Romsey Garden Rescue


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Romsey

Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A garden in Hampshire becomes a stylish, sophisticated haven for a retired couple.


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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens

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-and decades of experience...

-Hello!

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..Charlie Dimmock is one of Britain's best loved gardeners.

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Looking good, boys.

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But the new kids on the gardening block

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-are the Rich brothers...

-We want to be the brothers

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that change people's perceptions of gardeners.

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Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...

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-Oh, good turn.

-Oh, wow. That's amazing, isn't it?

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..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.

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Now these two different generations of gardening are going head-to-head.

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I know they've got a gold medal, but I can come up with a few ideas.

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They're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...

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The photos made it look tiny. It is, isn't it?

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-I'm sure you've seen larger.

-I don't know what to do with it.

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..and will each pitch them a design based on their needs...

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-Wow!

-..and budget.

-That looks really exciting.

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It doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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-The winner...

-Ta-dah!

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-ALL:

-Whoo!

-..brings their design to life...

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-Hold on. Hold on.

-Sweet as a nut.

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..and the loser has to help them build it.

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Oh, I'm getting irritated now. We're sort of faffing around.

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This is what happens...

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-Does he ever get irritated?

-All the time.

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..when different stars collide...

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-Who chose these?

-One, two, three.

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-This looks like your design!

-Yeah!

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..to turn garden dreams into reality.

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-Wow.

-Wow!

-Open your eyes.

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-Wow.

-Wow.

-It's amazing.

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-SHE GASPS

-It's beautiful.

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HE CHUCKLES

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers

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to find out which garden is on the cards this time.

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Nigel and Sue have been in contact, and they're in Romsey.

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-Ooh, my neck of the woods.

-I know. Not very far to travel for this one.

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-No.

-Have you chosen this one?

-No. Honest!

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Nigel and his wife, Sue, are both semi-retired

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and they downsized to this 1960s bungalow two years ago.

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This bungalow, when we moved in,

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still had the original kitchen and the original bathroom,

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so it was crying out to be redeveloped,

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and it was really time to update it completely and go very contemporary.

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We worked through the bungalow

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and arrived at the back with a new deck,

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and then we were looking at the last stage, which was the garden.

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It took them two long years to get the bungalow just so,

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but now they've added the smart, raised deck,

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the garden is clearly letting the side down.

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I've always been the one

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that's designed the garden and done the planting,

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and Nigel's always mowed the lawn and done the hard landscaping.

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But the garden we've got now is the biggest that we've had,

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so this is quite a challenge for us.

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So, you've got this lovely, modern deck,

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and I think they use it quite a lot.

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Quite high up, by the looks of things.

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Different levels. That's always good, isn't it?

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It does look like the garden slopes away as well.

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I know you're up here on the deck,

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-but it does look like it's going like that.

-Yeah.

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It may look featureless,

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but in his early attempts to do something about it,

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Nigel uncovered a gem at the bottom of the plot.

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It was just hedges, bracken, and it wasn't till I started

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hacking away and looking behind it

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that we actually found that there's a stream at the end.

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They have two grandchildren and I think what's key with this design

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is to actually create a garden not only for them,

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but for children as well.

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Having spent a lot of money on the house,

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Sue and Nigel don't want to scrimp on the garden.

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-So, we've got £8,000 to spend on this.

-Wow. Wow.

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-That's a massive sum of money. Brilliant.

-I'm excited about this.

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Brings a bit of pressure on, though, doesn't it?

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We have to create something quite special for them.

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£8,000 is a big budget, even for a large garden,

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but it couldn't be more important to Nigel and Sue.

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I think, once the garden's done,

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it will be lovely to be able to just go out there

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for the peace and tranquillity.

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For me, it will be completion.

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We've had a large project, we've dealt with it

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and we're finally completing it,

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so I can have some peace, enjoyment and get on with life.

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With such a big budget on the table,

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Charlie and the Rich brothers want to find out more

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about what the couple have done with the house

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and how they see the garden.

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So, they're heading to Romsey in search of inspiration.

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-Now, that is what I call a deck.

-Very modern.

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-I kind of feel like the seating is covered, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-Don't have to worry about furniture for the garden.

-No.

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And these old apple trees - do they stay or do they go?

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I think they've probably got to stay, but...

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-They've obviously been here a long time.

-They have.

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-Quite gnarled, aren't they?

-Yeah.

-Got quite a lot of character.

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-There's the brook.

-Ah, yeah.

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-It's quite all right, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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It's quite nice it's got a little seating area here.

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We need to give them a nice journey through the garden

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or maybe something nice to look back on would be great.

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The existing garden may be a mixed bag,

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but the boys now want to check out

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Nigel and Sue's freshly decorated bungalow.

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Meanwhile, Charlie is getting to know the couple.

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So, what do you want from the garden?

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Well, we'd like to be able to reflect,

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in the garden, what we've done to the bungalow.

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We've obviously modernised it and it's quite contemporary.

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-So, something quite sleek and modern?

-Yes.

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We also like to use it for relaxing in,

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but I do like to potter in the garden, so I...

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-So, it hasn't got to be totally no maintenance?

-No. No, no, no.

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I do like to spend a lot of time out there.

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Loving this island as well. Quite modern, isn't it?

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Very modern. Very minimalist, as well.

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-So, I think the style in the garden needs to reflect this.

-Yeah.

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-And a lot of horizontal lines. A lot of verticals, as well.

-Yeah.

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So, taking that into the garden, maybe splitting it up,

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-drawing your eye down the bottom of the garden, maybe.

-Yeah.

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I do like soft colours - lilacs, purples, whites -

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but with perhaps some statement plants in amongst them.

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And I'm quite accepting of what Sue wants, really.

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I'll throw in an idea and she'll just continue to throw it out.

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-THEY LAUGH

-OK. You do what you're told.

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-Yeah, exactly.

-HE CHUCKLES

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And look at that. It's so much glass, isn't it?

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-Yeah.

-Especially when you're sitting here.

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Kind of really opens up the whole garden.

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Yeah, you can really feel the indoor/outdoor rooms.

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They've got a lovely deck, but after that,

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-there's nothing much.

-You're elevated up here, as well,

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so I think the garden will be really important to look down upon.

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From here, at the moment, you can see the whole of the garden.

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Do you want to keep it that way?

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No, I don't mind it being split up

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because it's quite a long garden.

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So, it would be quite nice, perhaps, to have different areas

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so you have to follow the garden through

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-to actually get to the brook at the bottom.

-OK.

-Yeah.

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Lots of food for thought there.

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£8,000 is a serious budget,

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but this garden can't afford to fall short.

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Charlie and the brothers need to design something

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with proper wow factor to match the elegant deck

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and complement the high-spec house.

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The designers waste no more time

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and get straight to their drawing boards.

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Each of them has to come up with a design

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for Nigel and Sue's garden that will work within their budget.

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The couple then choose a winner

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and the loser has to help build the garden.

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-Should be interesting.

-So, who will the couple go for?

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The Rich brothers are known for their modern designs

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and will be confident they can come up with a match

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for Sue's stylish interior...

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-Here is our design.

-Whoa!

-HE CHUCKLES

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..but Charlie's learnt how Sue is a secret potterer

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who loves her soft planting.

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Wow.

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Who's got the design this couple have been hoping for?

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You've obviously got a great deck here you guys love to use.

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So, not only do we need to give you a garden

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that's really nice to be in,

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it also needs to look great when you're up here

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cos it's, like, the main social space.

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And we've split it up into sections.

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So, we've got a front section here, which is just off the deck.

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It's made up of very geometric, very modern-style planting beds.

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We'd use really fluid grasses, really natural-style planting,

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but quite vivid colours.

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So, picking up on some of the colours in the house,

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we've got the purples, the whites,

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but also some vibrant greens as well.

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For me, your garden is a garden of two halves.

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So, this area here, the seating area, says to me,

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"Seaside. Open. Sunny."

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So, with the planting underneath,

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I've gone for what I would call seasidey plants,

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so lots of plants that have got blue, green foliage,

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and grasses, and three upright, clump-forming bamboos.

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So, any slight breeze, they will move and dance around.

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So, the boys have focused on

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designing the garden around the deck,

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but Charlie's gone way out

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by offering a seaside garden in suburban Romsey.

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The next challenge was to create something

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for the couple's grandchildren.

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We've got this lovely avenue that leads up

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through to where the more open lawn area is.

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This is lovely for the grandchildren.

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Gives these lovely routes to run around.

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Loads of open space to play in.

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So, we've got these kind of quite contemporary,

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quite modern pleached trees.

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It kind of gives this more of an enclosed feeling as well.

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Again, we've kept the planting running down

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so that the colour keeps going through the garden as well,

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so your eye really gets drawn down the garden.

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Knowing that the couple want a garden to relax in,

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Charlie's proposing an extra seating area.

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I thought it would be nice to have a seating area

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that's at garden level as well,

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so I've got a pergola here with a seating area.

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Then, to divide it off, we have a pool here -

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very shallow, no maintenance to it at all -

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and then back planted with multi-stem birches,

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so that will divide the garden off

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and make that into a room on its own.

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And these, again, are just very straightforward,

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simple arches, which will frame the view.

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The final challenge was what to do with the brook

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at the bottom of the garden.

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Then you get to the second half of the garden,

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and this is a proper bog garden, so that it doesn't dry out.

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These are bands of poured concrete.

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So, that's one step, two step, three step,

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then over to your seating area at the bottom.

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This bottom area, we've left kind of quite open

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and we let it grow a little bit more wild.

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I think it's just an overall progression

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that goes from being quite modern, which really reflects the house,

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so the closest part of the garden links really well with that.

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As you drift off towards the brook,

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it gets slightly more wild, much more natural.

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-It does look good.

-Mm.

-That's it. Time's up.

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Cheers. Thanks, guys.

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It's now up to Nigel and Sue to decide.

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I like things in both of them, really.

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I like the hard landscaping on this one,

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but then I'm drawn back here to the arches, the pergola.

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The couple want a beautiful, modern space

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to enjoy their future retirement in, and they're genuinely torn.

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I do like all the planting there,

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-and it's very straight-edged, very contemporary, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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But I also like this one, which is round the decking.

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-Yeah.

-Which way to go?

-It looks great.

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Yeah, it's very, very difficult.

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But only one design can win.

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So, will it be Harry and David's simple, clean, contemporary lines

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leading to a more natural space at the bottom of the garden?

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Or will Charlie's design,

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with its gently bubbling water feature

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and seaside-inspired planting, prevail?

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It's decision time.

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-Hello.

-Hi.

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This was a really difficult decision.

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We loved them both.

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But the one we have chosen

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we think is probably more practical for our use.

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-So...

-Are you ready?

-Yeah.

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-Ooh!

-Charlie.

-Oh, nice! Look at that.

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-I got a contemporary one for once.

-Dammit!

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I never normally get the contemporary ones.

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I'm really pleased.

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-Cool. What was it that...?

-Well, we loved the water feature -

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obviously, Charlie's renowned for her water features -

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-and the other seating area.

-Wow.

-We really appreciate it.

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Charlie is delighted, but the garden she's proposing is very modern

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so she's way out of her comfort zone.

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She's going to really need the boys' contemporary garden skills

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to pull it off.

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It's an early and wet start in Romsey,

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and landscapers Scott and Adam mean business.

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With a pond, a patio and plenty of beds to dig,

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a mini digger is the only thing for it.

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However, they'd barely started,

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and project manager Kate has unearthed a problem.

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We've got a slight issue in that there's a long water pipe

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running all the way down the garden down to the little brook,

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so anything we put in,

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we've got to be really careful we don't hit that water pipe.

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So, we've just got to shift things

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about half a metre into the garden a bit more.

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In order to keep the whole design working in unison,

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every element of Charlie's design will need to move 50cm to the left,

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which means downing tools and getting the line-marking paint out.

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We're really having to shift things about, but it's fine.

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Charlie will be here in a minute and we'll have a chat with her.

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And when she arrives,

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she spots straightaway that the move could have serious repercussions.

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I think because, if we've got that bed going that way,

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I don't want to have the trees right in front of the windows.

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If we could bring it a bit more this way so it's in line with that.

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-OK.

-Yeah?

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With a few tweaks here and there, the digger gets fired up again.

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People think that diggers make life much quicker,

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but unless you know what you're doing,

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it can make things way worse.

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-They can make a whole lot of mess.

-Yes.

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Luckily, Scott's passed his digger proficiency test

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and makes short work of carving out the water feature.

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Charlie's design is very contemporary,

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and because she's not used to creating this style of garden,

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she's keen to oversee every detail.

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Clean, crisp lines

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are an intrinsic part of contemporary gardens.

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Materials tend to be timeless and often natural,

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like slate, wood and stone,

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and planting becomes part of the architecture of the space.

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Clipped evergreens, statement trees

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and blocks of planting all feature heavily.

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In Sue and Nigel's garden,

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Charlie's designed a sharp, symmetrical water feature,

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and Adam's making a start on building its structure.

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That's gone in nice and true now.

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Then you can double-check your line along the inside

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with the straight edge of your spirit level.

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Anywhere where you get any gaps,

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you'll see you're not in a straight line,

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so you can just tap in like that

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till it's touching all the way along the face.

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Then you know you've got a perfectly straight wall.

0:15:480:15:51

But Scott's had to abandon his toy again

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in favour of good, old-fashioned manual labour.

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The soil in Sue and Nigel's garden is not the easiest.

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So, we're just stripping the turf off for the flowerbeds.

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It's quite hard cos the roots of the lawn

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have gone into the soil quite deep

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cos it's quite dry, stony soil, which turf likes.

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In fact, it's a little bit difficult to get off, but we're getting there.

0:16:170:16:21

Accommodating the pipe has meant repositioning some of the beds,

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so Charlie decides to keep Sue in the loop.

0:16:270:16:31

-Now, if you remember rightly, this is flowerbed here...

-Yeah.

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-..and then it wraps round your deck and runs down there.

-That's right.

0:16:350:16:39

My concern is that this will make that access point very narrow.

0:16:390:16:45

-Right, OK.

-And I just think the plants might be a little lost there.

0:16:450:16:49

-Yeah, yeah.

-So, what I'm thinking is that the border comes off this way.

0:16:490:16:53

-Oh, I see.

-So, you see, you'll walk round like this.

-Round it, yeah.

0:16:530:16:57

The other thing about doing that - it will end up screening the shed.

0:16:570:17:01

Yes, that's a good idea.

0:17:010:17:03

With the client satisfied,

0:17:050:17:07

Charlie's next job is to approve the tiles

0:17:070:17:10

that will go around the edge of the new water feature.

0:17:100:17:12

That is actually the same colour as the surround of the deck, isn't it?

0:17:140:17:18

-It is. That's perfect.

-Fab. Ooh, I'm pleased with that.

0:17:180:17:21

-I'm happy.

-Good.

-Very happy, actually.

-So am I.

0:17:210:17:25

And I do believe there's a cup of tea.

0:17:250:17:27

As if they heard the kettle boiling, Harry and David have arrived

0:17:270:17:30

and get up to speed with a briefing from the boss.

0:17:300:17:33

-Stating the obvious...

-You have ginger hair?

0:17:350:17:38

..this is a big garden

0:17:380:17:40

-and there's a lot going on.

-Yes.

-Yeah.

-Lots to do.

0:17:400:17:43

-What have you got us into?

-It should look amazing.

0:17:430:17:47

I think you boys are going to be the construction boys today.

0:17:470:17:50

-So, all the Ps - pergola, planting...

-Paving.

-..paving.

0:17:500:17:55

As long as it's pub at the end of that, I don't mind.

0:17:550:17:57

-THEY LAUGH

-You'll be too tired.

0:17:570:17:59

So, the brothers get straight on with laying the paving.

0:18:050:18:08

Charlie has designed a series of stepping stones

0:18:080:18:11

that will lead down to the brook.

0:18:110:18:13

Charlie's decided to use these concrete paviers here.

0:18:140:18:17

And as you can see with the colour, it's dark grey,

0:18:170:18:19

and this matches in with the terrace at the top,

0:18:190:18:21

so there's that lovely kind of unifying aspect.

0:18:210:18:24

What's really nice about these - it's got a lovely, coarse texture

0:18:240:18:26

and really gives a lot of grip.

0:18:260:18:28

And it also has this beautiful little fleck in,

0:18:280:18:30

so the light really captures it.

0:18:300:18:32

And as you walk down the path, it's going to taper in to the brook,

0:18:320:18:35

which gives this sense of perspective

0:18:350:18:37

and really leads your eye down the garden.

0:18:370:18:39

The wheel is terrible.

0:18:390:18:42

Meanwhile, Charlie's had a delivery.

0:18:420:18:45

It's a bit like Christmas. Don't know what's in these boxes.

0:18:460:18:50

I'm hoping there's some planters for...

0:18:500:18:53

Well, I've got planters in two different areas.

0:18:530:18:56

Underneath the pergola, there's going to be two planters.

0:18:560:18:59

It was going to be a flowerbed, but there's a big drain pipe there,

0:18:590:19:03

so we don't really want to plant in there now,

0:19:030:19:05

so we're going to put some planters over the top.

0:19:050:19:08

Ooh, look. This is going to be fun.

0:19:080:19:10

-METAL CLANGS

-As you can hear, they're metal.

0:19:170:19:21

Now, that's lovely.

0:19:240:19:25

So, that's going to pick up the formality of the deck

0:19:250:19:29

and then that planted up with lots of glaucous

0:19:290:19:33

or silver grey leaves should look fabulous.

0:19:330:19:36

One.

0:19:370:19:38

But it's not long before Adam calls upon her water feature expertise.

0:19:420:19:48

The next job is to make it watertight with a pond liner.

0:19:480:19:51

That's expert scissor work.

0:19:510:19:54

But first, a little cushioning is required.

0:19:540:19:57

There we go.

0:19:580:19:59

So, we're basically going to protect the liner.

0:19:590:20:03

It's a rubber liner.

0:20:030:20:04

And the breeze blocks have got really quite a sharp edge.

0:20:040:20:06

You could bevel it off.

0:20:060:20:08

We're using this bonded fibre, which doesn't rot away.

0:20:080:20:11

You could use an old blanket or some carpet.

0:20:110:20:15

Anything that just protects that edge

0:20:150:20:18

because the pressure of the water will be quite large on the corners.

0:20:180:20:22

And once all the sharp bits are covered,

0:20:260:20:29

the liner can go on.

0:20:290:20:30

We're using a box liner,

0:20:310:20:33

so the rubber has been welded into a shape to form this rectangle

0:20:330:20:38

that's five metres long, a metre and a half wide, 20cm deep,

0:20:380:20:43

which means it looks really neat and tidy,

0:20:430:20:46

but it does also mean that you have to be

0:20:460:20:48

-exactly right with your measurements.

-Exactly, yes.

0:20:480:20:51

At £122, it's more expensive to go for the pre-formed option,

0:20:530:20:59

but it gives a much neater finish.

0:20:590:21:01

-That's really nice.

-That is so neat, isn't it?

0:21:030:21:06

At least it proves my block work went in nicely.

0:21:060:21:09

-THEY LAUGH

-Water on?

-Oh, yes.

-Here we go.

0:21:090:21:13

Really, it's just a case now of waiting for the pool to fill up...

0:21:150:21:20

-Yeah.

-..cos we need the liner to sit right in position

0:21:200:21:23

before we put the capping tiles on.

0:21:230:21:25

At the bottom of the plot,

0:21:290:21:31

Charlie's bog garden will be accessed by a new path.

0:21:310:21:35

And the brothers are making good progress.

0:21:350:21:38

These paviers should be really easy to lay.

0:21:380:21:41

What I'm doing at the moment is I'm just digging out a depth of soil,

0:21:410:21:44

and that's so I'm able to put in a nice layer of sharp sand and cement,

0:21:440:21:48

and that'll be a dry mix.

0:21:480:21:49

And then what we'll do is we'll bed these on top of them.

0:21:490:21:52

The most difficult thing about this site here

0:21:520:21:54

is that it's on a slope towards the brook.

0:21:540:21:57

You've got to find that balance

0:21:570:21:58

between what works really well with the level,

0:21:580:22:00

but what works really well with your eye,

0:22:000:22:02

cos we don't want to end up with all these steps and staggered paviers.

0:22:020:22:05

Rather than one continuous run of stepping stones,

0:22:080:22:12

Charlie has decided four separate sections work better with the slope.

0:22:120:22:16

Meanwhile, out the front,

0:22:180:22:20

a jungle has just arrived on the back of a lorry.

0:22:200:22:25

The bamboos are a little bit bigger than I was expecting,

0:22:250:22:28

but they'll definitely make a statement.

0:22:280:22:31

Comes with bird's nest.

0:22:310:22:33

-Do it together, yeah?

-Yeah.

0:22:350:22:37

Sue and Nigel's £8,000 budget

0:22:370:22:40

has enabled Charlie to buy some mature bamboos and trees

0:22:400:22:43

to add instant height.

0:22:430:22:45

Using height in a garden is essential to garden designers...

0:22:470:22:51

..but it doesn't have to be added in the form of plants and trees.

0:22:520:22:56

Garden structures like pergolas and arches can be bought

0:22:560:23:00

in a whole range of different shapes and sizes.

0:23:000:23:03

They separate the garden into different areas

0:23:040:23:08

and can provide a framework for all manner of beautiful climbers.

0:23:080:23:12

Definitely go that way. Not a lot.

0:23:150:23:18

Bit more.

0:23:180:23:19

In Sue and Nigel's garden, Charlie is using the tall bamboos

0:23:190:23:23

to link the deck to the rest of the garden.

0:23:230:23:27

That... And it frames that maple.

0:23:270:23:30

-Do you think that's right, David?

-Yeah, I think that's nice.

0:23:300:23:32

It frames that, especially with those there.

0:23:320:23:34

-That leads you down, doesn't it?

-Ta-dah!

0:23:340:23:36

-And then your third would go...?

-On the end there.

-Oh, beautiful.

0:23:360:23:39

-It encloses this space nicely, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

0:23:390:23:41

-I can imagine myself sitting down.

-Well, don't sit down.

0:23:410:23:44

And they'll spread out and...

0:23:440:23:45

-Keep working! Keep working, boy!

-SHE LAUGHS

0:23:450:23:48

Placing them is one thing. Planting them is another.

0:23:520:23:56

If ripping out the turf wasn't enough,

0:23:560:23:58

Scott and the team now have to dig through

0:23:580:24:01

the same soil to plant the bamboo.

0:24:010:24:03

With the boys hard at work,

0:24:040:24:06

Charlie and Kate can move on to the border below the deck.

0:24:060:24:10

So, planting-wise, this top end of the garden

0:24:120:24:16

is using lots of blues, silvers and purples,

0:24:160:24:20

so it looks quite seasidey.

0:24:200:24:22

So, quite glamorous flowers with the alliums

0:24:220:24:25

and these beautiful bearded iris.

0:24:250:24:27

And bearded iris love a really hot position.

0:24:270:24:31

This is perovskia - Russian sage.

0:24:310:24:34

Sort of gets to about this height

0:24:340:24:36

and it has these sort of fluffy, purpley, lilac flowers.

0:24:360:24:40

And then, for a bit of structure, we've got these little hebes,

0:24:440:24:49

which sort of end up as a round, blobby shape.

0:24:490:24:51

That's a technical term, that is.

0:24:510:24:54

At the cooler end of the garden by the brook,

0:25:010:25:04

David and Harry have got the power tools out.

0:25:040:25:07

The reason Charlie's left gaps here between paviers

0:25:130:25:16

is so she can fill it with the cobbled stones.

0:25:160:25:18

This will add texture to where you're walking.

0:25:180:25:20

A different material will contrast the paviers, which will be nice.

0:25:200:25:23

And then also it'll give some of the self-seeding plants

0:25:230:25:25

an opportunity to seed in here and grow up between,

0:25:250:25:28

and then that'll really help soften the straight, contemporary edges.

0:25:280:25:32

And the boss is impressed.

0:25:380:25:40

It's like stepping stones galore round here.

0:25:410:25:44

-Stairway To Heaven down here, Charlie.

-Stairway To Heaven.

0:25:440:25:47

-That looks good.

-Yeah?

-Happy?

-That's good.

0:25:470:25:50

-It's a zebra crossing.

-It is a bit of a zebra crossing.

0:25:500:25:53

We've got zebras down this end. We've got pandas up that end.

0:25:530:25:56

-Mad bamboo over there.

-Dolphins in the rill.

0:25:560:25:59

-And a few monkeys doing the work.

-ALL LAUGH

0:25:590:26:01

I didn't say that. It's very good. That's great.

0:26:010:26:04

It's been more tricky than we thought

0:26:040:26:06

cos the whole land is going down and across.

0:26:060:26:09

-Yeah, and the soil is quite damp down here.

-Yeah.

0:26:090:26:11

But all those hostas and everything...

0:26:110:26:13

The maple's going to love it down here.

0:26:130:26:15

Back at the big dig, Scott's managed to excavate a hole for the bamboo.

0:26:190:26:25

Have you hit Australia, mate?

0:26:250:26:27

-Think so.

-THEY LAUGH

0:26:270:26:30

-Now, what I'd like to do is, with these pots...

-Yeah.

0:26:300:26:35

-..take the handles off...

-OK.

-..and then slash the sides.

-Right.

0:26:350:26:40

If it's not controlled, some bamboo can send out runners

0:26:420:26:46

just beneath the surface of the soil.

0:26:460:26:49

A lot of people are worried about planting bamboos

0:26:490:26:51

into the soil because they can take over.

0:26:510:26:54

We've gone for a clump-forming one, so that'll keep it contained anyhow,

0:26:540:26:59

but what I'm also doing is planting them in their pots.

0:26:590:27:02

We've slashed the pots, so that'll let water and nutrients in,

0:27:020:27:06

but it'll also contain the bamboo

0:27:060:27:08

cos I want to keep that upright shape.

0:27:080:27:11

I don't want to make a hedge of bamboo.

0:27:110:27:14

-That one there.

-Here?

-Yeah.

0:27:170:27:18

The reason people grow bamboos is,

0:27:210:27:23

when it's windy, you get a lovely noise.

0:27:230:27:26

So, it's good for a sensory garden. It's also grown for the stems.

0:27:260:27:30

Now, to get the best of both worlds,

0:27:300:27:32

if you just clear the lower metre and a half

0:27:320:27:36

of stems of the small foliage, you highlight the canes even more.

0:27:360:27:41

And these canes look fabulous

0:27:410:27:42

because they're half golden yellow and half green.

0:27:420:27:46

One down, Scott. Only two more to go.

0:27:520:27:55

Meanwhile, Harry and David are preparing the ground

0:28:020:28:05

for the wooden subframe for the new patio.

0:28:050:28:09

Due to a change in level,

0:28:090:28:10

we're creating this box frame round the outside,

0:28:100:28:12

which will help us with that level change,

0:28:120:28:14

but also tie in with the rest of the wood in the garden,

0:28:140:28:17

creating this really nice, level patio space.

0:28:170:28:19

And with the help of Adam's expert carpentry skills,

0:28:220:28:26

the frame's knocked up in no time.

0:28:260:28:28

-Ooh! Through the bamboo.

-HE LAUGHS

0:28:280:28:31

-Down she comes.

-Without knocking Scott out or into the pond.

0:28:350:28:38

-Ooh, hello.

-There we go.

0:28:400:28:42

There we go. That's pretty good.

0:28:420:28:44

Charlie's back on water feature detail,

0:28:480:28:51

where Scott is adding lovely, contemporary, slate grey tiles.

0:28:510:28:54

Thank you very much.

0:28:540:28:57

Because Nigel and Sue don't want anything too much like hard work -

0:28:570:29:01

a pond - I've gone for this body of water - a canal of water -

0:29:010:29:06

with two pumps sat in it that are just going to bubble.

0:29:060:29:08

We're going to put a treatment in which'll keep it crystal clear

0:29:080:29:11

and the only thing they'll really have to do

0:29:110:29:14

is top it up because of evaporation.

0:29:140:29:16

And then, come the wintertime, take the pumps out, clean them up

0:29:160:29:20

and store them in the shed so that they don't get frozen solid.

0:29:200:29:24

This very contemporary, man-made canal

0:29:260:29:29

will be a stark contrast

0:29:290:29:30

to the natural brook at the end of the garden.

0:29:300:29:33

Naturally occurring water in a garden is a gift

0:29:370:29:41

and an opportunity to grow a whole range of plants.

0:29:410:29:44

No-one appreciated that more than horticulturalist Beth Chatto

0:29:480:29:52

when she created her garden in Essex.

0:29:520:29:54

The garden is home to four natural ponds

0:29:560:29:59

and a fabulous range of damp-loving plants

0:29:590:30:02

grow on their banks.

0:30:020:30:03

Many plants look wonderful by water.

0:30:070:30:09

You can have great fun playing with all the foliage types,

0:30:090:30:11

the shape of plants, the texture.

0:30:110:30:14

Giant gunneras, for example, you can use.

0:30:140:30:17

This grass, miscanthus.

0:30:170:30:18

So, it's going to come up and be maybe 4ft, 5ft high.

0:30:180:30:22

This is the sensitive fern - onoclea sensibilis -

0:30:220:30:25

and they're going to toughen up and be quite a darker green.

0:30:250:30:28

So, it's an ever-changing thing, seen as the season goes on.

0:30:280:30:32

Next to the water, almost on the water's edge,

0:30:360:30:38

you can be looking at plants that will grow both in the water

0:30:380:30:43

and in some boggy soil.

0:30:430:30:44

Many of the iris, for example. Astilbes, people love to grow.

0:30:440:30:48

They're quite shallow-rooting,

0:30:480:30:49

but they do want moisture on the top of the soil

0:30:490:30:52

to stop them shrivelling up in the summer

0:30:520:30:54

when they're in full growth.

0:30:540:30:55

Water in a garden is another surface,

0:30:570:30:59

like a deck or a patio, that really earns its keep in a design.

0:30:590:31:04

For every plant you place around it,

0:31:040:31:06

you effectively get two for the price of one -

0:31:060:31:09

the plant itself and its reflection in the water.

0:31:090:31:13

The reflections of just simple things

0:31:160:31:18

like trees and shrubs around the pond,

0:31:180:31:20

you know, at certain times and certain light -

0:31:200:31:22

maybe the beginning of the day and the evening - just look magical.

0:31:220:31:26

Back in Romsey, Charlie wants to include

0:31:340:31:37

some damp-loving plants in Sue and Nigel's garden,

0:31:370:31:41

so she's creating a new planting area down by the brook.

0:31:410:31:44

Now, this area here is going to be the bogged garden.

0:31:440:31:48

It's a really lovely, shady area,

0:31:480:31:49

and although there's a natural boggy section down by the brook,

0:31:490:31:53

I just want to make sure that this actually stays damp all year round,

0:31:530:31:58

so I'm going to line the bottom of the hole.

0:31:580:32:00

The liner Charlie has used is rubber,

0:32:020:32:04

but because it's going to be buried underneath the soil

0:32:040:32:07

where the sun's UV rays won't damage it,

0:32:070:32:10

a cheaper PVC liner would be fine, too.

0:32:100:32:13

Quite often, people put a liner in and then pierce holes in it.

0:32:140:32:18

Don't do that because it will still dry out.

0:32:180:32:22

The best thing to do is just line the bottom of the hole

0:32:220:32:25

and leave about a four to six-inch gap to the top of the hole

0:32:250:32:29

so if it rains lots and lots, the liner will fill up,

0:32:290:32:32

but then any extra water will just percolate over

0:32:320:32:35

and naturally drain away.

0:32:350:32:36

Right. That's the liner trimmed up.

0:32:440:32:47

Now it's a case of putting all that soil back in here.

0:32:470:32:50

Now, it's David's turn to have a go at the ground.

0:32:580:33:01

Charlie's asked him to dig the holes for the new statement trees.

0:33:010:33:07

Oh, it's hard.

0:33:070:33:08

-Good game, this, David, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:33:120:33:15

You're digging a hole, I'm filling a hole.

0:33:150:33:17

-Let's swap. This isn't fun.

-I know. It's not fun here either.

0:33:170:33:22

At least this is shady down here.

0:33:220:33:24

On her design, Charlie has three magnificent,

0:33:270:33:30

multi-stemmed birches next to the canal

0:33:300:33:32

to screen off that seating area

0:33:320:33:35

and create a beautiful, serene outside lounge.

0:33:350:33:39

However, due to the slight adjustment she needed to make

0:33:390:33:42

to her design earlier, she now feels two trees are plenty for the space.

0:33:420:33:47

But they're so big, the boys need the wheelbarrow to get them in.

0:33:500:33:53

-Let me know when you need to...

-You need to go that way a bit.

0:33:530:33:57

That's it. Whoa!

0:33:570:33:58

One feels that the wheelbarrow is protesting somewhat.

0:33:590:34:03

WHEEL SQUEAKS

0:34:030:34:07

It's going in.

0:34:160:34:18

Fantastic. There we are.

0:34:190:34:21

Well done, brother. Well done, people.

0:34:210:34:23

Same again.

0:34:230:34:24

SHE GROANS

0:34:240:34:27

OK?

0:34:270:34:28

WHEEL SQUEAKS

0:34:280:34:32

-HARRY CHUCKLES

-It ain't happy, is it?

0:34:320:34:35

-Sounds like my wallet opening.

-Or is that your back, Scott?

0:34:350:34:38

-I think we to need oil these hinges, don't we?

-Yeah.

0:34:380:34:41

And then we're in.

0:34:410:34:43

-Look at that!

-That's nice, isn't it?

-Silver birch - one of my favourites.

0:34:440:34:49

Why did you choose this, Charlie?

0:34:490:34:51

-I chose the silver birch, one, to screen...

-Yeah.

0:34:510:34:54

..one, to still be able to plant underneath

0:34:540:34:56

because the shade is dappled,

0:34:560:34:57

so you can put lots of plants underneath.

0:34:570:34:59

The leaves are quite nice in the autumn,

0:34:590:35:01

and I love the structure in the wintertime

0:35:010:35:05

because when the light's low,

0:35:050:35:07

-it really makes the silver trunk sort of shine.

-Yeah.

0:35:070:35:11

Back in the bog garden,

0:35:190:35:21

now all the backbreaking prep's been done,

0:35:210:35:23

Charlie can get on with the exciting bit - the planting.

0:35:230:35:27

So, I'm placing the big impact bog plants first.

0:35:270:35:32

So, we've got ligularia, which have got

0:35:320:35:34

these really gorgeous, purple/green leaves

0:35:340:35:37

and come up with big flower spikes that have got bright orange flowers.

0:35:370:35:43

It sounds an odd combination, but it really works well.

0:35:430:35:46

And then I've got a rheum. It's related to the rhubarb,

0:35:460:35:50

so it comes up in a really tall flower

0:35:500:35:53

and it's covered in tiny, white flowers all the way up.

0:35:530:35:56

Looks spectacular.

0:35:560:35:58

And then, to contrast with the big, bold leaves,

0:36:030:36:07

we've got these ferny leaves of the astilbes.

0:36:070:36:10

And, again, they have a fluffy flower spike,

0:36:100:36:13

and we've got some white ones and some red ones,

0:36:130:36:15

which will sort of add lots of colour to this area.

0:36:150:36:19

And then, to finish off, lots of candelabra primulas. Mwah!

0:36:190:36:23

The brothers have now moved on to adding yet more height

0:36:290:36:32

to Nigel and Sue's garden,

0:36:320:36:34

but this time, in the form of a pergola and arches.

0:36:340:36:37

With the pergola up,

0:36:440:36:45

Scott and Adam can lay the patio below.

0:36:450:36:48

Meanwhile, Charlie's adding the final touch to the water feature.

0:36:550:36:59

There.

0:37:000:37:02

Whoo! Right, turn that off. That's...

0:37:020:37:05

Turn it on again.

0:37:070:37:08

Oh, I like that.

0:37:110:37:12

So, the pumps are in, they look great

0:37:140:37:16

and I want Nigel and Susan to be able to keep the pond

0:37:160:37:19

looking as crystal clear as it is now,

0:37:190:37:21

so I've got this treatment. It's for water features.

0:37:210:37:24

You can't have plants with it, but it's fine for wildlife.

0:37:240:37:27

It's fine if the cat drinks the water

0:37:270:37:29

or the dog drinks the water or the birds come and bathe in it.

0:37:290:37:32

And with all treatments like this,

0:37:320:37:34

it's best to treat it when it's crystal clear to start with

0:37:340:37:37

and then just put in repeat treatments to maintain the clarity.

0:37:370:37:41

And I've worked out the volume.

0:37:410:37:43

I've got to put 20 of these measures in. One.

0:37:430:37:45

Two.

0:37:470:37:49

With all the hard landscaping in, the team are on the final stretch,

0:37:570:38:01

busting a gut to finish all the different parts of Charlie's design.

0:38:010:38:05

The grandchildren are getting a brand-new swing.

0:38:060:38:09

Charlie's metal troughs have been planted with lavender and pinks.

0:38:110:38:15

And as the last plant goes into the bog garden,

0:38:190:38:22

it's finally finished.

0:38:220:38:24

Sue and Nigel's boring, featureless plot

0:38:270:38:30

was put on the back burner for two years

0:38:300:38:32

while they concentrated on creating their dream home.

0:38:320:38:36

Now, it's the perfect garden to complement their perfect home.

0:38:370:38:41

Charlie and the team have spent every penny of the budget

0:38:430:38:46

to give the couple the chic, contemporary garden they dreamed of.

0:38:460:38:49

The pergola and arches together cost £600.

0:38:530:38:57

They add height to the garden,

0:38:570:38:59

frame the views and mark the route down to the brook.

0:38:590:39:02

Charlie chose mature trees and bamboos to give an instant impact.

0:39:040:39:09

They were an extravagance at £750, but definitely add a wow factor.

0:39:090:39:14

The water canal is a touch of luxury at £560.

0:39:160:39:21

The gentle gurgle of the fountains

0:39:220:39:25

provides a relaxing soundtrack to the garden.

0:39:250:39:27

And the new patio and steps to the brook

0:39:300:39:33

help create a journey around the garden,

0:39:330:39:36

and together, they came in at £750.

0:39:360:39:39

The couple spent £8,000 of their own money

0:39:410:39:45

on creating a fabulous garden to match their bungalow,

0:39:450:39:48

but the big question is was Charlie's design up to the job?

0:39:480:39:53

-Eyes are still closed.

-Right.

0:39:530:39:55

Would you like to open your eyes?

0:39:560:39:59

-HE LAUGHS

-Wow!

0:40:000:40:02

-Oh, my word!

-Goodness!

0:40:040:40:06

-Yeah?

-This is amazing.

-You're smiling.

-Yeah, I can't believe that.

0:40:070:40:11

-This is a sunny seating area.

-Oh, wow.

0:40:120:40:16

-Oh, we've got a swing seat as well.

-Yeah.

-Lovely.

0:40:160:40:19

And it's surrounded by the bamboos and the fastigiate beeches.

0:40:190:40:23

I just can't believe it. I just can't take it all in. It's just...

0:40:230:40:26

-I've treated the water...

-Right.

-..so you just need to top that up.

0:40:260:40:30

All the lights and pumps are on remote control...

0:40:300:40:33

-Yes, perfect.

-..so you can argue over those.

0:40:330:40:35

And then this is like the transition area

0:40:350:40:38

down to your woodlandy, bog garden area.

0:40:380:40:41

-So, we've got lots of heucheras.

-Lovely.

0:40:410:40:43

I like the way the new bed here moves along

0:40:430:40:46

-and it catches a tree that we already had there.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:40:460:40:49

And then we've got these pads of paving.

0:40:490:40:52

I think these slabs are lovely, aren't they?

0:40:520:40:54

Like an anti-slip on them.

0:40:540:40:56

-Yeah, and it just adds a bit of texture to this area.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

0:40:560:40:59

-Those are mirror pools.

-More water.

-Yeah, more water.

0:40:590:41:02

Again, we've got our hostas in there,

0:41:020:41:04

-so the slugs can't get those ones at all.

-Yeah.

0:41:040:41:08

And then this is the bog garden.

0:41:080:41:10

All those plants will become a big, lush...

0:41:100:41:13

-Yeah, they look lovely.

-..foil of colour.

0:41:130:41:15

We've put a few plants in the brook just to add a bit of colour.

0:41:150:41:19

-Oh, right. Yeah, yeah.

-And then...I popped a gunnera in...

0:41:190:41:23

Oh, the gunnera. Yeah, lovely.

0:41:230:41:24

-..so that will really screen that area.

-Yeah.

-That's amazing.

0:41:240:41:28

-Go and sit on the seat and look back.

-Yeah.

0:41:280:41:30

It's transformed.

0:41:300:41:31

It's absolutely transformed.

0:41:330:41:35

Before they contacted the Garden Rescue team,

0:41:390:41:42

Sue and Nigel had a beautiful home but a disappointing garden.

0:41:420:41:47

They were willing to stake a whopping £8,000

0:41:470:41:51

of their retirement fund

0:41:510:41:52

to get the outdoor space they'd dreamed of.

0:41:520:41:55

Do they think it's been money well spent?

0:41:550:41:58

I think it's fantastic.

0:41:590:42:00

It's just how I would have loved it to have been,

0:42:000:42:03

but didn't have the idea to do it, and it's just...

0:42:030:42:06

It's incorporated everything that we wanted and it's just fabulous.

0:42:060:42:09

-Wow.

-THEY LAUGH

0:42:110:42:13

-SHE GROANS

-Come on. Rest in. Rest in.

0:42:130:42:15

-It's been a slog, hasn't it?

-I feel like all I've done today is dig.

0:42:150:42:19

-THEY LAUGH

-So, what's your favourite bit

0:42:190:42:21

-of your garden?

-I think it's got to be that bit of planting

0:42:210:42:24

through there with the birches, the blues, purples, silvers

0:42:240:42:27

-with the water feature in front of it.

-Yeah.

0:42:270:42:30

It might seem a lot of money to spend on a garden,

0:42:310:42:34

but this is going to be here for the rest of our lives.

0:42:340:42:36

Yeah, to us, it's an investment in the future, really.

0:42:360:42:39

-DAVID:

-For me, I think it's how you've created a journey

0:42:420:42:44

in the garden. Beforehand, it was just grass,

0:42:440:42:47

so being able now to come down the steps,

0:42:470:42:49

walk through the archways, turn around, another archway -

0:42:490:42:51

it makes you want to go down to the bottom of the garden now.

0:42:510:42:54

-SUE:

-I just think it's going to be so relaxing

0:42:550:42:58

and it's going to be a lovely family space

0:42:580:43:00

and I think it's going to create lots of memories for us.

0:43:000:43:03

To me, it's really signed off the project.

0:43:030:43:05

You know, we've concluded the project.

0:43:050:43:07

Now we can enjoy being in the garden.

0:43:070:43:09

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Hampshire competing to design a garden for Nigel and Sue with a generous £8,000 budget. The couple are looking to turn their boring, featureless plot into a stylish, sophisticated haven for spending a long and happy retirement in.

Along the way the designers have a wealth of tips on how to create a bog garden and how to deal with slight slopes, plus great trees and shrubs to plant to create privacy and screening in a garden.