Faversham Garden Rescue


Faversham

Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A garden in Faversham needs restoration after being washed away in a landslide.


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Transcript


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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens

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and decades of experience...

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-Hello!

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

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Looking good, boys!

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

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We want to be the brothers that change people's perceptions

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of gardens.

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

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-Oh, wow.

-Oh, good turn.

-It'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.

-It looks really exciting.

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

-The winner...

-Ta-dah!

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THEY CHEER ..brings their design to life...

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-Hold on, hold on!

-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 the 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 difference styles collide...

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-Who chose these?

-One, two, three!

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This looks like your design.

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Yeah!

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..to turn garden dreams into reality.

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-Wow!

-Open your eyes.

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Wow. It's amazing.

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It's beautiful.

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So, whose garden will Charlie and the Rich brothers

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be battling over today?

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It's time to find out.

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-What we got then?

-Right.

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Stan and Gloria have sent these in from Faversham,

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and they're a lovely couple

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that have lived in this beautiful flint cottage for 14 years.

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-Yeah.

-It's very pretty, isn't it?

-Mm.

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Stan and Gloria's family home

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is a barn that was converted into cottages 120 years ago.

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And it was a case of love at first sight.

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We walked down the drive and we just turned the corner

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and saw the house, and I just thought,

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"Yeah, I really love this. I could live here.

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"Yes. This is the one. This is the place."

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There's just something magical about it.

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And they cherish their front garden just as much as their home.

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It was a very sort of natural garden, and, you know,

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we'd like nothing more on a summer's evening

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sitting outside with a glass of wine.

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But two years ago, disaster struck.

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My goodness. Look at that.

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After a period of heavy rain,

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a 200-year-old retaining wall on the border of their property collapsed.

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A landslide followed,

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sweeping their cherished garden into the woods below.

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Took out the whole front garden and the whole driveway,

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and that took about ten mature trees with it as well.

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We realised that we had had quite a...

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An extensive...

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-Well, a catastrophic sort of collapse.

-Yeah.

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It changed everything.

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Almost all of Gloria's beloved plants

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and much-loved weeping willow were gone.

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Over the last two years,

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the wall has been rebuilt and the driveway replaced.

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But with the exception of a few shrubs,

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the front garden is now just a barren wasteland.

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I think the garden looks stark and raw now.

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There's too much tarmac.

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I've lost heart, I think. I think that's the thing.

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Gloria and Stan are now desperate to bring their garden

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back to its former glory.

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My dream would be to have that lovely feeling

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when you sort of come round the corner and see the house.

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It is such a nice spot,

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and to be able to use it again would be very special.

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But with much of the couple's time and money

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going into the building work,

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there's little left over for the garden.

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The budget that we have for this is £1,500.

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But the old front garden will be a hard act to follow,

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so pleasing Gloria and Stan won't be easy.

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Considering the history of this garden,

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I'm pretty sure they're not going to be wanting any water features,

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-are they, Charlie?

-Is that pointed at me?

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-Maybe.

-Hey?

-THEY LAUGH

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This is a seriously demanding project,

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and Charlie and the boys will now compete for the chance

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to restore Gloria and Stan's garden to its former glory.

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So, they're heading to Kent

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to see the house and garden in the flesh.

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They're on the lookout for clues and ideas,

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something special that will give them an edge.

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-Ah.

-Yes, this is...

-Wow.

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You can see where the builders have been.

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-Yeah, you definitely see...

-Yeah, right there.

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-It looks like it was quite a pretty garden at one point.

-Yeah.

-Cute.

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-And it's a bit of a tricky space. There's no boundaries.

-Yeah.

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I think just probably best to keep it natural

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-and kind of work with nature.

-Stop stealing my ideas, you!

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-Let's go and find them, shall we?

-Yeah.

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Charlie wants to find out from Gloria and Stan

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what their old garden was like.

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So, you just walked out and...

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-Yes, it's gone.

-..it was gone.

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-Were you like, "Oh!"

-Yeah.

-We were. We couldn't believe it.

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Well, it was a bit of a shock.

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You know, just didn't realise it had gone.

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But the boys want to see inside the house

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to see whether there's anything particular about the couple's taste

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that might give them some clues.

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-Oh, wow. Oh, lovely and cosy in this room, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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-Some lovely details. Look at the beams.

-Yeah.

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-Really cottage-y, isn't it?

-It's super cottage-y.

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The boys are famous for their contemporary designs,

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but there's nothing modern about this house.

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Gloria and Stan love their period details.

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Then they've got lovely detail on the window, that lead diamond shape.

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Yeah, it's on the cupboards over there as well.

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Yeah, so maybe that's a nice thing to tie back in with the garden.

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So, to get it back looking beautiful...

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-Would mean an awful lot.

-Mm.

-It would mean a lot.

-Yeah.

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Inside, the boys have spotted another reason why the front garden

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is so important to Gloria and Stan.

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Look outside. It's beautiful.

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Oh, it's a gorgeous view out the window, isn't it? Really nice.

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I don't want to cut those views out, so...

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-Important to keep them.

-Yeah.

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And what do you want from the garden?

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Something low-maintenance, enhance nature,

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that's compatible with the cottage.

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That sort of wow factor where a garden kind of framed the house,

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if you know what I mean.

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-Easy then.

-Spot on.

-Good.

-THEY LAUGH

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Do you think you could do that, Charlie?

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-Oh, the boys are good.

-THEY LAUGH

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It's all smiles now,

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but restoring this big front garden to its former beauty for just £1,500

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won't be easy.

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And after two years of building hell,

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Gloria and Stan will be very anxious about the results.

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So, Charlie and the Rich brothers get straight to work.

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They each have to come up with a winning design

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and then present it to Gloria and Stan,

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who will choose which one gets built.

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But the loser doesn't get off lightly,

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as they have to help the winner build the garden.

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Charlie seemed to be on the couple's wavelength,

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and her wealth of experience could give her an edge...

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especially as this kind of traditional garden

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is new territory for the boys.

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It's time to see if they've done their homework

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and can upset the odds.

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So, this is your patio as it is.

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-At the moment, you go up the steps here, don't you?

-Yeah.

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-So, I'm basically taking those steps away...

-Yeah.

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..enhancing the planting you've got

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and then you will just slope up onto the grass,

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rather than steps.

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-Oh, right.

-So, we'll grade it up.

-Yeah.

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And this is a Gothic seat, almost like a throne.

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It's a Gothic chair for one person.

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The design is very natural, very organic shapes,

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and it's split into three areas.

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Here we've got a main seating area

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which is surrounded by beautiful cottage-style perennial planting,

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and then around the outside we've got this longer grass,

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more of a natural meadow.

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Both sides have remembered the couple love sitting

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in their old front garden,

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but Charlie has only put in a seat for one.

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Where's Stan going to go?

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Improving the view of the garage and tarmac drive

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was the next challenge.

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So, one of the main features in the garden

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is this living willow fence.

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It really blocks off the tarmac that you've got around...

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-Yes, it softens it all.

-Yes, exactly. So...

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It's a natural screen.

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So, I've got across here, this is a feature

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and it's a chestnut post and rail fence with a gate,

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a hobbit gate.

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Gloria and Stan lost ten trees in the landslide,

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so both designers are keen to put some back.

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We really wanted to capture this native British woodland feel,

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and you know, choosing these small trees and shrubs is really

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going to give you this long season

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and it's going to have blossom, autumn interest.

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It's going to attract birds and wildlife.

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I've got several different trees that are very beautiful,

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so I've got a multi-stemmed birch here

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so you'll get, with the sun setting over there,

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you'll get the bark highlighted in the evening sun.

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It looks beautiful.

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Gloria and Stan are understandably nervous

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and have some questions.

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What height do the trees grow to?

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-Well, they're all small ones...

-Oh, right. OK.

-Yeah.

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..cos I didn't want to lose the light.

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How high are the...?

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-The fence?

-The fencing, yeah.

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Probably be about no bigger than me. I'm not the biggest man, but...

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Something that's not going to be imposing.

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Their time is up.

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It's now down to Gloria and Stan.

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-I do like Charlie's planting.

-Yeah.

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I think the way she explained the gate thing there,

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it's a sort of quite a natural beauty.

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You lead through the gate up to actual tarmac.

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Yeah. And it is hidden.

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With the boys' one, it's a complete change.

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I like the idea of seating,

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somewhere to sit and make more use of the garden.

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-But I particularly like this.

-The willow.

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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-It's difficult.

-It is. It's very difficult, isn't it?

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After two years of disappointment, not surprisingly,

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Gloria and Stan are having trouble deciding.

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-I mean, I like both of them.

-Well...

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We're not going to argue about it.

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..it's going to have to be up to you.

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Well, only one design can win, so who's it going to be?

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Will they go for Charlie's sloping woodland,

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hobbit gate and Gothic seat

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or the boys' curved path and seating area,

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meadow grass and willow screen?

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Well, it's been a very, very difficult decision.

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I'm sorry we've taken so long.

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No problem.

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But in the end, we've decided to go with...

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SHE SINGS FANFARE

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CHEERING

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-Woo!

-Great decision.

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-So, thank you both very much.

-Oh, it's lovely. Thank you.

-Yeah.

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Absolutely thrilled.

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-Oh, good.

-Thank you.

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I like the living hedge,

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-cos I thought that was very natural for the...

-Yes, yeah.

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For the garden, yeah.

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It would be nice to sit here with a glass of wine in the summer

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-and look over onto the trees in the hills over there...

-Yes.

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-..so, yes.

-We'll hold you to that.

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You're very welcome to come back.

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So, against the odds, the Rich brothers have won.

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But there's no doubt they'll need Charlie's help with this one.

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They might be in charge, but with such a big garden

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and small budget, her wealth of experience could be crucial.

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It's the first day of the build.

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With the boys away making final touches to the design,

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project manager Kate and landscapist Adam and Scott

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are preparing the site.

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With the ground in a terrible state,

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almost all of the plot needs to be dug up,

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so to save time, Kate has hired Scott

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a new toy for the day.

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So, we're using the digger to grade our soil to make it nice and level.

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It may use up £250 of our £1,500 budget,

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but it would take an army days to do the same job,

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so it's worth it.

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And actually it's quite good soil, so I'm quite pleased about that.

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But the guys have to be careful.

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Two years of building has changed the plot completely,

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and there are unexpected surprises hidden underground.

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Hang on.

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-That is the old oil pipe...

-Right.

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..I reckon, so that would've been the power for the old pump.

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Yeah.

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-I've got to be really careful when we come through here.

-Yeah.

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One of the selling points of the Rich brothers' design

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was a new path and seating area,

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and Scott and Adam have to figure out

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where the circle goes.

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To create the circle, you put a peg at the centre point

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and work out how big you want your arch.

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And then just follow our line around with our string line

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from the centre point.

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The Rich brothers want the centre point

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to be the place where Gloria and Stan

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will have the best view.

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But the circle needs to be just big enough

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for a table and chairs.

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Once it's marked out, the soil is levelled

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and the base layer of aggregate can start going down.

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Good work. We're nearly there now.

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One of the issues with Stan and Gloria's plot

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is that the narrow drive is on a steep slope,

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so every time there's a delivery, everyone has to stop,

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walk up the drive and carry it back to the site.

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But now the bulk of the plants are here,

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Kate has spotted a problem.

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An area for planting on the boys' design is at the moment

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covered in tarmac.

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David is on his way, but she needs his help now

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to get to the bottom of it.

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-Hi, David. It's Kate.

-'Hey, Kate. How are you?'

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Yeah, pretty good.

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Do you remember on your design they've got the garage

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and quite a lot of tarmac,

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and originally you had some planting in that area?

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'Yes, yeah. I do. You don't want to dig in there, do you?'

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We don't want to do that, no.

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Maybe we could get three planters

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and then get some plants to go in those planters.

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'It'd look lovely. It would blend in with everything, wouldn't it?'

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Yeah, I think so. Definitely.

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'Any natural material I think would look really nice.'

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That's all very well, assuming we have the money for planters.

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That's the last of them, I think.

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With so much still to do, the team could do with some support.

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Charlie's here, but where are the boys?

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It is their design, after all.

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There's David, but where's Harry?

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-Oh!

-And what time do you call this?

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-Where is your other half?

-You're here!

-Oh, yeah. Very funny.

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-Where's Harry?

-The not-so-better half, he's ill, unfortunately.

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-Oh, no.

-Bit of an upset belly, but don't worry.

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-I'll let you in on a secret here. I pretty much did this design.

-OK.

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Harry just coloured in the plants. So, it's fine.

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-Can I quote you on that one, huh?

-No.

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I think he's just seen the weather forecast.

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The BBC say it's going to start raining about midday.

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-Let's get going.

-Coats and get going, yeah.

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With Harry out, it's not just a question of reduced manpower.

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Without his brother, the pressure is on David to run the show.

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He's going to really need Charlie's help to carry it off.

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We're really looking forward to this garden

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mainly because of those living willow structures.

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Oh, you like playing with the willow withies.

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-It's like gardening Meccano or something, isn't it?

-Yeah.

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It's going to be good fun.

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-Right, so, I mean, the key areas. We've got the willow.

-Yes.

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Hard standing gravel area.

0:17:090:17:11

That's going to be key to get in position,

0:17:110:17:13

-and all the soft landscaping can work around that.

-All right.

0:17:130:17:15

And Charlie has also spotted the area on the design

0:17:150:17:18

that was worrying Kate.

0:17:180:17:20

Now, this bit here then.

0:17:200:17:21

Yeah, so, this bit on the original design

0:17:210:17:23

was to dig in so we can put some nice natural screening

0:17:230:17:25

for the garage, but there's a lot of tarmac,

0:17:250:17:28

there's a lot of drains and there's a retaining wall.

0:17:280:17:31

-That'd be a no then.

-Yes.

-How are going to cover this up?

0:17:310:17:34

So, we're going to have to try and find something to up-cycle

0:17:340:17:37

and make into planters.

0:17:370:17:38

-Uh-huh.

-There's loads of things that Gloria and Stan like,

0:17:380:17:41

so there's a few things to keep and work around.

0:17:410:17:43

And maybe we can transplant them somewhere else,

0:17:430:17:45

move them in the garden, maybe.

0:17:450:17:47

I think for me, if I get the plants out

0:17:470:17:50

that we want to save for Gloria and Stan

0:17:500:17:51

and then move some of the other ones into key places...

0:17:510:17:55

And I will work on the hard standing here

0:17:550:17:57

-for the path and the gravel area.

-OK.

0:17:570:17:59

Oh. It's good hard work.

0:17:590:18:00

-Cos that's going to really set up the design, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:18:000:18:02

-Right.

-Think that's everything.

0:18:020:18:05

Whilst David takes control of the hard landscaping,

0:18:130:18:18

Charlie is performing surgery on Gloria's flowerbeds.

0:18:180:18:23

In the boys' design, there's no room for the existing shrubs,

0:18:230:18:26

so Charlie has found a new place for them

0:18:260:18:29

in a different part of the property.

0:18:290:18:30

Whenever you're transplanting a mature shrub like this,

0:18:320:18:36

get as much root ball as you possibly can,

0:18:360:18:39

prepare the hole really well

0:18:390:18:42

and always cut the shrub back by a good two thirds.

0:18:420:18:47

Up on the top deck, the path is taking shape.

0:18:500:18:54

This hardcore is great as a base

0:18:540:18:56

because there's really good variation size of stone.

0:18:560:18:58

So, as you can see, we've got some big ones

0:18:580:19:00

and then we've got the smaller ones down to the dust,

0:19:000:19:02

and this really helps it bind down as a solid surface.

0:19:020:19:05

So, what you don't really want to be using

0:19:050:19:07

is things like pea shingle or just normal gravel,

0:19:070:19:09

cos that will always stay loose.

0:19:090:19:12

Once the aggregate is down,

0:19:120:19:14

a layer of gravel crumb will be added on top.

0:19:140:19:18

The challenge with the path is to make it rustic enough

0:19:180:19:21

to fit with the style of the garden without the high-maintenance issues

0:19:210:19:24

of an informal gravel or shingle path.

0:19:240:19:28

Time will tell whether David can pull it off.

0:19:280:19:30

Meanwhile, Charlie is on an impossible mission.

0:19:380:19:41

David has asked her to bring life to the bare garage walls.

0:19:410:19:44

Is there any money in the budget for containers?

0:19:440:19:47

-Honest answer?

-Mm.

-No.

0:19:470:19:49

-How about trellis?

-No.

0:19:490:19:53

OK. Well, that's really not

0:19:530:19:54

the answers I wanted there, Kate, really.

0:19:540:19:56

I was thinking a couple of yeses would be handy.

0:19:560:19:58

I'd love to say, "Yes. Just go and get what you want.

0:19:580:20:01

"We've got loads of money," but we haven't.

0:20:010:20:03

-Make do and mend.

-OK.

0:20:030:20:06

I'm sure you can come up with something fantastic.

0:20:060:20:08

-Oh, OK.

-OK?

0:20:080:20:10

-Bye!

-That's going to challenge me a little.

0:20:100:20:12

In the main part of the garden, the aggregate's pressed and ready,

0:20:180:20:22

but there's no sign of the top layer of gravel,

0:20:220:20:25

so David is turning his attention to the front of the plot.

0:20:250:20:29

Quite heavy, these turfs, aren't they?

0:20:290:20:31

Right.

0:20:310:20:32

Before the landslide,

0:20:320:20:34

Gloria and Stan's front garden had a magical feel to it

0:20:340:20:37

and David is planning to bring it back

0:20:370:20:39

with a new wild flower meadow.

0:20:390:20:42

So, David, why have you used meadow turf in this design?

0:20:420:20:44

I'm just intrigued to know why you've chosen this.

0:20:440:20:47

Ah, two genius reasons.

0:20:470:20:48

-So, one of them is it's just really natural.

-Yeah.

0:20:480:20:50

And the other one is it's really healthy for the budget.

0:20:500:20:52

-It's a lot cheaper than planting.

-Yeah.

0:20:520:20:55

And what's so nice about this stuff

0:20:550:20:56

-is that you can tailor it to your own needs.

-Right.

0:20:560:20:58

So, lots of companies do different mixes,

0:20:580:21:00

which is really cool.

0:21:000:21:02

This turf is a 60/40 grass to plants mix.

0:21:020:21:06

It may not look like much now,

0:21:060:21:08

but in just a few months, this area of the garden

0:21:080:21:10

will be alive with wild flowers.

0:21:100:21:13

-I think that looks good to me.

-Little stamp in.

0:21:130:21:17

A little roll out and a little push in

0:21:170:21:19

and that's good to go.

0:21:190:21:20

So, what have you got hidden around here, Stan?

0:21:220:21:24

We've got some...

0:21:240:21:25

Meanwhile, in the back garden, Stan's got a surprise for Charlie.

0:21:250:21:29

-They are quite heavy, aren't they?

-Yes.

0:21:310:21:34

-They are not falling apart.

-Need to carry them.

0:21:340:21:36

Yeah. Off we go. Slowly.

0:21:360:21:39

Stan has three of these old wooden troughs

0:21:390:21:43

and they're all in good condition.

0:21:430:21:45

They might just be what Charlie is looking for.

0:21:450:21:47

Somewhere around here looks good, Stan.

0:21:470:21:49

Yeah, fine. OK. Just...be nice to put it down.

0:21:490:21:53

There you go.

0:21:530:21:54

Now, you better leave,

0:21:540:21:55

because I'm going to be very brutal to it now.

0:21:550:21:57

-Oh, no.

-THEY LAUGH

0:21:570:22:00

But she's going to need landscaper Adam's help.

0:22:000:22:03

-Adam.

-Yes?

0:22:030:22:05

Now, I know you know this is a planter...

0:22:050:22:07

-Indeed.

-..but it's not quite the type of planter I want.

0:22:070:22:10

-Right.

-OK?

0:22:100:22:12

-You're getting me worried now.

-Right. It's a bit too narrow.

-OK.

0:22:120:22:15

-So, I reckon a metre by a metre.

-Yeah.

0:22:150:22:17

-Is it just brute force and ignorance?

-Yeah.

0:22:170:22:19

they've been nailed together,

0:22:190:22:21

-so I reckon give it a good whack with a hammer.

-A big, good whack.

0:22:210:22:24

-That was easy. Next.

-We like this job.

0:22:270:22:30

I'll swap ends. I'll hold it.

0:22:300:22:33

Careful. Not too much enthusiasm, Charlie.

0:22:380:22:40

Don't forget you're going to re-use these.

0:22:400:22:43

The idea is that the timber from the troughs

0:22:430:22:46

can be recycled into new planters,

0:22:460:22:48

but at this rate, they may not be usable.

0:22:480:22:51

-There we go.

-That's one way to do it.

0:22:530:22:55

The challenge with this garden is to restore it to its former glory

0:23:050:23:09

after it was catastrophically destroyed two years ago,

0:23:090:23:12

but even the most devastated gardens have amazing powers of recuperation.

0:23:120:23:17

This is the Salutation Garden on the Kent coast.

0:23:240:23:29

It may look spectacular now,

0:23:290:23:32

but just three years ago, this idyllic space

0:23:320:23:34

was almost wiped out by a title surge

0:23:340:23:37

down the English Channel.

0:23:370:23:38

We had about 12 hours notice,

0:23:380:23:41

so very little time to protect anything other than the house.

0:23:410:23:45

And only the next day could we count the cost.

0:23:450:23:48

When the tide retreated,

0:23:480:23:50

the whole site was left with sea water damage in the garden,

0:23:500:23:53

but it wasn't over yet.

0:23:530:23:55

The flood was followed by the wettest winter

0:23:550:23:59

that we had recorded.

0:23:590:24:00

There was irreparable damage.

0:24:000:24:03

It uprooted trees, it relocated herbaceous plants.

0:24:030:24:06

It pulled out probably hundreds of tonnes of soil.

0:24:060:24:10

It's incredible that water is far more powerful

0:24:100:24:13

than I think anyone ever gives it credit for.

0:24:130:24:16

Around 15,000 plants were destroyed.

0:24:160:24:20

It took months for it to properly sink in -

0:24:200:24:22

the emotional loss from the plants.

0:24:220:24:25

I think when you face a garden that's been devastated,

0:24:250:24:28

it's important not to rush too quickly,

0:24:280:24:31

actually, into making mistakes.

0:24:310:24:34

Steve and his team took stock of what had happened

0:24:340:24:37

and tried to look at it positively.

0:24:370:24:40

There were lots of bits of the garden, actually,

0:24:400:24:43

that we were living with because I could rely on those bits

0:24:430:24:46

to perform every year.

0:24:460:24:47

All of a sudden, we're faced with not a blank canvas,

0:24:470:24:52

but half of the planting missing from the main borders.

0:24:520:24:55

It was an opportunity to reinvent and build on old ideas.

0:24:550:25:00

But when they started to replant,

0:25:030:25:05

the saltwater had done more than just uproot the garden.

0:25:050:25:09

The entire ecology of the soil is upset,

0:25:090:25:12

and that's the place to start.

0:25:120:25:14

Lots of hours digging

0:25:140:25:16

incorporating lots of bulky organic material, manure.

0:25:160:25:21

That was the key to begin with for us.

0:25:210:25:24

And after lots of hard work and perseverance,

0:25:240:25:27

Steve and his team continued to rebuild the grounds,

0:25:270:25:30

making it the charming garden it is today.

0:25:300:25:33

In Gloria and Stan's garden,

0:25:370:25:39

the retaining wall that collapsed two years ago has been rebuilt,

0:25:390:25:43

so whilst Adam works on her new planters,

0:25:430:25:47

the couple have asked Charlie to give them some advice

0:25:470:25:50

on what to do with it.

0:25:500:25:51

My goodness. That's a wall and a half, isn't it?

0:25:510:25:54

But this must be a fabulous sun trap.

0:25:540:25:57

Yeah, it does catch the sun.

0:25:570:25:58

Gloria and Stan's plot is on a giant slope,

0:25:580:26:02

and on one side, the new wall is more than ten-foot high.

0:26:020:26:06

This will be a nice warm wall and very, very protected,

0:26:060:26:09

so things like Mediterranean plants, you know, like grapevines,

0:26:090:26:13

-kiwi fruit.

-Yeah.

0:26:130:26:14

I mean, it would also be a really great spot

0:26:140:26:17

for a little propagator.

0:26:170:26:18

-Like a little lean-to greenhouse.

-Yeah, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:26:180:26:21

-And it would be a great place to sit.

-I think that sounds excellent.

0:26:210:26:24

So, what we're going to need, Charlie,

0:26:240:26:26

is for you to come back next year and do all this, sort it out.

0:26:260:26:29

-THEY LAUGH

-We'll see on that one!

0:26:290:26:31

I've got enough to do up there!

0:26:310:26:33

Upstairs in the front garden,

0:26:350:26:36

there's still no sign of the top layer of gravel,

0:26:360:26:39

so David is cracking on.

0:26:390:26:40

Right. That's the first one.

0:26:420:26:44

-Right. Looking good. Right.

-Your turn.

-Let's have a go.

0:26:440:26:47

Gloria and Stan were unhappy

0:26:470:26:49

with their view of the new tarmac drive,

0:26:490:26:52

so in keeping with the house,

0:26:520:26:54

the boys are proposing a living fence

0:26:540:26:56

made from willow saplings.

0:26:560:26:58

-Pretty solid.

-Lovely, lovely.

0:27:000:27:02

The idea is that the willow roots down into the earth

0:27:040:27:07

like a normal tree, and because it's flexible, it can be interwoven.

0:27:070:27:12

-Watch out.

-Ah!

0:27:120:27:14

They're also good for going, "Go faster! Go faster!"

0:27:140:27:19

-Slave driver over there.

-Place me some more plants!

0:27:190:27:22

-More plants. Right.

-Hurry up.

0:27:220:27:24

-Right.

-They are great, these, aren't they?

-They are, yes.

0:27:240:27:27

-Getting whipped into shape now.

-Hey! They're fun.

0:27:270:27:31

Meanwhile, fresh from the workshop, Adam has got a present for Charlie.

0:27:320:27:37

Charlie, what do you reckon?

0:27:370:27:39

Oh, not bad.

0:27:390:27:41

Not bad. Is it square?

0:27:410:27:43

-Should be.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:27:430:27:45

-I was teasing you! Teasing you.

-As best I can with the old timber.

0:27:450:27:47

-Oh, that's good. That's quite chunky, isn't it?

-Yeah.

0:27:470:27:51

David and Scott have planted the willow

0:27:510:27:54

at ten-centimetre intervals and in a crisscross pattern.

0:27:540:27:58

They are then fastened with another piece of willow

0:27:580:28:00

and then interwoven at the top.

0:28:000:28:02

Two more reasons why we've chosen these living willow screens

0:28:050:28:08

is because one, they're really, really natural,

0:28:080:28:10

so they blend in really well with the natural landscape

0:28:100:28:12

and the garden, but also to link with the leaded diamond fashion

0:28:120:28:16

on the window that you can see there.

0:28:160:28:18

And that just really helps link house and garden.

0:28:180:28:20

Come early May, this willow will start to leaf and fill the spaces.

0:28:200:28:25

Been through the rain, but the rain does not bother me.

0:28:250:28:28

Oh.

0:28:280:28:31

-That doesn't bother me. It's OK.

-HE LAUGHS

0:28:310:28:34

The willow fence will be a new feature

0:28:340:28:36

to help mask the big tarmac driveway,

0:28:360:28:39

but one thing Gloria and Stan loved about their old garden

0:28:390:28:42

was the trees...

0:28:420:28:44

so David has made them a key part of his design.

0:28:480:28:51

-Just around there would be perfect. Really nice.

-Yeah.

0:28:530:28:56

The yellow really picks up the yellow of the lawn.

0:28:560:28:58

-The yellow of the daffodils...

-OK.

-..that's what were going for.

0:28:580:29:01

Are you going for a Welsh theme with mountain ash, daffodils?

0:29:010:29:05

Pretty much just trying to invade England with Wales, yeah.

0:29:050:29:07

-But isn't he gorgeous?

-Good tree.

-Love this tree.

0:29:070:29:11

It may not be that big now,

0:29:110:29:12

but mountain ash can grow to more than 12 metres tall

0:29:120:29:16

so will eventually be a key feature in this natural landscape.

0:29:160:29:20

People get worried about putting trees in their garden

0:29:200:29:22

and think they're going to take over,

0:29:220:29:24

-but there's a good selection that don't get too huge.

-Yeah.

0:29:240:29:26

He's a good little small tree. Loads of interest on him.

0:29:260:29:29

Berries, blossom and beautiful autumn colour.

0:29:290:29:33

-Right there then?

-Whoa, whoa, whoa. Easy.

-BOTH:

-Easy, tiger.

0:29:330:29:37

Cos I don't want him to be too symmetrical

0:29:390:29:42

in between the two willow structures.

0:29:420:29:44

-Right.

-I think it's going to require me looking from that way.

0:29:440:29:47

-All right, then. I'll let you.

-Right.

0:29:470:29:50

We have got to finish this garden today, you know, sir.

0:29:500:29:53

A little bit to the left, if you can.

0:29:550:29:57

-Left. Your left, my left?

-Your right.

0:29:570:30:00

-I know.

-You're never right.

-I'm always right!

0:30:000:30:03

Your left then, quickly.

0:30:030:30:06

-Up.

-That is...

0:30:060:30:08

-Nice. I think that looks... Yeah.

-Yeah?

0:30:080:30:09

-Are you happy with that?

-Oh, I'm ecstatic.

0:30:090:30:12

Perfect then.

0:30:120:30:14

-This one is set.

-Think that looks nice. Yeah.

0:30:140:30:16

Yeah, keep digging.

0:30:160:30:18

And with that, David goes back to willow weaving,

0:30:200:30:24

leaving Charlie with the digging.

0:30:240:30:26

When you're planting quite mature specimens,

0:30:290:30:33

it's worth making the hole a bit bigger than you really need

0:30:330:30:36

so that the soil is nice and loose, and then firming it in.

0:30:360:30:41

We're about halfway through the day.

0:30:410:30:44

We're not really halfway through the garden.

0:30:440:30:46

Well, not as far as I think.

0:30:460:30:48

I think there's too much enjoyment and chatting going on

0:30:480:30:52

between Scott and David and not enough weaving

0:30:520:30:57

in both ways - willow and working.

0:30:570:31:00

Whilst the boss weaves away, Charlie's not hanging about.

0:31:000:31:05

With the £1,500 budget pushed to the limit,

0:31:050:31:08

David tasked her with creating

0:31:080:31:10

a dirt-cheap feature for the garage wall,

0:31:100:31:13

and now her three planters are in place,

0:31:130:31:15

she's prepping them for planting.

0:31:150:31:17

So, I'm just putting some bonded fibre in the bottom

0:31:170:31:20

because there's quite big gaps at the bottom

0:31:200:31:22

and the compost will just wash through.

0:31:220:31:25

But even at a metre square,

0:31:340:31:35

they're not covering much of the wall

0:31:350:31:38

so she's come up with an ingenious solution -

0:31:380:31:41

using some spare willow to add height.

0:31:410:31:45

And I think that looks pretty darn good.

0:31:450:31:48

Even if I am blowing my own trumpet.

0:31:490:31:51

And when it's plants in there, woohoo!

0:31:510:31:54

With the willow fence complete,

0:31:580:32:00

David has moved on to the two main planting beds

0:32:000:32:03

near the front door.

0:32:030:32:04

-Bring more grasses there for me, please, Charlie.

-More grasses.

0:32:040:32:07

Yes, please.

0:32:070:32:09

Here the boys have designed an ornamental meadow,

0:32:120:32:15

with beautiful trees underplanted with an array of colourful flowers.

0:32:150:32:19

We've got a really natural planting scheme at the moment.

0:32:190:32:23

It's predominantly grass. 50% grass, 50% perennial plants.

0:32:230:32:28

So, it's a good thing just to get the grasses first, space them out,

0:32:280:32:30

see how they want to work.

0:32:300:32:32

And then the perennials,

0:32:320:32:33

like this achillea, I can just dot in the middle.

0:32:330:32:35

If you have the space,

0:32:350:32:36

a beautifully planted front garden can improve the look

0:32:360:32:40

of any property and even add value to it.

0:32:400:32:42

When designing front gardens,

0:32:460:32:48

landscape designer Jacquetta Menzies believes it's possible

0:32:480:32:51

to make them practical and attractive.

0:32:510:32:54

Access,

0:32:540:32:56

generally for front gardens,

0:32:560:32:58

is the most important thing.

0:32:580:33:01

The striking thing about this particular garden

0:33:010:33:03

is its steepness.

0:33:030:33:05

Have it lit to have handrails. Use stainless steel touches.

0:33:050:33:09

I think stainless steel brings light into the garden.

0:33:090:33:12

Carefully consider your planting, making it gorgeous and appealing.

0:33:120:33:18

Even in the smallest garden, I think you can do that with shrubs.

0:33:180:33:22

In this steep garden,

0:33:220:33:24

raised terraces were made to create several level beds.

0:33:240:33:28

They make it practical and beautiful, but useful as well.

0:33:280:33:31

Having your vegetables in your front garden

0:33:340:33:36

means that you go past them every single day.

0:33:360:33:39

Your vegetables are getting so much more care and attention,

0:33:390:33:43

but the overall effect is

0:33:430:33:44

it must be an attractive and welcoming space.

0:33:440:33:47

In Faversham, the planting is well underway,

0:33:530:33:57

but the rain that Charlie predicted has arrived.

0:33:570:34:00

Weather is a bit damp.

0:34:090:34:10

Haven't got my partner in crime with me, but it's all right.

0:34:100:34:14

I've got to hold on, haven't I?

0:34:140:34:17

I think that's an understatement - "A bit damp."

0:34:170:34:20

It is absolutely chucking it.

0:34:200:34:23

And there's still a lot to do.

0:34:270:34:30

Many of the plants that David has ordered are yet to flower,

0:34:310:34:35

so to help inject some colour, he's asked Charlie and Kate

0:34:350:34:38

to transplant some of Gloria's blooming spring flowers.

0:34:380:34:43

We got some bluebells and some primulas.

0:34:430:34:47

They will only have got trashed, so they will establish.

0:34:470:34:50

They probably won't do very well next year,

0:34:500:34:52

but the following year, they'll be fine.

0:34:520:34:55

And I have to say, these are the not English bluebells.

0:34:550:35:01

They're the Spanish bluebells.

0:35:010:35:04

But you know, they're colourful.

0:35:040:35:07

They're free. And when the budget is the budget it is, we need free.

0:35:070:35:11

KATIE LAUGHS

0:35:110:35:14

David's focusing on where the money has been spent -

0:35:140:35:17

the rest of the new trees.

0:35:170:35:19

We've got this cherry, we've got a birch,

0:35:190:35:21

we've got hawthorn - all really British native trees.

0:35:210:35:23

But he needs an experienced hand to help establish them.

0:35:350:35:40

-Charlie, how do you use these things?

-Oh, them. Bit of a...

0:35:400:35:44

Is it a crisscross-y version...? Is it...?

0:35:440:35:46

They're a bit of a faff, those ones, aren't they?

0:35:460:35:48

SHE GRUNTS

0:35:480:35:50

A bit like getting over to you is a bit of a faff.

0:35:500:35:53

Is it the wrong way around? Ah. Maybe that...

0:35:530:35:55

I mean, I don't...

0:35:550:35:56

-Is that meant to go around the tree or...?

-I...

0:35:560:35:59

-No. I would suggest that's around the tree.

-OK, cool.

0:35:590:36:01

-That's around the tree...

-Oh, this is going to be a hassle.

0:36:010:36:04

..so tie the tree to the stake and not the stake to the tree.

0:36:040:36:08

A stake protects a young tree from wind damage

0:36:080:36:11

and supports it during the critical early growth period.

0:36:110:36:15

Cos with a tree tie you want the tree to rock a bit

0:36:170:36:21

but not too much.

0:36:210:36:22

What happens is that rock actually causes the strength

0:36:220:36:27

-to build up in it.

-Yeah.

0:36:270:36:28

And if you have it too rigid, when you take them off they just go...

0:36:280:36:32

Cool. I'm happy.

0:36:320:36:33

With the plants starting to go in,

0:36:360:36:38

the team are on the home stretch... with one major issue -

0:36:380:36:43

the path is still not finished.

0:36:430:36:46

But just when she's starting to despair, Kate spots a white van.

0:36:460:36:51

It was touch and go if it was going to get here.

0:36:510:36:53

It's the finishing touch for our seating area.

0:36:530:36:57

Without having this, this gravel crumb,

0:36:570:36:59

they would've just had a seating area of hardcore

0:36:590:37:03

and really wouldn't have looked very nice.

0:37:030:37:04

-Dan, we need some others. Come on.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:37:040:37:08

But it still needs to get from the van to the path.

0:37:130:37:16

Yay!

0:37:180:37:20

As the boys barrow on,

0:37:270:37:29

Charlie has stolen a few plants to flower up her new planters.

0:37:290:37:34

I'm planting this up with a mixture of perennials

0:37:370:37:40

and shrubs and also some bulbs,

0:37:400:37:44

and then we've got some little anemones and some grape hyacinths.

0:37:440:37:50

These are the white ones.

0:37:500:37:51

You normally see the blue ones, but this is a bit more than usual.

0:37:510:37:54

And the boss is impressed.

0:37:540:37:56

-These are looking great, Charlie.

-I'm really pleased with them.

0:37:560:37:59

-They're quite sweet, aren't they?

-Yeah, they're really nice.

0:37:590:38:02

-And I'd like to put an order in for two more, please.

-Uh...

0:38:020:38:05

Just outside the house it'd be nice to put a few of these in

0:38:050:38:07

-to add height and structure.

-Hold on, hold on.

0:38:070:38:10

You said two a minute ago. How come we're up to a few all of a sudden?

0:38:100:38:12

-I'm pretty sure a few is two.

-No, a few is a couple.

0:38:120:38:15

-A couple is two.

-A couple is two.

0:38:150:38:17

A few is a couple and a couple is two. Ah!

0:38:170:38:19

Well, on that bombshell, away you go.

0:38:190:38:21

THEY LAUGH

0:38:210:38:23

The team are into the final phase...

0:38:300:38:32

We've just got the planting to finish

0:38:320:38:35

-and then it's just tidy, tidy.

-Yeah.

0:38:350:38:37

..and David doesn't waste another minute

0:38:380:38:41

in laying the top coat of decorative gravel.

0:38:410:38:44

It's also a really easy material to use and lay.

0:38:460:38:49

It's great for creating curves

0:38:490:38:51

because you don't have to be cutting slabs or paviers.

0:38:510:38:54

The rain is really coming down now,

0:38:540:38:57

and with Gloria and Stan desperate to see the new garden,

0:38:570:39:00

David's big reveal is in danger of being a bit of a wash-out.

0:39:000:39:05

But the team remain undaunted,

0:39:050:39:08

and as the final touches go in,

0:39:080:39:11

the rather soggy new garden is finished.

0:39:110:39:14

Two years ago, Stan and Gloria's beloved front garden was swept away,

0:39:230:39:28

and even after extensive rebuilding,

0:39:280:39:30

all that was left was a barren wasteland.

0:39:300:39:33

Now after a £1,500 makeover,

0:39:360:39:39

Harry and David's design has restored its magic.

0:39:390:39:43

But the real test is what the clients think.

0:39:430:39:47

They're coming, they're coming, they're coming.

0:39:470:39:50

-The eyes are closed.

-Round the corner this way.

0:39:500:39:52

Keep coming. Don't worry. You're nowhere near anything.

0:39:520:39:54

This garden has turned out really sweet.

0:39:540:39:58

Open your eyes.

0:39:580:40:00

-Wow.

-Oh, wow.

0:40:000:40:02

-Oh, it looks absolutely beautiful.

-Fantastic.

0:40:020:40:05

-Is it kind of what you imagined or...?

-Better.

0:40:050:40:07

-Better. Oh, good! That's a great one.

-Oh, it's absolutely...

0:40:070:40:11

Charlie put a little bit of her little touch in there

0:40:110:40:13

-with the willow as well.

-Oh, I love that.

0:40:130:40:15

-Oh, it looks really nice cos it takes of all this tarmac.

-So good.

0:40:150:40:18

We've got a weeping birch. We've got a hawthorn.

0:40:180:40:21

-Yep.

-We've got a mountain ash there.

0:40:210:40:24

-Oh, that's...

-And then there's a cherry just through there as well.

0:40:240:40:27

And this is the wild...

0:40:270:40:28

-So, this is the wild flower meadow.

-Yeah, yeah.

-Yeah.

0:40:280:40:31

So, that's not looking amazing at the moment...

0:40:310:40:33

-It will come.

-..but in a couple of months...

-Yeah.

0:40:330:40:36

-Take it all in.

-Yeah. That's...

0:40:360:40:38

-And you can really see the willow there, can't you, as well?

-Yeah.

0:40:380:40:40

-Look at that.

-Gorgeous. Looks amazing.

0:40:400:40:43

-That is great.

-Beautiful.

-Can you imagine yourself in this space?

0:40:430:40:46

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

-In a word.

-No, yeah.

0:40:460:40:49

Does it have that kind of woodland feel, the magic that it had before?

0:40:490:40:52

-Yep.

-Yep. It's completely different...

-It's better.

0:40:520:40:54

-..but, yeah.

-I'm glad it's completely different

0:40:540:40:56

because it feels like a fresh start again, you know what I mean?

0:40:560:41:00

David is relieved that, even in the wet,

0:41:000:41:03

Stan and Gloria can see what their new garden will be.

0:41:030:41:06

That went well.

0:41:060:41:07

Ah, it did, yeah. It went really, really, well.

0:41:070:41:10

Loved it. Tell you what, they loved the planters as well.

0:41:100:41:13

-Did they?

-They loved the bit of willow there.

0:41:130:41:15

Really, really cool.

0:41:150:41:16

-I did say I'd give you a big hug.

-Yeah, and a kiss! Whoa!

0:41:160:41:19

-Not washing this cheek!

-There you go!

0:41:190:41:21

-GLORIA:

-Yeah, I felt quite emotional when we came around the corner

0:41:230:41:26

and sort of just that wow factor.

0:41:260:41:29

-In fact, it's more so, I think.

-Oh, yeah.

0:41:290:41:32

And it's going to look just magical.

0:41:320:41:34

-It'll be a garden for the future.

-Absolutely.

0:41:340:41:37

And just a few weeks later with a dose of sun,

0:41:370:41:41

David and Harry's design is really coming to life.

0:41:410:41:44

The boys eked out the £1,500 budget to maximum effect.

0:41:450:41:51

Now it's dry, the path and seating area has a natural, rustic surface -

0:41:510:41:56

ideal for Gloria and Stan to sit and enjoy a glass of wine

0:41:560:42:00

whilst taking in the views.

0:42:000:42:02

The couple love the natural woodland look,

0:42:040:42:07

so the boys spent just over £600

0:42:070:42:09

on cherry, birch and mountain ash trees...

0:42:090:42:12

and a wild meadow lawn that cost just £200.

0:42:180:42:22

Charlie's new planters are the bonus feature,

0:42:250:42:28

made from Stan's old troughs that were recycled, topped with willow

0:42:280:42:32

and planted with perennials and bulbs.

0:42:320:42:35

But the real star is the living willow fence.

0:42:390:42:43

At just £100, it breaks up the space,

0:42:430:42:46

obscures the view of the tarmac

0:42:460:42:48

and will grow into a stunning sculptural feature.

0:42:480:42:52

-I think it was absolutely worth every penny.

-Yep, yep.

0:42:520:42:56

And it's been just an amazing experience.

0:42:560:42:59

If it had been left to us, it would've just been a lawn,

0:42:590:43:02

so the fact that we've got what is a real garden

0:43:020:43:05

is such a surprise.

0:43:050:43:08

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers compete to design a garden in Faversham for Stan and Gloria, whose cherished front garden was washed away in a landslide. Confronted with a barren wasteland and an enormous amount of tarmac, our designers compete for a £1,500 budget to restore what was once a magical front garden to its former glory.

Includes some clever ideas for disguising eyesores, such as when the designers plant a living screen and indulge in some ingenious upcycling.