Charity Garden Trail

Charity Garden Trail

by Geoff Stonebanks

Geoff Stonebanks tells us about the garden trails in July raising money for Macmillian Cancer Support and the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton.

The 28th and 29th July sees the 7th annual garden trail staged by Driftwood Fundraising Group, raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Macmillan Horizon Centre in Brighton. The centre has been designed with input from people affected by cancer to make it the best place to offer the support and services that people in Sussex need. It is also one of the venues open over the weekend, as it too has a small garden terrace, so visitors can see where the money they are donating is being spent. This year there are 23 gardens opening their gates across the weekend, with 3 on Sunday only, 4 on Saturday only and 16 opening both dates. 6 of the gardens are opening for the trail for the very first time in 2018. Many of the gardens will be serving delicious home-made teas and cakes and some selling garden art. Make sure you check the website before you plan your day.

Full details of all the gardens, location maps and directions can be found at or by calling Geoff Stonebanks on 01323 899296.

Tickets can be purchased in the first garden visited and cost £2 per garden or buy a day saver ticket for £6 on each day which gives access to all gardens. Dogs on leads are allowed in many gardens too, look out for the doggy head on the website. At 70 Dale View in Hangleton meet Christopher Butland-Steed who was a familiar face on the popular Channel 4 reality show Gogglebox. He and his husband Tony have been doing an almost complete re-landscape of their garden over the last couple of years. They will be serving tea and cakes and selling homegrown plants too.

Moving further east, there is 12 Ainsworth Avenue in Ovingdean. Jane Curtis’s small coastal garden was begun in 2014 and is still developing. Pergola, arches and arbor are strategically positioned to provide privacy and a choice of places to sit with different aspects, even a glimpse of the sea. Mixed planting, mostly new but several mature trees, including a large walnut that creates a focal point.

In Saltdean you can even explore the jungle! Sue and Ray Warner will be opening their garden again in 2018. They have landscaped their fabulous garden to take on the effect of a jungle. Visitors can follow the winding path through the jungle, and take tea in the clearing or check out the tree root throne.

These are just 3 of the 23 glorious gardens on offer. The trail is officially opened by the “People’s Gardener”, Jim Buttress of BBC 2’s Big Allotment Challenge at 11am on the 28th July at Driftwood, 4 Marine Drive, Seaford BN25 2RS.