Driftwood Garden is regularly opened by Geoff Stonebanks and his partner for charity, and on the 3rd and 4th August will be one of 22 gardens opened for the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail along the coast from Brighton to Eastbourne.
This is a garden of two halves. The front garden is a coastal gravel garden, on a steep hill with an enviable view facing the sea. I was not fully prepared for the complete contrast at the rear where I was met with a colourful cottage garden and was breath taken. This garden, also on a slope, measures 34m by 14.6m (112ft by 48ft), there is no lawn, it is packed with over 400 plants with wrought iron artwork placed in strategic view points . There are several tranquil places to sit with a variety of tables and chairs set in amongst the planting. Geoff also trials plants for Thompson & Morgan the seed and plant people.
As I left, the Sea Fever poem by John Masefield “I must go down to the sea again” came into my head and I thought what better idea than to combine this with photos of Geoff’s lovely garden.
I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
Driftwood Garden is open on Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August as part of the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail.