A garden created by a Banbury company inspired by a young cancer survivor has won a silver merit and the ‘People’s Choice Award’ at the BBC Gardeners’ World Live show in Birmingham.
The garden, created by Banbury-based Pro Gardens Ltd, won the award after being selected as one of five finalists in the APL Avenue Competition at the BBC event.
The inspiration behind its design came after close friends of the company’s owners, Jacqueline and Alan Franklin, learned in 2000 that their son, Oliver Boyles then aged six, had a brain tumour.
The Boyles family, from Banbury, received help and support from CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children, so in order to raise awareness and say thank you Pro Gardens used the family’s experience as inspiration.
Mark Boyles, Oliver’s dad, said, “When you hear the word ‘tumour’ it was devastating, your whole world apart falls in a moment and everything just stops.
“The hospital teams look after your health but CLIC Sargent look after everything else.
“The nurse used to come out and do things like blood tests which made a massive difference because we didn’t have to travel the support came to us.
“We stayed at the Home from Home in Oxford which was a godsend. It gave us peace of mind and made everything easier as we could stay with our son.”
After several trips to the doctors including an emergency trip to hospital, Oliver underwent an operation to remove the tumour and underwent nine months of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Oliver’s treatment was a success and he is six years in remission and his family were delighted that his fight provided inspiration for the garden.
Mr Boyles said: “It’s been absolutely brilliant to have the garden and keep the link to the charity and keep it in the forefront of people’s minds.
“We spoke to people at the show about our story and the charity’s work and it felt great to raise the awareness.”
The design brief was to create a garden suitable for a small back or front space that was inspirational and relatable.
Jacqueline Franklin, from Pro Gardens LTD, said: “The charity does incredible work and we wanted to help raise awareness and funds for them. We’re calling it the CLIC Sargent Garden and the charity’s representatives were at the show talking about some of the work that they do.
“Designing and creating the CLIC Sargent Garden for this competition was a labour of love over the past year. Being selected as one of the five gardens to feature in the final of the competition was exciting enough, but to have received a Silver Merit and the People’s Choice Award, and to have appeared on Gardeners’ World’s special 50th anniversary programme is somewhat overwhelming.”