Stoke Garden Rescue


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Stoke

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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Transcript


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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens

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and decades of experience...

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-Hello!

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

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Looking good, boys.

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But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.

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We want to 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.

-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.

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-It is, isn't it?

-I'm sure you've seen larger.

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

-..and will each pitch them a design

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-based on their needs...

-Wow!

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-..and budget.

-That looks really exciting.

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

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-The winner...

-Ta-da!

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Woo!

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..brings their design to life.

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Hold on, hold on!

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-Sweet as a nut.

-And the loser has to help them build it.

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Oh, I'm getting irritated now with faffing around.

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This is what happens...

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-Does he ever get irritating?

-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!

-Open your eyes.

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Wow! It's amazing.

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It's beautiful.

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to discover whose garden

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they'll be battling over this time.

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If you look up blank canvas in the dictionary,

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I think this garden may crop up.

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We've got Lewis and Rhys and they recently moved into a new build in

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Stoke-on-Trent, and they've made their house their own, but they're

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struggling with inspiration for the garden.

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Lewis, an HR advisor, and Rhys, a catering manager,

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both work full-time and for the last couple of years

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have dedicated all their spare time and money to creating their perfect

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-home.

-We've spent so long doing the house and decorating that

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and prioritising that,

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-that we kind of forgot about the garden.

-I wouldn't call it a garden.

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Yeah, that's definitely not a garden, what's out there at the moment.

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It's just a mud bath.

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Really, really muddy,

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waterlogged and waiting for us to do something with it.

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This space is barely a garden at all.

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The only things living in it are a few blades of grass,

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the odd weed and the couple's bunny rabbit, Milo.

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We're not very creative in the sense of we knew we'd want somewhere to

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entertain, but how to make that look really good,

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we're not full of ideas.

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I think that's a problem with these new builds.

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Everyone can see what they're going to do with the house, with

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individual rooms, but when it comes to the garden, when they're given four fence panels...

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-It's going to be daunting, probably, isn't it?

-You can see why they've had problems.

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-It's "where do you start?"

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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Not only that, but Rhys and Lewis don't always see eye to eye.

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I like really minimalistic and modern, a bit different.

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Whereas I'm not so much. Definitely play it safe.

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We have differences of opinion sometimes, don't we?

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Not liking the same colours, not liking the same furniture,

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the list is endless.

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THEY LAUGH

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But two years of disagreeing and dithering has enabled the couple

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to save a tidy sum for the garden makeover.

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-And the budget is...?

-The budget is £4,000.

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-Oh!

-That's quite healthy, isn't it?

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-It's quite healthy. It's not a huge garden, is it?

-No, not at all, no.

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The possibility of a four grand budget to do up this space

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has whetted our designers' appetites.

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But their design will have to win over both Rhys and Lewis,

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and that won't be easy.

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to go head-to-head

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for the chance to make over Lewis and Rhys' garden.

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So they're heading to Stoke to meet the couple and see the garden for

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themselves. But the size of the challenge is making them nervous.

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Now, with a new build,

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you can normally say you're going to get some decent fences

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and a good bit of lawn.

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Looking at the pictures on this one, no.

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-Wow!

-Wow, yeah.

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-That is the word, isn't it?

-Blimey.

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What happened to the grass? No grass at all.

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-You've got stinging nettles, though. Don't complain.

-One or two.

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Not the only life in the garden. Some rabbit droppings.

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-Yeah.

-There's nothing, is there?

-No.

-That's the first thing.

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You walk in, you go, "Whoa, fences."

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They're the only thing in the garden.

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And also other houses.

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It looks like they've tried to sit out.

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-It's not inspiring, is it?

-No, not at all.

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It's not inspiring in any way.

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-I think we've seen it all.

-It didn't take long.

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-Didn't take long at all.

-But it's not all bad news.

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It's a good shape, though.

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Yes, it is quite manageable so I think maybe, you know, design wise,

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-it's going to be quite interesting.

-And strong boundaries, which helps.

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Normally at this point, the boys like to snoop around inside to find out

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more about the couple's taste,

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whilst Charlie gets to know them.

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Hello. It's a bit unusual.

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But this time, to make it interesting, they're swapping roles.

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So is there anything that you know you'd like in the garden?

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-Any kind of style?

-I was thinking Mediterranean theme.

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So from holidays in the Canary Islands and stuff.

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Things that spring to mind are cordylines, yuccas, that kind of...

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Yeah, yeah, colour, give it a bit of shape.

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-Quite architectural, quite contemporary, aren't they?

-Lots of modern and different.

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Not your normal garden.

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Quite young, quite interesting.

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Inside, Charlie has made a useful discovery.

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Wow!

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Now this is nice.

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Rhys and Lewis have very particular taste.

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Greys with the silver, purples and the darker purples.

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All flows and matches.

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Really nice, clean lines on the lights.

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Definitely has a wow factor to it.

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What are you guys looking forward to doing the most when it's all done,

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-finished and looking beautiful?

-We're really looking forward to having our friends round,

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enjoying the sunshine. Get the summer. Just to make the most of the space because at the moment,

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we're living indoors because outside isn't very attractive at all,

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as you've seen. We're looking forward to that extra bit of space,

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aren't we? That chance to mingle with friends, have a barbecue.

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We bought a barbecue two years ago. It's still in its box.

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THEY LAUGH

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So this definitely needs to be a social space, but inside,

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something else has caught Charlie's attention.

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Oh, I like the mirror. I can't see myself in it,

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which is a good thing, but that's really cool.

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Lewis and Rhys clearly love to make a statement.

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I think it's got a lot of potential, anyway.

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It's a lovely size and it's very blank.

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-Very blank.

-I think we'll get a blank piece of paper out and get cracking, I think.

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There's a lot here for the designers to consider.

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Rhys and Lewis' house is very distinctive,

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but they fancy a garden that's Mediterranean.

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Creating a dream space for them,

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even for four grand, is not going to be easy.

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So our rival designers get straight to work.

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Each of them will come up with the design for Lewis and Rhys' garden

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that will work within their budget.

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The couple then have to choose a winner, and whoever loses

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will have to help the winner build the garden.

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So, who will the couple go for?

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Right, here we go.

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Will it be Charlie, who isn't known for her modern gardens but has seen

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that the couple's house has the wow factor?

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-Yes? Interesting.

-Wow.

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Or the boys, who are known for their contemporary spaces but might

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struggle with the Mediterranean theme?

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That's our design.

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Who's got the measure of this one?

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From looking round the house,

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you've got some very strong, simple lines.

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It's very stylish and stylised, so I've gone with that in the design.

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-Yeah.

-I've grasped the fact that you want this contemporary, stylish,

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social outdoor space that's really going to entice you inside the house to outside.

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This is going to be a lovely area to sit in the morning, but then

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this area of an evening, a bigger area.

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You can spill down onto the lawn.

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And the deck, I was going to go with cedar, and rather than have it

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parallel like that, I've got it on a diagonal.

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Stops it looking like a pallet, all right?

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As you can see with the design, we've created two levels.

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We've created this lovely kind of entertainment space.

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It's got two sofas, a fire bowl and you can really sit down and relax.

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We've increased the terrace space. It gives you plenty of room for the

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barbecue, so you can finally put that together and get it out there.

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While the boys are playing it safe with the structure of their garden,

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Charlie is upping the ante.

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She's remembered that the couple are overlooked in their new build.

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To give you some privacy,

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I've got a very simple cedar pergola,

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and then we've got a couple of...

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They're called small trees, they're actually large shrubs.

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One's a Cornus controversa.

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It's lovely because the leaves are quite small, so it doesn't create a lot

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of dense shade, so you can still plant underneath it.

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But it has a beautiful shape to it. In that corner,

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an evergreen that will screen out those roofs.

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Arbutus. It's known as the strawberry tree.

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-Oh, right.

-It has flowers and fruit at the same time.

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But not to be outdone,

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the boys have done their homework too, incorporating the holiday theme

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into the planting.

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The social area is surrounded by Mediterranean style planting,

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so we want to use things that you like, like cordylines and phormiums.

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We're straying away from cottage style and into soft and floral and giving you

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that real flavour of the Mediterranean, bringing back some good memories of holidays.

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And we've also put in two trees

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and three shrubs, and they're great for vertical interest.

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Just gives it a bit of architecture in the garden

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and great for privacy as well.

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-When you're sitting down here, you feel a bit more immersed, a bit more private.

-Yeah.

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Rhys and Lewis like what they see,

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but Charlie is about to play her trump card.

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I'd like to give you the structure of the garden, but your taste is

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quite different from mine.

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Personally, I would go for focal points, something like this,

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but I can see that's not your type of thing, so I have three focal points.

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One here, back-dropped with Mediterranean planting.

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One here and one over there, so when you're sat on the patio or sat here,

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you can see them. But I would like you to take that budget of about £150

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for each one and buy a piece of art or something that you would like to see...

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-Wow!

-..in the garden.

-Interesting.

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Charlie's giving the couple a chance to make their own mark on the garden.

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But will it sway them?

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What's your initial impression of this one, then?

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I liked this. I like how they've got a separate seating area up here.

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I like how it's covered at the back.

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-There's lots of stuff going on. Lots of different shapes.

-What do you think about this one?

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It's very modern, isn't it?

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-There's lots going on.

-I like how it's all enclosed in the one area.

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I like the seating area.

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Concrete is a nice look, personally, I think.

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-You see, I'm not sure about that.

-Oh, right, OK.

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-What will it look like in the winter?

-True.

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These designs couldn't be more different.

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But they have to pick one, so which is it going to be?

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-Choices, Lewis.

-Yeah.

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It's hard to pick between the two.

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It's so hard. I like them both.

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Got to pick.

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Will they plump for the Rich brother's design

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with the secluded seating area,

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or will they choose Charlie's arcs and geometric layout,

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plus the opportunity to pick their own garden features?

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It's decision time.

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It's taken us ages to decide. I'm sorry to keep you waiting.

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We've picked one in the end.

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We've decided to go for...

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Oh!

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Cool. I'm pleased about that.

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-Well done.

-I'm really pleased.

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-Good.

-I think it will make this a nice little oasis of greenery.

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-I agree.

-We can't really go wrong, guys, can we?

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The boys' faces say it all.

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They clearly fancied getting their hands on that four grand,

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and what's more, they now have to take orders from Charlie.

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But she's going to need them to help realise her very modern design.

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The time for talking is over.

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Now the hard work really begins.

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The new garden will feature a lot of hard landscaping,

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so while she's off organising the plants,

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Charlie has sent the contractors in to get started.

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And it's project manager Paul's job to try and make sense of her radical

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-design.

-What we've got is,

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we've got this paving coming out from the house.

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We've got a bit of planting either side of it.

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-Right.

-And a nice big lawn is going to sweep in there.

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Are these all wood stands to retain the planted area?

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Yes. We're going to get some nice wooden edging in there and then the main bit, for us...

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-Is this deck.

-..is this deck.

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The design features three contrasting areas of landscaping

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that interlock like giant pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.

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And for the garden to work, they need to fit together seamlessly.

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Obviously, because this deck is following a similar line to the paving

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where it fans out, so it's not a straightforward

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-rectangle...

-Nothing ever is with Charlie's designs, let's face it.

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No!

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Whilst Andy starts on the patio,

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Lee's tackling the biggest landscaping feature - the deck.

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Before the cedar boards Charlie has ordered can be laid,

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a solid and level subframe has to be put down.

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And once the frame is complete, the boards can go on.

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We're going to lay them at an angle, as Charlie's design suggests we do,

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and it's a bit of an optical illusion.

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It makes this area probably look a lot bigger

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than it actually is in reality.

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Once all the deck boards are laid out,

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they have to be accurately spaced so that there's the same sized gap

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between each board for a really smart finish.

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They'll all be spaced at five mil intervals,

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so I'll start spacing at that end there.

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I'll just put a screw in each of them and we'll just continue the

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spacing down and screw on every joist that's already down there.

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With four grand to spend, Charlie has gone for high-end decking.

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Cedarwood rejects moisture, so it's less prone to splitting and twisting.

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If well looked after, it can last 20 years.

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Paul and the landscapers have made good progress with Charlie's design.

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But now she and the Rich brothers have arrived to work their magic in the garden.

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But before they get stuck in, the boss gives the boys a pep talk.

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Now, this garden is all about laying out right in the first place because

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it's all about getting those lines exactly right. Otherwise,

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it's going to look a little...

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-pants.

-You've got that circular paving, haven't you?

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-Everything runs off that, does it?

-The access is from that centre.

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It's all about the lines in this garden, isn't it?

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-It is indeed.

-There's lots of them.

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-Lots of lines.

-THEY LAUGH

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And you've got your focal features as well, which you left up to Rhys and Lewis,

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so I think it's going to be quite interesting to see what they've

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chosen and how it fits in with the character of your garden.

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That's a worry. It's a big worry, I have to say.

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Let's go and wrangle with angles.

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THEY LAUGH

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Charlie's design is all about creating a chic, stylish space,

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but in order to achieve that,

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she has to take care of some practicalities first.

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Right, now we need to move this.

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Put one in each corner.

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Rhys and Lewis' plot has a slight dogleg,

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which is the perfect place to hide the shed.

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So it and Milo the bunny need to be moved.

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Onto the deck.

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Oh, hello, there we are.

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Oh, I'm crushed. Hang about, hang about!

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Guys, let's swing it round.

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I'm moving the shed,

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one - to gain some more space, because at the moment,

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it was sort of halfway out in the garden.

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You can see all the space that was lost.

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I'm also going to twist it round so the doors actually open that way out,

0:16:570:17:01

which means we can get it right up against the wall.

0:17:010:17:04

You can't see the shed from there, can you?

0:17:040:17:06

Ideal. That's the exact thing.

0:17:060:17:07

They'll be sat there having their breakfast.

0:17:070:17:09

Can't see the shed.

0:17:090:17:11

So it will give us more space and it won't be such an eyesore

0:17:120:17:16

and we can also tuck the dustbins there as well.

0:17:160:17:20

But the shed will need a new base,

0:17:200:17:22

so Charlie sets Harry and David to work.

0:17:220:17:24

-It's nice having this little bit here, isn't it?

-Yes, you can't see it from the house either.

0:17:240:17:28

-Which is quite nice.

-We were going to do the same, weren't we?

-Oh, we were.

-Out of sight.

0:17:280:17:32

We would have done it that much better, though, wouldn't we?

0:17:320:17:36

And at last, David has found some life in the garden.

0:17:360:17:40

It's a toad!

0:17:400:17:41

Look at this little guy.

0:17:410:17:43

-Cool.

-Where do we put him?

0:17:430:17:46

Oh, he's athletic.

0:17:460:17:48

Watch out.

0:17:480:17:49

With the toad safely re-homed in a neighbour's garden,

0:17:490:17:52

the chaps can get on with laying a base of reused slabs and gravel.

0:17:520:17:56

Ready for the shed to be put in its new position.

0:17:560:17:59

Now for the wheelie bins.

0:18:010:18:02

We're trying to work out where the trellis is going to go while

0:18:040:18:07

you can still get to the bins.

0:18:070:18:08

Like that, just like that.

0:18:110:18:13

SHE LAUGHS

0:18:130:18:15

If I was approaching with a big bag of stuff,

0:18:150:18:17

I would want the lid right there.

0:18:170:18:19

Lid and then this one...

0:18:190:18:21

Hang on. I just...

0:18:210:18:23

I'm an artist at work, all right?

0:18:240:18:25

This is a gardening programme.

0:18:250:18:27

Hey, you wouldn't believe it.

0:18:270:18:29

It's bin shuffling.

0:18:290:18:31

The problem is that by giving Lewis and Rhys easy access to their bins,

0:18:320:18:36

it might affect the design.

0:18:360:18:38

I'm going to be a bit controversial now.

0:18:400:18:42

I've asked everybody else in the garden what we should do with the bins,

0:18:420:18:45

but I'm going to actually ask Lewis and Rhys.

0:18:450:18:49

Rhys, Lewis, I have a little question.

0:18:490:18:52

Don't look so concerned.

0:18:520:18:54

On the design,

0:18:540:18:56

I have a piece of trellis here and then a piece of trellis running here to screen the bins.

0:18:560:19:00

It's going to be a bit tight getting them in and out. I wondered whether

0:19:000:19:03

we could move the bins outside and behind the fence and screen them.

0:19:030:19:08

-Sure.

-That way - one, we get more garden,

0:19:080:19:10

but then you won't have the smell of bins either

0:19:100:19:13

-when you're sat on the deck.

-OK.

0:19:130:19:15

Good idea. Grab a bin, then!

0:19:150:19:18

With the bins on their way out...

0:19:180:19:20

Course I get the heavy one!

0:19:200:19:22

LAUGHTER

0:19:220:19:23

..Charlie gets the build back on track.

0:19:230:19:25

With all the lines for the hard landscaping marked out,

0:19:270:19:30

Andy and Falkland are putting in the circular patio by the back door.

0:19:300:19:34

Go from there to there. To the concrete, yeah.

0:19:340:19:37

To save time and money, Charlie has chosen a circular patio kit.

0:19:370:19:42

Circular kits are a bit more difficult.

0:19:420:19:44

You need to lay them out dry,

0:19:440:19:46

play around with it until you get them absolutely bang on to what you

0:19:460:19:49

want. It'll save you time in the long run.

0:19:490:19:51

The stones are ready cut and come in a variety of finishes and sizes

0:19:520:19:57

from most DIY stores.

0:19:570:19:58

They save having to cut each stone to fit the design.

0:19:580:20:02

That's why you set them out dry.

0:20:020:20:04

If you lay them wet, you get that.

0:20:040:20:07

So we start again.

0:20:080:20:09

The humble patio has served the British garden well for decades.

0:20:110:20:15

But in some modern gardens,

0:20:170:20:19

the traditional, rectangular area of pavers is a thing of the past.

0:20:190:20:23

Using different shapes and contrasting materials can

0:20:250:20:28

turn any area of hard landscaping

0:20:280:20:30

into a feature and focal point.

0:20:300:20:33

Creating circles and semicircles makes a narrow space seem wider.

0:20:340:20:38

While using several materials in one feature

0:20:400:20:43

stops it looking like a giant block.

0:20:430:20:45

And replacing the odd paver with planting, particularly centre plants,

0:20:470:20:52

means your patio can smell nice as well as look nice.

0:20:520:20:55

In Rhys and Lewis' garden,

0:20:590:21:00

the landscaping will seamlessly lead the couple from the back door

0:21:000:21:05

to a decked seating area.

0:21:050:21:06

But the patio kit the boys are using doesn't quite fit properly.

0:21:060:21:10

Because we're butting up to the house,

0:21:100:21:12

we need to just modify a few slabs.

0:21:120:21:15

We're trying to make a template for this section out of cardboard

0:21:150:21:18

because it's a very strange shape.

0:21:180:21:20

So the thing I'm trying to end up with is this shape,

0:21:200:21:23

with a pointing gap of a centimetre all the way around,

0:21:230:21:26

including the wall,

0:21:260:21:27

-so that can be offered up to the stone cut.

-And it should fit perfect.

0:21:270:21:31

Making a cardboard template first avoids wasting stones by cutting them to

0:21:330:21:37

-the wrong size.

-That's perfect!

0:21:370:21:41

-I'm happy with that.

-Do you think we could get away with just laying the

0:21:410:21:44

cardboard instead of a bit of stone?

0:21:440:21:45

-I don't think we'll quite get away with that.

-It doesn't rain in Staffordshire, does it?

0:21:450:21:49

THEY LAUGH

0:21:490:21:51

-And a perfect one.

-Yeah, smashing.

0:21:590:22:01

Meanwhile, whilst Charlie assembles her plants,

0:22:020:22:05

Rhys and Lewis have asked the boys to meet them out front.

0:22:050:22:08

On Charlie's suggestion, they've been shopping.

0:22:080:22:13

-What have you bought?

-We've got these two large pots.

0:22:130:22:16

-Nice.

-They're big, aren't they?

-Thought the curved effect was quite nice.

0:22:160:22:19

They're modern and tall. We like that sort of thing.

0:22:190:22:22

And you've got something in here as well, have you?

0:22:220:22:24

We've overspent on the budget.

0:22:240:22:25

Don't tell us off. We really, really love it.

0:22:250:22:27

-It's really modern.

-The sky.

0:22:270:22:30

It's actually a water feature.

0:22:300:22:31

It's certainly very shiny and contemporary, isn't it?

0:22:310:22:34

I think it's going to look beautiful in the garden.

0:22:340:22:36

We thought it would give us a bit of height in the garden and the

0:22:360:22:39

-water flows down both edges of it, so we can see it if it went in the middle of the deck.

-Nice.

0:22:390:22:43

So you said it was slightly over budget.

0:22:430:22:45

-How much did you spend on the water feature?

-£300.

0:22:450:22:48

So it was £300 but there is that added cost of an electrician

0:22:480:22:51

-to fit it as well, isn't there?

-OK.

0:22:510:22:53

-We really love it.

-We both really love it.

0:22:530:22:56

Sometimes it's worth spending a little bit more and let Charlie worry

0:22:560:23:00

-about the rest.

-THEY LAUGH

0:23:000:23:02

Harry and David can't wait to give Charlie the good news.

0:23:020:23:06

-Charlie?

-Yo!

-Look what we've got.

0:23:060:23:09

-What's that?

-This is the water feature.

0:23:090:23:12

I don't recall ordering that.

0:23:120:23:13

-No, you didn't.

-Whoa, that is quite big, isn't it?

0:23:130:23:16

It's definitely a feature. They've done well, I think.

0:23:160:23:19

They've spent the cash, though.

0:23:190:23:21

-They've spent it all?

-Well...

-And more.

0:23:210:23:24

-So no going out and getting a few more plants, then?

-No.

0:23:240:23:27

With the budget and more now well and truly spent,

0:23:270:23:30

there better not be any more surprise costs for Charlie to deal with or

0:23:300:23:34

she'll be unable to give Lewis and Rhys the garden they were expecting.

0:23:340:23:38

-Do you want me to give it a little wiggle, maybe?

-Yeah. Yeah, not that way.

0:23:380:23:41

T'other way. That way.

0:23:410:23:43

She has no choice but to try and accommodate the water feature

0:23:430:23:46

into her design.

0:23:460:23:47

It's important to keep the customer happy.

0:23:470:23:50

-You spray it out first.

-Oh, yes!

0:23:500:23:52

-Make some marks and then we'll dig away.

-But you've got to keep it level.

0:23:520:23:55

It's a nightmare putting these in.

0:23:550:23:57

People always think it's going to be easy.

0:23:570:23:59

But you have to dig out the hole bigger than you need, put sand down,

0:23:590:24:03

level it and then as you backfill it, make sure you don't put it on the tilt.

0:24:030:24:07

So Charlie sets the boys to work.

0:24:080:24:11

The black tank needs to sit underneath the ground and will be filled with

0:24:110:24:14

water. Once that's done,

0:24:140:24:17

Rhys and Lewis' water feature will be fixed to the top.

0:24:170:24:20

The focal points that Charlie is incorporating

0:24:250:24:28

will draw the eye away from the less attractive parts of the garden

0:24:280:24:32

and focus them on the areas of interest.

0:24:320:24:34

The use of focal points in garden design isn't a modern idea.

0:24:380:24:42

It began in the formal Italian Renaissance gardens of the 15th century and

0:24:420:24:46

some of today's most famous gardens are continuing the tradition.

0:24:460:24:50

Art historian and dedicated gardener Sir Roy Strong

0:24:520:24:55

has filled his own garden, the Laskett Gardens,

0:24:550:24:58

with distinctive points of interest.

0:24:580:25:00

Focal points, I think, are absolutely fundamental.

0:25:020:25:04

They draw the eye.

0:25:040:25:05

They depend on what we know as perspective, which is mathematical.

0:25:050:25:09

The converting lines mean distance.

0:25:090:25:12

You can also achieve it through planting colour,

0:25:120:25:14

getting softer into the distance.

0:25:140:25:16

They hold the whole composition together.

0:25:160:25:18

Roy uses a range of plants,

0:25:200:25:22

statues and pots to give visitors a glimpse of something in the distance

0:25:220:25:26

and tempt them down that path.

0:25:260:25:29

Anything can make a focal point, can't it?

0:25:290:25:31

It can be rather grand, as this garden is,

0:25:310:25:34

sort of classical or mock classical bits of statuary.

0:25:340:25:38

Or you may have some fabulous plant or clipped evergreen.

0:25:380:25:41

A piece of topiary can hold a whole garden together.

0:25:410:25:44

It can be a little fountain, it can be a piece of modern sculpture.

0:25:440:25:48

It can be a massive thing,

0:25:480:25:49

so I think it has to be something that has year-round value.

0:25:490:25:52

It's no use having something that comes out in the spring and

0:25:520:25:55

it's just a heap of dead leaves for the other ten months of the year.

0:25:550:25:58

I think without any focal point, the garden is lost.

0:26:020:26:05

In the case of a small back garden,

0:26:050:26:08

it should either be in the centre or at the furthest end, and then

0:26:080:26:14

everything falls around it.

0:26:140:26:16

Hopefully, Sir Roy would approve of Lewis and Rhys' choices.

0:26:160:26:20

The water feature will glisten all year round and the plants in those

0:26:200:26:23

elegant statement planters can be swapped with the seasons.

0:26:230:26:27

Whilst the electrics for the water feature go in,

0:26:280:26:31

the boys are digging the hole to house the ample reservoir.

0:26:310:26:35

And Charlie is supervising the building of the bespoke pergola.

0:26:350:26:39

Rather than buy one in kit form,

0:26:390:26:41

Lee's constructing the pergola out of cedar that matches the deck.

0:26:410:26:45

The pergola is really just adding a bit of height.

0:26:450:26:48

And also, once the climbers are on,

0:26:480:26:50

it will screen those houses overlooking into this garden.

0:26:500:26:55

What do we think, boys?

0:26:550:26:56

Hate it. No, only joking.

0:26:570:27:00

It looks great. Definitely breaks the light at the back.

0:27:000:27:02

-It brings it down, doesn't it?

-It sort of brings it down a bit.

0:27:020:27:05

-They can grow something up there, as well. So it's even more screening.

-Yeah.

0:27:050:27:08

But once the final screw is in, it's time to start measuring again.

0:27:080:27:12

In Charlie's design,

0:27:140:27:15

the lawn and the flower beds all work off the arc of landscaping.

0:27:150:27:19

And David has a starring role in making sure they're perfect.

0:27:200:27:25

-I'm pretty pivotal.

-HE LAUGHS

0:27:250:27:27

We've basically got the hard landscaping in now

0:27:270:27:30

and it's just to get the borders in.

0:27:300:27:32

We've got the decking down, the paving done,

0:27:320:27:35

the path's almost edged up, so it's now marking out.

0:27:350:27:39

Because the water feature has rather taken over the planting area,

0:27:390:27:43

because I wasn't quite expecting it to be quite such a focal point,

0:27:430:27:46

I'm making this area here into flower beds.

0:27:460:27:50

-Am I doing the line?

-You're spraying, mate.

0:27:500:27:53

By using a line,

0:27:550:27:56

Charlie can create a perfectly straight edge, which Harry then marks out

0:27:560:28:01

with line marking paint.

0:28:010:28:03

The boys are used to building gardens with perfect lines and angles.

0:28:050:28:09

Yeah, that's about perfect.

0:28:090:28:11

But Charlie's finding it all a bit fiddly.

0:28:110:28:13

When I was drawing this up,

0:28:130:28:16

I thought this was a really simple, straightforward design.

0:28:160:28:19

It was easier to draw than it is to make.

0:28:190:28:23

It's always quite tricky with designs like this when they have

0:28:230:28:26

a pivotal point where everything works off.

0:28:260:28:28

If something changes due to, I guess, the site,

0:28:280:28:31

the characteristic of the site, then everything has to adapt for it.

0:28:310:28:35

Even two mil can make a dramatic difference with the whole garden.

0:28:350:28:38

-Exactly.

-Charlie's design was to the mil.

0:28:380:28:41

-Yeah.

-I imagine.

-Yeah, right!

0:28:410:28:43

Charlie's much more at home amongst her plants,

0:28:450:28:49

and she's ordered some beauties.

0:28:490:28:51

So the great thing about Lewis and Rhys' garden is the budget is

0:28:510:28:55

actually quite big, so it means I've been able to go a bit mad on the

0:28:550:28:59

plants. This is £800 worth of plants, so it's a lot of plants.

0:28:590:29:05

When it comes to planting a garden from scratch

0:29:050:29:08

and there's nothing in it,

0:29:080:29:09

I would suggest the best thing to do is have something for structure that

0:29:090:29:13

is going to be there year in, year out. Something like evergreens.

0:29:130:29:16

We've got fatsias and yuccas.

0:29:160:29:18

And some pittosporum. Something for height.

0:29:180:29:21

So we've got some small trees and climbers that will give you height, and then

0:29:210:29:25

the third thing is colour,

0:29:250:29:27

so we've got some wallflowers and some lavenders

0:29:270:29:31

and some heucheras to give,

0:29:310:29:33

you know, a bit of pizzazz and seasonal interest.

0:29:330:29:37

Another design trick Charlie is using to give the garden a professional finish

0:29:390:29:44

is to edge the borders.

0:29:440:29:46

So all I'm doing now is putting in some wooden edging, and we don't want it

0:29:480:29:52

to be showing too much, so I'm just digging a trench ready to peg it in.

0:29:520:29:56

That will really accentuate the lines from this paving area down the garden.

0:29:560:30:01

But there's a lot of edging to peg in.

0:30:030:30:05

Just using four-by-one tanalised timber.

0:30:070:30:10

Guaranteed for 20 years.

0:30:100:30:11

It's great for edging. It's not going to rot away and crumble

0:30:110:30:14

into the beds. It's going to hold its structure.

0:30:140:30:17

Whilst the boys have the hard job of building the borders,

0:30:180:30:21

the boss has the fun job of filling them.

0:30:210:30:24

I just want to get a few key shrubs in first, then the water feature, so

0:30:270:30:32

I can work out what plants go where.

0:30:320:30:34

So this is Exochorda The Bride.

0:30:340:30:37

Got these simple white flowers in the spring.

0:30:370:30:40

They've trained it as a wall shrub.

0:30:400:30:43

It's actually normally a shrub that sort of cascades,

0:30:430:30:46

so hence the bridal wreath.

0:30:460:30:48

Since this garden is all about focal points,

0:30:490:30:52

Charlie has gone to town and chosen some really special plants.

0:30:520:30:56

-The tree peony is another favourite.

-It's also got these really

0:30:580:31:02

architectural leaves that are a bluey-green colour.

0:31:020:31:05

And look, they look fantastic against the cedar deck.

0:31:050:31:08

Just beautiful. Look down there.

0:31:080:31:10

And Charlie has also kept in mind the style of plants Lewis and Rhys love.

0:31:140:31:18

Lewis and Rhys really want to evoke fond memories of their holidays in

0:31:190:31:22

the Mediterranean, and Charlie has given them that through the planting.

0:31:220:31:25

It's not typical Mediterranean planting but it really gives the feeling of it.

0:31:250:31:29

This really lovely bold structure with the fatsia.

0:31:290:31:31

We've got the yucca over there

0:31:310:31:33

and then the agapanthus is going to look great.

0:31:330:31:36

But some of Charlie's plant choices are not as user-friendly as others.

0:31:360:31:40

So, how to deal with spiky plants. Because when it comes to planting

0:31:410:31:44

them, these are very, very sharp.

0:31:440:31:47

I'm not worried about putting them in the garden because Rhys and Lewis

0:31:470:31:50

are grown-up adults, so they know they're spiky.

0:31:500:31:53

But the best thing to do is wrap the sandwich film round and it gently

0:31:530:31:59

holds them in place.

0:31:590:32:01

You can plant them. And then at the very, very end, a pair of scissors,

0:32:010:32:05

zoop, boing!

0:32:050:32:07

Job done.

0:32:070:32:08

With some of the statement plants in place,

0:32:100:32:12

it's time to bring in the budget-busting water feature the boys selected.

0:32:120:32:16

Now the reservoir is level,

0:32:190:32:21

the boys have filled it with water and submerged a pump.

0:32:210:32:24

They've connected a hose to it that will circulate the water over the

0:32:260:32:29

feature when the pump is turned on.

0:32:290:32:31

Shall we take all the fittings out?

0:32:330:32:35

-Right.

-Take them out, put them to one side.

0:32:350:32:37

Put the lid on.

0:32:370:32:40

Water features don't just have to be focal points.

0:32:400:32:43

There are many other benefits to adding one to your plot.

0:32:430:32:46

Water in a garden is fantastic for wildlife and particularly for birds,

0:32:480:32:52

as it can provide an opportunity for a drink or a bath.

0:32:520:32:56

The gentle trickle or gurgle of water is also fantastic

0:32:580:33:01

for drowning out background road noise.

0:33:010:33:04

Whatever your garden, there's a water feature to suit it.

0:33:070:33:11

Whether it's sculptural, geometric or a period design...

0:33:110:33:14

..or made of glass, stone or contemporary stainless steel.

0:33:150:33:19

Rhys and Lewis's water feature with its super shiny finish

0:33:250:33:28

should add a luminance to the garden even on the dullest of days.

0:33:280:33:31

The other focal points they've chosen are a couple of tall metal planters.

0:33:370:33:41

Because this pot here has a really deep bass,

0:33:430:33:47

I'm going to fill this with gravel and then put the pot in,

0:33:470:33:51

drill some holes where the base is

0:33:510:33:53

and then that's going to act as a water reservoir for the plants.

0:33:530:33:56

The water levels are just going to hit the soil so it can draw it up,

0:33:560:33:59

but not too much that it gets swamped.

0:33:590:34:01

And Charlie is finishing it off with a pop of colour

0:34:040:34:08

to brighten up the corner.

0:34:080:34:10

Don't they look nice?

0:34:100:34:11

And the great thing about these is these Senetti aren't 100% hardy,

0:34:110:34:16

so it does mean that Lewis or Rhys can lift them out and pop them in the shed

0:34:160:34:21

if they think it's going to be a cold night.

0:34:210:34:23

Charlie's solved the problem of focal points.

0:34:250:34:28

Her next job is to put some more height into the garden.

0:34:280:34:31

In its former life,

0:34:320:34:34

Rhys and Lewis' plot may have had a decent fence

0:34:340:34:37

but was overlooked from three sides.

0:34:370:34:40

So she's adding trees and shrubs to make the garden more private.

0:34:400:34:44

This is one of my favourite trees.

0:34:440:34:48

-It's really a large shrub.

-That's a lovely shrub, isn't it?

0:34:480:34:51

-It is.

-Really, really nice shape.

0:34:510:34:53

It's known as the wedding cake tree because it grows in these layers and

0:34:530:34:58

it's got a variegated leaf,

0:34:580:34:59

so it's got a light green with a white edge

0:34:590:35:02

and it just looks beautiful and architectural.

0:35:020:35:05

Leaves that are variegated have both green and non-green parts.

0:35:070:35:11

-Is it dogwood?

-It is a dogwood, yeah.

0:35:120:35:14

Variegated.

0:35:140:35:16

These boys don't like variegation, but I think they'll be convinced with this,

0:35:160:35:20

and it adds some height to the garden and picks up the height of the pergola.

0:35:200:35:24

And you can still grow things underneath.

0:35:240:35:27

That's why it's an ideal small tree for a small garden.

0:35:270:35:30

To offset the areas of landscaping and swathes of planting,

0:35:340:35:38

Charlie has given Harry and David the task of laying

0:35:380:35:41

a new section of lawn.

0:35:410:35:42

So I'm just preparing the soil now,

0:35:450:35:47

having this loose layer on top, which really allows the turf to knit in and root.

0:35:470:35:51

After I've done this, it's really key not to stand back on it,

0:35:510:35:54

so as you can see, Dave's on a board here and it enables you to not mess up what I've already done.

0:35:540:35:59

And you just move the boards up each time and,

0:35:590:36:01

you know, work away from the prepared soil.

0:36:010:36:05

A lawn this size bought as turf costs £136

0:36:050:36:09

but provides an instant lawn.

0:36:090:36:11

If you want to keep costs down,

0:36:110:36:14

you can sew a lawn from seed for a fraction of the price.

0:36:140:36:17

So we've just staggered the joints here and it just

0:36:170:36:20

gives it more of a seamless look.

0:36:200:36:22

Otherwise, you start seeing all these different lines where it's joined. It becomes quite obvious.

0:36:220:36:26

It's key to butt these joints up really well

0:36:260:36:28

and give it a thorough water afterwards. Otherwise, it gets really dry,

0:36:280:36:31

there's a lot of shrinkage and even the ends can curl up a little bit

0:36:310:36:34

and go a bit yellow, so it won't look very nice.

0:36:340:36:38

Rhys and Lewis are going to have to be vigilant about watering this lawn

0:36:380:36:41

every day for the next six weeks until it's firmly rooted.

0:36:410:36:45

This garden has tested Charlie's design skills and patience to the limit.

0:36:500:36:55

With such a big budget to spend,

0:36:550:36:57

the pressure to deliver something truly special has been intense, but as

0:36:570:37:02

the water feature is turned on...

0:37:020:37:04

-Woo!

-Look at that.

0:37:050:37:07

It's quite nice because the whole brightness and shininess of it has

0:37:070:37:10

-disappeared now the water is going down, hasn't it?

-Yeah. It's quite a nice sound.

0:37:100:37:14

It's not going to make you want to...

0:37:140:37:16

-Run to the loo.

-..go to the bathroom.

0:37:160:37:18

-I don't know.

-..and the very last Mediterranean plants go in...

0:37:180:37:21

..the garden is finally ready for its grand unveiling.

0:37:230:37:27

For two years,

0:37:300:37:31

Rhys and Lewis' sad plot has barely deserved to be called a garden.

0:37:310:37:36

Void of life, it was neglected whilst the couple focused

0:37:370:37:41

on kitting out their dream home.

0:37:410:37:43

Now it's had a £4,000 face-lift.

0:37:460:37:49

Charlie and the team have spent every penny of the budget to give

0:37:510:37:55

the garden a high-end gloss that she knows the couple will be hoping for.

0:37:550:37:59

She focused much of the budget on different areas of high-end landscaping.

0:38:010:38:06

A £900 circular patio is the ideal spot for morning coffee.

0:38:100:38:16

Whilst the cedar deck adds a touch

0:38:160:38:18

of luxury and is perfect for a glass of wine at the end of the day.

0:38:180:38:22

The bespoke pergola was an indulgence at £350

0:38:250:38:29

but adds height to the previously flat and boring plot...

0:38:290:38:33

..and will look amazing when it's covered with flowers.

0:38:350:38:38

Charlie chose to allocate more than £1,000 to plants,

0:38:430:38:47

but the impact is immense.

0:38:470:38:49

They add privacy and intimacy to the garden and have that Mediterranean

0:38:500:38:54

feel that the boys asked for.

0:38:540:38:56

And Lewis and Rhys have stamped their personality on the garden too,

0:38:590:39:03

with focal points in the form of this stunning water feature

0:39:030:39:06

and two statement planters.

0:39:060:39:08

Not exactly a steal at £800,

0:39:080:39:10

but they certainly add a wow factor to the space.

0:39:100:39:14

Before they called the Garden Rescue team,

0:39:160:39:18

Lewis and Rhys had no idea

0:39:180:39:20

what to do with the blank space they called their garden.

0:39:200:39:23

And to get the ultimate transformation, they staked £4,000.

0:39:250:39:29

Keep your eyes closed.

0:39:310:39:32

It's time to find out if Charlie and the boys have delivered the garden

0:39:320:39:36

-they dreamed of.

-Rhys, this way.

0:39:360:39:39

SHE LAUGHS

0:39:390:39:41

You can open your eyes now.

0:39:410:39:42

-Bloody hell.

-Wow! Oh, my word!

0:39:440:39:48

Is that a good "goodness me"?

0:39:480:39:50

-Wow!

-That's very good.

0:39:500:39:52

-Yeah?

-Oh, wow?

-That is really nice.

-Oh, thank you.

0:39:520:39:57

-Loving it.

-Of course they are.

0:39:570:39:59

Is that Mediterranean enough for you?

0:39:590:40:01

-Yes.

-That's the type of view. The yuccas...

0:40:010:40:04

-Oh, wow.

-It's amazing.

0:40:040:40:06

It sounds like they absolutely love it, so from that contrast of it being

0:40:060:40:10

-just a blank space, they've now got so much interest, haven't they?

-Yeah.

0:40:100:40:13

Look at the trellis and the water feature.

0:40:130:40:16

-Yeah.

-Well, you chose the water feature.

0:40:160:40:18

Why are you surprised?

0:40:180:40:19

THEY LAUGH

0:40:190:40:21

My word, what a transformation.

0:40:210:40:23

You don't really notice the shed, do you?

0:40:230:40:25

-No, that is very good.

-Unbelievable.

0:40:250:40:28

-Let me get on your shoulders now, mate.

-Get on, get on up.

0:40:280:40:31

What's going on?

0:40:320:40:34

I have to say, you did a good job with the water feature.

0:40:350:40:38

-Yes!

-THEY LAUGH

0:40:380:40:41

I'll give you that. Even though you blew the budget.

0:40:410:40:44

The great thing is, it's double sided and the sound

0:40:450:40:49

-is not an irritating sound.

-Yes.

0:40:490:40:52

-HARRY:

-They spent a lot on it, but that for them is the icing on the cake.

0:40:520:40:55

It's really finished that garden.

0:40:550:40:57

-DAVID:

-It's a really good choice of a feature there, to be honest.

0:40:570:41:00

Giving them a little budget to go and spend makes it

0:41:000:41:03

-more personal to them, so...

-Indeed, it's their little patch, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:41:030:41:07

So, can you see yourself using this space?

0:41:070:41:10

Absolutely. Tonight, yeah.

0:41:100:41:13

Sitting on the deck.

0:41:130:41:14

This will make it your own private little sanctuary in this area.

0:41:140:41:18

Oh, it's fantastic. I love it.

0:41:180:41:21

Thank you so much.

0:41:210:41:22

They love the decked area and I think they're quite looking forward to entertaining on there.

0:41:220:41:26

-Brilliant.

-It has brought a real focal area to the garden.

0:41:260:41:28

It's a usable space now, isn't it? Before, they only had this little bit of paving, didn't they?

0:41:280:41:33

At least now they get to walk down the garden.

0:41:330:41:35

-Yeah.

-I know you guys are quite high spec, aren't you?

0:41:350:41:41

Has the garden made it to the level of your house?

0:41:410:41:44

Definitely, yeah. Absolutely, yes.

0:41:440:41:46

There's a good theme going on, it's modern.

0:41:460:41:48

There's lots of spaces to use as well, isn't there?

0:41:480:41:51

The decking and the patio, the grass. It's fantastic.

0:41:510:41:54

Really pleased.

0:41:540:41:55

Good. Would you employ us again, then?

0:41:550:41:58

Absolutely.

0:41:580:42:00

Great answer. We might not let you go out shopping again because we

0:42:000:42:03

slightly blew the budget but, hey.

0:42:030:42:06

-What's a budget?

-What's a budget?

0:42:060:42:08

This garden has been built from scratch.

0:42:110:42:13

There was absolutely nothing for Charlie and the boys to work with

0:42:130:42:18

and they had to please two clients with very particular taste.

0:42:180:42:21

-Well, the build went well.

-It did.

0:42:240:42:26

-The weather was nice.

-It looks fabulous.

0:42:260:42:29

It looks amazing. It was literally just a blank canvas, wasn't it?

0:42:290:42:34

Couldn't ask for any more.

0:42:340:42:35

I love the deck. It's really, really good.

0:42:350:42:38

Everything. I can't pick out one thing that stands out.

0:42:380:42:41

Everything is fantastic.

0:42:410:42:43

-Really, really is good.

-The way that everything is kind of designed,

0:42:430:42:46

the way it all fans out,

0:42:460:42:48

it's really good because you've got different ways to go down the garden.

0:42:480:42:51

It draws your eye. Definitely like,

0:42:510:42:53

really good design and I'm quite happy that we chose that.

0:42:530:42:56

We're going to come out here for weeks, possibly months and think, "Wow, it's transformed our garden."

0:42:560:43:01

Money well spent, definitely.

0:43:010:43:03

-The water feature does look pretty cool.

-Yeah, it is the main feature, isn't it?

0:43:050:43:09

It's changed the garden that dramatically.

0:43:090:43:11

-It's not bad, is it?

-It's a thing of beauty now.

0:43:110:43:14

THEY LAUGH

0:43:140:43:15

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.