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Community gardener retires after 35 years

A pioneering community gardener in Philadelphia will be "dearly missed" following her recent retirement from the allotment she created.

Libby Goldstein has decided to call time on her involvement with the Southwark/Queen Village Community Garden at Third and Christian Streets, which she founded in 1976, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

She still plans to wander in to offer advice and prune the fig trees, but other than that, she insists she will stay out of everybody's hair.

Ms Goldstein swears and smokes constantly, the newspaper revealed, and is very direct when she wants to give her opinion, a trait that has given her a reputation for being difficult.

However, most of the people she has worked with will remember her as a mentor and icon of the area, whose work has proved invaluable in keeping the allotment going.

"I tried to talk her out of it, but her mind was made up. She will be dearly missed," said garden president Carolyn Scott.