Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A young couple longing for a Japanese garden get a zen space with a teahouse.
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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 gardens.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
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.
This 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.
I'm getting irritated now with faffing around!
This is what happens...
-Does he ever get irritating?
-All the time!
..when different styles 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 reveal today's challenge.
What are our feelings on Japanese gardens?
Oh, I love them.
-Yeah, done in the right way.
Well, Nic and Kath went on their honeymoon to Japan and just fell in love with it.
They've since been back on holiday,
which has just reinforced they want a Japanese garden.
Graphic designer Kath and aeronautical engineer Nic moved into their home
in Blackburn 18 months ago,
and absolutely love everything Japanese,
especially the gardens.
I don't know what it is, but when you walk into them,
it's so tranquil and calming.
Yeah, and the first time round, we went in spring, so...
We were so lucky, we got a load of cherry blossom.
-That was nice.
-We went to a place in Tokyo, it was like a temple,
where they just grew peonies. So the whole thing was just peonies.
-They all had little umbrellas.
-And it only opens for, like, a couple of weeks
when the peonies are in season.
And then it'll be shut for the rest of year.
And there's one feature that's a staple of the Japanese garden that Nic has a real passion for.
-We like rocks.
-I think I love rocks.
You love rocks!
I like rocks too. Yeah, big rocks.
The bigger the better!
They may have a taste for the Orient, but as it stands,
there's nothing Zen about their garden.
It's nice, it's just not us.
-At the moment. There's not really anywhere to go in it.
You just kind of, like, stand at the edges and look in.
It's a mess.
But the eagle-eyed designers have spotted some existing features
that might help them with the brief.
So, I mean, the birch sort of says Japanese.
-And it looks like there's a few
kind of Japanese-style rocks as well.
In some ways, it's great there's ponds there.
I mean, it might mean... Because Japanese gardens,
it screams out for water, doesn't it?
-And they would love a Japanese teahouse!
-That sounds very nice.
-Very cool idea, I like that.
With a baby on the way,
Kath and Nic won't be jetting back to the Land of the Rising Sun any time soon.
So they want something authentically Japanese on their doorstep to tide them over.
And they're prepared to spend to get what they want.
Well, we've been saving up for a while and both of our grans passed away, sadly, last year.
So they left us a little bit towards it.
And I think that would be nice, to sort of say, you know,
part of this is because of them.
We've put 7,000 down, haven't we, for it.
-It is a big space as well.
-It's a massive space.
I hope we don't end up with a six-grand rock!
And then just a few plants!
-I'd be happy with that!
So we're combining rural Lancashire with Japan.
-am a little nervous, you know, because they've been twice to Japan.
I've never been. Have you been?
-Have you been?
No. I'm glad they've come to us for the design, then!
This garden has a great budget.
But Charlie and the Rich brothers are well out of their comfort zone.
They'll need to do their homework if their garden is going to match Kath and Nic's expectations.
And their starting point is a trip to Blackburn,
to see the garden for themselves.
Don't remember it being quite as big as this!
That's a lot of hard standing.
It is, isn't it? That's a lot of concrete.
-Yeah, this could be a bit complicated, I think.
Pond's seen better days.
It attracts wildlife at least - that's important!
Yeah, that one doesn't fly off, does he?
Lots of peonies.
Tree peonies, yes, very nice.
-Quite Japanese, isn't it?
And look at that view!
Yes, that is stunning.
-Quite exciting to have a bit of Tokyo here, isn't it?
The boys want to see if the couple's love for Japan
extends to the inside of the house,
while Charlie is keen to find out more about how Nic and
Kath see the garden.
Tell me about your love of Japan.
I think we both really like the sort of, um...
the way that the gardens in Japan have, like, a journey around them.
-So, for you, it's more about the design rather than the plants?
-We saw a lot of plants there that were similar to what we have here.
We more like the concept of the Japanese garden,
but done in an English way.
-Like a fusion.
So keeping the Lancashire feel, because the view is fabulous!
This is interesting.
So the new garden could have some English elements to it.
Inside, though, it's a different story.
There's loads of wood. This dresser here, then you've got that down there.
-There's loads of wooden structures.
-Yet, very Japanesey.
'There's nothing Lancastrian about this house.'
That's something they obviously love in the house, so why not have it outside?
What do you envisage the garden looking like?
The idea we were initially trying to go for is like a journey,
if you will, because, at the moment, it doesn't really go anywhere.
There's paths that just vanish into the fence.
Water is a really big part of the Japanese garden as well.
-So that would be nice.
-It's a big focal point for them.
I did spot this table, absolutely love it.
I love the way they've also put black and green together.
It's got that kind of bamboo kind of feel.
Definitely, I've never really seen that before, it's lovely.
So you want a teahouse, a journey, you want a pond or a water feature...
-Quite a lot, really!
When you ring it up like that, it's not a lot to ask for!
I'm sure, between the three of us, we can come up with something.
£7,000 is a serious budget for this project.
But the elegant manicured look of an authentic Japanese garden
is extremely difficult to carry off.
Especially in rural Lancashire.
So it's time for Charlie and the boys to do their homework.
They each have to come up with a garden design and pitch it to Kath and Nic,
who will choose which one gets built.
But it isn't over for the loser,
as they have to get their hands dirty helping the winner build their garden.
Here we go!
Neither of our two designers have been to Japan.
So can either of them win over Kath and Nic?
'It's time for the big pitch.'
-This is our design.
We really needed to create a garden
that had a lovely balance between the natural landscape in which you live,
but also the Japanese landscape which you're inspired by.
So we've given you this journey,
but we wanted to give you a destination at the end of the garden.
The final destination is this teahouse,
and what we've done here is we've created a kind of solid back with just an open door here.
So, you know, you can't really see what's there,
and it's about kind of obscuring the views of the beautiful landscape.
So when you get there, it opens up.
So this is like
a walkway of timbers that are quite narrow,
leading round and into your pavilion.
It's going to look something like this.
So off the pavilion we've got stepping stones
that lead you on a journey around the garden,
to this moon gate.
Which is going to frame the view
of maybe an Oriental lantern, or it could be a cloud-clipped holly.
And then we'll have a teahouse here
which'll be a shed that we've modified so the doors slide back like that.
The boys are using their teahouse
to frame the view of the surrounding countryside.
But Charlie's offering two separate buildings.
Will that impact on the other features she can provide?
What's nice about this building as well is that
we've done it so that it overhangs slightly on the pond.
So, when you're sitting there, you feel that connection with the water.
-The pond is bigger than you have now.
So, you will lose some of the lawn.
Water is a crucial element in a Japanese garden.
And both designers are planning to cantilever their teahouses
over the pond.
The next challenge was to give Nic some serious rocks to play with.
We want to play around with this area and have these lovely, like,
sculptural boulders that kind of sit within the spaces.
We've got some large, sort of,
really attractive rocks that then we just rake the gravel round.
Both designs have boulders, but the boys have gone for bigger and better.
But what about the Oriental planting?
I want to show the seasons.
So, cherry for the spring, peonies for the summer.
Some evergreens as well.
Surrounding these individual areas,
we've got these planting beds.
We're having this modern take on the Japanese stepping stones.
Then, within the planting,
we wanted to pick out some ornamental cherry blossom trees, of course.
-It's such a massive thing in Japanese gardens, isn't it?
-It is, yeah.
So, I hope you like it and it's not too twee!
I think it captures everything Japanese.
I'll leave you to think on it.
The couple are giving nothing away, and rightly so.
With seven grand to spend,
they need to choose a design that gives them everything they want.
It's difficult, isn't it? I really like...
I love the teahouse.
I like the stones around this area.
So, the other design,
with the chilled-out teahouse with the water.
Both of them, it's nice with the sort of reflection.
Quite nice as well, because the teahouse faces...
That way out of the garden, the rocks as well.
It's hard, isn't it?
All this couple want is a bit of Oriental Zen outside the back door.
But which of the designs delivers it?
Will it be Charlie, with her twisting path to two separate buildings and a moon gate?
Or the Rich brothers,
with their giant boulders and dramatic cherry trees?
The decision is theirs.
It's been a really tough decision,
because you both kind of hit the nail on the head, really.
But we've made a decision. And...
It was the cherry trees that swung it!
Awesome. Great news!
What made you decide...
Because this was probably something we wouldn't have done.
There was quite a lot in it that we thought oh, gosh.
-It just feels like something that we'd just never be able to do ourselves.
I hope we've made the right decision!
-Yeah, you have!
-It's good, it's good.
So, it's sayonara to Charlie's design,
and down to the Rich brothers to deliver
Kath and Nic's dream Oriental garden.
But this is going to have to be a team effort,
because not one of them has even set foot in Japan.
Go on, crack on, then!
It's a sunny start on day one of the build in Blackburn.
Knowing how much Nic loves his Japanese rocks,
the Rich brothers are off-site sourcing them...
..leaving Paul and the landscaping team to start clearing out
the existing garden.
The only thing that will remain is that area of grass there.
Everything else will be... It will look like a bomb's hit it.
So the first thing that has to come out is the old pond.
That's it, it's all coming off in one huge blanket.
Before they can get rid of the old, preformed pond liner,
any existing wildlife has to be carefully scooped out.
More sludge, vicar. More sludge!
Japanese gardens are full of symbolism, and use elements like ponds,
bridges and paths to create miniature reproductions of natural scenery.
Bridges to islands symbolise health and longevity.
Paths are important too,
as they lead visitors traditionally to different areas of the garden
for quiet contemplation.
Rocks are essential elements in a Japanese garden.
They represent mountains, and are revered by some as sacred spirits.
And so too is water,
which symbolises cleanliness and is normally found in the form of natural ponds.
In the boys' design, the pond is an irregular shape,
and much larger than the one it's replacing.
Is it tickling?
So, with the team all cleared up...
Now to the serious stuff!
..it's down to Andy and the digger to do the heavy lifting
and pull the rest of the pond up and then expand and reshape the hole.
It kind of looks like someone dropped a bomb in it and it's just...
The next thing that has to come in is the base for the teahouse
that will sit on stilts overlooking the pond.
OK, I'm dropping it.
Before any posts can go in,
it needs to be correctly cited.
It's bang on.
That's never happened before.
Meanwhile, the Rich brothers and Charlie have arrived out front.
So, this has given me quite an interesting one today.
Got some really big elements to put into this garden.
And, you know, these boulders are going to take some moving.
So, it's going to be about logistics.
It's mega-logistics, this, isn't it?
There was already a little pond and kind of boulders in there.
We've taken them out, but we're putting a pond
and we're putting bigger boulders in, so...
But we're doing it really well.
Yeah, so on the pond, please.
Yeah, that's OK, then.
Yeah. And then also salvaging lots of plants that are existing in the garden.
Is that because you've spent all the money on the rocks?
-Yeah, budget is definitely tight on this one.
I have to say, you do look like bosses today.
-Look at these pins!
I'll be distracted all day.
I'll hoist them up extra high, then.
Right, get on. Let's get on.
While Charlie considers the bomb crater Andy has created,
the brothers are getting excited.
The boulders that are crucial to their design are on their way.
So, the boulders we've got coming.
Andy knew a farmer in the Peak District,
so a beautiful place in the country.
And these rocks were in a middle of a field, overgrown, naturalised.
Exactly what we wanted for this garden.
We don't clearly know what they look like,
because we've only seen them in pictures.
So, you know, they were loaded up late last night and they're on their way now, so...
Hopefully, hopefully, they will be what we imagined.
Meanwhile, all the way from the Peak District, the rocks are here.
And they are massive.
They're amazing! Look at them!
-Have we got enough garden to fit those rocks in?
You wait till you see them all together!
-Put them on top of each other, they'll be fine.
-They are amazing. Big old boys, aren't they?
Which one's the little one? Oh, this one here.
When you see the size of them...
But what they'll do to the garden, I think they'll bring so much to it.
Like depth, height.
They will create an mini landscape with all these.
It'll look like it's always been there. It gives kind of gravity to the space.
I reckon Nic and Kath are going to be really kind of excited about seeing these.
I think they don't really have an idea either, do they?
I didn't have an idea they were this big, not even from the pictures,
so I think they're going to be shocked!
Beautiful as they are,
waxing lyrical about them all day isn't going to get them into the garden.
And with each one weighing over a tonne,
the boys have to decide exactly where to put them before they can be moved.
Him, by the pond. He'd look amazing by the pond.
Out the back, Charlie's in familiar territory.
So, it's pretty obvious this is the pond.
So it's a lovely, simple shape.
And I know the boys want to get some of those glorious rocks sort of
touching the water.
-So, what's going on here, then?
-Show me the...
-That's where I've been, I've been out with my plan,
doodling. Putting names to boulders.
Have you? What do you mean, giving them names?
What? George, Sharon...
So, we've got Trapeze.
-Yeah, we just thought it would be nice actually bringing it into the water.
So the level of the water will be about here,
which is just beneath the deck.
And then we're going to sink this boulder in so you don't
really see the end of it. I think that'll be perfect.
-It's going to be glorious, isn't it?
-So this is going to be a really natural pond, isn't it?
'It's a good job Andy's got his digger.'
You're just going to hit the tree there, Andy.
Just go down as soon as possible.
That's all right. That's OK, it's only the weeping bits.
Whilst the boys play with their rocks,
Charlie's commandeered Paul to help her line the pond.
To start with, she's lining the hole with bonded fibre fleece.
So, this material is synthetic.
So it won't rot away.
It's meshed so tightly together that roots and stones can't pierce through it.
So it will really protect the rubber.
The pond has been dug to a depth of 70 centimetres.
Deep enough that the water won't freeze in the winter,
so any wildlife will be protected.
Are we just going to do another layer with this, then?
The first layer of fleece is topped with a rubber pond liner,
and then another layer of fleece will be added on top of that.
It gives the liner further protection.
Would you rather do that bit first, over there?
-No, do that bit there.
Organising boys, it's like herding cats!
There's quite a few cats on this job, aren't there, Charlie?
Yeah, it is a bit...
So, the next thing is get soil in.
Adding soil back into the pond gives any plants something to root into.
Good for the pond, not so good for Charlie's laundry bill.
So, that's all we're sort of going for.
Because a pond will naturally silt up.
So you don't really want to fill it up with lots and lots of soil.
Now the pond's prepped,
the boulder that will sit on its banks can be manoeuvred into place.
It is as clean as a whistle.
Whereabouts is the water level going to be, exactly?
Well, we reckon it's going to be about there.
Push him in down to about there, then he'll be well in, won't he?
Yeah, so about here is the end of your point.
At that point there would be lovely if it's there.
It's so exciting!
That's the one! Well done.
Boulder in place, now it's time to fill the pond with water.
If you just filled it with a hose whooshing in,
it would stir all the soil up and it would look like a mud bath.
If you want to reduce that effect,
a bit like when you fill an aquarium when you've put the gravel in,
we're going to put the hose on,
but weight it down in the bucket so the bucket will slowly fill up and
And hopefully it won't disturb too much of the soil.
That's the theory, anyhow.
OK, do you want to pop the hose on?
So exciting, isn't it?
It is, isn't it? Here it comes.
Filling the pond will take a while,
so the team crack on with the enormous job of placing the remaining boulders.
This boulder coming in now, we've nicknamed the sleeping crocodile.
Because, if you kind of get it at the right angle, it looks like a crocodile head.
-With no eyes!
-Well, they're closed, you know!
Twist it that way a bit.
Little bit too much. Too much.
Yeah, try that, try that, try that. It looks cool from here, anyway.
Because you kind of pick up and pick up.
But now they're here,
the boulders are giving the brothers a different kind of headache.
The cost of transporting them has meant
that, if they were to include all the other elements of the design,
the build will be over budget.
So, to keep the costs on track,
the boys have a suggestion for Kath and Nic.
-How are we doing?
-All right, yeah. Not too bad, not too bad!
I have but one thing to say.
Yeah. We have gone a tiny smidgen over the budget.
-Which means that we haven't got enough money to buy the lintels,
-the nice kind of contemporary concrete lintels.
There are two options we've got.
One of them would be to put in an extra £259 of your own money to buy the lintels.
But we completely understand that's more money,
-and you might not want to do that.
In the boys' design, the lintels are used like stepping stones,
but there's a cheaper alternative.
We did find a lot of natural stone when we were digging out the pond,
and so another idea would be we recycle the stone,
which would fit in with the boulders and fit in with that natural look.
But yeah. So it's weighing up those two.
We've always liked the idea of the concrete lintels.
Nice, guys. Great decision, and we can crack on now.
-Thank you very much.
'Nic doesn't look entirely happy with the extra spend.
'The boys will have to hope he considers it a worthwhile investment
'when he sees the finished garden.
'Now they've got the go-ahead,
'they get straight on with marking out where the lintels will go.'
And that's where the gravel is going to go in,
so it sits level with the soil.
-How wide is that?
We are going to have two, four, 600, plus 300 is 900.
So if you measure 900 off the deck.
Then we've got the start.
What are you laughing at?
Your maths. I was just saying how impressed I was.
Nice, Harry. That's good work.
'Meanwhile, Andy and Lee have got the subframe for the teahouse in place.
'The plan is for it to sit six inches over the edge of the pond.
'But to get the perfect finish,
'it's critical that none of the liner is visible.'
All we are doing here is we are putting a bit of soil over the membranes.
That is just a bit wide. And from over that side of the pond,
you can just see underneath.
The water level is going to raise a bit, but just to be sure,
we want to cover it with a bit of mud, and then you won't notice it.
Yeah, that's it.
'This garden is slowly coming together, stone by stone.'
So we've got the last boulder coming in now.
It's been a really long day of bringing in
these huge bits of stone.
So it will be a nice day tomorrow of having all this in place,
and we can start bringing the trees and plants in,
and start creating different spaces.
It's the next morning,
and, although the sun has momentarily deserted the team,
the next phase of hard landscaping is in full swing.
Lee is assembling the uprights on the teahouse.
And Andy's back on the digger.
Andy! Put it by here.
In the boys' design,
a series of meandering paths will take Kath and Nic to different parts of their Oriental garden.
These will be created from seven tonnes of fine gravel.
-You've got 20-plus tonnes of rocks,
you've got seven tonnes of gravel.
We've got loads of concrete lintels, and not a plant to be seen.
Don't worry, Charlie.
The boys have got it covered.
Another big delivery has just arrived.
Lots of trees.
I'll go and get the muscle.
With a £7,000 budget, the boys have invested in mature plants.
In a Japanese garden, the planting is often very architectural,
with a smaller number of impact trees and shrubs.
As its name suggests, the Japanese maple, or acer, is a stalwart.
I think the wheel might need topping up a bit, don't you, with air?
It gets to two metres, so it is basically at full height.
Gorgeous. I love the bark on it.
It looks like bamboo, doesn't it?
It does. So, where is it going, boys?
I am just about to start chopping my liner.
That was a bit more controlled than we were expecting!
Before the acer can be planted, since the pond is now full of water,
Charlie needs to neaten the edge of the pond liner
by cutting off the excess.
When it comes to trimming the liner back,
people get a bit concerned about how much they need to leave.
You really only need to leave four inches, five inches.
That's plenty to anchor the liner in place.
And it allows you to be able to plant right up to the pond edge.
Meanwhile, the boys are placing the other trees,
and they have decided to make some changes.
In their design, cherry trees were dotted throughout,
but to create a stronger link with the surrounding landscape,
they have decided to go for more variety.
Unfortunately, when the three cherry trees came, they were single stem
and, in the design, we wanted to have a more natural look,
and we don't want them to grow too large, so we opted for a multi-stem,
so unfortunately we have decided to keep one of them, but the other two,
we are going to send back.
We have got the one cherry, which will give them the blossom,
but we've got two smaller amelanchier, which blossoms,
beautiful autumn colour, and links with the natural as well.
And it is definitely a point of right tree or right plant for the right place.
Those cherries were too tall, they were going to grow too large,
so it is the right decision to just keep one of them.
Whether as focal points, or for creating a journey in the garden,
trees play a key role in Japanese garden design.
In Blackburn, the brothers are carefully placing the trees
to create a Zen-like feeling of calm in Nic and Kath's new garden.
-There, have a look at that.
-Yeah, I like that, because we have like a one, two, three.
One of the best-known Japanese gardening styles
is the cultivation of teeny, tiny trees known as bonsai.
Richard Reah grows, buys and sells Japanese bonsai trees from
his nursery - North of England Bonsai - in Yorkshire.
The word bonsai means tree in a pot.
It can be any tree, but preferably small leaved,
so it's all kept in proportion.
There's no point in having something like a chestnut tree
with a great big leaf the size of your hand,
and five leaves will cover the whole tree.
Bonsais are created from young seedlings.
As they mature, their roots are restricted and pruned, and growth is reduced.
The aim is to produce a small tree that mimics the shape and style of a full-sized tree.
They come with a reputation for being extremely high maintenance,
which Richard feels is undeserved.
Bonsais, in my opinion, are fairly easy, because they live outside.
Here we have got windbreak around, because it is a very windy site,
but a back garden would be ideal because it would be more sheltered.
They are not as hard as people think.
It is because people who have had them in the past have kept them indoors.
They are not house plants.
When it comes to pruning, Richard doesn't reach for the secateurs,
but for smaller scissors instead.
Anything growing up, you cut back,
so you have got one, two.
You cut that off there and it brings it back down to a reasonable height,
so you have one bud there, one bud there, cut back.
One, two, cut off.
And as you can see, it brings it down into a nice shape.
Anything hanging down, you remove it, so it is nice and neat underneath.
So that opens it up so that light can get in there,
and, the more light you have, the healthier the tree is.
And if you fancy having a go, you had better be patient,
as bonsai is no quick fix.
Richard's mature bonsais are up to 80 years old.
'In Blackburn, the brothers are carefully placing the trees
'to create a Zen-like feeling of calm in Nic and Kath's new garden.'
Just like the boulders, the trees have all got an individual character,
so what we are trying to do is fit them best in the garden,
and this big one here is a bit fuller,
it is going to block out the view nicely,
so what we are going to do is we are going to put him in here.
I will grab him. So we are going to put him in his space here,
and he will really block off the pond area, especially the acer,
so you will have to walk the whole garden, move in to the tea house,
and then you will be able to see it, all will be revealed.
'While the boys play around with the trees,
'Charlie is finishing the pond to prepare it for planting.'
It is a bit of a faff, but it's worth taking your time.
Cos, of course, we've got lots of time. We haven't got much to do(!)
Just a little planting.
About 600 plants!
It'll look great. It might be dark, but it will look great.
-Oh, that is perfect, isn't it? Stunning.
'With so many plants to find a home for,
'Charlie starts with the aquatic ones for the pond.'
When it comes to your pond,
you want it to stay clear by just using plants,
you need three different types.
You need marginals, so we've got the water mint, we've got the irises.
You need oxygenators, which aren't overly pretty,
but they do a really good job,
and then you need something to shade the water surface,
and these have got to be the easiest plants in the world...
to plant. There you go!
They will sink down and root into the soil that we put over there,
so this is the oxygenator.
You want half the base eventually covered with oxygenators,
and about half the surface covered with lily pad leaves.
And, that way, the pond will stay clear and balanced and support wildlife quite happily.
Nic and Kath's garden is finally coming together.
The rocks are all in place.
The trees are in.
Charlie's pond is taking shape,
and Lee is busy constructing the walls of the new teahouse.
-That's the bottom, is it?
And the concrete lintels that Kath and Nic paid extra for are starting to be laid.
To me. Ten mill, five mill.
Stepping stones are often used in Japanese gardens,
as they slow down movement around the space, and encourage contemplation.
Once you get this sorted, it goes down really quickly.
That is bang on.
The boys are trying a bit of Yin and Yang of their own,
using the rectangular shape of the lintels
to contrast with the curves of the path.
Meanwhile, Charlie is on to the last stage of her pond planting,
and she has got a neat trick for submerging her water lilies.
Normally, you would plant water lilies up in containers like this,
baskets, but because we want them to look as natural as possible,
I am going to plant them up in a piece of hessian.
First, she gets a hessian square,
adds pebbles to weigh the sack down,
then adds soil, and the plant itself, with the crown poking out.
Then ties it all up in a parcel.
And then it's just a case of throwing them in.
They will sink to the bottom,
and then the plants themselves can root down in the soil
that we have put on the bottom of the pond.
It is then a case
of gently placing them in the deepest bit of the pond.
And the one last thing I've got to do is put some of the wildlife
back in the pond that we saved.
All the frogs left, but there's one or two tadpoles in here.
Meanwhile, Lee has finished the component parts of the teahouse,
so they are ready to be fixed into place.
But this is a sturdy structure, so all the lads, including our director, Rich,
are needed to get the roof on.
It seemed a really good idea to build it outside and then carry it in!
I'm sure someone is going to end up straight in there!
It don't fit! Take it back!
Not one of them in the pond.
Mind you, they would have been in so much trouble, I tell you now!
'But there's no time to let the muscles recover.
'It's all hands on deck to get the remaining plants in the ground.
'The boys have designed beds to flank the sinuous path around the garden...
'and are now focusing on shrubs like this rhododendron.'
What I have done is I have placed it here next to the boulder,
and that is all because, in nature, you'd find that they are quite shallow rooted,
and they grow over rocks and, in a Japanese garden,
it's all about replicating the larger landscape,
but putting it into your own garden.
'As well as the shrubs,
'the brothers have chosen a mix of grasses and flowers
'that will add texture to Nic and Kath's garden across the seasons.
'Charlie's making good use of all the salvaged plants
'from around the old pond by creating a border behind the new one.
'Meanwhile, now the main structure's in place,
'Lee's cracking on with the sides of the teahouse.
'He and the brothers have come up with an easy way to give it an Oriental feel,
'using simple wooden batons, but there's plenty of them, so Harry and David give him a hand.'
Nice and tight.
With a final push from the team on the planting,
and a last whack from the whacker plate,
this garden is done.
In a previous life,
Kath and Nic's garden was a mishmash of tired, old features.
Now it's had a £7,000 transformation.
And Harry and David's design has turned it into a Japanese-inspired oasis.
Harry and David have created a path
using a modern take on Japanese stepping stones
in the form of these concrete lintels.
With the gravel, they cost £535,
and create a journey around the space.
The teahouse is delicate and elegant...
and cost £650.
From here, Kath and Nic can watch the sun go down on their new garden.
The pond is a beautiful link to the landscape beyond the garden,
and cost £600 for the liner and the plants.
In no time at all, it will look like it has been there forever.
The trees and plants have added to the Japanese theme,
and will provide screening and colour all year round.
The boys went for an instant impact with mature varieties,
at a combined cost of £2,700.
And the piece de resistance of the huge rocks.
They add drama and structure to this space,
but that drama doesn't come cheap,
and the rocks put a £2,500 dent in the budget.
But the real test is what the clients think.
Here they come.
Please open your eyes and have a look.
-What do you think?
-It's not our garden!
It's completely different.
And the boulders? What do you think about the boulders?
Oh, they're amazing.
Yeah, they're big enough.
They have got moss on and everything.
Definitely like the rocks.
And you enter the teahouse, and here's the new pond.
Can you imagine spending some time here?
Absolutely, yes. The pond looks so natural as well.
It's quite tranquil here, as well.
Do you feel Zen?
This is very much like some of the rooms in Japan.
Does it bring back fond memories of when you were in Japan?
It does, yeah.
-There is a little route around that we haven't explored yet.
So it is quite a big budget, guys,
so are you happy that we spent the money well?
-I think it's the best money we've spent.
It's like getting another room from the house, really, isn't it?
When it's sunny!
We would never have done this ourselves, ever.
We would have never got to this.
I think Kath and Nic are really going to enjoy the journey from the
teahouse, the water, they've got their gravel spaces where they can dine,
they have got the large planting beds, they've got the boulders.
It's just that whole concept that you can't see it all at once,
and that you can enjoy the details on the journey.
For me, the best bit of the garden is the tea pavilion,
the tranquil setting overhanging the pond
with the sunset and the view.
I think it's perfect.
I love it. Love it.
Absolutely love it.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers compete to design a zen space for a young couple longing for a Japanese garden. With a £7,000 budget, our designers bring east Asian style to Blackburn, turning the couple's mismatched garden into an area of tranquillity and serenity. There's a teahouse, enormous rocks and a pond. It's a big build and not one for the faint-hearted.