York Garden Rescue


York

Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. A garden in York full of building materials is given a £5,000 facelift.


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Transcript


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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens,

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and decades of experience...

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Hello!

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

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Looking good, boys!

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

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We want to be the brothers

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that change people's perceptions of gardens.

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

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-Oh, wow.

-Pipped in!

-That's really amazing, isn't it?

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..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.

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Now, these two different generations of gardening are going head-to-head.

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I know they've got a gold medal but I can come up with a few ideas.

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They're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...

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The photos made it look tiny.

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-It is, isn't it?

-I'm sure you've seen larger.

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I don't know what to do with it.

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

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-That looks exciting.

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

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-The winner...

-Da-da!

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THEY CHEER

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..brings their design to life.

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Hold on! Hold on!

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Sweet as a nut.

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..and the loser has to help them build it.

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I'm getting irritated now, we're sort of faffing around.

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This is what happens...

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Does he ever get irritating?

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All the time.

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..when different styles collide...

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Who chose these?!

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One, two, three.

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-This looks like your design!

-Yeah!

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..to turn garden dreams into reality.

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Wow!

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Open your eyes.

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Whoa!

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It's amazing. It's beautiful.

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So whose garden will Charlie and the Rich Brothers

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be battling over this time?

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Tea.

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Today is the turn of photographer Alasdair

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and marketing manager Philippa,

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who live in York with their cat, Ginny.

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Two years ago, not long after they got married,

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the couple bought this Edwardian terraced house

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and began painstakingly restoring it to its former glory.

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An old lady lived here

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and it hadn't really been touched for about 60, 70 years,

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maybe even a bit more.

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We had to rip everything out and start from scratch,

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which was hard work.

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Yeah. It's just left us with the garden to finish off now.

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Once that's done, we'll be done and dusted.

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They're a young couple that live in York.

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Very sweet, aren't they? Look!

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I bet their mum and dad were happy when they got married.

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-They're lovely!

-They're charming looking, aren't they?

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-They are ideal.

-Yeah.

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When it came to the house, Alasdair and Philippa spared no expense,

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carefully considering every detail to create their perfect home.

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We like all the original features.

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We really like the fact that you can tell it's an Edwardian house,

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but on top of that, we've got quite modern tastes.

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But while their house may be a stylish mix

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of period and contemporary...

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..the garden is a concrete jungle.

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The garden's been used as a bit of a dump

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for all the excess material, hasn't it?

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Which is a bit of a shame.

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All that crazy paving.

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At the moment we don't use the garden at all,

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because there's nowhere to sit, there's nothing to look at.

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It's just a dumping ground.

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Basically, all the stuff we had left over from doing up the house

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has just gone straight in the garden, so it's all got...

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-It's a mess.

-A bit manky, a bit of a mess.

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It is east facing, so I think it's going to be quite shady.

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That's something we'll have to deal with.

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-Not necessarily a bad thing, though.

-Not at all! Some luscious plants.

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Being a terrace, it's bound to be overlooked.

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-Yeah.

-And probably have one of those...

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Looks like they've got that funny, odd bit

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that nobody quite knows what to do with.

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This plot is just four and a half metres by seven and a half metres

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and void of any plants.

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It's going to take some serious inspiration

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to reveal its hidden beauty.

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Having created such a stunning home,

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Alasdair and Philippa have very high standards.

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We'd like a mix like we have in the house, of quite clean lines

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and almost regimented with also kind of overflowing planting.

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And they're prepared to spend the money

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to make the outside look as good as the inside.

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So we've got five grand to spend with this garden,

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which I'm very pleased about, because it's actually quite small.

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It does seems a bit silly to scrimp on the garden

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when we've spent so much time and effort on the house.

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Hopefully, it means we can get really good quality materials

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that will stand the test of time.

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£5,000 is a serious budget for such a small space,

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but these are serious clients

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who are going to expect something very special.

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Lots of high-end products, which will be nice for once.

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Looks like they're probably about mine and Dave's age,

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so maybe we've got an extra upper hand on this.

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So that gives me no chance, you're saying.

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-Yeah. 100%.

-Thanks for that(!)

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You'll be making the tea in a minute!

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With the garden challenge on the table,

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Charlie and the boys will now compete

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to make over the couple's garden.

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So, they're heading to York on a fact-finding mission

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to find out more about the plot and its owners.

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Wow! Yeah, so I think the word is "bijou".

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Inky dinky!

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BROTHERS LAUGH

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I like it. Not too small, really, is it?

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It's got quite a nice, manageable space, really.

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I suppose the budget will go further.

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That is one plus, isn't it?

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They are low boundaries but with careful planting, somehow...

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I think that's fine, isn't it?

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Then I've noticed a nice, green boundary at the back as well.

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Charlie's got her eye on the little side alley by the kitchen.

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That's even "bijou-er". Can you say "bijou-er"?

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-IN FRENCH ACCENT:

-"Bijour", I believe. "Bijour".

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It's definitely thin, isn't it?

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Maybe a nice little area to look onto.

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I think that's a good idea.

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Maybe. Maybe not.

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Anyway, enough of the garden,

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let's go see what inspiration we get from the house!

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Inky, dinky, dinky.

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The boys like to design their gardens

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with the clients' lifestyle in mind,

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so they're keen to find out more

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about how the couple have done up their home.

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-Oh, this is dreamy in here.

-Really cosy, isn't it?

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-Beautiful little space.

-Before you sit down...

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-No!

-Too late. Already there.

-Cup of tea now.

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This is gorgeous.

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Whilst Harry and David admire

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Alasdair and Philippa's interior design skills,

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Charlie wants to find out more about how they see the garden.

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What do you want to get from it?

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We'd like... Cos it opens out onto the kitchen,

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we'd like to just have an extension of the house,

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somewhere we can sit and have a barbecue, maybe a pizza oven,

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like, somewhere nice to sit.

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Nice to be able to use it in the evenings as well.

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Although it's a small space, there's some good things about it.

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The walls look in good condition.

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Nice backdrop of the hedge,

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lovely view of the church and the house next door.

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-So you're not overlooked from that side.

-No.

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I've just seen as well a huge stack of logs.

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-Yeah.

-And a fire.

-Nice.

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I think one important element could be to put fire outside.

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-Yeah, like a fire bowl or something?

-We'll encourage that lifestyle.

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We like a bit of colour,

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but we'd prefer a garden that was nice all year,

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looked green and healthy and vibrant all year.

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So, low-maintenance?

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More low-maintenance than high-maintenance.

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I notice as well they've got the lovely wooden floor,

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and that runs all the way through the ground floor, out the kitchen.

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I think if we were to have that in the garden,

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-it would really extend that living space.

-Nice.

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Well, lots to get on with, so I'm going to get a start.

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Right behind you, mate.

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The boys clearly feel they've got this one in the bag,

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but they need to be careful.

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This couple know what they want and won't accept any old design.

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For five grand, they'll want the best.

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So, Charlie and the boys waste no time putting their ideas on paper.

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They each have to come up with a design for a garden

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they hope the couple will love...

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and then present it to Alasdair and Philippa,

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who will choose which one gets built,

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and the loser has to help the winner build their garden.

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It's the day of the pitch.

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Will Alasdair and Philippa go for Charlie,

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with her decades of experience and vast knowledge of plants...

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Wow!

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..or the Rich Brothers,

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known for their contemporary, medal-winning designs?

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-Here we go!

-Yeah.

-Yeah?

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That looks good.

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You come out your main door there to this open area,

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seating area, mainly.

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This is a low, shallow pool of water for reflection.

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I thought it'd be quite nice for your seating area

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to be somewhere that you get to, so there's stepping stones across

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onto an area of chunky oak timber deck.

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What we wanted to do was create this extension from your house.

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This stylish, outdoor room that complemented the stylish interior

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you guys have done there.

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We've got the front room straight out from the kitchen,

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which is more for the morning and dining.

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The idea was to use a wooden flooring.

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So, I think, we picked up inside the house you used that throughout

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on the bottom floor, as if it is an extension to the house.

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Then, the back area with two sofas and a fire bowl,

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somewhere more intimate, more cosy,

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a place to really relax and enjoy the space.

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The Rich Brothers have done their homework.

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Their design seamlessly links the interior of the house

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to a luxurious, outdoor living space.

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I really like the breakfast area just outside the kitchen.

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-Perfect for breakfast.

-Yeah.

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THEY ALL LAUGH

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But Charlie's taken a gamble

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by going for something they didn't ask for,

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a pond by the back door.

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-I love the water feature.

-That's nice.

-Yeah?

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Be a dream to walk over some stepping stones.

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Now for the planting.

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One of the key features in the garden are these tree ferns.

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They've got so many good qualities.

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One of them is they've got a really luscious, really large canopy,

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but they've got a really thin stem,

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so they don't take up too much room

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and impose on a small space like this.

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Tree ferns make a dramatic statement.

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But will they be too much for Philippa?

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Also, with the lighting in the garden we're going to put in,

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when they're up lit, they're so architectural and so sculptural.

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Charlie's playing it safe with shorter, exotic plants.

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Plant-wise, lots of greens but foliage effects.

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So, things like that Fatsia japonica, Rodgersias, flowers,

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but very simple, fluffy white flowers.

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This is Equisetum, so it's very regimented and upright,

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looks like bamboo.

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But with five grand burning a hole in their pocket,

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the couple have some questions.

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What happens down the side next to kitchen?

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What we want to do is create this really luscious space.

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It's more an area to look upon rather to be in.

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The boys are continuing the fern theme into the side alley,

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but Charlie sees it as a whole new garden.

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This is very Dingley Dell.

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I want this to be a fernery, with really lush plants.

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So lots of hardy ferns,

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some tree ferns for a little bit of height and some hostas.

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All leaves, foliage.

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-Really nice.

-I have to say, that's my favourite bit of the design.

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The pitch is over.

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Now it's up to Alasdair and Philippa.

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They're spending £5,000 of their own money on this garden,

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so they need to choose wisely.

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-Pretty difficult.

-Yeah.

-I don't know what to think.

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I love the way they've got that breakfast area

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and the second fire pit, but Charlie's,

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especially that little bit off the kitchen.

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Yeah, and the stepping stones in the pond, that's a really sweet idea.

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But this is a really nice view from the kitchen, though.

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I really do like this design.

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Yeah. I'm really excited about this one.

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-It's my favourite, definitely.

-I think it's pipped it.

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Only one design can win.

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So who's it going to be?

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Will they go for Charlie's Dingley Dell garden

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with its tranquil water feature

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and stepping stones,

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or the boys' chic outdoor lounge

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with its elegant tree ferns?

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-Hi, guys.

-It's a really difficult decision to make.

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But...

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..we've come up with...

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Da-da!

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CHARLIE AND THE RICH BROTHERS CHEER

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-Nice! That's awesome.

-What made you choose our design?

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Think it was the two areas,

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having breakfast room just outside the kitchen,

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which is ideal, and then a cosier area at the back.

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Really excited about it.

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-Are you starting now?

-Yeah, I've got my gloves!

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The Rich Brothers have emerged triumphant.

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If that's not enough, they now get to boss Charlie around,

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when all three of them build the garden.

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It's early morning in York.

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While the Rich Brothers are away working on the final details

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of their design, the old garden needs to be ripped out

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and the site prepped.

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Right, chaps. First things first,

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we've got to try and sort these levels out.

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So, the boys have sent in project manager Paul,

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and landscapers Andy and Lee,

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to remove the old concrete and make the ground perfectly level.

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The key to the boys' design is a seamless link between the kitchen

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and hard landscaping in the garden.

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So it's critical the foundations are spot-on.

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It's this lip here that we're going off,

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so everything is determined from that.

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The first deck is going to go on top,

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so it looks almost like the floor inside is coming straight out.

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Right then, fellas, let's crack on.

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But they've hit a snag.

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They found the base of a sycamore tree

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that must have been felled when the old garden was put in.

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They don't remember the tree roots over there,

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so I think we could have a major problem getting those out.

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This bit here, as you can see, is enormous.

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There's huge, great big boulders in it.

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We've got a load of paving that's going to come right across here

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and go flush to this wall.

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So, it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it, I'm afraid.

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And with no space for a digger, the only way to get it out

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is with good, old-fashioned muscle.

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Right, that's it - I'm going home now!

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HE PANTS

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The stubborn sycamore is giving the lads another headache -

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its roots are pushing through the wall,

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where the Rich Brothers are planning to create a new patio.

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Knowing how exacting the boys are with their designs,

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Paul needs instructions from Harry and David.

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-ON PHONE:

-Hey, Paul.

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Everything's going relatively smoothly,

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and the problem with it is there's...

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Basically, there's some roots that have gone through the wall,

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and they've started busting the bricks out and cracking the bricks.

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We need to do something with it. We can't leave it like that.

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-ON PHONE:

-Because there's some nice, existing brick walls

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around the other side, the lower one,

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I think it'd be nice to tie it in with that.

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-Keep with the history of it.

-Yes.

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-I think that would be quite nice.

-OK.

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I think what we'll do is, we'll point it.

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We'll point it with a very dry mix.

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We'll rake it out a bit and we might even use the good old technique

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of putting a little bit of dirt in it as well,

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just to make it look like the old pointing,

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so it ties in with the rest of the garden.

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Are you happy with that then, chaps?

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-ON PHONE:

-Very happy. Thanks for calling, Paul.

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Right. Lovely. All right. See you soon, chaps.

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-See you soon.

-See you later. Bye-bye. Bye.

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Laying paving around the bulge in the wall

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would mean redesigning the patio.

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By rebuilding it,

0:16:540:16:55

the garden Alasdair and Philippa signed up for is still on track.

0:16:550:16:59

Just that one there. Good man!

0:16:590:17:02

There she goes!

0:17:020:17:03

Crisis averted, it's time to get those levels spot-on.

0:17:050:17:09

The foundation of the new garden

0:17:150:17:17

will be a combination of patio and decking.

0:17:170:17:20

-Where do you want this one?

-Take that back.

0:17:200:17:23

But, before any paving can go in,

0:17:230:17:25

the boys have to lay down a base layer of aggregate,

0:17:250:17:29

and then whack it into submission to make it level.

0:17:290:17:32

Meanwhile, out front, the Rich Brothers and Charlie have arrived,

0:17:380:17:43

and are preparing themselves for the huge task

0:17:430:17:45

of bringing the boys' winning design to life.

0:17:450:17:48

Right, guys, we've go our work cut out for us with this garden.

0:17:480:17:50

There's going to be a few challenges, isn't there?

0:17:500:17:53

-It's small, but doesn't come without it's trouble, does it?

-Mm.

0:17:530:17:56

Everyone thinks a small garden is going to be really easy and quick.

0:17:560:17:59

-I bet it won't be.

-No.

-No.

0:17:590:18:01

This is going to be one, nice floor that runs on to the back boundary,

0:18:010:18:05

so I think setting out getting that level sorted at the beginning

0:18:050:18:09

-is going to be the key to this, really.

-OK. All right.

0:18:090:18:12

Then, this guy here, as well, it's a quite focal point, isn't it?

0:18:120:18:16

It's a small, crammed little space. It's going to be quite tricky.

0:18:160:18:19

A high display, though, because they look out on this.

0:18:190:18:21

It's going to look amazing. That's the whole of the kitchen there,

0:18:210:18:24

and that's the lounge that way as well.

0:18:240:18:27

Basically, it's one level from the kitchen floor straight out.

0:18:270:18:32

-No steps.

-Like extended rooms.

0:18:320:18:34

They can open the partition doors and walk straight out.

0:18:340:18:37

-Blimey!

-With that added pressure now then, Barry, you're on slabs.

0:18:370:18:42

You'll be doing a bit of that.

0:18:420:18:43

Charlie, I'm going to hide you away in this little Dingley Dell here.

0:18:430:18:47

OK. Doing what?

0:18:470:18:49

-Just relaxing, drinking tea.

-Yeah! Sitting down...

0:18:490:18:52

Catching some sun. And then I'm going to set myself on the decking.

0:18:520:18:55

-It's not that sunny.

-It isn't at all, is it?

0:18:550:18:57

-Catching the rain.

-Optimism, people!

0:18:570:18:59

-Right.

-Cool.

0:18:590:19:01

With the boys taking charge in the back...

0:19:080:19:10

..Charlie's been demoted to the side alley.

0:19:120:19:15

And out the front, there's been a delivery.

0:19:150:19:18

-Look at those!

-Goodness me!

-Wow.

0:19:180:19:21

The six mature tree ferns the boys are hoping

0:19:210:19:23

will bring some real drama to the garden have arrived.

0:19:230:19:27

Tree ferns are an excellent addition to a smaller garden,

0:19:300:19:34

because they have shallow roots.

0:19:340:19:36

But they still provide shade under their wide, feathery fronds.

0:19:360:19:40

Mature samples can cost between £200 and £400,

0:19:430:19:47

so Philippa's keen to see what she's getting for her money.

0:19:470:19:51

-It's going to be like Jurassic Park, I think.

-Quite prehistoric!

0:19:510:19:55

One of the biggest challenges with designing a small garden

0:20:050:20:08

is that even the tiniest imperfections are on show.

0:20:080:20:12

Knowing that Alisdair and Philippa have an eye for detail,

0:20:120:20:15

the boys have ordered high-quality materials, for a flawless finish -

0:20:150:20:20

starting with these giant paving slabs.

0:20:200:20:22

We decided to go for a 900 by 600 slab.

0:20:220:20:25

This is probably one of the largest slabs you can get.

0:20:250:20:28

It's kind of key when you have a small garden

0:20:280:20:31

to use elements that are slightly oversized.

0:20:310:20:34

Using big slabs tricks the eyes into thinking the space is larger,

0:20:340:20:38

and laying them across the garden gives the impression of width.

0:20:380:20:42

We also decided to push the slabs up together,

0:20:420:20:46

so there's no pointed line in between.

0:20:460:20:49

This really gives this nice, contemporary feel

0:20:490:20:52

which links in with the house nicely.

0:20:520:20:54

This garden is all about using the small space efficiently,

0:20:570:21:00

without comprising the contemporary look,

0:21:000:21:03

and the boys have even come up with somewhere

0:21:030:21:05

for the couple to store their garden tools.

0:21:050:21:08

And because Alisdair has done up some of the house himself,

0:21:080:21:11

he's keen to have a go at building it.

0:21:110:21:14

I'm measuring up for the shed that I'm going to build at the moment.

0:21:140:21:17

It's going to block off this area here,

0:21:170:21:20

just to keep bins in and things like that.

0:21:200:21:22

I'm just working out how high it's going to go.

0:21:220:21:24

So it's got to be custom-made.

0:21:240:21:27

You can't get an off-the-shelf one, unfortunately.

0:21:270:21:30

The entrance to the side alley is going to be a walk-through shed.

0:21:300:21:34

So the roof will go up, and it'll incorporate the light,

0:21:340:21:38

so when that's on, it'll be in the shed,

0:21:380:21:40

giving us a bit of extra light.

0:21:400:21:43

The roof will go up, above that,

0:21:430:21:45

and then it will drop back down the other side.

0:21:450:21:47

Hopefully, if I've measured right, this will be going straight in.

0:21:480:21:52

Like a glove! Look at that.

0:21:540:21:56

Perfect.

0:21:570:21:58

Meanwhile, whilst the boys can contemplate their next move

0:22:000:22:03

in the big garden...

0:22:030:22:05

Charlie remains confined to the little one.

0:22:050:22:08

I should get my bit finished, done and dusted easily!

0:22:090:22:13

Bring me tea!

0:22:140:22:16

The courtyard has been designed as an area for the couple to sit back

0:22:170:22:21

and admire from their kitchen.

0:22:210:22:23

Having only a few pavers,

0:22:230:22:25

it will be filled to the brim with luscious plants.

0:22:250:22:28

This area here is absolutely tiny.

0:22:300:22:33

I mean, really tiny.

0:22:330:22:35

But it will look fantastic.

0:22:350:22:37

They overlook it from the kitchen,

0:22:370:22:38

so we're planting it up with really lovely, lush plants.

0:22:380:22:42

You got Baltic parsley, it's very architectural.

0:22:420:22:45

It's like cow parsley but much more architectural and bold.

0:22:450:22:49

This area is already lit,

0:22:490:22:51

so it's going to look spectacular with the plants at night.

0:22:510:22:55

So I'm going to plant this Japanese anemone against the wall.

0:22:550:22:59

It doesn't look much at the moment, but it's a lovely plant,

0:22:590:23:01

gives you lots of flowers later in the season,

0:23:010:23:04

when some garden plants are looking a bit sad.

0:23:040:23:07

Comes up, has low foliage, but comes up with flower spikes

0:23:070:23:11

that have got pink, open flowers,

0:23:110:23:13

which look gorgeous against this brickwork, the texture of it.

0:23:130:23:18

I wish the soil was a little bit easier to dig, but there you go.

0:23:200:23:24

You can't have everything in life, can you?

0:23:240:23:27

The next big challenge in the main garden is to seamlessly connect

0:23:300:23:34

the kitchen with the patio area, using a stylish deck.

0:23:340:23:38

It needs to be perfectly flush with the patio,

0:23:380:23:41

so the subframe needs to be spot on.

0:23:410:23:43

And so we're putting a membrane down to stop any weed growth

0:23:430:23:46

coming up through the decking.

0:23:460:23:48

With the shed nearly done,

0:23:480:23:50

it's time for Alisdair to leave the team to it.

0:23:500:23:53

This is looking good, Alisdair!

0:23:530:23:56

Yeah, taken a bit of work, but finally getting there.

0:23:560:23:59

-So, you just need to finish the felting.

-Yep.

0:23:590:24:01

But then I would really like you and Philippa to skedaddle

0:24:010:24:05

and get out of here, because the garden's really coming together now,

0:24:050:24:09

and we want a little bit of mystery for when you come back.

0:24:090:24:12

That's all right, we can disappear and leave you to it.

0:24:120:24:14

With most of a hard landscaping finished,

0:24:160:24:19

it's time for the stars of the garden - the tree ferns -

0:24:190:24:22

to make an appearance.

0:24:220:24:24

He's a big old beast, they're hard to carry around,

0:24:240:24:26

so we're going to get some sticks, put them in place

0:24:260:24:28

and find out their positions.

0:24:280:24:30

Harry, chuck them over.

0:24:300:24:32

-Pass me some of those sticks there, mate.

-Some of these?

0:24:320:24:34

Yeah, they're perfect. Five of them, please.

0:24:340:24:37

Perfect. Nice.

0:24:370:24:39

Right, what are we thinking?

0:24:400:24:43

Placing them too close together, too far apart,

0:24:430:24:45

or too equidistant will look unnatural,

0:24:450:24:48

so it's critical to position them perfectly.

0:24:480:24:51

-Like that?

-Yeah, lovely.

0:24:510:24:53

-And then we'd probably go for one, maybe there?

-Yeah.

0:24:530:24:56

And then...

0:24:580:25:00

What do you think of that?

0:25:030:25:05

I think maybe you can have two over there now.

0:25:050:25:07

Maybe pack the centre a little bit.

0:25:070:25:08

-That looks quite full, especially with their spread.

-Yeah.

0:25:080:25:11

-Shall I grab one from there?

-Yeah, let's take one out the middle...

0:25:110:25:15

and then maybe adjust their positions a little bit.

0:25:150:25:17

And that one can go here, and that...

0:25:170:25:19

-That will be perfect for privacy, actually.

-Yeah.

0:25:190:25:22

Tree ferns have shallow roots,

0:25:250:25:26

so the hole only needs to be 10cm bigger than the trunk's diameter,

0:25:260:25:31

and 20cm deeper than the root ball.

0:25:310:25:34

While the bosses get to play with the big trees,

0:25:360:25:39

Charlie's been given a project

0:25:390:25:41

that's even smaller than the side return.

0:25:410:25:43

We're going to make this into a green roof.

0:25:430:25:46

Now, because Alisdair's made the shed himself,

0:25:460:25:49

it's really strong and reinforced.

0:25:490:25:51

If you are using a prefabricated shed at home,

0:25:510:25:54

you'll want to put some extra structure in,

0:25:540:25:57

because of the weight of the roof.

0:25:570:26:00

The roof has been felted,

0:26:000:26:01

but to make sure it matches the rest of the garden,

0:26:010:26:04

Charlie's adding a lip, using the same decking boards as the floor.

0:26:040:26:08

Now, I want to try and create a tray that's about three inches deep.

0:26:080:26:13

And you can't see, but I can feel it's about...

0:26:140:26:17

(That's probably about two inches deep.)

0:26:170:26:19

That'll be enough for the sedums, yeah?

0:26:190:26:22

That's going to go down like that, then we'll trim that off,

0:26:290:26:32

so you won't see it, see? That'll look nice,

0:26:320:26:34

and then just imagine all this sea of sedums. Very pretty.

0:26:340:26:39

Adding a green roof is a great way to create another planting area

0:26:460:26:50

in a small garden, and can transform an old summerhouse or shed.

0:26:500:26:55

But it needs plenty of watering,

0:26:550:26:57

so it's safer to use drought-tolerant plants,

0:26:570:26:59

like succulents.

0:26:590:27:01

But there's no rest for Charlie. The boys need some manual labour.

0:27:030:27:07

Do you want to go in there already, Charlie?

0:27:070:27:09

OK, so that I fall over flat on my bottom?

0:27:090:27:12

-Hopefully!

-CHARLIE LAUGHS

0:27:120:27:15

You cheeky thing!

0:27:150:27:16

-Are we just going to walk it and rest it on the things?

-Yeah.

0:27:160:27:19

Just do it a bit at a time.

0:27:190:27:21

Let's not go mad.

0:27:210:27:22

-CHUCKLING:

-Where are we going?

0:27:240:27:26

-Which one's this for?

-Far left.

0:27:280:27:31

Ready? Three, two, one.

0:27:310:27:33

Who chose these? Why did we want them so big?

0:27:380:27:40

They're pretty heavy, aren't they?

0:27:400:27:42

They are quite chunky!

0:27:420:27:44

Very nice, well done.

0:27:460:27:48

-Right, I think it needs to probably spin that way.

-Spin round. Yeah.

0:27:480:27:51

Good work.

0:27:540:27:56

That will probably be near enough for somewhere, wouldn't it?

0:27:560:27:59

-Cool!

-OK, number one in.

-Wonderful.

0:27:590:28:01

One down, four to go.

0:28:030:28:04

Brilliant.

0:28:090:28:10

Cool.

0:28:100:28:11

These are going to give a lovely, modern touch to the garden.

0:28:110:28:14

And they've got a lovely canopy,

0:28:140:28:16

without losing too much light on this garden,

0:28:160:28:18

and the vertical aspect really lifts your eye

0:28:180:28:21

and lets you still see through the garden.

0:28:210:28:23

The tree fern has small, fibrous roots to get moisture...

0:28:240:28:28

..so they need properly securing.

0:28:300:28:32

One person pegs in and bats around it,

0:28:350:28:37

and just really hold the trunk so it's got this firm structure in.

0:28:370:28:40

-So, you're going to make a collar round it?

-Yeah.

0:28:400:28:43

That's a quite clever idea.

0:28:430:28:44

As long as that's nice and sturdy, then we're fine.

0:28:440:28:47

We could always just chop all the fronds off, then it won't blow over.

0:28:470:28:50

-Look at the face on that!

-That's a bad idea.

0:28:500:28:52

So what we're doing with this tree fern is,

0:28:590:29:01

because it hasn't got normal roots like a tree,

0:29:010:29:04

is we're banging in these stakes,

0:29:040:29:05

and they're anchor it down and act like roots.

0:29:050:29:08

Then we're going to screw it into the tree fern,

0:29:080:29:10

and that will just hold there, secure.

0:29:100:29:12

It may seem strange,

0:29:260:29:28

putting a plant that originated in Australia in a Yorkshire garden...

0:29:280:29:32

..but there's surprising number of exotic plants

0:29:340:29:37

that, with a little TLC, can live happily in the UK climate.

0:29:370:29:41

Tom Hart Dyke,

0:29:430:29:44

curator of the World Garden at Lullingstone Castle in Kent,

0:29:440:29:48

oversees one of the largest collections of exotics in Britain.

0:29:480:29:52

My draw to exotic plants is this magnetic attraction by the foliage

0:29:520:29:58

and by the flowers you cannot, or very rarely, see in this country.

0:29:580:30:02

There's something about them.

0:30:020:30:04

There are easy steps you can take to grow a wide range of plants

0:30:040:30:09

that you cannot believe you can get away with,

0:30:090:30:12

simply by covering them up

0:30:120:30:14

with dad's old woolly jumpers, scarves,

0:30:140:30:17

and these simple measures to grow a wide range of plants.

0:30:170:30:20

It's the combination of both wet and cold weather in the UK

0:30:220:30:27

that can be harmful to many exotics.

0:30:270:30:30

This is the yucca. It's my most favourite plant,

0:30:330:30:36

and I have to say, look at it, it's stunning.

0:30:360:30:39

Whatever the winter,

0:30:390:30:41

I would only have a pane of glass to cover the whole surface area

0:30:410:30:45

of the plant, in a wooden frame that screwed into four posts

0:30:450:30:48

that are very securely placed into the ground,

0:30:480:30:53

and, if possible, at a slight angle, the window pane,

0:30:530:30:56

to let the water run off.

0:30:560:30:58

If you don't have the time to create a cold frame for your plants,

0:30:580:31:01

some can handle anything our climate throws at them.

0:31:010:31:05

This is Trachycarpus fortunei, the Chusan fan palm.

0:31:060:31:09

It's so exotic to look at but it's really hardy.

0:31:090:31:13

It is the hardiest palm that we can grow in this country.

0:31:130:31:17

It comes from extremely cold areas of Asia,

0:31:170:31:20

hence why we can grow it in this climate.

0:31:200:31:22

Minus 17 we had here five years ago.

0:31:220:31:25

Pfft! It was laughing in the face of minus 17!

0:31:250:31:28

Exotic they may be,

0:31:290:31:31

but by being a little brave and taking the necessary steps,

0:31:310:31:34

you'll be pleasantly surprised at how they thrive in your garden.

0:31:340:31:38

In York, our exotic tree ferns can handle all but the coldest frost.

0:31:430:31:49

Adding a layer of straw to protect the crown,

0:31:490:31:52

and folding the fronds in on themselves in the winter months

0:31:520:31:55

will keep them safe.

0:31:550:31:56

It's always as good idea to get as many people as possible

0:31:560:31:59

in a very small space(!)

0:31:590:32:01

SHE CHUCKLES

0:32:010:32:02

I think the ferns here probably won't really die back.

0:32:030:32:07

-No.

-Because they'll be so protected.

0:32:070:32:10

-Looks like we're nearly done.

-No more digging then, soldier.

0:32:100:32:13

Righty-ho.

0:32:130:32:15

So it's leaning...that way.

0:32:150:32:17

-Yay!

-That's a good fit!

0:32:170:32:19

At last, they're all in, and are ready for the grand unveiling.

0:32:250:32:29

Big moment now, mate. Time to get the fronds out.

0:32:320:32:34

-Ta-da!

-Beautiful.

0:32:380:32:39

There we are, look at that. Tease them out a bit.

0:32:390:32:43

That's really nice, isn't it? Look at that!

0:32:430:32:46

MUSIC: Blue Danube Waltz by Johann Strauss

0:32:460:32:48

Ooh, crikey!

0:32:510:32:52

A jungle! Whoo!

0:32:530:32:56

That's gorgeous.

0:32:570:32:58

BLUE DANUBE CONTINUES

0:32:580:33:00

So do I get to unwrap mine in my bit of the garden?

0:33:070:33:13

Definitely.

0:33:130:33:14

THEY LAUGH

0:33:140:33:15

-Lovely.

-That's amazing.

0:33:190:33:20

That's better than I expected.

0:33:210:33:23

BLUE DANUBE CONTINUES

0:33:230:33:27

That's it, whoa!

0:33:370:33:39

Look at that!

0:33:400:33:42

-SHE LAUGHS

-Look at that! That's almost perfect!

0:33:420:33:45

That literally couldn't have been better, could it?

0:33:450:33:47

Perfecto!

0:33:470:33:49

The best bit of the garden!

0:33:490:33:52

I get to do your tree as well, look at that!

0:33:520:33:54

Let's get as many people into the smallest place.

0:33:540:33:56

Don't tread on the soil!

0:33:560:33:58

-Well, I can't not tread on it, unfortunately.

-Look at that.

0:33:580:34:00

Look at that wall.

0:34:000:34:01

With so many striking features in this garden,

0:34:140:34:17

Harry and David have convinced Alisdair and Philippa to hold back

0:34:170:34:21

a few hundred quid so it will look just as good at night.

0:34:210:34:24

Installing a lighting scheme

0:34:250:34:27

brings a whole new dimension to their garden.

0:34:270:34:30

Alisdair and Philippa really wanted an entertainment space

0:34:330:34:36

for the evening. These spotlights

0:34:360:34:38

are really going to transform this garden,

0:34:380:34:40

especially uplighting these tree ferns.

0:34:400:34:42

So this garden's not just for the day, but actually for the evening.

0:34:420:34:46

The build may be progressing,

0:34:480:34:50

but it still looks like a lot of landscaping

0:34:500:34:52

with a few trees stuck in the middle.

0:34:520:34:55

It's high time the rest of the plants made an appearance.

0:34:560:34:59

-What do you want now, then?

-Hellebores, please. Red ones.

0:34:590:35:02

-Red ones?

-Yeah, reds.

0:35:020:35:03

Aw, perfect.

0:35:030:35:05

These are fab.

0:35:050:35:06

-They're beautiful, aren't they?

-Gorgeous.

0:35:060:35:09

-Four at one time!

-Four at once.

0:35:090:35:11

-So keep coming with the reds?

-Yes, please.

0:35:110:35:14

No geraniums.

0:35:140:35:16

Couple of Thalictrum.

0:35:160:35:17

In the boys' design,

0:35:200:35:22

the planting defines the two different living areas.

0:35:220:35:25

With so much patio and deck,

0:35:250:35:27

they're underplanting the ferns with smaller but equally lush varieties

0:35:270:35:32

that will spill over and soften the hard edges.

0:35:320:35:35

We love these grasses in our planting schemes,

0:35:350:35:37

cos we feel it's kind of like the background noise.

0:35:370:35:39

It's what really holds the planting scheme together,

0:35:390:35:41

and then you can dot in your flowering perennials,

0:35:410:35:44

like the astrantias, the aquilegias or the hellebores.

0:35:440:35:47

Well, I have to say, I just love hellebores.

0:35:480:35:51

They've got these lovely flowers that get full of stamens,

0:35:510:35:56

and then afterwards, they get seed pods,

0:35:560:35:58

which I think look quite cute as well.

0:35:580:36:01

And then the foliage is really pretty come the summertime,

0:36:010:36:05

and it's great for flower arranging.

0:36:050:36:08

It's all coming together,

0:36:100:36:12

and although she's been the undergardener, Charlie is impressed.

0:36:120:36:16

Do you know what, David? This looks like your design!

0:36:160:36:20

-Yeah!

-Ha-hey! Whoo-ooh!

0:36:200:36:22

Thank goodness you've said that.

0:36:220:36:24

I'm really, really pleased how it's looking, actually. I love it.

0:36:240:36:27

Worth the money.

0:36:270:36:29

Yes, that is true.

0:36:290:36:30

All that's left is the roof.

0:36:310:36:33

I will get round to doing my roof, honest.

0:36:360:36:39

It's just got to wait for the deck first.

0:36:390:36:42

ELECTRIC DRILL WHIRS

0:36:420:36:43

And, with the deck done, Charlie's run out of excuses.

0:36:580:37:02

We've got planting medium with this stuff, which is called hydroleca.

0:37:020:37:06

It's ever so light and porous,

0:37:060:37:09

and we've mixed that in with the planting medium.

0:37:090:37:11

These are water-holding, clay pebbles, and are lighter than soil,

0:37:110:37:15

so they're ideal for our green roof.

0:37:150:37:17

And we have a thin layer over, and I'll plant through with succulents -

0:37:190:37:24

sedums, sempervivum, that type of thing -

0:37:240:37:27

that puts up with really sort of drought conditions.

0:37:270:37:31

Also windy conditions and full sunshine,

0:37:310:37:35

which you will get on this side, and it will create a mat

0:37:350:37:38

right the way across the roof and look gorgeous.

0:37:380:37:41

I'm going to plant them slightly proud,

0:37:430:37:46

because I'm then going to put a very light gravel all the way round them.

0:37:460:37:52

This garden has been a big challenge...

0:37:560:37:59

..in a very small space.

0:38:010:38:04

-It's really, really heavy.

-Watch it.

0:38:060:38:08

So what do you think?

0:38:140:38:16

Yeah, it's going to look nice.

0:38:160:38:17

Interested to see what cushions they've got as well.

0:38:170:38:20

This is a first for me, stacking logs in a garden.

0:38:240:38:28

But, as daylight begins to fade...

0:38:310:38:34

Paul? How do you want to start this fire?

0:38:340:38:36

-I can start doing that.

-With a match.

0:38:360:38:39

All right then. With a match.

0:38:390:38:41

..Philippa and Alisdair's garden is finally finished.

0:38:410:38:44

In its former life,

0:38:520:38:53

the couple's garden was a poor relation to their stunning home...

0:38:530:38:57

..with bags of rubble everywhere,

0:38:580:39:00

and old, battered crazy paving throughout.

0:39:000:39:03

Now it's had a £5,000 face-lift.

0:39:050:39:08

The boys have used high-quality materials

0:39:110:39:14

to provide an elegant finish.

0:39:140:39:16

The new decking area is ideal for having breakfast,

0:39:170:39:20

or a bit of evening dining.

0:39:200:39:23

Costing around £1,200, it extends seamlessly from the kitchen,

0:39:230:39:27

linking the outside with the inside.

0:39:270:39:30

Towards the rear of the garden is a superb patio,

0:39:320:39:36

made from large pavers that cost around £600.

0:39:360:39:39

An elegant fire bowl links the space with a couple's indoor fire,

0:39:390:39:43

and is perfect for romantic evenings.

0:39:430:39:46

Before, the garden was flat and featureless.

0:39:470:39:51

Now, statuesque tree ferns bring drama,

0:39:520:39:55

texture and year-round colour to the garden.

0:39:550:39:58

With the rest of the planting, they ate up £2,500 of the bill,

0:40:010:40:06

but the boys are hoping the couple will think it was worth it.

0:40:060:40:09

And, of course, there's the narrow alleyway,

0:40:110:40:14

which Charlie has turned into a lush courtyard.

0:40:140:40:17

Alisdair and Philippa wanted the perfect garden,

0:40:210:40:24

and were prepared to spend five grand to get it.

0:40:240:40:27

(The garden looks beautiful, very "Chelsea".)

0:40:270:40:31

It's time to find out if the boys have delivered.

0:40:310:40:35

You're now crossing the threshold into your new garden.

0:40:350:40:37

Open your eyes.

0:40:370:40:39

Wow!

0:40:390:40:40

-What do you think?

-Wow!

0:40:400:40:43

-It's amazing!

-Thought it was going to look amazing,

0:40:440:40:47

but, yeah, it looks phenomenal.

0:40:470:40:50

Got the fire bowl going, lit, ready for your evening.

0:40:500:40:53

It looks great!

0:40:530:40:55

Explore your garden, please.

0:40:550:40:57

-Walk on through.

-It's fantastic!

0:40:570:40:58

-What do you think of the tunnel?

-Yeah, it's a proper tunnel.

0:40:580:41:01

It's like a wee adventure!

0:41:010:41:03

Yeah, that look so cool, doesn't it?

0:41:040:41:06

You just can't imagine what it's going to look like.

0:41:060:41:08

Then you come in here, and it's just like another...

0:41:080:41:11

You're transported, aren't you?

0:41:110:41:13

Yeah. It's been quite a diverse, quite a dramatic change.

0:41:130:41:16

-Yeah.

-It's so wide. It seems so wide.

0:41:160:41:19

-Yeah, I know.

-Before, it felt like you couldn't really stand

0:41:190:41:22

-next to each other in the garden.

-Yeah, this area has gone massive.

0:41:220:41:27

Do you feel like it's an extension to the house now?

0:41:270:41:29

-Definitely, yeah.

-I love the thresholds

0:41:290:41:32

that just run straight out.

0:41:320:41:34

It was a small garden before, wasn't it?

0:41:340:41:37

It feels twice the size.

0:41:370:41:39

You can really see all the quality materials, can't you?

0:41:390:41:42

The decking is really nice, this is really nice.

0:41:420:41:45

-Obviously, the tree ferns are fantastic.

-Yeah.

0:41:450:41:49

Combined with the design,

0:41:490:41:50

I don't know how it could be any better, to be honest.

0:41:500:41:52

Aw! Very kind.

0:41:520:41:54

-Say nothing more!

-We're off now, that's us done.

0:41:540:41:58

It just looks fantastic.

0:41:580:42:00

It looks amazing.

0:42:000:42:01

Looks like a garden out of a book.

0:42:010:42:04

A peacock has its feathers, a lion has its mane,

0:42:040:42:07

that garden has its tree ferns.

0:42:070:42:10

-Who says that?

-Me!

0:42:100:42:12

Is he your brother?!

0:42:120:42:13

There's absolutely no way we could have made it look like that,

0:42:140:42:17

it's just fantastic.

0:42:170:42:19

-Just been a bit brave...

-The drama of it... Yeah.

0:42:190:42:22

It's actually made the kitchen look more impressive,

0:42:220:42:24

which I think is quite an achievement for a garden.

0:42:240:42:28

£5,000 was a big budget for such a small area.

0:42:290:42:33

Do our couple think it's been money well spent?

0:42:330:42:36

You think that spending five grand, which is what it's turned out to be,

0:42:370:42:41

is a lot of money for such a little garden.

0:42:410:42:44

But I'm glad that we did, because it's worthwhile. Worth every penny.

0:42:440:42:49

It's only going to get better, isn't it? This is day one in the garden,

0:42:500:42:53

and we've got years and years of growth to come.

0:42:530:42:55

-It's just going to look better and better every year.

-Yeah.

0:42:550:42:58

Charlie and the Rich brothers are in York, helping a couple who have spent two years painstakingly renovating their terraced home. With a very small garden full of crazy paving and building materials, Charlie and the boys compete to give it a £5,000 facelift, turning into a luxurious haven to relax and entertain in. And along the way, they have a host of ideas and tips for making the most of small spaces and shady corners.