Last updated Sunday 2nd September 2018

The garden has been part of the Thompson & Morgan Customer Trials Programme since 2013 and will be again in 2018. Plants from the 2017 trial can be seen at the base of this page and click here to read about those trial plants we received from 2013 to 2016.


Driftwood has featured on both BBC Gardeners' World and Good Morning Britain and had a weekly gardening slot on Latest Homes Live, on a local TV channel in Brighton, Latest Tv between October and December 2014.

In 2016 it was a finalist in the a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Garden of the year in the small space category.

In 2012 it was one of 4 finalists in the Daily Mail National Garden Competition and outright winner of the Garden News Best Small Garden . Since 2012 it has had a monthly article in Garden News Magazine.

Read my monthly blog on the Garden Media Guild's 2015 award winning website, Richard Jackson's Garden begun in 2015.

My most recent blog, "Happy New Year", was posted on 4th January 2018 and can be read here.

Michael Perry, who was New Product Development Manager until September 2016, visited Driftwood in August 2013 to see both the garden and the trial plants we were growing for T&M. In August 2014 I was invited to the Thompson & Morgan trial grounds near Ipswich for an afternoon being shown around the site on some new products and some of the new developments! You can see us all at above with me 4th from left!

I have written a number of blog posts for Thompson & Morgan which you can read here by clicking the links below.

January 2018
September 2017
February 2017
January 2017
October 2016
June 2016
March 2016
January 2016
November 2015
September 2015
April 2015
January 2015
November 2014
July 2014
April 2014
February 2014
November 2013
September 2013
March 2013

Happy New Year.
Trial plants in 2017.
An interesting Winter garden.
Looking forward to 2017
Trio of triumphs in 2016
New plant trials for 2016.
Winter Storms.
10 years in my garden.
Putting a coastal garden to bed for the Winter.
Driftwood's 2015 successes.
Blog on last 2 years' trial plants.
Fuchsias and my relationship with them.
Driftwood and T&M trial plants through the summer of 2014.
A review of plants doing well in the garden.
Thriving at Driftwood.
2013 successes at Driftwood.
Big Begonia Revival sucesses at Driftwood.
A busy summer at Driftwood
Initial involvement with Trials Programme.

One of the main requirements as a panellist is to maintain a record of what you are trialling. I have chosen to take photographs on arrival and as they grow through the season. It is interesting, as I have a coastal garden, with very strong, salt laden winds blowing in from the sea and it is sometimes difficult to find the right spot for plants and shrubs to give them the protection they rightly need!

Below is the back garden, which faces due north, with half the area receiving no sun in the winter months, being screened by the house & the front garden, which faces the sea and due south.


The garden will open 14 times in 2018.


Hydrangea Black Diamonds
Lobelia Hot Pretty Heaven
Salvia Farina Series
Calendula Orange Power Daisy
Thunbergia Arizona Mixed
Fuchsia Pink Elephant
Petunia Amore Fiesta
Blechnum Volcano
Hakonechloa Aureola
Berberis Orange Sunrise
Hydrangea Runaway Bride
Umberella bamboo, Asian Wonder
Alstromeira Indian Summer

I'll post photos of plants as they arrive and provide updates throughout the Summer.

All three above arrived on the 14th February and have established well with the grass (left) just starting to push through the gravel. The berberis (right) has started to fill out and the bamboo looks very at home!

The 3 plugs of Alstromeira Indian Summer arrived in good condition on the 16th April. On Saturday 28th April the Calendula Power Daisies arrived a little worse for wear but hopefully they will recover.

On Saturday 7th April the Hydrangea Black Diamonds (left) came and was well packaged and in good condition. The following week, on the 14th, both the Thunbergia (centre) and the Brazilian dwarf fern (right) came, also in good condition.

The 3 plugs of salvia arrived on the 23rd March. The packaging was a bit damaged but the plants seemed to be OK. They will be potted up until the weather warms up.

On Monday 26th March the 5 plugs of Fuchsia Pink Elephant arrived in excellent condition.

On 19th March the 5 Petunia Amore Fiesta arrived (right). The second delivery of the 2018 plants was on March 17th when the Lobelia Hot Pretty Heaven was delivered in pristine condition. They have been potted up in the greenhouse until the Spring takes hold!

The first delivery of the 2018 plants was on February 14th. The Hakonechloa, the bamboo and the berberis all came together. All looked in good condition and will planted outdoors when the weather improves!
Within a month the berberis had begun to show new shoots!



Strawberry "Just Add Cream"
Petunia Amore "Queen of Hearts"
Buddleja davidii "Wisteria Lane"
Geranium "Black Rose"
Osteopermum "Falling Stars"
Gazania "Shepherd's Delight"
Calendula "Winter Wonders Collection"
Petunia "Mini Rosebud, Romantic Peach"
Sweet Pea "Earl Grey"
Petunia "Night Sky"

I have also bought the following which I shall report on too.
Hydrangea "Annabelle"
Erigeron Glaucus "Sea Breeze"
Thompson & Morgan have also sent 5 experimental lilies to trial and 12 experimental dahlias.

So, here goes let's get ready for a busy season and some lovely plants!

The osteopermum Falling Stars were not that good when received but a few of them have flowered and they are so pretty. On the other hand the beautiful sweet peas Earl Grey have done well and had many positive comments made by visitors.

We have had lots of comments about the petunia amore and real surprise when the delicate hearts in the petals are pointed out. The hydrangea Annabelle was looking magnificent until the recent spate of high winds stripped it of its leaves. The flowers however are just recovering and blooming nicely.

The as yet unnamed lily's sent have now flowered and are quite amazing in colour as you can see. Meanwhile the flowers on the trial hibiscus have kept coming and look quite magnificent.

The delicate Petunia "Mini Rosebud, Romantic Peach have all started to flower and look really pretty in the cast iron urns while the geranium black rose has really flowered well and looks very dramatic.

By late May the Hydrangea Annabelle is looking magnificent, just about to produce its stunning flowers. On the right 2 trial hibiscus werte delivered late May and already look lovely.

The petunias, night sky (right) and amore, Queen of Hearts, (left) have grown well and by late May many flowers can be seen!

On 15th May a pack of 12 experimental dahlias arrived in pristine condition and were potted up, initially in the greenhouse. It will be intertesting to see how thye turn out.

By mid May the Gazania Shepherds Delight were doing quite well (centre). On the left, the plugs of geranium black rose have all grown well but not flowered yet, while on the right the 5 experimental lilies sent are growing well.

On 24th March the plugs of Sweet Pea "Earl Grey" arrived and looked very healthy indeed! On the right the first flowers appeared on the Strawberries Just Add Cream in Mid May too.

On 20th March there were 2 deliveries, on of the Geranium "Black Rose" (left) and one of Osteopermum "Falling Stars" (right). Both looked healthy and have now been potted up in the greenhouse! Then, on 21st March the three Erigeron Glaucus "Sea Breeze" (centre) arrived.

On 10th March three boxes arrived containing, left to right, Petunia Amore "Queen of Hearts", Petunia "Night Sky" and Petunia "Mini Rosebud, Romantic Peach", all looking very healthy!

In addition to the trial plants I have purchased some as well this year. The first this gorgeous Hydrangea "Annabelle" which arrived at the end of February. On the 9th March the 36 plugs of Gazania "Shepherd's Delight"arrived.

On 2nd February, the first of this years plants arrived. The 5 small bare root Strawberry "Just Add Cream" arrived in good condition and will be planted up in either a hanging pouch or strawberry pot. By 28th February they had already shown some good growth.

In January, two plants were looking great! The calendula power daisy, from 2016, survived the frosts and shone beautifully while the fuchsia arborescens, from 2014, was still flowering, under cover, in the side alley!