THIS week has started to feel as though spring is really on its way. Several days of warm sunshine and lots of bulbs starting to flower.

In my beach garden the one plant that is really looking good at the moment is the Bergenia. They make excellent ground cover plants, with large, semi-evergreen leaves, that give them their common name of elephant’s ears.

The bold, rounded foliage makes bergenias good plants to use for textural contrasts with strappy-leaved, or fine-leaved plants and flowers. They work well in my south facing beach garden as they’re drought-tolerant too.

Although bergenias have a reputation for being good shade plants, if you choose a variety for good leaf colour, these can do better in sun and poor soil.

Mine are certainly planted in full sun at Driftwood. Elephant’s ears are one of the most indispensable and widely used evergreen plants used in gravel garden gardens but there can certainly be mixed views with some saying they look rough and untidy plants. Personally, I love mine for providing great colour at this time of the year.

This week, I have received two bookings for small groups of visitors to the garden in July, a sure sign that maybe we will all be in a better place by then. I am still hoping to open Driftwood from June 21, when the current government roadmap suggests we might have a bit more freedom, through until August 12, with three planned, pre-bookable dates for the National Garden Scheme, and two dates for the Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail, which I still hope to hold at the end of July.

Currently 14 garden owners have said they are interested, providing it is safe to do so at the time. I will also be open by arrangement between those dates too. Fingers crossed we will be able to do so.

This week has seen a local landscaper complete some minor alterations to the area by the studio, at the top of the garden. The stepped, shingle area has been replaced by a two-tiered, larger pebbled space making it much easier to navigate. Now the task in hand for a week at least, is to pressure clean the entire plot from top to bottom. All the hard surface pathways, the brick raised bed walls and the front path and drive.

Along the way I shall also have a go at the marine rope and lobster pots. Last year, nothing got done due to my ankle injury so I have two years’ dirt to remove. The marine rope is grey at the moment but will soon revert to white.

Read more of Geoff’s garden at