Former Beatle George Harrison is to have a garden planted in his memory at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.
His widow Olivia is to celebrate his life by creating a specially designed garden six-and-a-half years after his death from lung cancer.
The famous Beatles guitarist was a regular at the show where he would often be seen drifting between gardens, notebook in hand to jot down ideas for his sprawling Victorian property in Henley-on-Thames.
Now his widow and family friend, award-winning garden designer Yvonne Innes who is married to Monty Python musician Neil Innes, have together designed a garden inspired by Harrison’s life from his birth in Liverpool in 1943 to his post-Beatle life in Henley.
In an interview with Radio Times, she tells how her husband’s love of horticulture inspired her own passion for gardening.
Speaking at Friar Park, the couple’s Victorian neo-Gothic home, Mrs Harrison said: “George showed me the creativity and fun that was involved.
“One day, for example, we looked out of the window and decided everything in the garden was too green, so we went on a colour binge, buying lots of brightly coloured flowers.
“In terms of landscape design, he liked the idea of Capability Brown, so we started calling him Capability George.
“He thought that everyone, as a matter of course, should have themselves regularly overwhelmed by nature. He used to say that all unused buildings should be knocked down and gardens put in their place.
“The way nature played tricks amused him, too. Once he planted lots of this pinky coloured weed on one side of the lake only for it all to spring up on the other side. ‘It’s jumped,’ he laughed.
“Some days when he was working in the recording studio, he’d look out of the window and say, with a shake of his head, ‘We’re not getting much gardening done today.’”
“Every time I go out there, I think he’ll just pop out from behind a shrub, like he used to.”
The Chelsea garden, entitled, From Life To Life after a line in the Beatles’ song It’s All Too Much, has four distinct parts, each representing a phase in Harrison’s life.
It is being sponsored by Harrison’s own Material World Charitable Foundation and will be unveiled on May 20.
His widow added: “My hope is that this project will be a tribute to the horticultural side of his personality that relatively few people know about and help inspire other gardeners.”