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


Despite poor weather, the trail raised £5300. Thank you all who supported it. LAST UPDATED Thursday 209th September 2016
28 Gardens opened between Hove and Seaford, with 12 new for 2016

Local MP, Maria Caulfield, along with Mayor of Seaford, Cllr Lindsay Freeman, opened the trail at Driftwood on the 9th July. Tom Carter, Fundraising Manager from Macmillan, was on hand too with Deputy Mayor, Carol Campbell and Seaford Young Mayor. In the centre Mayor of Peacehaven Cllr, Jean Farmiloe, pictured in the garden of Alison Standing.

Tom Carter, Macmillan Area Fundraising Manager said I was delighted to be able to visit Geoffs wonderful Garden once again for the opening of the ever-expanding trail. To think that the event has raised nearly £40,000 over the last five years is just incredible and has helped ensure Macmillan will be able to reach and support hundreds more local people affected by cancer through the new Centre.

On seeing all the coverage in the local press of the Macmillan Trail, Tom also said. "I know you were a little disappointed with how the weather hampered this years financial total, but the amount of excellent press you have secured is worth its weight in gold!

Maria Caulfield said: "It was a real pleasure to take part in this years Macmillan Garden Trail, which was again expertly organised by Geoff Stonebanks. I couldnt think of many better ways to spend a Saturday in Sussex than by visiting some of the Counties most spectacular gardens, particularly with this fantastic event raising thousands of pounds for the Macmillan Horizon Centre. I would personally like to thank all of those involved in organising this fantastic event, including those that kindly opened their gardens to the public, which I fully appreciate often involves a tremendous amount of effort.

Finally Sarah Coxhill, Senior Fundraising Manager in Sussex said: "We think this is a fantastic result, and what incredible press coverage, proving again that not only the money raised but a large proportion of awareness of Macmillan and specifically the Horizon Centre is forefront of Sussex media is down to you. A huge thanks on behalf of Macmillan for your continued support, enthusiasm, hard work and commitment. We understand the amount of drive that goes into getting this together and delivering such an outstanding weekend for all the visitors. The weather is always so hard to predict but despite that it didnt dampen spirits. A huge congratulations to you all and enormous thanks."

Mayor of Newhaven, Steve Saunders visited Driftwood before closing on Sunday, left, and Julia Fietkau is pictured in her garden in Brittany Road, Hove.

Brighton Mayor, Cllr Pete West, made it around all bar one of the City gardens and is seen here at Lustrells Crescent, left. On the right, Sue Warner in her jungle garden at 144 Rodmell Avenue.

On the left, Mayor of Newhaven, Steve Saunders in the garden at Cattlegate. Centre Mayor of Peacehaven with garden owner, Margaret Howland, and on the right Ethel Trigg's garden in Coombe Vale.

Very proudly sponsored in 2016 by Garden Media Guild's 2015 award winning web site.

Coastal Garden Trail

Christine Walkden has generously agreed to be our patron again in 2016. 29 gardens are opening across 4 local trails! Entry £2 per garden or £7 for a day ticket on Saturday and £7 on Sunday.

The new Macmillan Horizon cancer centre opens in Brighton later in 2016. Monies raised from this trail will support Macmillan in it's operation.


Here are the 29 gardens that opened their gates this year!

(Including Ovingdean, Rottingdean & Saltdean)

Garden 1...... Plot 37, Weald Allotments, Weald Av, Hangleton, Hove, BN3 7JN

Rick Fullwood will be opening his truly unique private garden for the very first time. The garden is located as a plot on an allotment. Prepare to be wowed! The planting is naturalistic and has trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, including herbs and vegetables. The garden is divided into different areas. Hot colours accompany more exotic plants. There is an area of cooler colours, a woodland area, and an herbal area. Planting in all areas is successional, with Tulips starting off the year, followed by self seeders such as Aquilegias,

Forget-Me-Nots, Oxeye Daisies, Campanulas, Oregano, Echineas and Aster. The garden is allowed to develop naturally most of the time, with the wild planting complemented by the carefully manicured shrubs and trees to establish a strong structure throughout the year. Care must be taken by all, as there are many narrow and uneven paths throughout the garden. Weather permitting, tea and cake to be served in an adjoining plot. Well worth the trip!

Garden 2...... 42 Brittany Road, Hove

OPEN SUNDAY ONLY. Julia Fiettkau will be opening her beautiful Hove garden for the trail. A lovely lawn with colourful border and small raised garden at end. Julia will be selling her succulents, many incorporated in delightful objects such as the frame on the left. She'll be serving home-made tea and cakes too. Free parking in the road too!

Garden 3...... 39a Tisbury Road, Hove

Ruth Swirsky will be opening her delightful basement flat garden. This surprisingly large garden for central Hove is beautifully laid out to provide plenty of interest. It is packed with shrubs and flowers for shade and sun, and sheltered by large trees in surrounding gardens, providing a haven in central Hove. Decorative ceramics contribute to a colourful and relaxing atmosphere. Barbara Collins' garden oriented ceramics will be on sale, as will plants from the garden. Home-made tea and cakes will be served on the lawn and patio.

Garden 4...... Bramble Cottage Retirement Home, 18 Carden Avenue, Brighton,

Karina Lewis and her team at Bramble Cottage will be opening the large gardens at the retirement home for visitors to wander through and admire the planting. Two beautiful ponds, one at the front surrounded by lush planting and one at the rear on the sloping lawn. Hanging baskets on the rear patio. Home-made tea and cake will be served to visitors as well. It is hoped there will be cuttings for sale and a selection of books.

Garden 5...... Skyscape, 46 Ainsworth Av, Ovingdean

OPEN SUNDAY ONLY. Lorna and John Davies will be opening their gorgeous, south facing garden, located behind an amazing newly built house with terraced views across the Downs to the sea. Enjoy home made tea and cakes with views to die for along with craft items and plants for sale.

Garden 6...... 28 Grand Crescent, Rottingdean

Angie Hart and Scott Dennis will be opening their beautiful garden. Quirky, open plan coastal garden with lovely sea views, but fierce salt winds to combat. Bright coloured mixed borders, pond and attractive seating areas. This garden was created in April 2015 and the borders are blooming, right through until late summer. Fabulous swing seat and hot composter to marvel at. Attractive paving and pots.

Garden 7...... 112 Lustrells Crescent, Saltdean,

Louise Wilson has just signed up to give treatments at the new Horizon Centre in Brighton when it opens and heard of the trail. She has decided to open up her newly developing, sensory garden for visitors to see. Tea and cakes will be available too. See what treatment she will be offering at the centre here.

Garden 8...... 144 Rodmell Avenue, Saltdean,

Sue & Ray Warner will be opening their garden again in 2016 after a year off. 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 9...... 2 Coombe Vale, Saltdean,

Ethel Trigg and Alex Thomas's garden is quite large and hugs the bungalow. It is planted with a large variety of plants, flowers fruit trees and bushes. There is also a raised ornamental fish pond which creates quite a nice feature.


Garden 10...... 82 Telscombe Cliffs Way,
BN10 7DE

Janet Roland says "bring your best friend to an enchanting garden for a picnic buffet and nostalgia". Arts, Crafts and Plant sale. Light and shade, old and new, established trees and shrubs give way to a recently cultivated vegetable and herb garden, bordered by spring and summer blooms. A small pond attracts many species of wildlife.

Garden 11...... Tor Cottage, 8 Tor Rd, Peacehaven
BN10 7SX

Julie & Ron's Tor Cottage in Peacehaven. The garden has a feeling of space with trees and shrubs around the perimiter. Seating will be in both sunshine and shade with space to relax with tea and cake and enjoy the ambience. Pots and tubs will be bursting with colour along with 2 ponds with koi carp.

Garden 12...... 18 Bramber Close, Peacehaven, BN10 8DH

Margaret Howland is opening her delightful garden in Bramber Close again. She says my garden is my sanctuary where I can loose a whole day. Over the years I have changed the design and moved plants and shrubs around giving me what the family call a pretty garden, with different areas to sit and enjoy the planting.

Garden 13...... 1 Downs Walk, Peacehaven BN10 7SN

Babs and Cyril Schultz will be opening their stunning garden on the trail this summer. A beautiful garden, lovingly created over many years by them both. Full of gorgeous summer plants and stunning pond! This is their first time for the Macmillan Trail.

Garden 14...... 20 Piddinghoe Av, Peacehaven BN10 8PF

Alison and Dave Standing will be opening their small but pretty cottage garden which has different seating areas. Visitors are made very welcome in a relaxing atmosphere! Teas served in the garden as well! This is their second time for the Macmillan Trail.


Garden 15...... 5 Old Coastguard Cottages, Geneva Rd, Newhaven,
BN9 9ND.

Gill Weaver will be opening her beautiful coastal garden again in 2015 for these 2 dates only. Amazing garden sloping away from the house with steep steps and narrow paths.

Garden 16...... 20 Newfield Rd, Newhaven,
BN9 9ND.

Carole Buchan will be opening her garden again this year. A fairly new established tranquil west-facing garden lushly planted with cottage garden flowers in shades of blue, grey and white.

Garden 17...... 9 Meeching Road, Newhaven,

A gorgeous secluded walled garden imaginatively designed to incorporate a water feature, sculptures, an abundance of plants! Come and enjoy a glass of fizz and nibbles whilst you soak up the ambience of this small paradise.


Garden 18...... Longthatch, The Street, Rodmell

Myra Lynn will be opening her beautiful cottage garden in the centre of the village on Saturday 9th only. A peaceful oasis with lots of places to sit and enjoy the garden while eating tea and cake!

Garden 19...... Little Acre, Swanborough Drove, Swanborough

Pam & Michael Parrish will be opening their beautiful lawned garden with extensive views out across the South Downs. A haven for wildlife with a meadow at the bottom of the garden. Lovely beds close to the house! Enjoy tea and cakes with the gorgeous views! Judi Miles will be selling her home-made jams and marmalades in aid of Macmillan too!

Garden 20...... Cattlegate, Swanborough Drove, Swanborough

Caroline Courtauld has generously agreed to open her amazing garden again in 2016. Her beautiful modernist house is set in the quiet village of Swanborough. The small garden has a spectacular view, as painted by artist Eric Ravilious. Full of architectural interest and thoughtful planting, a perfect place to enjoy a cup of tea, delicious cake and the magic of the South Downs.


Garden 21... Driftwood 4 Marine Drive Bishopstone
BN25 2RS

Our patron Christine Walkden was at Driftwood for the opening of the trail last year.

Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood , featured in the Sunday Telegraph last summer, was seen on Good Morning Britain in 2014 and was listed as one of the top 25 gardens to see in Sussex in a list published by Sussex Life last year. 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 amongst the sumptuous planting in the back garden. 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 22...... High Trees, 83 Firle Road, BN25 2JA

Tony & Sue Luckin are opening their beautiful garden with numerous interesting plants, ferns and grasses and two water features including a large koi pond complete with waterfall. At the end of the garden there is a stunning woodland area, accessible through a pergola from the lawn.

Garden 23...... Lavender Cottage, Seaford BN25 1QH

Steve and Christina are opening their flint walled front garden with cottage, coastal and kitchen gardens and plenty of places to enjoy a cream tea. The back garden has terraced bank planted up with trees, shrubs and lavenders. Climb the steps up to the balcony and enjoy the iconic view of Seaford Head. All the rockeries and gardens contain varied planting at different times of the year. Enjoy a cream tea around the pond.

Garden 24...... 9 Kingsmead, Seaford BN25 2EU

OPEN SUNDAY ONLY. Mary & David Holland are planning to open their beautiful courtyard garden again in 2016. Previous visitors will see many new additions to this small but imaginitive town garden!

Garden 25...... Seaford Community Garden, Seaford

OPEN SATURDAY ONLY! A community garden open to all, run by volunteers with flowers, fruit, vegetables and a wildlife pond. Lots of plants for sale! Their mission statement is to creatively develop a garden that will empower and develop the participants leading to a significant improvement in the quality of life for the wider community. Click HERE for their web site.

Garden 26...... 6 Victor Close, Seaford BN25 2JQ

Jo Green is also planning to open her delighfullly maintained garden in Victor Close again. A well maintained garden opened as a continuing work in progress but lovingly maintained and full of colour! Several places to sit and enjoy the garden! There will be plants for sale too!

Garden 27...... Cupani garden, 8 Sandgate Close, Seaford BN25 3LL

A green and tranquil haven with a delightful mix of trees, shrubs and perennial borders in different themed blocks. Courtyard garden, gazebo, summer house, water features, swet pea arches and huge range of plants in all seasons. Plenty of places in sun or shade, to sit and enjoy delicious afternoon tea. Check out their garden website here .

Garden 28...... 14 Lullington Close, Seaford BN25 4JH

Sheila & David Thomas will be opening up their garden again! Their garden nestles at the bottom of Seaford Head with a 'wisteria walk' made from chestnut logs. The garden is quite open and has built in entertainment areas with plenty of sitting areas to relax, listen and watch, during the day and night. Look for the steps up to the secret path to The Downs. Tea and biscuits on sale.

Garden 29...... Little Barn, 15 Hillside, East Dean BN20 0HE

Geoffrey Mantle will opening his wonderful hillside garden. A half acre, steep sloping garden, set on the South Downs with stunning views of the sea at Beachy Head and Birling Gap. It has three terraces with a wide range of plants including dwarf conifers, shrubs and bedding plants. There are also two greenhouses, a conservatory, a small vegetable garden based on raised beds, as well as two rockeries. There is a a summerhouse and a sun room, so plenty of spaces to sit and admire the view!

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 the building of the new Cancer Support Centre in Brighton. Any stalls operated in the gardens donated a percentage of their proceeds to the charity as well.

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 Showís 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!

Geoff Stonebanks, as Chairman of Driftwood Fundraising Group, was one of 52 local community volunteers invited to celebrate the work of people who volunteer their services for the good of the community at the 2016 Unsung Heroes Awards held at Newhaven Fort on the 16th April. This year, the event included representatives from the charities and voluntary organisations working locally that have been nominated to Ruth O'Keefe MBE, Chair of the District Council, as part of her theme for the civic year 2015 & 2016, Charities and Voluntary Organisations of the Lewes District, as well as individual Unsung Heroes nominated by her Lewes District Councillors.

Ruth had been a guest of honour at the Macmillan Garden Trail official opening last July. All 52 charity organisations represented were presented with a framed certificate and received a cheque for £100. The cheque will go towards the monies needed to stage the 2016 garden trail on the 9th and 10th July. Driftwood Fundraising Group presented Macmillan with £10000 in 2014 and £8500 in 2015, with a grand total of £32000 in the last 5 years. In her official address Ruth said of those present, "Volunteers, charities and voluntary organisations are the champions, whose efforts for the people often go unrecognised but go a long way in fostering community spirit. Our District is blessed with many such people and you are all examples. A big thank you to all of you for making a difference to our lives and to the community." Geoff said "It was an honour to represent Macmillan Cancer Support as Chair of the Driftwood Fundraising Group. Thanks so much to both those who nominated us and to Ruth O'Keefe".

£32000 raised by Geoff Stonebanks's Driftwood Fundraising Group (organiser of the trail) since 2012!
£8000 was presented to Macmillan on 6th September 2015.

Last year our patron, Christine Walkden, actually came and opened the trail in Geoff's garden at Driftwood and can be seen cutting the ribbon on the left, with Chair of Lewes District Council, Ruth O'Keefe on her left. Centre is Maria Caulfield MP with Christine, Geoff and Tom Carter from Macmillan, while on the right is a picture of Christine with Geoff in the garden at Driftwood!

On 29th September 2015, Geoff Stonebanks met up with Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support on the site of the new Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton.

The gardens opening for 2016 are below. If you want to know more about the 2016 trail please contact
Geoff Stonebanks!

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser or Sarah Coxhill at Macmillan, for more information on the event.