Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A garden in Hampshire becomes a stylish, sophisticated haven for a retired couple.
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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 of gardeners.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Oh, good turn.
-Oh, wow. That'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...
-That looks really exciting.
It doesn't look like it could be our garden.
-..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. We're sort of faffing around.
This is what happens...
-Does he ever get irritated?
-All the time.
..when different stars collide...
-Who chose these?
-One, two, three.
-This looks like your design!
..to turn garden dreams into reality.
-Open your eyes.
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers
to find out which garden is on the cards this time.
Nigel and Sue have been in contact, and they're in Romsey.
-Ooh, my neck of the woods.
-I know. Not very far to travel for this one.
-Have you chosen this one?
Nigel and his wife, Sue, are both semi-retired
and they downsized to this 1960s bungalow two years ago.
This bungalow, when we moved in,
still had the original kitchen and the original bathroom,
so it was crying out to be redeveloped,
and it was really time to update it completely and go very contemporary.
We worked through the bungalow
and arrived at the back with a new deck,
and then we were looking at the last stage, which was the garden.
It took them two long years to get the bungalow just so,
but now they've added the smart, raised deck,
the garden is clearly letting the side down.
I've always been the one
that's designed the garden and done the planting,
and Nigel's always mowed the lawn and done the hard landscaping.
But the garden we've got now is the biggest that we've had,
so this is quite a challenge for us.
So, you've got this lovely, modern deck,
and I think they use it quite a lot.
Quite high up, by the looks of things.
Different levels. That's always good, isn't it?
It does look like the garden slopes away as well.
I know you're up here on the deck,
-but it does look like it's going like that.
It may look featureless,
but in his early attempts to do something about it,
Nigel uncovered a gem at the bottom of the plot.
It was just hedges, bracken, and it wasn't till I started
hacking away and looking behind it
that we actually found that there's a stream at the end.
They have two grandchildren and I think what's key with this design
is to actually create a garden not only for them,
but for children as well.
Having spent a lot of money on the house,
Sue and Nigel don't want to scrimp on the garden.
-So, we've got £8,000 to spend on this.
-That's a massive sum of money. Brilliant.
-I'm excited about this.
Brings a bit of pressure on, though, doesn't it?
We have to create something quite special for them.
£8,000 is a big budget, even for a large garden,
but it couldn't be more important to Nigel and Sue.
I think, once the garden's done,
it will be lovely to be able to just go out there
for the peace and tranquillity.
For me, it will be completion.
We've had a large project, we've dealt with it
and we're finally completing it,
so I can have some peace, enjoyment and get on with life.
With such a big budget on the table,
Charlie and the Rich brothers want to find out more
about what the couple have done with the house
and how they see the garden.
So, they're heading to Romsey in search of inspiration.
-Now, that is what I call a deck.
-I kind of feel like the seating is covered, isn't it?
-Don't have to worry about furniture for the garden.
And these old apple trees - do they stay or do they go?
I think they've probably got to stay, but...
-They've obviously been here a long time.
-Quite gnarled, aren't they?
-Got quite a lot of character.
-There's the brook.
-It's quite all right, isn't it?
It's quite nice it's got a little seating area here.
We need to give them a nice journey through the garden
or maybe something nice to look back on would be great.
The existing garden may be a mixed bag,
but the boys now want to check out
Nigel and Sue's freshly decorated bungalow.
Meanwhile, Charlie is getting to know the couple.
So, what do you want from the garden?
Well, we'd like to be able to reflect,
in the garden, what we've done to the bungalow.
We've obviously modernised it and it's quite contemporary.
-So, something quite sleek and modern?
We also like to use it for relaxing in,
but I do like to potter in the garden, so I...
-So, it hasn't got to be totally no maintenance?
-No. No, no, no.
I do like to spend a lot of time out there.
Loving this island as well. Quite modern, isn't it?
Very modern. Very minimalist, as well.
-So, I think the style in the garden needs to reflect this.
-And a lot of horizontal lines. A lot of verticals, as well.
So, taking that into the garden, maybe splitting it up,
-drawing your eye down the bottom of the garden, maybe.
I do like soft colours - lilacs, purples, whites -
but with perhaps some statement plants in amongst them.
And I'm quite accepting of what Sue wants, really.
I'll throw in an idea and she'll just continue to throw it out.
-OK. You do what you're told.
And look at that. It's so much glass, isn't it?
-Especially when you're sitting here.
Kind of really opens up the whole garden.
Yeah, you can really feel the indoor/outdoor rooms.
They've got a lovely deck, but after that,
-there's nothing much.
-You're elevated up here, as well,
so I think the garden will be really important to look down upon.
From here, at the moment, you can see the whole of the garden.
Do you want to keep it that way?
No, I don't mind it being split up
because it's quite a long garden.
So, it would be quite nice, perhaps, to have different areas
so you have to follow the garden through
-to actually get to the brook at the bottom.
Lots of food for thought there.
£8,000 is a serious budget,
but this garden can't afford to fall short.
Charlie and the brothers need to design something
with proper wow factor to match the elegant deck
and complement the high-spec house.
The designers waste no more time
and get straight to their drawing boards.
Each of them has to come up with a design
for Nigel and Sue's garden that will work within their budget.
The couple then choose a winner
and the loser has to help build the garden.
-Should be interesting.
-So, who will the couple go for?
The Rich brothers are known for their modern designs
and will be confident they can come up with a match
for Sue's stylish interior...
-Here is our design.
..but Charlie's learnt how Sue is a secret potterer
who loves her soft planting.
Who's got the design this couple have been hoping for?
You've obviously got a great deck here you guys love to use.
So, not only do we need to give you a garden
that's really nice to be in,
it also needs to look great when you're up here
cos it's, like, the main social space.
And we've split it up into sections.
So, we've got a front section here, which is just off the deck.
It's made up of very geometric, very modern-style planting beds.
We'd use really fluid grasses, really natural-style planting,
but quite vivid colours.
So, picking up on some of the colours in the house,
we've got the purples, the whites,
but also some vibrant greens as well.
For me, your garden is a garden of two halves.
So, this area here, the seating area, says to me,
"Seaside. Open. Sunny."
So, with the planting underneath,
I've gone for what I would call seasidey plants,
so lots of plants that have got blue, green foliage,
and grasses, and three upright, clump-forming bamboos.
So, any slight breeze, they will move and dance around.
So, the boys have focused on
designing the garden around the deck,
but Charlie's gone way out
by offering a seaside garden in suburban Romsey.
The next challenge was to create something
for the couple's grandchildren.
We've got this lovely avenue that leads up
through to where the more open lawn area is.
This is lovely for the grandchildren.
Gives these lovely routes to run around.
Loads of open space to play in.
So, we've got these kind of quite contemporary,
quite modern pleached trees.
It kind of gives this more of an enclosed feeling as well.
Again, we've kept the planting running down
so that the colour keeps going through the garden as well,
so your eye really gets drawn down the garden.
Knowing that the couple want a garden to relax in,
Charlie's proposing an extra seating area.
I thought it would be nice to have a seating area
that's at garden level as well,
so I've got a pergola here with a seating area.
Then, to divide it off, we have a pool here -
very shallow, no maintenance to it at all -
and then back planted with multi-stem birches,
so that will divide the garden off
and make that into a room on its own.
And these, again, are just very straightforward,
simple arches, which will frame the view.
The final challenge was what to do with the brook
at the bottom of the garden.
Then you get to the second half of the garden,
and this is a proper bog garden, so that it doesn't dry out.
These are bands of poured concrete.
So, that's one step, two step, three step,
then over to your seating area at the bottom.
This bottom area, we've left kind of quite open
and we let it grow a little bit more wild.
I think it's just an overall progression
that goes from being quite modern, which really reflects the house,
so the closest part of the garden links really well with that.
As you drift off towards the brook,
it gets slightly more wild, much more natural.
-It does look good.
-That's it. Time's up.
Cheers. Thanks, guys.
It's now up to Nigel and Sue to decide.
I like things in both of them, really.
I like the hard landscaping on this one,
but then I'm drawn back here to the arches, the pergola.
The couple want a beautiful, modern space
to enjoy their future retirement in, and they're genuinely torn.
I do like all the planting there,
-and it's very straight-edged, very contemporary, isn't it?
But I also like this one, which is round the decking.
-Which way to go?
-It looks great.
Yeah, it's very, very difficult.
But only one design can win.
So, will it be Harry and David's simple, clean, contemporary lines
leading to a more natural space at the bottom of the garden?
Or will Charlie's design,
with its gently bubbling water feature
and seaside-inspired planting, prevail?
It's decision time.
This was a really difficult decision.
We loved them both.
But the one we have chosen
we think is probably more practical for our use.
-Are you ready?
-Oh, nice! Look at that.
-I got a contemporary one for once.
I never normally get the contemporary ones.
I'm really pleased.
-Cool. What was it that...?
-Well, we loved the water feature -
obviously, Charlie's renowned for her water features -
-and the other seating area.
-We really appreciate it.
Charlie is delighted, but the garden she's proposing is very modern
so she's way out of her comfort zone.
She's going to really need the boys' contemporary garden skills
to pull it off.
It's an early and wet start in Romsey,
and landscapers Scott and Adam mean business.
With a pond, a patio and plenty of beds to dig,
a mini digger is the only thing for it.
However, they'd barely started,
and project manager Kate has unearthed a problem.
We've got a slight issue in that there's a long water pipe
running all the way down the garden down to the little brook,
so anything we put in,
we've got to be really careful we don't hit that water pipe.
So, we've just got to shift things
about half a metre into the garden a bit more.
In order to keep the whole design working in unison,
every element of Charlie's design will need to move 50cm to the left,
which means downing tools and getting the line-marking paint out.
We're really having to shift things about, but it's fine.
Charlie will be here in a minute and we'll have a chat with her.
And when she arrives,
she spots straightaway that the move could have serious repercussions.
I think because, if we've got that bed going that way,
I don't want to have the trees right in front of the windows.
If we could bring it a bit more this way so it's in line with that.
With a few tweaks here and there, the digger gets fired up again.
People think that diggers make life much quicker,
but unless you know what you're doing,
it can make things way worse.
-They can make a whole lot of mess.
Luckily, Scott's passed his digger proficiency test
and makes short work of carving out the water feature.
Charlie's design is very contemporary,
and because she's not used to creating this style of garden,
she's keen to oversee every detail.
Clean, crisp lines
are an intrinsic part of contemporary gardens.
Materials tend to be timeless and often natural,
like slate, wood and stone,
and planting becomes part of the architecture of the space.
Clipped evergreens, statement trees
and blocks of planting all feature heavily.
In Sue and Nigel's garden,
Charlie's designed a sharp, symmetrical water feature,
and Adam's making a start on building its structure.
That's gone in nice and true now.
Then you can double-check your line along the inside
with the straight edge of your spirit level.
Anywhere where you get any gaps,
you'll see you're not in a straight line,
so you can just tap in like that
till it's touching all the way along the face.
Then you know you've got a perfectly straight wall.
But Scott's had to abandon his toy again
in favour of good, old-fashioned manual labour.
The soil in Sue and Nigel's garden is not the easiest.
So, we're just stripping the turf off for the flowerbeds.
It's quite hard cos the roots of the lawn
have gone into the soil quite deep
cos it's quite dry, stony soil, which turf likes.
In fact, it's a little bit difficult to get off, but we're getting there.
Accommodating the pipe has meant repositioning some of the beds,
so Charlie decides to keep Sue in the loop.
-Now, if you remember rightly, this is flowerbed here...
-..and then it wraps round your deck and runs down there.
My concern is that this will make that access point very narrow.
-And I just think the plants might be a little lost there.
-So, what I'm thinking is that the border comes off this way.
-Oh, I see.
-So, you see, you'll walk round like this.
-Round it, yeah.
The other thing about doing that - it will end up screening the shed.
Yes, that's a good idea.
With the client satisfied,
Charlie's next job is to approve the tiles
that will go around the edge of the new water feature.
That is actually the same colour as the surround of the deck, isn't it?
-It is. That's perfect.
-Fab. Ooh, I'm pleased with that.
-Very happy, actually.
-So am I.
And I do believe there's a cup of tea.
As if they heard the kettle boiling, Harry and David have arrived
and get up to speed with a briefing from the boss.
-Stating the obvious...
-You have ginger hair?
..this is a big garden
-and there's a lot going on.
-Lots to do.
-What have you got us into?
-It should look amazing.
I think you boys are going to be the construction boys today.
-So, all the Ps - pergola, planting...
As long as it's pub at the end of that, I don't mind.
-You'll be too tired.
So, the brothers get straight on with laying the paving.
Charlie has designed a series of stepping stones
that will lead down to the brook.
Charlie's decided to use these concrete paviers here.
And as you can see with the colour, it's dark grey,
and this matches in with the terrace at the top,
so there's that lovely kind of unifying aspect.
What's really nice about these - it's got a lovely, coarse texture
and really gives a lot of grip.
And it also has this beautiful little fleck in,
so the light really captures it.
And as you walk down the path, it's going to taper in to the brook,
which gives this sense of perspective
and really leads your eye down the garden.
The wheel is terrible.
Meanwhile, Charlie's had a delivery.
It's a bit like Christmas. Don't know what's in these boxes.
I'm hoping there's some planters for...
Well, I've got planters in two different areas.
Underneath the pergola, there's going to be two planters.
It was going to be a flowerbed, but there's a big drain pipe there,
so we don't really want to plant in there now,
so we're going to put some planters over the top.
Ooh, look. This is going to be fun.
-As you can hear, they're metal.
Now, that's lovely.
So, that's going to pick up the formality of the deck
and then that planted up with lots of glaucous
or silver grey leaves should look fabulous.
But it's not long before Adam calls upon her water feature expertise.
The next job is to make it watertight with a pond liner.
That's expert scissor work.
But first, a little cushioning is required.
There we go.
So, we're basically going to protect the liner.
It's a rubber liner.
And the breeze blocks have got really quite a sharp edge.
You could bevel it off.
We're using this bonded fibre, which doesn't rot away.
You could use an old blanket or some carpet.
Anything that just protects that edge
because the pressure of the water will be quite large on the corners.
And once all the sharp bits are covered,
the liner can go on.
We're using a box liner,
so the rubber has been welded into a shape to form this rectangle
that's five metres long, a metre and a half wide, 20cm deep,
which means it looks really neat and tidy,
but it does also mean that you have to be
-exactly right with your measurements.
At £122, it's more expensive to go for the pre-formed option,
but it gives a much neater finish.
-That's really nice.
-That is so neat, isn't it?
At least it proves my block work went in nicely.
-Here we go.
Really, it's just a case now of waiting for the pool to fill up...
-..cos we need the liner to sit right in position
before we put the capping tiles on.
At the bottom of the plot,
Charlie's bog garden will be accessed by a new path.
And the brothers are making good progress.
These paviers should be really easy to lay.
What I'm doing at the moment is I'm just digging out a depth of soil,
and that's so I'm able to put in a nice layer of sharp sand and cement,
and that'll be a dry mix.
And then what we'll do is we'll bed these on top of them.
The most difficult thing about this site here
is that it's on a slope towards the brook.
You've got to find that balance
between what works really well with the level,
but what works really well with your eye,
cos we don't want to end up with all these steps and staggered paviers.
Rather than one continuous run of stepping stones,
Charlie has decided four separate sections work better with the slope.
Meanwhile, out the front,
a jungle has just arrived on the back of a lorry.
The bamboos are a little bit bigger than I was expecting,
but they'll definitely make a statement.
Comes with bird's nest.
-Do it together, yeah?
Sue and Nigel's £8,000 budget
has enabled Charlie to buy some mature bamboos and trees
to add instant height.
Using height in a garden is essential to garden designers...
..but it doesn't have to be added in the form of plants and trees.
Garden structures like pergolas and arches can be bought
in a whole range of different shapes and sizes.
They separate the garden into different areas
and can provide a framework for all manner of beautiful climbers.
Definitely go that way. Not a lot.
In Sue and Nigel's garden, Charlie is using the tall bamboos
to link the deck to the rest of the garden.
That... And it frames that maple.
-Do you think that's right, David?
-Yeah, I think that's nice.
It frames that, especially with those there.
-That leads you down, doesn't it?
-And then your third would go...?
-On the end there.
-It encloses this space nicely, doesn't it?
-I can imagine myself sitting down.
-Well, don't sit down.
And they'll spread out and...
-Keep working! Keep working, boy!
Placing them is one thing. Planting them is another.
If ripping out the turf wasn't enough,
Scott and the team now have to dig through
the same soil to plant the bamboo.
With the boys hard at work,
Charlie and Kate can move on to the border below the deck.
So, planting-wise, this top end of the garden
is using lots of blues, silvers and purples,
so it looks quite seasidey.
So, quite glamorous flowers with the alliums
and these beautiful bearded iris.
And bearded iris love a really hot position.
This is perovskia - Russian sage.
Sort of gets to about this height
and it has these sort of fluffy, purpley, lilac flowers.
And then, for a bit of structure, we've got these little hebes,
which sort of end up as a round, blobby shape.
That's a technical term, that is.
At the cooler end of the garden by the brook,
David and Harry have got the power tools out.
The reason Charlie's left gaps here between paviers
is so she can fill it with the cobbled stones.
This will add texture to where you're walking.
A different material will contrast the paviers, which will be nice.
And then also it'll give some of the self-seeding plants
an opportunity to seed in here and grow up between,
and then that'll really help soften the straight, contemporary edges.
And the boss is impressed.
It's like stepping stones galore round here.
-Stairway To Heaven down here, Charlie.
-Stairway To Heaven.
-That looks good.
-It's a zebra crossing.
-It is a bit of a zebra crossing.
We've got zebras down this end. We've got pandas up that end.
-Mad bamboo over there.
-Dolphins in the rill.
-And a few monkeys doing the work.
I didn't say that. It's very good. That's great.
It's been more tricky than we thought
cos the whole land is going down and across.
-Yeah, and the soil is quite damp down here.
But all those hostas and everything...
The maple's going to love it down here.
Back at the big dig, Scott's managed to excavate a hole for the bamboo.
Have you hit Australia, mate?
-Now, what I'd like to do is, with these pots...
-..take the handles off...
-..and then slash the sides.
If it's not controlled, some bamboo can send out runners
just beneath the surface of the soil.
A lot of people are worried about planting bamboos
into the soil because they can take over.
We've gone for a clump-forming one, so that'll keep it contained anyhow,
but what I'm also doing is planting them in their pots.
We've slashed the pots, so that'll let water and nutrients in,
but it'll also contain the bamboo
cos I want to keep that upright shape.
I don't want to make a hedge of bamboo.
-That one there.
The reason people grow bamboos is,
when it's windy, you get a lovely noise.
So, it's good for a sensory garden. It's also grown for the stems.
Now, to get the best of both worlds,
if you just clear the lower metre and a half
of stems of the small foliage, you highlight the canes even more.
And these canes look fabulous
because they're half golden yellow and half green.
One down, Scott. Only two more to go.
Meanwhile, Harry and David are preparing the ground
for the wooden subframe for the new patio.
Due to a change in level,
we're creating this box frame round the outside,
which will help us with that level change,
but also tie in with the rest of the wood in the garden,
creating this really nice, level patio space.
And with the help of Adam's expert carpentry skills,
the frame's knocked up in no time.
-Ooh! Through the bamboo.
-Down she comes.
-Without knocking Scott out or into the pond.
-There we go.
There we go. That's pretty good.
Charlie's back on water feature detail,
where Scott is adding lovely, contemporary, slate grey tiles.
Thank you very much.
Because Nigel and Sue don't want anything too much like hard work -
a pond - I've gone for this body of water - a canal of water -
with two pumps sat in it that are just going to bubble.
We're going to put a treatment in which'll keep it crystal clear
and the only thing they'll really have to do
is top it up because of evaporation.
And then, come the wintertime, take the pumps out, clean them up
and store them in the shed so that they don't get frozen solid.
This very contemporary, man-made canal
will be a stark contrast
to the natural brook at the end of the garden.
Naturally occurring water in a garden is a gift
and an opportunity to grow a whole range of plants.
No-one appreciated that more than horticulturalist Beth Chatto
when she created her garden in Essex.
The garden is home to four natural ponds
and a fabulous range of damp-loving plants
grow on their banks.
Many plants look wonderful by water.
You can have great fun playing with all the foliage types,
the shape of plants, the texture.
Giant gunneras, for example, you can use.
This grass, miscanthus.
So, it's going to come up and be maybe 4ft, 5ft high.
This is the sensitive fern - onoclea sensibilis -
and they're going to toughen up and be quite a darker green.
So, it's an ever-changing thing, seen as the season goes on.
Next to the water, almost on the water's edge,
you can be looking at plants that will grow both in the water
and in some boggy soil.
Many of the iris, for example. Astilbes, people love to grow.
They're quite shallow-rooting,
but they do want moisture on the top of the soil
to stop them shrivelling up in the summer
when they're in full growth.
Water in a garden is another surface,
like a deck or a patio, that really earns its keep in a design.
For every plant you place around it,
you effectively get two for the price of one -
the plant itself and its reflection in the water.
The reflections of just simple things
like trees and shrubs around the pond,
you know, at certain times and certain light -
maybe the beginning of the day and the evening - just look magical.
Back in Romsey, Charlie wants to include
some damp-loving plants in Sue and Nigel's garden,
so she's creating a new planting area down by the brook.
Now, this area here is going to be the bogged garden.
It's a really lovely, shady area,
and although there's a natural boggy section down by the brook,
I just want to make sure that this actually stays damp all year round,
so I'm going to line the bottom of the hole.
The liner Charlie has used is rubber,
but because it's going to be buried underneath the soil
where the sun's UV rays won't damage it,
a cheaper PVC liner would be fine, too.
Quite often, people put a liner in and then pierce holes in it.
Don't do that because it will still dry out.
The best thing to do is just line the bottom of the hole
and leave about a four to six-inch gap to the top of the hole
so if it rains lots and lots, the liner will fill up,
but then any extra water will just percolate over
and naturally drain away.
Right. That's the liner trimmed up.
Now it's a case of putting all that soil back in here.
Now, it's David's turn to have a go at the ground.
Charlie's asked him to dig the holes for the new statement trees.
Oh, it's hard.
-Good game, this, David, isn't it?
You're digging a hole, I'm filling a hole.
-Let's swap. This isn't fun.
-I know. It's not fun here either.
At least this is shady down here.
On her design, Charlie has three magnificent,
multi-stemmed birches next to the canal
to screen off that seating area
and create a beautiful, serene outside lounge.
However, due to the slight adjustment she needed to make
to her design earlier, she now feels two trees are plenty for the space.
But they're so big, the boys need the wheelbarrow to get them in.
-Let me know when you need to...
-You need to go that way a bit.
That's it. Whoa!
One feels that the wheelbarrow is protesting somewhat.
It's going in.
Fantastic. There we are.
Well done, brother. Well done, people.
-It ain't happy, is it?
-Sounds like my wallet opening.
-Or is that your back, Scott?
-I think we to need oil these hinges, don't we?
And then we're in.
-Look at that!
-That's nice, isn't it?
-Silver birch - one of my favourites.
Why did you choose this, Charlie?
-I chose the silver birch, one, to screen...
..one, to still be able to plant underneath
because the shade is dappled,
so you can put lots of plants underneath.
The leaves are quite nice in the autumn,
and I love the structure in the wintertime
because when the light's low,
-it really makes the silver trunk sort of shine.
Back in the bog garden,
now all the backbreaking prep's been done,
Charlie can get on with the exciting bit - the planting.
So, I'm placing the big impact bog plants first.
So, we've got ligularia, which have got
these really gorgeous, purple/green leaves
and come up with big flower spikes that have got bright orange flowers.
It sounds an odd combination, but it really works well.
And then I've got a rheum. It's related to the rhubarb,
so it comes up in a really tall flower
and it's covered in tiny, white flowers all the way up.
And then, to contrast with the big, bold leaves,
we've got these ferny leaves of the astilbes.
And, again, they have a fluffy flower spike,
and we've got some white ones and some red ones,
which will sort of add lots of colour to this area.
And then, to finish off, lots of candelabra primulas. Mwah!
The brothers have now moved on to adding yet more height
to Nigel and Sue's garden,
but this time, in the form of a pergola and arches.
With the pergola up,
Scott and Adam can lay the patio below.
Meanwhile, Charlie's adding the final touch to the water feature.
Whoo! Right, turn that off. That's...
Turn it on again.
Oh, I like that.
So, the pumps are in, they look great
and I want Nigel and Susan to be able to keep the pond
looking as crystal clear as it is now,
so I've got this treatment. It's for water features.
You can't have plants with it, but it's fine for wildlife.
It's fine if the cat drinks the water
or the dog drinks the water or the birds come and bathe in it.
And with all treatments like this,
it's best to treat it when it's crystal clear to start with
and then just put in repeat treatments to maintain the clarity.
And I've worked out the volume.
I've got to put 20 of these measures in. One.
With all the hard landscaping in, the team are on the final stretch,
busting a gut to finish all the different parts of Charlie's design.
The grandchildren are getting a brand-new swing.
Charlie's metal troughs have been planted with lavender and pinks.
And as the last plant goes into the bog garden,
it's finally finished.
Sue and Nigel's boring, featureless plot
was put on the back burner for two years
while they concentrated on creating their dream home.
Now, it's the perfect garden to complement their perfect home.
Charlie and the team have spent every penny of the budget
to give the couple the chic, contemporary garden they dreamed of.
The pergola and arches together cost £600.
They add height to the garden,
frame the views and mark the route down to the brook.
Charlie chose mature trees and bamboos to give an instant impact.
They were an extravagance at £750, but definitely add a wow factor.
The water canal is a touch of luxury at £560.
The gentle gurgle of the fountains
provides a relaxing soundtrack to the garden.
And the new patio and steps to the brook
help create a journey around the garden,
and together, they came in at £750.
The couple spent £8,000 of their own money
on creating a fabulous garden to match their bungalow,
but the big question is was Charlie's design up to the job?
-Eyes are still closed.
Would you like to open your eyes?
-Oh, my word!
-This is amazing.
-Yeah, I can't believe that.
-This is a sunny seating area.
-Oh, we've got a swing seat as well.
And it's surrounded by the bamboos and the fastigiate beeches.
I just can't believe it. I just can't take it all in. It's just...
-I've treated the water...
-..so you just need to top that up.
All the lights and pumps are on remote control...
-..so you can argue over those.
And then this is like the transition area
down to your woodlandy, bog garden area.
-So, we've got lots of heucheras.
I like the way the new bed here moves along
-and it catches a tree that we already had there.
And then we've got these pads of paving.
I think these slabs are lovely, aren't they?
Like an anti-slip on them.
-Yeah, and it just adds a bit of texture to this area.
-Those are mirror pools.
-Yeah, more water.
Again, we've got our hostas in there,
-so the slugs can't get those ones at all.
And then this is the bog garden.
All those plants will become a big, lush...
-Yeah, they look lovely.
-..foil of colour.
We've put a few plants in the brook just to add a bit of colour.
-Oh, right. Yeah, yeah.
-And then...I popped a gunnera in...
Oh, the gunnera. Yeah, lovely.
-..so that will really screen that area.
-Go and sit on the seat and look back.
It's absolutely transformed.
Before they contacted the Garden Rescue team,
Sue and Nigel had a beautiful home but a disappointing garden.
They were willing to stake a whopping £8,000
of their retirement fund
to get the outdoor space they'd dreamed of.
Do they think it's been money well spent?
I think it's fantastic.
It's just how I would have loved it to have been,
but didn't have the idea to do it, and it's just...
It's incorporated everything that we wanted and it's just fabulous.
-Come on. Rest in. Rest in.
-It's been a slog, hasn't it?
-I feel like all I've done today is dig.
-So, what's your favourite bit
-of your garden?
-I think it's got to be that bit of planting
through there with the birches, the blues, purples, silvers
-with the water feature in front of it.
It might seem a lot of money to spend on a garden,
but this is going to be here for the rest of our lives.
Yeah, to us, it's an investment in the future, really.
-For me, I think it's how you've created a journey
in the garden. Beforehand, it was just grass,
so being able now to come down the steps,
walk through the archways, turn around, another archway -
it makes you want to go down to the bottom of the garden now.
-I just think it's going to be so relaxing
and it's going to be a lovely family space
and I think it's going to create lots of memories for us.
To me, it's really signed off the project.
You know, we've concluded the project.
Now we can enjoy being in the garden.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Hampshire competing to design a garden for Nigel and Sue with a generous Â£8,000 budget. The couple are looking to turn their boring, featureless plot into a stylish, sophisticated haven for spending a long and happy retirement in.
Along the way, the designers have a wealth of tips on how to create a bog garden and how to deal with slight slopes, plus great trees and shrubs to plant to create privacy and screening in a garden.