Monty Don said in his introduction to Driftwood on BBC 2 Gardeners’ World in Sept 2016, 'It's a small garden by the sea (112ft x 40ft) with inspired planting and design'. Sunday Telegraph said 'Geoff’s enthusiasm is catching, and he and his amazing garden deserve every visitor that makes their way up his enchanting garden path'.
This is a real must see garden say many TripAdvisor visitors - awarded Certificate of Excellence 2017 for over 60, 5-star reviews. Large selection of home-made cakes and savoury items available, all served on vintage china, on trays in the garden. Visitors from China, Japan, Austria, Belgium and South America in 2017.
Tuesday 19 June, Tuesday 10 July, Tuesday 24 July, Sunday 5 August (11am - 5pm). Admission £5.00, children free.
Visitors also welcome by arrangement June to August for groups of 1+, incl guided tour by owner. Lunch or afternoon tea can be incl. Admission £7.50, children free. Light refreshments.
Steep drive with handrail, narrow paths and many levels with steps, but help readily available on-site or call ahead before visit.
How to find us
Driftwood, 4 Marine Drive, Bishopstone, Seaford, East Sussex, BN25 2RS
A259 between Seaford & Newhaven. Turn L into Marine Drive from Bishopstone Rd, 2nd on R. Please park carefully in road, but not on bend beyond house.
More about Driftwood
When we bought the house 14 years ago, the garden was an exposed sloping plot, frequently battered by salt laden winds that sometimes exceeded 50mph!
I’m sure this had something to do with it featuring on BBC 2’s Gardeners’ World in the Autumn of 2016 and being the smallest garden listed on the Great British Gardens website in 2017.
In June 2017, the garden received a Trip Advisor “Certificate of Excellence”. After visiting in July 2017, a visitor posted: “Yesterday I took my boyfriend's mother to Driftwood. I had spotted it in Coast magazine and thought it would be a perfect trip out for her. We were not disappointed. I have visited many gardens and none have impacted on me quite as much as Driftwood. It is no wonder it has won so many accolades. Geoff has created a perfect oasis. We both loved it and will be telling others to visit.”
A National Garden Scheme visitor posted after their visit last Summer: “The garden was a picture created by an artist - a delight of colours.... secret glades of surprise... intricacies of fronds and leaves... inspiring and challenging.... completely enjoyable.”
Alex Reece entitled her 8-page feature in Coast Magazine in August 2017, “A feast for the soul. Geoff Stonebanks has created a garden full of innovative planting and original artworks – where he serves delicious tea and cake!”
Francine Raymond wrote a feature on the garden in the Sunday Telegraph and entitled it “A garden by the sea – small and perfectly formed” She closed her piece by saying, “I was overwhelmed and charmed, and wondered how so many plants have fitted into such a perfectly formed space? Geoff’s enthusiasm is catching and he and his amazing garden deserve every visitor that makes their way up his enchanting garden path.” Francine also said “it's not just the planting scheme that entices visitors to this Sussex plot, it's also the tea and home-made cakes.”
A Sunday Telegraph colleague, Jean Vernon wrote a blog on a recent visit in which she says “Driftwood is a secret treasure on the coast of East Sussex. It’s the magical garden creation of a man fired by the glory of plants and passionate about life in general. What makes it so special she says? “Lots of things; it’s not trying to be something that it isn’t, there are no formal lawns, double herbaceous borders or parterres here. Geoff has used his blank canvas to paint with his plants and the effect is an exuberant, intricate tapestry of ideas, textures, plants and so much more.”
So, come visit this exuberant yet immaculate seaside garden. The heavy, dense plantings with no lawn and no exposed soil, split into 8 mini garden rooms, create the illusion of a much bigger garden.
It remains a very personal plot with plants and objects once owned by family and friends. Great teas, home-made cakes and savoury items to enjoy in the garden too, all served on vintage china with teapots on trays. We look forward to seeing you this summer. Plant supports and garden decorations for sale as well.
Since 2012, there has been a monthly article in Garden News magazine about the garden, written by owner Geoff. Since December 2015 Geoff has written a monthly blog on The Garden Media Guild's award-winning garden website for 2015, Richard Jackson's Garden. Geoff also has a weekly gardening column in The Argus newspaper in Brighton.
Featured on both BBC2 & ITV, and BBC SE Today, plus extensively in local and national press in recent years. You can also read up to the minute reviews on TripAdvisor at Driftwood Garden East Sussex.
In 2017 the garden had an 8 page feature in August issue of Coast magazine, was listed on the Great British Gardens website, featured in the Best of England Sussex Guide and on their website. The garden featured in Country Gardener Magazine in June 2017 too and Geoff was listed as an influential personality in the Sussex gardening world in Sussex Life Magazine.
In 2016 the garden was featured on BBC2’s Gardeners’ World and was a finalist in the Gardeners’ World Garden of the Year in the small space category. It featured in BBC Gardeners’ World magazine in November and Period Homes and Interiors July issue.
In 2015 featured in The Sunday Telegraph 23rd August, Daily Mail Weekend Magazine on 27th June
In 2014 featured live on ITV’s Good Morning Britain in July and in Garden Answers May, Etc magazine April , 100 Idees Jardin a national French gardening magazine in February and incorporated in an article in the Sunday Times in June.
In 2013, featured garden in Mail On Sunday, Sussex Life and featured in 360° Panorama in 'Mail Plus', Weekend Magazine’s on line version.
Holder of coveted Daily Mail National Garden competition blue plaque and winner of the Best Small Garden in the UK for Garden News magazine, both 2012