Judging may be over for this year’s Leeds in Bloom competition, but one gardening whizz is already preparing for next year’s event.
Green-fingered Les Marshall, has won seven gold medals and one silver in previous Bloom competitions, yet is more determined than ever for gardening glory in 2014.
It’s the one event everyone who loves their garden wants to win.
Les, 69, who lives off Colton Lane, east Leeds, said: “I’m already thinking about next year’s event, I’m going to have more containers with flowers and summer bulbs in them, I can ‘hide’ the containers behind the greenhouse until the flowers. are in bloom, and remove them again to allow the bulb leaves die down.
“I’m checking good plants and ideas for a small heavy shaded area under some conifers; again removable containers may be a good solution.”
Wife Sylvia said: “He doesn’t have a shed, but he goes in his greenhouse quite a lot.
“To say the garden is not very big, he has done wonders with it. It is nice and I have no objection to him being in the garden. He is non-stop busy.”
The fundraiser, who has helped to raise £100,000 for the Garry Chappelow Memorial Fund which donates cash for equipment to local sporting clubs, re-designed his garden in 2005, when he introduced boulders, a waterfall, two small ponds and connecting streams.
And Les also keeps fish in his pond: “The pond pump sends the water to the two filters which are situated in my greenhouse, and a added bonus of having an area of the pond in the greenhouse, is when it rains heavily, the fish can swim in to the greenhouse for shelter.
“I no longer stick to only alpine plants; I now plant more colourful flowering plants.
“Because of the major alterations I was very pleased to be awarded gold this year, as I thought that the changes were rather dramatic, but the judge didn’t agree and awarded me my seventh gold to add to the silver that I won the first year that I entered Leeds in Bloom.
Les, a retired surveyor and former joiner who has one daughter Julie, added: “I have a net over the pond, ugly I know, but the heron enjoys a snack and without the net, it would ‘scoff’ all my fish.”
He has started growing clematis and even hybridising them, crossing different colours.
“I’m busier now than when I was working full time, but do enjoy it all.”