My mother, Irene Brazier (1922-2004), was a lover of gardens. In her life she made many and admired many more. She believed in the harmony that arises when people work in co-operation with natural forces. She was a practical woman. Work was important. One of her favorite sayings was "You are closer to God in a garden than anywhere else on earth".

She was named Irene, in part, after a song that was popular at the time that had the refrain "Good night Irene, I'll see you in my dreams" and, in part, after the Greek goddess of peace. Both these aspects had some influence upon her character as she was both an attractive, sociable woman and also a lover of peace, for whom myth, story and poetry always exerted a fascination. She had a considerable interest in theatre and acted in and produced many amateur dramatic performances.

She was a believer and was completely non-dogmatic. When she went into hospital near to the end of her life she declared her religion as C of E / Buddhist. She could be at home in any temple or shrine. She often quoted phrases from the Bible and other sources, many of them popular poems.

She also liked a good party, dressing up and enjoying the fruits of life. She was simultaneously a fun loving worldly wise woman who knew her own mind and a person of peace, tolerance and kindness who appreciated spiritual paths and saw their commonality. She had learnt from all manner of people in the course of her life and, in the latter part of it, was the kind of person that all manner of people wanted to talk to and enjoy being with. 

I have written more about her in my book Who Loves Dies Well (,

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