December 9, 2017 11:36 IST

Judi Dench plants trees in memory of friends, family

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Actress Judi Dench says she created a "secret woodland" in her garden by planting trees in remembrance of friends, relatives and actors who have died. She talked about her way of paying tribute to her friends and family members in a documentary "Judi Dench, My Passion For Trees", reports telegraph.co.uk. The actress, 82, said she had been naming trees after dead acquaintances for decades in her six acre plot in Surrey, England. She said she views them as her "extended family".
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In the one-hour special, "Judi Dench, My Passion For Trees", she told filmmakers how she had planted trees in memory of actors Ian Richardson and Natasha Richardson, as well as her late husband Michael Williams, who died in 2001. "Ever since I was a little girl, I have been interested in trees. I've even turned my six acre garden into a secret woodland, and I see my trees as my extended family. My life now is just trees. Trees and champagne," Dench said.
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For actor Robert Hardy, who died in August, she planted a yew tree, because Hardy was a published authority and collector of longbows, which were made from the tree. She added: "I started planting trees here with my actor and husband Michael Williams. Every time a relative or friend died, we would plant a tree.
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"There is one for Stephen Hanley, who performed in 'A Little Night Music'. It's very like him, he was very tall and pale. We have Ian Richardson, and Natasha Richardson. "It is about remembering and for me, it's something that's living and goes on, the memory goes on and gets more wonderful."