Better Homes and Gardens landscaper Jason Hodges doesn't mind praise for his recent award win at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show.
But compare him with the likes of fellow award-winning landscaper turned popular TV personality Jamie Durie and you're bound to get a self-deprecating response.
"You're talking to a guy who grew sunflowers from the age of seven and used to clean gardens at school when he got into trouble," he laughed.
Fresh from picking up his fourth consecutive MIFGS gold medal - for designing an idyllic eco-garden that cost a few hundred dollars and was built using materials he salvaged from council throw outs - it's not wildly far-fetched to suggest Hodges could follow in Durie's footsteps when he takes on the Brits at the Chelsea Flower Show in London next month.
Having attended the show many times to film episodes for Seven's hit home and garden series, it will be Hodges' debut as a show designer where he will be backed by seven-time Australian exhibitor, Fleming's Nurseries.
To exhibit at the show is considered an honour as each participant is exclusively invited by the UK's leading garden body, the Royal Horticultural Society.
So to say Hodges is excited to be taking part is an under statement.
"It feels fantastic," he beamed. "There have only been seven Australians before me invited to the show so if you would have told me I'd be doing this 10 years ago when I was mowing lawns and cleaning peoples' gardens, I would have laughed."
Upon arrival he and the team will have just 17 days to erect the garden, which will include an outdoor pavilion and dining area, heated spa and semi-private outdoor bathroom.
Costing well over $100,000, Hodges said it was designed to represent the modern Aussie backyard by bringing together traditional and contemporary outdoor elements like the barbecue, pizza oven, decked area and spa.
"It's funny because you wouldn't think a pizza oven is an Australian thing but it's so popular these days," he said.
In paying homage to his two favourite Australian cities - Sydney and Melbourne - Hodges looked to local neighbourhoods and landmarks for inspiration.
"The bluestone floors we will use remind me of the roads, kerbs and gutters in Melbourne and the sandstone walls will be on a slight angle leaning backwards, which reminds me of the pews at Harbour Bridge," he said. "So essentially these things are representing the two Australian cities that I've spend the most time in."
Plants comprise a diverse array of exotic and native species, most of which can also be found in Sydney and Melbourne.
In February, part of the team were sent on an arduous plant sourcing trip through the UK, Spain and Italy to track down the extensive list of sub-tropical plant varieties that Hodges plans to use in the garden.
"The plants are predominantly natives," Hodges said. "And if they're not native they're the varieties that work well in our climate."
But amid the excitement of it all, is he nervous?
"Not really. I can let the nerves consume me," he said. "So I'm just going to enjoy the ride and try to build the best garden I can with a group of people that I'm close to. Oh, and put on a good show for the Queen."
Would you intervene in a life-threatening crisis?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.