Daphne Ledward, Garden Planner, Gardener, Author and Broadcaster


A TRIBUTE TO GEOFFREY SMITH, 1928-2009


Transcript of Daphne's Garden Tip, BBC Radio Lincolnshire, 8 Mar 09.

Copyright BBC Radio Lincolnshire; used by permission.

As most of you know, Iíve been around a long time Ė but I saw a spectacle yesterday Iíve never seen before in all my long gardening years.

We were privileged to attend the funeral of Geoffrey Smith in Harrogate. It was all he could have wished for Ė a beautiful day, clear blue skies, a wonderful service and hundreds of his friends and colleagues gathered to say goodbye. But the thing that will remain in most peopleís minds was the crocuses Ė millions of them, on the Strays, on the verges, in front gardens, in tubs, baskets and troughs, in the public gardens and on the roundabouts, crocuses of every size, variety and colour. Not just odd patches, but huge drifts, all with their flowers wide open to the early spring sun. Altogether, there must have been acres of them and Iím sure even Geoffrey would have marvelled at the sight. He couldnít have wished for a better goodbye than his beloved Nature had arranged for him.

My tip this week, therefore, is to plant some crocuses. Most garden centres have them for sale in pots at the moment, and even if you have plenty, you can never have enough, and even one pot will be a reminder of the years of pleasure Geoffrey gave everyone, young and old, gardeners and non-gardeners alike. I know Iím going to buy some today, some more for our garden, and a special pot for the good friend and neighbour who baby-sat the greyhounds and gave us the chance to witness that wonderful display in Harrogate. It was something that none of us who were gathered there yesterday will ever forget.

Geoffrey Smith


This short poem was found at the back of Geoffrey's Bible:

I'd like the memory of me
to be a happy one
I'd like to leave an afterglow
of smiles, when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo,
whispering softly down the ways,
of happy times and laughing times
and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve
to dry before the sun
of happy memories that I leave
when life is done.

Anon