Today, I'm driving John to Westonbirt Arboretum. I met John twelve years ago when I first started out as a photographer specialising in gardens. He owned a vast garden, some 36 acres. Most of it was managed woodland, but a few acres surrounding the house was filled with special trees from all over the world collected by John and underplanted with a wonderment of beautiful plants. On that first visit John marched me round the garden naming every single tree and how he had come by them, his memory was impressive, it still is. Over the years I went to the garden at all times of year to photograph it. It really was a special place, which he opened to the public and for school visits.
A couple of years ago, John's wife and tireless gardener quite suddenly suffered from a form of dementia. She became very muddled and within a short time John decided to sell and move to a smaller house to look after her. That was two years ago, we all miss Homecovert, but especially John who was 90 this year, he can still remember every single tree in his garden.
I popped in to see him in January and he mentioned that he had been invited to a special day at the arboretum for dendrologists but didn't think that he would be able to go, I offered to drive him up there. So today, I'm driving my old friend and mentor John to Westonbirt.
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