Earlier this week, I had a zoom video chat with my friend and TV gardener Christine Walkden, the patron of our Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail.

The event usually takes place in July but, inevitably, this year’s has been cancelled and I am encouraging the garden owners who were to take part to submit a short video of their garden for the trail website, www.macmillangardentrail.co.uk.

There are currently three, including the chat I had with Christine, which was to try to encourage people to support the trail and Macmillan Cancer Support through our Just Giving page. Please log on to the site to see my chat and possibly donate.

There are quite a few gardens opening now for the National Garden Scheme across Sussex with given time slots, all of which must be pre-booked and prepaid for on the charity’s website www.ngs.org.uk ahead of the visit, thus ensuring they can keep within the Government’s guidelines on social distancing.

Some of the gardens will allow picnics, as none are serving refreshments. This weekend you could book to see Channel View in Worthing, Hillside Cottages near Chichester, Durford Abbey Barn near Petersfield and Copyhold Hollow near Haywards Heath on Tuesday.

Fancy a visit? Log on, select your chosen slot, pay the entrance and away you go.

Back at Driftwood I’m finding the whole summer so much more relaxing. There are lots of jobs to do but they don’t have deadlines thereby forcing me to keep going until they are complete. If I’ve had enough I can sit back and do it another day as no one will notice. There is still dead-heading to do and watering of containers but it does not take anywhere near as long as in previous years. The wind over last weekend was a bit of a problem, damaging some of the new leaf growth on plants and shrubs but overall we did not suffer any real damage.

A favourite summer bulb of mine is the Eucomis, commonly called pineapple lily. They are perfect choices for containers which can go on patios, balconies or anywhere in the garden. I have three containers of them, including one with Sparkling Burgundy which is a fairly recent one which has dark stems, perfect for adding an air of mystery to a flagging border or lacklustre pot. They are bulbous perennials forming a rosette of upright, strap-shaped, reddish-purple leaves up to 60cm long, with starry purple-tinged flowers in a dense raceme on an erect, purple stem in late summer, quite magical. Mine are just starting to form flowers.

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