Weston-super-Mare Garden Rescue


Weston-super-Mare

Garden renovation series. Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Weston-super-Mare, facing an oddly shaped backyard with random levels and surfaces.


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Transcript


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

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and decades of experience,

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Charlie Dimmock is one of Britain's best loved gardeners.

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Looking good, boys.

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But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.

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We want to be the brothers

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that change people's perceptions of gardens.

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

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-Oh, good turn.

-That's amazing, isn't it?

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

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

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

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

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Not a lot going on, is there?

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-Not a lot.

-I don't know what to do with it.

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..and we'll each pitch them a design, based on their needs...

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Wow!

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..and budget.

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That sounds amazing.

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Doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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-The winner...

-Charlie!

-Yeah!

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..brings their design to life.

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Hold on, hold on.

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Sweet as a nut.

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

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Keep working, keep working, boy!

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Whoa, whoa, whoa! Easy.

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This is what happens...

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Just get on with it! Sometime today will be good.

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..when different styles collide...

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I think your brother is throwing the toys out of his pram.

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Right, are we doing this?

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..to turn garden dreams into reality.

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-Open your eyes.

-Oh, it's lovely!

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-Wow!

-Look at that!

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Wow! It's not our garden!

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers

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to find out about today's garden challenge.

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Here we have Corrina and Richard and their lovely family.

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Oh, isn't that a lovely photo?

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And they are from Weston-Super-Mare

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and they have a new-build property, but in a traditional cottage style.

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Richard, a contracts manager, and psychotherapist Corrina

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bought their home in Weston-Super-Mare three years ago.

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Although Corrina and Richard fell in love with the house,

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the garden leaves a lot to be desired.

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Here is their garden.

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-That looks busy.

-It's a funny old shape.

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-Yeah.

-Yeah, it's a bit of an odd shape.

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It wraps around the house a little bit,

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which could be quite fun, leaves different spaces.

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But, at the moment, it's a real mismatch.

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-It's all over the place.

-We've got slabs, gravel, artificial lawn...

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-Yeah.

-Decking.

-Decking.

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The garden is a disaster.

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We don't know what to do with it. It's a really awkward shape.

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I wouldn't say we are gardeners, really.

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I think we want a really lovely garden.

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We just have absolutely no clue of where to begin,

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what plants to choose.

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And there's another important reason

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why they need to sort out their uneven garden.

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We have three children and Ronnie, the littlest,

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has a disability called Charcot-Marie-Tooth syndrome,

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which is a muscle wasting disease.

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It's progressive, so it gets worse as you get older.

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Basically means he is unsure on his feet

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and suffers with balance problems.

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Things like that, really.

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So he needs something where it is flat,

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somewhere he can really enjoy coming outside and playing, I'd say.

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Yeah, definitely.

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And with only a £3,000 budget,

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the designers are going to have their work cut out.

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Not the biggest amount of money, but it's not the largest garden.

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No, it's quite a small space, by the looks of things.

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Yeah. One thing this garden needs is kind of a simplified design

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and a bit of unity.

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And a bit of planting cos there doesn't seem

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to be actually any plants.

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No. There are some existing materials,

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so I think we can re-use some of them, help the budget stretch.

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I think, all in all, it's a garden that just needs to be united

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and needs to be really safe and functional for the whole family.

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Charlie and the Rich brothers love a challenge

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so they head to Weston-Super-Mare to get a first-hand look

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at what they are dealing with.

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With each of them hoping to win the contract,

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they'll be on the lookout for anything that gives them an edge.

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Oh, the excitement, the excitement!

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Oh, nice wall!

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It is a nice bit of stonework, isn't it?

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Yeah. Turf might have seen better days.

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-A little bit.

-Not much of a level going on there.

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-No.

-A bit all over the place.

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It gives it away that it's not real as well, I think.

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Perhaps they lift it up and sweep all the leaves underneath.

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It's a little bit chaotic at the moment.

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-Disjointed.

-Very disjointed.

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It hasn't got a purpose.

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No theme other than the walls.

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At the moment, it's just open. Void of anything.

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The boys head inside to see if they can pick up any clues

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about the couple's taste,

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while Charlie meets Corrina and Richard

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to find out what happened to all their plants.

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Well, tell me about your garden.

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-It's a bit sad.

-I've noticed it's a little bit sad.

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There's no plants, Richard.

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Well, there is a story behind that.

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We did have some plants

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and then we had an idea to start doing the garden ourselves.

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Keen to get the ball rolling,

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Corrina hired someone to clear the garden.

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I went out one day and I came back

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and some man had come round and taken everything out of the garden.

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Stripped back bare.

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I thought it would be easier to start with a blank canvas.

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OK. A lot of people do that.

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-Yeah.

-Yes.

-I think it may have been a mistake.

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This is cosy, isn't it?

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Really nice, yeah.

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It has quite a nice bit of warmth to it, doesn't it?

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Some deep colours, lovely upholstery as well with the tartan.

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And this?

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-Not real.

-No.

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-Wallpaper, fooled me.

-Yeah.

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Cos there's a nice stone wall outside.

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I think what they've done is try to replicate that same texture

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and that same authenticity of, like, tradition and naturalness.

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Yeah. I think it's kind of very much what the house is about.

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It's quite new, isn't it?

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But they've tied in a lot of classic elements.

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Yeah. And that's pretty...

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It is, yeah. You've got your single room here.

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-Yeah.

-But through the glass doors,

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it's actually very much connected to that space there.

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Yeah, it actually makes really usable space.

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So the children obviously use the garden a lot,

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but do you guys use it?

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Yes, we do. We really like to entertain.

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For Christmas dinner, we had 18 people.

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So we always have barbecues and summer drinks

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and we try and entertain outside as much as we can,

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as much as the weather will let us.

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So you want it functional, you want to unite it,

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you want to make it look bigger.

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But is there a style?

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I would say modern cottage,

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-if that's possible.

-Modern cottage?

-Yeah.

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I like all the cottage planting and those sort of types of plants.

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But still sort of some of the modern clean lines

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-as well that go along with that.

-OK.

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Oh! That works well, doesn't it?

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You can see how that works really nicely.

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-Yeah.

-You've got two very individual rooms, but through this,

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they've got a lovely connectivity.

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If there was a party here or something,

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it could be one big space.

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Yeah. I think what is so nice as well

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is the fact that you do have these two different areas.

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And, you know, in the garden, it's nice to have maybe

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those different personalities within the...

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Yeah, well, you could have the cosy living space

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and the more open dining space.

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Yeah. Maybe have some kind of way of connecting them

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-without feeling as if they are one.

-Yeah.

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So, if I had to pin you down to sort of three things that are a must,

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what would they be?

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I would say the levels in the garden, it needs to be flat.

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-So, level surface.

-Mm-hmm.

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The artificial turf...

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Artificial grass, yes.

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And, obviously, it's not all about the kids,

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so a nice entertaining space.

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-A grown-up side. So...

-This small space has got to work really hard.

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-Yeah.

-Really hard.

-We are expecting you to work miracles.

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No pressure, then(!)

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The couple have put in a tall order for a modern yet traditional garden

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that's big enough for entertaining,

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but, most importantly, is safe enough

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for Ronnie to play in

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and all for just £3,000.

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Charlie and the Rich brothers will compete against each other

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to come up with a design that will work

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within Corrina and Richard'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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The budget will be used to cover the cost of the materials

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for their new garden, while the labour will be supplied by Charlie,

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the Rich brothers and their team of landscapers.

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It's time for the designers to pitch their ideas.

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-You ready for this?

-I'm excited!

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The Rich brothers have seen how the couple like

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to blend traditional and modern elements.

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OK!

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How will this feature in their design?

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While Charlie knows they want a garden

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that works for all the family and their many friends.

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Here we go!

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How will she make the most of the couple's small space?

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So the main concept of our design

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is we want to create this very traditional-feeling garden,

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but also have quite a modern structure to it.

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And as you can see from the plan,

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the zones are very much the same within the garden,

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but their function and their appearance has changed dramatically.

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Harry and David plan to spruce up the decking

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and replace the artificial lawn with a new properly laid one.

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But while the brothers are redesigning

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the dividing-up of the space,

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Charlie is getting rid of most of that.

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It's a garden of two halves and I've simplified the design.

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By simplifying it, it's going to make the garden look bigger.

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This is a step out from your conservatory.

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I've made it bigger and then this is all one level,

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right the way through.

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The wider step and level ground

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will make the garden much safer for Ronnie to run around in

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and a large area of artificial turf

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will make a good play area for all the children.

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The adults will have their own patio, set at a 45 degree angle.

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It will really make the garden feel bigger

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and be an ideal space for a party.

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Harry and David are also thinking about the couple's guests.

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Really, we wanted to create this as a bit more of an adult space.

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We want to keep it as a dining area.

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A dining table in the middle of the garden

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and a more informal cosy space at the bottom,

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providing two separate but interconnecting spaces

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for entertaining with feature walls framing each area.

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If you've got lots of friends around,

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then these walls become lovely areas

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just to perch and enjoy a coffee or a drink.

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The brothers have given the couple ample seating

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in their entertaining spaces,

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while Charlie wants to heat things up in her design.

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So, the paving is terracotta, to warm the garden up.

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Down at the end here,

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we've got this feature of terracotta pots to draw your eye out

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and that's going to look good all year round.

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I'm using quite a few evergreens to get some structure there.

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Charlie knows the couple are not the keenest of gardeners

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so has given them lots of easy to care for plants.

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Harry and David have also gone for a low-maintenance approach,

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but have a specific theme in mind.

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We are going to tailor it around

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a bit more of a natural woodland-style garden

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so use things that are quite soft, some early flowering,

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things like bluebells maybe, some hellebores.

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So it will always be quite luscious and green,

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but maybe have things like foxgloves that come up and astrantias

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they give that lovely little burst of white.

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And then what we thought would be really nice maybe in this spot here

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was to use a slightly more ornamental tree,

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so maybe something like a cherry, which blossomed.

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So, small growing, quite dappled,

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but gives you a lovely focal point in the garden.

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The brothers have chosen native woodland planting in their design.

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But Charlie has warmer climates in mind.

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To make it colourful and glamorous,

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I've got lots of Mediterranean plants

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that, you know, have got aromatic smells as well as lovely colours,

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but also will look after themselves.

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So, it's sort of that Mediterranean lifestyle,

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being outside as much as you possibly can,

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when the weather allows.

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Does that sort of appeal?

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-Yes, definitely.

-Definitely, yes.

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I like it.

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So, will the couple go for the Rich brothers' zoned woodland wonderland?

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Or Charlie's Mediterranean party garden?

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It's time to decide.

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-It is all one level.

-Yeah.

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And the larger step coming out from the house is easier as well.

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-It makes it a lot easier for Ronnie.

-Yeah.

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It has got that nice Mediterranean feel.

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You know... I just think on dull days,

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it's going to look that much brighter.

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I really simplified it, down to two areas.

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-Yeah.

-OK.

-Adult entertainment, children.

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I really like the way that the garden

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has been divided up into different areas,

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almost like different zones.

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If you've got a small garden, sometimes by putting more into it,

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which is in contrast to yours, you make it feel bigger.

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Does it not make it look more cluttered?

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Not if it's carefully done.

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I love the idea of the cherry tree.

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-Yeah.

-I love cherry blossom and that's really nice.

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I think this is modern cottage, which is sort of what we wanted.

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I could see us in that.

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This is closer, I think,

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to what I would like the garden to be like.

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I think I like this one.

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Richard is taken with Charlie's warm Mediterranean tiles

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and larger area for the children to play in.

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But Corrina loves the Rich brothers' modern cottage garden

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and it is exactly what she asked for.

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Only one design can win, so whose will it be?

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Hello!

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Hi, guys.

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OK. So, we've decided to go with...

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..Charlie.

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It's the diagonal that did it.

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-It is, yeah.

-We've chosen this one, I think, mainly because you said

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it is going to make the garden look bigger.

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-I think that was what sold it for us.

-Yeah, yeah.

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We thought as well that the kids would have

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sort of a bit more area to play in as well.

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It was so hard to choose, though,

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cos I absolutely loved, like, the dwarf walls in the boys' design.

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It felt really modern, but you kept the decking

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-and I can't bear the deck.

-We would have got rid of it!

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Too late, too late. It's mine!

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It's mine!

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Charlie is thrilled.

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But with a modest budget and a lot of work to do,

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she's really going to need the boys' help.

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It is early morning in a wet Weston-Super-Mare

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and project manager Bonnie and head landscaper Scott

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are poring over Charlie's plan.

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-Cool.

-This is all terracotta tiles

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to give a nice Mediterranean feel

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and Charlie wants to lay them on the diagonal

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-to give the illusion of the space being bigger.

-Nice!

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-That'll make your job a bit easier.

-Brilliant.

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-Nice slanted step as well.

-Yeah.

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This is a sleeper raised bed.

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-OK.

-And these are all just lower normal ground level raised beds

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and then this is artificial grass.

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-We're going to take all the deck up and...

-OK.

-And lay that grass.

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There's no time to waste

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so the team are clearing the decks

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and getting rid of all those uneven surfaces.

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First to go is that horrible old artificial turf.

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Now, that is how not to lay artificial grass.

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I know, yeah. It's been rolled out like a mat, hasn't it?

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The grass that we are going to get has got a much deeper pile.

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-There we go.

-Is that for me?

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For you, yeah.

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That came up easy.

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Now the turf is up, Bonnie has spotted a running form of bamboo

0:15:400:15:44

that could take over if left unchecked.

0:15:440:15:47

Look at this. The roots have just gone everywhere.

0:15:470:15:49

This is a dwarf bamboo and it pops up in cracks, between pavings.

0:15:490:15:55

This is a really good example of why you need to be careful

0:15:550:15:57

where you plant it because you need to contain the roots

0:15:570:16:00

and make sure that this doesn't happen.

0:16:000:16:02

To ensure they end up with one level surface,

0:16:050:16:08

the team have hired a mini digger.

0:16:080:16:10

But Bonnie is worried it might not fit

0:16:110:16:13

down the narrow path to the garden.

0:16:130:16:15

This is the moment of truth.

0:16:160:16:17

If we can't get this digger through this very small gap,

0:16:170:16:20

we are going to have to dig it all out by hand,

0:16:200:16:22

which is a bit of a mission.

0:16:220:16:24

There's a lot to do in the garden

0:16:250:16:26

and if the team are forced to dig out by hand,

0:16:260:16:28

they really will be squeezed for time.

0:16:280:16:31

Wait, wait, we need to turn that way quite a bit now

0:16:310:16:34

cos of the blade.

0:16:340:16:35

That's it.

0:16:350:16:36

-Good.

-Like a challenge, don't we?

0:16:360:16:38

Yeah, we do.

0:16:380:16:40

Lucky, that! Good job.

0:16:400:16:43

Good job. Glad I'm not driving the digger!

0:16:430:16:46

-Excellent. We are in.

-Woohoo!

0:16:490:16:51

I'm really glad we managed to get that in.

0:16:520:16:55

The team are relieved.

0:16:550:16:57

The digger will save them hours of backbreaking work.

0:16:570:16:59

But it does come at a cost.

0:16:590:17:02

So, to eke out every penny of the budget,

0:17:020:17:05

Charlie has asked the team to salvage

0:17:050:17:07

as much of the existing materials as possible

0:17:070:17:09

so they can be reused elsewhere in the garden.

0:17:090:17:12

So, these are perfectly good strong decking boards.

0:17:140:17:16

It's a shame to throw them away,

0:17:160:17:18

so we are going to try and re-use them

0:17:180:17:20

to save on sleepers in the raised beds.

0:17:200:17:22

It's not just the decking.

0:17:220:17:24

The stones and soil from the old planter are also being earmarked.

0:17:240:17:28

This garden is like a treasure trove, isn't it?

0:17:280:17:30

Yeah, there's loads of stuff in here.

0:17:300:17:32

We can use that soil as well for the raised bed.

0:17:320:17:34

-Yeah.

-Instead of buying any more topsoil.

-Yeah.

0:17:340:17:36

One, two, three.

0:17:360:17:38

Even the old arbour will be given a new lease of life later

0:17:380:17:41

with a lick of paint.

0:17:410:17:43

-4.3.

-Right, OK.

0:17:530:17:56

Bonnie and Scott mark out and prepare the ground

0:17:560:17:59

so they can begin to lay the patio tiles.

0:17:590:18:02

Good. Nice and big.

0:18:020:18:03

It's yellow.

0:18:050:18:06

I thought it would cheer us up, a bit of sunshine.

0:18:070:18:10

4.3 that way.

0:18:100:18:11

The garden is progressing well.

0:18:120:18:14

-4.3.

-Cool.

0:18:140:18:16

And Charlie and the Rich brothers arrive on site.

0:18:160:18:19

Charlie is not wasting any time in cracking the whip.

0:18:190:18:22

Right, then, boys.

0:18:220:18:24

My design. Budget is tight.

0:18:240:18:26

So there's going to be lots and lots of recycling.

0:18:260:18:29

-I love it.

-I want your noggins working today,

0:18:290:18:31

thinking about how we can get the garden done on a very tight budget,

0:18:310:18:36

-so recycle, recycle.

-No problem.

-But first up,

0:18:360:18:40

I've seen you both do some amazing sculpting with turf...

0:18:400:18:43

You are teeing us up!

0:18:430:18:45

I am going to challenge you with laying some artificial grass.

0:18:450:18:51

That's different end of the spectrum, isn't it?

0:18:510:18:53

It is. It's a really good surface for the children,

0:18:530:18:56

very versatile,

0:18:560:18:57

and I'm going to be doing some raised beds and pointing.

0:18:570:19:00

While David and Harry sort out the materials they need for the turf,

0:19:020:19:05

Charlie gets the lay of the land.

0:19:050:19:07

This area here is going to be the artificial grass.

0:19:070:19:10

Now we've cleared the deck out and the trellis,

0:19:100:19:12

it's made this area look really huge,

0:19:120:19:14

which is going to be great for the children.

0:19:140:19:16

So that's what the boys are going to be doing.

0:19:160:19:19

Then down this end is the adults' part of the garden.

0:19:190:19:22

So, big patio area.

0:19:220:19:24

Scott and Seb are really impressed with the tiles that I've chosen

0:19:240:19:28

cos they are nice and small,

0:19:280:19:30

which makes life really easy, doesn't it, boys?

0:19:300:19:33

Yeah, look at them smiling away!

0:19:330:19:36

Then we've got the raised beds.

0:19:360:19:38

It's not really raised, it's just up a bit to add a bit of interest.

0:19:380:19:41

I am going to also use this timber, recycle it from the decking,

0:19:410:19:45

to set it slightly off of the wall because if you are digging,

0:19:450:19:50

sometimes you can flick the soil up and it will bank up

0:19:500:19:53

and then dampness will get in on the inside of the house

0:19:530:19:56

and you really don't want that.

0:19:560:19:57

To fill the new raised bed,

0:20:000:20:02

Charlie will be using the soil from the old planter.

0:20:020:20:04

While she gets to work on the other side of the garden,

0:20:060:20:08

the boys are talking turf.

0:20:080:20:10

Corrina and Richard really wanted

0:20:120:20:14

to have artificial turf in their garden,

0:20:140:20:16

so what we are going to do

0:20:160:20:18

is we are going to create this large expanse in the back section.

0:20:180:20:21

Artificial turf used to be known as that greengrocer display carpet,

0:20:210:20:24

but it's got a lot, lot better.

0:20:240:20:25

As you can see here, we've actually got a range of qualities.

0:20:250:20:28

This is the cheaper version.

0:20:280:20:30

It's definitely less thick and less dense

0:20:300:20:33

and looks more artificial,

0:20:330:20:34

whereas you grade up to this guy here,

0:20:340:20:36

it's actually thicker, looks really real,

0:20:360:20:38

you've got a variation of colours

0:20:380:20:40

and actually got a little bit of thatch in there

0:20:400:20:42

so it looks really, really good.

0:20:420:20:43

What we are going to do is we are going to use offcuts of turf

0:20:430:20:47

and when me and Harry first thought of offcuts, we thought...

0:20:470:20:49

I thought we were going to get patches of this to do it!

0:20:490:20:52

I thought that would be a long old day.

0:20:520:20:53

But some of the offcuts are about four by four metres.

0:20:530:20:55

They are huge. What that means is we are going to stretch the budget,

0:20:550:20:58

it's going to go a lot further cos they are cheaper.

0:20:580:21:00

But it does mean we are going to be piecing together some seams.

0:21:000:21:03

-That's high-risk.

-I know.

0:21:030:21:04

Yeah. Charlie has entrusted us to patch this together.

0:21:040:21:08

Better get a move on, then!

0:21:090:21:11

But before the brothers can lay the turf,

0:21:140:21:16

they need to create a solid, even surface,

0:21:160:21:19

using a layer each of hardcore and sand.

0:21:190:21:21

It hasn't taken Charlie long to fill the beds with soil

0:21:280:21:31

and she's already moving on to planting.

0:21:310:21:33

Now, this raised bed here,

0:21:330:21:35

I'm just going to put a structure of planting in for Corrina,

0:21:350:21:38

leaving space so the kids can do some planting as well later on.

0:21:380:21:43

I'm going to have mainly herbs and aromatic plants here.

0:21:430:21:47

But we've got this lovely skimmia - scented, nice evergreen,

0:21:470:21:51

makes a nice round shape, you don't have to worry about clipping it.

0:21:510:21:54

Cistus, which is really Mediterranean.

0:21:540:21:58

The foliage is aromatic and it flowers all through the summer

0:21:580:22:02

so that will be really pretty.

0:22:020:22:03

This one has got white flowers with a yellow centre.

0:22:030:22:07

I reckon that's about there.

0:22:070:22:09

Then we've got some lavenders.

0:22:090:22:10

English lavender, so it's quite loose and floppy,

0:22:100:22:13

so it will flop over the sides of the raised beds

0:22:130:22:16

and when they come out the door, they will get that waft of scent.

0:22:160:22:21

And of course you can use the flowers when you are baking

0:22:210:22:24

and it flavours the sugar.

0:22:240:22:27

And then some herbs because it's really handy having herbs

0:22:270:22:30

just outside the kitchen door.

0:22:300:22:31

So we've got rosemary and parsley.

0:22:310:22:36

Scott, it's looking lovely.

0:22:390:22:40

I really like the colour. How do you think it's going?

0:22:400:22:43

Well, looking at the paw print on this,

0:22:430:22:45

I'd say it's going very "pawly".

0:22:450:22:47

SHE LAUGHS INSINCERELY

0:22:470:22:49

Don't give up the day job, will you?

0:22:490:22:51

I'll keep laying tiles then, shall I?

0:22:510:22:52

The first layer of the groundwork for the turf is down

0:22:560:22:59

and the boys are using a wacker plate to flatten the hardcore

0:22:590:23:02

before a layer of sand can be brought in.

0:23:020:23:04

Charlie wants to build a custom-made sunken table,

0:23:070:23:11

which will provide a useful surface

0:23:110:23:12

when Richard and Corrina are entertaining.

0:23:120:23:14

I'm thinking a nice chunky table,

0:23:170:23:20

but actually sort of cemented into the ground.

0:23:200:23:23

-Right, OK.

-So that the children can't pull it over on them

0:23:230:23:26

if they climb up on it and it can be used for anything.

0:23:260:23:29

-OK.

-I've got this recycled timber.

0:23:290:23:31

-Yeah.

-I've got some spare sleepers

0:23:310:23:33

so I'm thinking sleepers will make the legs, four legs, unusually...

0:23:330:23:36

SHE LAUGHS

0:23:360:23:38

So four legs, like that, concrete is in.

0:23:380:23:42

We've got four spare sleepers out the front.

0:23:420:23:45

-Yeah.

-So they could be the top.

0:23:450:23:46

-OK.

-That would make it really nice and chunky.

0:23:460:23:48

So, how high is that going to make that there table?

0:23:480:23:52

Well, these are 2.4s,

0:23:520:23:54

so I reckon they go in the ground about a foot

0:23:540:23:56

and we've got about a 3ft table. About that high.

0:23:560:23:59

That's good. Just right for barbecuing.

0:23:590:24:01

-And...

-And a beer.

-Yeah.

0:24:010:24:04

Mediterranean gardens are designed to be relaxed,

0:24:110:24:14

but you don't need a place in Provence

0:24:140:24:16

to create the holiday atmosphere of laid-back entertaining.

0:24:160:24:19

You can get the same effect in a British back yard.

0:24:190:24:23

Award-winning garden designer Jack Dunckley

0:24:230:24:25

has transported a slice of Tuscany

0:24:250:24:27

to the middle of the Sussex countryside.

0:24:270:24:30

So, what we've done here

0:24:300:24:31

is we've created this amazing Tuscan courtyard garden.

0:24:310:24:34

This originally used to be a car park

0:24:340:24:36

and the client wanted a really sort of lovely entertaining space.

0:24:360:24:39

There's lots of areas where people can mingle

0:24:390:24:42

and have drinks and socialise.

0:24:420:24:44

Tuscan and Mediterranean gardens have become popular

0:24:440:24:47

cos people want to kind of bring a little bit of holiday home.

0:24:470:24:49

It's nice to sit outside and not have to fly two hours away

0:24:490:24:52

to have a bit of paradise.

0:24:520:24:54

It's never been easier to create your own bit of paradise

0:24:540:24:58

in your back garden and following a few simple rules

0:24:580:25:01

will make it even easier.

0:25:010:25:03

In Mediterranean gardens,

0:25:040:25:05

the planting is secondary to the hard landscaping,

0:25:050:25:08

so start with the hardware.

0:25:080:25:10

Mediterranean gardens tend to have terracotta pots.

0:25:100:25:13

They tend to use kind of rustic materials, stone.

0:25:130:25:16

We've used compact gravel, which is a really durable surface.

0:25:160:25:19

It's quite a soft, sandy colour.

0:25:190:25:22

It's not loose, like ordinary shingle.

0:25:220:25:24

And think about form, clean lines and structure.

0:25:280:25:32

I've put in a certain amount of specimen planters.

0:25:320:25:35

I've got six amazing bay standards

0:25:350:25:37

that create this avenue down to the fire pit.

0:25:370:25:40

I've also got quite big palm trees in terracotta pots

0:25:400:25:42

to kind of give a bit of atmosphere

0:25:420:25:44

around the boundary of the garden

0:25:440:25:46

and also you've got the kind of undulating hills behind.

0:25:460:25:49

So this kind of nestled behind the hill

0:25:490:25:51

creates that really atmospheric place.

0:25:510:25:54

But you don't need acres of land

0:25:540:25:56

to create your own Mediterranean garden.

0:25:560:25:58

It's definitely possible to create

0:25:580:26:00

a Mediterranean garden in a small space.

0:26:000:26:02

It's about choosing the correct materials, the right planting.

0:26:020:26:05

If it is very small, then go for one specimen feature tree,

0:26:050:26:08

like a palm tree or an olive in a terracotta pot.

0:26:080:26:12

Nor does it have to be expensive.

0:26:120:26:14

Designing and building a garden like this doesn't have to be difficult

0:26:140:26:17

and you can source lots of materials at local garden centres -

0:26:170:26:21

palm trees, specimen plant pots.

0:26:210:26:24

Some of the materials we use here weren't overly expensive,

0:26:250:26:28

but have that right look and feel.

0:26:280:26:30

And Jack has a top tip for any small garden.

0:26:320:26:35

If you've got a small garden and you want to make it appear bigger,

0:26:350:26:38

then the best thing to do is tackle the boundaries.

0:26:380:26:40

If you've got a brown enclosing fence,

0:26:400:26:42

it's really kind of dark and it would be nice to lighten it up,

0:26:420:26:45

put some planting on it, maybe give it a touch of paint

0:26:450:26:47

to really kind of brighten up your space

0:26:470:26:49

and then look at linear lines

0:26:490:26:50

and the longest point of your garden,

0:26:500:26:52

put a focal point in,

0:26:520:26:53

cos that will draw your eye to the longest part.

0:26:530:26:55

There's no time to relax back in the garden, though.

0:27:000:27:03

Charlie's asked the brothers to pot up some of her Mediterranean plants.

0:27:030:27:07

As nothing in this garden is going to waste,

0:27:070:27:10

Harry is taking some of the tile cut-offs to aid him in his task.

0:27:100:27:14

Charlie wanted to use these twisted stem olives in her design

0:27:160:27:20

and they really do depict the Mediterranean.

0:27:200:27:22

Growing in the wild, they need free draining soil

0:27:220:27:24

and that's what I want to replicate now in this pot.

0:27:240:27:27

To start with, I'm just going to put a bottom layer

0:27:270:27:29

of these broken-up slabs. They are from the garden

0:27:290:27:32

so we are recycling them.

0:27:320:27:33

Because olive trees need free draining soil

0:27:340:27:37

if they are going to thrive,

0:27:370:27:38

placing the tiles in the bottom of the pot

0:27:380:27:40

will help any excess water to drain more freely.

0:27:400:27:43

And then all I'm going to do now

0:27:450:27:46

is I'm going to add some soil into the pot,

0:27:460:27:49

some leftover gravel from the garden.

0:27:490:27:52

Mix it in.

0:27:520:27:54

So it really depicts the kind of conditions of the Mediterranean.

0:27:540:27:59

The only thing left to do now is plant the olive tree.

0:28:010:28:03

In the garden, Charlie is making a statement.

0:28:070:28:10

First big statement plant coming through.

0:28:130:28:16

So I'm thinking about here-ish, I think, that's going to be.

0:28:200:28:24

Wow! Beautiful.

0:28:260:28:29

Outside, David is getting in on the Mediterranean action.

0:28:290:28:32

The bay tree is another great Mediterranean plant.

0:28:330:28:36

Really versatile and you can shape it into almost any object.

0:28:360:28:39

You can make it into, like, balls, pyramids, lollipops.

0:28:390:28:42

And you can use the leaves in cooking,

0:28:420:28:44

which is really cool, in loads of dishes.

0:28:440:28:46

We are actually going to plait the stems,

0:28:460:28:48

but we are still going to create that lollipop shape on top.

0:28:480:28:50

So we are going to remove some of these stems and just leave three.

0:28:500:28:53

There's no going back after this!

0:28:540:28:56

Perfect!

0:28:560:28:58

Cool!

0:29:060:29:08

And what I've got to do now is just chop off the top,

0:29:080:29:11

just to encourage the outward growth.

0:29:110:29:13

-Right, all done.

-Looks good, Dave.

0:29:160:29:18

Cheers! Thank you.

0:29:180:29:20

Charlie and Scott are marking out the planting borders

0:29:210:29:24

that will separate the patio and turf areas of the garden.

0:29:240:29:27

Just come out another foot.

0:29:270:29:29

And she's had a thrifty idea.

0:29:290:29:32

Entranceway.

0:29:320:29:34

She's going to bring the pergola that Richard and Corrina have

0:29:340:29:37

into the front of the garden and use it as an entranceway

0:29:370:29:40

between the children's and adults' areas.

0:29:400:29:42

David and Harry have turned their attention

0:29:430:29:45

back to the artificial lawn and are levelling out the sand

0:29:450:29:48

before laying a membrane

0:29:480:29:50

to suppress any weeds that may try to sprout up.

0:29:500:29:53

While Charlie is thinking about childproof planting,

0:30:000:30:03

kicking off with a spotted laurel.

0:30:030:30:05

It is a really robust useful plant, evergreen,

0:30:050:30:09

it will take being in shade, in dry conditions,

0:30:090:30:13

and when the football comes hurtling this way, it will put up with it.

0:30:130:30:18

The other great thing about having plants as a barrier

0:30:180:30:21

is they actually absorb sound.

0:30:210:30:24

You are better off having a hedge of plants

0:30:240:30:27

than you are a brick wall or a fence.

0:30:270:30:29

So it will make it quieter and dampen the sound down,

0:30:290:30:33

which is what you will always need when it comes to young children.

0:30:330:30:36

Charlie is also emphasising the Mediterranean theme

0:30:360:30:40

with her other shrubs and trees.

0:30:400:30:42

So, this is going to be an evergreen shrub border

0:30:420:30:45

and I've gone for a contrast of textures and shapes.

0:30:450:30:49

We've got the round box balls

0:30:490:30:53

that contrast with the spiky leaves of the phormium

0:30:530:30:56

and then my favourite, pencil cypress,

0:30:560:30:59

Cupressus sempervirens,

0:30:590:31:01

which means "forever green",

0:31:010:31:03

and they are these tall, upright columns of foliage.

0:31:030:31:07

When you see them growing around the lakes of Italy,

0:31:070:31:11

they do actually clip them so that they get really neat

0:31:110:31:15

and compact all the way up.

0:31:150:31:17

But that is going to basically end up

0:31:170:31:20

as a really textured evergreen hedge border,

0:31:200:31:23

which will look good all year round.

0:31:230:31:27

I have gone for threes with the Cupressus sempervirens.

0:31:270:31:31

Always a good thing to arrange in threes.

0:31:310:31:33

Having said that, I've been a bit radical and gone for a two.

0:31:330:31:38

That can sometimes work as well.

0:31:380:31:40

There are lots of other plants that work well

0:31:410:31:43

to create that warm Mediterranean look all year round,

0:31:430:31:48

But that can also cope with our rather colder,

0:31:480:31:51

wetter British climate without needing a lot of fuss.

0:31:510:31:55

The plants we've got here are very kind of drought resistant.

0:31:560:31:59

They don't need to be watered that much.

0:31:590:32:01

In the summer, this garden completely comes to life

0:32:010:32:03

and you've got lots of amazing purples.

0:32:030:32:06

There's grasses and you are going to have

0:32:060:32:08

sort of movement of the grasses in the wind.

0:32:080:32:10

As you can see behind, we've got these amazing line of cypresses.

0:32:110:32:15

You can source these trees in England,

0:32:150:32:18

but we decided for that extra kind of Tuscan feel,

0:32:180:32:21

we'd go out to Italy and source them.

0:32:210:32:23

Herbs play an important role in Mediterranean planting.

0:32:230:32:27

They are handy to have for the barbecue and alfresco dining

0:32:270:32:31

and will provide a lovely aroma on hot summer days.

0:32:310:32:35

You've got rosemary, you've got lavender,

0:32:350:32:37

you've got the olive trees as well

0:32:370:32:39

that kind of give that lovely kind of silvery foliage to it.

0:32:390:32:41

When you've had a busy day at work, coming back to this garden

0:32:420:32:46

instantly creates that relaxing, tranquil effect.

0:32:460:32:48

Fingers crossed!

0:32:530:32:54

Not bad. Looking green, that's a good start!

0:32:590:33:01

After all that preparation,

0:33:010:33:03

the boys are finally rolling out the larger of the two turf offcuts.

0:33:030:33:08

They make sure it's in the correct position...

0:33:080:33:10

I need to come this way.

0:33:100:33:12

..then cut the edges to fit.

0:33:120:33:14

Perfect! So, that's the turf cut now, up against the edging.

0:33:140:33:17

All we need to do is tack it in, nice and firm.

0:33:170:33:20

Charlie is planting up her final bed.

0:33:240:33:27

This border here, we are going to have lots of evergreens again

0:33:280:33:32

so they stand out against these beautiful walls.

0:33:320:33:35

Phormium tenax Variegatum - tenax means "tough"

0:33:350:33:39

and if you've ever tried to pull a dead phormium leaf off,

0:33:390:33:43

you'll know why it's tough.

0:33:430:33:46

Then we've got fatsia, which have got these big palm, glossy leaves.

0:33:460:33:50

They are going to get about this big.

0:33:500:33:52

Then we've got the box balls to pick up those box balls

0:33:520:33:55

and then a bit of colour with the cistus.

0:33:550:33:58

Corrina and Richard wanted low-maintenance and, literally,

0:33:580:34:02

there is nothing to do to these plants at all.

0:34:020:34:06

So they can just leave them to grow

0:34:060:34:08

and that will just give it a nice interest on this wall

0:34:080:34:11

and I've got a few little ideas for this section

0:34:110:34:15

to make it a real focal point, looking out from the kitchen.

0:34:150:34:18

David and Harry cut the second offcut of turf to size.

0:34:220:34:26

Yeah, nice fold!

0:34:290:34:31

A bit more than you think.

0:34:330:34:35

And then carefully use a special glue

0:34:370:34:39

to join the two different pieces together,

0:34:390:34:41

making the match-up between the two as seamless as possible.

0:34:410:34:45

As a finishing touch,

0:34:490:34:50

the brothers rake the artificial turf to further disguise the join

0:34:500:34:54

and a quick brush makes our penny-wise lawn

0:34:540:34:57

look fuller and more natural.

0:34:570:34:59

-How does it feel?

-It's great!

0:34:590:35:01

I love the way you've brought out the texture of my planting

0:35:010:35:04

-by making it all shaggy.

-Yeah, all planned.

0:35:040:35:07

-Yeah, right.

-All part of the master plan.

0:35:070:35:10

But it is worth it. Definitely worth it

0:35:100:35:12

and it's a great area for the children.

0:35:120:35:13

-So much bigger now.

-Versatile.

0:35:130:35:15

-Green.

-Green. Low-maintenance.

0:35:150:35:18

Do you think she's got to hoover it occasionally?

0:35:180:35:20

-Or brush it.

-Brush it.

-I'm enjoying this.

0:35:200:35:22

Doesn't it does make a difference? Look at that.

0:35:220:35:24

Well, don't spend too long doing this

0:35:240:35:26

cos I've got another little job for you, I have to say.

0:35:260:35:29

But you'll soon be done.

0:35:290:35:30

So, just here.

0:35:300:35:32

-Yeah.

-Yes.

-You know,

0:35:320:35:33

the archway out the front that looks like it's landed...

0:35:330:35:36

-Yes.

-Just there.

0:35:360:35:37

-Shall we get the archway?

-Yeah.

0:35:370:35:39

While the boys fetch the old pergola from the front garden,

0:35:390:35:43

Charlie is attaching planting baskets to the wall.

0:35:430:35:46

This wall is a lovely wall, but it's a bit dominant in the garden,

0:35:490:35:52

so I want to break up the space with some planting

0:35:520:35:54

and walls are a great vertical space for extra plants.

0:35:540:35:59

Now, these are really good value hanging baskets,

0:35:590:36:01

just little wicker ones,

0:36:010:36:03

and because I am not convinced that Corrina and Richard

0:36:030:36:07

will look after them really well,

0:36:070:36:09

I've gone for plants that are going to be tolerant

0:36:090:36:11

of a little neglect, shall we say?

0:36:110:36:13

So I've got things like sedum, which is a succulent.

0:36:130:36:17

We've got mat-forming ajuga and some grasses.

0:36:170:36:20

Ivy... They will all put up with maybe drying out fractionally.

0:36:200:36:25

And I'm putting them in diagonals

0:36:250:36:27

to pick up the whole diagonal design of the garden

0:36:270:36:31

and it should really sort of break the wall up nicely.

0:36:310:36:36

And to get some continuity with the planting,

0:36:360:36:40

I've done the same type of planting here on these three...

0:36:400:36:45

Like that, so you see, exactly the same.

0:36:460:36:49

And then...

0:36:490:36:50

..I'm then using the same planting in the other three.

0:36:520:36:55

Just about the right height to water.

0:36:560:36:59

And the last one up there.

0:36:590:37:01

I think that looks lovely. Really breaks the wall up.

0:37:020:37:05

And the maintenance should be reasonably OK.

0:37:050:37:07

With the wall planters hung,

0:37:090:37:10

it's time to put the finishing touches in place...

0:37:100:37:13

..before Richard and Corrina see their new garden for the first time.

0:37:150:37:20

A beast of a table.

0:37:200:37:22

Walk her in.

0:37:220:37:24

Are you in?

0:37:260:37:27

Perfect!

0:37:270:37:29

-Nice!

-Locked in.

0:37:330:37:35

-Last one.

-Last tile going down.

0:37:450:37:47

-Oh, beauty.

-Beauty.

0:37:470:37:50

Look at that.

0:37:500:37:52

Before they called Charlie and the Rich brothers,

0:37:550:37:58

Corrina and Richard's garden was one big trip hazard...

0:37:580:38:01

..with a jumble of different levels, surfaces and materials.

0:38:030:38:08

Now, with a £3,000 revamp, the chaos has been swept away

0:38:120:38:18

and the garden feels much larger and less cluttered.

0:38:180:38:21

The spacious terracotta patio is the perfect place for a party

0:38:240:38:28

and cost £280.

0:38:280:38:30

They even have their own custom-built bar, which cost £36.

0:38:330:38:38

The easy to maintain wall planters brighten up the end of the garden

0:38:430:38:47

and cost only £92.

0:38:470:38:49

While the olive and bay trees add a flavour of the Mediterranean

0:38:510:38:54

at a cost of £130.

0:38:540:38:57

The terracotta pots continue the theme and cost £200.

0:38:580:39:02

As does the sound deflecting planting bed,

0:39:050:39:07

featuring the cypress trees,

0:39:070:39:09

each costing £35.

0:39:090:39:11

The pergola was moved free of charge from the front garden

0:39:120:39:16

and the arbour has been repositioned and given a £22 lick of paint.

0:39:160:39:20

And finally, Ronnie and his siblings can run around safely

0:39:230:39:27

on their level crease-free artificial lawn...

0:39:270:39:29

..which cost a total of £510.

0:39:320:39:34

Richard and Corrina spent three years hating their old garden.

0:39:360:39:40

Can Charlie make them fall in love with their new one?

0:39:400:39:43

Close your eyes.

0:39:470:39:49

We are going to step down...

0:39:490:39:51

Yeah? That's one step.

0:39:510:39:53

-Two steps...

-Tickly under there?

0:39:530:39:56

Go forward a bit. It's all right,

0:39:560:39:58

-you're not going to fall off an abyss, I promise.

-OK.

0:39:580:40:00

I'm so excited.

0:40:000:40:02

OK? You can open your eyes.

0:40:020:40:04

Oh, my God!

0:40:060:40:08

Oh, my God!

0:40:080:40:10

-Oh, my God!

-So, does that view say to you,

0:40:110:40:14

"I want to come out into the garden"?

0:40:140:40:16

-Definitely.

-I don't think we could live inside.

0:40:160:40:19

I think we just live out here. It's so beautiful.

0:40:190:40:21

It's totally transformed.

0:40:210:40:23

-It's amazing.

-It is amazing.

0:40:230:40:25

-Hey, they love it.

-They love it.

0:40:250:40:28

-Some good first impressions.

-It is, yeah.

0:40:280:40:30

I mean, having that patio out on the front

0:40:300:40:31

-makes such a difference, doesn't it?

-Yeah.

0:40:310:40:33

Do you think it is going to be a big enough area

0:40:330:40:37

for you to entertain friends and family?

0:40:370:40:39

I think so, don't you?

0:40:390:40:40

-It's massive. It's amazing!

-We could have a party.

0:40:400:40:43

I think they'll use that space a lot for entertaining.

0:40:430:40:45

Yeah, they seem like the party type.

0:40:450:40:46

They do, don't they? Yeah!

0:40:460:40:48

Is it actually our garden?

0:40:480:40:50

-You are not going to be ill on me, are you?

-No.

0:40:500:40:53

Sorry, I just love it.

0:40:530:40:55

It's going to look great all year round

0:40:550:40:57

because they're evergreens - no maintenance.

0:40:570:40:59

And these will fill up to about the top of your wall

0:40:590:41:03

and give you lots of textures and that will fill in.

0:41:030:41:05

We've got the pots there just as a focal point.

0:41:050:41:08

Planters, yes, they will need a bit of watering occasionally,

0:41:090:41:13

but they are really robust plants.

0:41:130:41:15

And if you really get into your gardening,

0:41:150:41:17

you can change them for some colourful hanging geraniums.

0:41:170:41:21

OK. Yeah, yeah.

0:41:210:41:22

They look brilliant. I love them. They look really, really great.

0:41:220:41:25

-Really great.

-Just outside your back door, this raised bed here,

0:41:250:41:31

it's literally going to be a scented evergreen border.

0:41:310:41:34

We've got rosemary and parsley, lavender...

0:41:340:41:38

'It's a really cool little bed, isn't it?'

0:41:380:41:40

Right outside the house. I like the herbs in it as well.

0:41:400:41:43

-Perfect for the kids to get involved.

-Yeah.

0:41:430:41:45

I just can't believe it!

0:41:450:41:47

I literally, like...

0:41:470:41:48

-Just...

-Gobsmacked.

0:41:490:41:51

-Yeah.

-In the time you've had and the budget and everything else,

0:41:510:41:54

-unbelievable.

-It looks like a million bucks.

0:41:540:41:57

'Walking down to the archway now.'

0:41:590:42:01

Through into our bit of lawn.

0:42:010:42:03

I mean, probably the best bit of the garden.

0:42:030:42:05

Don't tell Charlie or anything, but that is...

0:42:050:42:08

The boys can play football whatever the weather.

0:42:100:42:12

Ronnie can just walk out...

0:42:120:42:14

-There's no steps.

-No steps.

0:42:140:42:15

-Other than that one out there.

-No trip hazards.

0:42:150:42:18

All you need to do to make it look lovely

0:42:180:42:20

is just rake it up occasionally.

0:42:200:42:21

-OK.

-I don't know about that!

-THEY LAUGH

0:42:210:42:24

With just £3,000 to spend, Charlie had to make every penny count.

0:42:260:42:31

But do Corrina and Richard think it was money well spent?

0:42:310:42:35

I never thought it could be this good.

0:42:370:42:39

-No.

-Not with the budget we gave them.

0:42:390:42:41

And I just think Charlie and the team

0:42:410:42:42

have just done the most amazing job.

0:42:420:42:44

Charlie and the team have done a fantastic job.

0:42:500:42:52

-We are delighted, aren't we?

-Fantastic.

0:42:520:42:55

Thank you, guys, so much.

0:42:550:42:57

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are in Weston-super-Mare, facing an oddly shaped backyard with an assortment of random levels and surfaces. Whose design will win the pitch for a warm-feeling and practical family space on a tight budget.


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