Renowned actress Dame Judi Dench has found a unique way to honour and remember her dearly departed friends, by planting a tree for each of them in her garden.
Dench revealed her garden has become a living tribute to the people who have touched her life during a recent episode of Countryfile, stating that she has “a lot of famous people in my garden” while discussing her affinity for nature.
Her love for all things green began at a young age, reflecting on how upset she would get when she would witness a tree being cut down.
“As a child, I used to get irrationally upset to see long lorries with huge trees on. I can’t explain that. I still don’t like seeing trees being felled,” she said.
Elsewhere in the program, Dench opened up about her failing eyesight and how she manages to stay positive in the face of adversity.
“I have no option, or I’ll just fall over. But I’ve got wonderful people who help me,” she explained.
The 88-year-old star has been battling advanced macular degeneration, which has posed challenges in reading scripts and delivering the powerful performance she has become known for.
Despite the challenges her condition poses, Dench remains steadfast in her commitment to her career, recently telling The Mirror she wants to work “as much as I can”.
“I mean I can’t see on a film set anymore,” she told the publication.
“And I can’t see to read. So I can’t see much. But you know you just deal with it. Get on. It’s difficult for me if I have any length of a part. I haven’t yet found a way. Because I have so many friends who will teach me the script. But I have a photographic memory.”
With a career spanning six decades, Dench has made a lasting mark on stage and screen. She began in 1957 with the Old Vic Company, starring in various Shakespearean roles. While her early work was primarily in theater, she ventured into film, earning a BAFTA Award as Most Promising Newcomer.
In 1968, she garnered praise for her role in Cabaret. Dench then solidified herself as a British theatre luminary, performing for the National Theatre Company and Royal Shakespeare Company. On television, she shone in A Fine Romance and As Time Goes By.
Her film roles included notable appearances in A Room with a View (1985) and her iconic portrayal of M in GoldenEye (1995) and subsequent Bond films.
An eight-time Academy Award nominee, Dench clinched the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998). She also received nominations for Mrs Brown (1997), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2006), Philomena (2013), and Belfast (2021).