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Lucas Richards in his garden.

Lucas Richards in his garden.

Gardening bug grows in young Lucas

Richard Wright

[email protected]

Friday, January 12, 2018 - 15:20

GARDENERS come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, ages and abilities, desires and dreams.
There are the aged and determined, forced like one allotment holder I know to do all his gardening on his knees because his back is in such bad shape.
There is the dabbler, who likes a few flowers and vegetables, and the showman (or woman) who seeks perfection.
Then there is the likes of Lucas Richards, who looks as if he will fill the latter category handsomely if other distractions don’t come his way as they tend to do.
I stuck with gardening, despite the girls and the other fine things in young life, taking my first boggy allotment in the appropriately named Quarry Road, Ryde, at the tender age of 13 (two years older than Lucas).
I sincerely hope he hangs on to his hobby too and hones his already considerable skills because the Ryde Academy student has got talent.
Lucas, who has his own patch in his family’s Eddington Road garden at Nettlestone, won a top prize in Ryde in Bloom and has now followed that up by winning a national contest, judged the best by no less than Louise Midgley, the gardening editor of the Daily Express.
He won £100 in Wilkinson’s vouchers for best junior gardener, was second overall in the contest and won this accolade from Louise: “I had loads of images to scroll through but I knew the moment I saw yours it would be the winner.
“I loved the way you had grouped a tapestry of colourful plants together in the raised bed, pots and wheelbarrow. 
“I also liked the fact you had thought about wildlife with the bug hotels and a mix of flowers that would attract pollinators.”
Louise, like me and in common with Lucas, had adult encouragement, which is so important. With me it was my father, Louise had her grandfather and Lucas his mother, Andria, and her partner, Keith.
But he also had that gardening seed inside him from an early age, germinating away and sprouting, as it does.
“Lucas has loved the garden since he was really tiny and is so keen. Despite that, he was so shocked to have been picked,” said his justifiably proud mother.
He is modest too.
The boy has got it all ahead of him.

 


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