In praise of Henry

Peace Gardener Dianne talks about regular visitor Henry and the huge contribution he makes in the garden


The Let’s Get Growing team having been working hard lately, we have just weathered the hottest days (ooh we did wilt a bit) and the wettest this year. The Peace Garden however, is looking rather splendid given our combined efforts. We are beginning to harvest now, which is exciting. One of our number deserves a special mention for his continued endurance.

Henry, is a quiet man, a resilient worker, he likes to get on with gardening with as little fuss as possible and complete tasks in good time. Often he can be seen in a far distant corner of the garden, steadily weeding or digging, when the rest of us have given up, exhausted.

Henry worked for a long time for the Gas Board in an administrative role. He was a loyal team member and valued for his organisation skills. For a while he arranged long walks for his colleagues to enjoy in the north east and further afield, which were much appreciated.

When he left work he began dry stone walling, a dying skill now and an arduous activity. You can imagine the scene, Henry in a lonely field, mulling over his choice of stones, looking for just the right one, a great job for someone like him with an exacting eye.

His love of the outdoors and eagerness to create order amongst chaos makes Henry an asset to the group. Many of the garden projects have his name stamped upon them. For example he helped lay the hard standing for the compost loo, plumb in the pipes and he can endlessly weed beds.  Henry is a determined man and once spent ages digging out a tree stump in the raspberry bed. He just would not give up until it was out. Everyone else, thinking it was an impossible chore, had gone for tea.

Henry has hidden depths and an enviable wealth of patience. He is the one who quietly laughs at your jokes when no one else has understood them and it is he who notices when someone is troubled. He’s a supportive member of the team and he sits patiently whilst the group drinks tea and chats in the mornings. And believe me, we can chat for England! He would prefer to leap out of the sanctuary, given half a chance, to get on with the gardening, but he puts up with our dalliance with good grace.

He needs a coffee to kick start the day but Henry is a definitely a worker and you can always rely on him to get the work done. Thanks Henry, it would be a much harder job without you, you are a star!