St Albans nurseries staff pay tribute to founder Roger Aylett

A SEA of blue was the backdrop to the late Roger Aylett’s funeral procession yesterday.

The procession started at the very same place where Mr Aylett, who died last month aged 76, begin his business over 50 years ago. After winding through the main car park, the hearse came to a stop in front of a congregation of family, friends and Aylett Nurseries employees for a one-minute silence at 1.30pm.

As Aylett Nurseries customers watched from the sidelines, the hearse and family left the garden centre for St Albans Abbey, where a service of Thanksgiving was held.

Mr Aylett trained in agriculture and horticulture at Oaklands College before starting Aylett Nurseries at the age of 21 – a business he expanded from nothing more than a shed shop.

During his lifetime, Mr Aylett won myriad awards on behalf of the nursery, including the Veitch Memorial Medal from the Royal Horticultural Society for outstanding contributions to the science and practice of horticulture.

Mr Aylett, who lived to see Aylett Nurseries named the third best independent UK garden centre by Which? Gardening magazine, is described by family as a true gentleman. He is survived by his wife Hazel, two married daughters Julie and Sally and four grandchildren.