Then there was Stanley (Stan) Edwards, one-time Bevin Boy down the mines and long-term, loyal William Strike director responsible for bulb purchases, garden centre management and the best at making a good margin. Even in retirement he worked on the local church grounds, winning many "Bloom" awards in the North East.
Both had church funerals and I do not understand why our magnificent heritage church buildings are these days less popular for funerals (and weddings come to that). They are so much more spiritually up lifting when compared with municipal crematoria.
Cremations, too often, are wheel-them-in, dispatch-as-quickly-as-possible events in soulless buildings, frequently "decorated" with artificial flowers. When there are fresh flowers outside to be shrivelled by hot sun, drying winds and searing frost, could we not have some real flowers in these buildings?
A Writtle College contemporary, Stephanie Kerry (nee Ranby), who for a time was PA to Mr Jackman of Woking Nursery fame, had a woodland burial near Guildford. This was a peaceful send-off with a service in a pavilion (lovely arrangements of fresh flowers) then a walk across wild flower meadows for the internment. Furnishings in the pavilion were rearranged to accommodate refreshments.
The 33-acre site will be planted with trees to become a wooded memorial to some 30,000 souls. Surely more attractive and fitting than acres of aging and unkempt headstones drunkenly leaning in all directions. It is, of course, possible to have a church service and then burial in woodland.
Peter Seabrook is a gardening writer and broadcaster