WHEN Lee Mottram was made redundant, he didn't wait for something to turn up in the post – he turned to his postman.
Armed with just a lawnmower and a strimmer, Lee and Exeter postie Simon Courtney set up Park Lane Garden Services in Lee's Pinhoe garage.
Now, just three years later, the company has won a top national landscape gardening prize – and come home £3,000 richer.
A stunned Lee said: "We couldn't believe it. It is wonderful. We had a letter saying we were among the finalists in the Ground Control Awards for our work on EDF's site in Exeter.
"We travelled up to Essex for the awards and we couldn't believe it when we were called up as winners for the best Ground Control site in the UK.
"We had to come home carrying a giant cheque for £3,000 through London."
Lee had lost his job as a forklift operator, and had decided to set up a landscape gardening business in his garage at home in Park Lane, Pinhoe, allowing him to develop his love of gardening.
He'd started by helping out neighbours, which led to him building up a regular gardening customer base.
He did a number of horticultural courses at Bicton College and achieved his chainsaw and tree-felling qualifications and is qualified in pesticide spraying.
Simon specialises in the fencing site of the business. They have two staff, one a near-qualified apprentice. The company looks after a number of leading sites in Exeter, including Waitrose, B&Q Alphington and EDF.