Head gardener celebrates 40 years
This week we celebrated our head gardener, Graham Cleator, who’s clocked up 40 years’ service here at The Elvetham.
Graham joined the business straight from school in 1977 and aged just 15, joined the gardening team and gained extensive expertise under the watchful eyes of several head gardeners, one of whom had been at The Elvetham since the Second World War.
Today, Graham is one of a four-man team, the members of which have collectively worked 99 years at The Elvetham. By this October, that total will have reached 100 years of loyal service!
Graham, who lives on the grounds with his family, said:
“Over the years I have seen a lot of changes and have worked with some wonderful people who make coming to work every day enjoyable. It is such a picturesque and peaceful setting.
“I am very proud to say that we grow all bedding plants ourselves, around 10,000 a year. Elvetham has some truly breath-taking features such as its mile-long avenue of Wellingtonias, an avenue of Irish yews, a sunken garden, rose garden and not least the vast expanses of lawns. In addition, there is such a variety of wildlife. Visitors are fascinated by the birds which can be spotted, including woodpeckers, buzzards and kingfishers on the River Hart which runs through the grounds.”
Presented with a Magnum of Champagne and other gifts for his dedication and long service, Philip Warden, Managing Director of The Elvetham, commented:
“Graham has been a great ambassador for The Elvetham and I would like to thank him for all his hard work and loyal service over the last 40 years.”
“My granddaughter loves nothing more than to run and play in the gardens which brings me so much joy. I’ve enjoyed every minute of working here and never thought of working anywhere else. I am already looking forward to clocking up 50 years!”