Springingtiger's Blog


Happy Birthday Peter Seabrook

I saw the physiotherapist today and I should be able to get back to doing some light gardening very soon. In the meantime I continue to look at gardening magazines and contemplate the work I have to do. In Amateur Gardening this week I read that Peter Seabrook is celebrating his Seventy-Fifth birthday. He was a professional gardener before I was even born and – apart from while he was on National Service – has been ever since. He presented Gardeners’ World amongst other programs on radio and Television, he has the Victoria Medal of Honour from the Royal Horticultural Society and every week I get to read his column in Amateur Gardening.

The one thing that puzzles me is that he is reported as having been awarded the MBE in 2005 for services to horticulture. Why am I puzzled? He richly deserves the acknowledgement he has been given but I have to ask why only an MBE? Pop singers like Mick Jagger get knighthoods so do actors and civil-servants, businessmen like Alan Sugar get knighthoods or even ennobled to the House of Lords. I have to ask, why is horticulture valued so low compared to other activities? It is true that there are very few horticulturists who earn millions but while they may earn less for themselves can anyone say that their contribution to Britain is any the less! The contribution of people like Peter Seabrook can be seen in gardens the length and breadth of these islands in the knowledge and inspiration they give to millions of ordinary men and women who make this country a more beautiful place to live. Personally I feel to only have honoured Peter Seabrook with an MBE is very shortsighted, surely we need people like him in the House of Lords. Horticulture is central to who we are as a nation and the millions of Britons who practice it should have a voice in parliament to fight against garden grabbing, disappearing allotments and for the many other economic and environmental concerns we share. We have enough self-serving millionaires in both Houses what we need is people who truly represent us – even if his politics are a little conservative – it’s time to give us Lord Seabrook! So There!

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