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Student has designs on gardening fame

PUBLISHED: 07:47 20 June 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 22 October 2010

CELIA WIGG

Move over Alan Titchmarsh and Diarmuid Gavin.

For the popular TV perennials are facing a challenge from green-fingered schoolboy Silas Rayner, who is launching his own magazine at the tender age of 16, and hopes to become a hot-shot garden designer.

Move over Alan Titchmarsh and Diarmuid Gavin.

For the popular TV perennials are facing a challenge from green-fingered schoolboy Silas Rayner, who is launching his own magazine at the tender age of 16, and hopes to become a hot-shot garden designer.

Currently a student at Strad-broke Business and Enterprise College, near Eye, Silas has ploughed £500 of his savings into producing The Garden Pot - a monthly magazine that will initially target people living in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Promoted as "The exclusive gardening magazine for the creative gardener," the first edition is due out on July 1.

Features include an article on the world's hottest chilli, plant of the month - phyllostachy nigra (black bamboo) - and a "definitive list" of garden centres.

As part of the business initiative, Silas has also set up his own website and is offering a free 32-page book of Latin plant names - written by college teacher Laurie Hammond - as an incentive when customers take out their £21 annual subscription.

"I come from Peasenhall in Suffolk and I want to have a career in gardening and am more into the design aspect, and thought a magazine would be a nice thing to do," Silas said.

"Basically I want to find a way of making money without all the hard labour and do something I enjoy. I don't mind being out in the garden doing hard landscaping but shape, form and texture is what I really like.

"The magazine is at Micropress in Halesworth who are printing it for me. I am doing all the legwork myself and the designing as well as writing it and taking pictures. I have also asked other people whether I can use their photos, and am being very careful about copyright."

Silas is not the only one in his family with a creative streak. His mother Anne Steel is a graphic designer who has created logos for Adnams brewery, his father Leslie is a potter/designer and his sister Amy already works as a gardener.

"I think it runs in the family," added Silas. "I'm starting a gardening course at Otley College in September which is the equivalent of three A-levels, and when I'm around 20-21 I plan to go to the RHS college at Wisley and get a name for myself up there.

"But if the magazine takes off I will devote myself to that."

Theo Clarke, director of the business centre at Stradbroke, and Mr Hammond who teaches applied business studies, are among those who have given help and advice.

Mr Hammond described Silas as a capable all-rounder who was expected to get top grades in GCSE exams.

"He is a star. He is full of ideas and has got lots and lots of initiative and natural resources and a positive work ethos which is always delightful to see," he said.

"He's a very likeable guy and has always been prepared to work hard in class and go that extra mile and it's those people who go on to do greater things."

For more details about The Garden Pot visit the website www.garden-pot.co.uk, or email Silas at info@garden-pot.co.uk, or call him on 07910 691483.


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