Reg charity: England and Wales (261017), Scotland (SC039907) and the Isle of Man (604).

LAST UPDATED Wednesday 22nd November 2017

Very proudly sponsored in 2018 by Garden Media Guild's 2015 award winning web site.

Coastal Garden Trail

Christine Walkden has generously agreed to be our patron again in 2018. Entry £2 per garden or £6 for a day ticket on Saturday and £6 on Sunday.

The new Macmillan Horizon Cancer Centre celebrated its 1st birthday and official launch on 22nd November 2017.


The generous people of Sussex raised £3.7m to help fund the building of the Macmillan Horizon Centre, but more is still needed. The running costs of the centre are covered by Macmillan Cancer Support, and services provided by a team of skilled local volunteers. Macmillan is funded solely by donations and the running costs of the centre are over £650,000 per annum. All monies raised from this trail will support Macmillan in it's operation. The monies raised by Driftwood Fundraising Group, up until December 2017, has funded the centre's services for 5 weeks

In addition to the monies raised on the trail Geoff Stonebanks also raises money for Macmillan through income from private visits to his own garden, Driftwood throughout the Summer, through raffle of artist donated pieces linked to the Artwave Festival and proceeds from the sale of tea and cakes at many charity openings. Over £54000 raised to date!

We regret that many gardens have steps and narrow paths meaning that disabled wheelchair access is not possible. For advice on access across the trail,
please call 01323 899296.

On 14th September 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, met up with Richard Jackson, who very generously agreed to sponsor the trail for the 3rd year in 2018! We've already got 8 gardens lined up for 2018, are you interested in opening your garden (between Brighton and Eastbourne) too? Contact Geoff Stonebanks if interested.

On 19th October 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, was invited to attend the Macmillan Executive Team Meeting in the Horizon Centre, Brighton. The Trustees and Board met with groups of volunteers and staff at the centre and heard direct from Geoff about his fundraising work with the charity, both the trail and other events in his own garden Driftwood. He can be seen here with Chief Executive of Macmillan, Lynda Thomas prior to the meeting.

Lovely comments from Sarah Coxhill, Senior Fundraising Manager, "Everyone was talking about the gardens and I actually think you've turned up some new business... You made some excellent and well needed points and we couldn't have gotten that across without you... Your continued work is, as always, outstanding and like I always say, your wider contribution to Macmillan is second to none!"

In 2017 we raised over £9000 on the trail and Driftwood Fundraising Group handed over £13148 to Macmillan last September.

Below are the gardens that have already agreed to open in 2018 and more will be added as they sign up.

(Including Ovingdean, Rottingdean & Saltdean)

Garden 1...... 70 Dale View, Hangleton Brighton,

Tony and Christopher have been doing an almost complete re-landscape of their garden over the last couple of years. Chris is a familiar face from the popular Channel 4 reality show Gogglebox! Having committed to the trail, has given them renewed vigour to get it finished asap! They've just finished a second decked area in front of the summer house and are in the process of creating new raised sleeper beds around it. Go and visit to see the finished product. They will be serving tea and cakes and selling homegrown plants too!

Garden 2...... 144 Rodmell Avenue, Saltdean,

Sue & Ray Warner will be opening their garden again in 2018. They have landscaped their fabulous garden in Saltdean to take on the effect of a jungle. Visitors can follow the winding path through the jungle, and take tea in the clearing or check out the tree root throne.


Garden 3...... Tor Cottage, 8 Tor Rd, Peacehaven
BN10 7SX

Julie & Ron's Tor Cottage in Peacehaven. The garden has a feeling of space with trees and shrubs around the perimiter. Seating will be in both sunshine and shade with space to relax with tea and cake and enjoy the ambience. View the pots & tubs bursting with colour or sit on the raised pond and feed the koi. There are items of mosaic and artworks, handcrafted by Julie to see and enjoy along with lots of plants for sale!

Garden 4......Boxworth, 21 Tor Rd, Peacehaven BN10 7SX

Gerard and Duncan are planning to open their garden again. A developing garden with borders of annuals, perennials and summer bedding plants. Various shrubs surround a patio area and raised central bed. In the lower part of the garden through the pergola, is the growing and working area. Here you will find cordon apple trees and various other fruit bushes, raised beds, flowers for cutting including dahlias. In the greenhouse is a display of potted begonias and scented geraniums. Teas, coffees and home made cakes will be available for purchase.

Garden 5......Pear Tree Cottage, 45 Glynn Road, Peacehaven BN10 7SH

Sue & Darren Vallier will be opening their garden this year. It's a peaceful cottage garden with attention to plants that encourage wildlife. The garden is divided into different areas, lawn with borders, a decked area with pond containing koi and gold fish, a wild life pool, vegetable plot and a shaded garden overhung by trees. There will be plenty of seating in the sun and shade, as well as some undercover. Hopefully, some plants and some artwork for sale too as well as teas, homemade cakes and scones.


Garden 6...... 5 Old Coastguard Cottages, Geneva Rd, Newhaven, BN9 9ND.

Gill Weaver will be opening her beautiful coastal garden again in 2018 for these 2 dates only. Amazing garden sloping away from the house with steep steps and narrow paths.


Garden 7...... Driftwood 4 Marine Drive Bishopstone
BN25 2RS

Our patron Christine Walkden was at Driftwood for the opening of the trail in 2015.

Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood , featured on BBC Gardeners' World lin 2016, was a finalist in BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Garden of the Year 2016 and 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.

Visitors can enjoy tea on the beach garden or amongst the sumptuous planting in the back garden. Winner Best Small Garden in UK 2012 and owner of coveted Daily Mail National Competition blue plaque. Check out the Driftwood monthly updates in the national gardening magazine, Garden News.

Garden 8 ...... 39 Marine Drive, Bishopstone, BN25 2RU

Lee Highley will be opening his stunning garden overlooking Newhaven harbour for the very first last year. 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.

Garden 9 ...... 30 Hawth Park Road Bishopstone, BN25 2RF

Helen Lawley is opening her garden for the very first time in 2018. She is a keen vegetable gardener and the garden has a large home produce area for fruit and vegetables. The lawn leads alongside a small pond and flower border to the terrace with panoramic coastal views towards Newhaven and Tidemills, with plenty of seating to enjoy homemade refreshments. A coastal garden and courtyard garden area are nestled in the front garden. These pictures taken on a sunny November day!

Garden 10...... Lavender Cottage, 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.

Garden 11...... 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

All the monies raised from entrance fees to the gardens, monies raised by selling raffle tickets, along with the proceeds from the sales of teas and coffees will go towards maintaining and operating the new Cancer Support Centre in Brighton. Any stalls operated in the gardens will donate a percentage of their proceeds to the charity as well.

Christine Walkden's horticultural knowledge, combined with her obvious passion for gardening is what has made her a TV and radio favourite, and The One Show’s resident gardening expert, along with being a regular pannelist on Gardeners' Question Time. Autumn 2014 saw her in a 15 part series on BBC1 called "Glorious Gardens from Above". Christine said "I support cancer charities as we have had problems in the family so I know myself what people go through and also how its upsets families as well. I just hope it may help you." See Christine's web site HERE.

Surprisingly the BBC2 series Christine did a few years ago, Christine's Garden is not available on DVD but you can see them all on YouTube for free. Check them out HERE!

In 2015, Christine generously agreed to travel to Sussex to open the event in the award winning garden of organiser, Geoff Stonebanks. She said "Opening gardens and sharing them with others is a great treat for all. It generates a sense of community, camaraderie and interest in the beauty that gardeners create. I am thrilled to continue as patron for the fifth year, especially having seen it first hand." Christine goes on to say "There are probably umpteen better gardens down my street, but it doesn't bother me - I'm not competitive or pretentious. I don't want a showcase garden. It's the relationship I have with my garden that matters."

Christine can be seen above with organiser, Geoff Stonebanks and Macmillan Fundraising Manager Tom Carter.

Over £54000 has now been raised by Geoff's Driftwood Fundraising Group since 2012!
Read all about the 2017 trail here.

On 28th September, Geoff and some of his garden supporters, were invited to a preview of the centre and were amazed to find that Driftwood Fundraising Group was listed on the roll call of supporters who have raised money for the centre. Sussex Committees have raised over £1.1 million and Driftwood £40000 of that.

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser or Thomas Lay at Macmillan, for more information on the event.