Ben’s hoping to grow into his dream career
WHILE his classmates play football and enjoy computer games, Ben Gibbs can be found tending geraniums in his greenhouse.
For the 13-year-old Cliff Park High School pupil has discovered a talent for gardening and spends all his free time honing his skills.
He has two allotments, a well-stocked greenhouse and pedals to gardening jobs around the village with a trailer full of tools behind his bike.
And for Christmas all his gifts were green-fingered - including gardening gloves, seeds and a trowel. His dream is to become head gardener at Somerleyton Hall one day, and he says he is at his happiest when he is with his plants.
“I do get quite excited when I grow vegetables,” said Ben, of Station Road North, Belton. “I’ve got that many on the go I just want to share them with the world.”
He takes inspiration from Monty Don on Gardeners’ World - and his 73-year-old grandad Mervyn - and hopes he will get far in life by turning his passion into a living.
To help him achieve this he has had 250 BG Gardening Services business cards printed and sells his hanging baskets at car boot sales.
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“I’m going to stick at this,” enthused Ben. “I think it’s a great hobby and I hope to get further in life with it.”
He first began dabbling in the garden when he was nine, and now grows a forest of vegetation including geraniums, hollyhocks and beetroot.
His bank worker mum Caroline is proud of her son’s passion.
“I think it’s the most fabulous thing,” she said. “You do worry with your children about what they’re going to achieve - and Ben has struggled at school - so to find he’s so focused at something like this is fantastic. This is his niche in life.”
His sister Bethany, 18, and brother Robbie, 11, have no interest in gardening - and Ben’s knack helps dad Darrell keep the garden in check as he works offshore.
Ben hopes to go to horticultural college when he finishes his GCSEs, and has started keeping a log of the work he does around the village, including sprucing up planters outside the chip shop. But his ambitions are much greater than that.
“I’m going to write to the BBC to get a gardening show,” revealed Ben. “I think I’ve got a good chance as there are too many property programmes in the mornings.”
To request Ben’s gardening help, call him on 01493 782483.