Reg­u­lars raise a glass to Clive’s se­cret pub gar­den

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Out Of Africa... And Off To The Local - By Kristina Cur­tis

Al­though many peo­ple in Ash­ford know the Lo­co­mo­tive pub, what they may not be aware of is the venue’s hid­den sur­prise.

Clive Guest, who owned the pub on Beaver Road for 28 years, has trans­formed the back of the Lo­co­mo­tive into a beau­ti­ful se­cret gar­den – which you can’t see from the street.

Bon­nie Gray, a reg­u­lar at the Lo­co­mo­tive, said: “In re­cent years I have dis­cov­ered it has a se­cret that no one can see from the street. Their gar­den is re­ally some­thing to be­hold.

“Clive is the one with the green fin­gers and ev­ery year he cre­ates some­thing quite spec­tac­u­lar. There is some­thing for ev­ery­one, bright coloured dis­plays, wa­ter fea­ture, lights, and large bushes and plants.”

Mr Guest re­tired as land­lord from the pub two years ago, pass­ing the reins onto his daugh­ter and son-in-law – Paula and Matt Barham.

How­ever he still reg­u­larly at­tends to the gar­den.

He said: “I have a bit of a green­fin­ger. My mum used to do a lot of gar­den­ing and en­ter com­pe­ti­tions for it so I must have in­her­ited it from her.

“I spend so much time in the gar­den and I just love do­ing it, it gives me a lot of sat­is­fac­tion es­pe­cially when peo­ple com­ment on how good it looks.

“It does seem to be a se­cret gar­den, as a lot of new­com­ers are re­ally sur­prised when they see it as they don’t know it’s there.”

When Mr Guest moved in there wasn’t a back gar­den to the pub. Part of the car park has since been taken over, as well as land from two neigh­bour­ing prop­er­ties, to turn the un­used space into a pop­u­lar pub gar­den.

“It wasn’t re­ally a gar­den when I moved in, it was just a yard be­fore but I’m re­ally pleased with it now and proud of my­self be­cause I take good care of it,” added Mr Guest.

‘My mum used to do a lot of gar­den­ing and en­ter com­pe­ti­tions for it so I must have in­her­ited it from her’

FM4877838

Clive Guest shows of some of the blooms

Pic­tures: Paul Amos FM4877832

The se­cret gar­den cre­ated by Clive Guest

No hint a flo­ral oa­sis is hid­den be­hind the car park fence

FM4877842

Clive Guest and land­lords Matt and Paula Barham

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