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September 16 2012.

Owner of Driftwood Garden in Bishopstone nr Seaford has scored a gardening hat trick this summer. Geoff Stonebanks of 4 Marine Drive in Bishopstone was appointed an Asst County Organiser for the National Gardens Scheme in East Sussex in June this year, after starting to open his garden for them in 2011.

This was to be the start of a gardening roll as he then found out his garden was one of the four finalists in the Daily Mail National Garden Competition, selected from over 1200 entries nationwide. Described by Monty Don as the horticultural equivalent of the Olympics. Geoff is now the proud owner of a cast iron blue plaque to mark this fabulous achievement, considering his is a small plot 112ft by 42ft at its widest, front and back!

The spokes[pesrson for the judges said: "I have seen hundreds of gardens over the 21 years of judging the Daily Mail Competition and believe me, you are up there with the best of them."

Now, to make the hat trick, Geoff has been told that his garden is the national winner of the Garden News Magazine Gardener of the Year Award for Best Small Garden, chosen from hundreds of entries across the country, shortlisted to the final 15 then judged to be the overall winner, for which Geoff receives a trophy and vouchers for more plants to add to the several hundred he already has in both his front and back garden.

To really put the cream on top of these achievements, Driftwood has raised over £15000 for various charities, both local and national, and £8000 this summer alone. It has been advertisedon Haven News all summer, so many thanks to all the visitors that went along as a result of hearing about the garden through Haven News.

Since Geoff first opened his garden in the summer of 2009, it has gone from strength to strength, with over 50 openings, over 5000 visitors, and he has baked over 2000 cup cakes!

None of this would be possible without the invaluable assistance of Mark Glassman, Celia Hughes, Richard Walsh, Clare Mayers, Rosa Bottrill and Janice and Mario Dennington who have all given a tremendous amount of time and effort to support the fundraising initiatives, not to mention the generous visitors!

Geoff has already set all his opening dates for 2013, for St Wilfrid's Hospice, NGS, Mayor's Open Garden Trail, (Ten gardens scheduled for 2013), and Macmillan Coastal garden Trail, (20 gardens scheduled for 2013), so check out the details at or contact Geoff on 01323 8992896 if you want to be part of the garden trails.