Getting to know our garden owners
Geoff Stonebanks has been opening his garden, Driftwood, for the National Garden Scheme since 2011. Geoff’s enthusiasm for opening his garden and raising money for charity is infectious and he is a well known figure throughout the National Garden Scheme community.
- Have long have you opened your garden for the National Garden Scheme?
I have opened Driftwood since 2011, initially as part of the Seaford Group, and then on it’s own since 2013.
- What made you decide to open for the National Garden Scheme?
I was bullied by family and friends who kept telling me how beautiful the garden was and so why didn’t I open it up for others to see! Once the decision was made, the challenge was to get it into the National Garden Scheme, perceived by all garden owners as the “gardening oscar”!
- What was the first thing you planted at Driftwood?
Lots at once! We moved here from London in 2004 and I brought all my plants from the small garden there, we had 2 removal vans one for the house and one for the garden. There were camellias, yuccas, fuchsias to name but three.
- What is your favourite plant in the garden?
When both my Dad and his sister, my Aunt Margaret, died, I inherited plants from them. Both loved fuchsias which have become my favourite plant in the garden and I now have over 15 varieties.
- What is the plant you’d like to grow more of?
I can’t answer that question! I am obsessed by plants and have to have everyone I like the look of, so everything!
- Are there any changes to the garden for this year’s openings?
Yes! A revamped plant selling area, the sloped shingle kept moving downhill, so now I’ve installed some log steps and a brand new mini raised cacti garden. I also like to change planting around as we see many return visitors and I like it to look a bit different every year. By using over 200 different containers, I can easily move things around to create a different look!