Bolton Garden Rescue


Bolton

Garden renovation series. Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Bolton, competing for a budget of £6,500 to design a garden for Lorna and Luciano and their two sons.


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Transcript


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

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of experience... Hello! ..Charlie Dimmock is one

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of Britain's best-loved gardeners. 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. Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...

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Oh, good turn! 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 ham up with a few ideas.

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They are meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...

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The photos made it look tiny. It is, isn't it?

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I'm sure you've seen larger. I don't know what to do with it.

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

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..and budget. That looks really exciting. This doesn't look like

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it could be our garden. The winner... Whoo!

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ALL: Whoo!

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..brings their design to life... 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. We are, sort of, faffing around.

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This is what happens... Does he ever get irritating? All the time.

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..when different styles collide... 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! Open your eyes.

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Wow! Whoa!

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It's amazing.

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Oh! It's beautiful.

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to discover

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whose garden they are going head-to-head over his time.

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We have just heard from this lovely couple in Lancashire,

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Lorna and Luciano. He is from Sicily and has got two Italian restaurants.

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Luciano came to the UK 12 years ago and lives in Bolton, with his wife

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Lorna and their two sons, Bruno and Rocco.

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We all met in this restaurant in which I used to be there -

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restaurant manager in there. And I was working part time.

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That was about ten years ago? Yeah, was about ten years ago.

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They have just moved in to this house seven months ago

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and finished modernising it.

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But the garden has, kind of, been left.

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Well, it looks pretty cool, doesn't it?

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There is gigantic hedge around,

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which is nice and green, for a boundary. And the patio -

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that looks in quite good condition. It doesn't look that bad!

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I know what you mean.

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There's lots to like about this garden, and in theory,

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with a little TLC, it could be lovely, but in practice,

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it doesn't work for a family with two young children.

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There is a lot of stone. A lot of stone edges.

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We have got a five-year-old and a one-year-old.

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so it's like "Careful, don't run!" "Don't do this, don't do that."

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And we don't want that. We want them to run free

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without hurting themselves.

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So, making the garden safe is a priority,

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but that is not the only thing on their wish list.

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It would be good to have a nice barbie, a nice pizza oven,

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and make out own dough and make our own pizza. Yeah. Proper. Yeah.

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That would be great.

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At 70 square metres, this is a pretty big plot

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and because it needs to be a kids' garden and an entertainment space,

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the couple have saved hard to get what they want.

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Careful on the steps!

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Quite a good budget on this one -

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?6,500.

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Wow! That is big.

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Charlie and the Rich brothers now know the extent of the challenge

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that faces them. They will now compete for the chance to makeover

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Lorna and Luciano's garden.

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So, Charlie and the boys go head to head,

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and each come up with a design that works within the family's budget.

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The couple will then have to choose a winner,

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and whoever loses will have to help the winner build the garden.

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It's the day of the pitch,

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and Charlie and the brothers are in Bolton

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to present their finished designs to Lorna and Luciano.

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Who will the couple go for?

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Will it be Charlie with her practical approach and years of experience in creating family gardens?

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Here we go. Wow. Wow. That looks amazing.

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Or will they be hoping that the boys, with their landscaping savvy,

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will create a space that ticks all their boxes?

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Oh, wow. That looks good, eh?

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Good first impressions. Good.

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It all boils down to this - the pitch.

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We know that you needed a very family garden -

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something that is really family-orientated - and what

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we have done is split it subtly into two kind of spaces.

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You have got more of an adult-orientated area here

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and then you have got the more child-friendly area at the back.

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We want to use this original patio area at the top as your

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al fresco area. Yes. You can have the little pizza oven,

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so really encourage you to eat out and enjoy that aspect of the garden.

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That sounds amazing. So, this is half a garden for the grown-ups

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and half for your children to use up all their energy.

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I have basically taken the wall out on the patio, the lower patio.

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That way, it will make that patio seem bigger. And then, I want to

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sweep the lawn up to this higher level... OK. ..which is going to be

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the adults' area, with your pizza oven.

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Both designers have taken on board that Luciano's a dab hand

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with the pizza dough and wants an entertainment space.

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But Charlie is about to go one better and has included

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some Mediterranean planting as a nod to Luciano's heritage.

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To get the Italian, sort of, feel to it, I have gone for

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cypress trees - Italian cypress trees - that spiral round, following

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the arc of the lawn round, up to this patio area.

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Oh, that's lovely.

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Not to be outdone, the boys have also chosen plants that will remind

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Luciano of home - and will stand up to the rigour of two young boys.

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We want to give you large drifts of lavender and this is, kind of,

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going to give you this lovely, kind of, floral display in the summer,

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but will give you nice, robust, kind of beds, so that Rocco and Bruno

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can kick footballs in them and they are not going to mess up,

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you know, all those beds. We have also got this avenue of olive trees

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here, as well, so it's a really nice extended avenue that leads your eye

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down the garden. Oh, I like that.

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The designers seem to be neck-and-neck, at this stage.

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But how will their gardens appeal to Bruno and Rocco?

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This area down the bottom of the garden is going to be their area.

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The entrance way is a tunnel, that they will have to crawl through.

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That sounds amazing. I think I will play with it.

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ALL LAUGH

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The back here is going to be the child-friendly area.

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We want to make it fun, so you enter through this willow tunnel

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and it would be living, so it would be something which could change.

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You could trim it or add to it. This would lead to a softer lawn area,

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where you could have a little willow hut.

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Great minds think alike and, incredibly, the designers

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have had very similar ideas. But Charlie hasn't finished yet.

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She has added a water feature.

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I've got very shallow trays of water that drop from one level

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to the next and then disappear into a reservoir.

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So, the children will be able to put their hands under the running water,

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but it is so shallow that it won't be a hazard to them.

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That sounds amazing. That sounds perfect. They would love that.

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I will leave you to think on it. Thank you. Thank you.

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A smart move from Charlie, but will it help her win? Time's up.

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Cheers, guys. Thank you. Thank you so much.

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It is now all down to Lorna and Luciano to decide.

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Will they plump for the Rich brothers' design, with the avenue

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of olive trees, drifts of fragrant lavender and living willow huts?

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Or will they choose Charlie's cypress trees,

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sweeping lawn and water feature?

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It's decision time.

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Hi! Hey!

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Hello.

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Right, it's been made. Tough this. It's not been easy, at all.

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But the design we have gone with is...

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..Charlie's! Whee! That water feature! Ha-ha!

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I'm sure it wasn't JUST the water feature!

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Why did you end up with mine?

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So, you're right - the water feature.

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LAUGHTER

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I knew it! But it is not all good news.

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I think the only thing we'd say that wasn't, kind of,

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in either design, if there's any possibility we could add in,

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just that there wasn't quite enough for the kids in this top area.

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Something to climb on. A swing. Something like that. Monkey bars,

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kind of thing. I've still got some money left in the budget,

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so I will see what we can fit in.

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And fit in the space.

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I'm just dead excited now, to see it come to life.

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So, it's going to be Charlie's design that gets built this time.

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But she's going to need the boys' help

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to give the couple what they want.

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It's early morning in Bolton

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and work on Lorna and Luciano's garden starts with gusto.

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While Charlie's away finalising some of the finer details of her design,

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the landscapers begin clearing the garden.

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OK!

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Have it! In the skip!

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And the professional oven installers that Charlie's employed

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are making good progress with the pizza oven.

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Meanwhile, Lee and Andy set about dismantling the wall

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that Charlie wants replaced with a less hazardous slope.

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The salvaged stones are going to be used for her bespoke water feature,

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which has been specially designed to fit into the existing steps.

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Just make sure they don't come round to the back now...

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Now Charlie and the boys have arrived, and she's keen to set them

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one of the biggest challenges in the new garden.

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Going to have a few problems with levels, getting stuff in and out.

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And that water feature as well. Yeah. See, that'll be fine,

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no-problems water feature.

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That's the pivotal point of the garden, isn't it? No!

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The pivotal point is going to be

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the tunnel into the children's play area.

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Nice. So, that is where I want you guys.

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That's a dream project for us! Yeah? I feel the pressure a wee bit!

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But before the boys can place the tunnel, there is the small issue

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of the extra feature Lorna and Luciano asked for.

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The children's area in Charlie's garden now has to fit around

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a giant climbing frame.

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The construction looks good, but we have this to get in.

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We need to get that in position, to find out where that's going.

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This is the old tunnel tube, is it? Yeah. Nice. It looks quite heavy

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and chunky. I know. I think we might need a few more men.

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Pull!

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OK, on two... Two!

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ALL LAUGH

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Higher, higher, higher. Paul, your end's dragging.

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That's the one! Don't push me!

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I've got it. Right round, right round.

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All the way. Go on, man.

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So we need to get the swing bit on,

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so we can see exactly the lengths... Yeah.

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..before we level it all up and get it in position.

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But that means following the instructions,

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which has never been the boys' strong point.

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Well, I'm guessing... It doesn't actually show us. Oh, yeah.

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Knowing this could take a while, Charlie has asked Lorna and Luciano

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to muck in and build some of the other play equipment.

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Meanwhile, the water feature is taking shape.

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This is coming together well, guys.

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It's coming on nice. It's looking good. This is fab.

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We're getting there, aren't we?

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It's got a bit of formality, you know, cos the Italians like

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their formal gardens. So there is a bit of formality,

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but slightly quirky. We have a reservoir down the bottom

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and that will hold all the water, that then is recirculated

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up to the top and it will just drop down and down and disappear.

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So the children, they can put their hands under,

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they will be able to splash in the water.

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and all the scented plants round here

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will be highlighted, because the moisture, the humidity,

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actually picks the scent up and makes them smell even better.

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Now the feature is in place, Andy and Lee can reshape

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the old stone from the wall they demolished

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and repoint it around the steel trays.

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But it is up on the patio where Luciano's new toy is taking shape.

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Charlie has thrown over ?2,000 of the budget at it, so she is keen

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to make sure it works.

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My, that is a posh pizza oven! It has even got a thermometer. Yep.

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So, go on, then, how does it all work?

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What you do is, you light your fire here. OK.

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So just like with wood? Yeah. Get it all going. Once it is all going,

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you then push the wood back, which then gives you the cooking area

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for your pizza, in the centre. The smoke comes out of the top, here.

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Oh, that is good, then. It is far enough away from the wisteria,

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cos I thought it was at the back and it would go up there,

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which would be... No, it all just comes out here. At the front. That is much better.

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So now she knows the wisteria won't get scorched, Charlie rolls up

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her sleeves and attempts to tackle the unruly climber,

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while on the other side of the garden...

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It's showing me that. It's not telling me what that is...

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..or how to put that on. ..there is a lot of head scratching going on.

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It doesn't look much different, does it?

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Oh, thickness?

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I'll go back to my wisteria.

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They're not long enough for that. No. Isn't it?

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No.

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The wisteria has outgrown the trellis

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and the trellis has seen better days, so it has to go.

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Ideally, Charlie would prune the plant and retrain it,

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but now isn't the right time as it is about to flower.

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If I cut this now, you will find it will bleed,

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which will take the vigour out of the climber itself.

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Also, they will lose all their lovely flowers.

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It's best to prune wisteria...

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..when they are dormant, in the winter, to get the framework,

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and then, in the summertime, when you get these long, whippy ones,

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you take those back by two-thirds. That increases the number

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of flowering spurs you get.

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The boys are now finally getting somewhere with Rocco and Bruno's

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climbing frame. But it needs more space to be safe,

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and currently there's a tree in the way.

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Charlie wants to check with

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Lorna and Luciano, before the saws come out.

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So, that conifer.

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Do you mind if we take it out?

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Because the climbing frame that you chose is a bit bigger than we were

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sort of expecting. It shouldn't be a problem to take it off.

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So then, can all go over and then there will be enough space

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for the swings to swing properly. That would be all right. Yeah?

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OK, boys, you can chop it down! Yes, nice! Right! Don't go back!

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Oh! Timber! Look at that!

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LAUGHTER

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Whoa. Perfect. Go on, then. Slide her in.

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Just! Just! Doesn't look too large, does it?

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Now the boys are cracking on with the play area, Charlie can get back

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to constructing a brand-new support for the beautiful wisteria.

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So the trellis is out. The ugly trellis.

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And now, I am going to put these poles in, like this,

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all the way round, on a curve,

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to pick up the curve

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of the water feature. And also cut them, so that they curve,

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so that it sort of ties everything together.

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At just ?60 for the stakes to create this feature,

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it is a budget option and gives a contemporary feel to the space.

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Charlie's design is really taking shape now.

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The pizza oven is in,

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the lion's share of the work on the water feature is done

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and the hazardous wall has been replaced by a much safer

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graduating slope.

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And then we are going to lie down...

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But the boys are lagging behind and need to get going on the tunnel.

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Lorna and Luciano really wanted that retaining wall removed

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and this gave Charlie the opportunity to give them a lovely sweeping lawn.

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This will great fun for the kids to run up and down,

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but left us with quite a lot of excess soil, turf and stone.

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With that, we are going to create this soil tunnel.

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What a feature. Oh. A little bigger, I think adults could get through it.

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That's the dream! I could probably squeeze in!

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As usual, rain is coming down, so it's important to wrap up

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and keep warm. Not if you're a man, you don't have to! You watch.

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He'll have a jumper on later!

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Just for you, I am NOT going to put my jumper on now!

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Well, what would a day in a British garden be without a spot of rain?

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And it looks like it's here for the afternoon.

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So there's nothing for it but for Charlie to box on

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with the planting around the water feature.

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Put that one there and that one there.

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That looks good to me.

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Can someone hold this one, while I have a look?

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In the design, she has created an elegant curve

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that will be dotted with tall, thin cypress trees.

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Yeah!

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I'm thinking of it like you are walking, you know, in Italy.

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You are walking up the hill and you've got the spires of greens.

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You get that to the patio.

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Yeah?

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No plant conjures up images of the Italian landscape better

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than the cypress tree and its elegant shape has been

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a mainstay of formal Italianate gardens for centuries.

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Possibly the most renowned Italianate formal garden in the UK

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is at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire.

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The Italianate style of garden

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is very strongly represented by its use of symmetry,

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so we can literally draw lines across the garden

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and see the pattern reflected on either side of this.

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Like the trees Charlie has used in Lorna and Luciano's garden,

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at Trentham, tall, thin trees are an important element of the design.

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It's a very formal layout,

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using clipped evergreens to create the structure.

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This style isn't limited to large gardens.

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Some of the design principles used in Trentham

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can be applied to the average back garden.

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If you are looking to create this feel in your garden,

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but on a much smaller scale,

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one of the things I would look to do is to create

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a formal structural layout, using light-coloured materials.

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And it can be done relatively inexpensively,

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using fine-textured gravels.

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Look to try and use fine-textured foliages.

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The smaller the leaf, the more distant it will appear

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and the larger the space will be.

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Back in Bolton, the rain may be coming down,

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but it is not slowing the Rich brothers.

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We've got a bit of sand left over, so we are using it just to kind of

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create this nice smooth surface before we add the topsoil on.

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Also it helps, cos it knits together

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the large clods of soil underneath.

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So, altogether, it's going to help with drain and it is a good binder.

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Then, with a layer of topsoil added to the tunnel,

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the boys can get on with turfing.

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Meanwhile, a rather soggy Charlie is working hard to conjure up

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that southern European feel.

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I've gone for three key Italian - or should I say Mediterranean - plants.

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So I've got a bay tree, I've got two of those,

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so I'm probably going to put them in containers and sort of split

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them from one patio to another.

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We've got Italian cypress, which are really highlighting the swirl

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of the flower bed and add that tall height to the garden.

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And then I've got these wonderful olives.

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When planting Mediterranean plants like olives and cypress trees,

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it's good to remember that their native climate is drier than ours,

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so dig in lots of grit and drainage underneath the plant

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when you pop it in the ground.

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They don't like to sit in a puddle of water, but then who does?

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The boys have moved on to the planting, too.

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On their design for Lorna and Luciano's garden,

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they included a living willow tunnel in the play area.

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Charlie has decided to add something similar, made with hornbeam.

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Charlie's design is all about curves

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and that's been echoed through the hard landscaping.

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But what we want to do is to do this with soft landscaping,

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with these hornbeam trees.

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And they are very young and easy to manipulate,

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which means that we create this lovely archway,

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which is going to become this very natural sculpture.

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These area like hedging trees, so the more you trim them, the denser they get.

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They won't grow into big trees if you keep clipping them. They'll slowly thicken up

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and become this really dense tunnel, which is really cool. Yeah.

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By tying the young trees together at the top,

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the boys are training the plants to grow into an arch shape.

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And as the hornbeam grows, the structure will get stronger.

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What I'm doing here is I am just trimming off the inside branches,

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just to accentuate that kind of tunnel feeling.

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But I don't want to do it too much, I want to keep it quite natural

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and feeling, you know, that these things have just sprouted out.

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To add another sensory element to the children's play area,

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Charlie has sourced some tubular bells.

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Their deep tones will provide endless delight to Rocco and Bruno,

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and the neighbours, no doubt.

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I'll hand over the baton. You can...

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BELLS CHIME Oh!

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LAUGHTER

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It escaped from me! That's nice. Look at that.

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Shall we do a duet?

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I love them! Ooh! I want some. You just made that look easy.

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Have a go.

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To further enhance the sights, smells and sounds in this part

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of the garden, Charlie is adding sensory planting around the bells.

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I have got some...

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lovely phlomis. Feel that. I do like phlomis. So soft.

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A big yellow one, isn't it, this one? Yeah.

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We've got herbs for smell. Yeah, that does smell good. More herbs.

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So thyme and mint. Yep.

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Beautiful. And then, for bright colours, we've got the calendula.

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Ooh. You can eat the flowers.

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Serious? The petals. What does it taste of? Nothing. Oh!

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But it looks pretty. It's just the idea...

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And then, can you see those chives over there? Yep.

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Could you bring them over here? Cos I'd like those here as well. Oh!

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See? There you go.

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That'll teach you to come and talk to me and play with my bells.

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Harry is adding plants, too,

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but this time with a native British heritage.

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These primroses left to seed

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will create these lovely surprises around the garden.

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In time, they are going to drift over this mound

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and, you know, they'll dot about the garden.

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And I think that's what's so nice about using wild plants.

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With the main features built, the team are on the home straight.

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The newly created slope is now being turfed.

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Charlie is winding the Wisteria up the new partition,

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along with some more scented climbers.

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Look at that! A bit of instant gardening.

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It looks like it's been there for ever, doesn't it?

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And, to make the play area safe for the young boys,

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David's adding a thick layer of bark chippings.

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As the final pot of herbs is placed next to the pizza oven,

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this family garden is complete and ready for its grand unveiling.

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In its previous guise, Lorna and Luciano's garden was full of

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level changes, trip hazards and sharp edges.

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Not exactly a suitable playground for two young children.

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Now it's had a ?6,500 makeover.

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And Charlie and the team have spent every penny

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to try and make this garden work for all the family.

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She spent ?1,300 on play equipment

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and tubular bells to keep Rocco and Bruno occupied.

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The grass tunnel in the play area fits brilliantly

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with Charlie's curvaceous design

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and was a steal at ?100.

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The pizza oven was an indulgence at over ?2,000,

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but it's the one thing Luciano wanted.

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The plants really give this garden its Italian feel.

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Charlie spent a whopping ?1,200 on them, but the impact is huge.

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And last but not least, the bespoke water feature adds

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a touch of luxury, with a ?900 price tag to match.

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But it provides a focal point and a talking point in the garden.

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Lorna and Luciano were prepared to spend big

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to get the stylish child-friendly garden they wanted.

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OK. Don't open them until I say. Rocco, don't cheat.

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Oh, here they come. One, two, three.

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Open your eyes.

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Whoa! E bellissimo!

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Yes? Bellissimo, I think it's... Oh, my God! Yeah? Yeah.

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Shall we go down? Do you want to go down, then?

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Shall we go and have a look?

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THEY LAUGH

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God, he's gone straight on the mound.

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LAUGHTER

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Well, it looks like he's really enjoying himself, anyway. Yeah.

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So this is all going to be scented,

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so you've got your wisteria that is scented.

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We have jasmine and we've got a climbing white rose.

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Very romantic, with a really, really sweet scent.

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Oh, that's beautiful.

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And then you've got your...

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olive trees. Olive trees. Wow!

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They are amazing, aren't they?

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And we've put... Oh, look at the pizza oven!

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LAUGHTER

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I think that's going to get great use. It definitely will.

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You can see how that area has been transformed now.

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The wisteria looks beautiful as well. Gorgeous.

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Come and hit the pipes.

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LAUGHTER What about the other ones?

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What about these ones?

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They're making funny sounds, aren't they?

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I'm actually really surprised

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at how much of a dramatic change has happened today.

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I was really pleased when this wall came out,

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because it seems to have made this patio so much bigger. I know.

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And so much safer. So much safer for the kids.

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They can just run up that and that is their bit.

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No, it's absolutely amazing.

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?6,500 was a serious investment in their outdoor space.

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Do Lorna and Luciano think it was money well spent?

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Oh, I love the water. I love the water.

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The water feature is absolutely stunning. Really, really love that.

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I love the olive trees and the...

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And the tubular bells. Did you see the kids playing on those?

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I think we're going to spend time ourselves there to play with. I know.

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DAVID: Obviously, there has been a good budget, but it shows that

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if you are on a low budget, simple things like taking away a wall

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and sculpting some land, or bringing in a bit of drainage pipe... Yeah!

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..lobbing some soil over it,

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you can actually make big differences to a garden. Yeah.

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I think you're really smug.

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I don't think I've seen you this smug for a long time.

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Only when you get us to dig a big hole are you that smug!

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LORNA: Before, it wasn't a family garden. Now you can really see it's ours.

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It's got things in there for the kids and a bit of Italy,

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with the olive trees and pizza oven - it definitely says "us".

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It's amazing. I'm really, really pleased.

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Today, Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Bolton, competing for a budget of £6,500 to design a garden for Lorna and Luciano and their two young sons. The garden needs to have lots to entertain the energetic boys but that is not the only requirement - Luciano is from Sicily and would love a garden that reminds him of home, complete with a pizza oven! Along the way, the designers have some great tips for good-looking, natural features that children will love - there is no primary-coloured plastic in sight!