Last updated Monday 1st August 2016.

The 2016 trail has now taken place. We raised an amazing 2520, thank you to all those who visited and all 9 garden owners. Above, the opening ceremony with Cllr. Lindsay Freeman and local MP Maria Caulfield.

Having opened the trail, Mayor Freeman said: "It was an honour to be asked to support the 5th Seaford Open Garden Trail on Sunday 5th May at Driftwood. Maria Caulfield MP and I opened the Trail at 11am. There were a total of 9 gardens open, some offering teas, coffee and cakes and all so beautiful. I am absolutely thrilled with the amount raised, a total of 2,520 for my charities, the RNLI and Waifs & Strays. Thanks to Geoff Stonebanks for all his hard work in organising this and to all those who opened their gardens. It was a lovely day and I am so impressed by all the hard work that went into getting the gardens to look so wonderful, especially in the strong winds for which Seaford is famous." Geoff Stonebanks, organiser of the Annual Trail was thrilled with this 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 this 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. The Mayor will be continuing to raise funds for the charities over the remainder of the year, in recognition of the invaluable service they provide to the town, but this is a truly overwhelming start to the fundraising so many thanks for to all involved and all who visited the gardens!

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks if you are interested in opening your garden in 2017.

The raffle prizes were presented by Cllr Freeman at Driftwood on the 11th June. 1st prize of 100 National Gardening Vouchers went to Sue Luckin. 2nd prize of 2 * 20 vouchers to spend in Pomegranate went to Annie and Robert Pople and 3rd prize of a large bottle of bubbly to Paula Hillman.

The 2 charities below will benefit from the funds raised on the trail. Click image to take you to their web sites.

Great coverage in local press prior to the event with a full page in Seaford Herald (right) and half page in Sussex Express (left) as well as the cover and article in Seaford Scene June Issue.

Local MP, Maria Caulfield, has generously confirmed she will be in attendance for the opening ceremony at Driftwood taking place at 11am on the 5th June

Geoff Stonebanks, who single-handedly plans and makes the trail happen was presented with this lovely award at a ceremony on the 28th April 2015, in recognition of his charitable work in the town.

The 5th annual trail takes place on Sunday 5th June 2016 with 9 gardens opening up their gate for visitors to see! Entry is 6 to see all gardens.

There will be a grand raffle again in 2016.

2016 will be the sixth 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 2015 event can be seen HERE along with the gardens that opened.

Here are the 9 confirmed gardens taking part in 2016.

1. Windover, Chyngton Lane North Seaford BN25 3UU

Helen & Dave Roberts have decided to open their garden again in 2016 for the Mayor's Trail. Visitors will find a few more additions to the garden since last opening. Stunning views across to Cuckmere Haven and lots of places to sit and enjoy Helen's lovely home-made cakes!

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, 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 .

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. Seaford Community Garden

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.

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. Cosy Cottage 69 Firle Road BN25 2JA

Carol & Ernie Arnold will be joining the trail again for 2016. Their beautiful garden at Cosy Cottage has lots to offer, ranging from a beautiful terrace with pots, sloping down to a woodland,view with narrow paths around ponds and small stream.

7. No 6 Victor Close, Seaford BN25 2JQ

Jo Green is also planning to open her delighfully maintained garden in Victor Close for the first time for the trail. 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!

8. No. 9 Kingsmead, Seaford BN25 2EU

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!

9. Driftwood, 4 Marine Drive, Bishopstone, BN25 2RS
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. Last year, TV gardener, Christine Walkden visited.

It also featured in the 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.

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