When we ask 73-year-old Harvel resident Ian Carey what he does for a living, he tells us “retired”. Before grinning, and following up with a chuckle, and a caveat “– allegedly!”
It makes sense. Because it’s hard to see Ian – a ball of energy and enthusiasm, even while sat giving an interview – ever truly retiring.
Born and bred in Kent, Ian was a hearing aid practitioner for 30 years: running his own practice for patients aged from their teens up to 106. Now, Ian devotes his time not only to his greatest passions – running, gardening, and giving back to the community – but to blending all three.
“I like to keep myself busy!” Ian says, grinning. “I help local people out with their gardens – sometimes, I ask them to make a donation to a charitable cause.”
And for many years now, that charitable cause has been ellenor.
“ellenor is a name I’ve known for a long, long time”, Ian says, discussing his long-standing commitment to raising funds for the charity – which provides care and support to patients and families living with life-limiting illnesses in the Kent and Bexley communities.
For a long time, Ian has been opening his heart – and his wallet – to enable ellenor’s vital work for local families. But now, he’s applying his green thumb and heart of gold to open, for ellenor, something altogether different – his garden.
Through ellenor’s Glorious Gardens program – which gives Kent and Bexley residents the chance to showcase their awe-inspiring allotments to the public to raise money for ellenor – Ian is readying the garden he’s been tending for 19 years to the interested eyes of the community. And it’s one you won’t want to miss.
Flat, and overlooking a field of wheat at its rear, Ian’s garden – reclaimed from jungle – is a sight to behold.
There are daisies, fuchsias, red and yellow broom; and blossoming lilacs in full, brilliant bloom. Not to mention roses, flowering currants, irises – and enough herbaceous plants to fill even the most decadent of spice racks.