We love to wander round beautiful gardens, and – a bit like nosing round peoples’ houses on art trails – there’s something even more fun about it when they’re private. So this has added appeal!
We’re talking about the annual Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail, which has been going from strength to strength since being founded by well-known Seaford gardener Geoff Stonebanks back in 2011.
Geoff had already been opening his own multi award winning garden ‘Driftwood’ for a couple of years before deciding to start the trail for Macmillan Cancer Support, raising money under the banner of his Driftwood Fundraising Group. These pictures are from his beautiful garden.
Patron of the 2015 garden event for the 3rd year running is TV gardener Christine Walkden, who was voted TV Gardener of the year by a national gardening magazine last December.
And Geoff is naturally thrilled that Christine will be travelling to Sussex to open the trail event in July starting in his own garden. There are currently 23 gardens signed up to take part in the trail along the coast between Brighton and Eastbourne.
Five are located in Brighton, eight in Peacehaven and Telscombe, two in Seaford, four in Rodmell and Swanborough, and four in Eastbourne, East Dean and Friston.
All gardens will be open over the weekend of the 25th and 26th July from 11am to 5pm on both days, and many will be serving that all important homemade tea and cake, as well as perhaps selling jewellery, garden art and plant supports.
Full details of all the gardens participating, location maps and copies of brochure, once completed, are available on the trail web site.
Geoff was recently presented with an award by the Mayor of Seaford for all the charitable work he has done in recent years, raising over £47,000 for various charities, £23,700 of it for Macmillan.
There will be the opportunity to buy raffle tickets in aid of Macmillan on the trail too for great pieces of art, all donated by local artists who will be showing their work at Driftwood later in the year, as part of the Lewes District Council’s Artwave Festival.
Details of all prizes to be won can be seen on the Artwave web page. You can join the trail on either day in any garden and buy your ticket at the first garden you visit.
Tickets are £7 for a day ticket on both Saturday and Sunday to see as many gardens as you want, or you can just pay £2 at each garden you visit.
Trail launches from Driftwood Garden, 4 Marine Drive in Seaford at 11am on 25 July