06:10PM, Thursday 27 January 2022
Peter Seabrook (left) pictured in 2019 with John Anderson, keeper of the gardens at Windsor Great Park.
Tributes have been paid in Windsor to an ‘astonishing’ veteran gardening journalist who had links with the Royal Windsor Flower Show.
Peter Seabrook passed away aged 86 on Friday, January 14 after decades of service in the horticultural sector, which included several gold medals at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.
Born in Essex in 1935, he was well-known for his work as a gardening journalist and worked for The Sun newspaper for 40 years and presented programmes including the BBC’s Gardeners’ World.
Peter was often spotted in Windsor helping out with the Royal Windsor Flower Show, organised by the Royal Windsor Horticultural Society (RWHS) of which he was named honorary president in 2019.
One of his main passions was getting children involved in gardening, and was instrumental in setting up a competition for school children at the flower show.
Former show manager at the Chelsea Flower Show and member of the RWHS Alex Denman knew Peter well from her time on the respective committees of the two shows.
“He was an absolute powerhouse, the kindest man you could ever meet and so thoughtful,” she said. “It was always high on the Queen’s list to make sure she visited the gardens that he had designed at Chelsea.
“Being made honorary president was really well deserved considering how much he contributed. He was just astonishing.”
Former Express editor Sally Stevens also knew Peter from her time at the RWHS, adding: “He was someone who was committed to ensuring everyone discovered the joy, satisfaction and emotional and mental wellbeing of gardening.”
Sally's husband Chris was good friends with Peter during his own time at The Sun.
"In the ten years since I left The Sun, every spring a parcel would arrive at home with the first cut of asparagus from his extensive garden in Chelmsford. It was better than anything you could buy and he never forgot that I loved it," he said.
Above: Chris Stevens pictured with Peter at a celebration to mark the latter's 40 years at The Sun newspaper.
"He was a bit of a technophobe and resisted getting a mobile for years, preferring a big straw hat. When he was at Chelsea Flower Show we had to phone them and ask if they could get the tall chap in the big straw hat to call the office.
"In all those years at The Sun, he never had a contract. He’d say; ‘I shook hands with Jerry [Holmberg, a former features editor] and that’s good enough for me.’
"A lovely man, and old-school gent."
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