This is a “How to we spark a garden design revolution?” Guest Blog by Geoff Stonebanks. Geoff is owner and creator of Driftwood garden in Seaford. Driftwood opens up to the public every year and has raised over £100,000 for charity over the last 10 years!
Find the confidence to design your own garden
Never in my wildest dreams, when I was lucky enough to retire early back in 2004, did I consider setting out to try and broaden people’s planting horizons let alone inspire a design revolution, especially the particular challenges within a small space. In the 21st century, gardens are, inevitably, getting smaller, as land gets scarcer, still, the words “garden design” conjure up an element of expertise that is inaccessible to many and, to be honest, frightens the life out of inexperienced hobby gardeners like me.
I’m not a gardener, never have been, I have absolutely no gardening qualifications or expertise, BUT, after 10 years, I do know my own plot and what it and I are capable of. Over the last 4 or 5 years, I have found that inspiring others to feel the same about their gardens, is, in my opinion absolutely vital to achieving this revolution!
Watching Tv programmes and attending the RHS Shows, there is also an expectation that lots of money needs to change hands to achieve a great result. Let me tell you, forget the current thinking on garden design, if you put your mind to it and have the time and the energy, you can create your own space to challenge the changing demands of 21st century living and create something amazing in your own back yard. My multi award winning garden, Driftwood, is, in my humble opinion, clear proof of that. At only 100 feet long and 40 feet wide it’s not large yet it’s had masses of cover in recent years, both on Tv and in the gardening media.
I know, from the amazing feedback I’ve received, from over 17000 visitors since 2009, both in the Visitors’ Book and on TripAdvisor, that I have begun to make “garden design” accessible, through my visitors being truly inspired (their words not mine) to go away and create their own very special and inspirational spaces, following their visit and discussions with me. Only this Summer, an elderly couple showed me pictures of their garden and said, quite proudly: “Our garden would not look like this if we had had not been inspired after visiting Driftwood”.
I believe I have ignited a smouldering spark for garden design revolution here in Sussex. We must find the confidence to inspire others to do the same. Read all about Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk
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