Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A low-maintenance, contemporary garden is created for a retired couple.
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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 gardens.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Oh, good turn.
-That's 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 each pitch them a design based on their needs...
-It 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 with sort of faffing around.
-This is what happens...
-Does he ever get irritating?
-All the time.
-..when different styles collide...
-Who chose these?
-One, two, three.
-This looks like your design.
-..to turn garden dreams into reality.
-Open your eyes.
So, whose garden will Charlie and the Rich brothers,
be competing over today?
We've heard from Christine and Clive.
They're a retired couple, they've just moved into their new home.
Oh, it looks brand spanking new, as well, doesn't it?
Christine and Clive hail from Fleet, they met in 1969
at a social club and have been happily married for 45 years.
'Clive used to belong'
to a club called 18+.
'Well, it was a very, very hot summer,
'so I suggested that a crowd'
went up to the open-air theatre in Regent's Park,
only one person turned up
'and I've still got the programme upstairs framed'
with the date on it.
That was our first date.
Four decades and five houses and gardens later,
the couple have decided to scale down.
'There was a big area in the garden in our last house.
'We realised that the knees weren't going to particularly improve.
-'Knees and back.
-And we wanted'
a flat, easier to manage
and easier to access garden.
They moved into their new-built home five months ago
and as they are the first residents,
the garden is as the developers left it.
Their previous garden used to be quite well-stocked -
it was large, full of things...
-This one's not.
-So, what a contrast.
-One pot, two pot.
The couple are looking for a garden that works
with their new pace of life.
Christine likes a garden to potter in. She's definitely a potterer.
As long as I can grow some tomatoes,
some runner beans and a few herbs and salad staff - that's fine.
And we want to be able to relax and have friends round
and that's where I want to be able to have a snooze
when it does get sunny.
These guys love contemporary and they love the idea
of having a bit more of an adult space with a real wow factor.
Yeah, I bet you think you've got it sewn up, don't you?
-I never think that...
-I do contemporary so well.
It's the openness and the light that we like from this house,
which was one of the reasons why we bought it.
What we want out of the garden is for it to be an extension
of the house.
But that's not all the team have to contend with.
We live in quite close proximity to other people's homes.
And as much as we love them, it would nice to have some privacy.
But instant privacy in a garden that is so overlooked
doesn't come cheap.
We've allowed a budget of £7,000.
It's quite a lot, but like you said, it's quite a blank canvas,
so we're going to have to really bring everything.
We've got a lot of scope, though.
-I think these guys need a bit of zhoosh with their ideas.
-Have you got a lot of zhoosh, have you?
-Oh, tons of it.
This garden may have a healthy budget,
But with not much else in there, the team have to give them
everything and starting from scratch will be costly.
With a garden challenge in hand, Charlie and the brothers are heading
to Fleet to find out how Christine and Clive see the garden...
So, here's the garden.
..and to assess how the look of their house
could influence their design.
It's nice and light in here, isn't it?
-Very nice, yeah.
-Quite clean, quite modern.
-Not a lot is going on, Clive, is there?
-Not a lot.
-A bare canvas.
-Hmm. Cos you've not been here that long, have you?
-So this is quite exciting to you?
-It is very exciting,
very exciting, but also quite scary having such a flat, blank square.
-It is very flat.
-Where do you start?
See, that's my feeling.
This is a really lovely piece of furniture,
-the warmth of the wood...
-It is nice.
Really modern, really contemporary style with the horizontal slats.
Definitely use this in, like, a screening.
Or maybe, like, raised beds,
something like that would give a really nice, contemporary detail.
I think that the style is a little...
We would like it a little bit more formal, little bit more structured.
But one of the things I think would be lovely
is to have something with a wow factor.
I feel we need a little shady area, somewhere to sit,
because it is a south-facing garden.
But hopefully an area out here where we can eat as well.
So, I kind of get this...it needs to be quite uncluttered...
-Everything kind of has a reason,
cos everything here is kind of located nicely, isn't it?
So, we're saying formal, contemporary, wow factor,
socialising area, but to blank out some of the houses a bit
and a bit to do in the garden.
-You've got it in one.
Well, that's the brief.
Now it's time for Charlie and the boys to get creative.
They each have to come up with a design
for Christine and Clive's garden,
then pitch it to the couple who will choose a winning design to be built.
But it's not over for the loser as they'll be at the beck and call
of the winner, helping them bring their design to life.
Charlie's passion for flora may appeal to gardener Christine and her
-love of pottering in the garden.
-This is exciting.
But the boys' more modern style could swing it in their favour.
It's time for the big pitch.
We realise that we needed to give you a very modern,
very stylish garden,
but that definitely draw on quite traditional values.
So, something that had a balance between the two.
So, the main features in this garden are the raised beds you can see here
and they're made up of horizontal slatted wood,
-similar to some of the features in your living room.
So, that's just got a really nice, clean contemporary look.
You've already got this one patch of area,
but we wanted to give you one in the middle of the garden,
so you really feel kind of surrounded by the garden.
-Oh, I like that.
My feeling is to keep the garden very simple and structured.
Now, this area here, this is the socialising area.
This is a very chunky, simple deck, oak deck,
so you would step up onto it.
And this is a canal of water with a feature at the end,
so it's shallow water,
we can put dye in it to make it reflective like a mirror...
-..which can look really wow.
-I've never thought of that.
The boys' design is very subtle,
but Charlie's thrown everything at hers and it's going down well.
But it's not over yet, the boys have answers to the privacy issue...
We've located four different trees in this garden,
which we feel will help with the privacy,
juts by bringing the trees a little bit closer
so that you can be amongst the trees,
but when you look out, it completely blocks off the views
from the upper windows of the houses.
But Charlie's thought of that too.
So, to screen out the bits that you don't want to see,
I've got large shrubs around the perimeter,
strategically placed and this is just a very straightforward,
so that the people behind here can't look in when you're sitting out.
Both designers have also considered Christine's love of gardening.
-We've got low topiarised box hedging.
-And that sits on the outside of the raised beds
and that's great because it softens it.
-They're relatively easy to maintain as well?
Yeah, good fun, you can cut it if you like,
you can let it grow higher if you like.
With the planting here...
Lots and lots of box balls that we then interplant.
Oh, I like that.
Now, I've got them random, I quite like that.
And then this is a raised bed.
Now, I've left it all for vegetables.
What looks quite amazing
is mixing your vegetables with your ornamentals,
-you can make a really...
-I like that idea.
Christine and Clive appear impressed,
but they have some questions.
So, how high would you say the topiary hedge is?
-Oh, that high?
-No, I'm just joking.
-It would take 20 years.
It'll be about 40 to 50 centimetres. So, like, knee height.
-That kind of thing.
Paving slabs - they're an absolute pain to cut around.
So, if possible, it would be great if that could be changed into
a dedicated path without grass between...
We can do that. Yes, that saves the budget even more,
so we can spend it elsewhere.
The pitch is over.
Now it's up to Christine and Clive.
And this, I would never have thought of having a long water feature.
Which obviously elongates the garden, so that's a very clever...
A concern is the positioning of this pergola,
because that would, in fact, not create very much shade.
We can perhaps turn it round the other way?
-I thought this was genius...
..in terms of bringing these trees nearer to the house...
-Exactly, rather than around the edge.
-..to create privacy.
-And I love this way of doing the raised beds...
-..partly with the boxed...
-But is there going to be enough...?
-That seating area you can move...
-..in terms of where the shade is.
The couple want a garden with the wow factor.
So, which design has it?
-Really difficult decision, how on earth do we decide?
Will they go for the boys' formal, subtle design with extra patio,
raised beds and trees for privacy?
Or Charlie's chunky oak deck,
contemporary water feature and topiary balls?
So, so difficult, love them both. Really love them both.
But at the end of the day, the one we have chosen is...
-Nice. Well done.
-Good, I get to do a water feature, yes! Your favourite.
But Christine and Clive want to tweak Charlie's design.
-We need to tweak the path a bit so...
-And the pergola.
And the pergola - that's just twist it round sun-wise.
-But thank you both.
And we get to see more of you, Charlie.
-And the boys, I can't do it on my own.
-And the boys, yes.
Great. You make a great team.
It's an early start for the team in Fleet.
Charlie's away ordering some of the large plants that Clive and
Christine's seven grand budget has enabled her to buy.
So, it's down to project manager Kate and landscapers
Scott, Adam and Mark to get on with the prep.
Just marking out - no problems, just solutions.
There's an awful lot of landscaping to do,
so Charlie's made sure there's a digger on site to shoulder
the heavy work...if they can get it into the garden.
HE SPEAKS INDISTINCTLY
To give the clients the wow factor they were looking for,
Charlie has jam-packed her design with features.
So, while Scott cracks on with digging out the water feature,
Adam assembles a subframe for the rectangular deck.
And we've got lovely hardwood.
It's called balau, and it's really beautiful.
Lovely red tinge.
Because the plot is a rectangular shape,
the boys don't have to create a bespoke deck.
Charlie has ordered a kit of parts, so it should be an easier job.
Oh, look at that. You've got lovely lines from the timbers.
-Yeah, that's fine.
Charlie's water feature really caught Christine and Clive's eye.
Situated towards the rear of the garden,
this will be a real focal point.
Charlie's opted to build a traditional rill
but is planning to add a fountain at one end to create movement.
It's really crucial to get your levels right
when you're building a rill,
otherwise the water will be all tipsy.
And it's a big one - 1m wide and 4m long.
-We are there or thereabouts, all the way around.
The next step is to reinforce the edges
to keep the earth back.
Because the hole will eventually be lined,
it's fine to use cheaper breeze blocks.
Out front, Charlie and the boys have just arrived.
With such a heavy workload, they're just in the nick of time.
This garden is a very simple design.
It's all about blocks and squares and rectangles.
What kind of planting?
-We've got lots of box balls...
..to go, and I don't know whether to arrange them
in a dunk, dunk, dunk,
-..with the rectangles.
I like doing that. Can we do that bit?
You want to do the box balls?
-OK, so you're doing the water feature.
You're going to do the path and you're going to do some planting.
-I'm going to do some decking. Sun's out.
-What can go wrong?
-Unless you add more things to our list.
Whilst the boys consider the water feature,
Charlie is onto the deck.
But before any boards can go down,
the framework needs to be put in place.
-Do you want to just lift it across?
The boys have dug a trench in the lines of the subframe,
so it will sit in the lawn,
and have added a membrane to stop weeds coming through the gaps.
Now it's ready for Charlie and Scott.
Look at that decking. Ooh.
We've got a slight fall on there,
so it disperses the water off the edge of the boards.
-Because the boards aren't grooved.
-They're not. They're flat hardwood.
They're flat, which will look really smart.
This is going to be very instant, isn't it?
It's going to come through very quickly, yeah.
-Bomp, bomp, bomp.
-Instant dance floor.
The channel for the water rill has been dug and lined with sand,
so it's ready for the liner.
-Oh, it smells.
-Smells lovely. Takes us back to the surfing days.
But Charlie has had an idea on how
she can make this garden feel personal to Christine and Clive.
The rill has been designed to have a fountain at one end,
so they've been on a shopping trip.
Oh, look at that. Look at that handsome beast.
..queen of water features.
The queen of water features. I heard my name. OK.
So, I have to say, that is pretty full-on, isn't it?
-So, I would put it about there.
-To go into the...
-So, that...that... So, you see...
-..from there, but also from your decking.
-So, from both ways.
And you'll see the water dropping.
-Oh, what a good idea.
-We need to fill it up first, don't we?
-Well, we need to put a liner in it first.
-Stop distracting us, you two.
-Yeah, we need to get on.
Meanwhile, Adam and Scott are putting edging in for a path.
That's it. Good work. Lovely.
Charlie has created two paths to link the different features
to the existing patio,
creating a journey around the garden.
Clive wasn't keen on slabs, so she's using gravel.
Over at the water feature,
the boys need to crack on with fixing the liner.
The trickiest bits are the corners,
so they're tiding them up like the corners of a bedsheet.
Yeah, this is good here as well. Just pulling it a little bit.
Final adjustments to make it nice and neat
can be done when it's full of water.
-This is coming on well, isn't it?
The timber edging is down,
but there seems to be a difference of opinion.
We also put the timber heads along
with some nice membrane in the bottom.
Mem... No. No, no, no. Not membrane in the bottom.
-You've got to have membrane in the bottom.
-Stop the weeds coming up.
-No, but it comes up.
Looks like Charlie needs the clients' input again.
-So, you've got me to change the paving.
-All right. Tools out.
-Not that we're ganging up against the boys...
-..but... So, this is the gravel path.
The boys would like to put membrane down.
-But when you walk on it on gravel,
it comes up through and all that black will come to the surface.
You might have to pull out the odd weed.
-But is that the guarantee that you're able to offer?
So, Clive, no pressure. Is it membrane or no membrane?
So, if we can just put down weedkiller
and that's going to resolve the problem, yes.
-Right answer. Good.
Excellent. Thank you, Clive.
-We'll get back to work, then.
-Might as well pack up tools, then, lads.
-We're going home.
-I'm sorry about that, guys.
-I'll take the small one, shall I?
Why does it always seem to work that way?
It's all timing, David. It's all timing.
All right, well, that's the way to attack there.
Over at the deck, Charlie and Scott have made up
and are ready to lay the first decking boards.
-So, the first one has got to be spot on, hasn't it?
-It has, yes.
Charlie opted for a smooth, luxurious hardwood deck.
Hailing from Asia,
it adds that little touch of exotic glamour to the garden.
People worry about decking that hasn't got grooves in
because it'll be slippery,
but this has an antifungal property to it,
so it means it doesn't get slippery as long as you oil it once a year.
Although a hardwood deck is more expensive than softwood,
it weathers well and could potentially have
up to double the life span.
Using hardwood screws,
Scott leaves a 4mm gap to allow for any swelling of the boards.
-Sure that's in the right place?
-It is in the right place, thank you.
I'm just teasing!
And with Charlie being at the helm,
she has a word of caution for everyone.
Right. You do all know there's no walking on this deck
once it's down?
-The dance floor, isn't it?
-Dragon wagon's talking!
She's a tough boss, Charlie, but a caring one too.
The sun has been belting down all day, so she's being mother hen.
We have got hats for the boys.
Do you want to see the boys in their hats?
So, Scott's hat is very dapper.
-Oh, cheers, Mum.
-That looks much better.
-Have you got some sunblock for my neck as well?
And where's the other little boy?
With the flower facing? Damn. Why is Harry getting the good one?
Good. Covers your ears, the back of your neck.
Actually reminds me of Nan a little bit.
Cooking on gas here.
Christine loves to potter in the garden.
Right, let's get the sleeper, Harry. Come on.
So she doesn't have to bend down all the time,
Charlie has designed three raised beds.
One runs parallel to the water feature.
-That's the path.
-That's the path, that is, mate.
Oh, is that actually the path?
So, we're going outside that far edge, basically.
Should have looked at Charlie's design.
Are you changing my design already, Harry?
-Yeah. By mistake, though.
The bed will be around 70cm high
and 1m wide -
a nice sensible height that's easier on the back.
I'll leave you boys to it. You know what you're doing.
The boys start with the base,
making sure it's good and solid and then building it up.
OK, hold on, then.
Yeah, it's good there, mate. That's lovely.
Charlie has designed the beds to be just a metre wide,
which also makes them easier to maintain.
And the 1m bit is the key bit.
You don't want to have your veg bed too wide
and you can't reach the middle.
Another great thing about raised beds
is it's good for the back.
You're not reaching or bending over, kneeling down.
It's really manageable.
All you need to do is refresh your soil with some good manure
about once a year and the veg will love it.
But there are still two more to do,
and with the deck and the water feature not yet finished,
the hard landscaping seems to be taking forever.
Are we halfway yet?
-SHE MOCKINGLY SOBS
Charlie is getting frustrated, and there's more bad news.
The boys are struggling with the raised beds.
So, can you look down that side and just see if that's kind of flush
with that, so we get it square?
No. They must've come...
The sleepers don't seem to be quite right.
I mean, it's timber, at the end of the day.
-Yeah, and you can't account for timber...
-It's not the way...
There's going to be some movement in it.
I'll leave me little gap at the back end.
-Stop slowing him down, you.
Sorry. Goodness me.
What we're finding is that some of these timbers are either warped
kind of basically banana-like, that way,
so it just means you've got to screw them in together.
And between the two, there's going to be three high,
so what we're going to have to do on the inside,
bracket them and then pull them together and screw them in.
At least the decking is nearly finished.
Last board! Only 28 screws to go!
Last two screws.
Yes. Until we start the pergola.
And the last deck board is down.
The boys have conquered the raised beds
and have moved back to the rill.
Charlie has chosen limestone coping stones,
and the boys are laying them an inch over the edge.
So, what it does is it covers the lining
so you see this lovely reflection of the stone texture
instead of this,
so it's a really smart way of finishing the water feature.
Charlie has positioned the rill
so it's in plain view from the kitchen.
The ideal spot for any water feature
is a site where the wind doesn't blow and it isn't too hot.
A water feature like this obviously does require
a bit more maintenance, but it's not too bad.
At maybe the height of summer, full sun,
you'd be looking at maybe topping up an inch a week at the most,
so it doesn't require too much of your time.
Charlie's still on landscaping duties.
So that the deck is shaded on days like today,
she and Adam are adding a pergola.
Great thing about putting a pergola in
is it adds the height,
but it also means you can grow more plants.
So, you can have trailing plants and climbing plants.
-So, this is a kit one, isn't it, this pergola?
-It is, yeah.
We're making life simple, supposedly.
Just got to get everything the right height first
-and then we'll be all right.
On the hottest summer days, shade is essential in the garden,
so it pays to know the position of the sun in relation to your plot,
particularly if you're planning a seating area for morning coffee
or a dining area for afternoon or evening get-togethers.
Trees or tall shrubs offer natural shade
but need to have a wide and dense canopy to be effective.
Wooden pergolas or pagodas have the natural feel of a tree,
and come in shapes and sizes to fit any style of garden.
But the frame only offers partial shade,
so consider the growth rate of what you climb up it
if you're going to rely on it for protection.
If your taste is contemporary,
than nothing beats a dramatic sail shade for the wow factor.
They come in all colours but will need regular cleaning
if you want to maintain that boutique hotel look.
In Fleet, Adam is screwing the post for Charlie's pergola
into the subframe just to get the positioning spot on.
He'll then add postcrete to the hole so it's solid as a rock.
-I'll get the screw started.
-Yeah, cos I've just moved that totally.
-Right. You tell me when you think we're about there.
-Hold on, hold on.
-Give a girl a chance. Good.
At last, the back of the hard landscaping has been broken,
so Charlie wastes no time in getting the brothers
straight onto planting trees.
-Loving the size of these.
-So, we have our lovely hawthorn.
-And prunus serrula.
I'm thinking over there.
-What's this? What's this?
-Oh, that will be lovely.
Christina and Clive's garden is overlooked on three sides.
-Put the Chinese sorbus here.
Yeah, because it'll block that house out.
So, Charlie is planting ornamental trees
that won't grow too big
and will also add some much needed shade to the garden.
Bring the alder forward a bit.
Quite a lot. Don't be shy.
-Happy with that.
One of the big selling points of Charlie's design
were the billowing clouds of box that she proposed
for the left-hand border,
and it's time they made an appearance.
So, we've got very large ones.
I've got this one that I'm going to leave shaggy,
so we've got a couple of shaggy ones
because I like the different textures.
You can buy various shapes and sizes of topiary off the shelf,
but if there's a specific shape you like,
you can have great fun creating your own.
People get quite confused about how far you need to cut them back.
You don't need any fancy clippers.
You can quite happily use
a good pair of scissors or sequiturs,
and just follow the shape and just sort of press on it
and you just know that that's far enough back
because there's some resistance.
The boys were itching to get their hands on the balls,
but Charlie wants the trees planted first.
Get them in.
Harry is planting a golden alder.
With beautiful autumn and winter colour,
it can reach up to 12m high.
Alders are one of my favourite trees
because sometimes the simplest things look the best.
-That works, doesn't it?
-It looks textured.
What about my hawthorn? Do you like it?
Yeah, that's a good-looking tree.
So, it's closely related to the native hawthorn,
but it's the fancier version with the lovely strong, pink flowers.
-It's great, isn't it?
-It is pretty strong. Pretty bold.
Charlie is also adding some large shrubs
that will be easier for Christine and Clive to manage than perennials
and will provide some year-round interest.
Going to try and cover this wall up a bit with these evergreens,
so, you know, we've got this viburnum tinus...
Yeah. And this guy, this pittosporum, is my favourite.
-It's gorgeous. Got a lovely, simple leaf, isn't it?
See, I like the garrya elliptica.
Evergreen. It gets those great big long tassels on it. Tassel tree.
-Oh, sounds horrific.
-No accounting for taste.
-Look at that!
Simple dark stem. Lovely green leaf. No variegation.
You need educating, you boys do. You so do.
With the trees in,
the brothers have got their wish and are onto the box balls.
-Oh, give me...
-Like a glove.
Give me a hand getting this one in, Harry,
and then I'll...we can both fill them in.
But towards the rear of the garden,
there's a problem with the water feature.
Is that heavy, that water feature?
It's not really, but when it's full of water,
it will be heavy.
So, it will hold them down. I'll see what height it is.
Scott has realised that when the water is turned off,
the fountain will be too light and could float away.
Is that good for the saw?
-If it's someone else's saw...
-Yeah, it's fine.
..it's not a problem, but as it's mine...
So he places its base on top of some breeze blocks
so it sits just above the water line.
He'll then weigh it down to keep it firmly in place.
In order to get the fountain to work,
there's a new addition to the team.
Electrician Kieran is not only wiring up the water feature,
he's also been tasked with putting in a new lighting scheme.
Christine and Clive were so taken with Charlie's planting plans,
they insisted on some night-time illumination.
Lighting can bring a whole new dimension to a garden.
Designer Karena Batstone knows how to add some night-time drama
to an outdoor space.
During the day, you have no choice what's lit in a garden.
Everything is lit.
But at night, you have the opportunity
to do something really exciting.
The trick is to be subtle with your lighting.
Think about the effect you want and where to position your lights.
I like to use spike-mounted spotlights in the beds
because you can move them around.
If you use the fitting very close to the base of a wall,
you'll pick up the texture of the wall.
But don't forget about the practical issues
and plan ahead if you can.
If you're constructing a new garden,
you need to think about where to put all the conduits,
because you don't want to put down all your paving and discover
that you've got some trailing lead going in an awkward place.
So, it's very well worth planning garden lighting
right from the start.
If electric lights aren't practical, there are alternatives.
Using your outdoor sockets,
you can create an atmosphere for different occasions.
So, a party, for instance, get the string lights out.
And the other thing I would say is don't forget about candlelight.
I think the nicest way to light a dining table is with candlelight.
Back in Fleet, with the weight problem of the fountain sorted...
..it just needs to be slotted into place.
Still looks good from there, doesn't it?
Happy with the water feature,
Charlie is keen that momentum doesn't start flagging.
-So, you need to square that off of...
-Yeah, no problem.
And what, there's a path on through there, is there?
-There's a metre bed...
-..so we'll timber-edge it.
By then, those raised beds will be...
And then that's flowerbed and raised bed.
And she's powering on with planting up the raised veg bed.
And I'm just enriching it with some well-rotted farmyard manure.
It does make it nice and easy having them raised.
These ones on there.
And that one is going to be there.
Charlie is planning to add some height
by growing peas up wooden supports.
So, I'm just going to do that with them, really.
Pretty sure I might change it all in a minute.
We've got a couple of tomatoes here.
These are ones, a variety called roma,
which are great for outside.
And then we've got a couple of sweet peppers.
Adding simple net will help keep birds or insects
from eating your new crops, but Charlie has got another tip.
You could also plant in here garlic and chives
cos garlic and chives are really good companion planting
because they attract lots of hover flies
which then eat things like the aphids
that would eat your vegetables.
That's one raised bed planted up. Just two more to go.
The day is passing by quickly,
and although some of the team are planting,
the hard landscaping just goes on and on.
David's adding a 10cm top layer of white chippings
to the path.
And Charlie has asked the landscapers
to extend the old patio by two rows
so Christine and Clive can have a proper eating area
just outside their kitchen.
That size is sweet. That's flush on that corner there like that.
Finally, the big moment. Time to turn the water fountain on.
Should look pretty cool at night.
The guys are on the home stretch, which means one thing...
Is there one more box ball there?
..it's all hands on deck for the planting.
Should look quite nice about there. Oops.
And David is starting to regret taking on the box balls.
Charlie wanted to immerse Christine in her plants...
Smells good. This will be a really lovely scented little area.
..so as well as draping the pergola with climbers,
she's placed two of the raised beds alongside the decking.
We've got jasmine, salvias, lavender.
We're going for, like, a blue, grey, silver effect
that's going to slightly flop over and soften the raised borders.
This area is in full sun,
so Charlie has gone for drought-tolerant plants.
And being in a raised bed,
they'll be easy for Christine to maintain.
So, silver foliage plants are really quite tolerant of drought,
but once they're established,
they will put up with really intense sun
and really dry conditions,
which actually makes the aromatic ones
smell even stronger.
The team are now at full throttle
with just the last bit of planting to do.
Got some salvias. Fandabadoozy!
Yeah, it really works.
Yeah, I think it's absolutely amazing how much has been done.
I mean, just, this is a completely different garden, isn't it?
I think your brother is throwing
the toys out of his pram at this precise moment.
I was just getting it out of the bed.
-How did that bearded iris get over there?
-It was there.
-It wasn't there. Doesn't matter.
-Where's it supposed to be?
-There was no space for it, so we wondered where...
Think it looks great there, mate.
The main bed is finished.
I'm out of here.
No more planting.
A quick tidy and the garden is done.
Once just a flat square of grass,
this garden was completely overlooked
and lacked character and features.
Now it's been brought to life with a £7,000 makeover.
At the heart of Charlie's design was a beautiful hardwood deck.
Sleek and stylish with a hint of red, it cost £1,400,
but it should last for years.
A pergola not only brings a little privacy
when relaxing on the deck
but adds much-needed height to the garden,
underneath with scented plants like salvias and jasmine
excite the senses.
The tranquil water rill with its chrome fountain
adds a relaxing sound to the garden.
The quirky box balls add structure and form.
They look great all year round
and will be easy for Christine and Clive to maintain.
Being a south-facing garden,
Charlie has given the couple a shady woodland area.
Once they grow to their full eight-metre height,
a hawthorn and prunus serrula
will screen the garden from the neighbours.
And the boys have built three raised beds.
Made from tanalised timber,
they're ideal for growing plants and vegetables
and are low-maintenance.
..the step over.
Christine and Clive dreamed of a garden that had the wow factor,
so has Charlie delivered?
I'm just going to sort of position you like that.
Oh, about to open their eyes.
-And you're allowed to open your eyes.
-Look at that.
Loads of wows. That's good.
-I love that, in particular.
Just to say, you can't walk on the paving, Clive.
-So, come this way.
So, we're very pleased with the deck,
because it does look top-notch.
-Oh, it looks beautiful.
-Oh, doesn't that look smashing?
-And I love the plants.
And of course, this is sufficient space where we can even dance.
Oh, OK. Hello. Let the gentleman lead.
Look at him. Mr Strictly.
What a charmer.
-I just think this is beautiful.
-The sound is very tranquil.
-Yeah, it is.
-Isn't that lovely?
-It is. Absolutely super.
So, you've got lots of watering to do.
So, this is going to be so scented.
If you tread on that paving, I will kill you.
-I'm so nice to the clients!
That is one of Christine's favourite things,
and I know that that has a lovely smell as well.
-I'm glad you love it.
-I love...absolutely love it.
-Good. Thank you.
And all your....well, everybody's hard work.
It was a lot of hard work.
-Where did that go?
-Brilliant. Thank you, everybody.
Well done, everybody.
The garden more than exceeds our expectations.
It's fantastic. Amazing, yeah.
Christine and Clive seem happy,
but do they think their cash was well spent?
Yes, I do. We're going to be looking out at this for a very long time.
And we've got this as a result, which is amazing.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Fleet, Hampshire, competing to build a low-maintenance, contemporary garden for a retired couple. With a healthy £7,000 budget and only a patch of grass and fence panels to play with, our designers transform this blank canvas into a sensational garden that definitely has the wow factor. With bending over and digging being an issue, the team have ideas for making gardening less labour intensive.