TheOrator.Press Events Dear Boy. Events! The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival ~ July 2022

The Business of Building Medal Winning Gardens & Great Working Relationships. And The Power of On The Job Apprenticeships.

TheOrator.Press Online Magazine Was Thrilled To Make Its Debut Appearance At The RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival This Summer. As Part of The Media Throng We Were There To Report On What Was Going On, Who Was About, Doing What (With Whom!). There Were Fancy Flowers, Fancy Gardens, Fancy Food. And Fancy People. As One Might Expect It Was Absolutely Fabulous!

Most Moving of All Is The Fact That There Were Also Some Fabulous Down To Earth People Who Were Really Approachable, Great To Talk To, Full of Surprises And Who Restored One’s Faith In Humanity. We Spoke To A Number of Them, Including Work Colleagues Gavin & Tristan of Lifestyle Garden & Design Ltd.

They Say You Reap What You Sew. These Two Gentlemen Started Building A Budding Working Relationship 9 Years Ago When New Company Owner Gavin Gave Tristan A Job Helping Out In His Garden Design Business, Laying The Foundations of A New Career For Tristan.

Virtually A Decade Down The Line The Two Men Are Part of A Worldclass Garden Design Team That Have Just Won An RHS Silver Guilt Medal. It Was A Joy To Speak To Both of Them And Find Out What’s At The Heart of Their Business Success.

Teamwork Makes The Dreamwork. Members of Team ‘Lifestyle Gardens & Design Ltd.’ Literally Down To Earth, Company Boss Gavin, (Centre, Ground). Close Workmate Tristan (Right). Burley Bearded Viking-Esque Man (Centre, Glasses). Handsome Man With Bandana (Left). @lifestyle_gardens

The Wooden Spoon Garden Was A Debut Entry For Gardening Team Toni Bowater & Luch Welsh. Whilst They Did The Gardening, Gavin And His Team Did The Building And Construction. Winning The Silver Guilt Medal On Their Debut Outing Was A Joyous Ocassion For Everybody Involved. @The_Rhs

Learning On The Job With A Good Team of People

Triston Dominique Is A Landscape Gardener Who Loves His Job And The Company He Works For. TheOrator.Press  Online Magazine Sat Down With Him (In The Sunken Garden Wooden Spoon Garden He Helped To Build) To Learn More About His Path Into The Landscape Gardening Business And During Our Interview Learn More About The Transformative Power of Good Leadership, Diversity And Inclusion  When It Comes To Learning.

TO.P: How Did You Come To Be A Landscape Gardener?

TD: Funnily It Was Through My Brother –In-Law. I Did My First Landscaping Project With Him. I Loved It And Never Looked Back. And Since Then it’s Opened Up A lot of Doors For Me Doing What I Enjoy Most.

TO.P: When You Did Your First Landscape Garden With Your Brother-In-Law Were You Qualified Then Or Were You Just Helping Him Out?

TD: I Was Just Helping Him Out

TO.P: And What Did You Like About It That Made You Go On To Get Qualified And Progress In This Area?

TD: It’s Just The Freedom You Have To Go On And Create Things. I Loved To Learn How Things Went Together In Terms of The Structure of Things. Once We Did One or Two Gardens I Then Found Out It Was Something I Wanted To Do More of And I Think I’ve Been Doing It For The Last Nine And A Half Years Now. And I Haven’t Looked Back Since.

TO.P: So Where Did You Study Your Landscape Gardening And What Would You Say Was Your Path And The Best Path?

TD: Luckily For Me I Had Good People Around Me. People That Had A lot More Experience Than What I Had. And For The Me The One Thing I Enjoy Most Is Doing New Things. No Two Projects Are The Same. Everyone’s Slightly Different, Even If The Finishes Are Very Similar. Having People Like My Brother-In-Law By My Side, Anytime I Felt Lost or Thought I Was Off The Beaten Track, He Would Always Guide Me Back And Say “Look T’ This Is How We Do It” or “This Is Why We Do It” And It Always Helped Me Get Through It.

TO.P: I Like What You Said There”… This Is How We Do It” – And – “This Is Why We Do It”. Do You Think “The ‘Why’ of Something Is Very Important”?

TD: Absolutely. Absolutely.  By Knowing The ‘Why’ It Gives You A Legitimate Reason For Example As To Why We Don’t Want Water Sitting On Our Timber (Because It Leads To Rot Etc). By Him Telling Me The ‘Whys’, Not Just That It Needs To Be Done, The ‘Whys’ Make It Easier And Make You Feel Like You’re Doing The Right Thing.

For Me Because I Have Been Working With My Brother-In-Law For So Long Most of The Time It Has Just Been [Learning] On Site Fortunately. Just Day In Day Out For The Last Nine And A Half Years. Monday To Friday. And The Weekends As Well, If I May Say So. Project To Project.

TO.P: So You’re A Shining Example That The Way To Success Is Not Always Academic, But Sometimes It’s An Apprenticeship And Dedication And Discipline.

TD: Oh Absolutely. I’ve Always Been A Visual Learner. Before Landscaping I Was A Professional  Rollerblader.

TO.P: Wow!

TD: Again, It’s All About Being Creative. Just Like The Great Outdoors And Landscaping That We Do. For Me I Found It Really Easy As Opposed To Learning From A Book or Off A Board. Using Your Hands, Getting It Wrong And Making It Right, It Always The Best Way To Know Right From Wrong, As Such.

TO.P: Trial And Error.

TD: Trial And Error. That’s It!

Gavin Has Developed The Gift of Building & Working With Winning Teams, Including Tristan & The Guys And Lucy And Toni. @lifestyle_gardens @lucy_inthegarden

Thoroughly Decent, Fair, Funny, And Forward Thinking

Triston’s Brother-In-Law Is Gavin. The CEO of Lifestyle Gardens Design And Build Limited ( He Is Handsome, Naturally Funny, Hardworking, Often In A Hard Hat And Something of A Humanitarian. He Worked In South Africa For A Substantial Amount of Time And Helped With A Community Garden Project Out There.

We Met Him Earlier This Week On The First Day of The Garden Festival After His Garden Won A Silver Guilt Medal. It Was The Wooden Spoon Garden Submitted By Toni Bowater And Lucy Welsh And Constructed By His Company, (

He’s Very Proud of Tristan So We Were Thrilled To Sit In The Garden And Have A Chat With Him About His Garden Construction Experience On The Last Day (Saturday July 9 2022).

TO.P:  So How Did You Meet Gavin?

TD: Through My Partner of 14 Years.

TO.P: Wow! We Love A Bit of Romance Here At TheOrator.Press, So Let’s Just Interject For A Moment. How Did You Meet Your Partner of 14 Years.

TD: We Shared The Same Friends So That Brought Us Together Firstly And Then With The Experiences We Shared In The Friends Circle, As Such, One Thing Led To Another. For Us Two, We Both Liked Cars And Things Like That, So We’d Go On Car Meets And Things Like That. And Music.

I Was Working For Another Company But Looking For A Job And At The Same Time Gavin Was Setting Up The Company. My Partner Pointed Me Towards Gavin. I Worked With Him For One Day And After That Ended Up Staying With Him For Nine Years.

TO.P: Well TheOrator.Press Met Your Brother-In-Law On Monday  (July 4 2022) When We Were Here As Part of Press Day On Monday, And He’s A Lovely Guy Isn’t He? He Just So Full of Positivity. But He Could Not Stop Singing Your Praises. We  Know Guys Can Be A Bit Macho Sometimes And Not Tell Each Other How Much They Like Each Other or Love Each Other, So We Must Tell You He Just Kept Singing Your Praises. You Obviously Hit It Off With Each Other.

TD:  Oh Absolutely. Gavin Is Full of Beans. For Me He’s One of My Heroes. Literally. Only Because Throughout All The Years I’ve Been Working For Him, With, And Alongside Him, Nothing’s Too Much To Ask, He’s Always Friendly, He’s A Team Player And He’s A Leader. He Will Show You By Example As Opposed To Pointing And Saying Do It Like This. He Will Actually Go Over “How I Want It Done. Why I Want It Done.” And He’s Always Light-hearted With It. So He Makes It Humorous.

TO.P: Yes, He’s Very Funny! He Was Telling Us About A Time In 2019 Here At The RHS Hampton Court Flower Show When He Looked Around And Observed That You And Another Black Guy You Were Working With Were The Only Two Black Guys Here Doing What You Do And How He Literally Gave You A Pat On The Back As He Was So Proud of You. And He Said You Two Should Be Proud of Yourselves Because You’re Doing Something Different.

TO.P: Do You Feel Like You’re Doing Something Different And What Do You Feel About Diversity Within This Arena?

TD: I Acknowledge What He Said. I Knew What He Meant. It Was Me And Another Colleague Called Kwame, That Were The Two Young Black Males Here, And There’s Not A lot of Us. And Someone  Asked The Question, How Can We Get More Young Black Males Involved In Landscaping (A Designer Called Polly I Think).

And Funnily Enough It Was Tricky Because One Thing I Did Say Back To Her Was That Because I Got Introduced To It By Gavin It Was Quite Easy For Me To Take A Liking To It, But I Feel If I Didn’t Work For Gav’ And I Worked For Maybe A Stranger That Maybe Didn’t Hold Me So Closely Under His Wing, I May Not Have Got Into It As I Have Done. You Know. And It’s Not Because I Don’t Like it, Because I Love What I Do, But It’s About Feeling Included, Feeling Like Part of The Team, These Things Go A Long Way, When You Feel Like You’re Part of The Team And You Are Working And Everyone Is Pushing In The Same Direction, Whereas A lot of The Times I Can Only Imagine You May Feel Like A Third Member As Opposed To Feeling Like Part of The Whole Collective Process.

TO.P: So That’s A Really Important Example of Treating People With Respect And Humanity And Making Them Feel Included And Actually The Business of And Concept of Inclusion Within The Work Place.

TD: Oh Absolutely. With Lifestyle Gardens, Everybody Is Included And Everybody Has Different Strengths, At Different Time, And Everyone Gets The chance To Much In And Get Involved And Do Their Best And Be Their Best.

The Wooden Spoon Garden Under Construction

Opportunities And Aspirations

TO.P: And Ultimately What Is The Answer To Polly’s Question?

TD: I’d Definitely Say It’s A Thing Where You Have To Give People More Chances. Not Only Give People More Chances…

Again It Is A Tricky Question…

Because For Myself I Felt Really Part of His Team, Part of His Family, So I Wasn’t Only Doing It For Him I Was Doing It For The Betterment of Myself As Well, So It Could Take Me Further. But I Find A lot of The Young Guys That I Hang Around  Their First Choice Wasn’t Landscaping, Not Because It’s Hard Work Or Anything, Just Because They Never See Themselves Doing It. But The Best Way To Get People Involved Is To Give Them Opportunity. And If They Know There’s Roles Going, I’m Sure They Will Get Involved. And If They Like The Team They Work With I’m Sure That’s A Reason To Stick Around.

TO.P: So Maybe TheOrator.Press Speaking To You Today At The RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival July 2022 And You Sharing This Interview And The Way You Have Spoken So Engagingly About The Importance of Inclusion, And Sharing That On Your Social Media (And Indeed Possibly on Lifestyle Garden Design And Construction) Maybe That’s A Way To Help Change Things.

Because TheOrator.Press Is A Positive Magazine (…For Positive People, By Positive People) And That’s What We’re About…Changing The Narrative, Breaking Down Stereotypes And Presenting More Positive Images of The Beautiful Positive People Within Our Community (And Our Friends And Allies).

How Important Do You Feel That Is?

TD: Oh Yeah, Absolutely. Seeing More People Like Myself Involved Would Definitely Make It Easier For One To Get Involved And Feel Like ‘I’m Part of The Process And I’m Not The Odd One Out As Such’ So That Would Definitely Make A Big Difference. And The More Young People See Things Like That On Social Media, Knowing That Their Friends And Family Do It, Absolutely Makes It Easier. You Know. You Feel Like It’s Something You Could Get Involved In And Aspire To.

The Award-Winning Wooden Spoon Garden ‘After’ The Before (Above) ! Designed By Toni Bowater and Lucy Welsh @lucy_inthegarden. Constructed By Lifestyle Garden Design & Build Ltd @lifestyle_gardens Sponsored by The Wooden Spoon Trust and FJB Systems. Get Started Garden. RHS Hampton Court Palace Garden Festival 2022. Stand No. 371


TO.P: So We’re Sitting In The Garden Here, The One You Helped Design, Tell Me How You Feel About Helping With It And The End Result?

TD: I Absolutely Love The Garden. The Things That We Helped Put Into Place Was The Oak Sleepers That You See Here. We All Helped Put Those Together. There Was Me And A Few Other Guys Working On It. There Was Gavin, Obi, And A Gentleman Called Jason. And There Was Tony. Everyone Played A Big Role in Getting It To Where It Is Today. Without Anyone of Them I Think We Would Have Struggled Getting It To Look Like How It Has Done. Because It Does Look Absolutely Amazing. And I Would Love To Do It Again In A Heartbeat. So Absolutely Awesome. I’m Really Chuffed With It.

TO.P: And We See You’ve Got You’re Wife And Kids Here Today. How Are They Enjoying It. Especially The Kids?

TD: Mia Absolutely Loves The Water Feature. She Couldn’t Get Enough. She Got Soaking Wet But Absolutely Loved Every Minute of It. And Now You See Her Older Brother Follow In Her Footsteps Doing The Same. So Yeah, They Really Do Love It. Really Enjoy It. And They’re Really Proud of Me They Say So That Makes Me Really Happy.

TO.P: Oh That’s Nice. And What About The Mrs?

TD: Ah, So, The Mrs, She Does Enjoy It And Em’ I’ve Told Her All About It And How Hard The Ground Was, Because The Ground Was Really, Really Hard To Dig, But Other Than That I Think She Really Likes It And What We’ve Done.

TO.P: And Finally Can You Tell Me What You Love Most About The Garden?

[AT This Point, Lucy, One of The Garden Designers Turns Up And Joins Us.]

TD: One of The Best Things About Working On This Garden, The Wooden Spoon Garden, Was Working Alongside People Like Lucy, Tony, My Brother-In-Law And All The Other People That Were Involved Made It Incredible. And They Really Made You Feel A Part of It All. So, For Me That Went A Long Way.

TO.P: It’s A Big Deal To You Isn’t It, Inclusion?

TD: Absolutely!

TO.P: Well We Are Thrilled To Have Included You In TheOrator.Press Business Page And Hopefully We’ll Interview You Again And Keep Up With Your Wonderful Career In Garden Development And Landscaping. We Thank You For Talking To Us.

TD: Thank You. It’s Been A Pleasure.

TO.P: Thank You Sir. Likewise.

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