Northwood Garden Rescue


Northwood

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Northwood, Middlesex, competing to transform a large, boring lawn into an ultra-modern garden.


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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...

-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 gardeners.

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

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-Oh, look at it turn.

-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.

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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.

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

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Wow!

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..and budget.

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-It looks really exciting.

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

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The winner...

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Ta-dah!

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Whoo!

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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.

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..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!

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Open your eyes.

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Whoa! It's amazing.

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SHE GASPS

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It's beautiful!

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THEY LAUGH

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Whose garden will Charlie and the Rich brothers

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be competing over this time?

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We've had these photos sent through from Penny and James in Northwood.

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It looks like a really interesting garden, actually.

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I think one of the biggest we've had so far.

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Penny Wilkinson lives with her husband, James, in Middlesex

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with their two daughters Bethan and Louisa.

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We've been living in this house for about a year

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after we spent three years planning and building it.

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The original house was a little cottage probably built in the 1950s.

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Which we completely knocked down and rebuilt this house

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that you see today.

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I can kind of see here,

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there is a glimpse of quite a contemporary edge to the house.

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-Mm.

-Loads of glass.

-How nice!

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And now they want the perfect modern garden to go with it.

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Previous properties, our gardens have always been very traditional.

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This garden here is going to be very different.

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Except for an expensive patio that went in as part of the extension

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build, the 30m-by-60m plot is mostly just a big old square lawn.

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Plain and boring is the current garden. Very functional.

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We haven't really done anything to the garden ourselves because we were

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actually exhausted after three years of building and planning this house.

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This paving around here looks pretty swish, doesn't it?

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Yeah, it's nice. It looks like they've really paid attention to

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this terraced area here but they haven't had the time

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to really finish off the rest of the garden.

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-So it's very much like a blank canvas.

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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It tends to be more of a garden for the children and the guinea pigs

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and not really for us.

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There is nothing really to look at and think,

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"Wow, doesn't that look fantastic?!"

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I think she really wants this wow factor.

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-OK.

-So really trying to create a bit more of

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a statement in the garden, rather than just...

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-Can we give it wow with the trampoline?

-THEY LAUGH

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My ideal wish list would be colour throughout the seasons.

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I'd also like some trees.

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She did say she really wants to bring water into the garden,

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-so, Charlie...

-Brings a smile to my face.

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When they were saving for the house, Penny and husband, James,

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wisely factored in the budget for the new garden.

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We had a budget of £5,000 put aside when we were doing the house build

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to allow to do the garden afterwards.

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-And the budget is good. It's £5,000.

-Not bad.

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It looks like with all this glass we've got nothing to hide and

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the whole garden is going to be on display.

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So I think we've got our work cut out.

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If we get the garden of our dreams done, we'll feel like we've achieved

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what we really wanted to do about the house.

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And getting the garden to match,

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we'll have completed the whole project.

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Now they know what they'll be dealing with, Charlie and the boys

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will go head-to-head to win the chance to make over Penny's garden.

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So they are heading to the family's house in the leafy Middlesex suburbs

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to take a closer look.

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They are looking for inspiration,

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something to help them create that special design.

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-Wow. This is nice.

-This is really cool, isn't it?

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-Look at this paving!

-Yeah.

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After a quick reminder of the outdoor space...

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Wow! This is an impressive entrance.

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..the boys head straight indoors.

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They know Penny and James are looking for

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a garden that complements the interior.

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So they want to get one up on Charlie.

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First impressions - definitely very clean, very contemporary house.

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But she is trying to get inside Penny's head to find out what

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she really wants from the garden.

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-So you are all finished in the house.

-Yes.

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-The patio, fabulous.

-Yes.

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And then you come to a grinding halt...

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With the guinea pigs pride of position, and the trampoline.

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And the trampoline.

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-And not much else.

-No.

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So why did you not sort of start doing the garden?

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Because you've obviously got quite an artistic design flair.

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-Not when it comes to gardens.

-Oh, OK.

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-The detail is really nice as well.

-Really clean. And look at these.

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Little pockets of colour as well.

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The house is very modern.

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And with their talent for contemporary outdoor spaces,

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the boys definitely feel they've got the edge.

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When it comes to plants...

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-Well, I do like flowers.

-You like...?

-I like flowers.

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And I love pink. So I like brightness.

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In the summer,

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it would be lovely to look along maybe and see lots of bright colour.

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So it could be cottagey, it could be modern?

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-No, I want it really contemporary.

-Right.

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-I don't want cottagey.

-So you want it to...

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I want it to complement the house.

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Penny's love of colour is sure to please Charlie.

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But the boys have spotted something important inside.

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-These slabs, do you see the way they run out?

-Nice detail, yeah.

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That outdoor-indoor living.

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So I think it's going to be really quite exciting to try and link

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everything together so when they are sitting inside,

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the whole view opens out.

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-I agree.

-Continues. The house continues outside.

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-Yeah, yeah. Very nice.

-Yeah.

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Harry and David are feeling confident.

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But Charlie is still getting to grips with the practical

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issues in the garden.

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The trampoline is an eyesore but it's still

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a necessity for my 11-year-old, that's the only problem.

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If I could get rid of it, it would be great. But it's...

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-It's not happening.

-It's not happening for any time soon.

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The girl says no.

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£5,000 may seem a lot of money but this garden

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has to reflect a seriously high-spec home.

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Every penny will have to count if the outside is going to match

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the uber cool interior.

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So Charlie and the Rich brothers get down to business.

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They each have to come up with a design

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that will work within the budget.

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Penny will then choose the winner and the loser will help the

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victor build the garden.

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So who will Penny go for?

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Charlie understands that Penny and her husband, James,

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want the garden to be a space for them as well as the children.

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And the boys appreciate the couple's love for contemporary spaces

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and have won awards for building just these types of gardens.

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Who's come up with the garden of Penny's dreams?

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-After spending some time in your house...

-Yes.

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..we realised that we needed a garden that complemented,

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that was really modern and very stylish.

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So what we've done, as you can see from the plan here,

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is that we've concentrated the main design right next to the terrace.

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So you'll get that real impact from when you're looking in the house

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or when you're on the terrace.

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And we've left then a decent amount of lawn here

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which would be for your badminton or your trampoline,

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-plenty of space for the guinea pigs to run around as well.

-Lovely. Yes.

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Both designers have focused their plans on the area beside the patio.

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So my design is to reflect the house.

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-It's actually a sunken seating area.

-Oh, wow.

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So there is lots of rectangles and squares, very clean, sleek lines.

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And I've gone for a bit of sort of wow, dramatic feel to it.

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So when you're inside the house in the winter,

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it's going to look amazing and make you go...

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-SHE GASPS

-"I love looking at it."

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One of the main elements in the garden are these cherry trees.

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With cherry trees, in the spring,

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it's going to give this beautiful punch of blossom.

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Then what's so nice is that during the different seasons,

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summer, you can have this lovely dappled leaf.

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And then in autumn you could have that lovely vivid, red,

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-autumnal colour. So it's really nice.

-Mm-hmm.

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It does capture the seasons.

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And it's almost like a living sculpture out here.

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-It will kind of give you that nice bit of height to the garden.

-Yes.

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The next requirement was a water feature.

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Now, you're probably looking at that and thinking, "What's that?"

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Basically, this is a very shallow pool of water

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that acts like a mirror.

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-OK.

-So as you look across it, you'll see the sky in it,

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you will see any plants that are next to it

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reflected just like a mirror.

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Charlie's integrated her water feature into the sunken garden.

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But the boys are going for scale.

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We've given you a 5m long rill,

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-we know you love the idea of having water in the garden.

-Yes.

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It really kind of elongates the view down.

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The element of water is so nice, so if you're sitting down next

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to it, it's quite cooling in the summer.

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You could always dip your feet in it if you'd like to.

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It will reflect a lovely kind of picture of the trees above.

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5m water feature? That's practically a pool.

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But Charlie is not being outdone.

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Over here, which you'll see really easily from the big windows,

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is another reflective pool with a cloud-clipped evergreen in it.

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The next thing on Penny's wish list was some colour in her borders.

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We've got these gridded planting beds.

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One of the main things there was to use evergreen topiary.

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Amongst the grasses and that evergreen structure,

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-we really want to interplant that with some vibrant perennials.

-Yes.

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So we're going to have pinks, blues, whites.

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It's just going to be this kind of patchwork of colour.

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These are clipped topiary, but rather than being round balls...

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they are square cubes.

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Then all the planting is very loose and meadow-looking

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but with ornamentals that are repeated over and over.

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So I'm thinking oriental poppies,

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they come in reds and oranges and pinks.

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-Red hot pokers, some grasses so you get the swaying effect.

-Ah.

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So I'm going for a meadow feel, but with structure and colour.

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The pitch is over.

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Now it's up to Penny to decide.

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I like this one for all the lovely colours that there are.

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I especially love the thought of having the mirrored water

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and that reflecting.

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This one here I really like.

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I think this gives it a much more contemporary feel.

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The garden matches to the house.

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Especially with the water here and the lovely trees.

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I wasn't too sure about this one when it came to being sunken.

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How I would see that from the windows.

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This one here, it may be a little bit too basic.

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On a positive note though, I think I like the grasses and the planting.

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With £5,000 riding on this garden,

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Penny needs to choose a design that fits all the family's needs.

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So, weighing up the two designs,

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I think I know which one I want to go for.

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So will it be Charlie, with her sunken seating area,

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geometric box topiary and two water features?

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Or the Rich brothers, with their 5m water feature,

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formal rectangular flower beds

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and mature cherry trees?

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-Hello.

-Hello.

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So, I've made my decision.

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It was a hard choice. But I have decided to go for...

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-This one.

-THEY CHEER

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-Nice one!

-Amazing.

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So what made you go for our design?

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I think this was just much more contemporary.

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Much more flowing from the house.

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Sorry, Charlie, loved your design but I just think this would

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match more what we would want within our garden.

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Yeah, I think it definitely connects it with the contemporary lines of

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-the beds and things, it definitely connects house and garden.

-Yes.

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The boys are thrilled.

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But they will need to keep a disappointed Charlie onside.

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All three of them have to build a garden that matches

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Penny's high expectations.

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It's the first day of the build

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and project manager, Kate, and landscapers Scott and Adam

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have arrived early.

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With a £5,000 budget to play with, the Rich brothers have ordered

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a wealth of plants to really make those borders sing.

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And whilst they are off-site

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planning the remaining features in the garden,

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they've tasked the team with the painstaking job

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of marking out the key areas.

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Penny was sold on the way Harry and David's design echoed

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the sharp, clean lines of the house.

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But that means that every element of the garden has to be planned

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with laser sharp precision.

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So Kate has ordered Scott a digger to speed up the process

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once all the lines are in.

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The boys' design is based around the use of straight lines

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and right angles to create a formal, uncluttered effect.

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It looks simple on paper.

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But a formal garden like this is incredibly difficult to pull off.

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Unlike a cottage garden, where soft features and a more carefree organic

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look are part of the charm, a formal garden depends on its precise lines

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and perfect proportions.

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Here, geometry and creativity go hand-in-hand.

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Features are perfectly equidistant from one another

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and every plant or tree is exactly placed.

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If anything is just a few centimetres out,

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the whole garden looks wrong.

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In Penny's garden, the landscapers start by marking

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the two equal-sized beds on the left-hand side.

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It's there...

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And there.

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Taking care to get the right angles spot-on.

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Ah, there's Scott with the spirit level.

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Hey. Just for putting a straight line in

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if you want to put a straight line in.

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Next door will be the giant rectangular water feature.

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Designed to be completely still and with the tile edge,

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they are sometimes known as a rill.

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This is the measurements for the boys' rill.

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It's essentially a very long, thin, shallow pond.

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What's the plan then, boss?

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Well, we've now got all the measurements in.

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-But, yeah, we need to get digging.

-I'll start stripping the turf off.

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-Start stripping the turf off.

-Sounds like a plan.

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Unlike the beds, the rill needs to be 45cm deep.

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Let's hope it's in the right place because once the digger gets going,

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there is no going back.

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Meanwhile, out front, Harry, David and Charlie have arrived

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and are psyched up about the challenge ahead.

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-For me, this garden is all about the geometry.

-I know, there's

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something quite nice about just simple shapes and form, isn't there?

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-But you've got to get it exactly right.

-Yes.

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I mean, everyone goes, "It's so simple, that design."

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-But if it's on the skewwhiff...

-I know!

-..it will look so wrong.

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But we've already got the patio here and the path,

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so I think it's all about working from what's already there.

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Yeah, important to get those trees in the right place, isn't it?

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Five massive trees.

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They do look like they are going to be massive.

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Yeah, and like you said, they are so

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important to get in line with each other and get in the right place.

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"We've designed it, now we've got to build it."

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But before they can get stuck into the garden,

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Harry and David have a delivery to take care of.

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The five huge cherry trees they've ordered have just arrived.

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Wow.

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I've never dealt with trees this big. I normally plant them small.

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They'll be fun getting in.

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We have to make sure we get the holes in the right place.

0:16:510:16:54

Yeah, I'm not weeding in the holes, I'm telling you now.

0:16:540:16:57

We've got a digger though, haven't we, so it'll be fine.

0:16:570:16:59

So, whilst the rest of the team work away,

0:16:590:17:02

Charlie and the boys have to figure out how to get them off the lorry.

0:17:020:17:06

Keep going.

0:17:060:17:07

And each one is more than 15ft high and weighs more than 150kg.

0:17:070:17:13

That went easier than I thought. That's a worry.

0:17:140:17:18

Three, two, one.

0:17:180:17:20

The roots of the trees have been wrapped in burlap

0:17:200:17:23

to protect the soil around them,

0:17:230:17:24

which gives them a better chance of survival

0:17:240:17:27

after they've been transplanted.

0:17:270:17:29

Look at that. How beautiful.

0:17:310:17:33

Usually they'll bloom from mid-April and stay in flower for six weeks.

0:17:330:17:38

Cup of tea and we can then work out how they get in the garden.

0:17:380:17:42

Before the trees can go in, the beds have to be finished.

0:17:440:17:47

So Harry has moved on to the tricky rectangular bed

0:17:470:17:50

on the right-hand side.

0:17:500:17:51

This one and the one below it have to line up perfectly

0:17:540:17:57

with the beds on the left.

0:17:570:17:59

So Harry is using a tape measure, pegs and string

0:17:590:18:02

to get those lines perfectly straight.

0:18:020:18:04

Using an edging tool rather than a spade

0:18:060:18:08

ensures a straighter line.

0:18:080:18:10

This design is all about geometry and, you know,

0:18:120:18:14

it's all about squares, rectangles and really fitting them together

0:18:140:18:18

to make this lovely, intricate bit of design.

0:18:180:18:21

The main kind of thing for us was to match back with the house

0:18:210:18:24

because the house is very contemporary, very uncluttered,

0:18:240:18:27

and we really wanted to depict that in this piece here.

0:18:270:18:30

Whilst Harry is deep in concentration, the landscapers

0:18:320:18:36

have moved on to stage two of the giant water feature.

0:18:360:18:39

They are building an internal wall from breeze blocks.

0:18:410:18:46

We are putting these concrete blocks in

0:18:460:18:48

just to make sure that the soil on the outside doesn't cave in.

0:18:480:18:51

Unlike a natural pond where a simple hole can be lined

0:18:510:18:55

and then filled with water, a rill needs to have a proper structure

0:18:550:18:59

to make it perfectly symmetrical.

0:18:590:19:01

Once the block work is done,

0:19:040:19:06

the base of the feature is filled with a layer of sand

0:19:060:19:09

to protect the liner from damage.

0:19:090:19:11

I bet everyone is thinking,

0:19:110:19:12

-"Why have they got the rakes upside down?"

-HE LAUGHS

0:19:120:19:15

Cos it's easier to move the sand.

0:19:150:19:17

So this is just to create a nice soft bottom for the liner?

0:19:170:19:21

Yeah, a lot of people think,

0:19:210:19:23

"Oh, I'll just put some newspapers down or something underneath,"

0:19:230:19:26

which does protect it.

0:19:260:19:28

The great thing about having sand is if a stone falls in

0:19:280:19:32

but then you stand on the liner, it just squidges into the sand

0:19:320:19:36

-and it doesn't pierce a hole in the liner.

-Nice.

0:19:360:19:39

Charlie's built hundreds of water features in her time,

0:19:390:19:42

so the boys are keen for her to take control of this one.

0:19:420:19:46

I mean, a water feature in the garden,

0:19:460:19:48

it's like having a fireplace in the lounge.

0:19:480:19:52

Everybody is drawn towards it and gathers round it.

0:19:520:19:55

It's one of those things that people are slightly wary of,

0:19:550:19:57

a little bit scared, especially if they are doing it themselves.

0:19:570:20:00

-But when it's done well, it's amazing.

-Looks fab.

0:20:000:20:03

It's that liner time, I think.

0:20:040:20:06

I know, look at that. Good job!

0:20:060:20:08

Because Penny's plot is more than 30m long,

0:20:080:20:13

a 5m rill makes a strong statement

0:20:130:20:15

whilst remaining in proportion with the rest of the garden.

0:20:150:20:18

When it comes to water features, if you are lucky enough to have

0:20:210:20:25

the right size plot and right size budget,

0:20:250:20:28

you could have something truly spectacular.

0:20:280:20:31

Throughout history, water has been used in gardens

0:20:310:20:34

to show wealth and status.

0:20:340:20:36

Whether it's dramatic fountains,

0:20:370:20:40

gushing waterfalls,

0:20:400:20:42

or huge man-made lakes.

0:20:420:20:44

And at the 240-acre gardens in RHS Wisley, in Surrey,

0:20:450:20:50

they have all three.

0:20:500:20:52

Here at Wisley, we have a number of water features.

0:20:520:20:55

Ones that stand out mainly would be the canal

0:20:560:21:00

which runs in front of the laboratory.

0:21:000:21:03

This water feature creates a huge impact as you walk through

0:21:030:21:08

and sets the feel for Wisley right from the go.

0:21:080:21:12

But the star water feature here is the cascading waterfall.

0:21:140:21:18

It looks like it's been hewn from the landscape

0:21:190:21:22

over thousands of years.

0:21:220:21:24

But is, in fact, completely man-made.

0:21:240:21:27

The gardeners at Wisley have painstakingly positioned

0:21:270:21:30

slabs of limestone to change the flow of water.

0:21:300:21:34

And then planted around them to achieve a natural effect.

0:21:340:21:38

In Northwood, the water feature the boys have designed

0:21:440:21:47

isn't quite as dramatic as a cascading waterfall.

0:21:470:21:50

But they are banking on it making just as big an impact.

0:21:500:21:53

Now the building work is done, a white layer of gauze is being added

0:21:550:21:59

to protect the lining from the surface of the breeze blocks.

0:21:590:22:03

Then it's time for the liner.

0:22:030:22:05

The key to a rill is that it looks perfectly neat and tidy.

0:22:050:22:08

Penny won't want to see baggy bits of liner under the surface.

0:22:090:22:12

Lower them in.

0:22:120:22:14

So the boys have had it pre-cut to fit perfectly.

0:22:140:22:17

Fantastic.

0:22:200:22:22

But it needs to be fitted with care.

0:22:230:22:25

You can see how neat this is.

0:22:280:22:29

This would definitely be a little bit more expensive

0:22:290:22:31

than if you just get a liner and do it yourself.

0:22:310:22:33

-It saves quite a lot of time though.

-It saves so much time, yeah.

0:22:330:22:36

You don't want to stretch the liner

0:22:360:22:38

because then that puts it under tension and then if you do

0:22:380:22:42

step on a stone or something like that, it could make it split.

0:22:420:22:46

How's it going over here?

0:22:460:22:48

It's looking very neat. We like this.

0:22:480:22:51

Unlike a pond, a rill doesn't have plants in it.

0:22:510:22:55

Once the water is in, it's meant to look like a black void.

0:22:550:22:59

So there is no margin for error.

0:22:590:23:01

This water feature is very different to a pond, isn't it?

0:23:010:23:04

Because with a pond, it's very much a living habitat.

0:23:040:23:07

-But this is literally a feature of water.

-Yeah.

0:23:070:23:10

-We are going to keep it clear by putting a treatment in it.

-Yep.

0:23:100:23:14

So with those types of treatments,

0:23:140:23:16

it's OK if children put their hands in,

0:23:160:23:18

you will get the odd bird drinking out of it, it's fine.

0:23:180:23:22

And a frog might jump in. But it's a bit like a swimming pool.

0:23:220:23:25

-You've just got to make sure that ground is level.

-Yeah.

0:23:250:23:27

-Otherwise you'll have a hell of a deal.

-Shall we find out?

0:23:270:23:29

-Put some water in?

-HE LAUGHS

0:23:290:23:31

It's going to be a big body of water.

0:23:350:23:37

Whilst the pond fills, the boys have moved on

0:23:370:23:40

to digging out the last two beds.

0:23:400:23:43

And are planning ahead for the arrival of the trees.

0:23:440:23:47

One on their own can be a feature, but if you get five,

0:23:490:23:52

-it adds that impact, doesn't it?

-I think that's going to be key now,

0:23:520:23:55

to make sure when we are putting them into the beds

0:23:550:23:57

-that they all line up really smartly.

-Yeah, yeah.

0:23:570:23:59

So you have that lovely kind of rhythm.

0:23:590:24:01

It will enclose the space really nicely, I feel.

0:24:010:24:03

-Yeah.

-Cos if you're sitting in here just appreciating the water feature,

0:24:030:24:07

I think it will be really special.

0:24:070:24:08

-Think of the reflection in the water feature as well.

-Yeah.

0:24:080:24:11

As soon as we get these trees in,

0:24:110:24:13

they are going to look quite architectural.

0:24:130:24:15

-The form is going to locate this space in the garden, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:24:150:24:19

-And almost make, like, a natural barrier as well.

-They are, yeah.

0:24:190:24:23

And because of the trees we've chosen...

0:24:230:24:25

We chose Prunus Kanzan.

0:24:250:24:28

Mainly because Penny really wanted pink in the garden

0:24:280:24:31

and they give a beautiful pink blossom in spring.

0:24:310:24:33

But talking about them is one thing.

0:24:330:24:35

Not one of them has made it out of the front garden yet.

0:24:350:24:38

One of the keys to this garden is that it looks

0:24:410:24:44

as immaculate as possible.

0:24:440:24:46

THEY GROAN

0:24:460:24:49

The team has been meticulous about keeping soil off the lawn.

0:24:490:24:53

But now it all needs to come out before the planting starts.

0:24:530:24:57

About ten wheelbarrows ago,

0:24:590:25:02

I said to young David, "How many more wheelbarrows?"

0:25:020:25:05

He went, "About four or five."

0:25:050:25:07

No.

0:25:070:25:09

Fortunately, Charlie's keeping an eye on the rill.

0:25:180:25:21

The boys are playing with their toys, forgetting about the liner.

0:25:210:25:24

Totally forgetting about the liner.

0:25:240:25:26

Let's just play with diggers and wheelbarrows.

0:25:260:25:29

See, look? Baggy this side.

0:25:310:25:33

Baggy this side.

0:25:330:25:34

Who has been watching the water?!

0:25:360:25:37

None of you. You've all been playing with your toys.

0:25:370:25:41

-I've been keeping an eye on it.

-You liar!

0:25:410:25:43

Mr Pinocchio!

0:25:430:25:45

Oops!

0:25:480:25:49

(Don't tell the boys.)

0:25:490:25:50

Whilst the boys finish prepping the beds,

0:25:530:25:56

Charlie's out the front with the trees.

0:25:560:25:58

Trees are really key to Harry and David's design.

0:25:590:26:03

And they've gone for the huge wow factor.

0:26:030:26:06

We've got big, mature cherry trees.

0:26:060:26:09

What you have to remember is,

0:26:090:26:11

mature trees like this are not going to be cheap.

0:26:110:26:13

You are looking at £360 each,

0:26:130:26:17

but then you have to pay to get them to the garden.

0:26:170:26:20

So, if they are going a long distance,

0:26:200:26:22

that's going to cost you even more.

0:26:220:26:24

If you've not got that much budget,

0:26:240:26:26

you might want to go for something like this cherry tree, Pandora.

0:26:260:26:31

You are looking at about £40 for a tree like this.

0:26:310:26:35

Or this little Amelanchier.

0:26:350:26:37

It's got these lovely white flowers in the spring.

0:26:370:26:40

Quite pretty foliage and quite delicate.

0:26:400:26:42

Then, in the autumn, it's got good autumn colour as well.

0:26:420:26:45

And if you are on a really tight budget...

0:26:450:26:48

how about some whips?

0:26:480:26:50

You can get a lot of native trees like birches and hawthorns,

0:26:500:26:54

great for hedging.

0:26:540:26:55

And you are looking about 60p to £1 for each one.

0:26:550:26:59

Really easy to establish.

0:26:590:27:01

And you don't need to worry about staking them.

0:27:010:27:04

And after about five to six years,

0:27:040:27:06

you are going to have a tree of this sort of size.

0:27:060:27:09

There are no weedy little whips in this garden.

0:27:100:27:14

With a budget of £5,000,

0:27:140:27:16

the boys have spent £1,400 on the cherries

0:27:160:27:20

to make a real impact in Penny's garden.

0:27:200:27:22

But it's now been five hours since they were delivered.

0:27:240:27:27

Draw a line roughly in the middle of that.

0:27:270:27:29

And the boys have only just started marking out where they should go.

0:27:310:27:35

The five Japanese cherry trees need to be placed precisely

0:27:360:27:40

to emphasise the ordered effect of the design.

0:27:400:27:43

And the boys are taking an awful long time getting it right.

0:27:450:27:49

-I think it looks right.

-I think you have to do it.

0:27:530:27:56

Yeah, looks good. It just looked...

0:27:560:27:58

Well, you expect it to be the same as that, don't you?

0:27:580:28:00

Just working out the trees and spacing.

0:28:000:28:03

-OK.

-They need to be equal.

-So, those forks...?

-Yeah.

-OK.

0:28:030:28:07

Right, I'm with you now.

0:28:070:28:09

-One, two, three...

-And there's one up there.

-..four.

0:28:090:28:12

-And one... Five.

-That's the last one.

0:28:120:28:15

That's the difficult bit. Now we've just got to plant them.

0:28:150:28:18

That's easy(!)

0:28:180:28:19

It may not be her design, but Charlie's right to be nervous.

0:28:210:28:26

Planting five mature trees is a huge task.

0:28:260:28:30

And the skies over Northwood are starting to darken.

0:28:300:28:34

It's good soil, isn't it?

0:28:350:28:37

Adam, we don't want too deep but we want it nice and wide.

0:28:420:28:46

Cos if you have it too deep, then the air can't get through the roots.

0:28:460:28:50

And it kind of compacts and that's often how trees die

0:28:500:28:53

when they are planted mature.

0:28:530:28:55

Right, are we doing this?

0:28:550:28:56

And even though the boys have already marked out where they go,

0:28:580:29:03

getting them in is a different challenge altogether.

0:29:030:29:06

Look at that!

0:29:060:29:08

Nice wally there, Harry, spin it that way as well.

0:29:080:29:12

-And we are going that way.

-Whoa!

0:29:120:29:15

A bit more.

0:29:150:29:16

No tree looks the same and the boys want to make sure that

0:29:160:29:20

the best side of each tree is facing the rear windows

0:29:200:29:23

of the house.

0:29:230:29:25

A touch that way. Yeah.

0:29:250:29:26

-I'm happy with that.

-Happy with that?

0:29:260:29:29

Perfect.

0:29:290:29:30

I'm so glad I told you, Charlie.

0:29:300:29:33

Meanwhile, Scott and Adam have started tiling the edge of the rill.

0:29:330:29:38

So, the boys have made sure that the tiles match the patio

0:29:410:29:46

and the tiles that are inside, in the kitchen.

0:29:460:29:49

So the whole theme runs right the way through into the garden.

0:29:490:29:53

We've made the tiles overhang the liner by an inch or two.

0:29:530:29:58

That way it gives a really neat finish, you don't see any liner.

0:29:580:30:01

But it also protects the liner

0:30:010:30:03

because then the sunlight can't get to the liner

0:30:030:30:05

and it won't get broken down, so it'll last much longer.

0:30:050:30:08

But on the other side of the garden, we are only on to tree number two.

0:30:170:30:23

One, two, three...

0:30:230:30:26

Whoa, up it goes!

0:30:260:30:28

Well held, men.

0:30:280:30:29

-Whoa!

-I'm just going that way.

0:30:300:30:32

Is that all right?

0:30:320:30:34

And the pressure of getting this part of the design to work

0:30:350:30:39

is starting to show.

0:30:390:30:41

-SHE LAUGHS

-Only three more.

0:30:410:30:43

Now, now. Now, now. Keep smiley, smiley, happy, smiley.

0:30:450:30:49

I'm smiling.

0:30:490:30:51

One of the reasons for the boys' concern is that

0:30:510:30:54

the trees were one of the key reasons Penny chose their design.

0:30:540:30:58

They have to be right.

0:31:000:31:02

At least the boys are now satisfied with the positioning of two of them.

0:31:030:31:07

And they've tasked Charlie with planting them.

0:31:070:31:10

Because the burlap is biodegradable, it doesn't have to be removed

0:31:110:31:15

and will provide further protection to the roots

0:31:150:31:18

once the tree is planted.

0:31:180:31:20

So, we've got the trees in position and I'm just

0:31:200:31:23

forking a little bit of soil in

0:31:230:31:25

and making sure it's going under the root ball

0:31:250:31:27

so there's no air gaps.

0:31:270:31:29

Then, before the hole is totally full,

0:31:290:31:32

we're going to pop a stake in and we're going to put it down low

0:31:320:31:35

because you want the tree to be able to rock a bit

0:31:350:31:37

but not too much.

0:31:370:31:38

For most trees, a stake should be one third of the height of the tree.

0:31:400:31:44

CHARLIE LAUGHS

0:31:440:31:46

-You're having a laugh.

-It's the biggest thing we've got.

0:31:460:31:49

It anchors the root and is put in a 45 degree angle

0:31:490:31:53

leaning into the prevailing wind.

0:31:530:31:55

Should we leave the stake that long?

0:31:550:31:57

Special tree ties like these can be bought at any garden centre

0:31:570:32:01

and will need to be loosened as the tree expands.

0:32:010:32:03

Now the tree is secure, it's important that it grows healthily

0:32:110:32:15

so Charlie's giving it an extra boost with some fertiliser.

0:32:150:32:18

The next thing we're going to do is put some mycorrhizal,

0:32:180:32:21

which is a type of fungus, on the roots, which will help the tree take

0:32:210:32:25

up nutrients and water more readily than if we didn't.

0:32:250:32:29

-So it'll get it going.

-Kick-start it.

-Kick-start it. That's right.

0:32:290:32:33

So, we've got four litres of water.

0:32:330:32:36

And this is a powder which swells up, so it makes like a gel.

0:32:360:32:39

That helps it stick to the roots. We'll sprinkle that in.

0:32:390:32:42

Like wallpaper paste.

0:32:480:32:50

There we go. And now it's a case of just backfilling it.

0:32:590:33:02

There you go.

0:33:140:33:15

See? That looks quite tidy now, doesn't it?

0:33:150:33:18

Because they add height, colour and structure to the garden,

0:33:210:33:24

more than any other living feature,

0:33:240:33:26

the right tree can dramatically change the landscape of your plot.

0:33:260:33:30

If your garden only has room for one tree, positioning is key.

0:33:310:33:35

Make sure it's not too central as it will dominate the space,

0:33:360:33:41

but choose one that has enough spread so you can enjoy the shade.

0:33:410:33:45

In a large garden, trees placed informally help create mystery,

0:33:450:33:49

and if under-planted with shade-loving plants,

0:33:490:33:52

can give the space a magical woodland effect.

0:33:520:33:55

And if you're lucky enough to have the space

0:33:580:34:01

for a long driveway or path,

0:34:010:34:02

nothing is more dramatic than an avenue of trees.

0:34:020:34:06

They draw the eye to focal points

0:34:060:34:08

and provide shade as you stroll through the garden.

0:34:080:34:11

In Northwood, the cherry trees are designed to frame the new garden.

0:34:140:34:19

But there are still three more of them to go in.

0:34:190:34:22

And now it's starting to rain.

0:34:230:34:26

CHARLIE GROANS

0:34:260:34:27

And the clay soil is becoming thick with water.

0:34:270:34:30

-Nice light soil.

-SHE SCOFFS

0:34:330:34:35

Not.

0:34:350:34:36

Everybody moans about clay soil.

0:34:380:34:40

But in actual fact, it's really good soil.

0:34:400:34:43

It's high in nutrients, it holds on to water,

0:34:430:34:45

it's high in micro-nutrients.

0:34:450:34:47

The only problem is, it's quite heavy to move.

0:34:470:34:51

The team get the third tree in. But as the weather gets worse,

0:34:540:34:58

it's going to be more and more difficult

0:34:580:35:01

to correctly plant the last trees.

0:35:010:35:03

INDISTINCT CHATTER

0:35:050:35:08

-One, two, three...

-Pull!

0:35:100:35:12

-Let's go again.

-You all right?

0:35:120:35:15

See? That's fine.

0:35:150:35:17

Fantastic. Right, now let's check where it is.

0:35:170:35:20

It needs to go that way, does it?

0:35:200:35:22

And the strain is starting to show.

0:35:230:35:26

Which way has it got to go?

0:35:260:35:27

I-I, just from my own point of view, the middle one is out.

0:35:270:35:30

But how does that make any sense?

0:35:300:35:31

They're dead straight with each other, the first two.

0:35:310:35:34

The boys are under pressure.

0:35:340:35:35

No, it's fine.

0:35:350:35:36

They don't want to compromise...

0:35:360:35:38

If we did the two outside ones...

0:35:380:35:39

..but the garden does have to be finished at some point.

0:35:390:35:43

Finally, they are happy and Charlie and Kate can get it planted.

0:35:440:35:49

-Right, whose head is this?

-Whoever ordered these great big trees.

0:35:490:35:54

-David!

-BOTH:

-Harry!

-THEY LAUGH

0:35:540:35:57

At least the tiling is almost done.

0:36:000:36:02

And with just one tree to go,

0:36:040:36:06

the boys have moved on to placing out the plants

0:36:060:36:09

that will go in each bed.

0:36:090:36:10

But the rain won't let up.

0:36:170:36:18

And there are almost 100 plants to get in,

0:36:200:36:23

in the worst type of conditions.

0:36:230:36:25

We've created these beds by taking off the top layer of turf.

0:36:320:36:35

And what you want to do, before you start planting,

0:36:350:36:37

is you want to look at the soil.

0:36:370:36:39

Cos there's always ways to improve it, no matter what the soil type.

0:36:390:36:42

This here is definitely clay. And what we're going to do here is

0:36:420:36:45

we're going to dig in some topsoil and that will really help

0:36:450:36:48

loosen up the structure of it.

0:36:480:36:50

But if you were to have maybe like a sandier soil,

0:36:500:36:52

something that isn't as nutrient-rich as clay,

0:36:520:36:55

then you can put in some lovely manure or even some garden compost.

0:36:550:36:58

You've got some nice plants here, but...

0:37:070:37:09

So how did you end up with this planting scheme?

0:37:090:37:11

I mean, the colours are all very sort of calm.

0:37:110:37:15

We want it to be contemporary, so I think going for

0:37:150:37:18

a more muted colour scheme kind of suits their house as well.

0:37:180:37:21

I mean, the trees are quite colourful in the spring.

0:37:210:37:24

-Oh, they'll be full-on.

-There's thalictrum in here. There's salvias.

0:37:240:37:27

When the summer hits, it's going to have a lovely... Verbena.

0:37:270:37:30

-It's going to be a haze, isn't it?

-It's going to be hazy, yeah. Yeah.

0:37:300:37:33

We've gone for quite a few grasses in this as well.

0:37:330:37:36

So, it's going to go to a kind of purple haze in the summer.

0:37:360:37:38

Then turn orange in the autumn.

0:37:380:37:40

And if you're looking for, I guess, quite a contemporary

0:37:400:37:43

planting scheme as well, then grasses en masse are pretty sexy.

0:37:430:37:47

What we tried to do here is that it's very geometric.

0:37:470:37:50

Various squares, rectangles, but actually,

0:37:500:37:52

but within the planting scheme, when the grasses come out,

0:37:520:37:55

you're going to get these lovely big drifts of grasses.

0:37:550:37:57

-Do you like grasses?

-No.

0:37:570:37:59

THEY LAUGH

0:37:590:38:01

We love our grasses.

0:38:010:38:03

Penny has admitted she's not a gardener,

0:38:050:38:08

but wanted to have a colourful selection of flowers and plants.

0:38:080:38:12

And she wanted them to look good all year round.

0:38:120:38:15

One...

0:38:150:38:17

So, to help break up the softer textures in each bed,

0:38:170:38:21

the boys are adding texture with rectangular box topiary.

0:38:210:38:25

Right... Nice.

0:38:250:38:26

It's a really nice way of using a different form in the garden.

0:38:300:38:34

And it kind of sits in with this geometric shape.

0:38:340:38:36

So, you know, you've got the geometric squared planters

0:38:360:38:39

and then you've got this lovely geometric box.

0:38:390:38:42

Box is one of the most versatile shrubs you can use in the garden.

0:38:460:38:50

Its dense evergreen form looks good all year round,

0:38:520:38:55

and is easy to shape.

0:38:550:38:57

So it's perfect for hedges

0:38:570:38:59

or creating architectural shapes as focal points

0:38:590:39:02

or in flower beds.

0:39:020:39:03

They're best clipped around the beginning of June

0:39:050:39:08

and again in September.

0:39:080:39:09

Yeah.

0:39:130:39:14

The last tree is finally going in.

0:39:140:39:17

What did you do in your last life to get this weather, eh?

0:39:170:39:20

Three, two, one...

0:39:230:39:25

Stand it up and we'll figure it out.

0:39:260:39:28

Ahhh!

0:39:310:39:33

Happy, yeah. That's great here.

0:39:330:39:35

But the wet weather is starting to take its toll.

0:39:410:39:44

The boys' design depended on the garden looking pristine.

0:39:460:39:50

But all that lugging trees and plants around

0:39:500:39:53

has left the site looking a mess.

0:39:530:39:55

But there's no alternative but to press on

0:39:570:40:00

and get the garden finished.

0:40:000:40:02

The boys will have to hope the family can see through the mud

0:40:050:40:08

to the elegant garden beneath.

0:40:080:40:10

With James and the girls not yet home,

0:40:130:40:15

it's Penny who gets a first look at the boys' transformation.

0:40:150:40:19

Will she think her £5,000 was money well spent

0:40:200:40:23

or that the new garden is a wash-out?

0:40:230:40:26

Right, there will be a step and a slab. You'll be fine. Keep going.

0:40:280:40:31

Don't worry about it. Keep going.

0:40:310:40:33

Ooh, there we are. That one there.

0:40:330:40:35

They're taking her right into the middle of the garden.

0:40:350:40:37

Open your eyes and then have a little look around.

0:40:370:40:41

-Have a look around.

-Oh, wow!

0:40:410:40:44

A wow.

0:40:440:40:45

That's amazing, isn't it?

0:40:450:40:48

-Oh, fantastic.

-It is a little bit muddy because of the weather.

0:40:480:40:51

No, it's brilliant.

0:40:510:40:53

Once all the plants fill out and mature, it will look fabulous.

0:40:530:40:58

-Fantastic.

-What do you think of the water feature?

0:40:580:41:00

I love that. Love it. Love it, love it. Yeah. It's brilliant.

0:41:000:41:03

And the trees, what do you think of the trees?

0:41:030:41:05

-They're really big, aren't they?

-Yeah.

-Brilliant.

0:41:050:41:07

-Not small trees, are they?

-No.

0:41:070:41:08

-They were a lot of work to get in, actually.

-Yeah, I'm sure. Wow.

0:41:080:41:12

The design really works with the house. Straight lines. Simple.

0:41:120:41:17

Not over-cluttered.

0:41:170:41:18

So it works really well.

0:41:180:41:20

Is it kind of what you imagined?

0:41:200:41:22

-It is, cos I think your drawings were really good.

-OK, brilliant.

0:41:220:41:25

You could really see how it was going. So, yeah.

0:41:250:41:27

It's just exactly... Not exactly how I envisaged it, but what I wanted.

0:41:270:41:31

-Yeah.

-So it is just fabulous.

-Awesome.

-Thank you so much.

0:41:310:41:34

It's fabulous.

0:41:340:41:35

The rain may have done its worst,

0:41:350:41:38

but the boys are relieved that the client loves her new garden.

0:41:380:41:41

And just a few weeks later,

0:41:440:41:45

after the garden has dried out,

0:41:450:41:48

the transformation can really be seen.

0:41:480:41:50

Before, the garden was a large expanse of grass

0:41:520:41:55

with just a trampoline and a guinea pig hutch

0:41:550:41:58

as its main points of interest.

0:41:580:42:00

Now it's a cool and contemporary space

0:42:020:42:05

in keeping with the rest of the house.

0:42:050:42:07

The five cherry trees provide a dramatic framework for the

0:42:080:42:12

four newly-made flower beds

0:42:120:42:14

at a cost of £1,400.

0:42:140:42:16

The beds are filled with carefully selected flowers and plants

0:42:180:42:21

that will provide all-round colour and interest.

0:42:210:42:25

Along with the topiary box, the plants came in at £1,200.

0:42:250:42:29

To complete this sleek, modern space,

0:42:320:42:35

Harry and David made a water feature.

0:42:350:42:37

Its clear, calm surface reflects the garden around it.

0:42:370:42:41

Sited at a right angle to the flower beds,

0:42:420:42:45

it draws the eye down the length of the garden.

0:42:450:42:48

The boys chose tiles that matched the patio

0:42:480:42:51

and reflect the modern look of the house.

0:42:510:42:53

It gives the garden the wow factor Penny was after.

0:42:560:42:59

I think it's exceeded my expectations.

0:43:000:43:02

Especially the water feature.

0:43:020:43:04

That is just what I wanted. It's just amazing.

0:43:040:43:07

It just really feels like we've finished the whole of the

0:43:070:43:09

house project off now, and it's all complete.

0:43:090:43:12

And we're ready to enjoy it.

0:43:120:43:13

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Northwood, Middlesex, competing to transform a large, boring lawn into an ultra-modern garden to match the owners' high-spec house.

Penny, James and their two daughters live in a large ultra-modern house with slick, contemporary interiors. They designed and built their house from scratch and they've put their heart and soul into it. To complete the picture, they need the perfect garden to match.

The designers both come up with plans to transform the 30 x 16 metre plot into a modern, formal garden that's based on precise lines and perfect proportions, and will work within their £5,000 budget. The pressure is on to make the design a reality as the team battle against awful weather conditions. Will they get the garden finished and to the high-spec the clients expect?