Ray is 81 and he lives in Shirley with his dog Holly. He loves gardening and has been tending to the front of his flat block for many years now. He used to do it with his wife Barbara when they first moved in. Sadly she passed away this year and Ray found it difficult to stay motivated to continue.
Fortunately his children convinced him to continue this year and now Ray has created a beautiful, bright and colourful garden for the residents, and passersby to enjoy!
When Ray first started doing the garden he was just trimming it back so it didn’t look like such a jungle, as it had been left to overgrow for years. He didn’t know that this would spark the love of gardening he has now. From there he went to the local garden centre every week, bought more seedlings, and researched different plants to see what was best to grow. Now he has a beautiful display in an area that measures just 20ft x 28ft and has become somewhat of a celebrity in his local area.
As an ex-builder he has plenty of expertise: the tower in the middle of the grass and the archways to the sides he made himself in order to cram more into his “Oasis of colour”, as he likes to call it.
Many people have nominated him for awards in the past and, Ray said: “I am very grateful people appreciate the work I put in, but I don’t do it for the recognition, I do it because I love doing it. I have struggled to do so much gardening this year, but despite that there are over 2,500 plants are still very much in bloom; which is a joy to look out to.”
David said: “This display is a neighbourhood show stopper, people can not help to be impressed, it puts smiles on peoples faces. Ray achieves against all odds he is a credit to his community.”