Garden renovation series with Charlie Dimmock and garden designers the Rich brothers. The team are in Farnham to help a couple turn their garden into a flower-filled haven.
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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens
-and decades of experience...
..Charlie Dimmock is one of Britain's best-loved gardeners.
Looking good, boys.
But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.
We want to be the brothers
that change people's perceptions of gardeners.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Oh, look at it turn.
-That's amazing, isn't it?
..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.
Now, these two different generations of gardening are going head-to-head.
I know they've got a gold medal, but I can come up with a few ideas.
They're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...
The photos made it look tiny.
-It is, isn't it?
-I'm sure you've seen larger.
I don't know what to do with it.
..and will each pitch them a design based on their needs...
-It looks really exciting.
-It doesn't look like it could be our garden.
..brings their design to life...
Hold on! Hold on!
Sweet as a nut.
..and the loser has to help them build it.
Oh, I'm getting irritated now with faffing around.
This is what happens...
-Does he ever get irritating?
-All the time.
..when different styles collide...
-Who chose these?
-One, two, three.
-This looks like your design.
..to turn garden dreams into reality.
Open your eyes.
Whoa! It's amazing.
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to discover
whose garden they'll be battling over this time.
We've got Laura and James, young couple. 28.
And they're getting married this year.
So they've got a lot of things on their plate.
They're planning for a wedding
and they've been doing up their house as well for two years.
James and his fiancee, Laura, live in Farnham in Surrey.
Despite both of them working full time, they've spent two years
turning their first house into their dream home.
I think it's been quite time consuming doing all the renovations.
So it's taken a lot of time to go through all the rooms,
we're almost finished now.
But we haven't touched the garden so it's quite neglected at the moment.
This young couple have put so much money and effort into their home
that their garden has been completely neglected.
Brace yourselves for this one. Have a look at that picture.
-It doesn't even look like a garden, does it?
-No! What's happened there?!
-That's a little scary, isn't it?
I think we've lacked inspiration with what to do with the garden.
We stripped it back from what was there before.
-We've just got ourselves a blank canvas.
And really want a bit of inspiration on where to go from there.
This garden is a disaster.
Right now, its only features are the remains of an old bathroom
and an unsightly patio that's definitely seen better days.
There's nothing here is there?
There's not even any lawn or anything.
Bit of a tricky one, isn't it?
Looking at the garden at the moment, it's a bit grim.
Yeah, we don't want to spend any time there as it is.
It looks like there's some sort of level change
there at the end as well.
-Yeah, cos otherwise that's a really tall shed.
So it looks quite a tricky one, this one, I'd say.
Despite the state of the garden,
James and Laura have high expectations.
-They definitely want to have it for entertaining.
For bringing friends over, drinking wine in the evening.
That kind of thing.
Laura said that she loves flowers. Flowers and herbs.
I'd quite like to see plants like roses, lavender, fuchsia.
So, flood the garden with flowers and I think they'll be very happy.
But having poured their money into the house, and with a wedding
to pay for, James and Laura have a limited budget to spend.
The budget we provided is £1,500.
It's a big wish-list for £1,500.
To get a good effect with not much money,
and there's absolutely nothing...
I think this is going to take all our creativity, isn't it?
I think so, yeah.
Having learnt what they have to contend with,
Charlie and the boys will now compete for the chance to
make over Laura and James's garden.
They're heading to the couple's house to look for clues
that might give each of them the edge when it comes to their design.
Charlie is heading straight to the garden with Laura and James.
This is it! Someone's been doing some work.
Yeah, I've been busy.
But the boys have a different approach.
They like to snoop around inside.
I think one thing that definitely strikes me is the word shabby chic.
They like to look inside a client's house
for clues of how the garden could reflect their tastes.
I think they love bringing things back to their natural state,
-maybe leaving a little bit of paint on them or something.
You can tell that from all this wood.
The boys are known for their contemporary style.
But Laura and James have quite traditional taste
so they need to be careful.
What was it like when you moved in?
We had a bit of a grass patch there.
It was kind of just not really doing much.
They had an extension which got knocked down.
Rather than pay for skips to get rid of the waste, they
just buried it in the garden and covered it in paving.
-One thing I've also noticed as well is a lot of floral patterns.
It's here on some cake tins, on the mugs,
and also through cut flowers as well.
I think that's one thing we'll probably try to
look at putting in the garden.
What do you want from the garden? I mean, how are you going to use it?
We'd like somewhere we can sit out in the summer and relax.
-Have a drink or two.
-Yeah, have friends over.
We need to ensure it's looking as good as in here,
cos this is what they love.
This is how they see themselves, their own style.
Just make sure there's a lovely link between both spaces.
-Then they'll love it.
Harry and David clearly fancy their chances.
But Charlie's finding more clues in the back
that might give her an advantage.
I have to say, the different levels,
there's a lot of different levels, aren't there?
The old patio is actually in the ideal spot.
You must get all the evening sun up here.
Yeah, this is a real sun trap.
Shed seems like it's seen better days.
-Yeah, it's on its last legs, I think.
I have to say, we've got a lot to contend with here.
It's a tight budget.
We've got different levels to work.
It's going to really challenge me
and the boys to come up with something.
But I'm sure we've got a few ideas.
Can't wait to see them.
Transforming this garden for £1,500 is a big ask.
Just rebuilding the patio from scratch could blow the budget.
So our rival designers get straight to work.
Each of them has to come up with a design for Laura and James'
garden that will work within their £1,500 budget.
The couple will then choose a winner
and whoever loses will have to help them build the garden.
So who will the couple go for?
Will it be Charlie with her wealth of experience,
eye for the practical, and love of blooms?
Or will the go with the award-winning Rich brothers,
known for their chic, modern designs?
It's time for the big pitch.
So, our idea, our concept for the garden
was to really create an outdoor room for you guys.
Somewhere that you can come home after work,
indulge in your outdoor lifestyle, have a glass of wine.
Just immerse you in a much more natural space.
Instead of it being all open,
you'll actually have these lovely little rooms.
You wander through the garden rather than just seeing it as one.
-Zoned, isn't it?
The boys have divided the space horizontally,
into areas for lounging and dining,
turning the garden into a series of rooms.
Whilst Charlie's taken a different tack.
You're new gardeners, you work all the time.
You're not quite sure, time-wise,
how much time you'll have for the garden.
I have basically gone with the shape, the rectangular.
But to add some interest,
I've gone with raised borders made of timber at different heights.
She's going for a more conventional approach using timber borders
down each side of the garden.
The boys have chosen wood too, but used it in a rather different way.
We drew from the house as well
as there's quite a lot of wooden flooring.
So we wanted to give you a lovely linear path there.
These two rose beds here,
they're sort of what I would call bum height.
Just ideal perching.
That's perfect for when we've got guests over
and we have parties in the summer.
We always run out of chairs.
One feature Laura
and James are definitely not a fan of is the old shed.
What we wanted to do was kind of define this with a nice
That again doubles up as a seating space with a nice slabbed top on it.
So the boys are planning to leave the shed in and mask it.
But Charlie's gone one better.
I have put a new shed in there.
And I would have the shed facing this way.
And it's a bit of a summerhouse type of shed.
Now, we know Laura loves her plants.
Can Charlie and the boys wow her on such a limited budget?
We've got planting down this area here.
On the top, we've left areas for maybe
-if you wanted to grow some herbs.
And it'd be a little bit more meadowy.
So a little bit more of a natural meadow.
This is like, warm pink.
So it'll be something that's quite floral and quite natural.
We have a flower border here of roses and lavender.
Now this side of the garden, we're going to be putting in things
there that like the sun and give you all the colour flowers.
Both sides are trying to appeal to Laura's love of pink.
But Charlie's come up with an extra place for plants by the back door.
These are actually containers made out of scaffold boards, painted,
-that are on wheels.
-That sounds pretty cool.
It just lets you relax.
It's your own little bit of Zen,
in touch with a bit more nature as well, which is quite nice.
It doesn't look like it could be our garden.
THEY ALL LAUGH
That's it. Time's up.
The couple must decide which design will deliver
the garden that they want for their £1,500 budget.
The Rich brothers, I like where they've covered up the shed,
cos it is a bit shabby at the moment.
In this one, it's kind of open, but that's quite an interesting concept.
I like the decked walkway. That's really nice.
Yes, and it ties in with the timber floorboards in the house as well.
These rose planters work as a bench as well.
-So if we've got people over...
-They can perch on them.
-On the side, yeah. I know you like these colours.
She mentioned having roses and lavender. It would smell lovely.
And Charlie's also has a new shed, I think we really need one.
Yeah, it's on its last legs. That would be pretty handy.
-It's a tough choice, isn't it?
With their new life ahead of them,
this garden could really make a difference to Laura and James.
But only one design can win.
Will Laura and James plump for the Rich brothers' design
that will take them on a journey through different zones
leading to a romantic seating area?
Or will they choose Charlie's new summerhouse,
her movable planters, and raised beds filled with flowers?
It is decision time.
Was it a difficult decision?
-Very, we loved both, didn't we?
-Yeah, we loved both.
We loved just to visualise our garden as something different.
We have decided to go with...
-Interesting. My goodness.
So, I think it's going to be difficult to keep it on budget
and to get everything in.
Yeah, we haven't got long to build it, have we?
I'm glad you are both young and strong.
I will be pointing.
So, how did you get to your decision?
And I hope there weren't any arguments because, you know,
I would hate the wedding to be off.
-I just did what I was told.
Easiest way, isn't it?
Charlie may be smiling now
but this is where the hard work really starts.
The boys are clearly disappointed
so she is going to need to win them round and put them to work if they
are to have any hope of transforming this derelict back yard.
Before Charlie and the boys can work their magic,
her contracting team have to prepare the site.
Charlie is working on the finer points of her design
so has asked project manager Kate
and her boys to remove everything undesirable in the garden.
And lay the foundations for the new features in the design.
We've got our railway sleepers which are going to be
the mainframe for all our raised beds.
So that's the main design feature in this garden.
We've just got to start getting that all round and start using it.
At the heart of Charlie's design is a new summerhouse.
So it's time for the old shed to make an unceremonious exit.
The new building is going to be a focal point in this garden
so it needs to be sited perfectly.
The days of the humble shed hidden away
at the bottom of the garden are over.
In today's gardens
buildings are just as big a feature as trees and plants.
Whether it's simple storage solutions,
elegant summer houses,
or ultramodern outdoor pods,
the right building can be another living space,
helping take the pressure off our busy homes.
But if you are going to invest in an outdoor structure,
take care to site it properly so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
In Laura and James's garden,
Charlie's plan is for the new summerhouse to face the patio.
But there is a problem.
The footings left from the old shed base are rotten
and with no money for new ones,
contractors Adam and Scott are recycling parts of the old shed
to create a new base.
An expensive garden building can come with free installation
but on this budget, we are going flat-pack
and relying on the contractors' expertise.
This isn't a one-person job so if you do the same,
make sure you've got someone to help you.
The old shed may have gone but Charlie's decided to keep
the patio as a seating area for Laura and James.
Right now it's an eyesore
but Charlie has big plans for it so has charged Kate
and the boys with giving it a face-lift.
First things first, I think we are going to jet wash the patio,
get it cleaned up, because it's quite dirty.
With Charlie and the boys on their way,
the contractors are keen to get all the prep work finished.
The patio has been laid on an unsightly pile of rubble.
So they are building a retaining wall to cover up the edges.
In front of which there will be a set of steps.
Perfect. Look at that. That's better.
But the pile of rubble is a lot wider than the patio.
So there is a rather large gap.
And the height from the original patio, obviously we've got
so much difference between there and here...
-Yeah, and another sleeper makes it higher than the patio.
If this wall comes up higher, we are going to be above the patio,
which I think will ruin the flow of the garden.
On the design, there's a lot more patio there on the actual picture.
It comes all the way out to here.
-But there is not actually much patio here, is there?
-We couldn't get any extra slabs and the lack of budget as well.
Fortunately, Charlie, Harry
and David have arrived just in time and are ready to get stuck in.
So, plan of attack?
-Right, go on, lay it on us.
-Hey, here we go!
Harry, what I would like you to do is get on with the rose beds
because we've got to get ahead with building them
because we've got to fill them with soil before we plant them.
-I know that's really obvious but there you go.
-It's a good job.
-David, if you can start on the patio at the far end.
-We are going to recycle all the slabs.
So maybe lose one or two of the slabs.
It'll make it just looked a little more patio relaxed
-rather than parking space.
Don't tell me you are drinking tea while we are doing this?
Yeah, I'm going to be here drinking tea, enjoying the sunshine.
-Checking the time and pointing. Yeah?
-Off you go then.
I might just have a sip of my tea first though.
David is dutifully off to revive the patio.
And Harry is on the case constructing the raised beds
that will flank the edges of the garden.
But Kate needs Charlie to focus on finding a solution to the
retaining wall problem.
So what's the issue then?
I think it's quite obvious really.
That was meant to be the level but if we come up another sleeper...
-..it's going to be too high, isn't it?
It's going to be too high and, you know, it's going to ruin that line.
So, the idea is to put this sleeper here, make an extra step.
OK. So, like that?
-Yeah, like that.
So we kind of put the sleeper here so you are going step one...
-Step, step, step.
-Yeah, that's what we thought you might...
-We've got a bit of a problem here, mate.
What is it?
Well, it's the levels, isn't it? We've got the issue with the levels.
So we really need an extra step
but we haven't got vast amounts of materials to do it.
-But I want it all to tie in...
I'm thinking, chop this, drop it in...
I mean, there is a lot of hard core underneath so it's quite firm.
And then another sleeper at the back, drop that slab into there.
-Then put another step here on the angle.
It lends you into this little patio area as well.
Laura and James' limited budget means that anything
that can be reused in the garden is a bonus.
The challenge will be to find a way to make the old
slab into a safe stepping stone.
-How are you going?
Just re-laying some slabs, making them nice and level.
Banging some things.
-This one is a bit...
-What? That is the one I just did!
No, it's not! You liar!
But before that, the old patio will need a face-lift.
Charlie has tasked David with turning it from an eyesore
into a new seating area.
And he's found a solution using ordinary gravel.
So, if you need to remove a slab or there is a missing space,
you can just fill the gravel in its place.
This situation works really well because we've got four
surrounding slabs so it holds the gravel in, which is great.
By breaking up the solid paving with gravel,
the patio immediately looks better.
This is a really good way to increase your area for your patio.
But using gravel also gives that lovely texture
and a bit of material change.
But David has got another trick to bring it to life.
Right, so, if you are looking to spruce up your patio
but you find that some of the original slabs are broken
or you can't find them,
this is another great way of doing it.
Here we've got camomile lawn and we've got creeping thyme.
You can plant these in the gaps.
These are great because they are low-lying,
which means you're not going to trip over them,
they smell really good, and they love dry and poor soil.
So it means it's not going to take too much maintenance.
So you've just got to make sure you dig a decent hole for them
for the pot size, loosen up the soil around it
because that will help the new roots grow through.
Once they are out of the pot, maybe just give the roots a little tease.
And then you put it in and push the soil up around it.
There we are.
Then that will grow and thrive and be beautiful.
Nearby, Harry and Adam are building Charlie's extra step.
They're adding a timber frame for stability
and a membrane to stop the weeds coming through.
-That's good and solid now. That will take people walking on it.
Then, around the old slab,
they are adding gravel so it matches David's new patio.
-Much smarter finish.
-Almost like a beach theme.
-It is, isn't it?
All I'm doing here now is, we've got
a bit of an issue of having this unsightly...
It doesn't look the best. So what we're going to do...
-Can I just borrow the board?
..is use a bit of wooden board here just to create a more
decorative finish to this step.
One of the issues with the old garden was that the
fence at the back had collapsed.
So David has come up with a solution.
He's painting the remaining panel dark brown.
And has found a novel use for one of the old shed walls.
This garden build is all about making a limited budget
go a long way. Laura and James were taken with Charlie's
idea for containers by the back door.
But with no money to buy them,
she's making them for a fraction of the price.
So we are making them nice and big.
One, they are easier to maintain cos they won't dry out so quickly.
But also, the impact, you'll be able to get more plants in them
and they'll look a lot more attractive.
Containers are great in a garden but they can work out really expensive.
My idea is that we are building it out of timber.
This is going to give a bit more support to the container.
Let's check to see how long they are.
We are using gravel boards so they're tanalised.
Tanalised means the wood has been treated to stop it from rotting.
-There we go.
-There is one in there. One in there.
-That's a nice, snug fit.
As you can see,
it's quite substantial now that it's started to come together.
It's quite weighty, which is good. It won't blow over in the wind.
Even if you're not the best DIY-er in the world, a container
like this is really quite simple.
It's a case of chopping up bits of timber, more or less
the same length, doesn't matter
if there's a couple of millimetres out, and screwing it together.
That's it, really.
These aren't ordinary containers. They move.
And this budget-busting idea has huge benefits to the plants.
In the winter, you can wheel it right up against the house
and the plants will be more protected.
Adding a weed-proof membrane to the base of the container
protects it from the soil
while still allowing water to drain through while it's filled.
And the timber, this way, will last much longer
because it doesn't sit on a solid surface that is wet,
the water will run through. So the timber is good to go.
Harry is also keen to show off his carpentry skills.
But on a much bigger scale.
He's cutting the softwood sleepers that will be a key feature
of the edge of the garden.
What's so nice about this is that it's such a warm material.
It creates this lovely kind of structure and in this garden,
that's going to create quite a contemporary structure.
You can kind of play around with shapes and forms
and I think that's what's so nice about it,
is that you can kind of do-it-yourself
One of the big challenges with James and Laura's plot
is drawing attention away from this rather boring fence.
There are a number of ways in which you can make a long, thin garden
appear wider and more interesting.
In this garden in Berkshire, designer Andrea Newill has employed
every trick in the book to bring this skinny, urban plot to life.
The best ways to tackle a long, narrow garden really is to try
and give the appearance that the garden is wider than it actually is.
So, ways of doing that
are to have paths,
rather than going straight up the garden,
have them going horizontally across the width of the garden.
So the eye is drawn across rather than straight up.
Another way is to create a diagonal shape.
And at the point of each diagonal, you may have a focal point or
a beautiful plant or a sculpture or something.
It's to create movement within the garden and interest, really.
This garden, which as well as being long and thin, it's sloping.
To disguise that element, the garden was terraced.
And on each level I added pergolas for height.
The first one nearer the house being to frame the view
and provide a full stop rather than draw the eye straight up the garden.
And then another one further up to provide a destination.
The key is to try and disguise what perhaps is a negative feature
and turn it into a positive feature.
Just like in Andrea's garden, James and Laura have a sloping,
so Charlie is employing softwood sleepers to break up the space.
And because she's the boss, the boys are doing all the hard work.
It's important when using sleepers to keep them really level
because, at the end, you are really going to see the structure.
So I'm going to dip this down now
as there is quite a big level change in the garden.
The sleepers will go in at different angles and heights
before being filled with soil to create raised beds.
And Harry's got the job of
getting the levelling and measuring just right.
I'm creating this kind of section which is going to
jut out in the garden.
It's going to be raised so it's going to create this lovely feature.
really kind of elevate the garden,
which is going to be a really nice detail.
Levelling the ground is hard work
but definitely worth it for the end result.
These sleepers are heavy enough that they can be laid directly onto
the ground and have been treated to protect them from the elements.
-What are you up to?
-Trying to dig out this.
Are you being good up there with your slabbing?
-Yeah, nailing it.
-Nice easy work?
-Just brushing in some gravel.
-Fluffing some flowers.
-Sounds like your kind of job, doesn't it?
-This little guy?
-See if he's in there.
Sunshine, sunshine! You know, some of us are waiting on the saw.
Don't just use it and chuck it aside.
I've been digging! Crazy.
Right, let's level this off, eh?
-That's Harry level, isn't it?
Is it going on the inside or the outside there?
-It's a long one, isn't it?
We've just jutted this out so it really makes a feature.
This is going to be two levels high.
So it makes it really easy to manage and maintain.
And ideal to sit on with a nice cup of tea.
You know about that, don't you?
15 to go.
We are using the pegs just to hold the raised beds in.
So, for the sleepers,
otherwise they might move
which would push soil up against them.
-So this is the last one.
-Last one, nice.
All we've got to do now is fasten that up and then we're off.
So far, this garden rescue is on track.
The summerhouse is up and the patio has had a revamp.
But there is an awful lot of raised beds going in
and we've only got enough money for one bag of soil to fill them all.
We are a bit tight on the soil and the budget doesn't allow for more.
As things stand, there is a strong possibility
some beds won't get filled.
Charlie has to get James and Laura outside for a summit meeting.
Basically, on the design...
..you'll remember that there were raised borders all the way round.
-But because of the levels at the top end of the garden,
we need to use up a little bit more of the topsoil. OK.
So what I'm suggesting - there is two options.
-We can reduce this border and cut it back, the raised border.
That will reduce the amount of soil that we can use up there.
We can either make this into a border at ground level
or we can run some turf straight across there.
They'd both look good. What would you prefer?
-I think the turf. Maybe just extend the grassed area.
Yay! That's the right answer.
OK, that's wonderful. That really sorts the problem out.
With all the boys on tools,
Charlie's on to stage two of her mobile containers.
Containers are a great way to bring colour and texture
to a large patio, small balcony, or a decking area.
They are perfect for growing plants, herbs and veg.
The bonus of container gardening is you can choose your soil
rather than being stuck with what nature has left you.
Allowing you to grow a variety of different plants more successfully.
In Laura and James's garden, Charlie knows that Laura loves to cook
so she's creating a mini herb garden by the back door.
Rosemary is great.
You can use it in cooking, you can make it into topiary,
and it's evergreen.
It smells gorgeous,
and the bees and butterflies love it.
And a couple of thymes.
OK, that will hang over nicely.
As well as rosemary, Charlie is also planting sorrel and sage,
the perfect herbs for Laura's soups and stews.
With the deck now complete, Charlie can add her next design feature.
She's planning to construct a decorative pergola
to frame the view of the back of the garden.
But need David's help to site it.
David, are you doing anything?
Oh, no. Come on, come on, come on.
Right, let's sort this pergola out.
-Need to find the middle of the retaining wall.
-For the central upright post.
A shop-bought structure would bust the budget
so she's improvising using three timber posts and a length of chain.
This pergola is just going to be really simple.
It's like a swag.
But what I want to see is where that post is going to be
in relation to the doors, yeah?
-Where is the mark? There he is.
-There is the mark.
Just about. It's going to be like that.
How does that look for you?
What we need is for you to hold that on there.
What do you think?
So, that doesn't look too bad
because you can still see the shared upright
but it doesn't interfere with the line.
So I'm pleased about that.
David is not convinced. Let's hope Laura and James like it.
-Yeah, that's got it.
This is screwed to the retaining wall to hold it upright.
But we just want to put some concrete mix around the very
bottom to make it stable so it won't blow around in the wind.
And it will just give it that extra strength.
-So, you being 6ft 8...
-3. 6ft 3, all right.
I want you to put a screw in
-and then we are going to hook the chains on.
So we are going to have one going zoomp, zoomp.
And then we are going to have one going doomp, doomp.
-I like it.
-A double swag.
I'll hold this end, you hold that end.
This double swag will create a place for climbing plants to scramble.
Once they've grown across the whole structure,
it will be a living frame of colour and scent.
That's it for the building,
now it's time to see if there is enough soil to fill the beds.
One, two, three.
Luckily there is
and the beds are full to the brim.
Levelling beds, potting up containers,
and pointing a lot.
Right, that's that.
Homeowner Laura has a passion for pink
and Charlie won her over with her carefully chosen mix
of bright, colourful flowers.
And now it's critical they all go in the right place.
It looks a bit chaotic but there is method in Charlie's madness.
She points and gets the boys to do the lifting.
On the right-hand side,
Charlie is using shade-loving shrubs to brighten the space.
Take the Chaenomeles, boys.
Let's put one in the middle back here.
Chaenomeles, better known as a flowering quince,
are spiny shrubs that produce bright red, pink or white flowers.
We have got a nice Goldheart ivy...
which might be nice on that wall.
Chocolate or jasmine down by the seating area?
I don't really know.
Where is it going?
-Just down on the other side of the patio area.
-To the right?
David, you should know girls don't do left and right.
It's that way or that way.
Charlie's chosen other fragrant plants for the couple to enjoy
at the top of the patio.
Nice... Nice lavender. Couple of lavenders next to the step.
So, as they wander up, they will brush by them
and they'll be in heaven sat down here of an evening to chillax.
In this sunny spot, Charlie is planting flowers with pink blooms,
including these bleeding hearts.
They get their name from their pretty heart-shaped flowers.
With Laura and James's budget not extending to a new fence,
to cover the old one Charlie is using climbers
like this climbing rose, the Rosa Compassion,
to soften the boundaries.
So, these are lovely.
They trail down over the edge of things but they also make a nice mat
so this will end up as carpet of variegated foliage
with these purple flowers.
Do you like these?
-They are really nice.
-Dianthus. What is it?
-Cloves and nutmeg.
-I was just about to say that.
Charlie's chosen wisteria to cover the new pergola.
Then you can twine a couple of bits in.
With little training, this wisteria will wind its way around the
chain swags and produce beautiful flowers around Maytime each year.
But to give the climbers on the fence a helping hand,
Harry is adding some support.
I'm just pre-drilling this hole
so I can turn in and get the eyelets for...
I'm going to string up some wire for the climbers.
It just gives them a nice little bit of structure so they can grow up.
Clematis montana is a great choice to cover a wall or fence
because it will grow quickly to fill the space.
Well-supported, they can grow up to 14m high and 3m wide.
You can plant it any time of year
but it will be in full bloom in early summer.
Perfect, yeah. Do that.
To bring her design to life for the money,
Charlie's had to recycle like mad.
She's even found a use for part of the old bathroom suite.
So this is Laura's little sink
that was hidden away underneath some builders' rubble.
So it's quite sweet.
I'm going to plant it up with a couple of her favourite plants.
Hardy geraniums, which are great for anywhere in the garden,
keep flowering and flowering.
Fuchsia, she likes pink so we're going to have a nice...
It's a hardy fuchsia so that will give us a bit of height at the back.
Then maybe one or two of the alpines to really pretty it up.
Little bit of miniature gypsophila.
Everybody knows gypsophila.
It's that fluffy white little flower you get in a bunch of carnations.
By saving money on landscaping and features,
Charlie's freed up enough money to give Laura
and James a brand-new lawn.
The boys are clearing weeds and pebbles
and then carefully raking the surface
to leave a top finish ready for laying the turf.
The first row is laid against a straight edge to ensure
the rest go in straight.
And each piece is placed tight to the next
to get an even finish.
A new lawn will need frequent watering
and is best laid between early autumn and early spring.
And as the last roll goes down,
this budget-busting new garden is finished.
In its previous life, James and Laura's garden was an empty void.
Its only feature being the partly-buried remains
of an old bathroom suite.
Now it's had a £1,500 transformation.
But Charlie and the team have had to make every penny count.
The old garden featured a dilapidated shed.
Now in its place is a romantic summerhouse.
Coming in at £350, it's the perfect focal point for the new garden.
By hand-making a pergola for just £60,
Charlie has added a living frame to the garden.
This will burst with stunning blooms once the climbers take hold.
The old plot looked long and featureless
so the team spent just over £300 on wooden sleepers.
Creating raised beds placed at different angles.
And Charlie's added movable containers
for the bargain price of £20.
These have been planted with Laura's favourite herbs.
And for a bit of resourceful recycling, she's even taken
the old sink found in the garden and made it into a quirky planter.
Despite their limited budget,
James and Laura had high hopes for this garden.
They were looking for the perfect outdoor space to complement
their new married life together.
It's time to find out if Charlie
and the boys have delivered the garden they dreamed of.
Oh, here they come.
A bit further.
I'm nervous for them.
-A little step.
-Feels like grass.
-Feels like grass, does it?
I think their eyes are closed, unless they are really slow walkers.
Right, would you like to open your eyes?
-Oh, my gosh.
It's unbelievable, isn't it?
-What a transformation.
-We can see teeth, that's good.
-That bit up there looks amazing. It looks so different.
-A good different?
The steps look lovely as well. I like the way that you've actually
reused the old slabs as well.
-It looks good. It ties it in.
-They are eyeing up that shed, aren't they?
-And we've got your...
-Movable planters, is it?
-Yeah! They look so great.
-So you'll be able to move these...
-I think they're pretty cool, aren't they?
-I love those, yeah.
Come and explore.
I visualised the beds and how they would look
but I wasn't sure how this would end up.
Yeah, I wasn't sure if that was going to be finished.
I'll tread lightly.
-Perfectly executed. On to the top.
-And then you get a totally different view...
..looking back. Then we've got your climbers.
So this one's an Akebia, that smells of chocolate.
This is an evergreen clematis that's got lovely honey smell early spring.
-Then this will be your wisteria.
And it's just about to come into flower.
It's going to look amazing in full bloom, isn't it?
Yeah, once it's all grown.
There's lots of smiles so I think today we've nailed it, really.
I think they love the garden.
Amazing. Thank you, Charlie. Thanks so much.
This garden has pushed Charlie and the boys' skills to the limit,
but it's been worth it.
For the budget, I think they've managed to really fit a lot into it
-and get creative with it.
For the budget, I think we've made quite an impact on the garden.
-It's completely changed, I think.
We've got a retaining wall, steps, the raised beds,
it is the essence of this garden, isn't it?
If I was to do that out of brick or stone, it would be a
lot more expensive. So, again, budget-wise it's been brilliant.
And my containers. If you went to buy that, that would cost a fortune.
It looks really nice.
-The Garden Rescue team definitely delivered
way above our expectations too.
It's something we'd never have come up with ourselves.
No, we'd never have come up with the designs,
so just having the designs and seeing the reality of it,
the vision today, has just been absolutely amazing.
It looks like today we have two very happy customers.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are off to Farnham in Surrey to meet James and his fiancee Laura, a young couple with a long, thin garden that's a total disaster. It's completely bare apart from the remains of an old bathroom suite - not a plant or flower in sight.
They've renovated their house but with a wedding to plan haven't got time to tackle the garden. Added to that their budget is tight - the designers only have £1,500 to transform it from a barren wasteland to a flower-filled haven - it's a massive challenge.
The designers have to use their imaginations as much as their skills in this garden. To stretch the budget they come up with some great ideas to upcycle and recycle as well as cost-effective ways of adding impact to a space and fabulous ideas for making the most of a long, thin plot.