Garden renovation series. Charlie Dimmock and the Rich Brothers compete to design a £6,000 Italian garden for a couple in Fareham.
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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 gardens.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Look at it turn.
-It'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...
Not a lot going on, is there?
-Not a lot!
-I don't know what to do with it.
..and will each pitch them a design based on their needs...
Oh, that sounds amazing.
-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.
Keep working, keep working, boy.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, easy!
This is what happens...
Just get on with it. Sometime today would be good.
..when different styles collide...
I think your brother's throwing the toys out of his pram.
-Right, are we doing this?
-..to turn garden dreams into reality.
-Open your eyes.
Oh, it's lovely!
-Look at that!
It's not our garden.
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to find out today's garden challenge.
We've heard from Alan and Vanessa, and they're a wonderfully smiley
-couple from Hampshire.
-Oh, OK, my neck of the woods.
Yeah, very close.
Alan and Vanessa have lived in their home for nearly 30 years,
and for the first time, they have the chance to build the garden they've always wanted.
When we first got here, we had two young children,
so we wanted a place for them to play, play football and things like that.
But now it really needs something doing to it.
It's the field it was 27 years ago, isn't it?
Their two children may have grown up and fled the nest,
but the couple's garden is firmly stuck in the past.
A field pretty much sums it up.
It's a ten by 30 metre plot and while Alan likes his lawn,
there's so much grass here, he needs a ride-on mower to cope with it.
There's not really anything there,
-there's not even a patio near the back door.
-No, there's nothing.
Nothing going on at all, other than lots of grass and a hedge.
Over the years, Alan and Vanessa have had moments of inspiration,
but they've quickly run out of steam,
so there's half finished projects all over the place.
I've tried a few things, they've been a bit disastrous.
I tried to create a wild flower garden,
but not one flower did appear.
I've tried to grow lavender, but I don't know what it is,
I've not succeeded, I'm afraid.
But now, the couple are determined to have the garden of their dreams
and they're not afraid to pay for it.
-So, what's the budget on this?
-That's quite a lot, isn't it?
-That's a lot, that's good.
It's a really good chunk, but from the pictures, it looks like a huge garden, doesn't it?
-So filling that costs a lot, doesn't it?
And on top of that, the couple want a particular style of garden that
doesn't come cheap.
We're looking, really, for something with an Italian influence.
We've been holidaying in Italy about 12 years now
and we absolutely love the Italian gardens that we've been to,
and then we come back here and, you know...
-..it's not quite the same.
Oh, OK, it's nice to have a theme, though, it makes it...
-It gives you some inspiration.
-It does, yeah. Hopefully we've got Italian weather when we get
-there, as well.
-Don't hold your breath!
-A little bit of limoncello.
Well, they might seem jovial,
but this will be a major challenge for our design teams.
Creating an Italian garden in Fareham will not be easy.
Known for their strong, geometric lines,
ornate stonework and clipped topiary,
they are notoriously hard to get right.
So, Charlie and the Rich brothers waste no time in taking a closer look.
They're heading to the couple's home in Fareham
to see the garden for themselves.
They're looking for clues that will give them an edge when it comes to
-It is, definitely.
Quite a nice shape, though, I quite like this.
Yeah, it's sort of wide, but not deep.
Some people don't like that, they don't know what to do with it.
That means you can divide the garden up into areas.
There's a nice boundary as well.
-Nice and green.
-Nice and private,
so I think that's going to be one aspect we don't have to look at.
I have to say, the garden doesn't really give much away about what
-Alan and Vanessa might like.
-Not at all.
-No personality in here.
-Maybe we'll find that elsewhere.
There's plenty of space to work with here,
but the boys want to discover more about the couple's style and taste,
and inside there are clues everywhere.
-Look at this.
-Quite formal, isn't it?
-It has a kind of Renaissance feeling about it.
Nice word! You've got the mirrors and the side table there,
-and then look at this, a little chunk of stone as well.
Meanwhile, Charlie's finding out just what kind of Italian garden the
couple would like.
With the garden, was there something that you felt that you wanted?
Because Italian gardens are very formal, very sort of impressive.
Some of them are, but some of them have got a sort of contemporary
-twist on them now.
Big plants and paths and things, and that's what I'm kind of looking for.
It's almost got a touch of gold everywhere, so the details, I think,
will be really key with this,
and even the colour scheme has this lovely bit of unity.
I think when we design the garden,
I think to drag that formality and that structure will be perfect.
Yeah, no half measures.
This could be tricky.
The couple's house is full of traditional Mediterranean touches,
but they want a garden that's more contemporary,
and Charlie's also discovered that Vanessa's a bit of a hoarder.
These poles here, they look like they've got a purpose.
It's actually a rustic rose pergola that was purchased for my daughter's
wedding. They were going to ditch them and I said, "Oh, no,
"that might be a little project, we'll take them home."
-And when was that?
-Eight years ago.
Eight years ago! OK.
What else have you got hidden away, then?
I've got a pillar that I bought, that is stuck on a packing crate,
in what I call my upcycling part of the garden.
Oh, OK. So that could be an area for me and the boys to explore,
because we might be able to use some of those things?
Oh, yes, yes. I'm all for upcycling.
There's an awful lot for our designers to consider here.
A classic Italian garden with a modern twist,
that's ideal for socialising,
with a bit of upcycling thrown in for good measure.
This is going to test Charlie and the boys' creative skills to the limit.
So, our rival designers get straight to work.
Each of them will come up with a design that works within Vanessa and
Their £6,000 will be used to cover the cost of materials
for their new garden.
While the labour will be supplied by Charlie, the Rich brothers,
and their team of landscapers.
The couple will then have to choose a winner,
and whoever loses will have to help the winner build the garden.
It's time for the designers to pitch their ideas.
The boys have seen the couple's love for traditional formal Italian
design. Will they play it safe or try something more radical?
While Charlie has seen how they love to recycle.
Can she find a way to make this part of her new design?
I want you to think Italian villa,
but I want you to have the romance of nature taking the garden back.
Oh, it's amazing.
We've got the formality of the clipped box,
to give the structure to the garden, with the Italian cypress,
and then we've got a pathway using limestone,
so that will help reflect the light and make it feel much more Italian
And then we've got your pillar...
-..which is... OK.
With a rose growing up it.
Oh, that's so pretty.
Charlie has cleverly made Vanessa's old pillar a sculptural feature in a
very traditional design and it's gone down well.
So, how will the boys respond?
What we wanted to do was give you that feeling that when you walked out of
your house, that you stepped into your own little patch of Italy.
We've done that by giving you a more formal Italian-style garden,
but also a slightly more informal one as well.
-This area's got that very grand feeling,
quite simple in its design.
We've got a lovely kind of topiary hedge
that just surrounds a really simple planting of lavender,
and then we'd have an avenue here of olive trees as well.
I think it's...
It's clear how much this new garden is going to mean to Alan and Vanessa,
and so far, both designs are going down a storm.
Whilst Charlie has kept to a more traditional theme,
the boys are using the width of the plot to create two different types
of Italian garden.
So, it's going to be the details that decide which design wins.
This is where you've got your seating already. At the moment, it's not very private.
You want more of an intimate, cosy feeling,
so we'd provide that with some nice shrubs and a tree there,
more of a focal tree.
And we've got some old stone walls as well,
so the idea of that is this old little kind of rural garden.
So what are these stone walls? I know they're made of stone...
That would be traditional dry-stone style,
so it would have that real authenticity.
But not to be outdone, Charlie has also included an outdoor seating area,
with an extra twist.
And then, down at the bottom of the garden is our patio area for all
friends and family to relax,
and we've got a ruin that's just slightly there...
-And we're going to have grapevines growing up over it and,
again, lots of scented plants.
Oh, my goodness!
But the boys have one more feature that they hope might just clinch it.
You've got a lovely water feature,
so it's going to feel really relaxing there, somewhere maybe you can perch on the side.
It's very calming, just another element within the garden.
Oh, my word,
it's much more than I ever imagined.
I will leave you to think.
The designers have come up with two very different Italian gardens.
-Now it's all down to Alan and Vanessa to decide.
Tell me what you thought about this one?
Having waited 27 years to create a garden they can feel proud of,
it's important they make the right choice now.
I do love this water feature and the avenue of olive trees.
-That's so Italian, isn't it?
We both kind of feel ours went pretty well, actually.
I think we got a little bit of emotion.
Oh, Vanessa definitely had emotion in my pitch.
-She was like... Not knowing.
-What, couldn't look at it? That bad?!
I think this is so pretty,
where you come out and you've got this lovely pathway to this lovely area.
It is a good spot to sit, actually, there.
And I also love these little, these little cypress trees.
I've given the romance, the love of Italy.
-I kind of feel that we've given her the formal, the informal,
but also that kind of lovely space for the lifestyle.
-Bring it on.
-I think the romance will win it.
But Alan and Vanessa can only pick one, so who will it be?
Will they be swayed by Charlie's enticing pathways,
elegant cypress trees and the romantic Italian ruin?
Or will it be the Rich brothers' formal area,
with the avenue of olives and an informal entertaining space with a
tranquil water feature?
It's decision time.
Hi, guys. Hello.
It was such a hard decision.
In fact, they're both beautiful, beautiful designs.
Anyway, this is the garden that we've chosen.
So, what made you pick this one?
For me, when I first saw the avenue of olive trees and the lavender,
I just thought that that was beautiful.
So, the Rich brothers have emerged triumphant,
and Charlie's ruin will have to wait for its moment in the sun.
But this is not an easy design to bring to life.
With two different garden styles in one
and the bespoke stone wall to build,
it's going to take the talents of all three gardeners to make it happen.
It's the first day of the build.
With the Rich brothers away planning the final touches to their Italian
design, it's up to the crack landscaping team of Lee, Joe,
Andy and the project manager, Paul, to get started.
And the first job is the rustic dry stone wall that's at the heart
of the boys' design.
I've just started taking the turf off now.
This is going to be the foundation for the wall that goes right across
the garden. So once all the turf's off along here,
we're going to dig out probably six inches, something like that,
get some big stones at the base of the wall that will take the weight,
and then we'll start building the wall upwards.
The boys are looking to invoke a flavour of the Tuscan hills with
this feature, but it's no simple bricks and mortar structure.
A dry stone wall is actually two separate but interlocking walls,
tied together by longer through stones,
while the middle is filled with small rocks and pebbles.
The only way to do it properly is by hand, but it's a painstaking job,
so the boys have left chief landscaper Andy to make a start.
I'm just going to pack all these little bits in, fill all the gaps in. There can be no movement.
Then we just get a stone, try and cross that into there...
..so that the next one will maybe cross into there. And then we'll
keep battering in as we come up, so we'll keep the sides coming in,
tapering in, and it'll hold it together better.
They can be made from lots of different types of stone, like slate,
sandstone or granite.
Vanessa and Alan's is being made from pale limestone.
It's eating up over £500 of the six grand budget,
but it's worth it to create that sun-bleached Mediterranean look.
As well as the wall, Alan and Vanessa loved the modern water feature in
the boys' design. It looked quite small on the plan,
but in real life it's a monster.
-Like that, keep going, keep going.
-Keep moving this way.
In between the wall and water feature,
there is going to be a large seating area.
And project manager Paul is keen to get it cut out.
But he's got a problem.
Months of dry, hot weather have baked the ground so hard that even
the trusty turf cutter can't get through.
As you can see, this is just not working.
So, on a good day, it's got a blade that moves underneath it,
it should move straight through the turf and we can just roll it straight up.
But unfortunately, the ground's hard,
there seems to be loads of stone in the ground, so I think it's time to get a digger.
This is a potential setback.
It could take hours for the digger to turn up,
and they can cost over £100 to hire.
So the team will have to adjust the budget to avoid overspending.
Fortunately, the Rich brothers and Charlie have arrived to take control.
It may be the boys' project, but they're not letting Charlie off the hook.
Do you want to know what you're doing?
Yeah. Hold on, hold on, hold on, that's like most of the garden.
Yeah, precisely. And then also this boundary here, the hedge,
a little bit unloved at the moment, isn't it?
-Trim it down.
Harry, stone walling, how about that?
-Nice, yeah, love it.
-I knew you'd like that.
And I'm going to be doing this bit, all the straight lines, the symmetry.
There's an awful lot to do, actually, especially if it's precision stuff.
So you won't be making me cappuccinos all day long, then?
Maybe. It depends how fast you work.
Oh, OK, let's get going, then.
Any hopes she may have had of a gentle afternoon pootling amongst
the Mediterranean plants are dashed,
as Charlie is tasked with tackling the enormous mixed hedge.
Meanwhile, the boys are keen to see how their new water feature will fit
-with their design.
-This is cool, isn't it?
It's very cool.
To connect the informal Italian garden on side of the plot with
its more contemporary neighbour, the boys have chosen a steel cattle trough.
But now it's in, they're worried it might be a bit too rustic.
-What's this little nugget on the end?
-Oh, yeah. I think it's maybe worth...
-What do you think about that?
-I think we definitely get rid of it.
And as the queen of water features,
Charlie can't resist sticking her oar in.
Get rid of it? It looks pretty smart, boys.
You don't want to get rid of this, do you?
We're thinking of just going with the simplicity of that rectangle and
cutting it off.
See, I would plant that up.
-Or, they could put a pump in at some point,
and then have it overflowing and put watercress in there and that would
then filter the water.
Sounds like a good idea.
So I think we're going to go with cutting it off.
OK, then, I'll just get on with my hedge, then!
I'll go and cut that off.
-Look at that.
-A little bit of tidying up around that.
That's made a massive difference, hasn't it?
At last, the digger has arrived,
so the team can finally start the massive task of digging out the seating area.
Charlie is making progress with the hedges, too.
And even unruly hedges are not without some benefits.
This isn't really what I would call a formal hedge that's really pristine
and neat, so it's quite informal.
But great for wildlife,
because we've got a real mixture of different plants in here.
So there's a lot of ivy, and people think ivy is really bad,
but it's actually great for wildlife,
because it has all of these flowers on in the autumn and winter time
that's really full of nectar, so it's fantastic
for insects and wildlife.
And they get berries on them afterwards, which, again, the birds love.
And Harry's taking charge of transforming the shiny cattle trough.
So that it blends with the dry stone wall next to the house,
the boys have chosen to face it with the same limestone.
This isn't a traditional dry stone wall.
What we're doing here is facing it. When you can see, when you've got the stone in, you have this lovely,
authentic, dry stone wall effect.
And, you know, you've got the stability with the muck in the back,
and you've got less stone,
so all round, it's a great way of facing a tank like this.
While Harry keeps chipping away at the stonework,
David needs to make a start on measuring out the formal garden beds.
You're looking very studious. I don't think I've ever seen you like that.
Check me out. Man with a plan.
And a scale ruler. Look. Blimey, that's seen better days.
It's Paul's, so he's probably written the numbers on, hasn't he?
Well, perfect you're over here, we've got some lines and symmetry...
Straight lines, I'm not very good at straight lines, I promise you.
-They cost more, don't they?
-They're very difficult.
The formal part of the Rich brothers' garden design is made up of four
symmetrical planting beds.
These will create avenues and vistas up and down the garden.
So, that's going to be our point to go off.
And for the symmetry to work, they need to be meticulously laid out.
-So, roughly, if we say about here...
-Right, if that's approximately there...
-It'll be perfect.
And Charlie seems to have forgotten who's supposed to be the boss.
Get that cane in a bit further, you.
That's about as much as I've got.
You have the bit that's going to get into a knot.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Just get on with it! Sometime today would be good.
Going as fast as I can.
When you're marking out,
especially when it's a formal garden with right angles,
you've got to make sure that you're getting right angles,
because you don't want the square to look like it's been squished.
So, it's measure and measure and double-check,
before you start cutting the flower beds out.
With their four elegant, symmetrical beds,
the boys are hoping to evoke the spirit of the great Italian formal
The classic Italian garden style, like the one at Hever Castle,
is characterised by wide avenues, neatly clipped evergreen plants
and ornate statues.
Completed in 1908,
the garden was built to display William Waldorf Astor's collection
of Italian sculptures.
The long, sweeping lawns and topiary borders draw the eye.
And the statues are used to create focal points.
Water is also a must, whether it's a playful fountain to delight visitors,
or a tranquil pool for contemplation.
Italian gardens were places of romance intended for the pleasure of
the view and the enjoyment of the sights, sounds
and smells of the garden itself.
Back in Fareham, the brothers have used these Italian design principles
to divide the space and add depth to the garden.
One of the main issues with this garden was that it was quite long, but quite thin, so what we've done
here, and you can tell it's happening already,
is that actually by creating these little points of interest,
it's stopping our eye, slowing it down, and you're creating that journey through,
so it actually gives the impression that it's a lot wider than it is.
-The masterpiece is finished.
Hiring the digger was an unexpected cost
and the team need to get their money's worth.
So, with the garden beds finally laid out to David's satisfaction,
the digger can do its worst.
With so much to do,
Harry has left Joe to complete the facing on the water feature.
We're nearly there now. Just get round this corner.
Get the top on. Job done.
And the brothers set to work on finishing the dry stone wall by
capping it with some large,
informal limestone coping stones that perfectly complement their
design ideas for the informal part of the garden.
With these walls, we wanted to double them up as seating,
because we know Vanessa and Alan will have guests round,
and these are perfect ways of maximising seating space.
But what we didn't want to do was cope it with quite a modern slab,
because that wouldn't tie in with our Italian style, would it?
Yeah, it's got a lovely, kind of, authentic feeling, hasn't it?
I think what's so nice then, when you have these larger slabs,
it has these lovely little pockets where we'll look to plant it up,
put some soil in, so over time, it's going to naturalise and they'll
have this lovely, old-looking stone wall set within this rural
Coping stones are a way of capping a stone wall to stop erosion from
the wind and rain. But tiles, slate, metal, concrete,
or even wood can also be used.
Some could say that we are coping.
Right, let's go and do the wall.
No formal Italian garden would be complete without a few ornate focal
points and Charlie has reminded the brothers about Vanessa's Doric column.
But it's looking a bit too modern for the rustic Italian theme of the garden.
The boys thinks it looks a bit new,
they want it looking like that.
So they've given me some acrylic paint and a sponge.
Paints are a good, quick fix,
but if you have more time, Charlie knows a good trick for encouraging
the natural ageing process.
One of the best ways to make an ornament weather really quickly is
put yoghurt on it. So, just paint yoghurt on it.
You get bacteria growing on there, which encourages things like algae
and lichen and mosses to grow naturally.
So, it gives that really beautiful, weathered, soft effect.
With the formal garden beds dug out,
the brothers set to work on the planting.
It pays to place the tallest plants in the bed first, and nothing evokes
la dolce vita more than mature olive trees.
Olives are a great tree for growing in the UK.
They're quite hardy and they tolerate up to about -10 in the winter,
so they're great for that, but they don't tolerate the wet.
They don't like the wet. So, as long as you've got quite well-drained soil, then that's really good.
Another great thing is you can grow it in pots,
so it's great for balconies, because it tolerates a bit of wind as well.
At £95 a pop, these olives aren't cheap,
so the boys are careful to get it right.
Nice. Yeah, that's perfect.
With the formal half of the garden well under way, the Rich brothers
have tasked Charlie with planting up the new water feature.
The boys want the water feature to look very elegant and sleek and simple.
So, with that in mind, we're just going for one waterlily.
It will come up and spread on the surface,
and you will get lots of flowers through the summer.
I'm just adding gravel to the top.
Right. Oh! Oh!
It is well rooted, I might take some of that off,
because that will really make it look like a mud pool!
All the best jobs.
Righty-ho. Now, a lot of people think that you have to raise your waterlily up.
This waterlily is quite happy at 18 inches to two foot deep.
This is about 18 inches deep.
So, it can go straight to the bottom of the pond
and it'll come up to the surface...
I bet they spent all day trying to keep that as clean as possible,
then Charlie comes along and ruins it!
Fortunately, the boys are preoccupied with their Mediterranean borders.
To create this formal Italian garden, we're using this low box hedging to
create this lovely border to the flower beds.
So they don't blow the budget, Harry's using young box plants,
which are cheaper.
But as they can grow 20 centimetres a year, the border won't take long to fill out.
I'm planting these six per metre.
So, as soon as they grow and are established to the point you want,
cut them off and you've got this lovely, crisp hedge.
-That's a really nice first row, mate.
-Well done. How many left?
-I will do.
In formal Italian gardens, the lawns and hedges are always kept neatly
clipped for maximum effect.
And after all the work that's been done in the garden,
Vanessa and Alan's lawn is in need of a little TLC
in order to really complement its new look.
Now, Alan likes his lawn, and it's looking a little bare in places,
especially where we've had the digger.
We're going to be putting grass seed down.
So I'm just raking off the stones and getting it roughly level.
Don't think you've got to get every last stone.
It's just the big, lumpy ones.
Right. More or less level.
Definitely better than it was.
So, we've just got a multipurpose grass seed.
It's always good to measure it out.
Don't just throw it from the box,
because you'll probably lay too much down and it won't grow evenly.
So, it's 30g a square metre, and then divide it in half.
And, first of all, we'll sow one way,
then we'll sow the other way.
And, by rights, it should be nice and even with no patches.
With any luck, in just a few months,
Alan's beloved lawn will start to see the benefits.
But once it's established, it pays to follow some simple rules
to keep your lawn in tiptop condition.
And no-one knows this better than Ade Ambler,
winner of Britain's Best Lawn 2015.
To keep my lawn to this quality,
I would probably spend at least 14 hours a week
maintaining and looking after. It is a commitment.
Ade has been following the same golden rules for lawn care
for over 20 years.
To keep your lawn lovely, my top three tips are
mow it regularly,
keep the edges nice and clean and sharp,
and a feed at least two or three times a year.
And if you want to get really serious about your lawn care,
Ade also recommends raking or scarifying it
to remove moss or dead grass,
which can smother the roots and prevent new growth.
This is best done in spring and autumn.
You can also aerate the soil.
This can be done with a garden fork
or more specialised tools.
This tool here is an aerator,
and it's perforating the topsoil by about two or three inches.
And it's helping to allow food, water, and nutrients
to get below the surface.
No Lawn of the Year would be complete
without these iconic stripes...
..which are created simply by using a mower with a rear roller
to bend the grass and reflect the light.
Grass blades bent towards you look dark,
while those bent the opposite way look lighter.
There we have it, the iconic stripes.
We've scarified, we've aerated, we've edged, and now we've cut.
Back in Fareham, the formal half of Alan and Vanessa's Italian garden
is receiving some much-needed colour.
David is adding lavender,
which will provide clouds of purple flowers next summer,
as well as knockout scent.
There are more than 39 species of lavender,
many of which only thrive in the hot Mediterranean climate.
But some are more than happy in an English flowerbed.
This is English lavender. It's Hidcote. It's perfect for
the UK cos it's really tolerant of all the conditions.
What you'll find with lavender is that it tends to grow quite bushy
and quite woody. So what you want to do is prune it back quite hard
late summer, after it's flowered, but don't go into the wood,
otherwise you won't get any new growth.
Then that'll be perfect for this style of garden,
cos it'll keep it really trim and really formal.
With the formal garden complete,
they make a start on the informal planting.
In this part of the garden,
the brothers have continued the Italian theme
by using Mediterranean plants to enclose the outdoor seating area.
We may not have the climate,
but there are plenty of Mediterranean plants
that will happily thrive in a garden in Kent.
As you can see, the soil is really stony,
which the Mediterranean-type plants will just love.
It'll make all the aromas much stronger,
because it's free draining,
so if the plants have got nice, strong growth,
with not lots of water,
the aromas are much better.
So, the boys have gone with some
very traditional Mediterranean plants.
Things like rosemary, we've got thyme, we've got bay.
Feel the, sort of, Bolognese sauce being ready made by Vanessa now.
But they've gone for some slightly more unusual ones
that have a Mediterranean feel.
So, we've got Pinus mugo, which makes a nice, low mound.
We've got a hibiscus here, syriacus.
It's got these big, open, pale pink flowers
with a bright splash of red in the centre.
A very upright plant, so it's going to add a bit of height.
And then we've got Pittosporum,
fantastic evergreen shrub or small tree.
Great for cut foliage in your vases with your flowers.
And then, to add a bit of, sort of, softening,
you've got the catmint running through,
which will give that blue haze
as they wander out onto their seating area.
It'll be very nice.
They may be hardy, but these plants will still need some protection
if it's particularly wet and cold.
A layer of mulch will stop roots freezing or waterlogging
in the colder months.
To blend the new dry stone wall with the surrounding planting,
David is adding some organic touches.
Our main focus with this stone wall was giving it a sense of age
and what we're doing now is we're adding sedum into the wall.
These are perfect plants for it,
cos they're used to having a really shallow root system.
So it's absolutely fine just to tear them off and then push them into
the cracks, as long as you've got
a little bit of soil left for them to cling onto.
And also, cos they're so hardy, what you can do is, these long,
straggly ones, you can pinch them off, about there,
then you can bed that into some soil, and then they'll grow again.
And then over time, that should sprawl over the wall.
With the planting nearly complete, it's time to bring on the gravel.
To surface the large, outdoor entertaining space,
the brothers are using a soft, ochre-coloured gravel to really transport
this seating area to the hills of Tuscany.
And once compacted,
this self-binding gravel will knit together to form a sealed surface.
With the gravel down,
Charlie and the boys can start to add the finishing touches.
And Vanessa and Alan's old sundial is to become the main focal point
in the formal garden.
Are you sure that's in the right spot?
-That looks level, actually.
-No, got to go over.
Too much, back the other way.
And finally, the boys bring out Vanessa's Doric column.
It's not a quick process, this.
-It's quite heavy, isn't it?
It's easy, Charlie, I don't know what you're moaning about.
-A wonky wheel.
-That's it, blame the tools.
-What do you think, Charlie?
-Yeah, looks all right.
The more it weathers, the better it'll look,
-but I think she'll love that.
Before they called the Garden Rescue team, Alan and Vanessa's garden
was a neglected, featureless, expansive lawn.
Without charm or character,
it wasn't the place they wanted to spend time
and it certainly wasn't a place for entertaining friends and family.
Now it's had a £6,000 makeover
and the Rich brothers have spent every penny to bring a little bit
of the romance of Italy to their garden
and make it a place they can truly enjoy.
The brothers spent £600 on the rustic dry stone wall,
which not only divides the space into two garden rooms,
but is a beautiful work of art in itself.
Eight tonnes of self-binding gravel, costing just over £1,000.
Its sandy texture conjures up that sun-baked Italian feel
and is the perfect choice for this relaxed seating area.
While the 300 box hedging plants that will grow to give
the formal part of the garden its classic structure
came in at £725.
And the eight statement olive trees were an indulgence at £750,
but they create avenues across the garden
and add that all-important symmetry.
Last but not least, the elegantly simple water feature,
clad in natural stone to give the garden the bucolic charm of Tuscany,
was constructed for just £620,
including both the trough and the stone facing.
Vanessa and Alan have waited 27 years
to create an Italian-style garden for entertaining their large family
and they were prepared to spend big to make it happen.
Here they go.
It's time to find out if the Rich brothers have delivered.
I think Vanessa is going to be quite emotional.
-Time has come.
-Are you excited?
I am so nervous, honestly.
-Oh, my goodness.
-OK, well, have a look at your new garden.
- Oh, wow. - It's amazing.
- Oh, my goodness. - Oh, it's beautiful.
Look at... Look at that.
-Avenue of olives.
-Avenue of olives.
Oh, big smile on Vanessa's face.
I honestly don't know how you've managed this.
- It's amazing. - It's absolutely wonderful.
- Yeah. - There's so much to look at.
-Oh, my goodness, look.
-Take a seat.
Oh, look, it's our table and chairs.
Oh, my goodness.
I don't think Vanessa has clocked her pillar yet.
Oh, my goodness, look, I've just seen...
- Look behind you. - Oh, wow.
It's my Doric column.
Your little ruin in the corner.
Oh, my goodness, me.
Can I...? I've just got to have a look at this.
Keep wandering round.
ALAN: That's amazing. That water feature is absolutely amazing.
I think we should probably take a little wander through
-into the formal area.
-Oh, yes, lead the way.
I can safely say they like the garden.
All of the box hedging can grow up to the height you want,
-then you can clip them.
-Look at the olive trees.
- Aren't they so spectacular? - Yeah.
And the different colours of green in there, that's genius.
Absolutely love it.
£6,000 was a serious investment to make in their garden,
so do Vanessa and Alan think it was money well spent?
It's fantastic. It's amazing.
Words cannot describe
- how I feel about this garden. - Absolutely incredible.
It's just a little bit of Italy,
- like we wanted, really, isn't it? - Yeah.
-It looks so different, doesn't it?
-I mean, gone from a boring English garden
to this tranquil, Mediterranean, Italian feel.
It has completely changed everything, hasn't it?
The avenue of olives.
The little seating area at the end there to sit and
- have a glass of Prosecco. - I love the water feature.
- He loves the water feature. - Fantastic.
And I think the stone walling, come on, gorgeous, isn't it?
Worth almost blowing the budget?
Too right, too right.
-You were just in.
It's nice to spend absolutely everything, isn't it? Yeah.
- It's just... - Well worth it...
- It's a small price to pay... - And more.
..for a magnificent Italian garden, isn't it?
- Yeah. - We're delighted.
Charlie and the Rich brothers compete to design a £6,000 Italian garden for a couple in Fareham. The designers' creative skills are going to be tested to the limit if the uninspiring grass patch is to become a Mediterranean idyll.