Colin Squire shares his thoughts on the sad passing of Peter Seabrook.
We were so sorry to hear of the sudden death of Peter Seabrook. He was such a special man, full of such energy and enthusiasm and I will miss him very much, personally and as a fine ambassador for our industry. I find it very hard to believe he will no longer be with us with his ideas, his smile and his friendship.
I have known Peter since the early 1960s. I first met him at a nurseryman’s conference at Pershore and I spoke with him about my wish to open a garden centre, Peter was extremely helpful with suggestions and people to contact. When the HTA retail group became the Garden Centre Association in 1966 Peter and I were among the founding members and the first chairman was Charles Nottcutt. For a period, Peter was an inspector for the GCA. I think it would be fair to say that Peter played a hugely significant role in the success of our industry, through GCA, through his journalism and his sheer enthusiasm for plants and gardening.
My most recent contact with Peter was at BBC Gardeners World Live last summer in Birmingham, where he designed a beautiful rose garden. I subsequently had a brief chat with him at Chelsea in the autumn. Over the years Peter helped many of us in the garden centre industry to exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show through his imaginative Sunflower Street.
Peter believed gardening was for everyone and his columns in The Sun made gardening approachable, understandable and fun for millions of people. His journalism also promoted so many exciting new plants which supported British growers and retailers.
Peter’s boundless enthusiasm for plants, gardening and people will be sadly missed by so many of us. Three generations of the Squire family were privileged to know Peter. My late father D.J. Squire, myself and my daughter all shared a deep respect and affection for him. So many colleagues at Squire’s have all told me in the last few days how highly they regarded Peter. He was truly loved and respected by so many in our industry and beyond.