George Harrison: A Gardener, Basically

Fans of musician George Harrison, best known as one of The Beatles, will be interested in George Harrison: Living in the Material World, a documentary that is airing on HBO tonight and tomorrow. The film, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a look at George’s life, music, beliefs, and his place within the popular band.

“I’m not really a career person. I’m a gardener, basically.” – George Harrison

Did you know that George Harrison was also a lifelong gardener? I’m a fan of his music, but it’s his passion for gardening that I am most interested in hearing more about. Roger Ebert recently wrote a review of the documentary for the Sun Times that touches on this aspect of George’s life. According to Mr. Ebert (I have not seen the documentary so I can’t say how much of this is covered in the film) George was “…obsessed by the physical act of gardening, working with his land every day that he could.” He speculates that were we to get a better sense of this private man, “…we should visit his gardens.

Sound familiar?

Clips as well as further information about the documentary is available on the George Harrison website.

I don’t subscribe to cable TV, in fact my analogue TV no longer works period since digital television was regionally instated, so I’ll have to find some other way to see this documentary. If you see the film tonight and tomorrow, please come back and tell us about it!

Here’s a link to my favourite song by George Harrison.

Gayla Trail
Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer with a background in the Fine Arts, cultural criticism, and ecology. She is the author, photographer, and designer of best-selling books on gardening, cooking, and preserving.

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4 thoughts on “George Harrison: A Gardener, Basically

  1. My husband taped this – the Beatles are his absolute favorite band. I watched some of Part 1 with him last night and they didn’t really talk about gardening. Part 2 aired last night so we’ll see if they talk about it then…

  2. Hi, I watched this last night. There were a lot of clips of his gardens at his long time home and some bits of him gardening. Keep in mind that the word gardens here is meant to refer to the old formal gardens, a yard really, of an old formal estate and not the sort of american garden that one may expect.

    His son, (who looks hauntingly just like him!) spoke of George planting until midnight or one in the morning. Squinting in the by moonlight, so as not to see weeds or other distractions, and to get the perfect vision and view of the garden. As he was the perfectionist.

    I would like to go to his website perhaps to see better shots of the garden. Thanks!

  3. There were no additional images of the garden on his website, but I remembered how his sone spoke of George moving the pond to one side, moving the hill to the other side and until it was just right. And he’d be right int here doing it. Those are pretty big undertakings!

  4. OK, I did a bit of looking and here are a few tidbits:

    in 1970 George bought Friar Park a 120-room Victorian neo-Gothic mansion previously owned by the eccentric Sir Frank Crisp and bought Harrison was photographed amongst garden gnomes located in the garden for the cover of All Things Must Pass, and again with his father Harry a few years later, with the photo appearing in his album Thirty Three & 1/3. Harrison and his wife Olivia restored the extensive gardens and water features originally designed by Crisp.
    Location: Henley-on-Thames, United Kingdom (GB)

    Here is an odd video of the house and with an song written for it by an obsessed fan I guess.

    i am sure you could dig up much more!

    oh, and here is his son Dhani:

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