Monty Don said on BBC 2 Gardeners’ World feature in Sept 2016 'It's a small garden by the sea with inspired planting and design'. The 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 characterful, exuberant seaside garden is 112ft x 40ft.
This is a real must see garden say many TripAdvisor visitors - Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2017. Large selection of home-made cakes and savoury items available, all served on vintage china, on trays in the garden. In 2016, Driftwood was a finalist, runner-up in Gardeners’ World, Garden of The Year (Small Space). Featured in Period Homes & Interiors (July) and was a local news item on BBC South East Today (Sept).
Tuesday 20 June, Tuesday 11 July, Tuesday 25 July, Sunday 6 August (11am - 5pm). Admission £4.00, children free.
Visitors also welcome by arrangement June & July for groups of 4-20, incl personal guided tour. Combined with Cupani Garden for larger groups. Admission £7.00, children free. Light refreshments.
Steep drive, 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
Back in 2004 when we bought the house, the garden was an exposed sloping plot, frequently battered by salt laden winds that sometimes exceeded 50mph!
This had a lot to do with it featuring on an edition of BBC 2’s Gardeners’ World last Autumn.
A visitor wrote on Trip Advisor after visiting in July 2016, “It is an oasis of colour and creativity masterminded by Geoff, a man with passion, talent and commitment. By any standards this is a truly magical place with its extraordinary mixture of blooms, art, flotsam and jetsam and history all crammed into a relatively small space, but to have achieved it in the salt air and often fierce winds of this coastline is quite extraordinary. Geoff is welcoming, helpful and patient - answering all our questions with good humour and knowledge - and he bakes great cakes! The fact that the money he raises for charity doing this voluntarily is now nearly £76,000 is testimony to the hard work he puts in. Visit, enjoy and contribute - you, and the world, will be the better for it.
Francine Raymond wrote a feature on the garden in the Sunday Telegraph in August 2015 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, also visited in 2015 and wrote a blog on her 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.
Open the garden gate and the first impression is a cacophony of colour, interest and impact, not in a blousy kitsch way, but more like poking your head into a secret wonderland, hidden in time. It’s bursting with colour and interest, but you’d never know it was there and once you are enveloped in its nurturing, all-encompassing presence, it feels like you belong. It’s a welcoming plot, complete with numerous, but elegant little seating areas with tables and chairs where visitors are treated to Geoff’s delicious tea and cakes. The garden is simply packed full of ideas to take home and try out on your own plot.”
What makes it so special says Jean Vernon? “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 (over 1000 plants) with no lawn and no exposed soil create an illusion of a much bigger garden.
It remains a very personal garden 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, and from December 2015 Geoff has written a monthly blog on The Garden Media Guild's award-winning garden website for 2015, Richard Jackson's Garden.
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 2016 the garden was featured on BBC2’s Gardeners’ World and was shortlisted for 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. It was shot by Coast magazine for a 2017 feature.
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