Cambridgeshire Garden Rescue


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Cambridgeshire

Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. An ugly backdrop provides a challenge when creating a stylish party garden.


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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 garden block are the Rich brothers.

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We will be the brothers that change people's perceptions of gardens.

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

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-Oh, good turn.

-Oh, wow, absolutely 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.

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That looks really exciting.

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

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-The winner...

-Hey!

-Ta-da!

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-ALL:

-Whoo!

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-..brings their design to life...

-Hold on, hold on!

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Sweet, isn't it?

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

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Well, I'm getting irritated now with 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 styles 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.

-You can open your eyes.

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-Wow. It's amazing.

-It's beautiful.

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This week, Charlie and the Rich brothers are competing over

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a garden whose owners want to take it back from their teenage children.

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This garden definitely needs some attention.

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Basically, Anthony built the house, they moved in, him and Lisa,

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seven years ago, and they wanted a lot of space for the children

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to run round when they were young.

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Lisa, who works in e-commerce, and Anthony,

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a self-employed plasterer, live in a detached house in Cambridgeshire

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with their children, 15-year-old Theo and 17-year-old Olivia.

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We did a self-build house and it took me

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four and a half years to build.

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The only part that hasn't been completed is the back garden

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where we ran out of inspiration.

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It's really just been used by the children, hasn't it?

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Got the trampoline, the goalposts, we've just used it as a playground,

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so we've not really bothered doing anything with it.

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They're a lot older now,

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so their need's not for playing in the garden now.

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So they can hand it back over to us.

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I have to say, I don't think they did much with the garden,

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other than just lawn it down in the first place.

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-Yeah, but you said he built his own house?

-Uh-huh.

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I'm surprised he struggled a little bit on the shed, there.

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-THEY LAUGH

-That's falling apart, isn't it?

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Like all things like that, though,

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-you tend to leave your stuff until last, don't you?

-BOTH:

-Yeah.

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That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.

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THEY LAUGH

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This is a family that likes to party.

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And the current state of their garden is putting the kibosh

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on their social life in the summer months.

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Wintertime's great here.

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We have nice New Year's Eve parties

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and we want to have nice summer parties.

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And then it's Olivia's 18th birthday this year.

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And she talked about having a party in the garden.

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But I think it's a bit embarrassing sometimes when they bring

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their friends round and the garden looks such a mess.

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This garden needs to be ready for Olivia's big day.

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And in order to get it looking shipshape,

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they've made some sacrifices.

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Well, at the start of the year we decided to forfeit our holiday,

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and the money that we set aside for a holiday,

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we felt that we'd actually get the garden fixed up with it.

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-So the budget's 2,500.

-It's not...

-Decent.

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It's quite a big garden, but I think, you know,

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-we can do quite a lot for that, can't we?

-Yeah.

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Harry's right. At 17 by 15 metres,

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this is a big garden to tackle for just two and a half grand.

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But undeterred,

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they're travelling to Cambridgeshire to see the garden in the flesh.

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And initial indicators are not encouraging.

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-Look at this.

-HE LAUGHS

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Why are you laughing?

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Well, I think a couple of these plants look a bit dodgy, don't they?

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Not quite looked after.

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Yeah, I was admiring Christmas tree number one,

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Christmas tree number two over there.

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I don't hold out much hope for number two.

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But round the back, there is one feature in this sad and

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desolate garden that has caught the designers' eyes.

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Well, everyone talks about borrowed views, but...

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Yeah, it's not the best one, is it?

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I think I'd give that one back, to be honest.

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The garden backs onto a warehouse and it's huge,

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dominating the space.

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-At least it's green, I suppose, isn't it?

-Not enough, not enough.

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-Mind you, that one. It's all right.

-Yeah, that's a lot nicer, isn't it?

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A lot softer. A lot more natural.

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-I think we have the views this way for this garden.

-Well...

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They've tried to have some form of decking out here.

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It looks like it needs a little attention.

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The execution is just slightly off, isn't it?

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As usual, Harry and David head inside the house to try and

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get a feel for Lisa and Anthony's taste.

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And the inside couldn't be more different to the outside.

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Oh, wow. Now this is definitely a contrast to the garden, isn't it?

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Look how clean and very uncluttered. Nice and modern.

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So I think, this is their real character, you know,

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this is what we need to take and put into our design.

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Charlie wants to get to know Lisa and Anthony to find out more

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about why they want their garden changed.

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So the garden's obviously been well-used.

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-Very well-used, but not very well-loved, really.

-Yeah.

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Now, what do you want from your new garden, as such?

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I think more a grown-up space, don't we?

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Yeah, we like to socialise quite a lot,

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so it's not very inviting as it is.

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-The deck out the back beside the patio doors.

-It's different.

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THEY LAUGH

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That basically went down for a birthday party when Olivia

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was ten and it's been there ever since.

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Feels like one big open room as well.

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They've got that real nice divide there in glass.

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It feels quite transparent.

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So I think, what we'll try and do is pull that outside,

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split the sections up into these little isolated rooms,

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but not too dominant that they feel as if, you know,

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-you're not connected to the whole garden.

-Yeah.

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The table and chairs are quite a long way from the house.

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We get sun in this corner, sort of the end of the day in the summer.

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So we'll come here on a really hot day,

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brave the garden and have dinner out here, but not very often.

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What sort of maintenance?

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-Low.

-Low. Are you gardeners?

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No, we've never done anything.

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But I'm quite interested to learn,

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so I would be willing to spend a bit of time.

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I think once it's nice, I'd enjoy doing it and keeping it nice.

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We go to friends' houses who've just got nicely kept gardens and

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we're like, "Oh, it would be lovely to have a garden like this."

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-Also, element of colour I think is crucial, isn't it?

-Lots of red.

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Put that in the garden, maybe in flowerbeds, that would really uplift

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-the garden.

-That would link both spaces, then, as well.

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So we're going socialising areas, simple,

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you're up for a bit of gardening,

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-we probably want to screen out the warehouse...

-That would be nice.

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..a little bit, but other than that?

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-It's up to you.

-Anything goes.

-Anything goes.

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It's clear that Lisa and Anthony are fed up,

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after years of having their garden turned upside down by the children.

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They don't mind what they get,

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as long as it's different to what it is now.

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But that's the kind of challenge that Charlie

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and the Rich brothers love.

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So they waste no more time in getting their ideas down on paper.

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Each of them has to design what they believe will be Lisa and

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Anthony's perfect garden that works within their budget.

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They will then go head-to-head to pitch their ideas

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and whoever loses has to help the winner

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turn their design into reality.

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So who will they choose?

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Charlie understands how badly Lisa wants to enjoy the garden

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with friends and family.

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Here we go.

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But the boys have seen that the couple have very particular taste,

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which, if captured in their design, could really work in their favour.

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So this is our design.

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Oh, my God.

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It's time for the big pitch.

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So you guys told us that you very rarely use your garden and

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that's something we don't want to hear.

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We want to give you a garden that's really usable,

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got a nice contemporary clean style, easy to maintain.

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But just somewhere as well

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that if you've got entertaining going on in the house,

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you can open up your patio doors

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and you can use your garden like it's another room.

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One of the key elements of this is this large deck.

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And what's so nice is,

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when you have those doors open from the living room and kitchen,

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you've got these lovely big planting beds that can be very

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colourful, so when you are inside,

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-you've always got this kind of nice bit of artwork outside.

-Very nice.

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So this is your patio doors here. And I have a split deck.

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Now, the reason I've put it on a diagonal is to frame that view,

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rather than seeing the shed and the warehouse.

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And by doing it on a diagonal like that,

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you're using the longest length to make the garden look even bigger.

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Both designers have added a large deck,

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perfect for when the couple's friends come over.

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But what plans have they got for the top corner?

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This is your attractive patio area

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down at the end, where you can socialise.

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Nice warm area.

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And then this is going to be a much more wild area with the trees in it.

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They are small trees.

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And then underneath this feature tree, is a very simple seat.

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Charlie's added oodles of space for socialising with

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a double deck outside the house, a seat around the tree and the patio.

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How will the boys respond with their plan for that sunny corner?

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We want to create somewhere that's a bit more private,

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so it's surrounded by, like,

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meadow turf, so it's always changing, very low-maintenance.

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You cut it down, like, once a year, which is great.

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And then a few shrubs as well,

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so it makes that kind of natural enclosure in a way.

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It's just immersed you a little bit in the space.

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And it's just somewhere where, if your children are in the garden,

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then you could be here with your friends and you're out of the way.

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One of the important issues for the designers to tackle,

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was how to mask the warehouse at the back of the garden.

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It's quite imposing, and what we want to do is put

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a little avenue of trees there, like a cherry or birch just

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so that it blurs the line and you have this nice natural screen.

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The nice thing about cherry is that it will give you blossom.

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It will give you autumn colour.

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So it's something that's really going to give you high interest.

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So the trees will disguise the warehouse area,

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but also this is just a very basic, simple pergola

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with just very simple, straightforward climbers on it.

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Basically look after themselves.

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It will just draw your eyeline down the garden rather than

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seeing the warehouse at the back.

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-I like it.

-You like that?

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Wonderful, well, thank you very much.

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-Thank you.

-We'll see you in a bit.

-That's it, time's up.

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Now it's all down to Lisa and Anthony.

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-It's really hard to choose, isn't it?

-Very difficult.

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Will they go for Charlie's design with multiple seating areas and

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the clever pergola that draws the view away from the warehouse?

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I like the way the decking is not right the way across on this one.

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I like all this round here, though.

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That looks very low-maintenance.

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The meadow.

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Or will they opt for the natural elegance of the

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Rich brothers' design with its meadow planting and cherry trees?

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I think, yeah, there's elements in both that we like,

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but I think there's more in one particular.

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It's decision time.

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Hello.

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-Hello.

-Hello. We've made our decision...

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..and the decision is...

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-Charlie.

-Ah, nice Charlie.

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-Well done.

-That's good!

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Oh, I'm pleased about that. It's all about the view, all about the view.

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Yeah, we loved them both,

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but this has got more elements of what we were hoping for

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for the garden.

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So this one's gone to Charlie.

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But in just a few months,

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this garden will need to be fit for an 18th birthday party.

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So she and the boys are going to have to work

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together to get it ready for the big occasion.

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It's an early start for the landscapers,

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and the weather gods are not smiling on Cambridgeshire.

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The team start to clear Lisa and Anthony's garden and the

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makeshift deck is the first to get the heave-ho.

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Charlie is safely out of the rain, off-site,

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putting the finishing touches to her design.

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And, not only that,

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she's convinced Anthony to help the landscapers.

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Charlie's design has the deck, the borders and the pergola on an

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angle, but no-one seems to able to work out what the angle is.

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We need to find that line. I thought it was 45 degrees.

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-But after setting that up...

-Yes, it's clearly not, is it? No.

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Ideally, we could do with that distance there.

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It's not going to be a massive border,

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just simply because I know what plants we're putting in.

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Well, can we go with a metre and a half? Something like that?

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-Can we actually say that?

-Does Paul say yeah?

-Yeah.

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Project manager Paul gives them the thumbs up to create a

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one-and-a-half-metre border next to the deck.

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This will make the angle less acute and matches the design perfectly.

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So now the geometry is sorted, the team can crack on with

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digging out the base for the patio in miserable conditions.

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Come on, you old lot.

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Luckily, we've got a superb team of landscapers that really

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enjoy working in this kind of weather.

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In fact, they thrive in it.

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It makes us go faster.

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HE LAUGHS

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He's used to a bit of hard graft,

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but even Anthony is wondering why he agreed to help out.

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After all, he and Lisa are paying for it.

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Over on the other side of the garden, the sub-frame is being

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built for the large deck that will go across the back of the house.

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And as the rain eases up a bit,

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Andy and the boys get on with laying the patio before the next downpour.

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Meanwhile, Charlie and the Rich brothers have arrived,

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and the gaffer gives the workers a pep talk

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before they all get stuck in.

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So the whole thing is to sort of draw the eye away from

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that very tiny little warehouse at the back of the garden.

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-So I've got you on the pergola.

-Aw, brilliant.

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-Maybe a little bit of decking.

-Nice.

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Because, to be honest, the budget, because it's a party garden...

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You spent it all on booze?

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No, I've spent it all on the hard landscaping and because

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they're not really gardeners,

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we're going to go with some very straightforward planting.

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-And then we've got the trees.

-Yeah, well, talking of trees,

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let's make like a tree and LEAF.

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-Leaf? Oh, dearie me.

-Barking mad.

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With the deck being so prominent in the design, and, well, large,

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the boys try and break the back of it while there's still

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a gap in the rain showers.

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So we'll be using four-by-two treated timber to create the

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structures of the deck.

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Underneath, we've got landscape fabric,

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which is going to suppress the weeds.

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There is a little bit of give on the joists,

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so what we're going to do is we're going to create some pegs and

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knock them in, and that's going to give a lovely rigid base

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to the deck.

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And for the deck, we're using six-by-two timbers.

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Now, you'd usually see these as joists on a roof,

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but they're great for decking for many reasons.

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As you can see, they're big boys. They're thick, so it means

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they're going to be long-lasting, really durable, really tough.

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They haven't got the normal ridges on them, like decking usually does,

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but that's more of a decorative thing, really,

0:17:010:17:03

rather than a functionality.

0:17:030:17:04

That tends to, like, grab dirt and dust and erode the decking

0:17:040:17:07

a bit faster than if it doesn't have it.

0:17:070:17:09

Meanwhile, Charlie and project manager Paul are giving the

0:17:130:17:16

trees she's had delivered the once over.

0:17:160:17:19

We've got a really good mix of trees here.

0:17:190:17:21

Evergreen, we've got colour foliage,

0:17:210:17:24

we've got flowers and we've got structure,

0:17:240:17:26

so that's going to be fabulous in the garden. It's really

0:17:260:17:29

going to help screen fairly instantly, quite quick growers.

0:17:290:17:32

What sort of prices were they?

0:17:320:17:33

Well, the big one you've got hold of there, that's about 90.

0:17:330:17:36

-Right.

-And then it goes down in price,

0:17:360:17:39

this one's probably 60, right down to about £30.

0:17:390:17:41

So, all we need to make sure is that, when we put them in,

0:17:410:17:44

they get watered properly so they establish.

0:17:440:17:46

So I think we'll be retrieving a few things from the skip.

0:17:460:17:50

Great, nice and cheap.

0:17:500:17:51

Right, first one in.

0:17:530:17:55

Rather than repeating the same species of tree,

0:17:560:17:59

Charlie has chosen to plant just one of

0:17:590:18:01

a variety of different trees that will all offer something

0:18:010:18:05

different and act like works of art around the garden.

0:18:050:18:08

Liquid amber, this tree is.

0:18:120:18:14

And it really describes the colour it goes in the autumn.

0:18:140:18:18

It goes... You'll get yellows and oranges and reds and almost purples,

0:18:180:18:23

so it looks fantastic in the autumn.

0:18:230:18:27

Quite tall, so it will help screen,

0:18:270:18:29

but not too broad, so it won't overhang the seating area.

0:18:290:18:33

Next, she's chosen a smaller variety with

0:18:360:18:39

a good strong shape and leaves that contrast with the liquid amber.

0:18:390:18:43

And last but not least, a cornus for a beautiful spring display.

0:18:460:18:50

-So I think this one should be opposite the cercis.

-OK.

0:18:500:18:55

But because everything is placed at precise angles in Charlie's design,

0:18:560:19:00

to avert the view away from the ugly warehouse, she takes time to

0:19:000:19:05

check the positioning of the trees before planting.

0:19:050:19:08

There. It's going to be there.

0:19:080:19:10

There.

0:19:110:19:13

Cool. So those two trees are going to be our key focal points

0:19:130:19:18

at right angles to the deck and seating area.

0:19:180:19:21

Is it all making sense now?

0:19:210:19:23

-Is it making sense to you, Lee?

-MOUTHS:

-No!

-No?!

0:19:230:19:25

THEY LAUGH

0:19:250:19:27

OK, then, you get back to the decking, mate.

0:19:270:19:29

He's so confused, he's got his beard in knots.

0:19:290:19:32

Harry's still grafting away on the gargantuan deck while Charlie

0:19:350:19:39

starts to get the focal points into the ground.

0:19:390:19:42

I think that's about deep enough and wide enough.

0:19:420:19:45

As you can see, I've taken off a big circle of turf because I

0:19:450:19:48

don't want the grass to take the nutrients away from the tree.

0:19:480:19:53

Once it's established,

0:19:530:19:54

it doesn't matter if Anthony lets the grass grow back over,

0:19:540:19:58

but for the first couple of years,

0:19:580:20:00

it's a good idea to keep that turf free.

0:20:000:20:03

And because it's a good-sized tree, Charlie is using what she

0:20:050:20:08

found in a skip to help Anthony and Lisa care for it.

0:20:080:20:12

Rescued from the skip, so um, basic, some waste pipe,

0:20:120:20:17

cut it in two bits, with a big tree you want two or three bits,

0:20:170:20:21

and we're going to pop those in, down the side,

0:20:210:20:25

so that Lisa and Anthony can water the tree, but put the water down the

0:20:250:20:29

pipe, so it goes right to the bottom of the hole where the roots are.

0:20:290:20:33

Cos if you water on the surface, and you don't water well enough,

0:20:330:20:37

it will bring the roots up to the surface.

0:20:370:20:39

It's not overly pretty, but very practical.

0:20:390:20:41

Charlie's design has a seat around the base of this cornus tree,

0:20:440:20:48

but now she's seen it in the flesh,

0:20:480:20:50

she knows it won't really work until the tree is much bigger.

0:20:500:20:53

So she's come up with an alternative seating idea and wants to run

0:20:550:20:59

it past Anthony and Lisa.

0:20:590:21:01

-I'm thinking a bit of fun for Olivia and Theo.

-Yeah?

0:21:030:21:07

I want to make them, like a chill-out area over here.

0:21:070:21:11

I want to make like...almost like a chaise longue,

0:21:110:21:15

but a circular one that they can put a blanket in, so it's

0:21:150:21:19

literally going to be a ring of soil that is compacted down and then

0:21:190:21:24

we'll turf up and over, and they can lay in it and look at the stars.

0:21:240:21:28

-I'm thinking for Olivia's...

-Yeah, she'll love that.

0:21:280:21:31

-She'd like that, would she?

-Yeah, sounds really good.

0:21:310:21:33

I'm actually thinking I'd quite like that.

0:21:330:21:36

Lie there with my book in the summer, yeah.

0:21:360:21:38

-So you'll be fighting the children over it, will you?

-I think so, yeah.

0:21:380:21:40

Sounds good.

0:21:400:21:42

Meanwhile, Lee's taking great care to make sure that one of the

0:21:500:21:54

garden's other entertainment areas looks as sharp as possible.

0:21:540:21:59

These are special decking screws.

0:21:590:22:00

Really small head, so we can bury them into the timber and

0:22:000:22:03

therefore you hardly see them once it's done.

0:22:030:22:05

I mean, whether he wants to stain it or sand it,

0:22:050:22:07

but they're very discreet.

0:22:070:22:08

-Right, don't go too fast.

-No, I won't.

0:22:120:22:15

At the back of the garden,

0:22:150:22:16

Charlie and David have the spray paint at the ready.

0:22:160:22:19

THEY LAUGH

0:22:190:22:20

Go on. Argh!

0:22:200:22:22

-Oh, dizzy.

-I'm a bit dizzy.

0:22:220:22:24

With line marker and walking round in circles, ooh.

0:22:240:22:27

Go back the other way.

0:22:270:22:29

Don't stop, otherwise I'm going to mouth off.

0:22:290:22:31

And they make quite the double act.

0:22:310:22:33

Get off my shoes!

0:22:330:22:35

-How's that?

-Yeah?

-Not bad.

0:22:360:22:39

So if we put the turf from all the trees in this bit and then with

0:22:390:22:43

the soil we can just grade up and down.

0:22:430:22:46

And then turf it.

0:22:460:22:48

-Oh, I'm quite dizzy now.

-Oh, I just need to sit down.

0:22:480:22:51

The grass chill-out area, along with the extensive deck and patio will,

0:22:540:22:58

together, make Lisa and Anthony's garden ideal for entertaining.

0:22:580:23:02

When creating entertaining areas in a garden, it's all about the hard

0:23:070:23:12

landscaping, as that is where the table and chairs are likely to go.

0:23:120:23:15

It's also important to consider what you want to use the space for.

0:23:160:23:21

When garden designer Andrew Jordan designed this garden in

0:23:210:23:24

Wiltshire, he made sure he knew exactly what the owners had in mind.

0:23:240:23:28

The brief from the client is very much to spend time as

0:23:300:23:33

a family outdoors.

0:23:330:23:34

So, it was all about being able to eat outdoors, have friends,

0:23:340:23:38

family around, to have a big space in which to entertain.

0:23:380:23:42

So, the challenge was to include all those elements but for them

0:23:420:23:46

to work together.

0:23:460:23:47

The elements Andrew added to this space are

0:23:490:23:52

a large paved area for dining and lounging, the spa pool for

0:23:520:23:56

relaxing and a sunken seating area for chilling out.

0:23:560:24:01

He united all these spaces with a large patio and added trees

0:24:010:24:05

and planting to make each area distinct from the next.

0:24:050:24:08

Back in Cambridgeshire, Harry is starting to plant the trees

0:24:140:24:17

that will add privacy and intimacy to the garden's entertaining spaces.

0:24:170:24:21

He's starting with the eucalyptus.

0:24:210:24:23

Eucalyptus are fast-growing trees,

0:24:260:24:29

usually grown for their foliage and attractive peeling bark.

0:24:290:24:32

They can grow very tall if left to their own devices

0:24:320:24:35

but respond well to pruning in early spring, which means they can

0:24:350:24:39

be enjoyed in even the smallest gardens.

0:24:390:24:42

-Charlie.

-Yes.

-Finished that, so what do you think is next to be done?

0:24:460:24:50

What would you like me to do?

0:24:500:24:51

Well, we need more turf for this, so we need to cut the flowerbed.

0:24:510:24:55

Rather than hand-lifter, if we can use the turf stripper,

0:24:550:24:57

-because then we can use that turf...

-As the bank.

0:24:570:24:59

Green side down, up and over,

0:24:590:25:01

up and over and slowly built it up and then it won't be lumpy.

0:25:010:25:05

So, after marking out where the borders will go,

0:25:070:25:10

Harry fires up the turf cutter and gets to work.

0:25:100:25:13

Turf cutters can be hired for about £60 a day and make

0:25:190:25:22

short work of lifting grass.

0:25:220:25:24

Over by the house, Lee and Andy are battling the elements

0:25:310:25:35

to get the deck down.

0:25:350:25:36

Working in wet conditions is a muddy business and there's

0:25:360:25:39

been some collateral damage to Anthony and Lisa's lawn.

0:25:390:25:42

The boys are doing really well with the deck, but it's just

0:25:450:25:48

started to rain again and we had lots of rain earlier on,

0:25:480:25:52

and as you can see, the grass has turned into a bit of a quagmire.

0:25:520:25:56

Although it would come back quite happily just by giving it

0:25:560:25:59

a good old vigorous rake, what we're going to do is returf this area.

0:25:590:26:04

This part of the lawn is what I would call the posh lawn.

0:26:040:26:07

So basically Anthony has to mow it regularly, which will stop

0:26:070:26:11

a lot of the big weeds like thistles.

0:26:110:26:13

It won't stop things like dandelions and daisies, though, and the best

0:26:130:26:17

way to tackle those is to use an old kitchen knife and cut them out.

0:26:170:26:21

Find your dandelion, go round in a circle.

0:26:260:26:29

And it will just pop out and you've got the root as well.

0:26:310:26:34

One of the most important aspects of Charlie's design is that attention

0:26:370:26:42

is diverted away from the large warehouse at the back of the plot.

0:26:420:26:45

As well as the trees, she's adding a pergola that follows the same

0:26:470:26:51

lines as the rest of the landscaping.

0:26:510:26:54

Charlie wants to split the garden into two using

0:26:540:26:56

a pergola and we're just digging the holes at the moment

0:26:560:26:59

down to 18in and what we're going to do then, is we're going to

0:26:590:27:02

construct the pergola on the floor, so it makes it very easy.

0:27:020:27:05

And then we're just going to fix it in, get the verticals up,

0:27:050:27:07

get the horizontals on.

0:27:070:27:08

Yeah, it's quite a nice easy, fast way of doing it as well, isn't it?

0:27:080:27:12

Speedy pergola-making.

0:27:120:27:13

Hold on. That's perfect there.

0:27:240:27:27

Once the posts are bang-on, they can be secured into the ground.

0:27:280:27:32

Putting posts like this in is great for it to go up as quick as

0:27:350:27:38

possible, so you get a real strong structure.

0:27:380:27:40

We're using a quick-setting cement and, you know, within ten minutes,

0:27:400:27:43

this is going to be solid, so we can crack on with the rest of the posts.

0:27:430:27:46

While the boys carry on with the pergola,

0:27:490:27:52

Charlie is out the front in the old plant graveyard.

0:27:520:27:55

Like so many of us, Lisa and Anthony had a thing about blue pots.

0:27:560:28:00

They may no longer be fashionable,

0:28:000:28:02

but they're still in good condition.

0:28:020:28:04

Lisa likes her containers,

0:28:070:28:09

but she hasn't been overly successful, as you can see.

0:28:090:28:14

When it comes to containers, if you want to make your life easy,

0:28:140:28:17

there's a few things that I suggest you do.

0:28:170:28:20

Always make sure there is a hole in the bottom for drainage.

0:28:200:28:25

Go for a bigger pot because it's easier to maintain larger

0:28:250:28:28

pots than really small ones.

0:28:280:28:30

These ones are great because they're really nice and heavy.

0:28:300:28:35

Now, although these have got holes in them,

0:28:350:28:37

the holes are actually quite tiny, so it's easy that they'll block up.

0:28:370:28:42

So I'm going to put a good load of crocks on the bottom.

0:28:420:28:45

These are broken terracotta pieces but gravel's OK.

0:28:450:28:48

I'm putting a good layer there so that they definitely do drain.

0:28:480:28:53

And if you're not very good about watering,

0:28:530:28:56

use some moisture retention crystals.

0:28:560:28:58

It's a bit like wallpaper paste.

0:29:020:29:04

You'll see it slowly absorb the water.

0:29:040:29:06

See, it's going thick already.

0:29:060:29:08

So it holds on to the water, but then it releases it to the roots.

0:29:080:29:12

Once the crystals have swelled up,

0:29:130:29:15

Charlie mixes them in with the compost before planting up the pot.

0:29:150:29:20

When it comes to choosing the plants to go in your pot,

0:29:200:29:23

it's good to aim for a common theme.

0:29:230:29:25

We have a big spiky phormium...

0:29:260:29:29

..with this very sort of pinky coppery colour.

0:29:310:29:34

To contrast with that shape-wise, we're going for London pride.

0:29:360:29:39

As you can see it's very low and rounded,

0:29:390:29:42

but we still pick up that pinky coppery colour.

0:29:420:29:45

And then to pick up the very dark purpley colour,

0:29:460:29:51

we've got this, which is related to the thistle, beautiful

0:29:510:29:54

dark purple flowers on it.

0:29:540:29:58

I mean, these are all really quite robust container plants,

0:29:580:30:02

so hopefully, Lisa should be able to look after them.

0:30:020:30:07

Pots and containers are a fabulous way of dressing a garden.

0:30:070:30:12

And it's not just domestic gardens where they can be used to

0:30:120:30:15

brighten up dark corners.

0:30:150:30:16

Historic public gardens use them too.

0:30:210:30:23

At Great Dixter, in East Sussex,

0:30:270:30:28

home of the late great gardener Christopher Lloyd, the container

0:30:280:30:32

displays that he introduced are as important as any part of the garden.

0:30:320:30:37

He started putting pots outside

0:30:400:30:42

the front porch, particularly spring pots.

0:30:420:30:44

They'd give him a little bit of colour at a time of year

0:30:440:30:46

when everything else was a bit slow to wake up.

0:30:460:30:49

And the pot displays grew from there.

0:30:490:30:51

At Great Dixter, they use pot displays rather like a

0:30:540:30:57

vase of flowers on a table at home.

0:30:570:31:00

They're changed regularly

0:31:000:31:02

and reflect what's in season at the time.

0:31:020:31:04

We make the display so that the plants contrast and

0:31:050:31:08

combine together. So they're really visually effective.

0:31:080:31:12

It's more like painting a picture.

0:31:120:31:14

You'll put colour combinations together that can harmonise

0:31:140:31:17

but can be quite challenging as well.

0:31:170:31:19

We only put one variety of each plant in a pot and we really

0:31:210:31:25

fill it, so the density here is far more than you'd have in a border.

0:31:250:31:30

In the pot display, you might have several different varieties,

0:31:300:31:32

but you can start to use these individual pots as components

0:31:320:31:36

to start to paint that picture.

0:31:360:31:38

Back in Cambridgeshire, there's still plenty of work to be done

0:31:470:31:50

before Charlie can start painting a picture with her pots...

0:31:500:31:53

..although Harry and David have made great progress

0:31:550:31:58

with the turf sculpture.

0:31:580:32:00

-Look at that.

-It's looking cool, isn't it?

0:32:000:32:02

-That's going to be great.

-I'd love to lie down on that.

0:32:020:32:04

-Yeah, well, go on.

-No, not quite yet.

0:32:040:32:06

-When it's all done.

-Good decision.

0:32:060:32:08

They've piled up the turf that's been lifted to make the

0:32:110:32:14

flowerbeds and added some spoil.

0:32:140:32:16

They then covered that with a layer of sand to get

0:32:170:32:20

a nice smooth surface and are now adding fresh turf.

0:32:200:32:23

Meanwhile, Charlie's moved on to the borders.

0:32:290:32:32

She's placed them at the same angle as the hard landscaping.

0:32:360:32:40

They will visually link both sides of the garden and break up

0:32:400:32:43

the expanse of lawn and deck.

0:32:430:32:45

So we're going for a bit of a pink and white theme with the colours.

0:32:470:32:50

And we're going for flower and shrubs that basically look after

0:32:500:32:53

themselves because Lisa and Anthony aren't that sure about gardening.

0:32:530:33:00

But we'll get them there.

0:33:000:33:02

Shrubs tend to be low-maintenance.

0:33:040:33:07

They need very little pimping and preening apart from

0:33:070:33:10

a prune when they start to get too large.

0:33:100:33:12

They also add structure to a border,

0:33:120:33:15

as they don't die down at the end of the year,

0:33:150:33:17

so will provide a strong framework for Lisa and Anthony's new garden.

0:33:170:33:21

The boys are on the home straight with the chill-out mound,

0:33:250:33:28

but will it meet with the boss's approval?

0:33:280:33:31

It reminds me of coffee and doughnuts.

0:33:330:33:36

It's going to be a lovely little chilled spot, isn't it?

0:33:360:33:38

It's going to be great. I might have to have a word with Lisa.

0:33:380:33:41

Can you imagine if we put some camomile in the bottom?

0:33:410:33:43

-That smell would be beautiful, wouldn't it?

-Gorgeous.

-Yes.

0:33:430:33:46

-And it doesn't grow, so it's less maintenance.

-Yeah.

0:33:460:33:48

-So, just inter-planted through there.

-Yeah, perfect.

-It'd be fab.

0:33:480:33:52

-I think they'll like that.

-Yeah, I do as well.

0:33:520:33:54

They won't like it if the garden doesn't get finished, though,

0:33:560:33:59

so Charlie cracks on.

0:33:590:34:01

So, I think that sambucus

0:34:020:34:04

will look lovely against the brickwork,

0:34:040:34:07

the dark purple of the leaves, the pink flowers,

0:34:070:34:10

and it will get quite big, so it will soften this area.

0:34:100:34:13

If you're putting a deck down, it's really nice to leave

0:34:130:34:16

one or two planting pockets.

0:34:160:34:17

That way it doesn't look like a pallet that you've put down.

0:34:170:34:21

It sort of softens it and adds a little bit more interest.

0:34:210:34:24

Flowering shrubs have sort of gone out of favour.

0:34:310:34:33

I don't know why because they are great plants for a garden,

0:34:330:34:36

especially if you're not really up on your gardening skills.

0:34:360:34:40

They'll put up with a lot.

0:34:400:34:41

They won't mind if the soil's a bit rubbish.

0:34:410:34:43

They won't mind if you don't plant them exactly right.

0:34:430:34:47

And they get quite big, fill in a space.

0:34:470:34:49

So this area here of shrubs is going to surround the patio and make

0:34:490:34:54

it like a little room on its own.

0:34:540:34:56

So we've got wagelia, ribes,

0:34:560:34:59

which is flowering currant, has sort of red flowers that hang down.

0:34:590:35:03

We've got a choisya here, which gets white flowers on.

0:35:030:35:06

The boss has the fun task of placing out the new shrubs.

0:35:080:35:12

But for the boys, the turf-lifting continues.

0:35:120:35:16

Now Charlie's got them pulling up the damaged grass by the deck,

0:35:160:35:19

a lovely job to do in the rain.

0:35:190:35:21

Charlie's moving on to planting some perennials in and amongst the shrubs

0:35:260:35:30

to add different heights, textures and seasonal colour.

0:35:300:35:34

Like the shrubs, we've gone for some really hardy perennials.

0:35:340:35:40

Got astrantia, which have lovely white, open flowers

0:35:400:35:45

with a tint of pink to the stamens.

0:35:450:35:47

Hardy geraniums, catmint, circium.

0:35:490:35:54

And crocosmia as well, which, again, will get quite big.

0:35:560:35:59

They'll get up to about this high.

0:35:590:36:01

Make a nice big clump like that and flower later in the season to

0:36:010:36:05

give them some colour sort of come September time.

0:36:050:36:08

Perennials die back at the end of each flowering season and

0:36:100:36:14

come in all shapes and sizes.

0:36:140:36:16

From the majestic spires of delphiniums and lupins

0:36:160:36:20

to the open, sunny daisy-shapes of heleniums and echinacea.

0:36:200:36:24

If you choose them well, you can have a different hardy

0:36:260:36:29

perennial flowering in your border from early spring to late autumn.

0:36:290:36:33

Plants going in, turf going out.

0:36:380:36:41

The age-old saying.

0:36:430:36:44

By the deck, Harry and David are creating

0:36:460:36:48

a level, stone-free surface for the new turf to be laid on.

0:36:480:36:53

Taking some time to prepare the earth beneath it

0:36:530:36:56

means it's more likely to establish well.

0:36:560:36:59

We've got a lovely new deck.

0:36:590:37:00

There is no point having a muddy lawn, so giving this new bit

0:37:000:37:03

of turf, it's really going to finish the garden off,

0:37:030:37:05

and going to look great for the party as well.

0:37:050:37:08

-Are you invited, Dave?

-Yes. RSVP-ed already.

0:37:080:37:11

HE LAUGHS

0:37:110:37:13

There's no doubt that the weather is definitely taking its toll

0:37:220:37:26

on the new garden.

0:37:260:37:27

But the team have no choice but to keep going,

0:37:270:37:29

and Charlie has tasked the brothers with planting up the new pergola.

0:37:290:37:33

Climbers are a great way of creating really beautiful vertical interest.

0:37:360:37:41

This one is clematis montana grandiflora.

0:37:410:37:43

It has this beautiful floral display in late spring, early summer.

0:37:430:37:48

And it's tough as old boots and it's just going to sprawl over this.

0:37:480:37:51

And Charlie has really picked up the whites in her planting scheme,

0:37:510:37:54

so these climbers not only give this lovely vertical interest, but

0:37:540:37:57

also touch on the tones and colours through the planting in the garden.

0:37:570:38:01

And I'm planting a rambling rose and this is the Albrighton Rambler,

0:38:050:38:08

really gorgeous rose.

0:38:080:38:09

As you can see, it's just coming into bud,

0:38:090:38:12

and that's going to be double blooms of pink flowers.

0:38:120:38:14

So that will look really pretty on here.

0:38:140:38:16

At the moment, it sits about six foot tall.

0:38:160:38:18

It's going to grow about twice as big as this.

0:38:180:38:20

It's going to put a lot of growth out over the summer

0:38:200:38:22

and really create this kind of vertical green wall.

0:38:220:38:24

Oh! It's got spikes, though.

0:38:240:38:27

All hands to the punts to get the beds planted up...

0:38:310:38:35

..the deck finished off,

0:38:360:38:38

and the borders dressed with bark.

0:38:380:38:40

And last but not least,

0:38:410:38:43

Charlie's revitalised pots are given pride of place

0:38:430:38:47

on the new deck.

0:38:470:38:48

And Lisa and Anthony's garden is finished.

0:38:480:38:51

Before they called the Garden Rescue team,

0:38:560:38:58

Lisa and Anthony's large plot was a sad patch of grass.

0:38:580:39:02

Its only features were a football goal,

0:39:020:39:05

a trampoline and a view of a huge warehouse.

0:39:050:39:08

Now, after a £2,500 face-lift and

0:39:120:39:16

a good dose of sunshine, Charlie's design has added structure,

0:39:160:39:20

interest and a space to entertain family and friends.

0:39:200:39:24

But the real test is what the clients think.

0:39:280:39:31

Lisa and Anthony have invested heavily in this garden.

0:39:310:39:34

Will they be able to see past the wind and rain to

0:39:370:39:40

what their new garden will become?

0:39:400:39:42

OK, you can open your eyes.

0:39:470:39:49

-Oh, my God.

-Is that a good "Oh, my God?"

-Yes.

0:39:520:39:55

Nearly cry a little "Oh, my God."

0:39:550:39:57

-It looks amazing.

-Yes?

-Yeah, really good. Love it.

0:39:570:40:01

Oh, big smiles, big smiles.

0:40:020:40:04

Well, that's a relief.

0:40:040:40:06

The pergola is very simple.

0:40:060:40:08

It's going to get covered in yellow hops,

0:40:080:40:11

pink climbing rose and white clematis.

0:40:110:40:15

And that will create like

0:40:150:40:16

a curtain effect here so you won't see

0:40:160:40:18

the conservatory or your neighbours.

0:40:180:40:20

I think the pergola really does work, doesn't it?

0:40:200:40:23

I think, not only is it going to be an awesome green screen,

0:40:230:40:25

but it just drags your eye right down to the corner, doesn't it?

0:40:250:40:28

Yeah.

0:40:280:40:29

And then this is your sun trap at the bottom of the garden.

0:40:290:40:32

Now, these shrubs will get quite big, so this one's going to

0:40:320:40:35

get to about six-foot-high, so this will create a real room here.

0:40:350:40:41

-It's so lovely.

-And then we've got your reading zone.

0:40:410:40:44

Oh, yeah, I like this.

0:40:440:40:46

-That's what we've called it.

-Love it.

0:40:460:40:48

The children can sit on the edge or sprawl in the centre.

0:40:480:40:51

-Actually, I'm speechless.

-THEY LAUGH

0:40:510:40:54

I think he really loves it, doesn't he?

0:40:540:40:56

Oh, it's really, yeah, yeah. It's incredible.

0:40:560:40:58

It's good that all the hard work in the end paid off.

0:40:580:41:01

And then when you look back, you've got a totally different view again.

0:41:010:41:05

It's just, yeah, it's just transformed it.

0:41:050:41:08

-I didn't imagine it would look quite this good.

-We have a garden.

-Yeah?

0:41:080:41:12

Do you think this is going to be a big party area for Olivia?

0:41:120:41:15

Definitely, yeah. I think we'll be out here a lot.

0:41:150:41:17

-Good.

-Absolutely brilliant.

-It was a bit of a slog.

0:41:170:41:20

-The weather wasn't on our side.

-Definitely not.

0:41:200:41:23

But fabulous planting weather. The plants will...

0:41:230:41:26

-Yeah, they're going to reap the benefits.

-..thrive, yes.

0:41:260:41:30

The large deck came at a cost of £1,200

0:41:300:41:34

and is an extension of their stylish home, perfect for entertaining.

0:41:340:41:38

The pergola does a great job of diverting attention away from

0:41:410:41:45

the ugly warehouse, and was a steal at £300.

0:41:450:41:49

It will look fabulous when clothed with floral climbers.

0:41:490:41:52

The new patio is in the perfect spot for

0:41:570:42:00

a sundowner at dusk, and came in at £560.

0:42:000:42:04

And the sculpted grass doughnut is an unexpected bonus.

0:42:080:42:12

A great place for Theo and Olivia to hang out with their friends.

0:42:120:42:16

And best of all, it cost just 20 quid.

0:42:160:42:18

Charlie designed this garden to give the family a space to enjoy

0:42:230:42:26

together and with friends.

0:42:260:42:29

Has she pulled it off?

0:42:290:42:30

Kind of a bit lost for words, to be honest.

0:42:320:42:35

It's more than I imagined it would be. I love it.

0:42:350:42:38

-I love everything about it.

-It's completion.

0:42:380:42:41

The house is complete now.

0:42:410:42:43

And, yeah, so happy, really, really happy.

0:42:430:42:46

And do Lisa and Anthony think they got value for money?

0:42:470:42:50

I think for missing one family holiday,

0:42:510:42:54

we'll use that all summer if we get some nice weather. And next summer.

0:42:540:42:58

And the year after.

0:42:580:42:59

Yeah, we're going to have some memories in our back garden,

0:42:590:43:01

so yeah, it's going to be great.

0:43:010:43:03

-Definitely money well spent.

-Definitely, yeah.

0:43:030:43:05

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are competing to design a party garden for a couple and their two teenage children in Cambridgeshire. With a high-spec, stylish home, the family now want a garden to match and have £2,500 to spend. The designers find themselves with a challenge on their hands though as the garden is dominated by an ugly warehouse just behind it so they come up with some ingenious ideas to divert the views in another direction.