WITH just over ten days to go until I open the garden gate for visitors there is still a great deal to do. My recent two weeks away meant that nothing was done in the garden so I’ve been very busy trimming hedges tidying up and planting over 130 geraniums in containers around the pond, along with some gazania and helichrysum.

All I need now is some sun to make them flower before we open. Driftwood opens from June 1 right through until July 31 and we will be open across all four days of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, June 2 to 5. I’ve already received quite a number of bookings from individuals and small groups. If you wish to visit you must book every day, apart from the two public days on the Macmillan Coastal Garden trail on July 23 and 24. Either email me on visitdriftwood@gmail.com or call 01323 899296. All the details can be found on my website shown at the end.

Next week, the National Garden Scheme has a great chance on offer to visit the Kemp Town Enclosures South Garden which is not very often open to visitors. Pre-booking is essential and there are 30 tickets available, some guided tours available, each half hour from midday to 3.30pm. Do check and see if there are any available, price £7.50. There are no refreshments but plenty of coffee shops close by. The garden is a unique, historic Grade II listed Regency private town garden in a spectacular seaside location. The plot endures strong salty winds and thin chalk soil and balances naturalistic planting and a more ordered look, relaxed not manicured. With several distinctive areas, this wonderful five-acre space combines open lawns, winding paths, trees, herbaceous and shrub borders and a shaded woodland garden. Not to be missed.

Back in my own garden I received some exotic bulbs from my recent birthday from a friend. Sauromatum Venosum or voodoo lily, Ferraria Crispa or starfish iris and Colocasia White Lava, better known as elephant ears. They have all now been planted in containers and I eagerly await their growth and exotic touch to the garden this summer. We just need plenty of warm weather to ensure success.

I’ve been spending time checking my many aeonuiums. They all went out in the garden, as usual, in mid-April before we went away. Sadly, there were several cold nights while we were away and some of the more delicate ones were not too happy. I have had to remove some of the lower leaves that were damaged but I am confident they will recover with some warmth.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at www.driftwoodbysea.co.uk