A Walk in Paradise Gardens; Gardening

By Argument, Barbara | Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), May 29, 1999 | Go to article overview

A Walk in Paradise Gardens; Gardening


Argument, Barbara, Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)


IT WILL be an emotional moment for Lynda Hamilton when she proudly opens the beautiful Paradise Garden created in memory of her late TV gardening celebrity husband, Geoff.

But she is determined not to shed tears as she walks through gates which belonged to the expert who was loved by millions as one of the greatest practical gardeners of all time.

But once back in their Barnsdale home, famous from the successful Gardener's World series, she admits emotion might just get the better of her.

''It will be such a painful day, but a lovely one,'' says Lynda, who was married to Geoff for more than 10 years before he died at the age of 59.

She believes the new paradise planted at Ryton Organic Gardens near Coventry, is a fitting tribute to a man who inspired with his books, articles and charming manner.

Almost two years after Geoff's death, Lynda Hamilton reflects that TV has spearheaded a change in the nation's gardening habits.

''It's instant gardening'' she says. ''Programmes like Groundforce may be great entertainment, but no-one is speaking up on TV for the environment or conservation.''

Both are very much the concern of Alan and Jackie Gear who head the organic based Henry Doubleday Research Association at Ryton.

They wanted to honour the memory of their friend Geoff and decided a special garden was the best tribute.

Paradise Gardens was the title of his last TV series and Jackie Gear says it had an ethereal quality which touched the hearts of many.

The Gears enlisted Lynda's help and the support of fans to create a memorial to the expert who became ''bowled over'' by organic gardening techniques.

''He became a total convert and changed the whole of our garden and the nursery to organic,'' says Lynda.

''Before then, he worked on the theory if it moved - and even if it didn't - spray it!''

Jackie Gear remembers Geoff as an enthusiastic supporter of HDRA who encouraged many gardeners to go organic in a quietly confident, down-to- earth way. …

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