Chesterfield garden comes up roses to win top award

THE transformation of a garden in Chesterfield has clinched a South Yorkshire landscaper a top award in the gardening world.

Green fingered James Bird has scooped two top national awards to add to his impressive haul of trophies, establishing his company’s growing reputation as one of the leading landscapers in the UK.

James was the principal winner of the prestigious BALI (British Association of Landscape Industries) award for the best project on a domestic garden costing under £20,000 and one of five main winners in the domestic garden between £20,000 - £50,000 category.

For the win in the £20,000 - £50,000 category, James and his team excavated 600 tons of soil and rock to create a sunken garden at the rear of a house in Wadshelf, near Chesterfield. Some of the excavated rock was recycled and used to fill steel Gabion baskets which formed a unique retaining wall for a sunken entertaining area.

The other win in the under £20,000 project was for a contemporary garden design at Wales, Rotherham, with retaining walls, a water feature, paved and border areas and lighting.

He received the accolades from author and broadcaster Gyles Brandreth at a special ceremony held at the Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London.

James, who launched James Bird Landscapes Ltd 21 years ago, said today: “It’s a wonderful feeling to be recognised as being the best in the country and is testament to the hard work and creativity of my team here. We’re all thrilled to bits with this double achievement because the BALI Awards are second to none in the landscaping industry.”

After submitting the entry with photographs of the two projects to BALI, the judges visited the gardens to talk to both James and his clients about the work.

James started winning awards six years ago and his tally includes a Daily Express gold award for a garden at Lodge Moor, Sheffield, as part of Project Life for Channel 4, and numerous BALI awards.

He has also picked up two awards from paving manufacturers Marshalls, one for a driveway installation and the other for being on their approved installers’ list for ten years.

The company, which employs 13 people, undertakes projects of all shapes and sizes, including small ones, in South Yorkshire, Derbyshire and North Notts from its Sheffield base.

James, who sold surf boards before turning to landscaping 21 years ago, added: “We’re delighted with our success but, at the end of the day, however rewarding it is to win awards, customer satisfaction is the biggest accolade we receive. Designing and creating something really special for people is a lovely way of making a living.”