2024 is our 14th year of opening for the scheme.TOTAL VISITORS in 13 years 5906 TOTAL MONIES RAISED 2011 - 2023, £32,571
In 2024 all garden visits need to be booked privately with owner by emailing Geoff Stonebanks click name.
Throughout 2023, we saw 78 visitors book through the scheme and raised £801.
There were no public open days in 2023, we opened by arrangement only.
Our first NGS visitors this year were 18 members of the Eastbourne Women in Fellowship Group. A great time was had by all and quite a few puchases made too.
There were no public open days in 2022, we opened by arrangement only, from 1st June through until 31st August for individuals or groups up to 14.
Throughout 2022, we saw 84 visitors book through the scheme and raised £672.
Below are news items related to Driftwood and the scheme and further down, details of all openings since we began.
On 26th May 2020, a 4 minute film was made at Driftwood and broadcast by ITV Meridian about National Garden Scheme virtual tours.
The 15 minute film made in June 2015 by an American organisation, to promote the National Garden Scheme in the States was finally published in September 2016, see it below.
In my role as Publicity Officer for the National Garden Scheme in East & Mid Sussex, I can be heard with Joe Talbot on BBC Radio Sussex's Dig it programme once a month on a Sunday morning, usually the last Sunday of the month about 1340. All interviews and other Sussex media coverage can be seen and heard via our media page here.
Driftwood Garden first opened for the National Garden Scheme on 25th June 2011. In June 2012, Geoff Stonebanks was appointed an Assistant County Organiser for East & Mid Sussex (which he did until 2021) and in September 2012 their Publicity Officer up to the present day.
We had 14 visitors pre-booked in each of the hours from 11am to 4pm and it worked well. Rosa and Celia waited on at tables for tea and cakes as there was no access to the house! We raised £606 for the charity and a further £200 for Macmillan.
All 2020 open dates were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.A virtual tour of the garden was published on the NGS website on 23rd April.
This link leads to a short film shown on BBC SE Today on 22nd April which includes a piece with me at Driftwood, talking about the National Garden Scheme.
The National Garden Scheme launched a new initiative between 12th and 19th August called Gardens and Health. We opened Driftwood as part of the initiative and I filmed this short video.
Above, our second opening on the 11th July was plagued by rain. Whilst it did hold off for some of the morning it made up for it in the late afternoon and certainly reduced our visitor numbers.
Our first opening on 20th June was one of the hottest days of the year and 101 visitors braved the excessive heat to come and see the garden.
We raised £501 and had visitors who had driven all the way from Essex! One the left Wendy Everest and Celia Hughes helping in the kitchen. On the right, 2 visitors take respite under an umberella in the beach garden from the incessant heat!
The scheme is celebrating a "Gardens & Health" week in August and Driftwood will open for a private function, by invitation only, between 2 and 5 pm on Saturday 12th August. We will have 2 groups visiting, a local autism group and a dementia group, both linked to local MP, Maria Caulfield.
2016 OpeningsThis years openings were on 9th June, 28th June, 19th July and 31st July.
This fabulous image of Driftwood, taken by Vanessa C Clark in 2015, appeared in the Gardens to Visit 2016 and appears for August in the Macmillan Cancer Support's 2017 calendar. We celebrated 5 years of opening the the National Garden Scheme in 2015 which was recognised by the certificate on the right and a letter from the Chairman which can be read HERE
The 10th of June was a glorious day for our first opening for the National Garden Schemein 2014! 176 visitors came from far and wide to see the garden, many repeat visits, but also many new ones too, some from many miles from Seaford. Some from Essex and some from Norfolk!
In 2014 the garden opened 4 times for the National Garden Scheme, on 10th June, 1st & 17th July and 3rd August. It was the first year the garden had opened as a solo garden, no longer part of a group.
After my first year as Publicity Officer for the patch, the County Organiser, Irene Eltringham-Willson said "Thank you so much for all your inspirational work on publicity, not to mention opening Driftwood and masterminding the Seaford/Bishopstone Group and Asst County Organiser work!"
In 2013, Driftwood opened as a single garden on Tuesday 2nd July and Sunday 11th August. Additionally it opened as part of the Seaford and Bishopstone Group on the weekend of 15th and 16th June and on Sunday 21st July.
Following her visit on the 11th August, Jennifer Pulling from Shoreham by Sea wrote in the visitor's book, "Overwhelmed by the transformation. A joy to behold!" While Bridget McGee wrote, "Awe inspiring, I thought I had no room left in my own garden! Now I realise it is half empty!"
The opening on the 21st July was one of the hottest days in Seaford and 285 visitors came to see the three gardens open as part of the group! Some great comments in our visitors book! "Your garden is fabulous" said Kathy & Vernon Findlay, who went on to say "The most beautiful we have ever been to! (And we've done a few!!)" While Sally Brearley echoed this view with "Wonderful garden - best ever seen!"
Thanks so much to all our helpers for coping with the heat and the numbers!
Tuesday 2nd July was a cool, dreary day weather wise, however 172 visitors turned out to see the garden, some queuing at 1045 to get in! The weather held for all but the final hour and we raised an amazing £712 for the National Garden Scheme on a weekday! Not possible without great friends assisting, Celia Hughes, Richard Walsh, Clare Mayers and Sheila Thomas! Many visitors had also travelled many miles to see the garden!