Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers battle it out in Stoke-on-Trent for the chance to transform a characterless plot into a chic 'outdoor room' with a £4,000 budget.
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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.
-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...
-That looks really exciting.
It doesn't look like it could be our garden.
..brings their design to life.
Hold on, hold on!
-Sweet as a nut.
-And the loser has to help them build it.
Oh, I'm getting irritated now with 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.
Wow! It's amazing.
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to discover whose garden
they'll be battling over this time.
If you look up blank canvas in the dictionary,
I think this garden may crop up.
We've got Lewis and Rhys and they recently moved into a new build in
Stoke-on-Trent, and they've made their house their own, but they're
struggling with inspiration for the garden.
Lewis, an HR advisor, and Rhys, a catering manager,
both work full-time and for the last couple of years
have dedicated all their spare time and money to creating their perfect
-We've spent so long doing the house and decorating that
and prioritising that,
-that we kind of forgot about the garden.
-I wouldn't call it a garden.
Yeah, that's definitely not a garden, what's out there at the moment.
It's just a mud bath.
Really, really muddy,
waterlogged and waiting for us to do something with it.
This space is barely a garden at all.
The only things living in it are a few blades of grass,
the odd weed and the couple's bunny rabbit, Milo.
We're not very creative in the sense of we knew we'd want somewhere to
entertain, but how to make that look really good,
we're not full of ideas.
I think that's a problem with these new builds.
Everyone can see what they're going to do with the house, with
individual rooms, but when it comes to the garden, when they're given four fence panels...
-It's going to be daunting, probably, isn't it?
-You can see why they've had problems.
-It's "where do you start?"
Not only that, but Rhys and Lewis don't always see eye to eye.
I like really minimalistic and modern, a bit different.
Whereas I'm not so much. Definitely play it safe.
We have differences of opinion sometimes, don't we?
Not liking the same colours, not liking the same furniture,
the list is endless.
But two years of disagreeing and dithering has enabled the couple
to save a tidy sum for the garden makeover.
-And the budget is...?
-The budget is £4,000.
-That's quite healthy, isn't it?
-It's quite healthy. It's not a huge garden, is it?
-No, not at all, no.
The possibility of a four grand budget to do up this space
has whetted our designers' appetites.
But their design will have to win over both Rhys and Lewis,
and that won't be easy.
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to go head-to-head
for the chance to make over Lewis and Rhys' garden.
So they're heading to Stoke to meet the couple and see the garden for
themselves. But the size of the challenge is making them nervous.
Now, with a new build,
you can normally say you're going to get some decent fences
and a good bit of lawn.
Looking at the pictures on this one, no.
-That is the word, isn't it?
What happened to the grass? No grass at all.
-You've got stinging nettles, though. Don't complain.
-One or two.
Not the only life in the garden. Some rabbit droppings.
-There's nothing, is there?
-That's the first thing.
You walk in, you go, "Whoa, fences."
They're the only thing in the garden.
And also other houses.
It looks like they've tried to sit out.
-It's not inspiring, is it?
-No, not at all.
It's not inspiring in any way.
-I think we've seen it all.
-It didn't take long.
-Didn't take long at all.
-But it's not all bad news.
It's a good shape, though.
Yes, it is quite manageable so I think maybe, you know, design wise,
-it's going to be quite interesting.
-And strong boundaries, which helps.
Normally at this point, the boys like to snoop around inside to find out
more about the couple's taste,
whilst Charlie gets to know them.
Hello. It's a bit unusual.
But this time, to make it interesting, they're swapping roles.
So is there anything that you know you'd like in the garden?
-Any kind of style?
-I was thinking Mediterranean theme.
So from holidays in the Canary Islands and stuff.
Things that spring to mind are cordylines, yuccas, that kind of...
Yeah, yeah, colour, give it a bit of shape.
-Quite architectural, quite contemporary, aren't they?
-Lots of modern and different.
Not your normal garden.
Quite young, quite interesting.
Inside, Charlie has made a useful discovery.
Now this is nice.
Rhys and Lewis have very particular taste.
Greys with the silver, purples and the darker purples.
All flows and matches.
Really nice, clean lines on the lights.
Definitely has a wow factor to it.
What are you guys looking forward to doing the most when it's all done,
-finished and looking beautiful?
-We're really looking forward to having our friends round,
enjoying the sunshine. Get the summer. Just to make the most of the space because at the moment,
we're living indoors because outside isn't very attractive at all,
as you've seen. We're looking forward to that extra bit of space,
aren't we? That chance to mingle with friends, have a barbecue.
We bought a barbecue two years ago. It's still in its box.
So this definitely needs to be a social space, but inside,
something else has caught Charlie's attention.
Oh, I like the mirror. I can't see myself in it,
which is a good thing, but that's really cool.
Lewis and Rhys clearly love to make a statement.
I think it's got a lot of potential, anyway.
It's a lovely size and it's very blank.
-I think we'll get a blank piece of paper out and get cracking, I think.
There's a lot here for the designers to consider.
Rhys and Lewis' house is very distinctive,
but they fancy a garden that's Mediterranean.
Creating a dream space for them,
even for four grand, is not going to be easy.
So our rival designers get straight to work.
Each of them will come up with the design for Lewis and Rhys' garden
that will work within their budget.
The couple then have to choose a winner, and whoever loses
will have to help the winner build the garden.
So, who will the couple go for?
Right, here we go.
Will it be Charlie, who isn't known for her modern gardens but has seen
that the couple's house has the wow factor?
Or the boys, who are known for their contemporary spaces but might
struggle with the Mediterranean theme?
That's our design.
Who's got the measure of this one?
From looking round the house,
you've got some very strong, simple lines.
It's very stylish and stylised, so I've gone with that in the design.
-I've grasped the fact that you want this contemporary, stylish,
social outdoor space that's really going to entice you inside the house to outside.
This is going to be a lovely area to sit in the morning, but then
this area of an evening, a bigger area.
You can spill down onto the lawn.
And the deck, I was going to go with cedar, and rather than have it
parallel like that, I've got it on a diagonal.
Stops it looking like a pallet, all right?
As you can see with the design, we've created two levels.
We've created this lovely kind of entertainment space.
It's got two sofas, a fire bowl and you can really sit down and relax.
We've increased the terrace space. It gives you plenty of room for the
barbecue, so you can finally put that together and get it out there.
While the boys are playing it safe with the structure of their garden,
Charlie is upping the ante.
She's remembered that the couple are overlooked in their new build.
To give you some privacy,
I've got a very simple cedar pergola,
and then we've got a couple of...
They're called small trees, they're actually large shrubs.
One's a Cornus controversa.
It's lovely because the leaves are quite small, so it doesn't create a lot
of dense shade, so you can still plant underneath it.
But it has a beautiful shape to it. In that corner,
an evergreen that will screen out those roofs.
Arbutus. It's known as the strawberry tree.
-It has flowers and fruit at the same time.
But not to be outdone,
the boys have done their homework too, incorporating the holiday theme
into the planting.
The social area is surrounded by Mediterranean style planting,
so we want to use things that you like, like cordylines and phormiums.
We're straying away from cottage style and into soft and floral and giving you
that real flavour of the Mediterranean, bringing back some good memories of holidays.
And we've also put in two trees
and three shrubs, and they're great for vertical interest.
Just gives it a bit of architecture in the garden
and great for privacy as well.
-When you're sitting down here, you feel a bit more immersed, a bit more private.
Rhys and Lewis like what they see,
but Charlie is about to play her trump card.
I'd like to give you the structure of the garden, but your taste is
quite different from mine.
Personally, I would go for focal points, something like this,
but I can see that's not your type of thing, so I have three focal points.
One here, back-dropped with Mediterranean planting.
One here and one over there, so when you're sat on the patio or sat here,
you can see them. But I would like you to take that budget of about £150
for each one and buy a piece of art or something that you would like to see...
-..in the garden.
Charlie's giving the couple a chance to make their own mark on the garden.
But will it sway them?
What's your initial impression of this one, then?
I liked this. I like how they've got a separate seating area up here.
I like how it's covered at the back.
-There's lots of stuff going on. Lots of different shapes.
-What do you think about this one?
It's very modern, isn't it?
-There's lots going on.
-I like how it's all enclosed in the one area.
I like the seating area.
Concrete is a nice look, personally, I think.
-You see, I'm not sure about that.
-Oh, right, OK.
-What will it look like in the winter?
These designs couldn't be more different.
But they have to pick one, so which is it going to be?
It's hard to pick between the two.
It's so hard. I like them both.
Got to pick.
Will they plump for the Rich brother's design
with the secluded seating area,
or will they choose Charlie's arcs and geometric layout,
plus the opportunity to pick their own garden features?
It's decision time.
It's taken us ages to decide. I'm sorry to keep you waiting.
We've picked one in the end.
We've decided to go for...
Cool. I'm pleased about that.
-I'm really pleased.
-I think it will make this a nice little oasis of greenery.
-We can't really go wrong, guys, can we?
The boys' faces say it all.
They clearly fancied getting their hands on that four grand,
and what's more, they now have to take orders from Charlie.
But she's going to need them to help realise her very modern design.
The time for talking is over.
Now the hard work really begins.
The new garden will feature a lot of hard landscaping,
so while she's off organising the plants,
Charlie has sent the contractors in to get started.
And it's project manager Paul's job to try and make sense of her radical
-What we've got is,
we've got this paving coming out from the house.
We've got a bit of planting either side of it.
-And a nice big lawn is going to sweep in there.
Are these all wood stands to retain the planted area?
Yes. We're going to get some nice wooden edging in there and then the main bit, for us...
-Is this deck.
-..is this deck.
The design features three contrasting areas of landscaping
that interlock like giant pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
And for the garden to work, they need to fit together seamlessly.
Obviously, because this deck is following a similar line to the paving
where it fans out, so it's not a straightforward
-Nothing ever is with Charlie's designs, let's face it.
Whilst Andy starts on the patio,
Lee's tackling the biggest landscaping feature - the deck.
Before the cedar boards Charlie has ordered can be laid,
a solid and level subframe has to be put down.
And once the frame is complete, the boards can go on.
We're going to lay them at an angle, as Charlie's design suggests we do,
and it's a bit of an optical illusion.
It makes this area probably look a lot bigger
than it actually is in reality.
Once all the deck boards are laid out,
they have to be accurately spaced so that there's the same sized gap
between each board for a really smart finish.
They'll all be spaced at five mil intervals,
so I'll start spacing at that end there.
I'll just put a screw in each of them and we'll just continue the
spacing down and screw on every joist that's already down there.
With four grand to spend, Charlie has gone for high-end decking.
Cedarwood rejects moisture, so it's less prone to splitting and twisting.
If well looked after, it can last 20 years.
Paul and the landscapers have made good progress with Charlie's design.
But now she and the Rich brothers have arrived to work their magic in the garden.
But before they get stuck in, the boss gives the boys a pep talk.
Now, this garden is all about laying out right in the first place because
it's all about getting those lines exactly right. Otherwise,
it's going to look a little...
-You've got that circular paving, haven't you?
-Everything runs off that, does it?
-The access is from that centre.
It's all about the lines in this garden, isn't it?
-It is indeed.
-There's lots of them.
-Lots of lines.
And you've got your focal features as well, which you left up to Rhys and Lewis,
so I think it's going to be quite interesting to see what they've
chosen and how it fits in with the character of your garden.
That's a worry. It's a big worry, I have to say.
Let's go and wrangle with angles.
Charlie's design is all about creating a chic, stylish space,
but in order to achieve that,
she has to take care of some practicalities first.
Right, now we need to move this.
Put one in each corner.
Rhys and Lewis' plot has a slight dogleg,
which is the perfect place to hide the shed.
So it and Milo the bunny need to be moved.
Onto the deck.
Oh, hello, there we are.
Oh, I'm crushed. Hang about, hang about!
Guys, let's swing it round.
I'm moving the shed,
one - to gain some more space, because at the moment,
it was sort of halfway out in the garden.
You can see all the space that was lost.
I'm also going to twist it round so the doors actually open that way out,
which means we can get it right up against the wall.
You can't see the shed from there, can you?
Ideal. That's the exact thing.
They'll be sat there having their breakfast.
Can't see the shed.
So it will give us more space and it won't be such an eyesore
and we can also tuck the dustbins there as well.
But the shed will need a new base,
so Charlie sets Harry and David to work.
-It's nice having this little bit here, isn't it?
-Yes, you can't see it from the house either.
-Which is quite nice.
-We were going to do the same, weren't we?
-Oh, we were.
-Out of sight.
We would have done it that much better, though, wouldn't we?
And at last, David has found some life in the garden.
It's a toad!
Look at this little guy.
-Where do we put him?
Oh, he's athletic.
With the toad safely re-homed in a neighbour's garden,
the chaps can get on with laying a base of reused slabs and gravel.
Ready for the shed to be put in its new position.
Now for the wheelie bins.
We're trying to work out where the trellis is going to go while
you can still get to the bins.
Like that, just like that.
If I was approaching with a big bag of stuff,
I would want the lid right there.
Lid and then this one...
Hang on. I just...
I'm an artist at work, all right?
This is a gardening programme.
Hey, you wouldn't believe it.
It's bin shuffling.
The problem is that by giving Lewis and Rhys easy access to their bins,
it might affect the design.
I'm going to be a bit controversial now.
I've asked everybody else in the garden what we should do with the bins,
but I'm going to actually ask Lewis and Rhys.
Rhys, Lewis, I have a little question.
Don't look so concerned.
On the design,
I have a piece of trellis here and then a piece of trellis running here to screen the bins.
It's going to be a bit tight getting them in and out. I wondered whether
we could move the bins outside and behind the fence and screen them.
-That way - one, we get more garden,
but then you won't have the smell of bins either
-when you're sat on the deck.
Good idea. Grab a bin, then!
With the bins on their way out...
Course I get the heavy one!
..Charlie gets the build back on track.
With all the lines for the hard landscaping marked out,
Andy and Falkland are putting in the circular patio by the back door.
Go from there to there. To the concrete, yeah.
To save time and money, Charlie has chosen a circular patio kit.
Circular kits are a bit more difficult.
You need to lay them out dry,
play around with it until you get them absolutely bang on to what you
want. It'll save you time in the long run.
The stones are ready cut and come in a variety of finishes and sizes
from most DIY stores.
They save having to cut each stone to fit the design.
That's why you set them out dry.
If you lay them wet, you get that.
So we start again.
The humble patio has served the British garden well for decades.
But in some modern gardens,
the traditional, rectangular area of pavers is a thing of the past.
Using different shapes and contrasting materials can
turn any area of hard landscaping
into a feature and focal point.
Creating circles and semicircles makes a narrow space seem wider.
While using several materials in one feature
stops it looking like a giant block.
And replacing the odd paver with planting, particularly centre plants,
means your patio can smell nice as well as look nice.
In Rhys and Lewis' garden,
the landscaping will seamlessly lead the couple from the back door
to a decked seating area.
But the patio kit the boys are using doesn't quite fit properly.
Because we're butting up to the house,
we need to just modify a few slabs.
We're trying to make a template for this section out of cardboard
because it's a very strange shape.
So the thing I'm trying to end up with is this shape,
with a pointing gap of a centimetre all the way around,
including the wall,
-so that can be offered up to the stone cut.
-And it should fit perfect.
Making a cardboard template first avoids wasting stones by cutting them to
-the wrong size.
-I'm happy with that.
-Do you think we could get away with just laying the
cardboard instead of a bit of stone?
-I don't think we'll quite get away with that.
-It doesn't rain in Staffordshire, does it?
-And a perfect one.
Meanwhile, whilst Charlie assembles her plants,
Rhys and Lewis have asked the boys to meet them out front.
On Charlie's suggestion, they've been shopping.
-What have you bought?
-We've got these two large pots.
-They're big, aren't they?
-Thought the curved effect was quite nice.
They're modern and tall. We like that sort of thing.
And you've got something in here as well, have you?
We've overspent on the budget.
Don't tell us off. We really, really love it.
-It's really modern.
It's actually a water feature.
It's certainly very shiny and contemporary, isn't it?
I think it's going to look beautiful in the garden.
We thought it would give us a bit of height in the garden and the
-water flows down both edges of it, so we can see it if it went in the middle of the deck.
So you said it was slightly over budget.
-How much did you spend on the water feature?
So it was £300 but there is that added cost of an electrician
-to fit it as well, isn't there?
-We really love it.
-We both really love it.
Sometimes it's worth spending a little bit more and let Charlie worry
-about the rest.
Harry and David can't wait to give Charlie the good news.
-Look what we've got.
-This is the water feature.
I don't recall ordering that.
-No, you didn't.
-Whoa, that is quite big, isn't it?
It's definitely a feature. They've done well, I think.
They've spent the cash, though.
-They've spent it all?
-So no going out and getting a few more plants, then?
With the budget and more now well and truly spent,
there better not be any more surprise costs for Charlie to deal with or
she'll be unable to give Lewis and Rhys the garden they were expecting.
-Do you want me to give it a little wiggle, maybe?
-Yeah. Yeah, not that way.
T'other way. That way.
She has no choice but to try and accommodate the water feature
into her design.
It's important to keep the customer happy.
-You spray it out first.
-Make some marks and then we'll dig away.
-But you've got to keep it level.
It's a nightmare putting these in.
People always think it's going to be easy.
But you have to dig out the hole bigger than you need, put sand down,
level it and then as you backfill it, make sure you don't put it on the tilt.
So Charlie sets the boys to work.
The black tank needs to sit underneath the ground and will be filled with
water. Once that's done,
Rhys and Lewis' water feature will be fixed to the top.
The focal points that Charlie is incorporating
will draw the eye away from the less attractive parts of the garden
and focus them on the areas of interest.
The use of focal points in garden design isn't a modern idea.
It began in the formal Italian Renaissance gardens of the 15th century and
some of today's most famous gardens are continuing the tradition.
Art historian and dedicated gardener Sir Roy Strong
has filled his own garden, the Laskett Gardens,
with distinctive points of interest.
Focal points, I think, are absolutely fundamental.
They draw the eye.
They depend on what we know as perspective, which is mathematical.
The converting lines mean distance.
You can also achieve it through planting colour,
getting softer into the distance.
They hold the whole composition together.
Roy uses a range of plants,
statues and pots to give visitors a glimpse of something in the distance
and tempt them down that path.
Anything can make a focal point, can't it?
It can be rather grand, as this garden is,
sort of classical or mock classical bits of statuary.
Or you may have some fabulous plant or clipped evergreen.
A piece of topiary can hold a whole garden together.
It can be a little fountain, it can be a piece of modern sculpture.
It can be a massive thing,
so I think it has to be something that has year-round value.
It's no use having something that comes out in the spring and
it's just a heap of dead leaves for the other ten months of the year.
I think without any focal point, the garden is lost.
In the case of a small back garden,
it should either be in the centre or at the furthest end, and then
everything falls around it.
Hopefully, Sir Roy would approve of Lewis and Rhys' choices.
The water feature will glisten all year round and the plants in those
elegant statement planters can be swapped with the seasons.
Whilst the electrics for the water feature go in,
the boys are digging the hole to house the ample reservoir.
And Charlie is supervising the building of the bespoke pergola.
Rather than buy one in kit form,
Lee's constructing the pergola out of cedar that matches the deck.
The pergola is really just adding a bit of height.
And also, once the climbers are on,
it will screen those houses overlooking into this garden.
What do we think, boys?
Hate it. No, only joking.
It looks great. Definitely breaks the light at the back.
-It brings it down, doesn't it?
-It sort of brings it down a bit.
-They can grow something up there, as well. So it's even more screening.
But once the final screw is in, it's time to start measuring again.
In Charlie's design,
the lawn and the flower beds all work off the arc of landscaping.
And David has a starring role in making sure they're perfect.
-I'm pretty pivotal.
We've basically got the hard landscaping in now
and it's just to get the borders in.
We've got the decking down, the paving done,
the path's almost edged up, so it's now marking out.
Because the water feature has rather taken over the planting area,
because I wasn't quite expecting it to be quite such a focal point,
I'm making this area here into flower beds.
-Am I doing the line?
-You're spraying, mate.
By using a line,
Charlie can create a perfectly straight edge, which Harry then marks out
with line marking paint.
The boys are used to building gardens with perfect lines and angles.
Yeah, that's about perfect.
But Charlie's finding it all a bit fiddly.
When I was drawing this up,
I thought this was a really simple, straightforward design.
It was easier to draw than it is to make.
It's always quite tricky with designs like this when they have
a pivotal point where everything works off.
If something changes due to, I guess, the site,
the characteristic of the site, then everything has to adapt for it.
Even two mil can make a dramatic difference with the whole garden.
-Charlie's design was to the mil.
Charlie's much more at home amongst her plants,
and she's ordered some beauties.
So the great thing about Lewis and Rhys' garden is the budget is
actually quite big, so it means I've been able to go a bit mad on the
plants. This is £800 worth of plants, so it's a lot of plants.
When it comes to planting a garden from scratch
and there's nothing in it,
I would suggest the best thing to do is have something for structure that
is going to be there year in, year out. Something like evergreens.
We've got fatsias and yuccas.
And some pittosporum. Something for height.
So we've got some small trees and climbers that will give you height, and then
the third thing is colour,
so we've got some wallflowers and some lavenders
and some heucheras to give,
you know, a bit of pizzazz and seasonal interest.
Another design trick Charlie is using to give the garden a professional finish
is to edge the borders.
So all I'm doing now is putting in some wooden edging, and we don't want it
to be showing too much, so I'm just digging a trench ready to peg it in.
That will really accentuate the lines from this paving area down the garden.
But there's a lot of edging to peg in.
Just using four-by-one tanalised timber.
Guaranteed for 20 years.
It's great for edging. It's not going to rot away and crumble
into the beds. It's going to hold its structure.
Whilst the boys have the hard job of building the borders,
the boss has the fun job of filling them.
I just want to get a few key shrubs in first, then the water feature, so
I can work out what plants go where.
So this is Exochorda The Bride.
Got these simple white flowers in the spring.
They've trained it as a wall shrub.
It's actually normally a shrub that sort of cascades,
so hence the bridal wreath.
Since this garden is all about focal points,
Charlie has gone to town and chosen some really special plants.
-The tree peony is another favourite.
-It's also got these really
architectural leaves that are a bluey-green colour.
And look, they look fantastic against the cedar deck.
Just beautiful. Look down there.
And Charlie has also kept in mind the style of plants Lewis and Rhys love.
Lewis and Rhys really want to evoke fond memories of their holidays in
the Mediterranean, and Charlie has given them that through the planting.
It's not typical Mediterranean planting but it really gives the feeling of it.
This really lovely bold structure with the fatsia.
We've got the yucca over there
and then the agapanthus is going to look great.
But some of Charlie's plant choices are not as user-friendly as others.
So, how to deal with spiky plants. Because when it comes to planting
them, these are very, very sharp.
I'm not worried about putting them in the garden because Rhys and Lewis
are grown-up adults, so they know they're spiky.
But the best thing to do is wrap the sandwich film round and it gently
holds them in place.
You can plant them. And then at the very, very end, a pair of scissors,
With some of the statement plants in place,
it's time to bring in the budget-busting water feature the boys selected.
Now the reservoir is level,
the boys have filled it with water and submerged a pump.
They've connected a hose to it that will circulate the water over the
feature when the pump is turned on.
Shall we take all the fittings out?
-Take them out, put them to one side.
Put the lid on.
Water features don't just have to be focal points.
There are many other benefits to adding one to your plot.
Water in a garden is fantastic for wildlife and particularly for birds,
as it can provide an opportunity for a drink or a bath.
The gentle trickle or gurgle of water is also fantastic
for drowning out background road noise.
Whatever your garden, there's a water feature to suit it.
Whether it's sculptural, geometric or a period design...
..or made of glass, stone or contemporary stainless steel.
Rhys and Lewis's water feature with its super shiny finish
should add a luminance to the garden even on the dullest of days.
The other focal points they've chosen are a couple of tall metal planters.
Because this pot here has a really deep bass,
I'm going to fill this with gravel and then put the pot in,
drill some holes where the base is
and then that's going to act as a water reservoir for the plants.
The water levels are just going to hit the soil so it can draw it up,
but not too much that it gets swamped.
And Charlie is finishing it off with a pop of colour
to brighten up the corner.
Don't they look nice?
And the great thing about these is these Senetti aren't 100% hardy,
so it does mean that Lewis or Rhys can lift them out and pop them in the shed
if they think it's going to be a cold night.
Charlie's solved the problem of focal points.
Her next job is to put some more height into the garden.
In its former life,
Rhys and Lewis' plot may have had a decent fence
but was overlooked from three sides.
So she's adding trees and shrubs to make the garden more private.
This is one of my favourite trees.
-It's really a large shrub.
-That's a lovely shrub, isn't it?
-Really, really nice shape.
It's known as the wedding cake tree because it grows in these layers and
it's got a variegated leaf,
so it's got a light green with a white edge
and it just looks beautiful and architectural.
Leaves that are variegated have both green and non-green parts.
-Is it dogwood?
-It is a dogwood, yeah.
These boys don't like variegation, but I think they'll be convinced with this,
and it adds some height to the garden and picks up the height of the pergola.
And you can still grow things underneath.
That's why it's an ideal small tree for a small garden.
To offset the areas of landscaping and swathes of planting,
Charlie has given Harry and David the task of laying
a new section of lawn.
So I'm just preparing the soil now,
having this loose layer on top, which really allows the turf to knit in and root.
After I've done this, it's really key not to stand back on it,
so as you can see, Dave's on a board here and it enables you to not mess up what I've already done.
And you just move the boards up each time and,
you know, work away from the prepared soil.
A lawn this size bought as turf costs £136
but provides an instant lawn.
If you want to keep costs down,
you can sew a lawn from seed for a fraction of the price.
So we've just staggered the joints here and it just
gives it more of a seamless look.
Otherwise, you start seeing all these different lines where it's joined. It becomes quite obvious.
It's key to butt these joints up really well
and give it a thorough water afterwards. Otherwise, it gets really dry,
there's a lot of shrinkage and even the ends can curl up a little bit
and go a bit yellow, so it won't look very nice.
Rhys and Lewis are going to have to be vigilant about watering this lawn
every day for the next six weeks until it's firmly rooted.
This garden has tested Charlie's design skills and patience to the limit.
With such a big budget to spend,
the pressure to deliver something truly special has been intense, but as
the water feature is turned on...
-Look at that.
It's quite nice because the whole brightness and shininess of it has
-disappeared now the water is going down, hasn't it?
-Yeah. It's quite a nice sound.
It's not going to make you want to...
-Run to the loo.
-..go to the bathroom.
-I don't know.
-..and the very last Mediterranean plants go in...
..the garden is finally ready for its grand unveiling.
For two years,
Rhys and Lewis' sad plot has barely deserved to be called a garden.
Void of life, it was neglected whilst the couple focused
on kitting out their dream home.
Now it's had a £4,000 face-lift.
Charlie and the team have spent every penny of the budget to give
the garden a high-end gloss that she knows the couple will be hoping for.
She focused much of the budget on different areas of high-end landscaping.
A £900 circular patio is the ideal spot for morning coffee.
Whilst the cedar deck adds a touch
of luxury and is perfect for a glass of wine at the end of the day.
The bespoke pergola was an indulgence at £350
but adds height to the previously flat and boring plot...
..and will look amazing when it's covered with flowers.
Charlie chose to allocate more than £1,000 to plants,
but the impact is immense.
They add privacy and intimacy to the garden and have that Mediterranean
feel that the boys asked for.
And Lewis and Rhys have stamped their personality on the garden too,
with focal points in the form of this stunning water feature
and two statement planters.
Not exactly a steal at £800,
but they certainly add a wow factor to the space.
Before they called the Garden Rescue team,
Lewis and Rhys had no idea
what to do with the blank space they called their garden.
And to get the ultimate transformation, they staked £4,000.
Keep your eyes closed.
It's time to find out if Charlie and the boys have delivered the garden
-they dreamed of.
-Rhys, this way.
You can open your eyes now.
-Wow! Oh, my word!
Is that a good "goodness me"?
-That's very good.
-That is really nice.
-Oh, thank you.
-Of course they are.
Is that Mediterranean enough for you?
-That's the type of view. The yuccas...
It sounds like they absolutely love it, so from that contrast of it being
-just a blank space, they've now got so much interest, haven't they?
Look at the trellis and the water feature.
-Well, you chose the water feature.
Why are you surprised?
My word, what a transformation.
You don't really notice the shed, do you?
-No, that is very good.
-Let me get on your shoulders now, mate.
-Get on, get on up.
What's going on?
I have to say, you did a good job with the water feature.
I'll give you that. Even though you blew the budget.
The great thing is, it's double sided and the sound
-is not an irritating sound.
-They spent a lot on it, but that for them is the icing on the cake.
It's really finished that garden.
-It's a really good choice of a feature there, to be honest.
Giving them a little budget to go and spend makes it
-more personal to them, so...
-Indeed, it's their little patch, isn't it?
So, can you see yourself using this space?
Absolutely. Tonight, yeah.
Sitting on the deck.
This will make it your own private little sanctuary in this area.
Oh, it's fantastic. I love it.
Thank you so much.
They love the decked area and I think they're quite looking forward to entertaining on there.
-It has brought a real focal area to the garden.
It's a usable space now, isn't it? Before, they only had this little bit of paving, didn't they?
At least now they get to walk down the garden.
-I know you guys are quite high spec, aren't you?
Has the garden made it to the level of your house?
Definitely, yeah. Absolutely, yes.
There's a good theme going on, it's modern.
There's lots of spaces to use as well, isn't there?
The decking and the patio, the grass. It's fantastic.
Good. Would you employ us again, then?
Great answer. We might not let you go out shopping again because we
slightly blew the budget but, hey.
-What's a budget?
-What's a budget?
This garden has been built from scratch.
There was absolutely nothing for Charlie and the boys to work with
and they had to please two clients with very particular taste.
-Well, the build went well.
-The weather was nice.
-It looks fabulous.
It looks amazing. It was literally just a blank canvas, wasn't it?
Couldn't ask for any more.
I love the deck. It's really, really good.
Everything. I can't pick out one thing that stands out.
Everything is fantastic.
-Really, really is good.
-The way that everything is kind of designed,
the way it all fans out,
it's really good because you've got different ways to go down the garden.
It draws your eye. Definitely like,
really good design and I'm quite happy that we chose that.
We're going to come out here for weeks, possibly months and think, "Wow, it's transformed our garden."
Money well spent, definitely.
-The water feature does look pretty cool.
-Yeah, it is the main feature, isn't it?
It's changed the garden that dramatically.
-It's not bad, is it?
-It's a thing of beauty now.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers battle it out in Stoke-on-Trent for the chance to design a cool, modern garden. Lewis and Rhys are a young couple and have made their house their own but have run out of ideas when it comes to the garden.
With only three fences, a shed and a few weeds to work with, can the designers transform this characterless plot into the chic 'outdoor room' the couple dream of and do it all within their £4,000 budget?
Along the way the designers have tips on which materials to use to add a touch of luxury to your garden and ideas for focal points to make the most of the whole garden.