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Back in March this year I was approached by Rachel Morgan from Bakker’s  marketing department and asked if I wanted them to run a competition for my many Twitter followers. Not really sure what it would involve I said why not. Little did I know how successful it would be for Bakker, myself and the lucky winner of the £50 box of goodies, Jane Rogers!

Nor did I realise too that this would be the start of a great relationship in 2017 between Driftwood Garden and Bakker.

Proud Raffle Winner

Over the course of the Spring and Summer I have bought several products from Bakker but they too have been extremely generous in donating many bulbs to the garden in recognition of all the money we raise for charity, over £95000 to date, as well as two fabulous gnomes, to be used as raffle prizes for my Macmillan Cancer Support garden trail and the Seaford  Lifeguards (the charity selected by the Mayor of Seaford ), the beneficiary in 2017 of the Mayor’s garden trail that I organise each year.

Early in the year I bought a double pack of  Lily Queen of Night, a Brugmansia Tricolor, Red stonecrop “Schorbuser Blut”, yellow loosestrife and 3 giant fuchsias, Blue Angel, Pink marshmallow and Bella Rosella.

The Queen of the Night
Bella-Rosella

 

The Queen of the Night have been quite spectacular and a real talking point with early visitors this season. It is a unique lily with beautiful, almost black flowers, accented by stunning vermilion red stamens! Mine definitely had a look of elegance in the large potion the garden. Meanwhile the beautiful Brugmansia produced some stunning blooms as you can see. It did  take quite a beating from the weather in the garden, so ended up in the greenhouse towards the end of the Summer.  The stonecrop looked equally at home in the gravel beds at the front of the house and set against the brick paths in the back garden. It is a very attractive and strong border plant that seems to work well here on chalk. The thick, fleshy but hardy foliage has soon formed a dense clump. One of my favourite purchase however has been the The Snake Flower (Bulbine frutescens). It is an attractive South African succulent with medicinal properties. It flowered in the spring and in again this autumn. Mine was planted upon a container and has looked amazing. It is now in the greenhouse for the winter as it does not like the frost. The giant fuchsias all did well in the containers around the garden too and you can see Bella Roselle, pictured.

 

Gladioli
Hosta Purple Sensation

Bakker’s generosity knew no bounds with all the complimentary bulbs that were sent. They all went down well especially the gladioli. I planted some in containers and some in the ground and they were such amazing vibrant colours when they came up and were a real talking point with visitors.  I was also sent a couple of hosta Purple Sensation to try out and the results were gorgeous as you can see.

 

Rachel also sent me a large number of lilies to trial, one of my favourite flowers, which have done really well planted up in the ground.  The garden is looking pretty dull at the moment, the dreadful weather has not helped, with gales and heavy rain prevailing as I write this piece in late October.

 

The recent delivery of over 300 bulbs by Bakker will guarantee a stunning Spring display in the garden, many photos of which will appear on social media. Follow Driftwood on Twitter (driftwoodbysea) or on Facebook (Driftwood Garden East Sussex).

 

Geoff Stonebanks

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