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Last updated Thursday 6th August 2015
 St Wilfrids
2 stunning gardens in Marine Drive, Bishopstone, overlooking Newhaven, opened on Sunday 2nd August 2015

In the second year of opening for the RNLI there were two lovely private gardens in Marine Drive, Bishopstone, that opened.

Nice letter of thanks from the RNLI confirming the final total of monies raised by the 2 gardens to be 728.40 which included the 126.90 taken on the RNLI souvenir stall.
Geoff's Mum, Barbara sat on the gate at Driftwood with Albert the Jack Russell to take the money.

Many thanks to Mark & Julie of Kingsbrook Farm in Kingston for generously donating eggs which were sold at 39 Marine Drive to raise funds.

It was a scorching day on the day which was better suited to a day on the beach rather than visiting gardens. However lots of visitors came to see the 2 plots and raised over 700 for the RNLI.

On the left below Is Lee and Jackie's garden at 39 Marine Drive. Centre: a 92 year old who came for tea at Driftwood. On the right Geoff and Jackie Mosely from Bingham in Nottinghamshire, they had heard of the garden and were determined to see it on their next visit to their son in Crawley and came down on the train.

On the left the team from the RNLI with their stall at 39 Marine Dtive. Centre, Lee Highley and Shuria Russell selling tickets. On the right, Brian and Vanessa Clark who had followed the garden on twitter and drove all the way from Poole in Dorset in their camper van to see Driftwood!
Below are the details of the 2 gardens that opened.
1. Driftwood, 4 Marine Drive, Bishopstone, BN25 2RS
Visitors can see the beach garden with jetty, complete with small rowing dinghy, coastal groynes and lobster pots at the front and a gorgeous hidden gem of a garden at the back with over 500 different plants.

In 2014, the garden featured on Good Morning Britain and in both a national gardening magazine, Garden Answers and etc Magazine. It did well to appear in a french magazine 100 Idees Jardin and the english translation can be read here . In 2013 Driftwood Garden featured in The Mail on Sunday and was the featured garden in the July edition of Sussex Life Magazine. It was also listed as one of 25 glorious gardens to see in Sussex by Sussex Life Magazine .

In 2012 Driftwood was winner of the Garden News Gardener of the Year Awards, Best Small Garden 2012 and one of the 4 finalists in the Daily Mail National Garden Competition

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.

2. 39 Marine Drive, Bishopstone, BN25 2RU

Lee Highley will be opening his stunning garden overlooking Newhaven harbour again. The garden which has a wide view of Tide Mills & Newhaven harbour, consists of a beach garden, colourful shrubs, lots of pots. a vegetable patch, several seating areas and wild orchids growing in the turf. He will be selling his own driftwood and shell pieces. Tea and cakes will be available too!

Read all about the history and crew of the Newhaven RNLI on their web site.

My father, Ron Stonebanks, right, who died in 2007, was a lifelong supporter of the RNLI and came from Fleetwood in Lancashire! On his death, my brother Mark took over his monthly payments to the RNLI.


The Mayor of Newhaven, Councillor Judith Ost kindly agreed to open the garden on the evening on 11th July! The weather on the day of opening was dreadful! It poured with rain all day. It did clear up about 4pm in time for the garden to open at 5pm but it was damp and cool and not many visitors came! We still managed to raise 270 for them which was very gratefully received.

Entry to the garden was by ticket, purchased at the gate! A 5 ticket included a glass of wine or 3 ticket got you entry and you were able to purchase tea and cakes and savoury items from the kitchen.

On the left a poster promoting the event in the garden!

Fabulous homemade sweet and savoury cakes, tea and coffee are all served on vintage china, on trays, in the garden at the front (below left), over looking the lighthouse at the end of Newhaven harbour, or in the back (left), amongst the sumptuous planting.

Check out all the fare on offer here.

Throughout the evening there WERE garden sculpture for sale by Paul Cox, and Su Cloud and plant supports by Chris Burchell Collins with driftwood and shell pieces by Lee Highley. James Pilston was also selling his work including mosaic tables as well as plants and vintage china. 10% of all these sales were also donated to the RNLI.

The RNLI HAD a stand in the garden selling their own stock as well!