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

LAST UPDATED 28th July 2022

The 2022 has now taken place and we raised £7114.61 across the weekend. Thank you so much to all those who opened their gardens and the many visitors who supported our fundraising.

Christine Walkden joined us on 23rd July to celebrate the £100,000 raised in recent years.

Listen to the chat our organiser had with Allison Ferns on BBC Radio Sussex on 21st July here.

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

(Including Woodingdean, Hollingdean & Saltdean)

Garden 1...... 38A Tivoli Crescent, Brighton

Mel and Trevor have decided to open their beautiful garden again this year. The long passage way contains a mix of evergreen plants for structure and cottage garden perenials for colour. This leads to the Italian Terrace that's packed with box topiary, Italian cypress for structure, citrus trees either side of a vintage bench and a vibrant pink rose that sits in-between the ornamental olive trees.

Garden 2...... 8 North Gardens, Brighton

Rosie and James are opening their small cottage garden in central Brighton for the second time this year. They moved here three years ago and, although gardening novices, have loved maintaining and adding to the beautiful front garden created over 30 years by the previous owner, Marianne. Although small, the space is crammed with traditional cottage garden plants. Refreshments will be available along with some art in the greenhouse too and plants for sale.

Garden 3...... 23 Cornwell Gardens, Brighton

A large semi-natural garden with a wide variety of chalk-tolerant plants, on two levels, with patio (complete with miniature wildlife pond) at the lower level,and the main garden with meadow grass and borders up 20 steps. Sorry no easy disabled entry except to patio. There will also be a few plants for sale plus a small selection of art to be seen. There will be access to a toilet. Parking is available locally on Saturday and Sunday. Assistance dogs and those carried throughout allowed, as cats in residence.

Garden 4...... Stanford & Cleveland Community Garden, BN1 6FB

Stanford and Cleveland Community Garden volunteers are delighted to be part of theMacmillan Coastal Garden Trail again this year! In 2012 the residents around Stanford Avenue and Cleveland Road in Brighton successfully petitioned Brighton and Hove City Council to have the road junction (originally a wide coach turning circle) narrowed and a pavement installed on the grounds of safety. A Community Garden was agreed in this space which now provides a lot of enjoyment for residents and passers-by alike, with its striking displays of flowers, rich crops of fruit and vegetables and an abundance of herbs.

Reclaiming the space has been a labour of love for a small group of volunteers. The council the original structure of a large wooden bed, used mainly for vegetables planted on a crop rotation basis, and a triangulated area which sports a lovely maple tree, two olive trees and perennial planting. Two raised beds were also built on the grass verge on the opposite side of the road. Being mindful of climate change these have been planted with mainly drought resistant perennials, a small area was also planted with wildflowers. This multi award-winning garden is a haven for bees, butterflies and birds. It is a bright and verdant space to enjoy seasonal changes and a good example of what can be grown in a small space Refreshments with homemade cakes will be available and there will also be crafts, plants and artwork for sale. See their website here.
Find them on Facebook @StanfordAvenueCommunityGarden & Twitter @ StanfordCommGdn

Garden 5...... Macmillan Horizion Centre's new allotment, Lower Roedale Allotments, Off Lynchett Close, Hollingdean, Brighton, BN1 7FP

"Grow together" - Macmillan's new community allotment. The allotment is a space where people living with cancer can connect with nature. From seed sowing, to digging, or just enjoying being outdoors and meeting new people, there's something for everyone! When visiting the allotment you'll get to see a mix herbs, vegetables and flowers whilst taking in the panoramic views of Brighton and the Sea. So, come along and see our new project taking shape!

Garden 6...... 26 South Avenue, Brighton

Sarah and Martin are planning to open their garden again this year too! This is their garden in spring. Sarah says, "please come and visit in summer and see the different spaces where we have planted mixed grasses and perennials, roses, coastal plants, a willow arch and vegetables. The outcome of various garden courses that I have attended! There are lots of places to sit and enjoy a cup of tea and cake made from garden produce." There is plenty of on street pay parking by the garden.

Garden 7......27 Balsdean Road, Woodingdean

Beryl & Alan Brown will be opening their garden again in 2022. Take home-made tea and cake in the garden or on the terrace outside the Summer house. You can even visit the secret garden down the side of the property! A long garden with established trees and shrubs and a sun trap in the afternoon.

Garden 8...... 144 Rodmell Avenue, Saltdean,

Ray and Sue are opening their amazing jungle garden again in 2022, after a major revamp. Follow the winding path through the lush wildlife friendly jungle planting of bananas, tree ferns and palms, enjoy tea and cakes in the clearing but watch out for Tyson the tiger!! Sue's jewellery will also be on sale.

Garden 9...... 33 Wivelsfield Road, Saltdean

Chris and Steve are planning to open their amazing, work in progress, for the third year running, a 3 tiered garden which includes a large meadow and field leading out to the Downs. There are beautiful succulents in containers, incredible views from the meadow to both the ocean and the Downs and lovely planting. They will be serving tea and cakes too as well as plants along with garden art and craft items. Steep steps to gain entry to the garden.


Garden 10...... 31 High View Road, Telscombe, BN10 7AY

Tracy Williams will be opening her lovely small garden again after a few years break. In her own words it is described as "A garden filled with pots and containers packed with lots of lovely flowers and shrubs".


Garden 11...... Driftwood 4 Marine Drive Bishopstone
BN25 2RS

Our patron Christine Walkden will be at Driftwood for the opening of the trail on 23rd July 2022.

Geoff Stonebanks's garden, Driftwood , has been featured on BBC Gardeners' World, was a finalist in BBC Gardeners' World Magazine's Garden of the Year 2016 and has been seen on Good Morning Britain and had a fabulous 8-page feature in Coast Magazine in 2017. 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 in the brand new sunken garden at the rear. 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.

You can also meet Dorit Oliver Wolff in Driftwood Garden, Eastbourne's human rights warrior, read all about her here

She will be signing copies of her book with a contribution to Macmillan Cancer Support.
Garden 12......The Walled Garden at the School House, On The Egg, Bishopstone, Seaford, BN25 2UF

Tim and Karen will be opening their gorgeous, work in progress, walled garden in the tiny hamlet of Bishopstone old village. Located off the village green, called The Egg, it has stunning views of the borrowed landscape of both the Downs and St Andrews Church. It is an extremely relaxing space and quite unique. Park in Bishopstone Road by the church but don't block the road to make sure you leave plenty of space for farm vehicles. On Saturday between 3pm and 4pm listen to "Hi Tyme" singing in the garden and on Sunday "Reminiscents" will be singing, both groups comprise dof 4 singers.

Garden 13......Seaford Community Garden, Seaford,
BN25 1AD

The Community Garden will be joining the Macmillan Trail again in 2022. The garden offers everyone the chance to work on something positive in the community, and introduce more people to the joy and health benefits of gardening regardless of age or ability. The herbaceous borders, alpines, ponds, woodland area, fruit and vegetables are constantly evolving and new features added. Plants and seasonal fruit and vegetables available to the public with suggested donations on their labels. Click HERE for their web site.

Garden 14...... 8 Downs Road, Seaford BN25 4QL

After visiting the trail in 2021, Phil and Julie decided open their garden in Seaford. The front garden is planted with mainly shrubs, the rear garden is split into two main parts. One part being an area of grass with several shrub, herbaceous perennial and ornamental grass borders and a pond. The second part is mainly shrubs and Òno digÓ raised vegetable beds with greenhouse, compost and leaf bins. Planting is designed to provide all year round interest that ensures plenty of food for both pollinators and birds.

Garden 15......"Burford", Cuckmere Road,
BN25 4DE

Chris Kilsby has very kindly offered to open up his garden again on this trail. He describes his garden as having a symmetrical layout with well defined beds that each have a week or two of glory. The beds are not expected to look good the whole time, simple topiary and hedging provide interest when perennials are not in season. The plants used are traditional with plenty of box, roses, lavender and yew.

Garden 16..... 14 Lullington Close, Seaford BN25 4JH

Sheila & David Thomas will be opening up their garden which nestles at the bottom of Seaford Head with a 'wisteria walk' made from chestnut logs. The garden is quite open and has built in entertainment areas with plenty of sitting areas to relax, listen and watch, during the day and night. Look for the steps up to The Downs. Dave will have his model railways on display too.

Garden 17...... 27 Alfriston Park, Seaford BN25 3LS

Sally Attrell is opening her delightful garden for the 2022 trail. A small oasis on the edge of Seaford. With different levels and a tranquil Koi pond to sit and reflect by. A haven for birds and humans. 4 years in the making and delicious tea and cake served on vintage china.

Over £98,000 raised by Driftwood Fundraising Group to date. All the £98,000 we have contributed to Macmillan has gone to the Horizon Centre in Brighton.

Christine Walkden will open the 2022 trail and Macmillan issued the certificate, confirming we had raised over £13,000 in 2021.
Read the latest update from them on how many people have been supported since opening in November 2016.

In 2021 we raised over £8000 for the charity over the weekend of 24th and 25th July 2021, thank you so much to owners, volunteers and visitors. Macmillan tweeted their appreciation as seen below.

Our patron, TV Gardener Christine Walkden, posted this message of congratulations on Twitter.

Emma Hammett, Regional Fundraising Manager for Macmillan in the area said.
"A huge thank you to every single garden owner who participated in the trail over the weekend to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support's Horizon Centre in Brighton. With a special thank you going to Geoff Stonebanks who organised the event and heads up the Driftwood Fundraising Group. Geoff has been supporting the charity for many years and we are so grateful for his dedication and support. Your efforts mean that we will be able to be there for people living with cancer in Brighton and the surrounding areas, which is both fantastic and admirable."

Geoff Brown, the Horizon Centre Manager said "Thank you so much Geoff and thank you to all who opened their gardens. An amazing effort and contribution to enable Macmillan to continue to offer much needed support. Thank you very much!"

Below, our Patron, Christine Walkden, cutting the ribbon to open the 2019 trail at Driftwood with trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks and Ruth Leonard (Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan).

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.

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.

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 and proceeds from the sale of tea and cakes at many charity openings. Over £98000 raised to date!

In December 2017, trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, received an invitation from Buckingham Palace. His Royal Highness, Prince Charles invited him to a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support in January 2018. Macmillan said it was a thank you for him having made a significant difference to the charity and to those suffering with cancer! Read all about his experience visiting the Palace here.

It was an amazing evening for Geoff at Buckingham Palace, in January 2018, meeting His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, at a reception for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Geoff has attended a Macmillan Executive Team Meeting in the Horizon Centre, Brighton where 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.
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 both 2026 and 2019, 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 in Geoff's garden with 2 visitors.

Over £98000 has now been raised by Geoff's Driftwood Fundraising Group since 2012!

In September 2016, 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 £98000 of that.

Please contact Geoff Stonebanks, the organiser for more information on the event.