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TV stars come up roses on the garden trail


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A TELEVISION star will be among those opening up their gardens for a charity trail.

Gogglebox star Chris Butland-Steed and his husband Tony, who just got married at The Grand hotel, will open their Brighton garden at the end of the month

The sixth annual Macmillan Coastal Garden Trail takes place between Brighton and Seaford over the weekend of July 29 and 30.

The trail was launched back in 2012 by Seaford gardener Geoff Stonebanks under the banner of his Driftwood Fundraising Group.

It began with nine gardens and has gone from strength to strength with 27 this year, six opening for the trail for the first time.

It has been raising money for the Macmillan Horizon Centre at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

When the Horizon Centre opened its doors last autumn, the Driftwood Fundraising Group was recognised on the

list of supporters for cash donated.

To date, money raised, through the generosity of visitors to trail gardens and activities in Geoff’s own garden, Driftwood, has topped £41,000 with £8,400 handed over last autumn.

This year sees gardens stretching from Hangleton to Seaford.

You can visit all 27 if you have the stamina, or just pick those nearest to you.

There are five gardens in Brighton, four in Ovingdean, three in Saltdean, six in Peacehaven, two in Newhaven, one each in Swanborough and Rodmell and five in Seaford.

Full details and location maps for each garden can be found at www.macmillangardentrail.co.uk.

Popular TV gardener Christine Walkden is the patron of the trail.

She said: “Opening gardens and sharing them with others generates a sense of community, camaraderie and interest in the beauty that gardeners create.

“I am thrilled to continue as patron for the fifth year, especially having seen it first hand in 2015.”

Geoff, organiser of Driftwood Fundraising Group, also raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “I’m sure visitors will experience this while seeing all the uniquely different gardens along the trail, a complete mix, but gardeners passionate about their plots.

“So, why not join the trail this summer and come see for yourselves?”

Tickets can be bought on the day in any of the gardens on the trail costing £6 for a day ticket of £2 per garden.

For more information call Geoff on 01323 899296.

Source: The Argus