I HAVE been digging out the shrubs from the raised beds and potting them up to plant out again in the new look patio area. It has certainly been quite a challenge and proved to me that I am definitely, not as young as I used to be. At the moment the whole garden seems to be littered with dug-up plants waiting for a new home.

I was quite surprised last month to receive a booking for people to visit the garden in June 2022. I have also had two confirmed bookings to give my talk “Gardening by the Sea” to a couple of gardening groups next year as well, one in West Wittering and the other in Ovingdean. It will be quite a shock to the system, not having done one since March 2020, before the first lockdown.

We had the final 2021 garden opening for the National Garden Scheme in East and Mid Sussex. The wonderful High Beeches Woodland and Water Garden in Handcross, opened, raising funds for the scheme. It is a stunning plot, sensitively planted with many rare trees and shrubs.

READ MORE: Gardening tip from Geoff Stonebanks' Driftwood Diary

All my succulents have been carefully rehoused in their winter homes. Among them are three new mangaves that I have invested in recently. Rather than place them in the heated greenhouse, I have decided to put them in the back porch of the house. They are such interesting plants that I can now view them daily from the kitchen and appreciate their beauty. I was fascinated by the plant when I first heard about them a couple of years ago and decided I had to buy some. They are not cheap, but I love them. The ones I own are called Moonglow, Mission To Mars and Pineapple Express. All fabulous names.

Whilst they may well survive the milder winters here, I’m taking no chances and keeping them indoors until all risk of frost has passed next spring. The only problem is, the colouring will fade without good sunlight, but they will recover again, once outside next season.

I’ve been quite amazed at how much everything has grown in recent weeks and have had to engage in a severe cut back in parts of the garden to keep it all in check. Hedges, shrubs and many grasses just seem to have taken over while I was not looking.

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