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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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens
and decades of experience...
-..Charlie Dimmock is one of Britain's best-loved gardeners.
Looking good, boys!
But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.
We want to be the brothers that change people's perceptions
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Oh, good turn.
-It's amazing, isn't it?
..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.
Now these two different generations of gardening are going head-to-head.
I know they've got a gold medal, but I can come up with a few ideas.
They're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...
The photos made it look tiny. It is, isn't it?
-I'm sure you've seen larger.
-I don't know what to do with it.
..and will each pitch them a design based on their needs...
-It looks really exciting.
-It doesn't look like it could be our garden.
THEY CHEER ..brings their design to life...
-Hold on, hold on!
-Sweet as a nut.
..and the loser has to help them build it.
Oh, I'm getting irritated now with the faffing around.
This is what happens...
-Does he ever get irritating?
-All the time.
..when difference styles collide...
-Who chose these?
-One, two, three!
This looks like your design.
..to turn garden dreams into reality.
-Open your eyes.
Wow. It's amazing.
So, whose garden will Charlie and the Rich brothers
be battling over today?
It's time to find out.
-What we got then?
Stan and Gloria have sent these in from Faversham,
and they're a lovely couple
that have lived in this beautiful flint cottage for 14 years.
-It's very pretty, isn't it?
Stan and Gloria's family home
is a barn that was converted into cottages 120 years ago.
And it was a case of love at first sight.
We walked down the drive and we just turned the corner
and saw the house, and I just thought,
"Yeah, I really love this. I could live here.
"Yes. This is the one. This is the place."
There's just something magical about it.
And they cherish their front garden just as much as their home.
It was a very sort of natural garden, and, you know,
we'd like nothing more on a summer's evening
sitting outside with a glass of wine.
But two years ago, disaster struck.
My goodness. Look at that.
After a period of heavy rain,
a 200-year-old retaining wall on the border of their property collapsed.
A landslide followed,
sweeping their cherished garden into the woods below.
Took out the whole front garden and the whole driveway,
and that took about ten mature trees with it as well.
We realised that we had had quite a...
-Well, a catastrophic sort of collapse.
It changed everything.
Almost all of Gloria's beloved plants
and much-loved weeping willow were gone.
Over the last two years,
the wall has been rebuilt and the driveway replaced.
But with the exception of a few shrubs,
the front garden is now just a barren wasteland.
I think the garden looks stark and raw now.
There's too much tarmac.
I've lost heart, I think. I think that's the thing.
Gloria and Stan are now desperate to bring their garden
back to its former glory.
My dream would be to have that lovely feeling
when you sort of come round the corner and see the house.
It is such a nice spot,
and to be able to use it again would be very special.
But with much of the couple's time and money
going into the building work,
there's little left over for the garden.
The budget that we have for this is £1,500.
But the old front garden will be a hard act to follow,
so pleasing Gloria and Stan won't be easy.
Considering the history of this garden,
I'm pretty sure they're not going to be wanting any water features,
-are they, Charlie?
-Is that pointed at me?
This is a seriously demanding project,
and Charlie and the boys will now compete for the chance
to restore Gloria and Stan's garden to its former glory.
So, they're heading to Kent
to see the house and garden in the flesh.
They're on the lookout for clues and ideas,
something special that will give them an edge.
-Yes, this is...
You can see where the builders have been.
-Yeah, you definitely see...
-Yeah, right there.
-It looks like it was quite a pretty garden at one point.
-And it's a bit of a tricky space. There's no boundaries.
I think just probably best to keep it natural
-and kind of work with nature.
-Stop stealing my ideas, you!
-Let's go and find them, shall we?
Charlie wants to find out from Gloria and Stan
what their old garden was like.
So, you just walked out and...
-Yes, it's gone.
-..it was gone.
-Were you like, "Oh!"
-We were. We couldn't believe it.
Well, it was a bit of a shock.
You know, just didn't realise it had gone.
But the boys want to see inside the house
to see whether there's anything particular about the couple's taste
that might give them some clues.
-Oh, wow. Oh, lovely and cosy in this room, isn't it?
-Some lovely details. Look at the beams.
-Really cottage-y, isn't it?
-It's super cottage-y.
The boys are famous for their contemporary designs,
but there's nothing modern about this house.
Gloria and Stan love their period details.
Then they've got lovely detail on the window, that lead diamond shape.
Yeah, it's on the cupboards over there as well.
Yeah, so maybe that's a nice thing to tie back in with the garden.
So, to get it back looking beautiful...
-Would mean an awful lot.
-It would mean a lot.
Inside, the boys have spotted another reason why the front garden
is so important to Gloria and Stan.
Look outside. It's beautiful.
Oh, it's a gorgeous view out the window, isn't it? Really nice.
I don't want to cut those views out, so...
-Important to keep them.
And what do you want from the garden?
Something low-maintenance, enhance nature,
that's compatible with the cottage.
That sort of wow factor where a garden kind of framed the house,
if you know what I mean.
Do you think you could do that, Charlie?
-Oh, the boys are good.
It's all smiles now,
but restoring this big front garden to its former beauty for just £1,500
won't be easy.
And after two years of building hell,
Gloria and Stan will be very anxious about the results.
So, Charlie and the Rich brothers get straight to work.
They each have to come up with a winning design
and then present it to Gloria and Stan,
who will choose which one gets built.
But the loser doesn't get off lightly,
as they have to help the winner build the garden.
Charlie seemed to be on the couple's wavelength,
and her wealth of experience could give her an edge...
especially as this kind of traditional garden
is new territory for the boys.
It's time to see if they've done their homework
and can upset the odds.
So, this is your patio as it is.
-At the moment, you go up the steps here, don't you?
-So, I'm basically taking those steps away...
..enhancing the planting you've got
and then you will just slope up onto the grass,
rather than steps.
-So, we'll grade it up.
And this is a Gothic seat, almost like a throne.
It's a Gothic chair for one person.
The design is very natural, very organic shapes,
and it's split into three areas.
Here we've got a main seating area
which is surrounded by beautiful cottage-style perennial planting,
and then around the outside we've got this longer grass,
more of a natural meadow.
Both sides have remembered the couple love sitting
in their old front garden,
but Charlie has only put in a seat for one.
Where's Stan going to go?
Improving the view of the garage and tarmac drive
was the next challenge.
So, one of the main features in the garden
is this living willow fence.
It really blocks off the tarmac that you've got around...
-Yes, it softens it all.
-Yes, exactly. So...
It's a natural screen.
So, I've got across here, this is a feature
and it's a chestnut post and rail fence with a gate,
a hobbit gate.
Gloria and Stan lost ten trees in the landslide,
so both designers are keen to put some back.
We really wanted to capture this native British woodland feel,
and you know, choosing these small trees and shrubs is really
going to give you this long season
and it's going to have blossom, autumn interest.
It's going to attract birds and wildlife.
I've got several different trees that are very beautiful,
so I've got a multi-stemmed birch here
so you'll get, with the sun setting over there,
you'll get the bark highlighted in the evening sun.
It looks beautiful.
Gloria and Stan are understandably nervous
and have some questions.
What height do the trees grow to?
-Well, they're all small ones...
-Oh, right. OK.
..cos I didn't want to lose the light.
How high are the...?
-The fencing, yeah.
Probably be about no bigger than me. I'm not the biggest man, but...
Something that's not going to be imposing.
Their time is up.
It's now down to Gloria and Stan.
-I do like Charlie's planting.
I think the way she explained the gate thing there,
it's a sort of quite a natural beauty.
You lead through the gate up to actual tarmac.
Yeah. And it is hidden.
With the boys' one, it's a complete change.
I like the idea of seating,
somewhere to sit and make more use of the garden.
-But I particularly like this.
-It is. It's very difficult, isn't it?
After two years of disappointment, not surprisingly,
Gloria and Stan are having trouble deciding.
-I mean, I like both of them.
We're not going to argue about it.
..it's going to have to be up to you.
Well, only one design can win, so who's it going to be?
Will they go for Charlie's sloping woodland,
hobbit gate and Gothic seat
or the boys' curved path and seating area,
meadow grass and willow screen?
Well, it's been a very, very difficult decision.
I'm sorry we've taken so long.
But in the end, we've decided to go with...
SHE SINGS FANFARE
-So, thank you both very much.
-Oh, it's lovely. Thank you.
I like the living hedge,
-cos I thought that was very natural for the...
For the garden, yeah.
It would be nice to sit here with a glass of wine in the summer
-and look over onto the trees in the hills over there...
-We'll hold you to that.
You're very welcome to come back.
So, against the odds, the Rich brothers have won.
But there's no doubt they'll need Charlie's help with this one.
They might be in charge, but with such a big garden
and small budget, her wealth of experience could be crucial.
It's the first day of the build.
With the boys away making final touches to the design,
project manager Kate and landscapist Adam and Scott
are preparing the site.
With the ground in a terrible state,
almost all of the plot needs to be dug up,
so to save time, Kate has hired Scott
a new toy for the day.
So, we're using the digger to grade our soil to make it nice and level.
It may use up £250 of our £1,500 budget,
but it would take an army days to do the same job,
so it's worth it.
And actually it's quite good soil, so I'm quite pleased about that.
But the guys have to be careful.
Two years of building has changed the plot completely,
and there are unexpected surprises hidden underground.
-That is the old oil pipe...
..I reckon, so that would've been the power for the old pump.
-I've got to be really careful when we come through here.
One of the selling points of the Rich brothers' design
was a new path and seating area,
and Scott and Adam have to figure out
where the circle goes.
To create the circle, you put a peg at the centre point
and work out how big you want your arch.
And then just follow our line around with our string line
from the centre point.
The Rich brothers want the centre point
to be the place where Gloria and Stan
will have the best view.
But the circle needs to be just big enough
for a table and chairs.
Once it's marked out, the soil is levelled
and the base layer of aggregate can start going down.
Good work. We're nearly there now.
One of the issues with Stan and Gloria's plot
is that the narrow drive is on a steep slope,
so every time there's a delivery, everyone has to stop,
walk up the drive and carry it back to the site.
But now the bulk of the plants are here,
Kate has spotted a problem.
An area for planting on the boys' design is at the moment
covered in tarmac.
David is on his way, but she needs his help now
to get to the bottom of it.
-Hi, David. It's Kate.
-'Hey, Kate. How are you?'
Yeah, pretty good.
Do you remember on your design they've got the garage
and quite a lot of tarmac,
and originally you had some planting in that area?
'Yes, yeah. I do. You don't want to dig in there, do you?'
We don't want to do that, no.
Maybe we could get three planters
and then get some plants to go in those planters.
'It'd look lovely. It would blend in with everything, wouldn't it?'
Yeah, I think so. Definitely.
'Any natural material I think would look really nice.'
That's all very well, assuming we have the money for planters.
That's the last of them, I think.
With so much still to do, the team could do with some support.
Charlie's here, but where are the boys?
It is their design, after all.
There's David, but where's Harry?
-And what time do you call this?
-Where is your other half?
-Oh, yeah. Very funny.
-The not-so-better half, he's ill, unfortunately.
-Bit of an upset belly, but don't worry.
-I'll let you in on a secret here. I pretty much did this design.
Harry just coloured in the plants. So, it's fine.
-Can I quote you on that one, huh?
I think he's just seen the weather forecast.
The BBC say it's going to start raining about midday.
-Let's get going.
-Coats and get going, yeah.
With Harry out, it's not just a question of reduced manpower.
Without his brother, the pressure is on David to run the show.
He's going to really need Charlie's help to carry it off.
We're really looking forward to this garden
mainly because of those living willow structures.
Oh, you like playing with the willow withies.
-It's like gardening Meccano or something, isn't it?
It's going to be good fun.
-Right, so, I mean, the key areas. We've got the willow.
Hard standing gravel area.
That's going to be key to get in position,
-and all the soft landscaping can work around that.
And Charlie has also spotted the area on the design
that was worrying Kate.
Now, this bit here then.
Yeah, so, this bit on the original design
was to dig in so we can put some nice natural screening
for the garage, but there's a lot of tarmac,
there's a lot of drains and there's a retaining wall.
-That'd be a no then.
-How are going to cover this up?
So, we're going to have to try and find something to up-cycle
and make into planters.
-There's loads of things that Gloria and Stan like,
so there's a few things to keep and work around.
And maybe we can transplant them somewhere else,
move them in the garden, maybe.
I think for me, if I get the plants out
that we want to save for Gloria and Stan
and then move some of the other ones into key places...
And I will work on the hard standing here
-for the path and the gravel area.
Oh. It's good hard work.
-Cos that's going to really set up the design, isn't it?
-Think that's everything.
Whilst David takes control of the hard landscaping,
Charlie is performing surgery on Gloria's flowerbeds.
In the boys' design, there's no room for the existing shrubs,
so Charlie has found a new place for them
in a different part of the property.
Whenever you're transplanting a mature shrub like this,
get as much root ball as you possibly can,
prepare the hole really well
and always cut the shrub back by a good two thirds.
Up on the top deck, the path is taking shape.
This hardcore is great as a base
because there's really good variation size of stone.
So, as you can see, we've got some big ones
and then we've got the smaller ones down to the dust,
and this really helps it bind down as a solid surface.
So, what you don't really want to be using
is things like pea shingle or just normal gravel,
cos that will always stay loose.
Once the aggregate is down,
a layer of gravel crumb will be added on top.
The challenge with the path is to make it rustic enough
to fit with the style of the garden without the high-maintenance issues
of an informal gravel or shingle path.
Time will tell whether David can pull it off.
Meanwhile, Charlie is on an impossible mission.
David has asked her to bring life to the bare garage walls.
Is there any money in the budget for containers?
-How about trellis?
OK. Well, that's really not
the answers I wanted there, Kate, really.
I was thinking a couple of yeses would be handy.
I'd love to say, "Yes. Just go and get what you want.
"We've got loads of money," but we haven't.
-Make do and mend.
I'm sure you can come up with something fantastic.
-That's going to challenge me a little.
In the main part of the garden, the aggregate's pressed and ready,
but there's no sign of the top layer of gravel,
so David is turning his attention to the front of the plot.
Quite heavy, these turfs, aren't they?
Before the landslide,
Gloria and Stan's front garden had a magical feel to it
and David is planning to bring it back
with a new wild flower meadow.
So, David, why have you used meadow turf in this design?
I'm just intrigued to know why you've chosen this.
Ah, two genius reasons.
-So, one of them is it's just really natural.
And the other one is it's really healthy for the budget.
-It's a lot cheaper than planting.
And what's so nice about this stuff
-is that you can tailor it to your own needs.
So, lots of companies do different mixes,
which is really cool.
This turf is a 60/40 grass to plants mix.
It may not look like much now,
but in just a few months, this area of the garden
will be alive with wild flowers.
-I think that looks good to me.
-Little stamp in.
A little roll out and a little push in
and that's good to go.
So, what have you got hidden around here, Stan?
We've got some...
Meanwhile, in the back garden, Stan's got a surprise for Charlie.
-They are quite heavy, aren't they?
-They are not falling apart.
-Need to carry them.
Yeah. Off we go. Slowly.
Stan has three of these old wooden troughs
and they're all in good condition.
They might just be what Charlie is looking for.
Somewhere around here looks good, Stan.
Yeah, fine. OK. Just...be nice to put it down.
There you go.
Now, you better leave,
because I'm going to be very brutal to it now.
But she's going to need landscaper Adam's help.
Now, I know you know this is a planter...
-..but it's not quite the type of planter I want.
-You're getting me worried now.
-Right. It's a bit too narrow.
-So, I reckon a metre by a metre.
-Is it just brute force and ignorance?
they've been nailed together,
-so I reckon give it a good whack with a hammer.
-A big, good whack.
-That was easy. Next.
-We like this job.
I'll swap ends. I'll hold it.
Careful. Not too much enthusiasm, Charlie.
Don't forget you're going to re-use these.
The idea is that the timber from the troughs
can be recycled into new planters,
but at this rate, they may not be usable.
-There we go.
-That's one way to do it.
The challenge with this garden is to restore it to its former glory
after it was catastrophically destroyed two years ago,
but even the most devastated gardens have amazing powers of recuperation.
This is the Salutation Garden on the Kent coast.
It may look spectacular now,
but just three years ago, this idyllic space
was almost wiped out by a title surge
down the English Channel.
We had about 12 hours notice,
so very little time to protect anything other than the house.
And only the next day could we count the cost.
When the tide retreated,
the whole site was left with sea water damage in the garden,
but it wasn't over yet.
The flood was followed by the wettest winter
that we had recorded.
There was irreparable damage.
It uprooted trees, it relocated herbaceous plants.
It pulled out probably hundreds of tonnes of soil.
It's incredible that water is far more powerful
than I think anyone ever gives it credit for.
Around 15,000 plants were destroyed.
It took months for it to properly sink in -
the emotional loss from the plants.
I think when you face a garden that's been devastated,
it's important not to rush too quickly,
actually, into making mistakes.
Steve and his team took stock of what had happened
and tried to look at it positively.
There were lots of bits of the garden, actually,
that we were living with because I could rely on those bits
to perform every year.
All of a sudden, we're faced with not a blank canvas,
but half of the planting missing from the main borders.
It was an opportunity to reinvent and build on old ideas.
But when they started to replant,
the saltwater had done more than just uproot the garden.
The entire ecology of the soil is upset,
and that's the place to start.
Lots of hours digging
incorporating lots of bulky organic material, manure.
That was the key to begin with for us.
And after lots of hard work and perseverance,
Steve and his team continued to rebuild the grounds,
making it the charming garden it is today.
In Gloria and Stan's garden,
the retaining wall that collapsed two years ago has been rebuilt,
so whilst Adam works on her new planters,
the couple have asked Charlie to give them some advice
on what to do with it.
My goodness. That's a wall and a half, isn't it?
But this must be a fabulous sun trap.
Yeah, it does catch the sun.
Gloria and Stan's plot is on a giant slope,
and on one side, the new wall is more than ten-foot high.
This will be a nice warm wall and very, very protected,
so things like Mediterranean plants, you know, like grapevines,
I mean, it would also be a really great spot
for a little propagator.
-Like a little lean-to greenhouse.
-And it would be a great place to sit.
-I think that sounds excellent.
So, what we're going to need, Charlie,
is for you to come back next year and do all this, sort it out.
-We'll see on that one!
I've got enough to do up there!
Upstairs in the front garden,
there's still no sign of the top layer of gravel,
so David is cracking on.
Right. That's the first one.
-Right. Looking good. Right.
-Let's have a go.
Gloria and Stan were unhappy
with their view of the new tarmac drive,
so in keeping with the house,
the boys are proposing a living fence
made from willow saplings.
The idea is that the willow roots down into the earth
like a normal tree, and because it's flexible, it can be interwoven.
They're also good for going, "Go faster! Go faster!"
-Slave driver over there.
-Place me some more plants!
-More plants. Right.
-They are great, these, aren't they?
-They are, yes.
-Getting whipped into shape now.
-Hey! They're fun.
Meanwhile, fresh from the workshop, Adam has got a present for Charlie.
Charlie, what do you reckon?
Oh, not bad.
Not bad. Is it square?
-I was teasing you! Teasing you.
-As best I can with the old timber.
-Oh, that's good. That's quite chunky, isn't it?
David and Scott have planted the willow
at ten-centimetre intervals and in a crisscross pattern.
They are then fastened with another piece of willow
and then interwoven at the top.
Two more reasons why we've chosen these living willow screens
is because one, they're really, really natural,
so they blend in really well with the natural landscape
and the garden, but also to link with the leaded diamond fashion
on the window that you can see there.
And that just really helps link house and garden.
Come early May, this willow will start to leaf and fill the spaces.
Been through the rain, but the rain does not bother me.
-That doesn't bother me. It's OK.
The willow fence will be a new feature
to help mask the big tarmac driveway,
but one thing Gloria and Stan loved about their old garden
was the trees...
so David has made them a key part of his design.
-Just around there would be perfect. Really nice.
The yellow really picks up the yellow of the lawn.
-The yellow of the daffodils...
-..that's what were going for.
Are you going for a Welsh theme with mountain ash, daffodils?
Pretty much just trying to invade England with Wales, yeah.
-But isn't he gorgeous?
-Love this tree.
It may not be that big now,
but mountain ash can grow to more than 12 metres tall
so will eventually be a key feature in this natural landscape.
People get worried about putting trees in their garden
and think they're going to take over,
-but there's a good selection that don't get too huge.
He's a good little small tree. Loads of interest on him.
Berries, blossom and beautiful autumn colour.
-Right there then?
-Whoa, whoa, whoa. Easy.
Cos I don't want him to be too symmetrical
in between the two willow structures.
-I think it's going to require me looking from that way.
-All right, then. I'll let you.
We have got to finish this garden today, you know, sir.
A little bit to the left, if you can.
-Left. Your left, my left?
-You're never right.
-I'm always right!
Your left then, quickly.
-Nice. I think that looks... Yeah.
-Are you happy with that?
-Oh, I'm ecstatic.
-This one is set.
-Think that looks nice. Yeah.
Yeah, keep digging.
And with that, David goes back to willow weaving,
leaving Charlie with the digging.
When you're planting quite mature specimens,
it's worth making the hole a bit bigger than you really need
so that the soil is nice and loose, and then firming it in.
We're about halfway through the day.
We're not really halfway through the garden.
Well, not as far as I think.
I think there's too much enjoyment and chatting going on
between Scott and David and not enough weaving
in both ways - willow and working.
Whilst the boss weaves away, Charlie's not hanging about.
With the £1,500 budget pushed to the limit,
David tasked her with creating
a dirt-cheap feature for the garage wall,
and now her three planters are in place,
she's prepping them for planting.
So, I'm just putting some bonded fibre in the bottom
because there's quite big gaps at the bottom
and the compost will just wash through.
But even at a metre square,
they're not covering much of the wall
so she's come up with an ingenious solution -
using some spare willow to add height.
And I think that looks pretty darn good.
Even if I am blowing my own trumpet.
And when it's plants in there, woohoo!
With the willow fence complete,
David has moved on to the two main planting beds
near the front door.
-Bring more grasses there for me, please, Charlie.
Here the boys have designed an ornamental meadow,
with beautiful trees underplanted with an array of colourful flowers.
We've got a really natural planting scheme at the moment.
It's predominantly grass. 50% grass, 50% perennial plants.
So, it's a good thing just to get the grasses first, space them out,
see how they want to work.
And then the perennials,
like this achillea, I can just dot in the middle.
If you have the space,
a beautifully planted front garden can improve the look
of any property and even add value to it.
When designing front gardens,
landscape designer Jacquetta Menzies believes it's possible
to make them practical and attractive.
generally for front gardens,
is the most important thing.
The striking thing about this particular garden
is its steepness.
Have it lit to have handrails. Use stainless steel touches.
I think stainless steel brings light into the garden.
Carefully consider your planting, making it gorgeous and appealing.
Even in the smallest garden, I think you can do that with shrubs.
In this steep garden,
raised terraces were made to create several level beds.
They make it practical and beautiful, but useful as well.
Having your vegetables in your front garden
means that you go past them every single day.
Your vegetables are getting so much more care and attention,
but the overall effect is
it must be an attractive and welcoming space.
In Faversham, the planting is well underway,
but the rain that Charlie predicted has arrived.
Weather is a bit damp.
Haven't got my partner in crime with me, but it's all right.
I've got to hold on, haven't I?
I think that's an understatement - "A bit damp."
It is absolutely chucking it.
And there's still a lot to do.
Many of the plants that David has ordered are yet to flower,
so to help inject some colour, he's asked Charlie and Kate
to transplant some of Gloria's blooming spring flowers.
We got some bluebells and some primulas.
They will only have got trashed, so they will establish.
They probably won't do very well next year,
but the following year, they'll be fine.
And I have to say, these are the not English bluebells.
They're the Spanish bluebells.
But you know, they're colourful.
They're free. And when the budget is the budget it is, we need free.
David's focusing on where the money has been spent -
the rest of the new trees.
We've got this cherry, we've got a birch,
we've got hawthorn - all really British native trees.
But he needs an experienced hand to help establish them.
-Charlie, how do you use these things?
-Oh, them. Bit of a...
Is it a crisscross-y version...? Is it...?
They're a bit of a faff, those ones, aren't they?
A bit like getting over to you is a bit of a faff.
Is it the wrong way around? Ah. Maybe that...
I mean, I don't...
-Is that meant to go around the tree or...?
-No. I would suggest that's around the tree.
-That's around the tree...
-Oh, this is going to be a hassle.
..so tie the tree to the stake and not the stake to the tree.
A stake protects a young tree from wind damage
and supports it during the critical early growth period.
Cos with a tree tie you want the tree to rock a bit
but not too much.
What happens is that rock actually causes the strength
-to build up in it.
And if you have it too rigid, when you take them off they just go...
Cool. I'm happy.
With the plants starting to go in,
the team are on the home stretch... with one major issue -
the path is still not finished.
But just when she's starting to despair, Kate spots a white van.
It was touch and go if it was going to get here.
It's the finishing touch for our seating area.
Without having this, this gravel crumb,
they would've just had a seating area of hardcore
and really wouldn't have looked very nice.
-Dan, we need some others. Come on.
But it still needs to get from the van to the path.
As the boys barrow on,
Charlie has stolen a few plants to flower up her new planters.
I'm planting this up with a mixture of perennials
and shrubs and also some bulbs,
and then we've got some little anemones and some grape hyacinths.
These are the white ones.
You normally see the blue ones, but this is a bit more than usual.
And the boss is impressed.
-These are looking great, Charlie.
-I'm really pleased with them.
-They're quite sweet, aren't they?
-Yeah, they're really nice.
-And I'd like to put an order in for two more, please.
Just outside the house it'd be nice to put a few of these in
-to add height and structure.
-Hold on, hold on.
You said two a minute ago. How come we're up to a few all of a sudden?
-I'm pretty sure a few is two.
-No, a few is a couple.
-A couple is two.
-A couple is two.
A few is a couple and a couple is two. Ah!
Well, on that bombshell, away you go.
The team are into the final phase...
We've just got the planting to finish
-and then it's just tidy, tidy.
..and David doesn't waste another minute
in laying the top coat of decorative gravel.
It's also a really easy material to use and lay.
It's great for creating curves
because you don't have to be cutting slabs or paviers.
The rain is really coming down now,
and with Gloria and Stan desperate to see the new garden,
David's big reveal is in danger of being a bit of a wash-out.
But the team remain undaunted,
and as the final touches go in,
the rather soggy new garden is finished.
Two years ago, Stan and Gloria's beloved front garden was swept away,
and even after extensive rebuilding,
all that was left was a barren wasteland.
Now after a £1,500 makeover,
Harry and David's design has restored its magic.
But the real test is what the clients think.
They're coming, they're coming, they're coming.
-The eyes are closed.
-Round the corner this way.
Keep coming. Don't worry. You're nowhere near anything.
This garden has turned out really sweet.
Open your eyes.
-Oh, it looks absolutely beautiful.
-Is it kind of what you imagined or...?
-Better. Oh, good! That's a great one.
-Oh, it's absolutely...
Charlie put a little bit of her little touch in there
-with the willow as well.
-Oh, I love that.
-Oh, it looks really nice cos it takes of all this tarmac.
We've got a weeping birch. We've got a hawthorn.
-We've got a mountain ash there.
-And then there's a cherry just through there as well.
And this is the wild...
-So, this is the wild flower meadow.
So, that's not looking amazing at the moment...
-It will come.
-..but in a couple of months...
-Take it all in.
-And you can really see the willow there, can't you, as well?
-Look at that.
-Gorgeous. Looks amazing.
-That is great.
-Can you imagine yourself in this space?
-In a word.
Does it have that kind of woodland feel, the magic that it had before?
-Yep. It's completely different...
-I'm glad it's completely different
because it feels like a fresh start again, you know what I mean?
David is relieved that, even in the wet,
Stan and Gloria can see what their new garden will be.
That went well.
Ah, it did, yeah. It went really, really, well.
Loved it. Tell you what, they loved the planters as well.
-They loved the bit of willow there.
Really, really cool.
-I did say I'd give you a big hug.
-Yeah, and a kiss! Whoa!
-Not washing this cheek!
-There you go!
-Yeah, I felt quite emotional when we came around the corner
and sort of just that wow factor.
-In fact, it's more so, I think.
And it's going to look just magical.
-It'll be a garden for the future.
And just a few weeks later with a dose of sun,
David and Harry's design is really coming to life.
The boys eked out the £1,500 budget to maximum effect.
Now it's dry, the path and seating area has a natural, rustic surface -
ideal for Gloria and Stan to sit and enjoy a glass of wine
whilst taking in the views.
The couple love the natural woodland look,
so the boys spent just over £600
on cherry, birch and mountain ash trees...
and a wild meadow lawn that cost just £200.
Charlie's new planters are the bonus feature,
made from Stan's old troughs that were recycled, topped with willow
and planted with perennials and bulbs.
But the real star is the living willow fence.
At just £100, it breaks up the space,
obscures the view of the tarmac
and will grow into a stunning sculptural feature.
-I think it was absolutely worth every penny.
And it's been just an amazing experience.
If it had been left to us, it would've just been a lawn,
so the fact that we've got what is a real garden
is such a surprise.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers compete to design a garden for Stan and Gloria in Faversham, 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.