You might have noticed that there has been a long-overdue revival of interest in the music of George Harrison lately. Living in the Material World, a film about the life of the enigmatic former Beatle, opened in cinemas last Tuesday (4th October 2011) and revealed much about the passions which made this talented guitarist tick.

George sadly passed away in 2001 but his spirit lives on in his music… and in the beautiful house and gardens of the South Oxfordshire property he called home for the last 30 years of his eventful life.

When George moved to Friar Park in 1970 he was just 27 and trying to establish himself as a solo star after The Beatles split up.

This time of out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new was also reflected in the extensive renovation work he carried out to the grounds of Friar Park – a place which had been a Catholic nunnery when he bought it.

So overgrown were the gardens that the scaled-down replica of the Matterhorn mountain which original owner Sir Frank Crisp had built in the back garden was covered in weeds and nettles with only its peak poking out above the wilderness.

George set about work filling the dry lakes with water and restoring the grotto at the heart of the underground system of rivers to its former glory.

Did he do a good job of making Friar Park beautiful once more? You can judge for yourself by taking a look at the cover of George’s debut double album All Things Must Pass – a record which contains the song The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp.

This classic album will always be associated with the iconic photo which adorns its sleeve – the one of George surrounded by gnomes in a tree-fringed English garden.

Fans continue to leave flowers outside the gates of Friar Park near Henley-on-Thames as a tribute to a man whose passion for music, spirituality (and, of course, gardening) inspired so many.