(February 1986) “Jardin”

Almost a whole week before the whole village was made sad by the news of the death of Geoffrey Law, the editor received a phone call from Jardin to say that after seven years – more or less as the garden grows – he was planning to hang up his “wellies” and oil his fork and spade before retiring to his conservatory with a book of flowers and some hot toddy to watch others dig and delve, sow and reap and he planned to retire from his monthly contribution of gardening hints.

It was an unforgivable mistake on the part of the Editor that Jardin’s usual article had been omitted from the December issue of the Scene. Full of humility the editor suggested that it be printed in the January edition. “Don’t be a damned fool man!!” (The voice at the other end of the line sounded like the village squire, not at all as one would expect from the humble horney handed Adam of the earth!) “Don’t be a damned fool man. It’s out of date – no use at all now – the times past and lost”. Humbled, the editor suggested one last article for January – no joy. “Tell you what me dear chap. Here’s a bit of advice you can give the fellows for January. Tell ’em to buy a good gardening book and a seed catalogue, then sit by the fire and read ’em. Tell ’em to keep their big heavy feet off the land and give it time to breathe. We all need to rest you know.”

It was advice born from a prophetic understanding, and a calm acceptance of nature.

So Jardin and the magic of his colourful garden fades from our scene with his customary chuckle, good nature and forgiveness.

Thank you Jardin; we shall remember your interesting articles and the lovable man that penned them with such precision.