff and some of his garden supporters, were invited to a preview of the centre and were amazed to find that Driftwood Fundraising Group was listed on the roll call of supporters who have raised money for the centre. Sussex Committees have raised over £1.1 million and Driftwood £98000 of that.

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser for more information on the event.