Brentwood Gazette - November 2014

Brentwood Gazette - November 2014

Brentwood Gazette

Originally published on 26th November 2014 Download a copy

Everything just rosy for Chelsea champion Sean. The top landscaper's firm keeps growing and will collect two national awards.

Tucked away in his loft, civil engineer Sean Butler single-handedly embarked on a new chapter as a landscape gardener.

Two decades later, Cube bespoke landscapes boasts a team of 27, its own gallery in Danbury and three consecutive Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Show medals.

"My first project was very small, in April 1994, costing £5,000, and I've never looked back," says Sean.

"Since then we have always had work and we only ever shut for two weeks at Christmas."

The company's growth has been emphatic and the team are collecting two national awards at an Oscars-style London ceremony next month. Cube could even walk away as overall winner of the British Association of Landscape Industries ceremony when the final overall winner is announced.

"We're absolutely thrilled, really pleased with the awards, it's like winning gold at Chelsea," said Sean.

"It's good for the team to be recognised for the hard work they put into these sorts of projects and for the quality of work we put in on a daily basis."

Last month, Cube won the Domestic Garden Construction award (for projects costing from £60,000 to £100,000) for its New England-style garden for an American couple in Hertfordshire. It was also crowned the winner of the Community and Schools Development Award for its £270,000 garden for dementia patients at a Westcliff-on-Sea care home.

The design, entitled Walkway to a Long Life, included a rose garden, a fountain garden, a gazebo and rubberised yellow footpath. Pictures of the 0.3-acre garden are being used by leading health charity the King's Fund as an example of "design excellence".

Just a fortnight ago, the team discovered a recent design of theirs, a creation raising awareness for breast cancer, had been accepted for the 2015 Chelsea Flower Show. It includes reflective pools which ripple every 10 seconds, representing how frequently a women is diagnosed with the disease, a figure-of eight stone path and a bronze statue of a naked woman.

Last summer's Hampton Court Palace Flower Show entry, which won silver, surrounded an "absolutely fantastic" stone sculpture, and seven inmates from prisons around the South East helped build it.

"What makes us different to other landscape businesses is having that civil engineering kind of background" said Chelmsford-born Sean, 50.

The married father-of-six said he couldn't imagine working as anything other than an outdoor labourer. At the age of two, a workman escorted him back home after he was found wandering around sucking his dummy, in a Galleywood building site. By four he was planting vegetables in his mother's garden and helping at his grandfather's allotment.

Reaching 29 he was itching to branch out of civil engineering.

"I just wanted to create a business, something that I could do which I enjoyed," said Sean, who started the business in Springfield, Chelmsford, and now lives in Wickham Bishops.

The firm now turns over a "couple of million" annually.

"We really have a passion for gardens," said Sean.

The firm's walk-in gallery manned by personal assistants Daniela Daubner and Anastasia Stamos, is open six days a week in Main Road, Danbury.