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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens
and decades of experience... Hello!
..Charlie Dimmock is one of Britain's best-loved gardeners.
Looking good, boys!
But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.
We want to be the brothers
that change people's perceptions of gardens.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show,
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... Wow!
..and budget. That looks really exciting.
It doesn't look like it could be our garden. The winner...
- ALL: Whoo! - ..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. Yeah!
..to turn garden dreams into reality.
Wow! Open your eyes.
Today, Charlie and the Rich brothers will be competing over
a garden that, to its owners, is more than just an outdoor space.
This application's from Andy and Angela. Family home.
They've lived there 20 years,
lots of happy memories of the children growing up there.
They look like a lovely couple,
don't they? Some nice big smiles. Yeah.
Retired police officer Andy and his wife Angela
live in Worcestershire with their dog Rudy.
Their grown-up daughter Kelly lives close by.
Well, looking at the garden, I think
it could do with a little bit of something.
Yeah. I think we've lost the inspiration a little bit.
Both Kelly and their elder son John grew up in this garden,
but two years ago, after a long battle with illness,
John died tragically at the age of 26.
And since then, Mum and Dad haven't had the heart to stay on top of it.
They've sort of lost their motivation in the garden,
so they want us to go in and help them be
re-motivated to enjoy the garden again.
What we want to do is to bring a bit of happiness into the garden again,
because we've always had happy times here.
This time, I think we want to do it for us and our daughter,
and it would just be lovely to have the garden looking nice.
Right now, the garden has a featureless lawn,
with an ugly concrete path that leads down to
a prominent row of sheds.
It's going to be kind of easy for us to create something quite special.
Yeah. There's loads of opportunities, isn't there? Yeah.
I think it'll cheer us up, for a start. Mmm.
It'll give us something to look at when we come down, apart from grass.
The couple would also like the garden to reflect the happy times
they all spent here as a family.
They would love to put in a bit of a garden that sort of
brings back lots of happy memories of their son.
Just somewhere where you can just reflect
and celebrate his life, which would be lovely.
He just loved the garden as well and he used to like his apple pies,
didn't he, as well? Which my mum used to make him.
With the garden meaning so much to them,
they're not skimping on the budget.
?5,000 is going to come out of my pension,
that I've saved all my life for.
Budget-wise, quite good, ?5,000,
although, you know, it's quite a large garden. Yeah.
By rights, we should be able to give them something really special. Yeah.
Yeah. Yeah? Definitely.
This is a unique challenge for Charlie and the boys,
and they will now go head-to-head and compete for the chance to create
the garden of Andy and Angela's dreams.
They each have to come up with a design for the couple's garden
that will work within their budget.
Andy and Angela will then choose a winner
and the loser will have to help the winner build the garden.
Now the designers are travelling to Worcester to make their pitch.
But whose design will the couple go for?
Charlie, with her wealth of experience...
or the Rich brothers, known for their clean, contemporary look?
It's split up into two kind of styles.
One a bit more modern and one a bit more traditional and soft.
This area here is the more contemporary, more modern.
So it's got a linear avenue, broken up by these pockets of planting.
It's got a beautiful avenue of apple trees.
The boys have picked up that Angela wanted
some fruit trees in the garden.
This is a gravel path edged with paviors.
And then, down the bottom here, I've got a seating area with evergreens.
So it's always going to look attractive. Yeah.
And it will draw you down the garden.
Both designers have incorporated a peaceful area to sit and reflect.
That leads you down to this really nice,
quite contemporary seating space.
You'd be walking down into the tree canopy and then you can just turn
right into the nice little spot where you can sit down and relax.
Is that my shed at the top? At the top. Yes.
Yeah. We thought that was the best man cave we've ever seen,
so you don't want to get rid of that.
Charlie has remembered Angela would like some shade across the path.
And this is a pergola area to screen the shed.
So, it's very simple pergola. We've got clipped yew
and then we've got climbers going up over the pergola.
With the planting, we wanted to keep it quite vibrant and uplifting.
So, it's a space to really enjoy.
Yeah. And it's the feeling that it conjures up.
I feel calm just looking at it now.
Andy and Angela were clear they wanted the focal point of the garden
to be a memorial for their son John.
I was thinking of something like a pedestal with a solar light on
that automatically comes on and, if we planted a lot of scented plants
along there as you walk down to that area,
you'd get all the smells of lavender and maybe rosemary.
What we wanted to do was give
this lovely focal magnolia tree to symbolise John.
And it gives you this lovely little space
where it's going to be dappled, you'll be underneath it.
You can see it change, you know, it'll come into flower.
And it really just creates this lovely little atmosphere, really.
The pitch is over.
It's now up to Andy and Angela to decide
how to spend their ?5,000.
Will they go for Charlie's winding path
and scented planting to commemorate their son's life...
..which I think...
..or for the Rich brothers' avenue of apple trees,
and feature magnolia as a memorial to John?
Especially the seating area, which I really like.
Hello. Hi, guys. Hey.
Hello, there. We've made our
decision. I have to say, you've captured a lot of elements
that we were after in our garden.
But our decision is...
THEY ALL CHEER
Amazing. Awesome. Oh, thank you very much. Oh, brilliant.
What made you choose our design?
Well, we thought it was what we're looking for
in a contemplative area. Brilliant.
We love trees. So, any trees are good.
But it was so hard, because Charlie captured us as people.
I think that shows how much gardens can really give.
Because there are so many elements to a garden, like you've said.
There's personal journeys,
there's moods and atmospheres and spirit, so...
I hope those are tears of happiness for a beautiful garden. They are!
It's just going to make a big change to us.
To be in the garden.
Yeah, it will be a really special place to be.
But it was a really hard decision. We didn't say it would be easy.
Well, no. I know. Hopefully, the build will be nice and easy. Yes!
It's clear just how much this garden means to Andy and Angela.
The boys may have won,
but all three of them will need to pull together to build something
that honours John's memory and helps this couple look to the future.
It's day one of the build.
While Harry and David are finessing their planting plans off site,
they've sent in project manager Paul and landscapers Andy and Lee
to start marking out the garden.
The first big challenge is that the boys' design has the new path
in a slightly different place to the existing one.
In reality, this path actually runs at an angle,
so, in order for this to look like it does on a plan,
we've got to change the angle of that path
and square it up towards the shed.
So, rather than just put a new path in the lines of the old one,
it all has to be re-marked.
And because all parts of
the Rich brothers' design work off each other,
before any new path can go in
the patio needs to be perfect.
So the team take time to prepare the area
before the pale modern tiles are laid.
Meanwhile, the plants have turned up,
the path has been marked out and then cut and edged with wood.
The Rich brothers have now arrived
and are out front busy briefing Charlie on the task ahead.
This garden's really got a lot of meaning behind it, hasn't it?
So I think it's important
we nail it. But it does put the pressure on you boys! I know.
We're confident, aren't we?
They've got this lovely backdrop,
so it'll be really nice to, kind of, accentuate that, maybe,
with a little bit of planting.
A little bit of planting? THEY LAUGH
Looks like a lot of planting to me!
Come on, then! Stop talking and get on with it! All right!
The first task for Harry and David
is to mark out the garden's four new flower beds.
Putting in such a long path means a lot of expos landscaping.
So the boys want to flank it with large areas of planting.
We've already got the terracing in the middle of the garden,
and, for us, it's key that all these beds run off that,
so all we're doing now is stringing up that main line.
That's going to create the avenue as you walk down.
Then all the beds come off that, really, so we can start
creating the shapes and, you know, then we can start planting.
But it's great using a string line, because, you know, you can adapt it
and change it without actually cementing anything onto the ground.
With a five grand budget to play with,
the Rich brothers have invested in a lot of plants.
But they want to re-use anything that Andy and Angela already
had in the garden, and Charlie's been put in charge of salvage.
The boys want me to save as many plants from this border as possible,
and there's a couple of fuchsias that Angela really wants to save.
I have to say they're a bit past their sell-by date.
They've gone really, really woody.
The other big problem is
there's lots of perennial weeds in this border,
so I'm going to have to pick over the plants really carefully,
cos there's lots of bindweed, potentilla, dandelions,
which have all got roots that will regenerate.
If you chop them up and plant them, you'll just get more.
So, the process is - get all the soil off...
..so that you don't transplant
any of the perennial weeds.
And then I'm going to go and put that in the shade,
maybe with a bit of polythene over it
so that we can just plant it straight back in
and it doesn't dehydrate.
Happy with the positioning of the flower beds,
it's time for David to unleash his secret weapon.
Watch out, men.
The turf cutter.
Using a turf cutter makes life a lot easier. I mean...
And it does it in a nice, clean strip as well, so when you're
making beds, it leaves that really crisp edge, which is quite good.
You'd be looking at spending about ?50 a day on one of these,
but if you're doing a large area,
then I would definitely recommend using one of these.
But it also helps to have your older brother following behind
to clear up the spoil.
Meanwhile, Charlie is making progress with her salvage project.
These aquilegia are just coming into flower,
so it's really not the best time of the year to transplant them.
But it is a case of having to.
So I've lifted them with as much soil on them as possible,
so the roots aren't disturbed.
And all that will happen is, if they do dry out a bit,
you will lose the flowers this year.
But they'll be fine the following year.
With such a lot of turf being lifted
to make the flower beds and meadow areas,
the boys have come up with a nifty plan to re-use it.
But it's not on the design,
so they need to get the green light from Andy and Angela.
So, we've got this idea we need to run by you.
OK. It's an idea of creating a hazel hurdle seat, like a turf seat.
I've never heard of that before.
You can see this is the hazel hurdle here.
What we'd like to do, if it's OK with you guys,
is cut this in half
to create this hazel hurdle retaining seat. Right. And then,
because this soil's got quite a lot of weeds in it, we'd like
to keep it here rather than put it into the beds we've created. Lovely.
Run the turf over it, and that means you can sit down here
and have a completely different perspective on your garden. Lovely.
Is that OK? Is that all right? Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Brilliant.
The plus of it all, because we're cutting it in half,
we get two! So, what we're going to do, not only have one here,
but we'll have one over there as well, are you happy with that?
Sounds a good idea. Really happy, thank you very much. Brilliant.
That's how you keep the client happy.
Give them something extra for nothing.
Thank you very much. See you. Thank you.
It's great Angela and Andrew
are really happy with the hazel hurdle idea.
It's going to make a really good addition to the garden.
You see this more as a natural fencing,
but we're going to use it as a decorative face to a seat.
It will retain some soil and turf
and create a really nice seat down the garden.
Woven hazel like this has been used for thousands of years
for fencing because of its strength and durability.
Yeah, as you can see, it's a real tight fit.
It's a real craft to put it all together.
It doesn't make it easy to get it apart.
With the patio finished, it's time for the magnolia tree to be planted.
It's like a blooming obstacle course around here. It'll be worth it.
It'll be worth it when it's in place.
This magnolia is called Merrill
and it has this beautiful open flower which is short-lived,
but really gives a statement at this time of year.
Where are we going, Harry?
Down by there, shall we? About there?
Not only will the magnolia add shade to the seating area,
it will stand as a memorial for Andy and Angela's son John.
Nothing nicer than sitting next to a tree in blossom this time of year.
It's got a nice habit, hasn't it? This shape is absolutely stunning.
It's key, when you're choosing your tree at the nursery,
really think about the shape because
the tree's going to grow up in ten years' time.
If you can pick a nice shape now,
when it's mature, it's going to look so elegant and beautiful.
Before planting a tree, tease the roots out
to give them a better chance of establishing once it's planted.
Are we ready? Yep.
OK. Down we go.
Oh. Oh, look at that. Some could say that was perfect.
It's like you've almost done that before!
Let's get it in now.
Magnolias thrive in moist soil
so they need frequent watering
to establish over the next two years.
Meanwhile, the medieval turf seat is coming together
with the help of some 21st-century tools.
Brilliant. I've just attached the half hurdle to some sturdy posts.
Now, all we've got to do is start backfilling.
Getting the right height for the seat requires a lot of turf.
And, with two to build, it's every man for himself.
Oi! Oi, you!
Oh, Lee! CHARLIE LAUGHS
A turf stealer!
Now the path has been edged and a base layer added,
Harry's finishing it with a limestone bonded gravel
that will contrast nicely with the patio.
We've already laid a couple of inches of hard-core
on the base of the path.
We're now going to put the finishing 40ml of the gravel
which will give this lovely contemporary feel.
As the next key feature in the garden,
to add some formal elegance to the path,
the boys are creating an avenue of apple trees.
Angela has fond memories of her son enjoying his grandma's apple pie.
These look gorgeous. They look awesome.
Beautiful avenue trees. Yeah.
Ready? Yeah. Oh, that's quite relaxing. It is.
Quite excited about getting these in.
Well in. And then look at this.
Wow, where's that going? In here.
It's going to create the avenue down the path. Shall we put it down?
About here, shall we? They're quite tall.
Probably one in the middle and one down there, I'd say.
This one's maybe in the middle.
On the design,
these five apple trees will run in a line along the ten-metre path,
so it's all hands on deck to hold the trees in position
before perfectionists Harry and
David will agree to them being planted.
Do we need to have that one at the end or do we put that one up here?
Have one in the middle and two there. One in the middle
and two where Charlie is. Then you block out that.
I've got them. You come here.
Yeah, give them a good old heave-ho.
Oh, that's nice. Loving that.
Just in time.
Because the heavens have opened.
Get out of the rain! Get out.
Lie them down! Ugh.
Is your jumper anywhere?
Luckily, the rain doesn't last long and the team are soon back to work.
After lifting a lot of turf,
the hazel hurdle seats are nearly finished.
You may think it looks a little bit high,
as you can see here, there's the hurdle.
That's because the soil is going to compact down,
so we just want to give it an inch or two over that,
so that it stays higher than the hurdle.
Can I just stay here now?
There's only a bit of planting to do! Ah!
It's the right height, isn't it? It's a nice seat height.
You always say, with seats, it's important not to have it too low
otherwise you're hunched up when you're sitting,
your knees are up by your chest.
It's nice to have something a bit more perched, good for the posture.
It will be a really lovely view down there. Yeah.
Right, I'm going to finish it off. Right. Hoy, got a slightly damp bum!
Whilst the landscapers plant the standard apple trees,
the boys are complementing them
with another traditional formal feature on the fence.
We've finished with these turf seats. What we're going to do
is plant these espaliered fruit trees in between them.
Espalier, all it means is
that the tree has been manipulated to a framework.
This is perfect for taking advantage of vertical space like a boundary.
These are beautiful,
so they link in with the rest of the fruit trees in the garden.
They're great, because they add that nice bit of structure,
especially to a slightly boring boundary fence.
What we're going to do with these ones,
we're going to leave them on their framework at the moment.
But what we'd advise Andrew and Angela to do is string along
some wire or something the branches can grow across
and, hopefully over time, they will all link up together.
This one here's a plum.
Hopefully over time, the branches will grow over the boundary,
so you can sit on your turf seat and eat some plums.
The espalier technique, as the name suggests,
became popular in France in the Middle Ages.
The ancient tradition continues and, in Britain,
some of the best examples can be found at West Dean Gardens
Here, a celebrated apple collection is housed in its walled garden.
'People have trained plants ever since people have been gardening.'
And there are a number of reasons to do it.
One, you could utilise spaces which wouldn't otherwise be utilised.
Two, it's a very productive way of growing fruit.
It's easily accessible, you can make the tree the size you want it to be.
Three, it's extremely attractive
and that's the principle reason why I love it.
We've got examples of circular training.
You can train them in S-shapes. You can train them as fans.
It's very pertinent
to the modern contemporary small gardens that most people have,
because you can actually grow fruit
in positions where you might not otherwise be able to grow it.
Back in the garden,
the sun is now shining and with the hard landscaping complete,
the boys are adding curved
meadow areas to help soften the landscape.
They've cleverly come up with a couple of different ways
to create a meadow.
So Harry and Charlie are each
planting different areas of the garden.
Harry is laying 20m of pre-sown meadow lawn for an instant effect.
It's the same as kind of laying turf. Makes it very simple to do.
And, instead of having to lay seed,
it's really going to be this instant meadow
which is going to encourage wildlife, birds.
It flowers right throughout the season.
At the back of the garden,
Charlie is using a more traditional and cheaper method
to create a similar effect.
I'm going to create a meadow here from seed.
It's a really good value way of doing it.
Compared to, say, using meadow turf,
which is ?12 a square yard up to ?25 a square yard,
the seed that you can use is about 60p a square yard,
which is quite different. When you prepare the seed bed,
you need to rake it over, so you've got a nice tilth on the surface,
and remove the big stones and rubbly bits,
so that the seeds have a better chance of germinating.
Meadow plants as well like quite a poor soil.
So I'm going to add this gravel to the soil.
But the other thing is, when you come to sow the seeds,
that is 10g of seed in there.
I have to spread that one gram a square metre.
So I'm going to mix all the seed in with the gravel,
then spread the gravel and you can see where you're going.
I'm just going to sprinkle it over, then give it a light rake as well.
How long will it take for it to establish?
You should start seeing some growth after two weeks quite happily.
And then, in a month-and-a-half's time, it should be out in flower.
Yeah, it'll look lovely from up there. I know.
It's looking good, looking good! It is, oh!
The boys have chosen nearly 200 plants to fill their new flowerbeds.
To help create the peaceful atmosphere
Andy and Angela were after,
the boys have chosen flowers that will provide colour and vitality.
120 grasses will soften the hard edges of the landscaping
and add gentle movement and texture.
The sun is setting on the build.
With the planting done, the last job of the day
is to compact the gravel on the path
to leave a smooth surface.
Andy and Angela's garden was a flat and uninspiring large lawn
with Andy's sheds as the only feature.
Now it's had a ?5,000 transformation.
The boys have broken up the large expanse of lawn
with a modern patio placed right in the middle.
Perfect for socialising and relaxing,
the stone pavers came in at ?560.
The couple were keen to get rid of their concrete slabs
and, in their place, the brothers have built
a cool and contemporary gravel path for ?350.
Either side, the boys have placed five statuesque apple trees
that will transform the path into an elegant avenue
and spent just over ?1,300 on meadow lawn,
grasses and perennials.
David and Harry spent just ?60 on some dirt cheap seating
for the boundary made from hazel hurdles and leftover turf.
And, finally, the most important thing for Andy and Angela
was to have a memorial for their son John.
The boys spent ?240 on the couple's favourite tree, the magnolia,
that will provide beautiful blooms for many years.
It's time to find out if Harry and David, with Charlie and the team,
have delivered the garden Andy and Angela are hoping for.
Right, guys, I'd like you to open your eyes to your new garden.
Oh, my Lord. Oh, my goodness!
Oh! THEY LAUGH
What do you think? It's lovely.
Excellent. Oh, it's beautiful.
The seat. Yeah, there's the seats.
Oh, my goodness, look at all that. And the trees.
And the path! Yeah, got rid of the concrete path.
Oh, my goodness. That's lovely.
Bye-bye, concrete. DAVID LAUGHS
Happy to see that go? Thank goodness for that. Oh, yeah.
There's lots of smiles. That's got to be a good sign, hasn't it?
What we've done is interplanted the grasses with lovely perennials.
So, this summer, it's all going to come up
in this block planting.
You'll get so much interest from here.
Oh, it's lovely.
Oh. I can't get over these seats. I can't.
They are brilliant. Brilliant.
And it's nice we can actually sit here
instead of on the patio all the time.
Something a bit different for us, isn't it?
One important factor for us was to create this calming space.
Do you think it has that? Definitely.
It's lovely. Beautiful.
There's a really nice view out of the kitchen as well,
the magnolia tree. I was going to say.
A lot going on. Yeah, very. There is an awful lot.
It's beautiful all round there.
Are you getting emotional now? Just a little bit.
Tears and smiles and laughter,
that's got to be exactly what you want in a garden.
It's amazing to have been part of this with you guys,
I know it means a lot to you. It's been lovely. It's been really good.
It's been a pleasure having you.
With so many happy family memories for the couple in this garden,
the pressure was immense for Harry and David
to get their new design just right.
Wow. Amazing. Lovely, especially the trees and the pathway.
I thought it was just lovely. A great improvement.
It's got its character back again, hasn't it?
Today, emotions are running high as Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers meet a couple who share a lot of family memories in their garden. Andy and Angela sadly lost their son two years ago, when he was 26, and haven't had the heart to work on the garden since. They want to recapture some of the happy times they spent out there - they want a peaceful space to relax and reflect in and have a budget of £5,000 to achieve it. The designers have their work cut out as they compete to design this important space - all they have to work with is a featureless lawn, a long concrete path and a prominent row of sheds at the bottom of the garden. They pull out all the stops and each come up with extra special designs to bring some much needed joy to this plot.