It’s easy to take our public green spaces for granted, to stroll through a city park and admire the scenery while sparing not a thought for the men and women whose hard work keeps the grass trimmed and the flowers blooming. And that’s why, in 1971, the Corporation of London commissioned a statue in honor of these green-fingered workers.
The sculpture was created by Karin Jonzen, a British sculptor who rose quickly in the art world and by the 1970s was in particular demand for her portrait busts. In 1971 she was commissioned by the city’s Trees, Gardens and City Open Spaces Committee to create a work in honor of the city’s gardeners.
The result was The Gardener, a life-sized statue made from bronze showing a person in work clothes bending down with one knee on the ground, their left hand touching the earth in front of them as if tending to a plant. The person’s face is focused on the ground below them, creating his own anonymity in his dedication to their work. Located in the garden outside Brewers’ Hall on Aldermanbury Square, it’s a touching tribute to all the overlooked people who keep London green.
Know Before You Go
The Gardener was originally placed on a small area of landscaping by Moorgate, but was moved to make way for a new road scheme. In 2005 it was moved to its current location in the small Brewers' Hall Garden, a series of raised beds and seating in an otherwise paved area near the London Wall. Brewers’ Hall is located on Aldermanbury Square, just to the east of the Museum of London and south of the Barbican Centre.