Ipswich: Tree is planted in memory of popular park gardener

FRIENDS and family of a gardener who spent more than 30 years tending to parks in Ipswich have planted a tree in his memory.

The Bhutan pine was planted in the Arboretum at Christchurch Park by colleagues and family of Tom Wright, 63, who died in July last year after being diagnosed with bowel cancer.

Mr Wright worked with Ipswich Borough Council’s parks department for about 31 years and the Arboretum was one of his favourite areas.

Mr Wright’s widow, Carol, of Ranelagh Road, said: “I was really pleased with the tree.

“He was a very talented gardener and he always used to love doing the carpet bedding in the Arboretum in Christchurch Park.

“He had a really good sense of humour and I will miss that.”

The tree was funded by the Friends of Christchurch Park and Carol was the first person to place earth around its base before the job was completed by Mr Wright’s former colleagues.

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A spokesman for the friends group said: “Tom was perhaps best known for the superb carpet-bedding displays at the Henley Road entrance to the park, but he was always happy to stop and have a chat, and share with passers-by his wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Mr Wright trained at Valentine’s Park in London and worked in various places in East Anglia before he settled in Ipswich.

As well as working in Christchurch Park, where he became head gardener, Mr Wright also worked in other parks in the town.

He also worked with school children and taught them more about gardening during their visits to parks.

Mr Wright had one daughter, Katy.