Macmillan Coastal Garden trail 2019

Driftwood garden

The eighth annual Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail takes place over the weekend of the July 27-28.

2019 has turned out to be a rather special year, as eleven of the twenty-one gardens opening their gates are brand new to the trail.

Trail organiser, Geoff Stonebanks, says he was rather despondent at the start of the year, with many old favourites deciding to have a year of this season. Geoff has had to work quite hard to recruit some new venues and has ended up with eleven. There are eleven gardens in the city of Brighton & Hove, five in Telscombe and Peacehaven, four in Seaford and one in Alfriston. So, quite a bunch to choose from and visit across the two-day event!

This year, the trail patron, TV Gardener, BBC Gardener’s Question time panellist and The One Show’s gardening reporter, Christine Walkden will be on hand to talk to visitors and officially open the event in Geoff’s garden, Driftwood (garden 17) at 11am on July 27.

Geoff says: “visitors to the gardens in Seaford will be in for a real treat as one of the new venues is the old walled garden on The Egg, in Bishopstone old village, garden 18.” The garden is a hospice for hedgehogs after they have been at the Wildlife Rescue Ambulance Service, just North of Eastbourne.

31 Preston Park Avenue

31 Preston Park Avenue

Wild animals who have been hurt in any way can be taken there and once they are better they are released back where they came from. However, sometimes they are too vulnerable to be re-released back into the wild due to their injuries, so the hedgehogs go to the walled garden to live out the rest if their lives, free from predators, cars, chemicals, strimmers etc.  Currently there are six, although they only three tend to be seen. “Maybe you will be lucky!” says Geoff.

Meanwhile in Peacehaven, Farm View Therapies in Crocks Dean is one of the new ones and there is a brand new one in Saltdean too at 33 Wivelsfield Road.

11 Rugby Road

11 Rugby Road

11 Rugby Road, an open house favourite in the city is also opening its gate for the trail this year with Dan and Adam filling the garden with lovely wares to sell.

Full details on all the gardens, maps to locate them and images to see, can be found on the trail website, www.macmillangardentrail.co.uk 

Refer any enquiries to Geoff on 01323 899296.

Tickets to join the trail can be purchased in the first garden visited and cost £8 on both Saturday and Sunday, meaning, if you have the stamina you can see all 21 gardens, a bargain!

Alternatively, you can pay just £3 to see individual gardens, many of which are serving home-made teas and a few selling garden art. There will be a raffle for over £900 worth of artist donated work in Geoff’s garden and much more art for sale too.

Geoff Stonebank’s garden, Driftwood has appeared on BBC2 Gardeners’ World, was a finalist in Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Small Space and a finalist in Lewes District Business Awards 2018 as The Tourist Destination of the Year.

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