For 30 years, Bob Holdawanski has made it his mission to ensure the grounds in and around St George's Hospital are looking tip-top.

But now the Trust's head gardener has announced his retirement.

“The grounds at St George’s have won nine awards over the years, including London in Bloom and a number of golds for Wandsworth in Bloom," Bob said when asked about some of his highlights.

"Also, for me, just changing the gardens is a highlight.

“I try to make sure the entrances have great colour to cheer everyone up, and people do appreciate the effort.”

Bob’s career at St George’s began in October 1989 and he had a huge impact in making sure the grounds team did so much more than just pick up cigarette butts.

He was also instrumental in helping to establish Project Search at the hospital, with a number of students doing placements with the team, and even going on to join on a permanent basis.

Wandsworth Times:

St George's Hospital chief executive Jacqueline Totterdell and Bob Holdawanski

Bob and the team also play a key role in keeping the site safe during the winter months, and it is a source of personal pride for him that the St George’s site has never experienced serious disruption or closure due to bad weather.

On his plans for retirement, he said: “I love to travel and am a bit of a photographer.

"I’ve lived in London for 40 years but I haven’t really travelled around much, so I want to travel to the end of every Tube line.

"I hope to find out why Cockfosters is called Cockfosters!”

Bob isn’t quite finished with St George’s yet though, he plans to come back for a few days a week to help with the transition for our new head gardener.

Jenni Doman, Deputy Director, Estates and Facilities and Mary Prior, Acting Assistant Director of Facilities, added: “Bob is a St George’s legend and has provided 30 years of wonderful, dedicated service to the Trust. Countless patients, visitors and staff have enjoyed his work on our gardens, making them a big part of the healing environment.

“Bob has done so much more as well, from supporting fellow members of staff, to raising money for charity. Thank you Bob and all the best for your retirement.”