Walsall Garden Rescue


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Walsall

Garden renovation series. Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Walsall competing to design a garden for three generations of a family living under one roof.


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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens

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and decades of experience... Hello!

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

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Looking good, boys!

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

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We want to be the brothers

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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, get in. Wow. That's amazing, isn't it?

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..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.

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Now, these two different generations of gardening are going head-to-head.

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I know they've got a gold medal, but I can come up with a few ideas.

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They're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...

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The photos made it look tiny. It is, isn't it?

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I'm sure you've seen larger. I don't know what to do with it.

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..and will each pitch them a design based on their needs...

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Wow! ..and budget.

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That looks really exciting. Doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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The winner... Ta-da! ALL: Whoo!

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..brings their design to life. 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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I'm getting irritated now with faffing around.

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This is what happens... Does he ever get irritating? All the time.

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..when different styles collide... 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! Whoa! It's amazing!

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Oh! It's beautiful!

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So, whose garden will Charlie and the Rich brothers

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be battling over today?

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We've heard from three generations of women from the West Midlands.

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We've got gran Lillian, mum Carrie and daughter Morgan. OK.

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These three ladies all live in the same house,

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which they moved into just six months ago.

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And they couldn't be closer.

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We decided Carrie's partner works away such a lot

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that it was company for all of us to be together.

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I've got independent living within the house, which is ideal,

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because we're not living in each other's pockets.

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Morgan loves having Nan about, doesn't she? Yeah. Morgan loves it.

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Whatever Mum doesn't do, Nan does.

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Lillian, Carrie and Morgan all share the main house,

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whilst Lillian has her own living space downstairs.

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And now, all three of them would like a new garden

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because the current one isn't really a garden at all.

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And it looks a little bit like a car park. A little bit?! A lot like!

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I can't believe it. There's not even weeds growing there.

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It's devoid of a plant. There's nothing in there.

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The previous owners used it as a driveway.

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It's very bland.

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There's just nothing. It's just slabs and gravel.

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There is nothing else.

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The plot is also completely exposed on one side,

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so the ladies have made privacy

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one of the key requirements in the new garden.

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It's vastly overlooked, isn't it?

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I know. That's one thing. The other side looks fine,

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but this side looks like there's a bit of a privacy issue.

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My initial thoughts are it needs a bit of height.

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It is pretty flat. And maybe green? Do you think?!

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When she moved in with her daughter,

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Lillian left behind a much-loved garden,

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so now she'd like a small space all of her own

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outside her own back door.

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I would like just a little area just so that I could pop in and out

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and have a coffee when I want one. Yeah.

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This family are fed up with staring at concrete and slate chippings

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and would like somewhere to relax in the summer months.

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We constantly say, "It's a sunny day today

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"and we can't sit outside cos everybody else can see us."

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What is the budget? The budget's ?2,000, which isn't bad, is it?

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Not too bad because it doesn't look huge, does it?

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But there's quite a lot of existing materials,

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so it is all hard landscaping,

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but they look in pretty decent condition,

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so we could probably re-use them. Yeah.

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Now the designers know the size of the challenge they face,

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it's time for them to go head-to-head

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and compete for the chance to build the garden of the family's dreams.

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They will each come up with a design that works within the ladies' budget

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and present it to them

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Lillian and Carrie will then pick a winner,

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but it isn't over for the loser, as they'll help build the garden.

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It's the day of the pitch,

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and the designers have travelled to the West Midlands

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to present their finished designs to Carrie and Lillian.

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Who will the ladies go for -

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the boys whose modern designs will appeal to Carrie and Morgan,

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or Charlie who shares Lillian's love of flowers and foliage?

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We wanted to create a kind of haven for you -

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somewhere that feels very private, very green,

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very luscious and very colourful.

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We've done this by splitting the garden

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with these four planting beds.

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That really then isolates this kind of little social area

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in the middle, which means you are literally surrounded with greenery.

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And within these four individual flowerbeds,

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we wanted to make sure we had a lot of year-round interest.

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Oh, lots of colour! Lots of colour.

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I'm glad you said that, Lillian. Lots of colour.

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I have gone very much for a garden garden, to get rid of the car park.

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This area here is raised beds made of timber, and in that area,

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there's going to be much more of the pottering plants,

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so cottagey - things like dianthus and Cupid's dart, aquilegias.

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So, I have spent all of the budget on the garden. Right. Not the fence.

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OK. Mainly because I think the fence could be easily fixable afterwards.

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OK. Get the garden done first.

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Charlie's hoping to win the ladies over with a blaze of colour

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so the boundary doesn't become such an issue.

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But the boys are playing it safe.

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I know one of the main things with this garden is privacy. It is.

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That's something we need to address,

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so we've given you brand-new fencing all the way along,

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solid wooden fencing, so people will have to really try

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if they want to look in, which they will want to look in, I'm sure.

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They'll be really interested.

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Not to be outdone, Charlie has an alternative to the fence.

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We've got topiary balls that are going to be descending in height,

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so it gives a false perspective, make the garden look longer. Lovely.

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Lillian doesn't look entirely convinced,

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so Charlie has something special, just for her.

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And this area here is your area, Lillian. Yes. Seating area there.

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Now, it's quite a dark area, so to brighten it up,

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I've put a mirror on the wall here. Oh, right.

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If you put plants round it, you really don't see that it's a mirror.

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Sounds lovely.

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Very nice, yeah.

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The pitch is over.

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It's now all down to Lillian and Carrie.

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This is not an easy decision.

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Will they go for Charlie's bounty of colourful plants

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and Lillian's secret garden

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or the boys' large entertaining area,

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raised planters and solid fencing for privacy?

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Hello. Hello.

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Hello. Hello.

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It's been a very hard decision, but we have made a decision. Good.

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Ah! Whoo! Yeah! It's the boundary that clinched it.

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Oh, amazing! So, what made you go for our design?

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The fence. Ah, there we are. We were subtle.

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So, the Rich brothers have won, but Lillian has one condition.

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What I would like to do, if it's all right with Charlie,

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I'd like to pinch some of her design for that corner,

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if it's all right with you two as well. Yeah.

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No. Of course it's fine.

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I'd like the mirror... Mm-hm.

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..area with the flowers round it and the little seating area,

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so that I've got it private

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for my friends when they come round.

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That's the wine corner. That's the wine corner.

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So, the boys may have taken this one,

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but they won't be able to boss Charlie around too much,

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because to give this family what they want,

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both designs have to somehow work together.

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It's an early start in the West Midlands.

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Right, skip man's here. Things are on track.

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The Rich brothers are off-site, finishing their planting plans,

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so they've asked project manager Paul

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and the landscapers to get cracking on Lillian and Carrie's garden.

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Post in the hole!

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The first challenge is to put in the new fence,

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and there's a whopping 25 metres of it to go in.

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Timber!

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That's the first panel going in now. One of many.

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With the fence completed, the Rich brothers arrive

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and are pleased with Paul and the team's efforts.

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Loving the new fence. It's smartened up this space quite a lot.

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Makes a dramatic difference, doesn't it,

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with the privacy for the garden? Yeah.

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But this is no time for standing around.

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Transforming this grey space into something living

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is going to need some serious muscle,

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and now Charlie's here,

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they're gearing themselves up for the task ahead.

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It'll be interesting how this one pans out.

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Any plant is just going to make a total difference, really.

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Hard landscaping's already here, isn't it? We're reusing the slate.

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You said it! So, it's just bringing in plants, isn't it? Yeah.

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Yeah. Easy.

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With ?1,100 already spent on the fence and the skip,

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the boys are planning some cost-effective features

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to make Lillian and Carrie's budget go further.

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So, have you got something up your sleeve, have you?

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We don't know where it's going yet. Within the budget?

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Everything's in budget. It's pretty much upcycling. OK.

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Pick it up from anywhere. Cheap as... Chips. Chips.

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Who's rocking this seat? I'm rocking the boat. Are you rocking it?

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Right then. Yeah. Back on. Oh!

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The mass of hard landscaping covering the plot

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is actually in good condition,

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so the boys are planning to recycle as much of it as they can.

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At the heart of the boys' design are four beautiful flowerbeds.

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And right now, where they need to go is covered in slate.

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But there's a nice surprise lying underneath.

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Oh! Look at that. Soil! Whoohoo!

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That's not bad! Look at that! Look at that!

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How about you mark it out before you dig up all the soil...

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Yeah. ..and make it muddy? I'm going back in the sun.

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It's cold here, isn't it? Oh!

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This will make prepping the new flowerbeds a lot easier.

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It's quite nice watching your brother work, isn't it? Yeah.

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THEY LAUGH Nice one, young one.

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HARRY LAUGHS

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But it's not all good news.

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The boys designed the beds

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to match the rectangular shape of the plot, only there's a snag.

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It isn't as rectangular as they thought.

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Bit of an irregular garden, isn't it? Yeah.

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So, we're going to have to pick one line to go off

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and then work from that. Yeah. It narrows a bit.

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We'll work with this boundary line

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and then all the lines then work off that. Yeah. Let's look at your plan.

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Now, you're going off that

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because that's giving you straight lines. Yeah.

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So, you're ignoring the patios on the...? No, going with it.

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You're going with it. Going to work with that.

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So, we're not going to end up with rectangular beds. No.

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We're going to end up with diamond-shaped beds.

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But they'll look square, won't they? Parallelogram? Squishy square.

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Rhombus. Squishy square. Rhombus? Squishy square.

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Look. That looks serious, doesn't it? He's here.

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The man and his tape. The tape measure.

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So, while the brothers mark out the new positions for the beds,

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Charlie's off to start working on her special project for Lillian

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at the side of the house.

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She's creating a private haven,

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with flowerpots and a mirror,

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surrounded by colourful planting.

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Lee. Yep. Would you come and do a bit of chopping of wood for me?

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I'm sure I can manage that. Yeah?

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The boys have already allocated all the budget to THEIR design,

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so anything extra has to be made virtually for free.

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So, my idea is this is going to be on the wall,

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hidden by the fence, which I'll paint.

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Plant it up and the plants will all fluff over the top

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and then I'm going to attach some terracotta pots here as well

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and I think that'll look quite pretty

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and I'm going to zhoosh them up with a bit of emulsion paint

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and I might put a mirror behind to reflect some light

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and reflect the plants as well.

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Very good. We can sort that no problem. Chop it, then.

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Having moved the slate,

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the boys now need to create the two beds near to the garage.

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But there's a whopping great patio there, some of which has to go.

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Any hardcore left underneath is being used

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to help make a new path down the garden.

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We're just removing the hardcore and the concrete

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that was beneath the slabs

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and then we'll turn that into nice soil for the plants.

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I'll carry that. Go on, then. They're quite chunky.

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Saying that... You HAVE said it! It's a long walk to the skip.

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I'll just put them back here for now then. Yeah!

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Would you like a wheelbarrow, Harry?

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The old patio slabs were tightly laid,

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so smashing one allows access to the others.

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Right. Lovely jubbly.

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Harry was being all big and manly.

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He didn't realise quite how far away the skip is.

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The new beds actually cut into the existing patio.

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The slabs are in good condition, so rather than pay for new ones,

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the boys are counting on the landscapers' cutting skills.

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So, we're just going to cut this bit off here,

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that little guy, and then leave the rest of them.

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Leave him, get rid of him and then get rid of that one there. Great.

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So that just keeps those lines nice and parallel, doesn't it? Love it!

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And the circular saw helps to make light work of it.

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You're cutting the wrong ones! No! No, I haven't.

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Are these the wrong ones? No, I've moved the line out the way.

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No, only joking! Argh!

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Yeah, we want to break the right ones.

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There you go. Lovely jubbly.

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Meanwhile, the shale is being moved into the middle of the garden

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to create the new seating area between the beds.

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So, we're reusing the MOT, which is this gravelly stuff,

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to fill in the pathway and then put the shale on top,

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so we'll only need a thinner layer.

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Saves money. Saves money, saves skip space as well.

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Hard landscaping is not cheap, so recycling existing materials

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is an excellent way to make your garden budget go further

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and enable you to buy more plants.

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Harry and David have chosen some corkers

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for Lillian and Carrie's garden.

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Beautiful, aren't they, these?

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But before they can be planted,

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the new beds need to be properly edged.

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So, the bones of the design are down

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and you can see the beds here around me.

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Now, all that we need to do is bring in the shuttering

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that'll define the beds and keep the shale out from the soil.

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Simple timber edging or shuttering creates a nice finish

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and keeps the soil of the beds from spreading.

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Meanwhile, Charlie's upcycling project for Lillian

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is coming along nicely.

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We haven't really spent much on this little project at all

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cos the picket fence was free,

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we got little pots of paint, which are ?1, ?1.50,

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and the mirror is from a charity shop and it was ?3.99.

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That was probably the most expensive bit - the plastic trough.

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And then a few bedding plants, which is really what Lillian wants.

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She wants to be able to potter and do her own bedding,

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so she can change it spring, autumn and summertime.

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Not to be outdone,

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Harry and David have a low-cost project of their own.

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In the old garden, the garage was a real eyesore,

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so the boys have come up with something to help screen it.

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So, these are reinforced steel mesh sheets.

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You can pick it up from any builders' merchants,

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but we managed to salvage this one.

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But this will be a really nice frame for climbers to grow up

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and just add that extra bit of greenery.

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50mm holes are drilled into timber posts

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so that the mesh can slot in.

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Fingers crossed.

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Start at your end and work your way up. He's in.

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Oh. Yeah, it's coming.

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Perfect!

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So, this will stand up and there'll be another post on this end.

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Beautiful. Yeah. Really nice. Spot-on.

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Blimey, this is looking a bit like a garden now, isn't it?

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And not a trip hazard with lots of strings everywhere.

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Safety first, safety first.

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Charlie's keen to get the bosses' approval

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for her project round the corner.

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I love the colour. Yeah, it's nice. Lime green.

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You love your green, don't you? With fuchsia pink. Oh! Oh, God.

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No, sky blue, actually. That colour. I know.

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For once, we've got a bit of sky blue. It's not cloud grey.

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It's a bit chilly, though. That wind!

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Glad I've still got my thermals on. Brrr!

0:19:160:19:19

Harry's final task before planting is to break up the soil

0:19:240:19:27

that's been compacted by the paving slabs

0:19:270:19:30

and add some mushroom compost to improve the condition of the soil.

0:19:300:19:34

The soil is the most important thing when you're planting.

0:19:370:19:40

If you prep the soil well, then the plants are going to do beautifully.

0:19:400:19:43

Charlie, you've got one job. What's that? Bubble watching.

0:19:450:19:48

Bubble watching? I can bubble watch. OK.

0:19:480:19:51

Charlie's improvised wall garden is almost finished.

0:19:510:19:54

Slightly over to me. Just recess the other end slightly.

0:19:540:19:58

I have to say, even if she doesn't use it for plants,

0:19:580:20:02

it would be really handy just to put your tea there

0:20:020:20:05

or your, you know...bottle of wine, champagne.

0:20:050:20:09

That looks all right.

0:20:110:20:14

Look at that! Ooh, hello! Like a glove and a chicken's lip.

0:20:140:20:17

And she'll have a beautiful view of the garden.

0:20:170:20:20

And her view is improving by the minute.

0:20:200:20:24

Key to the boys' design are three trees

0:20:240:20:27

that provide height in the last third of the garden.

0:20:270:20:31

First in are the two amelanchiers.

0:20:310:20:34

What do you think of this guy? They are really pretty.

0:20:340:20:37

When you see these out in the spring, you think,

0:20:370:20:39

"Yes, we're going in the right direction. Summer is coming."

0:20:390:20:43

It's the perfect tree. It's more like a shrub, isn't it?

0:20:430:20:46

For a small garden like this, it doesn't overpower you.

0:20:460:20:49

These mature trees are more expensive,

0:20:510:20:54

but give an instant wow factor,

0:20:540:20:56

and to ensure they thrive, they need careful planting.

0:20:560:20:59

What you can do is just tease the roots.

0:21:010:21:05

If they've been a bit pot-bound, give them a little start.

0:21:050:21:08

And what's nice - they're not going to keep going round and round

0:21:080:21:11

in a circle in the hole you've dug.

0:21:110:21:13

They have the chance to penetrate out into the outer soil.

0:21:130:21:15

That looks pretty good from here.

0:21:180:21:21

As well as their aesthetic value,

0:21:210:21:23

these trees will help provide privacy for the family,

0:21:230:21:26

especially when they're in full bloom.

0:21:260:21:28

Creating screening in overlooked gardens

0:21:300:21:33

is something landscape designer Daniel Shea

0:21:330:21:36

is constantly asked to provide solutions for.

0:21:360:21:39

It's all about raising boundaries,

0:21:400:21:42

bringing in trees to screen off windows.

0:21:420:21:43

Getting that feeling of intimacy straightaway

0:21:430:21:46

is something you want to achieve.

0:21:460:21:48

Planning restrictions mean you can generally raise your boundary

0:21:480:21:52

to a maximum height of two metres.

0:21:520:21:53

This property was overlooked by several houses,

0:21:550:21:57

so to ensure privacy, the garden was sunk and trees planted.

0:21:570:22:01

We brought in three silver birch.

0:22:030:22:05

They're nice trees, they don't cast too much shade

0:22:050:22:07

and they've got a nice, contemporary, clean, fresh feel.

0:22:070:22:10

To increase the height of your boundary, trellis is another option.

0:22:130:22:16

The long, linear lines -

0:22:180:22:20

they let lots of light in but you can't see beyond them.

0:22:200:22:23

All you can see is shadows. The light pours and flows in

0:22:230:22:26

and it really creates this feeling of warmth.

0:22:260:22:29

It's all about getting the balance right

0:22:290:22:32

and making it work with the space you have.

0:22:320:22:34

Really think about your boundaries first, I'd say.

0:22:360:22:39

Once they're established, you've kind of built your walls,

0:22:390:22:42

you've built your room, and then it's just about how you dress it.

0:22:420:22:45

Back in Walsall, the planting is in full swing.

0:22:500:22:54

The boys are filling the beds

0:22:560:22:58

with a combination of flowering perennials and grasses.

0:22:580:23:01

This is Deschampsia flexuosa, or wavy hair grass,

0:23:070:23:10

and you can see why.

0:23:100:23:11

Just really gorgeous, really natural,

0:23:110:23:13

and I think it's going to fit well with this planting scheme

0:23:130:23:16

and give them a patch of the wild.

0:23:160:23:18

This planting scheme is quite bold.

0:23:200:23:22

There's lots of colours here that are going to stand out.

0:23:220:23:25

You've got the sanguisorba with this deep red,

0:23:250:23:27

anemones, which will be lovely and white later on in the season,

0:23:270:23:31

catmints, which will give a flood of blues and purples in the summer.

0:23:310:23:35

Meanwhile, round the corner, in Lillian's private garden,

0:23:350:23:39

landscaper Lee's work is still not done.

0:23:390:23:42

Watch my plants, watch my plants, you!

0:23:450:23:48

THEY LAUGH

0:23:480:23:50

That's it. Oops. Hang on. That's it. Centralise it.

0:23:500:23:56

And then that jasmine. Yummy, yummy scent. Lovely.

0:23:560:24:01

Pop it in here and train it round

0:24:010:24:04

and the wall will give it the protection it needs.

0:24:040:24:07

And then it's a case of getting those pots on there.

0:24:070:24:10

Yeah, I don't think that looks half bad. It's all right.

0:24:100:24:13

This mushroom compost is doing a hell of a job, isn't it?

0:24:170:24:20

It's amazing. You put a load in there, didn't you? Yeah.

0:24:200:24:23

The last of the trees, the cherry, is going in,

0:24:230:24:26

and the boys have asked Charlie to plant the mesh screen behind it.

0:24:260:24:30

So, the boys have got this cherry here. Lovely pink flowers on it.

0:24:310:24:34

It's going to add some height to the garden.

0:24:340:24:37

And they want this Clematis montana, "Pink Perfection",

0:24:370:24:40

to pick up the cherry flower colours.

0:24:400:24:43

It's taken some serious labour to break through the concrete

0:24:500:24:54

and replace it with a garden.

0:24:540:24:56

And as the much-loved barbecue returns,

0:24:580:25:00

Lillian and Carrie's new garden is finished.

0:25:000:25:04

Before, this garden was more like a car park,

0:25:100:25:14

covered in wall-to-wall concrete and shale and devoid of life.

0:25:140:25:18

Now the boys have transformed it into a garden

0:25:210:25:24

for all three ladies to enjoy.

0:25:240:25:26

A new fence was a must, and now it's in,

0:25:280:25:31

the noisy, exposed road is a thing of the past.

0:25:310:25:34

But it ate up almost half the budget,

0:25:350:25:38

so the boys have had to beg, borrow and steal

0:25:380:25:40

to transform the space within.

0:25:400:25:42

The existing landscaping was repositioned,

0:25:460:25:48

opening up the space for four flowerbeds

0:25:480:25:51

that surround a social area - perfect for family barbecues.

0:25:510:25:55

The boys focused the rest of the budget

0:25:590:26:02

on bringing colour and texture to the garden.

0:26:020:26:05

The beds are filled with grasses and herbaceous perennials

0:26:050:26:09

for year-round colour.

0:26:090:26:10

Adding to the wow factor are the stunning amelanchier

0:26:140:26:17

and cherry trees, costing ?120 each.

0:26:170:26:20

They give instant height to the area.

0:26:200:26:23

To screen off the ugly garage door, David created an improvised trellis.

0:26:250:26:30

It didn't cost a penny and, once the clematis has clambered over it,

0:26:300:26:34

it will be enveloped in pink flowers.

0:26:340:26:36

And, as promised,

0:26:390:26:41

Charlie has given Lillian her own little area to potter around -

0:26:410:26:45

a walled garden, made from anything she could find in the skip.

0:26:450:26:49

It's time to see if the boys have delivered.

0:26:520:26:55

Right, keep walking.

0:26:550:26:57

I think the garden looks really fabulous.

0:26:570:27:00

It's one of my favourite that they've done.

0:27:000:27:03

Open your eyes. Have a look at it. Oh! Wow! Oh, it's lovely!

0:27:040:27:10

You love it, great.

0:27:100:27:11

So, this is where you can sit down, have your morning coffee. Yeah. Oh!

0:27:110:27:15

It's a garden!

0:27:150:27:16

LAUGHTER

0:27:160:27:17

Oh, it's beautiful! Oh, wow.

0:27:170:27:20

Oh, it's gorgeous! What do you think of the fence?

0:27:200:27:23

That was the main thing. I love the fence! I absolutely adore the fence.

0:27:230:27:28

It's fantastic. It's just amazing.

0:27:280:27:30

It's making me cry. Oh! I just don't know where to look first.

0:27:300:27:35

So, we've got all the different plants here,

0:27:350:27:37

like the grasses, which give lovely interest and movement. Gorgeous.

0:27:370:27:40

We've got two amelanchier, kind of shrubs,

0:27:400:27:43

so they won't grow too large. But you can see this lovely blossom.

0:27:430:27:46

Get lots of little birdies. Yes! They'll love it.

0:27:460:27:49

Lots of birdies in the garden.

0:27:490:27:50

And this area here, you can have your table and chairs

0:27:500:27:53

and just enough room for the whole family,

0:27:530:27:56

all three of you, to sit around here and enjoy it.

0:27:560:27:59

That's right, yeah. It's what we need. And a lovely fence.

0:27:590:28:02

It's a good-looking fence, isn't it? It is!

0:28:020:28:04

I'm going to put my hands up and say it.

0:28:040:28:06

Paul did a great job of that, yeah. He did a good job.

0:28:060:28:09

I got quite emotional when I walked out.

0:28:130:28:15

I didn't know what to expect, to be honest. Amazing.

0:28:150:28:19

We've definitely got everything that we wanted.

0:28:190:28:21

It has exceeded our expectations,

0:28:210:28:24

with the plants, the design, the fence.

0:28:240:28:27

It's just everything.

0:28:270:28:29

# Talk to me, baby

0:29:020:29:03

This time, Charlie and the Rich brothers are in Walsall competing to design a garden for three generations of a family living under one roof. With an overlooked, concrete jungle for a garden currently, the designers have their work cut out to make their dreams come true and create some privacy for the family. With a budget of £2,000, the team transform the area into a stylish garden the family can relax in, in comfort and without prying eyes. And the resourceful designers have a few tricks up their sleeves to make the family's cash stretch further.