Name: Sue Edser

1931

My green fingers come from a long succession of gardeners in the Edser family. The one I pay most credit to is my dad, Robin, who turned 90 last year. He has been an avid gardener all his life, turning most of the family garden over to growing fruit and vegetables that fed us for the year. Dad’s gardening heritage comes from his father, my grandad, Ted, and his Grandad’s father, my great-grandfather, William, both of whom were gardeners in small Surrey country estates.

Dad was the local postman around Minstead during the 1960s, so knew Furzey Gardens well.  He would stop at the Head Gardener’s home each day and have a cup of tea with Mrs Knowlton. Then he would drive up to Furzey House for more tea provided by two young women in the kitchen. Dad also delivered post to Mr Knott, Lord Congleton’s chauffeur who lived in South Lodge. Sadly, he says, no tea was on offer there!

Dad may not know the Latin names for plants but he has imparted many gems of wisdom to me. I once asked him how I should prune an overgrown shrub and he said, “Ask the plant.” It really works.

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