Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A cabin and outdoor space for brothers to grow into helps transform a disused garden.
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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens,
and decades of experience...
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 of gardeners.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Look at it 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 come up with a few ideas.
They're 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 need to pitch them a design based on their needs and budget.
That looks really exciting.
It 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're just 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.
-You can open your eyes.
Today, Charlie and the Rich brothers are competing over
a garden for a young family who are bursting out of their house.
This design's going to be a bit different.
Lara and Mark moved into the house about ten, 12 years ago.
Love the house, but the children, Edward and Toby,
-are growing up and space is getting tight...
-Oh, I see.
..but they don't want to move.
Swimming coach Lara Hawkins and her husband, IT engineer Mark,
live in Bexley in Kent with their sons, Edward and Toby,
and their dog, Daisy.
This is the only house we've lived in while we've had the children,
so this is the garden that we've all grown up in together as a family.
The boys have outgrown the house,
preferring to play in the acres of woods that the garden backs onto.
The boys are older now,
so they're tending to use the garden a lot less than they did,
so we want to try and get them back out in the garden again.
The garden is split into two parts.
The top section is just grass,
while the lower part has become a storage area for bikes and play equipment,
and it's just this bottom section that they want the garden rescue team to redesign.
And there is one feature that it must have.
Our wish-list for the garden and what we've saved up for is
an outdoor cabin, so, a usable space, another room for us to use.
This garden - it's the bottom area there - has to have
a cabin that is a chill-out zone cum storage cum relaxation area.
That's got me a little bit worried.
Do they want to get rid of anything that's there at the moment?
-Sheds can go.
-Tramp can move.
This part of the plot is only seven by seven metres,
but has to include a multifunctional outdoor building and that
could take up almost half of the space.
But that's not all.
In whatever's left,
they'd like a garden that's inspired by their surroundings.
What she would love to do, and Mark as well, is bring the
woodland into that space,
because it can't be built on and she feels like they're neglecting it.
It's quite a small space, isn't it?
So, it'll be quite interesting how we're going to do that.
We do appreciate that we're lucky that we have this nice backdrop of trees.
It would just be lovely to sit down there and enjoy it,
which is what we don't do at the moment.
We don't really go down there.
It's scruffy, it's tatty,
it needs help.
They may only want one part of their garden done,
but with a high-spec building to include,
Mark and Lara have set a budget to match.
So, we've saved up £4,500.
The budget's four and a half thousand,
-but that cabin's going to make it go...
It's going to be quite interesting trying to work with how to
give them lots of space, but still keeping that cabin.
-Lots of space in a really small space.
-I know, I know.
When we get the garden of our dreams,
we'll have a space that we can use all year round.
The whole family can use.
And enjoy it to the full, so, yeah, we're really excited.
Really looking forward to it.
This is a major conundrum for the designers.
Four and a half grand may be a healthy budget,
but half of that could go on the cabin.
And once that's in,
will there be any space left in this area for anything else?
With the challenge on the table, Charlie and the Rich brothers
will now compete to make over Lara and Mark's garden.
So, they're heading to Bexley to find out what they've let themselves in for.
-Definitely a hard-working area.
-It is, isn't it?
Beautiful woodland, look at that.
-It's a really nice backdrop, isn't it?
-Not my favourite.
-My most hated thing.
-Yeah, I think we'll join you on that one, happily.
I think once you get rid of a few of these things,
-it will be a dramatic difference how big it looks here.
Cos it's quite cramped, isn't it?
To see how this small space could really help take the pressure
off the house, the boys head inside for a snoop around.
Oh, it's quite a nice open-plan feel to it, isn't it?
Yeah, I like it. Yeah, really nice.
A bit clean, bit modern and, of course, our beloved sofas.
Real comfy sofas, yeah.
I think we should differently try and put a sofa outside.
Pretty dreamy having one of these.
Yeah, there's quite a few toys, isn't there?
So, maybe having an outdoor space means they can kind of chuck
all that down there, and just have this as a bit more of an adult area maybe.
Yeah, I know what you mean. Get the bit of the clutter out, you know.
-The kids can have that, their space. Maybe one of the TVs.
-I'd like to be down there.
-I'd definitely be down there.
I'd like to have the nerf gun.
The boys can see how the family would benefit from some extra room.
But Charlie wants to know more about why they only want to change
the lower part of the garden.
This has obviously been a very well used area, with the sheds,
-the washing lines, the trampoline.
What do you want it to do now?
It's such a nice place to be, down here as well.
And it's quiet, but we don't use it, but it could be usable.
So, we'd quite like a cabin, here.
An indoor room, but outdoors in the woods.
Space where we can come to relax.
-So, chill-out area.
-Chill out, yes.
-I've also noticed it's quite subtle colours in here.
There's nothing that stands out too much.
So, I think they'll quite like that natural, quite sympathetic feel in the garden.
Yeah, I like it. Balance between contemporary, nature.
The boys are feeling confident.
But Charlie is trying to manage the couple's expectations.
I have to say, by putting the den in, it means, space-wise,
-there's not much of a garden.
-It's reduced, yeah.
The trampoline - has it got to stay?
It could possibly go up that end.
It won't be around forever, we appreciate that.
He will, eventually, grow out of trampolining.
What about what's left of the garden?
What do you envisage seeing?
-Something that blends in with the woods would be nice.
Yeah, somewhere that you can look out from, from the house,
that makes you think, "I want to go down there."
This really could be the designers' hardest challenge yet.
A building for a family of four could be huge and then,
in what's left of this space, they have to create a woodland garden.
So, it's time for them to flex their creative muscles.
Each of them has to come up with a design for Lara and Mark's
ideal garden within the £4,500 budget.
The couple will then choose a winner, and the loser will
have to swallow their pride and take orders from the victorious designer.
Having seen the tight space inside the house,
the Rich brothers understand the couple's need for an extra building,
while Charlie seemed more keen on creating a garden
than providing an outdoor living space.
Can they impress Lara and Mark?
-This, here, is the den or shed.
It's very modern, very sleek.
-It's a cube.
It's got panels of glass that open up, so it's a good, big space
that will be able to be used for lots of different things.
Your living space in there is quite open plan,
and it can get quite busy quite quickly, especially having two kind of teenage sons,
so, what we wanted to do, and, like, our main element to this
is giving you this large cabin space.
It gives you this little escape.
Both designers know how important the new building will be,
so Charlie's opted for small, but stylish, square cube,
while the boys are arguing that bigger is better, and have
gone with a giant log cabin to fit with the woods.
But what are they planning for what's left of this tiny area
of the garden?
So, we've got a patio area out the front here,
so you can open the doors up.
It's all about relaxation.
It'll be a lovely area to go when they've gone to bed,
so you can sit down there and relax yourself.
We've put in a little outdoor sofa along with the fire bowl, as well.
We got these concrete pads, kind of very smooth, very clean,
very modern, and that creates a kind of stylish area and somewhere
that becomes very usable.
We do get a lot of moles from the wood, that's my only concern.
Oh, we'll make that concrete thick, don't worry.
A mole won't go through the concrete.
The boys are confident they'll keep the moles out with their
concrete staggered patio, their seating area and dramatic fire bowl.
But, with a smaller building,
Charlie's able to include two seating areas to the boys' one,
and instead of a fire bowl,
she's opted for her favourite type of focal point.
We have a water feature here.
A globe of brushed steel with a light in it.
So, when it bubbles at night,
all the water lights up at the top
as it's running over gently.
The next challenge was how to make the surrounding woods
feel part of the garden.
-We wanted to be able to bring in the woodland into your garden.
So, we've done that by having quite large, naturalistic flowerbeds.
We've also brought in two small trees, as you can see here,
and we did that because it really blurs the lines between
your garden and the woodland.
Thinking about the woodland area, I have, along the bottom here, the fence.
So, you've got solid panels but you've also got louvered panels.
We'd still want a gate to access the woodland.
You'll have a solid gate, but every other panel will be louvered.
So, you can sort of see through,
-but people can't really see in.
Charlie has also added a feature tree to create a little magic.
This is a beautiful, multi-stemmed cherry tree,
but I've got it uplit.
So, at night-time,
that'll be like an oasis of light at the bottom of your garden.
By contrast, the boys are being more practical.
We wanted to give you this extra storage space for mower and bikes,
so that this area doesn't become cluttered, cos I think it's quite important -
cos it's not going to be massive - to really utilise it.
This area is really all about chill out, relaxation.
A little escape to get away from the house and just enjoy
a naturalistic, but also quite clean and contemporary, space.
These designs couldn't be more different,
but Mark and Lara now have to pick one.
I think it's really difficult. I really like both of them.
I can kind of visualise this one a little bit better than this one.
I really like the water feature that Charlie did.
Erm, I really like this one.
I like the way that it leads you,
-the straight lines lead you to the woods.
-Yeah, I can see that as well.
I quite like the amount of trees.
-So, I think with Charlie's it was broken up a little bit more, wasn't it?
We had a living space down here, which was lovely,
because you were looking out onto the woods this way,
so I could see exactly where she was going with that.
-Yeah, they look really different.
This is turning into a split decision.
Lara seems drawn to Charlie's modern cube, spherical water feature
and cherry tree with its sparkly fairy lights.
But Mark prefers the Rich brothers design, with its large cabin,
concrete pathway and fire bowl.
But they can only pick one,
so which one is going to be?
-Well, it's been a hard decision.
We've had a long discussion and we've decided to choose this one.
-The Rich brothers!
The sofa did it.
What is it that kind of swayed you to go with us?
We really liked the clear line of sight through to the woods.
-We like the way that the woods are kind of brought into the garden
so that it kind of merges as one, but the fire bowl would be
too dangerous for our children - unfortunately.
I'm sure we're going to combine as a team and, between us both,
we'll create a beautiful garden for you.
Brilliant, thank you.
So, the fire bowl has to go, but the rest of the design is a winner
and the brothers are thrilled -
but that's a heck of a cabin they're planning to include.
The pressure will be on to make it feel part of the garden.
It's the first day of the build.
The Rich brothers are away arranging for the arrival of the new cabin.
They've given forewarning that it's a monster,
so the landscape team are on site clearing the way.
Some of the old garden buildings have got to go,
so garden owner Mark is adding his muscle to help the team get them out,
under the watchful eye of the family dog, Daisy.
Once this building is out,
the landscapers can lay foundations for the new cabin,
but project manager Kate's seen the weather forecast
and it's not good news.
-The weather is going to be our biggest enemy.
-It's not looking good.
We're supposed to be putting in poured concrete.
It's saying, like, torrential rain later and the concrete will
be running out of that bottom gate.
-Shall we go home then?
One thing you can't change in the garden is the weather,
so with everything crossed, the team cracks on.
Now the old shed has been removed,
the team sets about getting the area ready for the new cabin.
But, things are never straightforward.
In the old garden, the shed faced the house,
but the boys' cabin is meant to run along the fence
and Scott and Adam have realised it's quite a slope.
This means the bottom end of the new cabin will be higher than the top -
something else the Rich brothers will have to deal when they arrive.
So, at the moment, we're lifting some slabs.
We've got a problem with the levels for the new cabin that's coming in.
It's always one of those things, until you get on site you're not
too sure what you're going to have to overcome.
The sub-frame goes in just in time, because the brothers' cabin
has arrived and a new team of contractors gets straight to work.
And it doesn't take long to see just how big it is.
Rather than have a bespoke structure built on site,
to keep costs under control, the brothers have ordered the
building from an online supplier, so it comes as a set size.
At five by two and a half metres, it will occupy more than
a third of the space, but it's what the client wanted.
For the same size as this cabin,
a house extension in the UK would cost an average price of £10,000.
It's no surprise that garden owners are putting state-of-the-art
buildings into their outdoor spaces instead.
The modern garden building is like mini house.
It can come double-glazed, Wi-Fi ready and fully wired,
and is often cheaper than building an extension.
Large, wooden summer houses are ideal as alternative playrooms,
hobby rooms or workshops.
Modern cubes and pods cost more,
but are so high-spec they make perfect outdoor offices or gyms.
And an outdoor building can even serve a novelty purpose.
After all, who wouldn't like their own outdoor bar?
The problem with the cabin in Mark and Lara's garden
is that the more it goes up,
the more it's encroaching on the rest of the planned garden.
We think that we're not going to have enough room to put all of the
concrete slabs in, so we're just working out at the moment
how we can adjust it to the design, erm, and make everything fit
as closely as we can to what the boys have put on their design.
Mark and Lara loved the brothers' choice of using poured concrete
to create a modern, staggered pathway.
On the design, there are meant to be five panels...
..but now Scott and Adam are constructing the wooden framework,
there only seems to be room for three.
We've just placed it in where we think we're going to put it and then
we're going to send a picture to Dave and Harry and just make
sure that they're happy with what we've done.
Scott has no choice but to send the boys the not-so-good news.
So far, the rain has stayed off, so Scott and Adam
make the executive decision to start laying the concrete.
Rather than using individual pavers,
the brothers wanted big slabs to match the proportions of the cabin.
This way, it will not only be an attractive feature,
but serve as a pathway to the woods.
With their design changing all the time,
the Rich brothers and Charlie have arrived to take control.
And, not surprisingly, the main topic of conversation
is the giant cabin.
The cabin is definitely taking up a large proportion of this garden.
Now, that's being polite.
No, no, there's still loads of different elements within this
that we're going to get stuck in to today.
-To make it look like a garden, not a collection of sheds.
-There's gravel. There's a green roof. There's plants...
-Some semi-mature trees. That'll be nice.
To make it actually a garden.
We've got three beautiful trees to put in,
that kind of echo the woodland and that borrowed landscape.
So, that's going to be really nice. Me and Dave might even
wander into the woodland if it gets too hot.
-Little bit of a...
-All right for some!
And also, the one thing that you always have to have
to complement a really big cabin is another shed. For storage.
Because there's not enough shed space in there after the cabin.
You've got to make sure you've got storage.
-So, what we're going to be doing is upcycling...
..one of the current sheds they've got, but into something that
looks a little bit smarter, little bit neater and fits into the space.
And then we've got the sofa at the end to finish off that little seating area.
So, there's lots of little things in this garden and hopefully
it'll create this nice, little contemporary woodland space.
But, being a small space, it will be done and dusted like that.
Right, let's go. Let's go.
More than half the budget had to go on the new cabin,
so the brothers have decided to upcycle the old shed
so Lara and Mark have an area for storage.
-Who's going up there then?
-I'll go up.
-Who's the lightest?
-No windows needed.
Luckily, Harry's wearing his climbing shorts today.
Oh, he scared now, isn't he?
That's wiped the smile off his face.
Thank you very much.
Look at those chicken legs there.
The building has to be rebuilt on the other side of the plot,
so needs careful dismantling.
Meanwhile, at the front of the house, Charlie's on craft detail.
The brothers have asked her to come up with something to dress the new cabin,
so she's making some Japanese hanging planters.
Right, the boys have asked me to make some kokedama, which, er,
translation means "moss ball".
So, it's a moss ball with a plant growing in it,
and what you really need is some clay, but we're going to add to it
some organic matter and we're also going to put some sand in as well.
So, it's like making mud pies.
With Scott and Adam making a start on rebuilding the new shed,
the boys set about creating a seating area.
Lara and Mark loved the boys' idea of a contemporary seating space,
a separate area outside the cabin where they can relax and
enjoy the woodland views.
The reason we've put it here is because we wanted to keep it functional,
so there needed to be a route through the garden to the woodland behind.
Also, it needs to kind of interact with the cabin a little bit and,
being on the boundary here, it feels a little bit safer.
It's quite nice to be surrounded by something, so it will be more of a comfortable seating space.
And we're going to construct this wooden structure. It's going to be drilled and pegged,
and that's going to give you this nice area where we'll fill with gravel.
Once the outer frame for the seating area is done...
..they level the space and then pop a gravel mat down.
So, this here is the gravel matting. It's going to do two things.
It's really going to help stabilise the gravel base and also stop it
from moving around from too much when you're walking on it.
Then it's time to pour in five bags of grey gravel
that the brothers have chosen for its contemporary look.
We decided to use gravel in this garden cos it's a great,
cost-effective material. And it's very natural. So, you know,
we've got the backdrop of the woods, so it's really fitting.
At the front of the house,
Charlie's making good progress with her kokedamas,
and has chosen plants that are in keeping with the woodland theme.
So, this is a hardy fern.
Hardy ferns are fabulous if you've got a shady area,
especially if it's quite protected, because they literally keep
going nearly all through the winter,
and you get different textures of leaf,
different colours of leaf, and look really woodlandy,
and give that really green, lush feeling to an area.
Now Charlie takes her mixture of the clay, compost and sand,
and packs it around the fern roots to make a sticky ball.
She then wraps the whole thing in moss.
And then winds it in string to keep the moss in place.
The art of Japanese kokedama began in the early 1600s.
Originally, miniature bonsai trees were taken out of their pots
and displayed in this way.
While Charlie indulges in some Japanese crafting...
..in the back garden, Harry's taking a less subtle approach
to the old concrete in front of the cabin.
We're going to start by breaking this concrete here
so we can introduce a bit of planting.
And that will knit the whole scheme together
and really soften all the edges.
One of the biggest challenges with this project is to make
the giant building feel part of the new garden.
And, in North Yorkshire,
textile designer Georgia Wilkinson has done just that.
She needed a quiet workspace to start her new business,
so she bought a 1930s cricket pavilion,
moved it to her parents' farm, and converted it into a studio.
They were going to chop this gorgeous building up for firewood,
unless anyone wanted to give it a new home.
So, we decided to move it, and give it a new lease of life,
and it's been the perfect building for my studio.
Structurally, there wasn't a lot to change in it,
considering it was built in the 1930s, it's survived really well.
The shed has lots of original features,
it's not just been bought flat-packed and put up.
It has a sort of history to it.
The pavilion works really well for my business because it has the two,
the home and the visitor side,
which were there originally, and I've kept the two halves separate,
so I do have my clean designing side, and then the workshop space
in the home side, which works really well to keep the sort of
messiness, I can shut the door on it at the end of the day.
To turn a cricket pavilion into a garden building,
Georgia has dressed it with the tools of her trade...
..as well as vintage furniture and ornaments to make it feel
like home at her parents' farm.
Back in Bexley, the typically unpredictable British weather
means we've ended up with sun, not rain, so next to Mark and Lara's
new cabin, the giant concrete paving slabs have set already.
So, Harry and David are carefully removing the wooden moulds.
Now the pathway and seating area are finished,
the brothers can crack on with their planting scheme.
We're putting some semi-mature trees into this garden,
and when it came to choosing what species, we took inspiration
from the woodland that's literally just beyond the garden gate.
Lara and Mark love living so close to the woods
and liked the way the boys reflected it in their design.
And when it came to their choice of trees,
the boys didn't have to go far for inspiration.
When we came to this spot in the woodland,
we knew we had to use birch.
Really beautiful, really delicate trees,
and with a really light-dappled canopy.
Birch really does offer a lot because it's got this lovely,
natural foliage in the summer.
Even in the winter,
you've got this lovely kind of white and black stripped bark.
So, you know, it's a great tree for a smaller garden.
The boys have two birch trees to plant
in the new bed by the gravel seating area.
-Straight in the pot.
-Don't take him out!
It's easy when they're not heavy. Sit him in.
I think when you've got trees like this,
it really helps connecting with the natural landscape
that's just beyond your garden, beautiful woodland here,
so this is really just going to help draw the eye, make the garden feel
a bit bigger, and just make it feel like part of the woodland.
This soil's great, so we're not going to add any compost
when planting the tree.
But what we are going to do is give it a big drench
and then top-dress it with compost so it keeps the moisture in.
Costing just under £300 for the pair,
it's really important these trees are planted
with a lot of care and attention.
Meanwhile, out of harm's way, Charlie's kokedamas are nearly done.
-Look at these, these look great! Amazing!
-I love them.
This looks super fun, I'm quite jealous, actually.
I'm having a great time, so I don't need a hand at all, boys.
-It's like little antlers on that one.
-How heavy are they?
-Let's have a look.
-They're not ridiculous.
-But you can feel the weight of the clay.
-You don't need them
-to be watered, probably.
-You just stand them in a tray of water
for ten minutes, and it sucks it all up.
Of course, the Sphagnum acts like a wick,
drawing the moisture into the clay.
If you wanted to hang them...
Well, you just use string and tie them up.
-Or you can just place them on the wall.
I'm really enjoying myself.
I'm glad I've only got to do this and nothing else.
-I think you've done an epic job, Charlie.
You're having fun out here, we're going to do some digging.
Sat in the sun. You've got cream on you, boys, haven't you,
-in this sun?
-No, I need to find some.
Unfortunately for Charlie, this isn't the only job for the day.
The lads need her skills to help plant tree number two.
Lift that up.
One, two, three.
Did you bump heads?
-There's not a lot of space for our big heads.
-Too much hair, isn't it?
It's like a hair battle, isn't it?
And it's a good job, because the hole they've dug...
-Is that big enough?
-One, two, three...
-Let's find out.
..isn't big enough.
One, two, three...
The trees will grow steadily but it will take 20 years for them
to reach their maximum height of 18 metres.
One, two, three.
There we are, that's better.
-Might need a little bit of water once it's in.
One more tree?
The third tree the boys have chosen for this space is an Amelanchier
which produces white flowers in the spring.
Very nice tree.
It is a beauty, isn't it?
The boys want to train the tree so it spreads nicely along the fence.
So, I'm just going to do it loose.
Whoa, too much! Up a little bit more.
Perfect, that's beautiful.
So, with Charlie's expert help,
they tether it so it'll grow into the shape they want.
That totally screens that fence panel, doesn't it?
Merges in with the oak, doesn't it?
The under-gardener's next job is to start planting
in front of the cabin.
In the boys' design, the concrete slabs are interplanted
to break-up the solid hard landscaping.
So, the area I'm going to plant up now is between
these concrete pathways.
And the planting will just make it look sort of softer and more
attractive, whilst still making it practical.
And we've got a really gorgeous array of plants that will put up
with someone treading on them, and it won't kill them,
as well as looking very pretty because they all flower.
They've got really gorgeous scents.
So, we've got thymes, different thymes.
This one's a more upright one.
This one's a mat-forming one.
Oh, that one's lemon. Oh! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.
We've got Corsican mint, Which is very low and flat to the ground.
And then we've got some chamomile,
which won't take so much traffic, but we can have those on the edge,
sort of, where people don't walk quite so often.
And this is a bit looser.
Again, so yummy.
Using scented plants in the pathway means that when the family walk
on it, they'll brush against them, sending fragrance into the air.
And because Lara and Mark are not dedicated gardeners,
this bed is deliberately low-maintenance.
These plants will happily thrive on little water and in poor soil.
We now know that many beautiful plants can flourish
in poor conditions, but back in the 1960s,
garden designer Beth Chatto was one of the first to experiment
with the concept in our changeable British climate.
She transformed a disused car park into a wonderful gravel garden.
We're in one of the driest parts of the country with
only 20 inches of rain each year,
and Beth really wanted to create
a garden which looked beautiful,
which didn't need irrigation.
The soil here is very, very sandy, very poor, free-draining.
All the plants are chosen
because they're adapted to the dry conditions.
And the gravel actually helps to keep or lock in the moisture.
You can say it's a Mediterranean style of planting,
but the plants come from all over the world.
Among the plants that thrive here are the sedums, verbenas,
we have got Nepetas.
It's really important to have all-year-round structure.
In this garden, we use Cistuses and lavenders,
so there's something there even through the winter months.
This garden is not really about flower colour at all.
It's about the contrasting shapes and textures.
What they have got in common
is that they thrive in these kinds of conditions.
Back in the Kent garden,
Charlie is busy planting her low-maintenance pathway.
So, when you plant these, you want to make sure that
they're sort of slightly lower than the surface.
That way, they'll sort of mould into the concrete structure.
And, to keep them looking good,
you don't want them to go all woody and straggly.
So, the best thing to do, once they finish flowering,
is get a pair of scissors and just trim them over.
That'll keep them nice and compact, and looking good.
Chamomile tends to be quite floppy.
Again, when it's flowered,
just trim it up and that'll just keep that nice mat shape.
Meanwhile, the bosses are planning the next planting beds.
In their design, the boys have chosen beds that mirror the shape
of the cabin, and they're using wood edging to create a neat finish.
But it's not long before landscaper Adam needs their muscle.
He's created a frame for the upcycled storage shed.
Now all it needs is a roof.
Beautiful. So, we're just finishing upcycling this shed
that we've recycled from the shed
that was existing in the garden already.
It's solid, it's sturdy, and it's looking really, really good.
What we're going to do with this one
is we're going to put a green roof over the top of it.
So, what we've done is we've braced the roof, cos that's one of
the first and most important things. You can't put a green roof
on a roof that isn't strong enough.
It's going to collapse, and that's not good.
So, we've got some 3x2s here, just supporting that.
The next thing, we've got a waterproof membrane, which is
going to stop water permeating through and rotting the roof.
Then we're going to put a framework on top,
and that holds all the plants and substrate in.
David's adding 100 golden thymes.
This evergreen perennial will provide all-round interest
and pink flowers in late spring and early summer.
Keeping the plants in their trays like this is definitely
one of the easier ways to create a green roof.
This really gives Lara and Mark the opportunity to change them up,
mix and match the plants, and really have some fun with it.
With the new shed in place and less boots on the ground,
Charlie is helping Scott create a final concrete panel.
There'd better be enough of this.
This links the steps up to the house and will complete
the brothers' staggered pathway.
When this concrete panel is set, all the hard landscaping
will be finished.
Harry and David have moved on to planting
the three main beds in their design.
With so much hardscaping in the garden,
it's critical to choose the right plants to soften the space.
We really wanted to keep the woodland theme in this garden
but, because the aspect is a lot more sunny,
it gives you the opportunity to use more ornamental plants.
We've got things like Thalictrum, Astrantia, Calamagrostis,
and all these kind of knit together to give this really lovely
kind of understory feeling,
and, you know, it's very green and very luscious,
and with just a very muted colour palette,
it knits this garden together really nicely.
The team are now on the home stretch.
And, while the boys beaver away,
it's time for a final Japanese touch, courtesy of Charlie.
Here we go.
First two kokedama - I've made them so they're hanging ones.
-So, on the side of the...cabin.
-They look epic, don't they?
I love the authentic string. They're quite heavy, aren't they?
-They're very heavy, yeah.
-They're nice and wet.
Yes, I soaked them, and let them just drip dry.
Yeah, you need to face it up because I want the Hosta looking this way,
I think they're really cool.
They look epic. Really, really cool, Charlie.
All they need is a bit of a trim, and the cabin,
like the rest of the garden, is complete.
Just stay few days ago,
the bottom half of Lara and Mark's garden was a scruffy, cluttered
area, filled with two sheds, ugly concrete slabs, and a trampoline.
Now it's had a £4,500 transformation.
The cabin may dominate nearly half the space, but it's an essential
part of the garden design, giving the family the extra room they need.
But it's swallowed £2,500 of the budget,
so the boys had to come up with a host of clever ideas to make
the garden around it work for the money.
Rather than expensive stone pavers, they used concrete that was
set in moulds to create a staggered pathway.
The lines draw the eye towards the woodland behind,
giving the illusion that the garden is bigger, all for £170.
The boys built a contemporary seating area for the couple
to enjoy the woodland view.
They used £160 worth of grey gravel to achieve a sleek, modern feel.
A new sofa that cost just under £250 completes the look.
The brothers' choice of trees were inspired by the woods behind.
They spent £350 on two birch trees and an Amelanchier.
Lara and Mark wanted a low-maintenance planting scheme,
so the boys spent £550 on a mix of fragrant herbs, ferns,
grasses, and ornamental plants.
The boys upcycled the couple's tatty old shed into
a new storage space.
They then created another planting opportunity by making a green roof.
Finally, Charlie made some Japanese kokedamas that now hang
by the side of the cabin.
At just £10 each,
these are the quirky touch to complete the boys' garden scheme.
Harry and David have transformed this dilapidated area
into a practical and stylish space.
-But is it everything Lara and Mark were hoping for?
-There's a step...
-Here we go.
-A little bit further, a little bit further.
Eyes closed tight.
Ready? Open your eyes and have a look at your new garden.
Ooh! Oh, wow!
-What do you think?
-Yeah, it's lovely.
Really, really, really nice.
Oh, big smiles!
-Yeah, it's brilliant.
-Loads of plants.
-It's definitely greener, isn't it?
So much planting, love the gravel as well.
It all looks so clean and fresh.
We've got the low-lying scented plants here.
-We've got things like thyme, chamomile, Moroccan mint...
So they'll smell beautiful.
And if you walk over them, if you brush them, that's really nice.
Checking out the beautifully aromatic herbs.
-We've got some ferns.
-That's the only one I recognise! And a grass.
-There we are. So, we've got your cabin here.
And given you a sofa over there.
Do you feel like, as a family now, you'll use this space a lot more?
Definitely, yeah, without a doubt, it's a proper...
Well, living area, isn't it?
-It's been transformed from something that was disused
in the summer and abandoned for the rest of the year
into something that we'll use all year round.
Exactly, that's what's so nice about having the cabin, isn't it?
This has really made sure
that they've got enough space for everyone.
-Can you guess what that is?
-That's our old shed.
Recycled bike shed, looks like it's going down well.
Oh, it's perfect.
-It's been chopped about a bit.
-Well, it doesn't look like the old shed.
-than the old one, I can tell you that.
We've got these little things that Charlie did,
they're called kokedamas,
so they're like a really cool way of having a hanging basket.
-And then a little bit of thyme, gold thyme, on the roof.
It's lovely. Thank you.
With two growing sons,
Lara and Mark's home has been feeling the squeeze.
Now they not only have an extra room but also
a stylish, contemporary garden that they can all enjoy.
I really like the redesign.
I think it looks fantastic, it looks really light, it's spacious,
it's got everything in there that we want.
We couldn't have done the work ourselves,
and ended up with something so nice.
Now we've got a whole different garden. It's beautiful.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Bexley, Kent to visit a couple with two growing sons. As the boys get bigger, they're feeling the squeeze in the house so are keen to transform a disused area at the bottom of the garden into a new multi-functional space that they can all enjoy. The centrepiece of this space needs to be a cabin that will be an extension to their home, but they would also like a contemporary outdoor space around it. With the cabin eating up the majority of the budget, the designers have their work cut out.