We have learned, with sadness, of the death of Mr Graham Benskin, who worked in the Botanic Garden for more than 40 years.
Graham began his horticultural career at Leicester Parks Department before becoming a student at the Royal Horticultural College at Wisley. He began work at the University's Botanic Garden in 1965 and remained there for 41 years until his retirement, as Senior Botanic Gardener, in 2006. He was proud to be awarded the Royal Horticultural Society’s Long Service Medal.
Graham was employed to set up and maintain the temperate and tropical display houses, and to grow plants for research and teaching purposes for the Biological Sciences department. His beautiful display houses gave a lot of pleasure to visitors as well as being sources of economic interest: bananas, coffee, dates, tea, and of course the famous giant lemon tree, to name just a few.
In addition to the ever-expanding tropical and temperate collections Graham also began the Cacti and Succulent collection; it can still be seen in its own dedicated greenhouse at Beaumont Hall.
Graham met his wife at the Gardens – she worked there herself until their twins came along, one of whom - Rachel Benskin - followed her parents into horticulture and now works in the Gardens herself.
Graham is sadly missed by work colleagues and friends alike.
The funeral will take place on Friday 29 December 2023 at Great Glen Crematorium at 2.30pm. All are welcome to attend.