Last updated Wednesday 4th October 2017

The 2017 trail has now taken place and raised an amazing 2060.60 for Seaford Lifeguards. The raffle was drawn on Wednesday 14th June.
And the winners are........

1st prize of 100 gardening vouchers: Liz Holland (2nd from right)
2nd prize of 50 to spend in Pomegranate Rita Williams (far right)
3rd prize sleeping gnome gentleman called Alf Sephton-Smith (left)
Winners were presented with their prizes on Monday 19th June at Driftwood by the Mayor.

On 18th May 2017, Linda Wallraven was elected Mayor of Seaford for the third time. Following the trail she said "Geoff your a STAR, thank you so much and to everyone who supported this wonderful event. Stunning gardens and all unique in their different ways. What a fantastic start to my fundraising year!"

The 6th annual trail took place on Sunday 11th June 2017 with 8 gardens opening up their gate for visitors to see! Entry was be 6 to see all gardens. The Mayor cut the ribbon to open the trail joined by local MP, Maria Caulfield, Steve from Pomegranate, Young Mayor of Seaford, Thomas Exley and Deputy Mayor, Mark Brown.

Linda Wallraven and Liz Holland enjoy afternoon tea at Driftwood. It was lovely to see Community Support Officers Marian and Kathy visit the garden too as part of their visiting community activities in the area.

Driftwood helpers, Celia Hughes and Wendy Everest enjoy a laugh. On the right two ladies enjoy their tea in the garden!

There was a grand raffle and the draw will be made at 1130 on Wednesday 14th June with winners notified by the end of the week. The bulb company Bakker have very generously donated this gnome, retailing at £25.95 as on of the raffle prizes. Other prizes will be 100 gardening voucher and 50 vouchers to spend in Pomegrante, our sponsors cafe.

The Mayor has chosen Seaford Lifeguards as her charity for the year.

On 3rd June the garden owners all met at 14 Lullington Close with the Mayor and her consort. Back row: Dave Thomas (Lullington Cres) Geoff Stonebanks (Driftwood & Organiser) Tony Luckin (High Trees). Middle row: Sally Attrell (Alfriston Cres), Denis & Aideen Jones (Cupani), Sue Luckin (High Trees). Front row: Mayor of Seaford Linda Wallraven & Consort Liz Holland. Steve & Tina Machan, Chris Kilsby along with the Community Garden, were unable to attend.

2017 will be the seventh year that a Mayor's Open Garden event has taken place in Seaford. There were 2 gardens open for the first event in 2011 and then Geoff Stonebanks set up a trail of 5 in 2012 due to the success of the original event. In 2013, 9 gardens opened and raised over 2000 for Waifs and Strays and Seaford Downs Syndrome and Special Needs Support Group. In 2014 we raised 2337. 2015 saw us raise 1728. Since 2012, the Town Council now support the event each year and the Mayor of Seaford has the option to choose to raise money for their nominated local charities each year through the trail, failing that, the Town Council nominate a local charity.

In 2012 we raised over 1000 on a very wet day for Linda Wallraven's 2 charities, St James's Trust and Seaford Downs Syndrome and Special Needs Support Group.

Full details of the June 2016 event can be seen HERE along with the gardens that opened.

Here are the 8 confirmed gardens taking part in 2017.

1. 27 Alfriston Park, Seaford BN25 3LS

Sally Attrell is returning to the trail after a couple of years absence to open her delightful garden. Visitors will see a colourful array of plants at both the back and the front of Sally's imaginative plot! Enjoy home-made tea and cake in the garden too!

2. 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, sweet pea arches and huge range of plants in all seasons. Plenty of places in sun or shade, to sit and enjoy delicious afternoon tea. Plants and jams for sale too! Check out their garden website here.

3. "Burford", Cuckmere Road, BN25 4DE

Chris Kilsby has very kindly offered to open up his garden again for the trail, having first opened for Seaford in Bloom in 2013. 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.

4. 14 Lullington Close, Seaford BN25 4JH

Sheila & David Thomas will be opening up their garden which 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 Downs.

5. Lavender Cottage, Steyne Rd, 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.

6. Seaford Community Garden, Crouch Gardens, East St.

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.

7. 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. Tea and cakes being served as well!

8. Driftwood, 4 Marine Drive, Bishopstone, BN25 2RS
Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood , featured on BBC Gardeners' World in September 2016. It was a finalist in the Gardeners' World Magazine Garden of the Year Award 2016 too. In 2014 it was seen on Good Morning Britain . 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. In 2015, TV gardener, Christine Walkden visited.

It has also featured in the Sunday Telegraph in 2015, Mail On Sunday and Sussex Life in 2013 and was winner of Garden News Best Small Garden and finalist in the Daily Mail National Garden Competition both in 2012. As usual, visitors can see the beach garden with jetty, complete with small rowing dinghy, coastal groynes and lobster pots.There will be tables and chairs set out for visitors to enjoy their tea and cake with views of the sea or at the back in amongst the sumptuous planting. Geoff writes a monthly piece in Garden News magazine and you can read them all here. A monthly blog is also written for Garden Media Guild's award winning garden website, Richard Jackson's Garden.

Geoff Stonebanks, organiser of the trail, was named Fundraiser of the Year by More Radio for 2016, and was thrilled with last years success saying: I've been organising this trail on behalf of the Mayor now for 5 years and we've raised over 10,000 for the local charities that have been nominated, but 2016 was by far the best year, both in terms of the weather and the numbers who turned out to see the 9 lovely gardens on show. Thank you so much to all those that did as all the garden owners find it so rewarding to get feedback on their own plots.

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