Andy the Gardener

Andy the Gardener Vivienne Westwood

Andy the Gardener

I first met Andy in 1987 (our girlfriends at the time lived with each other). He was a gardener then.
I always remember him at a party in a flat above a petrol station because at the end of the party he crashed out in the forecourt of the station in his land rover which had a huge bush sticking out of it. He was woken up a few hours later when the station opened & people started using the pumps. Finding him suitably eccentric so started a long friendship.
I’ve hung out with him on many of his gardening jobs, sometimes as a worker & this impressed on me how strong he is. I remember carrying bags of sand for some brickwork he was doing from the road outside to the garden at the back. I had to hold them to my chest with two hands but he could lift them up & carry them with one arm on his shoulder.
As far as I know Andy has always worked in London. One side of his job deals with creating new garden designs & this involves proficiency in laying brickwork, paving & carpentry whilst the other side is in maintaining existing gardens some of which he originally built.
For the last 10 years he has been responsible for my mother’s front garden in Clapham as well as the flower boxes outside of the Conduit St shop, the little garden at the back of Davies St shop & the planting works at her studio in Battersea. For this latter job I remember one incident where he had to plant some trees in the old forecourt of the building for which he had to drill through about a foot of concrete to the earth underneath. He had another worker helping with this & all hell broke loose when this worker drilled right into the electric cable supplying the current for the whole street block. The shock made an almighty bang & actually threw the worker involved away from the drill which was quite lucky as at first Andy thought that he might be dead. In fact he was unharmed but work had to stop as there was a power cut for the rest of the day(work stopped for the rest of the block too including a petrol station, several workshops, the Dallas chicken & of course the Westwood studio)
More recently Andy has been asked to grow vegetables on the roof terrace of the newly designed studio & for this he has erected about 20 growing boxes which are all flourishing now. He has got leaks growing as well as carrots, spring onions, peas, various different salad leaves, broad beans, strawberries, gooseberries, clover for compost, courgettes, cress, apples, pak choi, figs, zucchini & even some woad so we can make our own blue dye for climate change face painting.
In January 2009 Andy was the star model in the men’s AW 09/10 Westwood fashion show in Milan. Inspired by him the collection was called ‘Andy the Gardener’ & the show closed with Andy wheeling Vivienne who then turned out to be Andreas impersonating Vivienne, up the catwalk in a wheelbarrow.
Andy has always worn a lot of Westwood clothing, even for work. This he mixes with traditional English country gent clothing & also with army surplus & work clothing, always managing to look quite dapper. Also he varies his style quite a lot so he normally has a different look every day.
Married 2 years ago to a lovely lady from Taiwan, Andy has just had his first exhibition of his own photography, the subject of which is a garden he created round the back of the Crossbones cemetery in London Bridge.
Wishing Andy all the best & looking forwards to eating some fresh salad.
Thanks Andy.
P.S.If you need a good gardener then get in touch & I`ll pass it on :-)

Roof Garden

Roof Garden

Salad

Salad

Andy the Gardener

Andy the Gardener

Vivienne Westwood

Men’s AW 09/10 show invite

Milan show AW 09/10 Vivienne Westwood

Milan show AW 09/10

Milan show AW 09/10 Andy the Gardener

Milan show AW 09/10

Andy & Vivienne Westwood

Andy & Vivienne

Andy's photography

Andy’s photography

Andy's garden Crossbones cemetry

Andy’s garden

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3 thoughts on “Andy the Gardener

  1. Thank you for a great read, working with muck n plants is what i love to do best. Any links to Andy’s other work both garden and photography? I myself would love a pair of pirate buccaneer trousers to add to my allotment attire.

  2. Love the growing boxes on the roof. I look after The Future Laboratory’s gardens in Spitalfields and have bee hives on the roof producing lovely honey.

  3. Pingback: Andy’s birthday at the English pub | Tomoka Westwood

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