HERE’S hoping you all had a fabulous New Year and have made several resolutions on what you are going to be doing in the garden in 2020.

The one key resolution for me is, without doubt, working out how to marry together the joy of having a new dog in the family, versus my ability to keep the garden looking amazing for our 2020 openings this summer.

Our adorable new terrier, Chester, joined the family just before Christmas. We adopted him through a local Sussex rescue centre. He hails from The Azores and was flown to Lisbon and came over land in a dedicated pet transporter, arriving in the UK on December 15. It is truly amazing how he has adapted and is a lovely dog. The one downside for me is that he is smaller and thinner than our Jack Russell and can negotiate smaller gaps in planting throughout the garden. Before I could let him loose, I had to buy some new railway sleepers and negotiate placing them behind the hedging on the right of the garden, at the base of the fencing to avoid him escaping into next door’s garden. No mean feat I can assure you. That aside he seems to have settled in well.

We will open on seven public days this summer, five for the National Garden Scheme (for whom we are celebrating ten years of opening in 2020) and two for Macmillan Cancer Support. Maybe one of your resolutions was to consider opening your own garden in support of a charity this year. If so, why not consider joining our trail in July to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support?

You don’t have to have a truly fabulous garden, you just need to be an enthusiastic amateur who enjoys talking to others about your hobby. You can read all about the upcoming trail this summer at

I’m quite surprised that we already have 13 gardens who have signed up to open. Four of them are brand new and never opened for this trail before. Why not give it a go and open yours? You’ll find it great fun, I promise. Contact details are on the website.

Also, 12th night is looming and you will be taking down your tree. There are a number of sites across the city and beyond to recycle. Only leave your trees at these designated sites as those left elsewhere will be seen as fly-tipping. Every real tree is turned into soil improver or compost and you can buy this soil improver from recycling centres. Do remove all decorations and the pot before leaving your tree though.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at