Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A garden in Bolton needs a Sicilian feel and lots to entertain a pair of energetic boys.
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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens and decades
-..Charlie Dimmock is one
-of Britain's best-loved gardeners.
-Looking good, boys!
But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.
We want to be the brothers that change people's perceptions
-Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Oh, good turn!
-Amazing, isn't it?
..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.
Now, these two different generations of gardening are going head-to head.
I know they've got a gold medal, but I can ham up with a few ideas.
They are meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...
The photos made it look tiny. It is, isn't it?
-I'm sure you've seen larger.
-I don't know what to do with it.
-..and will each pitch them a design based on their needs...
-That looks really exciting.
-This doesn't look like
-it could be our garden.
-..brings their design to life...
-Hold on, hold on!
-Sweet as a nut!
-..and the loser has to help them build it.
Oh, I'm getting irritated now. We are, sort of, faffing around.
-This is what happens...
-Does he ever get irritating?
-All the time.
-..when different styles collide...
-Who chose these?
-One, two, three...
-This looks like your design.
..to turn garden dreams into reality.
-Open your eyes.
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to discover
whose garden they are going head-to-head over his time.
We have just heard from this lovely couple in Lancashire,
Lorna and Luciano. He is from Sicily and has got two Italian restaurants.
Luciano came to the UK 12 years ago and lives in Bolton, with his wife
Lorna and their two sons, Bruno and Rocco.
We all met in this restaurant in which I used to be there -
-restaurant manager in there.
-And I was working part time.
-That was about ten years ago?
-Yeah, was about ten years ago.
They have just moved in to this house seven months ago and finished
-That was quick. Seven months?!
But the garden has, kind of, been left.
Well, it looks pretty cool, doesn't it?
There is gigantic hedge around,
-which is nice and green, for a boundary.
-And the patio -
that looks in quite good condition. It doesn't look that bad!
I know what you mean.
The home was previously owned by an older couple.
In theory, with a little TLC, the garden could be lovely,
but in practice,
it doesn't work for a family with two young children.
There is a lot of stone. A lot of stone edges.
We have got a five-year-old and a one-year-old.
They are massively full of energy, both of them.
-Rocco, when we moved in...
-He ran straight over to the door,
straight up these steps, flew, cut all his legs open on these steps,
so it's like every time he comes out now, we are completely over-the-top.
-"Careful, don't run!"
-"Don't do this, don't do that."
And we don't want that. We want them to run free
without hurting themselves.
So, making the garden safe is a priority,
but that is not the only thing on their wish list.
It would be good to have a nice barbie, a nice pizza oven,
-and make out own dough and make our own pizza.
That would be great.
At 70 square metres, this is a pretty big plot
and because it needs to be a kids' garden and an entertainment space,
the couple have saved hard to get what they want.
Careful on the steps!
Quite a good budget on this one -
-That is big.
-So, all in all, I think it's going to be
a very interesting project.
Charlie and the Rich brothers now know the extent of the challenge
that faces them. They will now compete for the chance to makeover
Lorna and Luciano's garden.
-This is nice, isn't it?
-So, they are all
heading to the family's home in Bolton,
to see the garden for themselves.
-This is beautiful.
-Yeah. Really nice.
They are hoping to get some ideas that may give them an advantage
when it comes to designing the garden.
And straight away, they can see why Lorna and Luciano are anxious about
-the safety of their boys.
-Lots of different levels.
-There is, isn't there?
-A bit of a trip...
..trip hazards here.
-There is good nooks and crannies around here.
-And more level changes.
Lots of hard surfaces and angles and sharp bits.
But the garden does have some saving graces.
-Quite a nice hydrangea, though, isn't it?
-Yeah. There is some
-decent plants around here, isn't there?
It's not the kind of garden you want to be riding a scooter around,
-is it, I don't think!
-Don't give up the day job!
-You've always been pretty cool, haven't you?!
-I'll stick to design!
-Oh, it's a bit of a...
-That's not good.
Charlie wants to chat to the couple about their hopes and dreams
-for the garden...
-..and, as usual,
the boys head inside, for a poke around the family's home.
-Oh, this is a lovely open-plan space, isn't it?
-Wow. It's gorgeous!
And straight away, they have spotted some signs of Luciano's heritage
in the decor.
And that's nice, as well. Look at that chimney.
-That's got a real Mediterranean villa feel.
-It does, yeah.
And they have used raw materials in here. You have the stone fireplace,
-the wooden floor - looks kind of weathered.
-Yeah, really weathered.
-Then you've got those picture frames there. Really earthy.
-That connection with raw materials is key in the garden.
Fabulous spot, this, isn't it?! Big patio, lovely Yorkstone.
Do you want to make this into the entertainment area?
Yeah, cos I think it is right with the sunshine at this time of day.
-Yeah, hopefully, that would be lovely.
-I can see how the steps
are a bit of a problem, especially with Bruno, who is the youngest.
Yep. I think if we just had something where the kids could play,
-which was their area.
-We want something to blend with the wood,
-with the stone and everything, so...
-Steering away from plastic,
-as much as we can.
-We want something safe and sit down and relax,
-watching them play and...
-So, you want them to be a little away
-from your chill-out area?
-Only a tiny bit!
-Look at this.
-Definitely a lot of yellow.
-That's one bold colour, isn't it?
-That would be quite nice, really.
We could reference that into the garden by maybe choosing one colour
and have that run through the garden, like a ribbon or something.
-Would you like a slice of home in this garden?
-Of course, yeah.
-To us, I was brought up with bit. Like olive trees and...
And the lovely smells. I think that is one of the things in Italy.
You go and you are constantly surrounded by these gorgeous smells.
There is something sensory about the gardens. Really lovely.
-We are not asking much, are we?
But this garden is proving to be more challenging by the minute.
It needs to be child-friendly, have an Italian flavour
and be an outdoor dining space.
-The reality is that the £6,500 budget
-could be spread pretty thin.
So, our rival designers get their thinking caps on. Each of them
will come up with a design for Lorna and Luciano's garden that works
within their budget.
The couple will then have to choose a winner and whoever loses
will have to help the winner build the garden.
So, who will the couple go for? Will it be Charlie,
with her practical approach and years of experience
-in creating family gardens?
-Right, here we go!
-Wow. That looks amazing.
Or the boys, who now have a clear idea of this couple's taste?
Can they put that insider knowledge to good use?
-That looks good, eh?
Good first impressions. Good.
It all boils down to this - the pitch.
We know that you needed a very family garden -
something that is really family-orientated - and what
we have done is split it subtly into two kind of spaces.
You have got more of an adult-orientated area here
and then you have got the more child-friendly area at the back.
We want to use this original patio area at the top as your
-al fresco area.
-You can have the little pizza oven,
so really encourage you to eat out and enjoy that aspect of the garden.
-That sounds amazing.
-So, this is half a garden for the grown-ups
and half for your children to use up all their energy.
I have basically taken the wall out on the patio, the lower patio.
That way, it will make that patio seem bigger. And then, I want to
-sweep the lawn up to this higher level...
-..which is going to be
the adults' area, with your pizza oven.
Both designers have taken on board that Luciano's a dab hand
with the pizza dough and wants an entertainment space.
But Charlie is about to go one better and has included
some Mediterranean planting.
To get the Italian, sort of, feel to it, I have gone for
cypress trees - Italian cypress trees - that spiral round, following
the arc of the lawn round, up to this patio area.
Oh, that's lovely.
Not to be outdone, the boys have also chosen plants that will remind
Luciano of home - and will stand up to the rigour of two young boys.
We want to give you large drifts of lavender and this is, kind of,
going to give you this lovely, kind of, floral display in the summer,
but will give you nice, robust, kind of beds, so that Rocco and Bruno
can kick footballs in them and they are not going to mess up,
-you know, all those beds.
-We have also got this avenue of olive trees
here, as well, so it's a really nice extended avenue that leads your eye
-down the garden.
-At night time, we would light these up.
Oh, I like that.
The designers seem to be neck-and-neck, at this stage.
But how will their gardens appeal to Bruno and Rocco?
This area down the bottom of the garden is going to be their area.
The entrance way is a tunnel, that they will have to crawl through.
That sounds amazing. I think I will play with it.
The back here is going to be the child-friendly area.
We want to make it fun, so you enter through this willow tunnel
and it would be living, so it would be something which could change.
You could trim it or add to it. This would lead to a softer lawn area,
where you could have a little willow hut.
Great minds think alike and, incredibly, the designers
have had very similar ideas. But Charlie hasn't finished yet.
She has added a water feature.
I've got very shallow trays of water that drop from one level
to the next and then disappear into a reservoir.
So, the children will be able to put their hands under the running water,
but it is so shallow that it won't be a hazard to them.
-That sounds amazing. That sounds perfect.
-They would love that.
-I will leave you to think on it.
A smart move from Charlie, but will it help her win? Time's up.
-Thank you. Thank you so much.
It is now all down to Lorna and Luciano to decide.
With the garden currently too dangerous for the boys to play in,
it's important for the whole family that they make the right choice.
I like the trees and the lighting at night.
I love the willow tunnel going through there. That looks great.
Yeah, that looks amazing. Let's have a look at the other one.
-I'm in love with the water feature.
Yeah, I think that is a talking point. The children would like
-to touch it.
-Rocco would love that.
-But they can only pick one.
So, which is it going to be?
I think it will be a tough decision to take.
Will they plump for the Rich brothers' design, with the avenue
of olive trees, drifts of fragrant lavender and living willow huts?
Or will they choose Charlie's cypress trees, sweeping lawn
and water feature?
It's decision time.
Right, it's been made. Tough this. It's not been easy, at all.
But the design we have gone with is...
-That water feature!
I'm sure it wasn't JUST the water feature!
Why did you end up with mine?
So, you're right - the water feature.
-I knew it!
-But it is not all good news.
I think the only thing we'd say that wasn't, kind of,
in either design, if there's any possibility we could add in,
just that there wasn't quite enough for the kids in this top area.
-Something to climb on. A swing. Something like that.
-kind of thing.
-I've still got some money left in the budget,
so I will see what we can fit in.
And fit in the space.
I'm just dead excited now, to see it come to life.
So, it's going to be Charlie's design that gets built this time.
But there is no doubt that this couple are expecting as much
as possible for their money. She is going to need all the boys' talents,
to give them what they want.
It is early morning in Bolton and work on Lorna and Luciano's garden
starts with gusto.
While Charlie finalises some of the finer details of her design,
the landscapers - Lee, Paul and Falkland -
begin clearing the garden.
-In the skip!
Since Luciano is a pro and wanted an authentic pizza oven,
Charlie has outsourced the task to some professional oven installers
and they are making good progress.
Meanwhile, Lee and Andy set about dismantling the wall.
Charlie wants it replaced with a less hazardous slope.
She wants to reuse the stones for her bespoke water feature.
-Just wondering where to set this feature up.
-I'll just mark there the two points we could start at.
-What do you think?
-I think what we are going to have to do is
-we are going to have to bring it in, aren't we?
-Yeah, set it up dry.
-Have a look at it.
-..have a look at it,
-because it is in such a...
we are almost going to have put it and draw round it.
Charlie's water feature has been specially made to fit into
the existing steps. But before they start to cut,
Paul and Andy have to figure out exactly where it goes.
"Measure twice, cut once," as they say.
I think it's nice...
-..a bit higher.
-It looks bigger now.
-I like it how it's...
..not too low.
-The top one's going to be flush with the top step.
-This one will be
flush with either that or that, depending on whether we drop it down
-and have stone underneath...
..or whether we sit it flush up to the underneath.
While Lee and Andy continue to tinker with the water feature,
Paul and Falkland are unloading Charlie's plant order,
including her special trees to remind Luciano of home.
A lovely little...
..cypress, which is fantastic. A bit of Italy in Bolton.
In the meantime, Andy has worked out a plan
for accommodating the water feature
and is adapting the hard landscaping, for it to sit in.
-I'll just quickly show you what I'm planning.
-Roughly, that from a top height.
-And then I am going to do
-a return wall back in there...
-..for the water feature to sit on.
And then, carry on up the side of the step, stepping up with
-the water feature.
-The water feature is a one-off
and it will take all of Andy's stonework skills to display it to
its best advantage - and please the boss.
Meanwhile, Charlie and the boys have arrived and she is keen to
set them one of the biggest challenges in the new garden.
Going to have a few problems with levels,
-getting stuff in and out.
-And that water feature, as well.
Yeah! See, that will be fine! No problems, the water feature!
-That is the pivotal point of the garden, isn't it?
The pivotal point is going to be the tunnel into the children's
-So, that is where I want you guys.
-That's a dream project for us!
-I feel the pressure a wee bit!
But before the boys can place the tunnel, there is the small issue
of the extra feature Lorna and Luciano asked for.
The children's area in Charlie's garden now has to fit around
a giant climbing frame.
The construction looks good, but we have this to get in.
We need to get that in position, to find out where that's going.
-This is the old tunnel tube, is it?
-It looks quite heavy
-I know. I think we might need a few more men.
OK, on two... Two!
-Higher, higher, higher.
-Paul, your end's dragging.
-That's the one!
-Don't push me!
-That's right. We've got it.
-Right round, right round.
-All the way.
-Go on, man.
This play equipment will be perfect for getting Rocco and Bruno out
in the fresh air and keeping them entertained.
But there are lots of other ways to make a garden appealing to children.
Dens and hidey-holes come in all shapes and sizes,
from des res Wendy houses to treehouses.
But you don't have to buy them off the peg and go to great expense.
In fact, you don't have to buy them, at all.
At Ness Botanic Gardens in Liverpool, one of their most popular
holiday workshops is den building.
I think it's really good if you can get the kids invested
in the things they have created
in the garden. They will want to go back out there and play with
the things they have made - pull them to bits and make them again.
Dens can be made from all sorts of materials - bamboo canes,
fallen branches and prunings will all do the job.
We all remember, as kids, making dens ourselves
and how great it felt to be, kind of, in there in that sort of space
that was, kind of, your space that you've made.
With a bit of imagination, recycled, upcycled, bespoke, natural
hidey-holes can be built for free.
But not in this garden.
Lorna and Luciano are paying £6,500 for the redesign
and are expecting a lot for their cash.
So, we are going to go forward and that way a bit, so that Harry
-is not quite in that beech tree.
Yeah? And then, the swings come off here. That'll give him a nice space.
-This needs a bit of pruning, the weigela.
-Needs a bit of pruning.
-It's nice to brush up against a bit of nature.
-Doesn't happen every day, does it?
-So, we need to get
-the swing bit on, so we can see exactly the lengths...
..before we level it all up and get it in position.
But that means following the instructions,
which has never been the boys' strong point.
-Well, I'm guessing... It doesn't actually show us.
Knowing this could take a while, Charlie has asked Lorna and Luciano
to muck in and build some of the other play equipment.
Meanwhile, Andy is keen to get Charlie's opinion
-on the water feature.
-This is coming together well, guys.
-It's coming on nice.
-It's looking good. This is fab.
-We're getting there, aren't we?
-I mean, this is stainless steel?
-Stainless steel, yeah.
-So, this is my bespoke water feature.
It's got a bit of formality, you know, cos the Italians like
their formal gardens. So, there is a bit of formality,
but slightly quirky. We have a reservoir down the bottom
and that will hold all the water, that is then recirculated
up to the top and it will just drop down and down and disappear.
So, the children, they can put their hands under,
they will be able to splash in the water. The other great thing
about having the moving water here, it's near the seating area.
It will be a nice tranquil sound and all the scented plants round here
will be highlighted, because the moisture, the humidity,
actually picks the scent up and makes them smell even better.
Now the feature is in place, Andy and Lee can reshape
the old stone from the wall and repoint it around the steel frame.
But it is up on the patio where Luciano's new toy is taking shape.
Charlie has thrown over £2,000 of the budget at it, so she is keen
to make sure it works.
-My, that is a posh pizza oven! It has even got a thermometer.
So, go on, then. How does it all work?
-What you do is, you light your fire here.
-So, just like with wood?
-Yeah. Get it all going. Once it is all going,
you then push the wood back, which then gives you the cooking area
for your pizza, in the centre. The smoke comes out of the top, here.
Oh, that is good, then. It is far enough away from the wisteria,
cos I thought it was at the back and it would go up there,
-which would be...
-No, it all just comes out here.
-At the front.
That is much better.
So, now she knows the wisteria won't get scorched, Charlie rolls up
her sleeves and attempts to tackle the unruly climber,
while on the other side of the garden...
It's showing me that. It's not telling me what that is...
-..or how to put that on.
-..there is a lot of head scratching going on.
It doesn't look much different, does it?!
I'll go back to my wisteria.
-They're not long enough for that.
-No. Isn't it?
The wisteria has outgrown the trellis
and the trellis has seen better days.
Ideally, Charlie would prune the plant and retrain it,
but it is about to flower.
If I cut this now, you will find it will bleed,
which will take the vigour out of the climber itself.
Also, they will lose all their lovely flowers.
It's best to prune wisteria...
..when they are dormant, in the winter, to get the framework,
and then, in the summertime, when you get these long, whippy ones,
you take those back by two-thirds. That increases the number
of flowering spurs you get. But I want to get all the trellis out
and take this trellis down, cos it's not a thing of beauty.
Then, I am going to put a partition up, with round posts.
And to try and get everything to tie together,
I am going to put them in a curve, which will mirror the curve
of the water feature.
And Andy is taking great care to further enhance the curves of
Charlie's design with carefully-hewn stonework
around the stainless steel trains.
Let's see if this fits.
Oh, yeah, that's looking good.
The rustic Yorkstone up against the modern stainless steel
will look fabulous in this family's garden.
Using any type of stone is really worth thinking about
in almost any garden.
In a contemporary space, or up against modern materials,
it adds texture and warmth to clean lines.
And in a more traditional garden, it instantly becomes part
of its environment. Even on just a small scale,
using a natural stone for a water feature,
or to hide the liner around the perimeter of a pond,
will add beauty and interest to any space.
The boys are now finally getting somewhere with Rocco and Bruno's
climbing frame. But it needs more space, to be safe.
There could be collateral damage, so Charlie wants to check with
Lorna and Luciano, before the saws come out.
So, that conifer.
Do you mind if we take it out?
Because the climbing frame that you chose is a bit bigger than we were,
-sort of, expecting.
-It shouldn't be a problem to take it off.
So, then, can all go over and then there will be enough space
-for the swings to swing properly.
-That would be all right.
OK, boys, you can chop it down!
Yes, nice! Right! Don't go back!
The brothers get the green light
to fell the tree and get straight on with it.
-Look at that!
Not only will the extra space mean Rocco and Bruno can make
the most of the climbing frame, but it will allow for the other elements
of Charlie's design.
You guys need to go that way, a tiny bit.
Whoa. Perfect. Go on, then. Slide her in.
-Just! Doesn't look too large, does it?
Now the boys are cracking on with the play area, Charlie can get back
to constructing the new support for the beautiful wisteria.
So, the trellis is out. The ugly trellis.
And now, I am going to put these poles in, like this,
all the way round, on a curve,
to pick up the curve
of the water feature. And also cut them, so that they curve,
so that, it, sort of, ties everything together.
So, it is all curves, curves and more curves.
Charlie is making a guide hole for each of the wooden stakes,
with a crowbar. They will then be driven down into the ground
with a mallet.
It is a very simple, easy way
to make a plant support and, value-wise,
it's quite good value, as well.
At just £60 for the stakes to create this feature,
it is a budget option and gives a contemporary feel to the space.
Charlie's design is really taking shape now.
The pizza oven is in,
the lion's share of the work on the water feature is done
and the hazardous wall has been replaced by a much safer
And then we are going to lie down...
But the boys are lagging behind and need to get going on the tunnel.
Lorna and Luciano really wanted that retaining wall removed
and this gave Charlie the opportunity to give them
a lovely sweeping lawn.
This will great fun for the kids to run up and down,
but left us with quite a lot of excess soil turf and stone.
With that, we are going to create this soil tunnel.
What is so nice is that it is going to roll up from the lawn
and soften this pipe. Cos at the moment, it doesn't look amazing,
but by the time we have got all that turf on there, it is going to just
-naturalise into this space.
-And what a feature.
A little bigger, I think adults could get through it.
-That's the dream!
-I could probably squeeze in!
As usual, rain is coming down, so it's important to wrap up
-and keep warm.
-Not if you're a man, you don't have to!
He'll have a jumper on later!
Just for you, I am NOT going to put my jumper on now!
Well, what would a day in a British garden be without a spot of rain?
And it looks like it's here for the afternoon.
So there's nothing for it but for Charlie to box on
with the planting around the water feature.
Put that one there and that one there.
That looks good to me.
Can someone hold this one, while I have a look?
In the design, she has created an elegant curve
that will be dotted with tall, thin cypress trees.
I'm thinking of it like you are walking, you know, in Italy.
You are walking up the hill and you've got the spires of greens.
You get that to the patio.
Now all they need is some Mediterranean weather to match.
A new curved bed has to be cut out of the lawn in order to
accommodate the trees and the spoil will help cover the boys' tunnel.
No plant conjures up images of the Italian landscape better
than the cypress tree and its elegant shape has been
a mainstay of formal Italian gardens for centuries.
Possibly the most renowned Italianate formal garden in the UK
is at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire.
The Italianate style of garden
is very strongly represented by its use of symmetry,
so we can literally draw lines across the garden
and see the pattern reflected on either side of this.
It's a very formal layout,
using clipped evergreens to create the structure.
Like the trees Charlie has used in Lorna and Luciano's garden,
at Trentham, tall, thin trees are an important element of the design.
For a vertical structure,
giving us a link to the sky above and emphasising the space,
we have a combination of golden yews,
which have been formed into cone shapes.
We also have the dark green fastigiate pencil-like yews.
This style isn't limited to large gardens.
Some of the design principles used in Trentham
can be applied to the average back garden.
If you are looking to create this feel in your garden,
but on a much smaller scale,
one of the things I would look to do is to create
a formal structural layout, using light coloured materials.
And it can be done relatively inexpensively,
using fine textured gravels.
Look to try and use fine textured foliages.
The smaller the leaf, the more distant it will appear
and the larger the space will be.
Back in Bolton, the rain may be coming down,
but it is not slowing the Rich brothers.
We've got a bit of sand left over, so we are using it just to kind of
create this nice, smooth surface before we add the topsoil on.
Also, it helps, cos it knits together
the large clogs of soil underneath.
So, altogether, it's going to help with drain and it is a good binder.
Meanwhile, a rather soggy Charlie is working hard to conjure up
that southern European feel.
I've gone for three key Italian,
or should I say Mediterranean, plants.
So we've got bay tree, I've got two of those.
So I'm probably going to put them in containers
and sort of split them from one patio to another.
We've got Italian cypress, which are really highlighting
the swirl of the flower bed
and add that tall height to the garden.
And then I've got these wonderful olives!
Now, I have gone a bit mad and gone for quite large specimens.
But if you shop around, go on the internet,
contact your local nurseries, you can get some really good deals.
And I am hoping that this Italian, Mediterranean feel
brings the sunshine out.
At the moment, we have liquid sunshine.
When planting Mediterranean plants, like olives and cypress trees,
it is good to remember that their native climate
is drier than our own.
So dig in lots of grit and drainage underneath the plant
when you pop it in the ground.
They don't like to sit in a puddle of water,
but then who does?
With a layer of topsoil added to the boys' tunnel,
they can now get on with turfing.
Some people may think it would be easier to do it that way,
but, for us, we think that the hole here is much more important.
That's kind of the focal point, so...
Yeah, I think it's nice to keep that as a whole piece.
Otherwise, you are going to end up patching it with bits and bobs
and they are going to fall off. Whereas, rolling it this way,
like we're doing at the top, means that we can get a really nice cut,
which will create that nice focal point where the pipe starts.
Lee is finishing off the frame for the wisteria.
The wooden supports are being cut into a sinuous curve
to complement the rest of the garden.
Charlie is planning to add climbers to it later.
Look at that. A bit of instant gardening.
It looks like it's been there for ever, doesn't it?
So, this area here, the seating area, the adults relaxing area,
is all about scent and colour throughout the summer.
So, in the springtime, we've got the wisteria.
Wisteria has quite a scent to it.
But then we've got Trachelospermum, which is star jasmine.
It flowers all through the summer
and it's got a really, really lovely sweet scent.
And then I have a climbing rose.
It's one of my favourites.
It's got very romantic sort of double white flowers
called Claire Austin.
A fabulous scent to it and is very good and reliable at flowering.
I've just got to get them in the ground now.
The boys have moved onto the planting, too.
On their design for Lorna and Luciano's garden,
they included a living willow tunnel in the play area.
So, Charlie has decided to add something similar,
made with hornbeam.
Charlie's design is all about curves
and that's been echoed through the hard landscaping.
But what we want to do is to do this with soft landscaping,
with these hornbeam trees.
And they are very young and easy to manipulate,
which means that we create this lovely archway,
which is going to become this very natural sculpture.
Especially with these, they're like hedging trees,
so the more you trim them, the denser they get. They won't grow
into big trees if you keep clipping them. They'll slowly thicken up
-and become this really dense tunnel, which is really cool.
By tying the young trees together at the top,
the boys are training the plants to grow into an arch shape.
And as the hornbeam grows, the structure will get stronger.
What I'm doing here is I am just trimming off the inside branches,
just to accentuate that kind of tunnel feeling.
But I don't want to do it too much, I want to keep it quite natural
and feeling, you know, that these things have just sprouted out.
To add another sensory element to the children's play area,
Charlie has sourced some tubular bells.
Their deep tones will provide endless delight to Rocco and Bruno
and the neighbours, no doubt.
I'll hand over the baton. You can...
-It escaped from me!
-That's nice. Look at that.
Shall we do a duet?
-I love them!
-I want some.
-You just made that look easy.
-Have a go.
-If I could break out a tune,
-that would pretty cool, wouldn't it?
-Go on. You are a geet-arist.
-Drop a beat and then I'm in.
-Drop a beat? What does that mean?
-I don't know.
-Go on. Drop a beat then.
-I don't know, I just say it.
To further enhance the sights, smells and sounds in this part
of the garden, Charlie is adding sensory planting around the bells.
I have got some...
-lovely phlomis. Feel that.
-I do like phlomis.
-A big yellow one, isn't it, this one?
-We've got herbs for smell.
-Yeah, that does smell good.
-So, thyme and mint.
-And then, for bright colours, we've got the calendula.
-You can eat the flowers.
-What does it taste of?
-But it looks pretty.
-It's just the idea...
-And then, can you see those chives over there?
-Could you bring them over here, cos I'd like those here as well?
See? There you go.
That'll teach you to come and talk to me and play with my bells.
Harry is adding plants, too,
but this time with a native British heritage.
These primroses left to seed
will create these lovely surprises around the garden.
In time, they are going to drift over this mound
and, you know, they'll dot about garden.
And I think that's what's so nice about using wild plants.
With the main features built, the team are on the home straight.
The newly created slope is now being turfed.
And, to make the play area safe for the young boys,
David's adding a thick layer of bark chippings.
And there's just one more important element
for Charlie to add to the children's area.
Rocco and Bruno's grandad has made them a mud kitchen
and it is taking pride of place next to the climbing frame.
As the final pot of herbs is placed next to the pizza oven,
this family garden is complete and ready for its grand unveiling.
In its previous guise, Lorna and Luciano's garden was full of
level changes, trip hazards and sharp edges.
Not exactly a suitable playground for two young children.
Now, it's had a £6,500 makeover.
And Charlie and the team have spent every penny
to try and make this garden work for all the family.
She spent £1,300 on play equipment
and tubular bells to keep Rocco and Bruno occupied.
The grass tunnel in the play area fits brilliantly
with Charlie's curvaceous design
and was a steal at £100.
The pizza oven was an indulgence at over £2,000,
but it's the one thing Luciano wanted.
The plants really give this garden its Italian feel.
Charlie spent a whopping £1,200 on them, but the impact is huge.
And last, but not least, the bespoke water feature adds
a touch of luxury, with a £900 price tag to match.
But it provides a focal point and a talking point in the garden.
Lorna and Luciano were prepared to spend big
to get the Anglo-Italian child-friendly garden they wanted.
-OK. Don't open them until I say.
-Rocco, don't cheat.
It's time to find out if Charlie's design has risen to the challenge.
-Rocco, don't cheat.
-Eyes closed, eyes closed.
Oh, here they come.
I wonder if Rocco is going to keep his eyes closed.
I don't know if I would, actually. I think I would...
One, two, three.
Open your eyes.
-Yes? Bellissimo, I think it's...
-Oh, my god!
-Shall we go down?
-Do you want to go down then?
Shall we go and have a look?
God, he's gone straight on the mound.
-Well, it looks like he's really enjoying himself, anyway.
-So, this is all going to be scented,
so you've got your wisteria that is scented.
We have jasmine and we've got a climbing white rose.
Very romantic, with a really, really sweet scent.
Oh, that's beautiful.
And then you've got your...
-Olive trees. Wow!
They are amazing, aren't they?
-And we've put...
-Oh, look at the pizza oven!
-I think that's going to get great use.
-It definitely will.
You can see how that area has been transformed now.
-The wisteria looks beautiful as well.
Come and hit the pipes.
-What about the other ones?
What about these ones?
You know, I'm actually really surprised
at how much of a dramatic change has happened today.
-Yeah, cos it was quite mature, wasn't it?
-And you kind of
feel like there wasn't much to do. But, actually, taking away
that stone wall at the front and curving up into the lawn
has made a massive difference.
I was really pleased when this wall came out,
-because it seems to have made this patio so much bigger.
-And so much safer.
-So much safer for the kids.
They can just run up that and that is their bit.
No, it's absolutely amazing.
I love the water, I love the sound of the water.
I think that's what they definitely wanted, didn't they?
I think when they saw that they loved it,
so I think they're going to get a lot from that.
-And the sound of water in the garden...
-It'll be lovely.
So, Luciano, is it as you expected?
-It's...I think it's even more than what I expected.
Especially all the little things there. The pizza oven looks amazing.
Now we need a little bit of weather,
-so we can have a pizza.
-Yes! Soon. Soon.
-We can grow our olives.
£6,500 was a serious investment in their outdoor space.
Do Lorna and Luciano think it was money well spent?
-Oh, I love the water.
-I love the water.
The water feature is absolutely stunning. Really, really love that.
I love the olive trees and the...
And the tubular bells. Did you see the kids playing on those?
I think we're going to spend time ourselves there
-to play with them.
-I thought we did all right.
I thought the levels were going to be much more of an issue.
I know. It doesn't look like much of a level at all,
-now it's all been done.
-It all flows seamlessly.
Before, it wasn't a family garden.
Now, you can really see that it's ours.
It's got things in there for the kids and a bit of Italy,
with the olive trees and the pizza oven. It definitely says us.
Obviously, there has been a good budget here, but it does show that,
if you are on a low budget, simple things, like taking away a wall
-and sculpting some land, or bringing in a bit of drainage pipe...
..lobbing some soil over it...
-You can actually make big differences to a garden.
I think you're really smug.
I don't think I've seen you this smug for a long time.
Only when you get us to dig a big hole are you that smug!
'I think the way Charlie's pulled it all together, with the curves,
'it really feels like it has been designed, the garden,'
much more than we could ever have done, really.
It's amazing. I'm really, really pleased.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Bolton competing for a budget of £6,500 to design a garden for Lorna and Luciano and their two young sons. The garden needs to have lots to entertain the energetic boys but that is not the only requirement - Luciano is from Sicily and would love a garden that reminds him of home, complete with a pizza oven.
Along the way the designers have some great tips for good-looking, natural features that children will love and there is no primary-coloured plastic in sight.