Ipswich: Renowned Christchurch Park gardener dies

IPSWICH: One of Christchurch Park’s longest serving employees and most talented gardeners has died at the age of 77.

Anthony Miller, known as Tony, who worked on the gardens at Christchurch Park for 25 years, overseeing the colourful displays at the Arboretum, Henley Road, died on December 4.

The displays were always a floral showcase for the town, bringing joy and happiness to all who walked through the park.

Andy Sheppard, manager of parks and open spaces for Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We’re very sad to hear of Tony’s passing. We will always remember him as a kind man, completely dedicated to his job over the 25 years. He had a reputation for high standards and he took a particularly keen interest in the training of young staff.

“Our thoughts are with his family.”

Mr Miller moved into the Arboretum Lodge in 1966, with his wife Lesley, where they brought up their two sons and a daughter.

During the 1980s the gardens were often praised by the judges of the Britain in Bloom competition. His dedication to the job at hand often saw him mowing the lawns at 4.30am, just to make sure the gardens were looking perfect.

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One of the most popular displays of Christchurch Park was the carpet bedding, where over the course of two weeks thousands of tiny foliage plants were individually planted to create a giant plaque commemorating an anniversary of an organisation or group each year.

According to those who knew him, Mr Miller was a naturally shy character, and while his gardens were often featured in the paper and on the news, he rarely was.

One of his former colleagues, who did not want to be named, said: “He was one of the last great gardeners and will be missed by all who knew him.”

The funeral service will be held in St Margaret’s Church, Ipswich, at 2pm on Tuesday, December 21. Car parking available at the adjacent school.

n Have you any fond memories of Mr Miller or his work? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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