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September 15 2014.

What an incredible three weeks of the recent Artwave Open House Festival which finished on 7th September and Driftwood Garden's Geoff Stonebanks and Mark Glassman said a big thank you to all the 965 visitors who went to see the stunning 16 artists work set against the beautiful canvas of Geoff's award winning garden in Bishopstone. Whilst numbers are a little down on the 1042 people seen in 2013, the spending power was significantly increased. 

Over the period of the festival they sold an incredible £10042 worth of art, ranging in price from just £5 up to the top selling piece at £1200. This was an average of £10 per visitor. A delighted Geoff siad: "This is staggering when you compare to previous year's sales and is virtually double what we did in 2013. Interestingly, just under half those sales were made by credit card. The majority of the sales were for items priced between just £10 and £50 and it was the volume that allowed us to hit our incredible record figure."

They sold an amazing £1000 worth of home made tea and cakes served in the garden on trays in vintage china. Proceeds from these went to Macmillan Cancer Support, who Geoff is a registered fundraiser for. He has been raising money for them all summer. Visitors were very generous and donated £540 during Artwave and spent £870 on raffle tickets. A further 300 tickets were sold during the summer, at the National Gardens Scheme openings too. Nine artists had generously donated pieces of their work and the top three prizes were a ceramic vessel priced at £130, given by Chiara Vagnarelli, a carved soapstone cat by Paul Haughney (£50) and a framed print by Mark Glassman (£35). The draw was made by Rob Moon, Regional Fundraising Manager for the charity. Winners were notified by telephone. Lauren and Colin were lucky enough to be in the garden when the draw was made.

Throughout the summer Driftwood has been raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Geoff Stonebanks, garden owner, and Chairman of the Driftwood Fundraising Group (which raises money for the charity through the Macmillan Garden Trail and other events in his garden, was able to present Rob Moon with a cheque for £10000 which will go towards the building of the new cancer centre in Brighton. 

Geoff said:“I want to thank most sincerely, not only the visitors who came to the garden and helped us reach this target, but the artists who donated prizes for the raffle, the 31 garden owners who opened up their gardens back in July for the trail and the many volunteers who selflessly helped out at all the events, both at Driftwood and elsewhere. Without them the achievement of the £10000 would not have been possible.”

Rob Moon said: "Ten thousand pounds is an incredible result and the money will help us build The Sussex Macmillan Cancer Support Centre, which will offer all-round support for people affected by cancer in a calm, friendly and welcoming environment. I would like to say a huge thank you to Geoff Stonebanks and his fantastic team of garden owners, artists and helpers for all their hard work over the past few years. Their commitment means we are getting closer to ensure that no one in Sussex faces cancer alone."

A facebook friend of the garden, Marilyn Mountford said: "Wow!. All summer I have been commenting, congratulating all that you and your supporters have achieved. It really is a wonderful story of commitment and dedication to a cause. Other charities would be so envious to have supporters like you. So I hope I can come next year and be part of something so special, even if it is only in a very small way. Good luck and congratulations."

More details of Geoff's garden exploits and fundraising challenges can be found on his garden web site at

Pictured above: Chiara Vagnarelli and Geoff Stonebanks.