Designer of multi-award-winning Northampton garden passes away

Michael Flavell in his beautiful garden
Michael Flavell in his beautiful garden

Michael Flavell, who designed and cultivated a much-admired garden passed away on August 7, aged 80.

Mr Flavell lived on the Billing Road, opposite one of the hospital entrances, and frequently received cards and comments from patients, visitors and members of the public, who said that his colourful displays lifted their spirits.

He won the Northampton in Bloom award three years in a row.

His wife, Cllr Penelope Flavell, paid tribute to her husband, saying: “We would often have notes put through the door from people saying that Michael’s garden was a wonderful oasis in the town and that it had made them smile and feel better when they came out of the hospital.

"People walking past would thank him as he worked on the garden and they would take photos. When he was in hospital himself, his consultant and nurses knew which house he lived in because of the garden. He was so pleased to think that his efforts made others happy.”

Mr Flavell, a devoted father of two daughters and a step-son and a grandfather of three, was born in Northampton, and for many years worked in banking.

He worked for a time in America before returning to the area as branch manager of Leamington Spa Building Society.

He then met his wife, whom he married in 1980 at St Peter’s Church, Weston Favell. Together, they ran the interior design firm Flavell-Scott for 30 years in St Giles’ Street and Hazelwood Road.

When the couple moved to the Billing Road, Mr Flavell transformed the front area into a stunning floral display, bringing joy to many passers-by.

Cllr Flavell said: “We lived and worked together every day for 40 years and we got on absolutely brilliantly. He meant the world to me. Michael encouraged and supported me in everything in life.

"During my mayoral year, he was my consort and stood by me at every event with his characteristic good humour and charm. We have had so many cards from people saying how much Michael will be missed.

"They have paid tribute to how kind and warm Michael was; what a jovial, fun chap and a true gentleman. He was a real family man who enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his children and grandchildren and keeping up his beautiful garden.”

Mr Flavell was also a life-long supporter of Northampton Saints and played for one of the Saints teams in his youth.

He was an accomplished athlete in his younger years, as well as an extremely talented artist.