Thursday, February 20, 2014

25 Days of Harrison Day 19 - Gardening

Most know George Harrison as the ex-Beatles, singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Many however don't know that George was very passionate about gardening.
"I'm not really a career person, I'm a gardener, basically"- George Harrison

George started a little gardening in his first home, Kinfauns. In 1970 he purchased Friar Park, which was filled with extravagant  gardens, flowers, rivers and more from previous owner, Sir Francis Crisp. After The Beatles break up in 1970 George had got a team of ten gardeners and together (including George), they would clean up the gardens on the 36-acre property and plan out new arrangements.  George also wrote "Here Comes The Sun" in good friend and musician, Eric Clapton's garden.

Harrison once said in an interview with David Hartman that he picked up gardening after The Beatles break up in the 1970s,
"The music business was going through a lot of changes, and.. uh.. I've decided to become a Gardner, actually."
He said that the seventies were just a continuing to the sixties for him, gardening was just another hobby.  The following video is from the David Hartman Interview:

He had met his second wife, Olivia Arias Trinidad in 1974 and the two were married in September of 1978.  Olivia would pick up gardening with George and the two would tend the Friar Park gardens.
"I might have said, 'Oh, your bit of the garden looks great,' to which he would reply, 'It’s not my garden, Liv.' It was his way of reminding himself that we are pure Spirit, and that the Spirit is in every grain of sand, belonging to everyone and no one; that nothing is 'mine' and that the 'I' we all refer to must be recognized as the little “i” in the larger scheme of the universe. George was tired of all the I Me Mines of this world, including his own."
Dhani, their son, thought of his dad as a professional gardener, when he was a kid. He recalls his dad staying up past dusk squinting in the garden; It was that time of night that he couldn't see all the imperfections in the garden. Dhani also remembers,
"He worked very slowly and he spent most of his time gardening. To get him in the studio was very hard. He wasn't doing it for anybody else"
The quote is in reference to George's Brainwashed album, released a year after his death with help
from Dhani himself and good friend, musician, and producer, Jeff Lynne.

George also dedicated his autobiography, I Me Mine, released in 1980, to Gardener's everywhere. Also, attending Flower Shows that took place in Chelsea in the 1990s with wife, Olivia, Ringo Starr, and his wife Barbara 
  "I’m really quite simple. I don’t want to be in the business full time, because I’m a gardener. I plant flowers and watch them grow. I don’t go out to clubs. I don’t party. I stay at home and watch the river flow."-George Harrison
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