When Thompson & Morgan customer Eugene Baston and his son Reuben first entered their back garden into the Bicester in Bloom 2011 awards, they had no idea that they might win a prize… but, to their surprise, they won the Gold Award for Best Kept Back Garden!
And not only that, but the garden at the nursery that Reuben attended at the time also won gold and the ‘Best of the best’ award.
Mr Baston had been thinking of a career change and this just helped to fuel his plans. His mother, with whom he used to garden as a child, was very enthusiatic about his plans to become a professional gardener. In November 2011 Ground Level was created, but not a man to do anything by halves, Eugene set himself a challenge – to completely redesign his back garden and to use it to showcase his new business. And to enter the Bicester in Bloom competition again.
He moved the decking, built a path and a water feature, installed sleepers to create raised beds and lights. The project was made even more difficult by the sudden death of his mum, who had been a great inspiration. However, in dedication to her, Eugene carried on and by mid April had relaid the turf and got planting. The garden features a mixture of annuals and perennials, including dahlias (Eugene’s absolute favourite), rudbeckias, gazanias to name but a few.
In spite of this year’s dreadful weather, Eugene, with Reuben’s invaluable help, achieved what he set out to do and entered into the Best Back Garden category of Bicester in Bloom.
To their complete astonishment, they won the Gold Award for Best Kept Back Garden for the 2nd year running! And that wasn’t it – they also won the Best of the Best award!
Eugene and Reuben had also managed to find time to work on Reuben’s school garden, revamping the vegetable patch, borders and containers. The school came away from the competition with two awards.
Reuben, who started school this year and is now 5, loves gardening. He knows all the names of the plants and tells his dad when the potatoes are ready to be harvested!
Well done to you both, what a fantastic achievement!