The unexpected gardener - Dame Judi Dench

As if being a brilliant actress and generally classy woman isn’t enough, Judi is also passionate about nature.  She is often seen at RHS Chelsea and has a peachy-coloured David Austin rose named after her.

But her big passion is trees.  In fact, she probably loves them as much as Shakespeare.  ‘I would say, if you’ve got any room at all, plant a tree.  Because it’s a living thing, you can watch it grow and every time you come back to it, the tree will have changed,’ she once said.

So it’s no surprise that Judi’s large Surrey garden isn’t about lawns and herbaceous borders.  Instead, she has a vast wood, full of wild flowers that she has nurtured for over 30 years.  At the end of a path is a shepherd’s hut and tucked away in another corner is 200-year-old oak.

The actress loves trees so much that she was given her own BBC documentary about them, ‘My Passion For Trees’, in which she talks about her love of nature and trees.  She also shares the fact she plants a tree every time a close friend or relative dies.  So there are trees named after her brother Geoff, the actor Natasha Richardson, her late husband Michael and her close friend Robert Hardy.  ‘I think of my trees as part of my extended family’ she reflects, 'I’m very, very proud of my trees doing all that work.’