Last updated 1st July 2020

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

Driftwood will be the recipient of 11 products from Thompson & Morgan in 2020, you can see them all below and the links to the company website if you fancy ordering some yourselves. Some are brand new for 2020. In December 2019, Thompson and Morgan published an online blog about small gardens with some input from myself. Click the link to take a look.


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, "Gardening is an art form", was posted in March 2019 and can be read here.

In October 2018 it was great to have been included amongst sixty of the UKs leading gardening bloggers who have shared their sage advice, innovative ideas and hard-learned lessons in this free, downloadable book from Thompson & Morgan UK. Check it out here. My contribution is in chapter 9.

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

June 2020
March 2019
September 2018
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

Lockdown at Driftwood.
Gardening is an art form.
Top 5 from 2018.
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.

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!


Look out for the plants we will have from Thompson & Morgan in 2020. The garden will now be closed throughout 2020 due to coronavirus.

Petunia Peppy Blueberry Muffin
Fuchsia Bella Collection
Verbena bonariensis "Royal Dreams""
Coleus Freaky Leaves
Begonia Camellia
Sedum Atlantis
Xerochrysum "Granvia Gold"
Thalictrum "Little Pinkie"
Hydrangea Hercules
Gazenia "Tiger Stripes"
Surfinia Star Burgundy

On 7th April my 3 pots of thalictrum "little pinkie" arrived in good condition, followed by the fuschia bella collection on 10th April.

On 28th February the 6 well established plugs of Verbena "Royal Dreams" arrived in very good condition. They will be planted in the beach garden.

The 5 plugs of Petunia Blueberry Muffin came on 1st April.

On 3rd January the first of my 2020 plants arrived! A small container of the amazing Hydrangea "Hercules" I look forward to seeing it grow! The begonia tubers arrived on 21st January too.


Driftwood was the recipient of 12 products from Thompson & Morgan in 2019, you can see them all below and the links to the company website.

Petunia "Sweetunia Starfish"
Busy Lizzie "Wild Romance"
Rhodochiton atrosanguineus, "Purple Bell Vine"
Buddleja "Butterfly Towers"
Chlorophytum saundersiae 'Starlight' or Hardy Spider Plant
Petunia "Peach Sundae"
Geranium Cascading "Rosebud Tommy"
Cuphea llavea "Tiny Mice"
Alstroemeira "Summer Red"
Acanthus Mollis
Verbena "Obsession Twister Red & Purple"

On the left the Cuphae Tiny Mice didn't do that well in the garden but the plant that flower did look very pretty and delicate! The spider plants on the other hand both grew well and I loved them.

The Petunia Peach Sundae (left) were definetely one of the best petunia's I have had in the garden, they drew much attention from visitors and looked beautiful. The Busy Lizzie, White Romance took a long time to flower but had gorgeous white flowers and the Calceolaria (right) looked stunning but just for a few weeks.

The alstromeira Summer Red looked wonderful and flowered well into October. (left) The Purple bell Vine was extremely slow to get going but finally produced some lovely flowers growing up the trellis. (centre) On the right the beautiful flowers of the petunia starfish!

The 10 gorgeous plugs of Busy Lizzie "Wild Romance " arrived in good condition on 28th April (left). My plugs of Petunia Sweetunia Starfish came on the 26th May (centre). The 2 spider plants for outdoors arrived in good condition on the 21st May (right)

The 5 postiplugs of rhodochiton or purple bell vine arrived in good condition on 15th April and were potted up in the greenhouse (centre). By 30th April the calceolaria had started to flower (left) and the first flower appeared on the petunia peach sundae (right).

The 5 postiplugs of Cuphae llavea "Tiny Mice" (left) came on the 27th March and were potted up in the house for a few weeks. The Buddleja Butterfly Towers (right) arrived on 29th March in excellent condition too.

On 3rd April a special delivery of calceoleria (centre) arrived, there were 6 new plans not yet on the market for me to trial here at Driftwood.

The 5 postiplugs of Petunia Peach Sundae arrived on the 18th March were potted up and kept in the house for a few weeks, while the 10 plugs of trailing geraniums came mid March and were planted up and kept undercover at the side of the house.

The verbena "obsession twister red and purple" and the alstromeira "summer red" arrived in March too. The verbena grown on in pot sin the porch and the alstromeira potted up and kept in the greenhouse until the weather warmed up.

On 12th February, the first 2019 plants arrived. 3 Acanthus Mollis were delivered and stored in the greenhouse until I could get out and plant them. They were finally planted out in late February.



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

A really busy summer has meant I've not been able to post as many images as I would have liked. Here are the pictures of most of the plants trialled this season.

The petunia Amore did well flowing well throughout the summer months. The mini tree fern was beautiful and much commented on by visitors. I created an amazing tower of flowers with the thunbergia which was slow to get gong but looked wonderful towards the end of the open garden season.

Umberella Bamboo established well in a small pot which will need to be put in a larger one for 2019. Lobelia hot pretty heaven did well and was flowering well into October. the orange power daisies were striking in colour and lasted well.

Fuchsia pink elephant had, as you would expect, enormous pink flowers that really stood out. The Hydrangea Black Diamonds seemed to grow well but did not produce any flowers this season, while the hydrangea runaway bride was delivered at the end of the season so have nothing to report this year.

The Hakonchloea was very slow to grow in the beach garden but hopefully it will grow better next season. Alstromeira Indian Summer, on the other hand did extremely well and flowered profusely until early November. A new plant I added to the list was Coprosma Pacific Sunset which have yet to find a home in the garden.

Unfortunately I did not have a lot of success with the salvias delivered.

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!