Geoff Stonebank’s Driftwood Garden July 9: Opened for charity

Have you ever thought about starting your own garden to raise money for your favorite charity? If your property is your passion, supporting local or national charities is a very easy way.

Big or small, it’s a beautiful thing to share with others. You will also find it extremely rewarding, with many positive comments on what you have achieved and visitors saying they will try to recreate it in their own backyard. We love looking around other people’s gardens and it’s the perfect way to spend a beautiful summer’s day.

Maybe you are also a good baker or have family and friends who could bake for you. Enjoying homemade tea and cake after touring a beautiful garden is the perfect way to end the garden visit. You don’t have to do anything special, just a nice piece of cake and a cup of tea would do the trick. I like to serve mine in vintage china on a tray as you can see.

First think about which charity you would like to support, maybe one you care about or just one that others have told you about, maybe the local hospice! Make sure you get in touch with the person of your choice so they too can help you promote your upcoming opening.

If you’re keen to share your love of gardens, then throwing a party for family and friends at the National Garden Scheme’s Great British Garden Party, now in its third year, might be the perfect solution! Participation is very easy as the scheme invites anyone to join and Dame Mary Berry, President of the National Garden Scheme and undisputed Queen of Cakes, to hold her own Great British Garden Party event to raise funds for some of these gather the most important and popular care and health organizations in the UK.

Importantly, whether your yard is large or small, a gardening treat or a children’s playground, you can still join in and have fun! Your event can be anything – an informal barbeque, a morning coffee or typical afternoon tea and cake, a family bake party, a book swap or a plant sale at your garden gate.

Every garden enjoyed, cake served and cup of coffee served will support the wonderful work of Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie, Hospice UK, Carer’s Trust, Parkinson’s UK and The Queen’s Nursing Institute, charities supported by the National Garden Scheme.

Attending the Great British Garden Party couldn’t be easier. Just sign up, invite your guests and start planning your perfect day. On their website you’ll find colorful invitations to send to your guests, tips on how to boost your fundraiser, delicious recipes and inspirational ideas for the perfect event to support you along the way. Their official garden party week is July 16-24, but you can choose any day of the summer that works best for you. For more information see

I have quite a few beautiful Buddleja around the property at the back which tend to get quite large. The butterfly sky shrub on the left side of the garden is already a few feet above the 6 foot fence so it takes the brunt of the southwest winds which can tend to snap some of the stems. Nevertheless the flowers are very pretty and perfect magnets for butterflies and bees and, touch wood, none broken so far. Around the pond I have a few different buddleia, one purple and one magenta. They bloom profusely from June to October and having been there for several years they are fairly drought tolerant too. Both are from the Buddleja ‘Buzz’ range and are garden friendly; stays compact and blooms for a long summer without setting seed, meaning flowers just keep coming without the risk of weeds popping up throughout the garden as is common with standard varieties. So if you don’t have one, they are a perfect addition to your garden or patio.

The Argus: Try tea and cake at Driftwood

If you want to get out and visit the garden during the week try Alpines on the High Street in Maresfield, TN22 2EG. It opens for the National Garden Scheme today and tomorrow from 11am to 4pm, admission is £5. The 1 hectare garden is packed with mixed and wild borders, each loosely following a limited color palette of unusual combinations. Dogs on a leash are also allowed. For more information see

You can read more about or visit Geoff’s garden at Seaford on the Argus website and at It is open by appointment until July 31, with funds raised going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Geoff Stonebank’s Driftwood Garden July 9: Opened for charity

Fry Electronics Team

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