The teenage gardener so busy he's started employing his mates

  • Watch Ellie Barker's report

A teenager from Wiltshire who set up his own gardening business during lockdown has now become so popular he has left education to run his business full time.

Alfie Jones from Wootton Basset - otherwise known as 'The Backyard Gardener' - took the set the business up when his GCSEs were cancelled during the pandemic.

In the early days he would take his lawnmower on the back of his bike, but it was not long until he became so high in demand that he saved enough money to buy a van.

Alfie now employs his friends and has even won an award in a national competition for young entrepreneurs.

Gardening has been a passion of Alfie's for as long as he can remember. He said: "I used to mow the lawn before I could even see over the handlebar."

After lockdown, he went back to school to start his A-levels. He said: "I would be at school getting texts from customers saying, 'I know you may be shut but can you just mow this for me' and I would sit under the table in my business lesson and be like 'yep, I'll pop over tonight'."

So Alfie decided to leave full-time education to focus on his business.

Alfie's mum said she could not be more proud.

"I was actually incredibly relieved," she said.

"I'm a teacher, my husband and I went to university and that was the route we wanted (for him).

"We actually took Alfie to the doctor because he just had no enthusiasm and the doctor basically said to us - 'he’s not depressed, he’s going out and winning competitions'."

"It was like we’d been given permission.”

His clients are similarly pleased with Alfie's gardening services. One customer said: "It's a game changer, a total game changer.

"Alfie is one in a million from what I can see - I'm happy to hold on to him for as long as possible."