Which was quite a brave thing for a young lad living in a pit village to do.
But his love of floristry, nurtured all those years ago, has now bloomed to such an extent that he has been selected to create a stand at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show.
Jonathan, 40, who was a pupil at Dinnington Comprehensive, is an international demonstrator and teacher of floristry and floral design, and also works as a freelance designer for a Leeds company.
He is leading a team of 10 Yorkshire designers in creating the National Association of Flower Arrangment Societies’ stand at Chelsea.
He said: “It is based on Monet’s garden at Giverny with the waterlilies and it’s 20ft square.”
“It has a 16ft frame and a water garden underneath, and thousands of flowers, including roses, hydrangeas, water lilies, iris and delphiniums in a colour theme of lilacs, mauves and pinks.”
“Hundreds of man hours have been spent on it and I’ve had to have everything made for the mock-up.”
“I’ve been working on the design in a freezing old barn just ouside Wetherby. It’s been a challege.”
Jonathan’s dad Barry still lives in the family home on Sykes Road, North Anston.
The one sadness for Jonathan is that his mum Eileen won’t be there to see his work. She died last year from breast cancer.
“She knew I had been selected and I would have loved her to be at the show to see my work,” said Jonathan. “She was the one who used to take me along to Dinnington Flower Club and sit and watch the demonstrations, even though she was never a member.”
“I always had a fascination with things that grew and I asked for a greenhouse for my 11th birthday.”
The Chelsea exhibit features award-winning suppliers and growers from Yorkshire and Jonathan said they wanted to reflect pride in the county’s heritage.
The flowers will be combined with unusual foliage to create a three-dimensional floral canvas to catch visitors’ attention.
To reflect Monet’s use of water and light, a section of the frame will include glass droplets and coloured water depicting the interaction between light and water.
James Priest, who is the head gardener at Monet’s garden in Giverny, will be attending the Chelsea Flower Show and visiting the NAFAS display.
Jonathan said: “The display will have to be maintained every morning because the show is on for a week and it has to be at the peak of perfection.”
Jonathan, who now lives in Matlock, is resident florist at Chatsworth Flower Festival in May which is to be featured in a BBC1 documentary looking behind the scenes at events at Chatsworth House.
He was a member of Dinnington Flower Club for quite a few years and has been back to do demonstrations for them.
“You could say that from those roots at Dinnington Flower Club, my career has blossomed,” he laughed.
Margaret Kidger, chairman of Dinnington Floral Art Society, said they had followed his career with interest and were all absolutely thrilled with what he had achieved.
She said: “We have been enthralled by his creativity and ability to make the most stunning arrangements with flowers and foliage.”
“Having followed the progress of the Chelsea stand on the NAFAS web site, we are now eagerly awaiting our visit to the Chelsea Flower Show to see Jonathan’s interpretation of Monet’s garden.”
“We know it will be spectacular. Good luck to Jonathan and also his team which includes June Borrowdale, from Carlton, and Olga Lycett, from Sheffield.”
Chelsea Flower Show runs from 22nd to 26th May and the NAFAS garden will be displayed in the main floral pavilion.