Award-winning Seaford garden scores a trio of triumphs

Geoff Stonebanks at Driftwood. Photograph by Heathcliff O'Malley. SUS-161025-104619001
Geoff Stonebanks at Driftwood. Photograph by Heathcliff O'Malley. SUS-161025-104619001

A multi-award winning garden, Driftwood, in Bishopstone, has scored a trio of triumphs in 2016.

The November issue of a national gardening magazine – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine – has judged it to be a finalist and runner-up in their Garden of the Year Awards 2016 competition, in the small space category, after receiving hundreds of entries nationwide.

This, coupled with owner Geoff Stonebanks and Driftwood’s appearance on the popular BBC 2 Gardeners’ World TV programme, back in September, and the photo shoot in June for an eight-page feature about the garden in the national lifestyle magazine Coast next summer, has given Geoff his ‘best year’ since opening his garden gate to the public in 2009.

The magazine’s competition set out to find the best garden in three categories: wildlife, family plot and small space, with six runners up, two for each category.

Geoff said, “I saw the competition advertised back in May and thought I’d give it a go.

“All I had to do was submit 8 pictures of the garden and complete a questionnaire answering specific questions, ranging from how I created the garden to the challenges and obstacles I had to overcome. I was utterly amazed to find out in late July that it had been shortlisted in the small space category and would be photographed before the final judging.”

When the editor of the magazine, Lucy Hall, telephoned Geoff to tell him he was the runner-up, she said, “Your entry was always a real stand-out and genuinely was knocking on the door for the top prize all the way.

“It will be such a pleasure to share more pictures of your garden with our readers over the coming months.”

Geoff’s garden also helps him raise money for charity – £15,000 this summer alone.

Driftwood is set to open 14 times in 2017 and full details can be found at