Bedford Garden Rescue


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Bedford

Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. The team tackle an unloved and overgrown garden in Bedford.


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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens

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-and decades of experience...

-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 that change people's perceptions

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of gardeners.

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

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-Oh, look at it turn.

-That's amazing, isn't it?

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

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

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

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

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The photos made it look tiny.

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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...

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-Wow!

-..and budget.

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That looks really exciting.

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

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-The winner...

-Da-dah!

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-Whoo!

-..brings their design to life...

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Hold on! Hold on!

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-Sweet as a nut.

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

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Oh, I'm getting irritated now with faffing around.

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This is what happens...

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-Does he ever get irritating?

-All the time.

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..when different styles collide...

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-Who chose these?

-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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-Wow!

-Wow!

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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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-OK, boys.

-Right.

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This garden belongs to...

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Sam and Amy.

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Sam Head and her daughter, Amy,

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are a mother and daughter team making a new start.

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They've recently moved back into a house in Bedford

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that Sam had rented out for a number of years.

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Sam basically rented the house out for five years,

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and although she loved the garden as it was, it sort of got away

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with people that were renting it, didn't quite look after it.

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I see. That's a bit of a shame.

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So, she really wants to restore it back to...

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-It's former glory.

-Yeah.

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She got sort of a Japanese feel, she said it had before.

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I bought this house and the garden was beautiful when I moved in.

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It had a lovely pond with slate stone round it.

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It was a well-maintained garden, I didn't need to do much.

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Obviously, things have changed now. It's just totally overgrown.

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So, yeah, it just looks a bit of a mess.

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Five years of neglect has left the garden in a terrible state.

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There's a giant cotoneaster, wild wisteria

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and a looming leylandii to deal with.

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But the team are excited by its potential.

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Some amazing surrounding trees, aren't there?

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I mean, that one looks like it encroaches a bit on the garden,

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but it's still nice and green, isn't it?

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And then you've got all these big conifer...

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A few more deciduous ones down here, which look really beautiful.

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Now I'd like the garden to be a fun place to be,

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and I'd love to see a trampoline for Amy.

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Right now, though, the deck's dangerously slippy

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and the grass is in an awful state -

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not exactly a playground for a six-year-old.

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For me to have somewhere to sit and just watch nature and the birds,

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that would just be ideal.

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The types of planting I'd like is Japanese.

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I love the acers, but I also love colour,

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so I guess it's a mixture of cottage garden and Japanese.

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It's clear just what this garden could mean to Sam and Amy,

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but with renovations to do inside the house, her budget is tight.

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Budget wise - only £1,300.

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-OK.

-Sounds like quite a lot of the budget could go on the trampoline.

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It would be nice to have a bit more, but we can't, so...

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I guess if we can save on grass and save what I have got in the garden,

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then that's great.

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OK. So, it needs to be a garden for both of them.

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So, for Amy to exercise, that's key for that,

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but also somewhere for Sam.

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Sam to relax and sort of get home from work and just chill out.

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-Nice.

-OK.

-Get it back to what she had before.

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-Yes.

-Yes.

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Briefed on the scale of the task ahead,

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it's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers

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to see this project in the flesh.

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They both have to come up with a design for Sam,

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so we'll be looking for clues that might give them the edge.

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While Charlie gets to know Sam,

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David and Harry are employing a different tactic.

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They believe a garden should work in unison with the house,

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so they're poking around inside.

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I see.

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-A very homely feel.

-Very minimal.

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My kind of initial thought was maybe it's quite tight in here.

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I think that was my first impression walking through the hallway to here.

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I think if we can give her a space out on that decked area there,

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-then you're kind of creating that indoor-outdoor feel.

-Yeah.

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And they've got quite a lot of glass as well,

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so I think it's quite important opening those vistas up

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into the garden.

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Nice, we can definitely grab some inspiration from this.

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Right, let's get upstairs.

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Well, Sam, why do you want it redesigned?

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Well, I've had the house rented out for the last five years

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and I don't know what to do with it, really.

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But what do you want from the garden?

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Well, it's a north-facing garden,

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so this area is actually not really in the sun, certainly in the winter.

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In the summer, I get a bit of sun. But I want it to be a social garden.

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I want it to be my haven, but also I want a garden for my daughter.

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-Do you spend a lot of time out in the garden, then?

-Yes.

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Well, the house being quite small,

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I want this to be an extension of the house

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and for us to spend quality time together.

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-Do you work?

-Yes, I work full-time,

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but I'm also doing a degree as well

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and I'm a single mum, so to actually have the time

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to design and do the garden myself was going to be hard.

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But once it's done, I can maintain it and I will absolutely love it.

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-It will change our lives.

-And you'll enjoy that time, bonding time,

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-with Amy in the garden.

-Yes.

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Nice. Well, Dave, I reckon this is your favourite room.

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-Why's that?

-The pink.

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Yeah, how did you know?!

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-It's quite small.

-So, again, I think we try and put a lot of emphasis

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on little Amy and try and give her a real nice little area outside...

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-Yeah.

-..where she can play, you know, run around, jump around maybe.

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Probably about my size, isn't it?

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With limited space inside the house,

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making the garden a fun and active place for Amy is critical.

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But it needs to be safe because she suffers from a mild form

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of cerebral palsy.

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I'd really like a trampoline.

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-One with a net round it?

-I don't like the net...

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No, neither do I. Not in a garden.

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-..but I need somewhere for her to be safe...

-OK.

-..so she can't fall out,

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so I'd really like it sunken.

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-The in-ground ones?

-Yeah.

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-That's the budget gone then!

-Yes!

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Charlie may be discovering what's on Sam's wish list,

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but inside, the boys are more interested in her taste.

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-So, I think this is Samantha's room.

-Ah, yeah, must be.

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-Very nice.

-Really light, isn't it? Kind of airy.

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And also on the way in, I saw this little guy here.

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So, again, I think we're going to have to draw on that Zen feeling.

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The idea that the garden maybe isn't... There's nothing too bold

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-or in-your-face, it's quite gentle.

-Reconnection to nature.

-Yeah.

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-All of the above.

-Yeah. Right, I think we're done.

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I think we've got enough, haven't we?

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Do you have a style?

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Do you like wild and woolly or do you like formal...?

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-I don't want wild and woolly.

-Not wild and woolly?

-No.

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I do wild and woolly so well.

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I do like Japanese. I lived out there for three years.

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A bit cottagey, a bit shabby chic, a bit new...

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-It's sort of everything.

-The garden's not that big.

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No.

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It's clear what this new garden could mean to Sam and Amy,

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but putting in a trampoline, a tranquil space for mum

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and rejuvenating the overgrown areas all for £1,300 is going to be tough.

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So, our rival designers get down to business.

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Each of them has to come up with what they believe

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will be Sam and Amy's perfect garden.

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They will then go head-to-head and pitch their ideas.

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Whoever loses has to help the winner turn their design into reality.

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So, who will Sam choose?

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Here we go.

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Charlie clearly understands how the garden could be a special place

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for mother and daughter.

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Right, so, this is our design.

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But this garden has to work with the house.

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And that definitely plays to the boys' strengths.

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The garden I want to give you design-wise is informal

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but with a very strong shape to it.

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So you can see, there's big sweeping curves.

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Charlie's going for a bold design

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that works against the rectangular plot.

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But the boys are trying a different tactic.

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They're focusing on what Sam and Amy need from the garden.

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We really wanted to give individual spaces to the garden.

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So, give yourself more of an entertainment space

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where you can relax and then give Amy a kind of space at the end,

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so she can have the trampoline and enjoy.

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Plant wise, thinking Japanese -

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Acer palmatums because you've got the contrast of foliage, colour

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and the lovely mound shape.

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Acers are something that I've always loved in gardens.

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I've never owned any, which would be amazing cos I love the colours

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and it brings back the memories of Japan.

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We've got one here,

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one here and one at the end of this walkway with a rock underneath,

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-so there's a nice view.

-Yes.

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Then also we have a Chinese lantern here in amongst this woodland area,

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under-planted with some bamboos that do well in the shade.

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And also some lovely Paeonia delavayi

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cos they've got really fantastic flowers,

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but the foliage is beautiful as well.

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-So, it's all about the plants.

-Yes.

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Charlie's trying to win Sam over

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by appealing to her love of Japanese gardens.

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But the boys want to use planting in a very different way.

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And I think using birch trees, one of the key aspects of them

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is that the bark has that contrast between white and black.

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So even in the winter, you're going to get that lovely contrast

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and colour, so you walk through this little grove of birch trees.

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Adding gently-swaying silver birches will give the garden a magical feel,

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which is perfect for Amy.

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But this garden is for mum too, so what's in it for her?

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This seating area here will be against the fence with the wisteria,

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which will be scented, but then you can happily watch Amy

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on her trampoline here, which snugly fits into the lawn.

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We've also given you a nice little seat here,

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-which you can see in that visual.

-Oh, OK.

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So it allows you to see if Amy is on the trampoline,

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then you can just sit there.

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-You could be reading a book or just watching her.

-Yes.

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So, that's that kind of idea that it's a bit more of an isolated,

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more of an intimate space.

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What we've done also, we've given you this nice ornamental meadow

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on one side, which will encourage wildlife.

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And what's so nice about that is it changes throughout the season,

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so you'll get different colours popping up.

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That meadow brings so much and it's a lovely detail,

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layering within the garden and very low-maintenance -

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you just cut it down once a year.

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And then on the other side, we're going to give you some really nice

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natural planting, pulling colours from Amy's room like pinks,

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so it's quite vibrant. It will help just lift this space a bit.

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Time's up.

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Charlie and the boys have done their best.

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Now, it's all up to Sam.

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Well, they're absolutely amazing, but they're so different.

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I love the curves on this one.

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But I like this extending the garden out to the back

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and using this, cos this is very much a sun trap,

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so it's very light out there and warm

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and taking the grass to the edges, which would be great.

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I never really wanted the trampoline to be part of the garden,

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hence why I want it sunken.

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But there's going to be flowers around it, which I love.

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So that's perfect.

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Will she be won over by Charlie's curvy Oriental style,

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with its statement acers,

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or the boys' magical woodland garden with its elegant birch trees?

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It's her money and her choice, and only one design can win.

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-Oh, the nerves are building.

-Here we go! I feel sick now.

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Who's it going to be?

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-Yeah, ready.

-I've decided to go with...

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-ALL:

-Ahh!

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..Charlie.

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I've chosen yours.

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Harry and David's faces say it all.

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Not only did they really want this one,

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they now have to help Charlie build her garden.

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And she's going to need them because in a space like this,

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a £1,300 budget won't go far.

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It's the first day of the build.

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Whilst Charlie makes some final adjustments to her design,

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she's sent in project manager Kate and landscapers Scott and Adam

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to deal with the first big challenge of the build -

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cutting back the massively-overgrown shrubs and trees,

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starting with the gargantuan cotoneaster.

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Right, Kate, I think we're going to have to make a decision

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-as to how much we're taking off this.

-Or if we're keeping it at all.

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-OK.

-The problem is, there's three separate bushes.

-Yeah.

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-Sam wants them all to go.

-Right.

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Charlie wants to keep it.

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She wants us to cut it back hard,

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-so even lower than we've done at the moment.

-Right, I see.

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-My issue is, there's one, two, three separate bushes here.

-Yeah.

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The one at the end, I think -

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and I'll be happy to tell Charlie this -

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has to come out.

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Spring is a good time to prune cotoneaster,

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but if a scalping is too drastic,

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you can cut a third back each year and rejuvenate it gradually.

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In an even worse state are the conifers at the back of the garden.

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Two have been planted so close together

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that one has died and has to come out completely.

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So, Scott, I'm really pleased now the dead conifer's out.

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Yeah, so am I. And so much more light's going to get in here

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now we've cut that tree down.

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Pruning shrubs and trees is one thing,

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but Charlie has set the landscapers an even bigger challenge

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before she arrives.

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She wants them to start reshaping the deck.

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Once seen as a cheaper alternative to paving,

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decking has become a dependable and versatile staple

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of the British garden.

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And today's decking comes in a bewildering range

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of colours and styles.

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You can even buy plastic deck that looks like wood

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but lasts a lifetime.

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Decking is ideal for creating different zones in a garden,

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from dining areas to lounges...

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..and laid correctly, can improve the shape of a garden.

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Boards laid left to right add width to a plot,

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laid lengthways give the illusion of length

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and laid diagonally make the space seem bigger.

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In Charlie's design,

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the deck is curved to match the shape of the trampoline.

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But with no money for new boards,

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the team have to cut the old deck to match what's on paper.

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Okey dokey.

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The shape on Charlie's drawing is going to come off there...

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Messing up the deck will ruin the look of the new garden,

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so Adam and Scott are anxious to get it right.

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That's now too far out.

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What we need to do is shorten it up, and that brings us through there.

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-Yeah?

-That is it.

-Yeah?

-Yeah, I reckon.

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All right. Measure twice, cut once, remember.

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Once the marking-out is finished,

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Kate takes a bird's-eye picture to send to Charlie for approval.

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And while waiting to hear, Scott shares another concern he has.

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My worry is that there may be a patio underneath here

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cos often people lay decking over patios.

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Who knows what's under there. Next door have got a patio,

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-the next one along's got a patio.

-Ah, right! All likelihood is...

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-There's possibly one under here.

-..they moved into a patio

0:16:080:16:10

and just built over the top of it.

0:16:100:16:12

-And covered it straight over the top, yes.

-OK.

0:16:120:16:14

At least Kate has some good news from the boss.

0:16:140:16:17

Great news, just heard back from Charlie

0:16:190:16:21

and she's absolutely happy with the curve of the design on the deck,

0:16:210:16:25

so next thing is get cutting.

0:16:250:16:28

Adam's marked out the chalk line on the decking area

0:16:300:16:33

and I'm now going to cut along Adam's chalk line with my jigsaw.

0:16:330:16:36

But if there's a patio underneath,

0:16:380:16:40

it could take days to remove it and re-prep the area for planting,

0:16:400:16:44

which will blow the budget completely.

0:16:440:16:46

Now time to pull up this decking and find out what we've got underneath.

0:16:490:16:53

But it's good news, there's not a paving slab in sight.

0:16:540:16:58

It is basically sharp sand and stone.

0:17:010:17:03

The team may have got lucky this time,

0:17:040:17:06

but with problems appearing round every corner...

0:17:060:17:09

..Charlie and the Rich brothers have arrived

0:17:100:17:12

to take control of proceedings.

0:17:120:17:14

And because her design was chosen, Charlie's in charge.

0:17:140:17:17

So design-wise, I mean, at the moment,

0:17:170:17:20

the garden's very blocky,

0:17:200:17:22

so I want to try and create a bit more of a sweep

0:17:220:17:25

and a sway to the garden.

0:17:250:17:27

So, it's just not...blump.

0:17:270:17:29

They have cut the deck, haven't they? Which looks lovely.

0:17:290:17:31

Yeah. So, accentuate that more with the lawn.

0:17:310:17:34

And even with the paving, I want a bit of, you know, movement in it.

0:17:340:17:38

-Movement.

-Yeah, cos having a circular trampoline,

0:17:380:17:41

it's all going to play off that, isn't it?

0:17:410:17:43

So it should lock the design all together

0:17:430:17:45

with those curves and circles and arcs.

0:17:450:17:48

And you're going to tell me now that me and Dave have to dig out

0:17:480:17:50

-the trampoline?

-Yeah.

-The digger's round the corner, isn't it?

0:17:500:17:53

No, you're the diggers!

0:17:530:17:55

-I'm quite looking forward to it.

-You're always looking forward to it.

0:17:550:17:58

-I know. I always like doing gardens...

-So positive.

0:17:580:18:00

-Does he ever get irritating?

-All the time.

0:18:000:18:03

Brotherly love(!)

0:18:030:18:05

While the boys brace themselves for the big dig,

0:18:060:18:09

Charlie has to run a couple of queries by Sam.

0:18:090:18:12

Sam, let's talk plants and trampolines.

0:18:120:18:18

This cotoneaster.

0:18:180:18:20

-I mean, you're not mad on it, are you?

-No, I don't like it at all.

0:18:200:18:24

-No. OK, so I think we take it out too.

-Yes!

0:18:240:18:28

-Is that the right answer, is it?

-Yes, it is!

0:18:280:18:30

I was dreading you saying that we wouldn't take it out.

0:18:300:18:32

I'm keeping it. This is my garden, not yours.

0:18:320:18:35

-It's staying in.

-You're keeping it?

-No, I'm joking with you.

0:18:350:18:37

I'm teasing. So, yeah. OK, we'll take that right out there,

0:18:370:18:41

which will gain a bit more space.

0:18:410:18:42

Now, our next discussion is the trampoline.

0:18:420:18:45

The trampoline she's ordered is big,

0:18:450:18:47

so she wants to make sure Sam's happy with its destination.

0:18:470:18:50

I'm going for a yin and yang feel,

0:18:510:18:53

so we've got a circle of lawn here and a circle of lawn there.

0:18:530:18:58

So, the trampoline, I'm thinking, fits in about here.

0:18:580:19:02

I love it there, just hopefully go a little bit further out

0:19:020:19:05

-because of the sun.

-Right, OK.

0:19:050:19:07

So I want it to be somewhere where it's going to be warm.

0:19:070:19:10

-Right. So, probably about here.

-Yes.

0:19:100:19:13

Moving the trampoline will mean some tinkering to the design,

0:19:140:19:17

but Charlie knows from experience

0:19:170:19:19

that it's best to keep the client happy.

0:19:190:19:21

Here comes Boss.

0:19:220:19:23

-Somewhere about there?

-No.

-No?

-THEY LAUGH

0:19:230:19:27

The trouble starts now.

0:19:270:19:29

We've only just started and she's already saying no.

0:19:290:19:32

Got to go that way. God, it's a bit bright and breezy, isn't it?

0:19:330:19:36

-It is.

-Right, lift her up.

0:19:360:19:37

Careful, careful.

0:19:390:19:40

-OK.

-It's big, isn't it?

0:19:400:19:42

-It is, yes.

-It's a nice size, though.

0:19:420:19:44

But that's what Sam wants, so....

0:19:440:19:46

You didn't need the trampoline.

0:19:470:19:49

The first job is to cut a circle, so they can create a neat hole

0:19:490:19:53

for the trampoline to fit into.

0:19:530:19:56

Beautiful.

0:19:560:19:57

Meanwhile, Charlie's in the undergrowth

0:19:580:20:00

at the far end of the garden.

0:20:000:20:02

Get enough space so I can stand up.

0:20:020:20:04

This conifer is really dominant in the garden,

0:20:040:20:09

but I want to make it look a little bit more attractive,

0:20:090:20:12

so I'm going to take off some of these lower branches,

0:20:120:20:15

which is called crown lifting,

0:20:150:20:17

and then you'll see a bit more of the trunk

0:20:170:20:19

and it will open up this border a bit more.

0:20:190:20:21

We won't really be able to grow anything under here,

0:20:210:20:24

but we can put some shale

0:20:240:20:26

and that will make it look...that Japanese feel to it.

0:20:260:20:29

So, before Charlie can think about adding any new Japanese plants,

0:20:300:20:35

she's got her work cut out tackling the unruly bunch

0:20:350:20:38

that are there already.

0:20:380:20:40

I can see out now. Hello!

0:20:400:20:42

Meanwhile, the boys have been reduced to hard labour.

0:20:440:20:46

But at least they're smiling...for now.

0:20:480:20:50

-There's a new bit here. Catch this one now.

-Oh.

-Here you go, mate.

0:20:510:20:55

You watch this one clean cut now.

0:20:550:20:57

Keep pumping.

0:20:570:20:59

People will be like, "He's strong."

0:20:590:21:01

Have to have a sub after this line.

0:21:010:21:02

My noodle arms are tired.

0:21:040:21:05

But David's found a silent assassin lurking beneath the turf.

0:21:070:21:11

Oh, it's a chafer grub, isn't it?

0:21:110:21:13

They live under your lawn, basically, and they eat the roots.

0:21:130:21:15

Is there any way of getting rid of them?

0:21:150:21:17

There's some sachets you can buy from any garden centre.

0:21:170:21:19

-Just pour the sachet into a watering can.

-Yeah.

0:21:190:21:21

If you've got a bigger lawn, you'll have to use...

0:21:210:21:23

A bigger watering can!

0:21:230:21:25

Time to get back to work. That hole is not going to dig itself.

0:21:260:21:30

Flip her up. Ehh.

0:21:330:21:35

Join the circus.

0:21:350:21:36

To save money, Charlie wants the boys to make use of any spoil

0:21:360:21:40

they dig up.

0:21:400:21:41

So, we've cut a really nice curve with this deck,

0:21:440:21:46

but it has revealed the bearers underneath.

0:21:460:21:49

So, we're also digging out for the trampoline,

0:21:490:21:51

so we're going to re-use that soil and put it in here,

0:21:510:21:53

so it kind of masks and rises the level up as well.

0:21:530:21:56

So it's going to kind of create this really nice finish.

0:21:560:21:59

-After you.

-Coming through, coming through.

0:22:010:22:04

Starting to crack. It's going.

0:22:080:22:09

Wheey!

0:22:110:22:12

Just got to get it out of the garden now.

0:22:120:22:15

Roll it...she says.

0:22:150:22:16

Having pulled up the turf,

0:22:220:22:23

the boys are on to part two of the sunken trampoline project.

0:22:230:22:27

We're digging the trench around the outside at the moment,

0:22:270:22:30

and this is for the legs to go on, of the trampoline.

0:22:300:22:32

And then we're going to dig a concave shape in the middle,

0:22:320:22:35

so that when you're bouncing on the trampoline,

0:22:350:22:37

you don't hit a hard surface.

0:22:370:22:38

So we've followed the instructions for this individual trampoline,

0:22:380:22:41

but other manufacturers will have different instructions,

0:22:410:22:44

so read them cos safety never takes a day off.

0:22:440:22:46

And neither does Charlie.

0:22:480:22:49

With such a limited budget,

0:22:510:22:52

she's trying to rejuvenate as much of the existing garden as possible.

0:22:520:22:56

And now it's the turn of the wild wisteria.

0:22:580:23:01

Sam says it doesn't flower, but then she's never pruned it,

0:23:020:23:05

so my aim is to untangle some of it and then train it along the fence,

0:23:050:23:10

so that will help cover it and it will be easier to prune.

0:23:100:23:13

Charlie's hoping that once it's in bloom in May and June,

0:23:140:23:18

the wisteria will bring this dull fence to life

0:23:180:23:21

while enhancing the Japanese theme in the garden.

0:23:210:23:23

Whatever the style of your garden,

0:23:260:23:28

if you've got an expanse of fence or wall to cover,

0:23:280:23:32

flowering and evergreen climbers are a great option.

0:23:320:23:35

Clematis comes in all shapes and sizes

0:23:370:23:40

and different varieties flower at different times.

0:23:400:23:43

And evergreens like euonymus and ivy will provide a lush green backdrop

0:23:430:23:47

all year round.

0:23:470:23:48

This is good.

0:23:500:23:52

And it's not raining, yay!

0:23:530:23:56

Don't say things like that!

0:23:560:23:58

When attempting to train a plant along a fence or wall,

0:23:580:24:02

give it a really secure framework to grow against.

0:24:020:24:05

Using galvanised wire and vine eye screws ensures the wire stays taut

0:24:050:24:11

and strong enough to support the mature wisteria.

0:24:110:24:13

The other thing about training flowering plants horizontally

0:24:140:24:18

is it makes them want to flower.

0:24:180:24:21

So, if you had a climbing rose,

0:24:210:24:23

if you bend it down and train it horizontally,

0:24:230:24:26

you get a lot more flower buds initiated along the side shoots.

0:24:260:24:31

That's about spot on. Lovely.

0:24:320:24:35

But with Charlie fussing over the old parts of the garden,

0:24:350:24:38

Kate's getting nervous about the new parts of the design

0:24:380:24:41

that have yet to go in.

0:24:410:24:42

-Adam, Charlie, can I have a word?

-Yeah, of course.

0:24:420:24:45

Well, that sounded official, didn't it?

0:24:450:24:47

-I really want to push on with the lawn...

-Ah-ha.

0:24:470:24:49

Getting it shaped, using the turf cutter

0:24:490:24:51

so we can just keep going, keep going.

0:24:510:24:53

What we need to know is the shape that you want.

0:24:530:24:56

-You're getting my disease...

-Bossy!

-Naggy.

0:24:560:24:59

-We're the only two women on site.

-You've got to keep moving.

-Yeah.

0:25:000:25:03

-So, for me, let's keep tight to the photinia.

-Right.

0:25:030:25:07

-So you sort of think, "Oh, I wonder what's round the corner?"

-Nice.

0:25:070:25:09

But the key bit is when you swing round around the trampoline.

0:25:110:25:15

-OK.

-That has got to be a really nice S.

-Right, lovely.

0:25:150:25:21

-Think yin and yang.

-We did say that, didn't we?

-We did say that, yeah.

0:25:210:25:24

Japanese theme. That's how I'm selling it.

0:25:240:25:27

Meanwhile, there's still no sign of a sunken trampoline,

0:25:290:25:33

just a chain gang hard at work.

0:25:330:25:35

A digger would have cost around £130 for a day hire,

0:25:350:25:39

so to save money, Charlie's relying on the boys' muscles.

0:25:390:25:42

But there's a setback - they've hit heavy clay

0:25:440:25:47

and the smiles are starting to fade.

0:25:470:25:49

So, can you see the yin and the yang now?

0:25:490:25:53

-Yeah.

-Or are you just dizzy from all the digging?

0:25:530:25:55

-Pretty tough old work, this.

-This is heavy, heavy clay.

0:25:550:25:58

-Heavy clay?

-Yeah.

0:25:580:26:00

But once this is dug, we're away, I think.

0:26:000:26:01

I mean, that looks way better.

0:26:010:26:04

It is taking shape, isn't it?

0:26:040:26:05

Turf can soon go down there.

0:26:050:26:07

-We'll keep digging.

-You're almost there, aren't you?

0:26:070:26:09

Yeah, we're almost done. Just got to dig the middle out

0:26:090:26:12

-and then trampoline in.

-Good. That's it. Get to the best bit, planting.

0:26:120:26:15

Oh, I thought you were going to say lunchtime.

0:26:150:26:18

That's the best thing about being the boss,

0:26:180:26:20

somebody else does the digging.

0:26:200:26:21

I'll pop that just there.

0:26:230:26:25

The boys are moaning.

0:26:250:26:27

Look at that. They say it's clay when you can roll it like that

0:26:280:26:33

and you can squeeze it and it doesn't crack.

0:26:330:26:36

And then you can roll it into a long sausage

0:26:360:26:41

and you can wrap it round your finger without it breaking.

0:26:410:26:44

That says it's clay.

0:26:440:26:46

Clay can be tough to manage,

0:26:470:26:49

particularly if you're planting in it.

0:26:490:26:52

So, digging in compost will improve the texture

0:26:520:26:54

and make it more manageable.

0:26:540:26:56

Charlie's design calls for a long curved bed on the left-hand side,

0:27:010:27:05

so Scott's unleashed his turf cutter to whip the lawn into shape.

0:27:050:27:10

They can be hired for about £60 per day

0:27:100:27:12

and make light work of a back-breaking job.

0:27:120:27:15

Meanwhile, Charlie and Adam are on to the next phase of the build,

0:27:170:27:21

the boundary.

0:27:210:27:22

Get posts in for the bamboo.

0:27:220:27:25

-I'm hoping we can attach it to here.

-Yeah. We'll jump over.

0:27:250:27:27

So hop over my little hedge,

0:27:270:27:30

and then what do you think, with two posts?

0:27:300:27:32

-Shall we have a quick measure?

-Go on, then.

0:27:320:27:34

Now the cotoneaster's gone,

0:27:340:27:36

Sam's garden and the next-door neighbour's are rather open-plan.

0:27:360:27:40

So, Charlie's used some of the £1,300 budget

0:27:400:27:43

to buy some bamboo screening.

0:27:430:27:45

But before it arrives, the fixing posts need to go in.

0:27:450:27:48

If it's not properly supported, it will act like a sail in the wind

0:27:490:27:53

and be blown down in no time.

0:27:530:27:55

Meanwhile, the boys are almost there.

0:27:570:27:59

La-la-la-la, bamboo coming through.

0:28:010:28:05

Looking good, boys.

0:28:050:28:07

Almost looks like a piece of sculpture.

0:28:090:28:11

We won't want to put the trampoline in now, it looks so good.

0:28:110:28:14

Yeah, I know. Major engineering works, that looks.

0:28:140:28:17

-It's been quite hard, actually.

-Yeah?

0:28:170:28:18

It's been a bit of a battle, but we've won.

0:28:180:28:20

So you're not going to be jumping in

0:28:200:28:22

to put in in-ground trampolines anywhere?

0:28:220:28:23

-Only when there's a digger.

-OK.

-Not by hand.

0:28:230:28:26

Everyone should know that, it's more difficult than it looks.

0:28:260:28:29

It's all coming together. Right, I'll get out of your way, Scott.

0:28:290:28:31

Charlie and Adam can now construct a framework for the bamboo screen.

0:28:310:28:35

So we have our post, we have a spirit level,

0:28:370:28:40

we have some postcrete,

0:28:400:28:41

-we have a lovely big hole...

-And I've got some water.

0:28:410:28:44

..and we've got some water and we've got a stick to tamp it down.

0:28:440:28:48

That's all you need.

0:28:480:28:49

First, they pour postcrete into the hole...

0:28:510:28:54

-Hold on, hold on, hold on.

-Oh, hang on a second.

0:28:550:28:58

Right, tamp away.

0:28:580:29:00

..keeping an eye on the spirit level to make sure the post is upright...

0:29:000:29:03

Just need some water, then.

0:29:030:29:05

..and then add water to make it set hard.

0:29:050:29:07

-Is that all right?

-Oh, I'm happy with that.

-Fantastic.

0:29:070:29:10

-It's like we planned it.

-How did that happen, Stanley?

0:29:100:29:13

-Right, I'll put the last little bit in.

-Yeah.

0:29:140:29:16

How long have we got to leave these posts?

0:29:160:29:18

-About 20 minutes, I'd say.

-OK.

0:29:180:29:20

-About long enough to have some food.

-SHE LAUGHS

0:29:200:29:24

Is that a subtle hint that you want lunch?

0:29:240:29:26

Always want lunch, me.

0:29:260:29:28

-Cool.

-Right.

0:29:280:29:29

Good.

0:29:290:29:31

Relieved from digging duties,

0:29:310:29:32

Dave has moved on to another key part of Charlie's design -

0:29:320:29:36

the stepping stone path.

0:29:360:29:38

These concrete slabs look like wooden sleepers

0:29:380:29:41

but are much longer lasting.

0:29:410:29:42

This part of Charlie's design provides the perfect spot

0:29:430:29:46

for a bench and leads to the woodland area at the rear.

0:29:460:29:50

It gives quite nice natural edging.

0:29:520:29:54

It doesn't look too contemporary. It's got a nice kind of frayed edge.

0:29:540:29:57

And at the moment, she's got this kind of flint running through,

0:29:570:30:00

but you could easily have planting that would really soften it

0:30:000:30:02

and that would really naturalise the shape.

0:30:020:30:04

David's laying them on a dry mix of sand and concrete.

0:30:040:30:08

Moisture from the earth below and rain over the coming days

0:30:080:30:11

will set the mixture.

0:30:110:30:13

-You can zoom in on that happily.

-It's actually level!

0:30:150:30:18

-DAVID LAUGHS

-So, what's so nice about this area

0:30:180:30:21

is that it's got two varied materials.

0:30:210:30:23

So we've got the concrete sleepers and we've got the slates.

0:30:230:30:26

And that adds a bit of texture, a bit of interest.

0:30:260:30:28

You've got these in a kind of stepping stone style.

0:30:280:30:31

And especially with this slate here,

0:30:310:30:32

it really emphasises the Japanese style that Charlie's going for.

0:30:320:30:35

And it looks like the boss approves.

0:30:350:30:37

-Yeah, I like that.

-Coming along.

-I like that. That's good.

0:30:370:30:40

-Yeah, you happy with the spacing, with the lines?

-Yeah.

0:30:400:30:43

How come you went for the whole jiggery-pokery look?

0:30:430:30:46

I didn't want it to be too formal,

0:30:460:30:48

-cos this bit for me is sort of leading into the woodland area.

-OK.

0:30:480:30:52

It's where she can sit and relax and watch Amy on the trampoline.

0:30:520:30:56

Evening sun, but a bit of dappled shade,

0:30:560:30:59

-so I didn't want it too formal...

-OK, yeah.

-..with the hard curve.

0:30:590:31:02

Yeah. Cos it definitely detracts away from the contemporary,

0:31:020:31:05

-doesn't it?

-Yeah.

-Once you start that more cottagey feel.

0:31:050:31:07

-All right.

-Lovely. I'll crack on.

0:31:070:31:09

Right then.

0:31:120:31:13

Meanwhile, on the opposite side of the garden, the fence posts are set,

0:31:130:31:17

so Charlie can get on with erecting the screening.

0:31:170:31:20

-Do we need to go behind that post?

-Oh, you're so clever.

0:31:200:31:23

I thought before you roll it all out

0:31:230:31:25

and I have to tell you to pull it back again...

0:31:250:31:27

This screening won't last forever,

0:31:270:31:30

but it will do the job for a good four or five years,

0:31:300:31:35

because it's the thicker-slatted bamboo.

0:31:350:31:38

If bamboo isn't right for your garden,

0:31:380:31:41

similar screening is available in other finishes,

0:31:410:31:43

like brushwood and reed.

0:31:430:31:46

So, we've got some slate.

0:31:480:31:50

Just as I finish as well, good timing.

0:31:520:31:54

-Don't step on them.

-I won't, don't worry.

0:31:540:31:56

Time to get it in.

0:31:560:31:59

Oh, I've noticed that's Welsh slate there.

0:31:590:32:01

-The best form of slate.

-It is.

0:32:010:32:03

The best form of slate, best form of man, aren't they?

0:32:030:32:05

Really? How do you know?

0:32:050:32:07

Well, definitely the best slate.

0:32:070:32:09

-Best slate?

-I know Dave, Dave knows me.

0:32:090:32:11

-THEY LAUGH

-What do you think of these together?

0:32:110:32:13

-It's nice cos it gives it a usable surface, doesn't it?

-Yes.

0:32:130:32:15

You could have turf running through them

0:32:150:32:17

if you wanted a more natural look,

0:32:170:32:19

-but these look really realistic as well.

-I thought they were wood.

0:32:190:32:22

-They're amazing.

-It's nice also having a couple down there as well.

0:32:220:32:25

-It just leads your eye down the space, doesn't it?

-Yes.

0:32:250:32:27

The whole path, a journey created through the garden, yeah.

0:32:270:32:31

But there's no time for the boys to rest.

0:32:310:32:33

Charlie needs them to finish the trampoline.

0:32:330:32:36

Look at that, like a glove.

0:32:380:32:40

Are you going to put a level on it, do you think?

0:32:400:32:42

Yeah, shall we check it?

0:32:420:32:43

All we need is an 8ft piece of wood.

0:32:430:32:45

Now the moment of truth.

0:32:460:32:48

-How does that look?

-ALL:

-Pretty good.

0:32:480:32:51

-Pretty good.

-Trampolines like this come complete with a collar

0:32:510:32:54

designed to stop the sides of the hole from collapsing.

0:32:540:32:58

But with a lot of the garden still to do,

0:32:580:33:00

Charlie's getting frustrated.

0:33:000:33:02

Harry... Arrrr!

0:33:040:33:07

Come on, let's rock and roll. I'm getting irritated now

0:33:070:33:09

with faffing around all day long doing this trampoline.

0:33:090:33:13

While the springs of the trampoline go in,

0:33:150:33:18

Harry's moved on to finishing the deck.

0:33:180:33:20

Since it's mostly in the shade, it's prone to algae,

0:33:200:33:23

which can make it slippery, so he's making it safe.

0:33:230:33:27

I'm painting it with a non-slip paint,

0:33:270:33:29

and that's really going to add a lot more grip to it

0:33:290:33:32

and it's actually going to maintain the wood as well.

0:33:320:33:34

There are lots of different ways of tackling an issue like this.

0:33:340:33:37

If you can't get any anti-slip paint,

0:33:370:33:39

you can also use varnish. And when you put that on,

0:33:390:33:42

before it dries, you can sprinkle sand on top,

0:33:420:33:45

so that gives you a really nice kind of grippy surface.

0:33:450:33:48

Now all the grunt work is over,

0:33:490:33:51

it's time to bring some green into this garden.

0:33:510:33:54

Charlie won Sam over to her design

0:33:540:33:56

with the promise of Oriental trees and shrubs,

0:33:560:33:59

evoking happy memories of her time in Japan.

0:33:590:34:03

But this type of planting is not easy to carry off.

0:34:030:34:06

So, if you want to bring the spirit of the Far East to your garden,

0:34:060:34:09

it pays to do some research.

0:34:090:34:11

At the Big Plant Nursery, in Sussex,

0:34:130:34:15

they specialise in the type of hardy exotic plants

0:34:150:34:18

that are found in Oriental gardens.

0:34:180:34:20

I mean, the very traditional plants would be

0:34:220:34:24

Ilex crenata, cloud tree formed,

0:34:240:34:28

Pittosporum tobira, which is a mock orange -

0:34:280:34:31

it's very fragrant,

0:34:310:34:33

bamboos, certainly.

0:34:330:34:36

Bamboo has to be one of the archetypal plants

0:34:360:34:39

that we associate with an Oriental garden.

0:34:390:34:41

But it has a bad reputation for spreading like crazy.

0:34:410:34:45

Some bamboo can be invasive.

0:34:470:34:49

For instance, phyllostachys types can send runners out.

0:34:490:34:52

Not always. In different conditions, they'll do different things.

0:34:520:34:56

When dry, they can start searching for water.

0:34:560:34:59

In nice moist situations, they're not so bad.

0:34:590:35:03

Runners are horizontal stems that are sent out

0:35:030:35:05

just underneath the surface of the soil

0:35:050:35:08

and produce new plants along their length.

0:35:080:35:10

So, if it's phyllostachys that you want to grow,

0:35:110:35:13

put it in a pot, but remember that it will outgrow its container

0:35:130:35:17

quite quickly.

0:35:170:35:18

The time to pull it out and divide it is springtime.

0:35:180:35:21

Not all bamboo is badly behaved.

0:35:250:35:27

Clump-forming varieties are much more manageable.

0:35:270:35:31

Excellent bamboo for an Oriental-style garden

0:35:310:35:34

is Fargesia jiuzhaigou, which is clump forming, has dark canes

0:35:340:35:37

and has a fountain-type habit.

0:35:370:35:40

It's very soothing and sympathetic.

0:35:400:35:42

Another look associated with Oriental gardens

0:35:430:35:46

is a form of topiary called cloud pruning.

0:35:460:35:49

Cloud pruning literally mimics cloud formations in the sky,

0:35:490:35:54

which is easily achievable with many plants from the Orient,

0:35:540:35:58

such as the Ilex crenata here or, certainly, pine trees.

0:35:580:36:02

Also, Ilex crenata, being from the holly family,

0:36:020:36:04

does take to pruning very well.

0:36:040:36:06

It recovers well, it heals well and you do get a lovely overall effect.

0:36:060:36:11

To create these forms can take many years,

0:36:110:36:13

but it is a fantastic statement in your garden and worth the effort.

0:36:130:36:17

A stalwart of any Oriental planting scheme is the acer.

0:36:180:36:22

Sam fell in love with them when she spent time in Japan,

0:36:220:36:25

so Charlie's got some fab specimens to add to her new garden.

0:36:250:36:29

So plant-wise, we've got some really key plants in the garden.

0:36:330:36:36

We've got some beautiful Japanese maples.

0:36:360:36:39

And I want them to stand alone so they're like specimen planting.

0:36:390:36:43

So there's one just on the edge of the deck,

0:36:430:36:45

so you see the lovely curved shape of it.

0:36:450:36:48

Then there's another one over by the kitchen window.

0:36:480:36:50

Again, it's a lace-type one with a red foliage.

0:36:500:36:54

Then we've got another one over there.

0:36:540:36:56

So, they're dotted round the garden and we want to highlight them.

0:36:560:37:00

Because the budget's a little on the tight side,

0:37:000:37:03

the planting's quite sparse, but we're putting in key plants

0:37:030:37:08

to sort of highlight the features in the garden.

0:37:080:37:11

So these low black grasses will highlight the paving here

0:37:110:37:16

and then most of the planting is on the far side

0:37:160:37:20

as a backdrop to the trampoline.

0:37:200:37:22

I love these lace maples.

0:37:320:37:35

-They're delicate, aren't they?

-This being a shadier garden,

0:37:350:37:38

the leaves will be much happier.

0:37:380:37:40

They don't like full, full sun.

0:37:400:37:42

Is it because they're quite fine?

0:37:420:37:44

They're fine because they're naturally from woodland.

0:37:440:37:46

-They're the under-planting in woodland...

-Yeah, yeah.

0:37:460:37:48

-..so they're protected like hostas and all the woodland plants.

-Yeah.

0:37:480:37:53

Gorgeous. A lovely bit of colour, isn't it?

0:37:530:37:55

To keep the budget on track,

0:37:570:37:59

Charlie's sacrificed a few plants for some new turf.

0:37:590:38:02

Most of the grass in Sam's garden is OK, but where the deck came up,

0:38:020:38:06

there's a big gap.

0:38:060:38:08

With the statement acers planted,

0:38:110:38:13

Charlie moves on to the undulating bed she has created

0:38:130:38:16

down the left-hand side of the garden.

0:38:160:38:19

So this border here,

0:38:190:38:21

I've got some evergreens for structure,

0:38:210:38:23

things like the nandinas and the fatsia.

0:38:230:38:26

But then I've got some plants to add some colour,

0:38:260:38:29

so these are day lilies or hemerocallis.

0:38:290:38:32

They have this very fountain-like foliage

0:38:320:38:35

and then come up with big flower spikes for most of the summer,

0:38:350:38:38

and the flowers are big trumpet orange flowers.

0:38:380:38:41

So that runs all the way through the border.

0:38:410:38:45

This garden has been a leap into the unknown.

0:38:450:38:48

There have been potential disasters under every board

0:38:480:38:51

and behind every overgrown shrub.

0:38:510:38:54

And thanks to the trampoline, the muscles are aching.

0:38:540:38:57

But as the finishing touches go in, Sam and Amy's new garden is done.

0:38:570:39:02

In its former guise, this garden was neglected and drab.

0:39:070:39:12

Five years without care had left shrubs massively overgrown

0:39:120:39:16

and the deck dangerously slippy.

0:39:160:39:19

It was far from the fun and relaxing space

0:39:190:39:22

mum and daughter so badly needed.

0:39:220:39:25

Now, it's a place for happy memories.

0:39:260:39:28

With no money for a new deck,

0:39:300:39:32

the old one has been salvaged and reshaped

0:39:320:39:35

to fit with the curves of the new design.

0:39:350:39:38

Charlie used nearly half the £1,300 budget

0:39:390:39:42

on statement Oriental-style plants

0:39:420:39:44

that bring the foreground of the space to life.

0:39:440:39:47

And £250 on concrete wood-effect sleepers

0:39:480:39:52

for her elegant new pathway.

0:39:520:39:54

The overgrown cotoneaster has been replaced with a bamboo screen,

0:39:550:40:00

providing much-needed privacy.

0:40:000:40:02

But best of all, there's a new trampoline.

0:40:030:40:06

Putting it in may have been a blister-inducing labour of love,

0:40:060:40:10

and at £300, used up almost a third of the budget,

0:40:100:40:13

but it's the one thing Sam wanted for Amy.

0:40:130:40:16

Sam's dream was for her garden to be a fun place for Amy

0:40:190:40:23

and a relaxing haven for her.

0:40:230:40:25

It's time to see if Charlie's design has delivered.

0:40:250:40:28

Charlie's bringing them out.

0:40:290:40:31

Eyes closed, leading them out into their garden.

0:40:310:40:34

Do you want to open your eyes?

0:40:340:40:36

-Oh, my God.

-SHE GASPS

0:40:380:40:40

Oh, my God.

0:40:400:40:41

Oh, she looks so happy.

0:40:420:40:44

It's beautiful.

0:40:440:40:46

-Wow!

-Yeah?

0:40:480:40:49

Yes. Ohh.

0:40:490:40:52

It just looks so different.

0:40:520:40:54

It looks just beautiful.

0:40:540:40:56

I think she should be super pleased.

0:40:560:40:59

Yeah, look at that, super big grin.

0:40:590:41:01

I'm shaking!

0:41:010:41:02

-So we've created some little areas for you.

-Yes.

0:41:020:41:05

This, budget-wise, we were a bit tight.

0:41:050:41:08

So basically, you're going to have to save up for a seat

0:41:080:41:10

-cos this is a fantastic sun trap.

-Oh, yeah.

0:41:100:41:13

And that wisteria, just train it all the way along.

0:41:130:41:16

-How did you do that?

-A bit of pruning.

0:41:160:41:19

And then we want to draw your eye round the garden,

0:41:190:41:22

so that you'll wander down here.

0:41:220:41:23

And the way we've done the paving,

0:41:230:41:25

it sort of draws... You want to go, "What's round there?"

0:41:250:41:28

And we've got the hellebores and woodland plants.

0:41:280:41:31

-Oh, wow.

-And lots of acers.

-Yes.

0:41:310:41:34

And do you think Amy will like the trampoline?

0:41:340:41:36

Oh, that is just amazing.

0:41:360:41:38

-And it fits in, doesn't it?

-It does.

0:41:380:41:41

And then, come, this is my favourite bit down here.

0:41:410:41:45

Oh-oh-oh!

0:41:450:41:46

-I thought this would be a wonderful place for a Wendy house.

-Oh, yes.

0:41:480:41:53

Clearing that up, it's made a natural little area out of it,

0:41:530:41:56

hasn't it? Because before it looked horrible.

0:41:560:41:58

-Oh, I love this. A little hideaway.

-A little hideaway.

-Yes.

0:41:580:42:03

-Shall we get Amy out?

-Yes!

0:42:030:42:04

Yes!

0:42:040:42:06

Come here.

0:42:100:42:12

Can I go on it now?

0:42:120:42:13

-Pointing straight to the trampoline.

-Can't wait to get on the trampoline.

0:42:130:42:16

-Oh, the trampoline works, thank God.

-Thumbs up.

0:42:160:42:19

This garden has been a challenge on a limited budget

0:42:230:42:27

for two clients with very different requirements...

0:42:270:42:30

The garden is half Sam's, half Amy's,

0:42:310:42:34

and I think they will get years of enjoyment.

0:42:340:42:37

Just overwhelmed by it, actually.

0:42:390:42:41

The impact it will have on our lives is huge.

0:42:410:42:44

Just to have the extra space, it seems...

0:42:440:42:46

the garden seems to have grown as well.

0:42:460:42:48

So to have lots of friends over, to entertain,

0:42:480:42:51

to have lots of kids - now is going to be an opportunity to do that,

0:42:510:42:55

whereas before we couldn't, really.

0:42:550:42:57

They've done an amazing job. It looks fantastic.

0:42:570:43:01

I've got to say - £1,300, I am very impressed.

0:43:010:43:04

It's a really, really cool garden, Charlie.

0:43:040:43:05

Apart from that digging we had to do.

0:43:050:43:07

THEY LAUGH ..and they couldn't be happier.

0:43:070:43:10

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich Brothers are in Bedford, competing to design a garden for busy single mum Sam and her six-year-old daughter Amy. The garden is overgrown, unloved and badly in need of some TLC. Sam dreams of a trampoline for Amy, a seating area for herself and a colour-filled oasis bursting with oriental style plants.

However, money is tight, and with a budget of just £1,300 the designers have to pull some tricks out of the bag to make the most of what is there already. They have tips on rejuvenating huge overgrown shrubs, a cost-effective way of replacing a tumble-down boundary fence and ideas for breathing new life into an old slippery deck.