Blooming brilliant gardener
394. Peter Edwards
A Middlesex man who has given a huge amount of time to inspiring young gardeners since losing his wife six years ago.
In the last five and a half years, Peter has worked with nearly every young person at The Rosary Catholic Primary School via his gardening club, reaching well over 400 children. Many of them would not otherwise have the opportunity to try gardening and learn about the environment, and they have all benefitted from the innovative way Peter brings other subjects like history and science to life through the club.
Peter, 82, who recently won the accolade of RHS School Gardening Champion of the Year 2015, had the idea to start the club four years ago after losing his beloved wife. Many of the school’s pupils do not own gardens, and have little opportunity to grow plants and learn gardening. He takes great delight in giving them these opportunities, teaching the children the life cycles of plants, which seeds are best to plant when and the importance of sustainable methods of gardening.
Peter also led the children to helping them to design and plant a memorial garden for both pupils who have passed away and those who lost their lives in the World Wars. He worked with the children to put together an opening ceremony that took place 11 November last year, attended by members of the armed forces and parents of the pupils for whom the garden was built.
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Peter has given a huge amount of his time to enriching the lives of pupils at The Rosary Roman Catholic Primary School. Through the gardening club he runs he has not only given hundreds of children an opportunity they may not otherwise have to get involved in gardening, he uses it to bring history, science and a wide range of other topics to life. The memorial garden he has created is a wonderful space for everyone who visits the school to enjoy, and I am delighted to recognise Peter as a Point of Light.”
“I’ve wanted to work with children all my life, but sadly didn’t have that opportunity until my dearest wife passed away. I’ve come to the view that giving in life is a bonus in itself, so I’m very overwhelmed to receive this award from the Prime Minister.”
MP for Feltham and Heston, Seema Malhotra, said:
“I am delighted that Peter’s contribution to the community in Heston has been recognised with this latest award. I have seen his work at the school and in the community. Hundreds of children at Rosary Primary School have benefitted from his gardening guidance and advice. It’s a real example of how, quite literally, we will be able to reap from the seeds that Peter has sewn in terms of gardening and community volunteering. This award is richly deserved and I am sure all in the community will join me in congratulating him.”