Alfreton Garden Rescue


Alfreton

Garden renovation series. Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers conjure up a magical fairy theme for Tom and Heather's sloping garden.


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Transcript


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With her can-do attitude,

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love of simple gardens 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, wow! 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

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are going head-to-head.

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I know they've got a gold medal,

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but I can come up with a few ideas.

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They're 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.

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I don't know what to do with it.

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

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-You look confused.

-Yeah, I am.

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-Go for it.

-..and budget.

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Doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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The winner...

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Charlie!

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-Awesome!

-..brings their design to life...

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Hold on, hold on!

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Sweet, isn't it?

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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, whoa, easy.

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This is what happens...

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Just get on with it.

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Some time today would be good!

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..when different styles collide...

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I think your brother's 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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-Wow! It's brilliant.

-Oh, my goodness!

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Wow!

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-Look at that!

-Oh, my God!

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Wow!

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers

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to find out which garden

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they're going to be competing over today.

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This is Tom and Heather from Derbyshire,

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and they've just bought their house,

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their first house together.

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-They look quite young, don't they?

-Quite young!

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If YOU'RE saying it, they must be really young!

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Tom and Heather bought their first home nearly two years ago,

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and, as with many young homeowners,

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they don't know where to start with their garden.

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The garden, it's just really blank, I suppose.

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There's a bit of a patio area,

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but that's really the only bit of it that we've used.

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Yeah, we haven't really got any plants that are alive

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because I've killed them.

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It's boring, and it's sloped,

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and we just don't know what to do with it.

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There is a big slope in the garden.

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As you can see, it travels away from the house,

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right down to the bottom of the garden.

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Huge patio!

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It's not really the biggest space.

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I mean, you'd be squeezed just trying to fit in there.

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Just two chairs and a table, but you couldn't actually sit at it.

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No, just set it.

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We'd really like a bigger seating area,

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because, at the minute, it's so small,

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we can't really do anything out there,

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and we can't entertain people.

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And because the garden's sloped,

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you can't sit people on chairs out there

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because they just topple over.

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As well as needing a larger patio,

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Heather has a very particular theme she'd like to see in the garden.

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Really like the idea of quite a magical fairy-tale themed garden.

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Maybe some fairy lights and a fire pit

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that we can all sit around in the evening.

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Budget's £3,500,

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which is a decent amount of money, but it is quite a long garden.

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There is a lot of space.

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But I think it's quite important

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to draw them down into the garden, somehow.

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I think that's key, because, at the moment,

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-it looks like that's not used at all.

-Yeah.

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It looks like they just sit at the top and look down the view.

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Yeah.

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With a fairy-tale theme and a £3,500 budget,

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the designers head to Derbyshire

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to see what they can conjure up

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for Tom and Heather's sloped garden.

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The garden definitely slopes.

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They weren't wrong there.

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And look at this thing - a bit narrow, isn't it?

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But it takes you on a journey to the salubrious patio.

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Please do seat yourself and enjoy.

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Table for two, please.

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No room for a third, unfortunately.

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Well, where do you put the barbecue, then?

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Well, just eat off it, in place of the table.

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The trees at the bottom are nice, though.

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Yeah, I think when they come into leaf,

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they will actually create a nice backdrop.

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They've got a good bit of character to them, haven't they,

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-which is quite cool.

-We need some sort of...

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Inspiration. Shall we go inside?

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-Yeah, I think so.

-Hopefully, there'll be more to look at.

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Well, hopefully, yeah,

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because we're sort of slightly stymied here, aren't we?

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While Charlie's left outside,

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David and Harry see if there's more to discover inside.

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I definitely wasn't expecting this.

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Yeah, it's so different, isn't it?

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Got the tartan and the colours.

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It really transports you to a Highland cabin or something.

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Yeah, like antlers and deer.

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And they've got deer on the cushion.

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But it's kind of got a Gothic kind of feeling as well, hasn't it?

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It has, yeah, quite dark, in a way.

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Definitely feeling it quite mystical.

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A bit of mystery, a bit of fantasy maybe.

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Oh, yeah.

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Outside, Charlie meets Tom and Heather

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to find out if they're on the same page of the spell book.

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When you say magical theme,

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do you mean a few fairy lights and maybe some cute plants,

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or do you mean full-on theme?

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Full-on theme.

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-OK.

-I love a theme.

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For me, I've nothing against it, a bit of it,

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but for me, perhaps, I would hold off little bit on full-on.

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Make it a bit cool.

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A little bit.

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These are cool, aren't they?

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You can really imagine that being like gnarled trees

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or shrubs or something like that

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would really bring that out, wouldn't it?

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I think it might be quite nice if we can think about

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putting some lighting or something into the garden.

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That would add another dimension. That would be nice.

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So, would you want to be getting rid of the slope?

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Probably not, no.

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It'd be quite nice to have it at different levels.

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-Oh, OK.

-Yeah. Like a tiered-type thing.

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So I think we're thinking some sort of seating area,

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making the most of the sun in the evening down at the bottom.

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So we are saying definitely bigger patio, entertaining.

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A full-on singing, dancing, magical, folklore fairy?

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-Yes.

-Maybe with a dark side.

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So it's a bit cool when your mates come round to watch the football.

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-Save a bit of face.

-And an evening seating area.

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Yes. Not asking for much, are we?

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Charlie and the Rich brothers are going to need to summon

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all their creative powers to transform this bare back garden

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into a magical fairy wonderland.

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So they get straight to their drawing boards.

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They'll compete against each other

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to come up with a design that will work

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within Tom and Heather's budget.

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The couple will have to choose a winner

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

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The £3,500 budget will be used to cover the cost of materials,

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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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-Hello.

-Hello.

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Hey. OK.

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Ready? This is our design.

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So, we've learnt that you guys wanted to turn your garden

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into this magical woodland,

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and we've tried giving you that, but in a more natural,

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slightly sympathetic way,

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so almost a pixie essence of a British woodland.

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So if you'd imagine you'd step out of your back door

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on to this large deck,

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which would be something like a larch, which would grey over time.

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And it makes a big difference on having a tiny patio.

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Yes. A bit.

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So that would be a great space for entertaining, eating, barbecue,

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just enjoying the weather, especially the morning sun, as well.

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A strong start from the Rich brothers,

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who have provided the larger entertaining space

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that the couple asked for.

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So, what does Charlie plan for the top of the garden?

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So, welcome to...

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..Tom and Heather's magical mystery garden.

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I have gone with a staggered patio at the top

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to give you a more traditional patio area

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to entertain with your friends,

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big enough space, and then you've still got lawn up on the top area,

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but it's the journey down where you start getting

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the mystical fairy feel,

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so it's more like a path that used to be used

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but it's been encroached back on by the plants of the wood.

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Charlie's working her magic already,

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with her larger patio and winding path.

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What tricks do Harry and David have up their sleeve

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to entice the couple down the garden?

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From that deck, we've wanted to give you

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this slightly more modern take on stepping stones.

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So these would be like timber lintels

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and it's kind of the concept

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of the, almost, like, falling trees in a woodland.

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-OK.

-And you'd be able to walk on them and step across

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and these would lead you down on to this lower terrace here.

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This terrace is sunken into the bank,

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which allowed us to retain it with some logs,

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so that you can plant them up with ferns

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and it has this very kind of magical feeling.

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Then moving on from that,

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we want to put a few logs down the bottom as well,

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where we let the grass grow long,

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and you don't have to worry about mowing around the trees.

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Definitely helpful.

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The brothers have cleverly introduced a terrace

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in the form of a sunken seating area,

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accessed by a woodland log walkway.

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They're keeping the fairy-tale theme subtle, which will suit Tom,

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whereas Charlie's trying to impress Heather.

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On the way down, you'll notice odd things

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and they're either going to be bits of driftwood

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or there're going to be stacks of stones or pebbles

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so that will add interest wherever you look,

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so it sort of draws you down into this lower area, that's scooped out,

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so we'll make that area flatter,

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and then we have a retaining wall,

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and I have what I would call a dew pond,

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so it's just a pool of water

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that's going to reflect the moon

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and it will have a little spout of water

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that just drops into it, so it will be a gentle trickle.

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Charlie has also gone for a sunken seating area

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at the bottom of the garden,

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but she's surrounded hers with quirky features,

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which could be too much for Tom.

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It's still all to play for,

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as the designers reveal their plans for the planting.

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With the shrubs and trees,

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we've got things like contorted hazel and witch hazel

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and mountain ash

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and all these are quite kind of fantasy-based.

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So it's going to give this lovely kind of gnarled look,

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but it's blocking views off,

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so it doesn't reveal the garden all at once,

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but give you these lovely pockets

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that you can explore and relax in

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without feeling like everyone's watching you.

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And then, what we'd like to do is introduce perennial planting,

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but we'd choose things that flowered predominantly white,

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and what they'll do, later on in the evening,

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when the light dies down and the moon rises,

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they'll illuminate, and along with some fairy lights

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that can go up between the trees,

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that will just make like a really magical,

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-gorgeous backdrop.

-Yes.

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The plants that I want to use down this area

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are ones that have got a folklore to them,

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so lots of ferns and elderflower.

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But I'm using the black lace, so it's got very dark foliage,

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which gives it a bit of a spooky feel, Tom,

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and then to sort of butch it up a little bit,

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we've got insectivorous plants.

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So they're quite odd and weird to look at,

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and then through the thick planting here, these are hazel branches,

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tied together to give you an archway

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where you might have to slightly bend to get through it,

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so it makes it a mysterious way to get into your seating area...

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..and there was silence!

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THEY LAUGH

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-It sounds great!

-It does.

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-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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That's it. Time's up.

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See you in a bit.

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Tom and Heather are giving little away as to which design they prefer.

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So all Charlie and the Rich brothers can do now is wait.

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I really like these logs,

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and the path through the twisty trees and the fairy lights,

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and I really like the wood decking.

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How did you get on with the whole magical fairy theme then?

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Well, we didn't go too airy-fairy, we went kind of...

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-Gnarled and rugged.

-Well, I sort of went airy-fairy,

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but then with a dark twist.

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This is literally your favourite brief, I think.

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Yay, it's right up my street.

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-Hope we win it.

-Yeah!

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-It's so different.

-Yeah.

-I love the way the path...

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..winds down.

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And then there's this second path to go through

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into the sort of seating area at the bottom.

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Seating down there?

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-Yes.

-Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

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Dug it into the bank, retained it with some logs,

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we can aim to plant ferns and things like that.

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-Yeah.

-Snap!

-Is that what you did exactly?

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Mm-hm. Then, to butch it up, insectivorous plants.

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Right.

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-Wow!

-Wow! Stunned into silence.

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The magic worked, the boys are quiet!

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THEY LAUGH

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It's not a case of which do we like and which don't we like, it's...

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-I like them both.

-How do we pick one that we like marginally more?

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They can only choose one.

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So, will it be the Rich brothers' enchanted woodland,

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with sunken seating area, fallen tree steps,

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twisted hazels and large deck?

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Or Charlie's full-on fairy theme

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with stone stacks, dew pond, winding pathways and insect-eating plants?

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It's time to find out.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

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-OK.

-We've made our decision.

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We have, and the one we've chosen is Charlie's.

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Charlie's!

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I would have been so upset if you hadn't chosen mine.

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-It was horrible.

-It was so tough.

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It was so hard!

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-DAVID:

-Good, good to hear that.

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It was by a whisker.

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-What was the whisker?

-I think it was the water.

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-OK.

-I think the water feature.

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Yeah. And I think it's... I'm just so excited.

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I think it's going to be amazing.

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So Charlie has charmed her way to a win,

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but the brothers look less than impressed.

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They know they'll be at Charlie's beck and call

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in this magical garden makeover.

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It's a new and rather wet day in Derbyshire

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and Charlie has sent the landscaping team on ahead to get started.

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Project manager Guy brings the team up to speed.

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The big thing here is the level, isn't it?

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There's a big drop away down to the bottom.

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It is a big drop, yeah.

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We've got to cut into the slope down here

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and put some of that soil up here

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-to level out where the terrace is up at the top.

-Yeah.

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Quite a bit of earth to come out, then?

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Yeah, there is.

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I think we need to get the digger in, then.

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I think we better get cracking.

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And we need to get those waterproofs off.

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Head landscaper Andy wastes no time

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in clearing the slabs and turf

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from the top section of the garden.

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The old slabs are broken up to use as a base layer

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for the new, larger patio.

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And Lee takes control of the digger

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to start excavating the sunken area

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at the bottom of the garden.

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The soil is then used to build up

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and level the top section for the patio.

0:15:160:15:19

Is that wet enough for you there now?

0:15:190:15:21

A bit more?

0:15:210:15:23

Yeah, a tiny bit more.

0:15:230:15:25

With the rain easing up,

0:15:250:15:27

Andy's going great guns and has already started to lay the patio,

0:15:270:15:31

putting the slabs down in a random pattern

0:15:310:15:33

to give a higgledy-piggledy look.

0:15:330:15:35

In what appears to be a game of digger musical chairs,

0:15:390:15:42

Steve is now at the helm, clearing the turf for the winding path.

0:15:420:15:45

Right, so we're making good progress down here.

0:15:480:15:51

We've cut into the slope,

0:15:510:15:52

and this is going to be our little magical seating area

0:15:520:15:55

under the canopy of the trees.

0:15:550:15:57

Good news is the soil's looking all right.

0:15:570:16:00

So I think that's going to be great for the planting,

0:16:000:16:02

so, yeah, we're getting there.

0:16:020:16:05

With the patio laid,

0:16:090:16:10

the team turns its attention to the retaining wall for the sunken area.

0:16:100:16:14

-I'll get me chainsaw out.

-I'll get them marked for you.

0:16:140:16:16

Yeah. You mark them...

0:16:160:16:18

And then we'll get someone to mix some concrete for us.

0:16:180:16:20

Right. OK.

0:16:200:16:21

Yeah. I take the hint!

0:16:220:16:24

Charlie has chosen to use wooden sleepers,

0:16:270:16:29

which are strong enough to hold back the soil

0:16:290:16:32

and stop the rest of the slope collapsing.

0:16:320:16:34

And she's designed the retaining wall

0:16:360:16:38

to have an arched top edge

0:16:380:16:39

to reflect the curved shape of the sunken area.

0:16:390:16:41

The garden transformation is well under way

0:16:460:16:48

as Charlie and her two helper elves arrive on site.

0:16:480:16:52

I'm excited about this garden.

0:16:540:16:56

It's right up my street.

0:16:560:16:57

I love a theme. I love a theme!

0:16:570:16:59

So I want you guys to get quite creative.

0:16:590:17:02

I want you to make some good-luck stone stacks.

0:17:020:17:05

And then I'm doing the pond, so lots of fiddly things to do.

0:17:050:17:10

-Blimey!

-So we'd better get on,

0:17:100:17:12

because I don't want you away with the fairies.

0:17:120:17:14

Lots of work to do. Lots of work to do.

0:17:140:17:16

In the garden, Andy, Lee and Steve

0:17:180:17:20

are putting the finishing touches to the patio,

0:17:200:17:23

ready for inspection by the boss.

0:17:230:17:25

The landscape team have done a fabulous job here.

0:17:290:17:31

I mean, you can actually get a table and chairs on the patio now

0:17:310:17:35

and then we're going to screen this ugly step with a beech hedge,

0:17:350:17:38

and the path leads you down the garden

0:17:380:17:42

to where all the fairies are

0:17:420:17:44

and the mystical bit of the garden,

0:17:440:17:46

right down here.

0:17:460:17:47

I have to say, this is already my favourite bit of the garden.

0:17:480:17:52

A dingly dell at the bottom,

0:17:520:17:54

and you don't know what's down here

0:17:540:17:56

and this is going to be our dew pond

0:17:560:17:59

which is deep enough that if frogs come and breed in here,

0:17:590:18:03

they won't get sort of frosted or anything like that.

0:18:030:18:06

So it's about 15, 18 inches deep.

0:18:060:18:09

And then the boys are going to be putting their stone step there -

0:18:090:18:13

the first one, and then I think one over there

0:18:130:18:16

and I think they're out there practising at the moment,

0:18:160:18:18

making a lot of noise.

0:18:180:18:20

Harry and David are responsible for the racket.

0:18:230:18:26

They're doing a trial run of Charlie's stone towers

0:18:260:18:28

at the front of the house.

0:18:280:18:30

In folklore, balancing stones on top of one another

0:18:300:18:33

is supposed to bring good luck.

0:18:330:18:34

The taller the tower, the more luck you'll have.

0:18:340:18:38

But rather than balance them,

0:18:380:18:40

Charlie wants a more safe and secure stack,

0:18:400:18:42

which is why the brothers are testing out their method

0:18:420:18:44

before repositioning the stacks in the garden.

0:18:440:18:47

Charlie wanted to introduce a sculptural element

0:18:500:18:52

within the garden,

0:18:520:18:53

and she wanted us to create these stone stacks,

0:18:530:18:56

and as you can see from the plan,

0:18:560:18:57

they almost look like they're leaning.

0:18:570:18:59

That's really going to capture that kind of mystical feeling

0:18:590:19:01

at the end of the garden.

0:19:010:19:02

It's quite a simple sculptural element to make, as well.

0:19:020:19:05

So we've got a 16mm stainless steel rod in the centre

0:19:050:19:08

and then offsetting the holes in the stone.

0:19:080:19:10

So starting in the middle,

0:19:100:19:11

so it's central and then offsetting it to the end,

0:19:110:19:13

that shifts the stone out,

0:19:130:19:15

bringing it back the way and that's what's going to create the movement.

0:19:150:19:18

And what we're using is just using this power drill here.

0:19:180:19:20

We're using a 25mm drill bit

0:19:200:19:22

so it's slightly larger than the rod,

0:19:220:19:24

so it makes it easy to squat over.

0:19:240:19:26

But because we're drilling into sandstone,

0:19:260:19:28

you don't want to press too hard

0:19:280:19:29

because what that's going to do is start splitting it into layers.

0:19:290:19:32

So let the weight of the drill do it.

0:19:320:19:34

Take your time and create a nice clean hole.

0:19:340:19:36

Back in the garden, Charlie has lined the pond area with sand

0:19:400:19:44

and is trying to impress local lad, Lee,

0:19:440:19:46

with her version of the regional dialect.

0:19:460:19:49

Right then, Lee, I think it's time for that there liner.

0:19:490:19:53

-That there liner.

-That there liner.

0:19:530:19:54

That's me Derbyshire, that is.

0:19:540:19:56

Is it?

0:19:560:19:57

Ha-ha!

0:19:570:19:58

So, we've got the hose in

0:20:000:20:02

and then we've got a battery-cum-solar-powered pump

0:20:020:20:06

and we're going to put the solar panel in the flowerbed,

0:20:060:20:09

because that's probably the brightest,

0:20:090:20:10

most open part of the garden.

0:20:100:20:12

But if there's not a lot of sun, you can take the battery out,

0:20:120:20:15

charge it up for a couple of hours, and then it will run

0:20:150:20:17

for seven, eight hours nonstop, if you want it to.

0:20:170:20:20

And it's all housed in this weather-proof box.

0:20:200:20:23

Makes life really easy.

0:20:230:20:25

No electricians.

0:20:250:20:28

Makes it a bit cheaper as well.

0:20:280:20:29

The Rich brothers are happy with their stone stacking technique

0:20:330:20:36

and are now ready to recreate them in the garden.

0:20:360:20:38

-Sorry, Lee.

-That's all right, mate.

-Not on purpose!

0:20:400:20:43

-It's fairy dust!

-It is, yeah.

0:20:430:20:45

They're cementing in large stones to give the stacks a firm base...

0:20:460:20:49

I'd say a few more.

0:20:560:20:58

..with the steel rods driven into the ground through the middle.

0:20:580:21:01

OK, go with that. Let's check with the boss.

0:21:020:21:04

Lower.

0:21:040:21:05

Sculptures are a fantastic way to enhance a garden.

0:21:080:21:12

They provide year-round structure and interest

0:21:130:21:16

and when chosen and placed with care,

0:21:160:21:18

the garden itself can be the ideal backdrop for displaying

0:21:180:21:21

these architectural focal points to their fullest.

0:21:210:21:24

You could even create your own open-air gallery.

0:21:250:21:28

Michael Pearson has done exactly that at his bed and breakfast,

0:21:300:21:34

Austwick Hall, in the Yorkshire Dales.

0:21:340:21:36

We've always been art lovers

0:21:370:21:39

and once we'd bought the first sculpture,

0:21:390:21:43

we got hooked.

0:21:430:21:44

And then another came along, and before you know it,

0:21:440:21:48

you've gathered a collection together.

0:21:480:21:50

Formal pieces will naturally sit well in formal gardens,

0:21:520:21:56

but in country or woodland gardens,

0:21:560:21:58

you can afford to be a little wilder.

0:21:580:22:00

Here's our stag, sitting in amongst the trees like a real deer.

0:22:010:22:06

It's deliberately well hidden, so that, suddenly, you see it,

0:22:070:22:11

so it's quite a surprise.

0:22:110:22:13

And to actually go up to the piece of sculpture and feel it,

0:22:130:22:17

because sculpture isn't just about what it looks like,

0:22:170:22:21

it's the texture and the feel of the metal.

0:22:210:22:24

Surprising guests with a hidden artwork can add fun and intrigue.

0:22:270:22:31

But if you want one to take centre stage,

0:22:310:22:34

you can put it on a boundary line,

0:22:340:22:36

in the middle of a space, or at the side of a path.

0:22:360:22:38

And if you really want to add drama, think about framing your piece.

0:22:380:22:42

So, we've got this winding path

0:22:430:22:46

going up through this tunnel of laurel

0:22:460:22:49

and just framed at the end is The Head, by Sally Grant.

0:22:490:22:54

The placing was quite deliberate,

0:22:540:22:56

but the steps and the tunnel were already there,

0:22:560:22:59

so it's really a matter of finding the right place for the sculpture,

0:22:590:23:04

rather than us creating the environment round it.

0:23:040:23:07

As the artwork will be open to the elements,

0:23:100:23:12

think about how the weather might affect it.

0:23:120:23:15

Moss and lichen will often grow on stone and cement sculptures,

0:23:150:23:18

especially in damp conditions.

0:23:180:23:20

But sometimes it's the day-to-day changes

0:23:200:23:22

that can give the most striking effects.

0:23:220:23:25

This piece glistens after rain and becomes shiny

0:23:250:23:31

and in full sun, it can sparkle.

0:23:310:23:35

If statues and artworks don't appeal to you,

0:23:360:23:39

there are many other things you can use as a focal point,

0:23:390:23:42

from dramatic moon gates to benches and urns.

0:23:420:23:45

Even structural planting can draw the eye and give it a place to rest.

0:23:450:23:49

Michael has some advice if you want to include

0:23:510:23:53

sculptures or focal points in your garden.

0:23:530:23:56

The first point is to have a focal point

0:23:570:24:01

in proportion to the surroundings.

0:24:010:24:04

It's no good having a small sculpture

0:24:040:24:06

if it's going to appear small and insignificant.

0:24:060:24:10

And if you have too many pieces in one area,

0:24:100:24:14

they distract your eye. They detract, also, from each other.

0:24:140:24:19

You really need to give every piece its full worth.

0:24:190:24:23

Back in Tom and Heather's garden,

0:24:290:24:31

the landscapers have knocked up a simple bench out of

0:24:310:24:34

leftover sleepers, which will add

0:24:340:24:36

another focal point in the sunken area.

0:24:360:24:38

And David is the first one of the brothers to finish his stack.

0:24:380:24:43

Last stone.

0:24:430:24:44

-Doesn't that look good? How does that look from there?

-Really good, that is, for me.

0:24:460:24:50

-Far better than your brother's.

-Yeah, I agree.

0:24:500:24:52

Sorry, Harry!

0:24:520:24:53

In her design, Charlie's included two pathways down

0:24:560:24:59

to the lower seating area.

0:24:590:25:01

The main winding path and a second, more mysterious walkway,

0:25:010:25:05

with log steps, which Andy is starting to lay.

0:25:050:25:08

No! I don't want it evenly curved.

0:25:100:25:13

I want it to sort of go err, and then err-err.

0:25:130:25:15

-Higgledy-piggledy?

-Yeah, higgledy-piggledy.

0:25:150:25:17

A bit coming home from t'pub?

0:25:170:25:19

I would even wouldn't mind if you didn't use a level or your eye.

0:25:190:25:23

All the timbers are bent.

0:25:250:25:27

You try and get a landscaper to put something in like that,

0:25:270:25:30

they don't like it. It goes against their natural grain.

0:25:300:25:33

Charlie is working with slightly smaller bits of wood,

0:25:360:25:39

making a bundle of hazel twigs to section off part of the pond area.

0:25:390:25:43

So, they use these when they're retaining river banks.

0:25:440:25:48

Much, much bigger. I'm going to use it to retain the soil for my

0:25:490:25:54

insectivorous plants.

0:25:540:25:56

They're called faggots.

0:25:560:25:57

Excuse me, they've gone all a bit level all of a sudden.

0:26:020:26:04

Haven't they?

0:26:060:26:07

-That do?

-That's it. Leave it like that, with the kicky-up bit.

0:26:090:26:12

-I can't.

-You can't. You can't!

0:26:120:26:14

I can't, health and safety.

0:26:140:26:16

Oh, shut up!

0:26:160:26:18

I'll allow that.

0:26:180:26:19

You'll allow that. Thanks!

0:26:190:26:21

That's it then. Let's peg them at that.

0:26:210:26:23

With the position of the logs sort-of agreed upon,

0:26:260:26:28

they're attaching the stakes to keep them from moving.

0:26:280:26:31

And Charlie starts getting some greenery in

0:26:340:26:36

around her water feature.

0:26:360:26:38

When it comes to the edge of a pond,

0:26:390:26:41

it's always a bit fiddly and there's lots of different ways.

0:26:410:26:44

You could pave it. But I want this to look really quite natural.

0:26:440:26:48

So I'm going to use the turf

0:26:480:26:50

and then lay it on the liner and, OK,

0:26:500:26:53

the turf won't really grow that well,

0:26:530:26:55

but the great thing about it, it'll be moist,

0:26:550:26:57

because of the water from the pond and things will self-seed in it.

0:26:570:27:01

Things like lady's smock, fern.

0:27:010:27:04

So it will naturally turn into a natural bog.

0:27:040:27:08

And it gives a really lovely, woodlandy, dewy pond effect.

0:27:080:27:14

At the front of the house,

0:27:200:27:21

Harry and David have moved on to their next task.

0:27:210:27:24

Charlie wanted us to bring a new lease of life to Tom and Heather's

0:27:250:27:28

garden table, so what we're going to do is introduce some plants into it

0:27:280:27:31

and that's really going to help it tie into

0:27:310:27:33

that magical theme of the garden.

0:27:330:27:34

It's quite a simple construction.

0:27:350:27:37

All we're going to do is remove part of these three panels in the table.

0:27:370:27:40

We've then got this water container that we've cut down,

0:27:400:27:44

which is going to have the plants inside,

0:27:440:27:46

and then these are going to fit inside this bit of framework,

0:27:460:27:50

which then fits inside the table, when we remove these slats.

0:27:500:27:53

This cheap and simple idea goes to show

0:27:570:27:59

that you don't need to buy expensive plant pots.

0:27:590:28:02

Pretty much any container can be used to grow plants in,

0:28:020:28:05

as long as you make drainage holes at the bottom.

0:28:050:28:07

The table isn't the only bit of wood getting a new lease of life.

0:28:110:28:15

In the middle of the garden,

0:28:150:28:16

Charlie's included another fantasy-themed focal point,

0:28:160:28:19

and she's chosen to use old tree stumps.

0:28:190:28:22

Lee is drilling a hole into one of them,

0:28:240:28:26

so that it can be mounted on top of the pole.

0:28:260:28:28

-Can you guide it in?

-Yeah. Well, I can, but...

0:28:320:28:35

-To me. To me. There you go. And down.

-Mega.

0:28:350:28:39

-Look at that!

-You see, to me it looks like a...

0:28:390:28:41

Is it a stegosaurus? ..from here?

0:28:410:28:43

It's an -osaurus of some description.

0:28:430:28:46

Looks like a rhinoceros from here.

0:28:460:28:48

-It does.

-It does look like a rhino from here.

0:28:480:28:50

It's a beautiful bit of wood, isn't it?

0:28:500:28:53

With the garden sculptures in place, the shrubs start to come in.

0:28:530:28:56

Ah, that's spiky! Didn't warn me of that one, did you?

0:28:590:29:02

It's hawthorn. I said it had thorns on it.

0:29:020:29:05

-Big ones.

-I weren't listening.

0:29:050:29:07

-That'll teach you!

-So, I've got this spare bit of lead.

0:29:070:29:10

I'm thinking I want it to sort of sit underneath the pipe so,

0:29:100:29:14

if we cut that off flat and then nicely shape

0:29:140:29:18

with some veins along it and then the water can just, da-da-da,

0:29:180:29:22

drip off the end.

0:29:220:29:23

-Yeah?

-I can do that.

-Right.

-Lovely, thank you.

0:29:230:29:25

Whilst Lee gets creative with lead,

0:29:280:29:31

Charlie prepares the pond area for the insect-eating plants,

0:29:310:29:34

which she included to give the garden a darker twist for Tom.

0:29:340:29:37

Look, isn't that elegant?

0:29:390:29:41

Just gorgeous.

0:29:410:29:43

That's Sarracenia flava.

0:29:430:29:45

It's got sort of little caps to them.

0:29:450:29:48

And then we've got Sarracenia purpurea.

0:29:480:29:51

So look at that - how amazing is that flower?

0:29:510:29:53

I just love it. Really wacky.

0:29:530:29:56

So, you've got these pitchers that trap insects.

0:29:560:29:59

And what happens is, you get midges and things go down in.

0:29:590:30:02

They get attracted by the scent that's at the bottom of the pitcher,

0:30:020:30:06

but they can't get back out, because all the hairs point downwards,

0:30:060:30:09

so they get trapped in there and then the plant just digests them.

0:30:090:30:13

Lovely!

0:30:130:30:15

Sarracenias are native to North America,

0:30:170:30:19

but, given the right conditions, will do well in the UK.

0:30:190:30:23

They should be planted in peat or special nutrient-free compost,

0:30:230:30:27

and they like boggy conditions, so must be kept moist.

0:30:270:30:30

But they won't tolerate lime,

0:30:300:30:32

so in hard-water areas, boil and cool your tap water before watering.

0:30:320:30:36

I've grown Sarracenias for about three years now

0:30:370:30:41

and they've gone down quite happily to minus seven.

0:30:410:30:46

So you don't need to worry about that.

0:30:460:30:49

And I use rain water from my rain butt,

0:30:490:30:51

which is probably the best type of water.

0:30:510:30:54

And what happens over the winter, you might find that

0:30:550:30:57

a few of the pitchers die off and look tatty,

0:30:570:30:59

but then they reshoot in the spring.

0:30:590:31:02

You just trim off the old pitchers.

0:31:020:31:05

Look at that!

0:31:050:31:06

These aren't the only carnivorous plants

0:31:090:31:11

Charlie's included in the garden.

0:31:110:31:13

She's also given some to the Rich brothers for the table.

0:31:130:31:17

You've got the Venus fly trap. The Venus fly trap is definitely

0:31:170:31:19

one of the most famous carnivorous plants.

0:31:190:31:21

Insects trigger the hairs in the trap.

0:31:210:31:23

That closes and then it digests the insect.

0:31:230:31:25

And these guys are quite small, so they'll probably just catch

0:31:250:31:28

a few little small flies, things like that.

0:31:280:31:30

But they can grow big enough to get bluebottle flies

0:31:300:31:32

and even wasps in the summer.

0:31:320:31:34

And feeding them things like ham or cat food

0:31:340:31:37

is a bit of an urban myth.

0:31:370:31:38

Don't do that, because that will result in it rotting and dying back.

0:31:380:31:41

It's also quite tempting to poke Venus fly traps to make them close,

0:31:430:31:47

but this uses up valuable energy

0:31:470:31:49

which can weaken and damage the plant.

0:31:490:31:51

Each trap will only catch around three flies before it dies off.

0:31:530:31:56

But in a healthy plant, new traps will then grow.

0:31:560:31:59

This is the sundew plant.

0:32:010:32:02

And they have these tentacle-like leaves, with fine, red hairs

0:32:020:32:05

which creates this sticky substance, which looks like dew drops.

0:32:050:32:10

It's got quite a sweet smell,

0:32:100:32:12

and the insect will land on these leaves and get stuck.

0:32:120:32:15

And the more it kind of struggles around, the more it gets stuck,

0:32:150:32:19

so it's an ingenious plant and it looks amazing.

0:32:190:32:22

Just like the Sarracenias Charlie's planted,

0:32:250:32:27

these ones also need a peat compost and lime-free water.

0:32:270:32:31

But beware, the Venus fly trap and sundew are not winter-hardy

0:32:310:32:35

in the British climate.

0:32:350:32:38

Because this is a removable planter,

0:32:380:32:40

it means, in the summer months, you can have it outside,

0:32:400:32:42

it can catch a really nice variety of insects.

0:32:420:32:45

But then, when it starts getting colder in the winter,

0:32:450:32:47

you can take it out, put it inside the house,

0:32:470:32:49

put it on a light windowsill, nice bit of warmth

0:32:490:32:52

and then you can keep it growing all throughout the year

0:32:520:32:54

and bring it back out next summer.

0:32:540:32:56

Things are really moving on in the garden.

0:33:020:33:04

Steve is using limestone aggregate as a mulch

0:33:060:33:09

around the tree stump focal point.

0:33:090:33:12

Its light colour will contrast with the planting and the wood

0:33:120:33:14

to make the feature stand out.

0:33:140:33:16

And Charlie has made the budget stretch to a fire bowl,

0:33:160:33:19

so the garden will be usable in the evening.

0:33:190:33:22

The pond pump is now functioning

0:33:280:33:30

and the lead leaf detail is attached to hide the pipe work.

0:33:300:33:33

Quite like that. Quite like that.

0:33:360:33:38

The original grass was destroyed by the digger,

0:33:420:33:45

so Andy is laying new turf on both sides of the path.

0:33:450:33:48

And the moment David sets foot back in the garden,

0:33:490:33:52

Charlie finds him more work.

0:33:520:33:54

I have another little chore for you.

0:33:540:33:56

Oh, gosh! OK.

0:33:560:33:58

Your hazel arches.

0:33:580:34:00

Yeah.

0:34:000:34:02

-That's the one.

-Perfect in this rain, actually, underneath that.

0:34:020:34:05

-Nice, no problem.

-This is good planting weather.

0:34:050:34:09

It's good for the plants. Turns the whole place to a quagmire.

0:34:090:34:12

Rain or no rain, work must go on.

0:34:170:34:19

So we're just making a tunnel out of these hazel poles.

0:34:200:34:23

We're going to put a bunch of three on each side, leading round.

0:34:230:34:27

Bend them over, tie them.

0:34:270:34:29

That will create that tunnel that you wander down through.

0:34:290:34:32

What's going to happen is, it's going to be a lot taller arch here

0:34:320:34:35

and a lot lower arch at the bottom,

0:34:350:34:36

so you really have to crouch down to get in.

0:34:360:34:38

It's just going to be a little bit of fun,

0:34:380:34:40

a nice little secondary route in the garden.

0:34:400:34:42

Hazel is great for arches,

0:34:430:34:45

fencing and even rustic-looking bean poles,

0:34:450:34:47

because its branches are straight, strong and flexible.

0:34:470:34:51

Meanwhile, Charlie has turned her attention

0:34:530:34:55

to adding some fairy-themed foliage.

0:34:550:34:58

So, I wanted to use plants that Tom and Heather could look after

0:34:580:35:01

easily, but also that had some sort of folklore history to them.

0:35:010:35:07

This is elderflower.

0:35:080:35:10

It's the black lace variety,

0:35:100:35:12

so it's a more ornamental variety of what you see growing wild.

0:35:120:35:16

It has these gorgeous, big, flat flowers that you see,

0:35:160:35:20

that are just coming here

0:35:200:35:22

and they're sort of a white with a tint of pink,

0:35:220:35:25

and you can make elderflower wine out of them.

0:35:250:35:28

But it's got some fantastic stories to it.

0:35:280:35:31

For a start, you would never cut them down,

0:35:310:35:33

or if you did you'd have to ask,

0:35:330:35:35

because the fairies live in elderflower.

0:35:350:35:38

And the other story about it is the stems are hollow

0:35:380:35:42

and they'll supposedly take away any bad vibes

0:35:420:35:45

that are in the garden.

0:35:450:35:47

The limestone aggregate is also being used

0:35:550:35:57

to surface the sunken seating area and the path.

0:35:570:36:00

But in these cases, it's compacted down

0:36:000:36:02

to make it better for walking on.

0:36:020:36:04

Then a scattering of gravel gives it more of a woodland path feel.

0:36:080:36:12

Alchemilla mollis - a favourite of mine.

0:36:140:36:16

Has these lovely, lime-green, frothy flowers

0:36:160:36:20

and these soft, green leaves.

0:36:200:36:22

But the sort of mythology behind it

0:36:220:36:25

is it's called Alchemilla after alchemy.

0:36:250:36:28

Because when the beads of water sit on the leaf,

0:36:280:36:32

they thought they could grind the leaves up

0:36:320:36:35

and get silver and gold out of them.

0:36:350:36:38

And when they discovered they couldn't do that,

0:36:380:36:40

they then used to collect the water droplets and use it in medicines,

0:36:400:36:45

herbal treatments and things like that.

0:36:450:36:48

Nice, easy plant to grow and it will really soften this pathway.

0:36:480:36:53

Then we've got foxgloves.

0:36:530:36:55

So, these foxgloves here are one of favourites of fairies

0:36:550:36:59

and they quite like living in them, apparently.

0:36:590:37:02

And you know when you see a foxglove and it's sort of lent to one side?

0:37:020:37:06

That's because the fairies have gone past

0:37:060:37:08

and they've bowed their heads in deference to the fairies.

0:37:080:37:12

I'm planting camomile here on the first step, and that's because it's

0:37:230:37:26

a great alternative to lawn, because when you walk over it, you're going

0:37:260:37:29

to get that lovely, beautiful, sweet smell it produces.

0:37:290:37:31

And what it's supposed to do is soothe the spirit

0:37:310:37:34

and also act as a magnet and draw the spirits into the garden.

0:37:340:37:38

Flower fairies love the flowers that it produces as well.

0:37:380:37:41

This is the Polypodium vulgare fern and it's a native to Britain,

0:37:430:37:47

which means it's a very versatile fern and it can put up with a wide

0:37:470:37:51

variety of conditions, from moist to damp to dry,

0:37:510:37:54

as long as it has a bit of shade.

0:37:540:37:57

Here, we're using it to create these undefined edges

0:37:570:37:59

that leads down to Charlie's, like, kind of woodland section.

0:37:590:38:02

Ferns also appear in folklore.

0:38:030:38:05

It's said that anyone who sees a mythical fern flower

0:38:050:38:08

will be guaranteed a happy and rich life.

0:38:080:38:11

The race is now on to get the plants in the ground

0:38:160:38:18

and the garden finished.

0:38:180:38:21

-Pop it in that gap, Dave.

-Yeah.

0:38:210:38:23

The Rich brothers are adding colourful perennials to the border

0:38:260:38:29

by the patio, and Charlie is putting the finishing touches

0:38:290:38:32

to the tree stumps.

0:38:320:38:33

So these are just little globes of glass

0:38:340:38:36

and I've put a little bit of soil in the bottom and some moss.

0:38:360:38:40

I'm going to put some water in there, so it'll stay green.

0:38:400:38:43

And even if it dries out, the amazing thing is,

0:38:430:38:45

if you put a bit more water in there, it'll regenerate again.

0:38:450:38:48

So I think maybe one coming off there.

0:38:480:38:52

Yeah. Like that.

0:38:520:38:53

See that spider there?

0:38:530:38:55

-He's gone into it already, look.

-No!

0:38:550:38:58

Look at that. That is brilliant.

0:38:590:39:01

He's a happy spider.

0:39:010:39:02

And the spider won't be lonely, as Charlie has some other,

0:39:050:39:08

less lively, insects for the other globes.

0:39:080:39:11

And as the last plants go in the ground

0:39:210:39:24

and everything is given a good hosing down,

0:39:240:39:26

the garden is complete.

0:39:260:39:27

Before Tom and Heather called in the Garden Rescue team,

0:39:330:39:37

their boring, bare, sloping garden was in dire need of some TLC.

0:39:370:39:41

But now, with a fairy-tale £3,500 makeover,

0:39:460:39:49

it has been completely transformed.

0:39:490:39:52

Tom and Heather will now be able to entertain guests

0:39:550:39:58

on their £600 extended patio.

0:39:580:40:00

The higgledy-piggledy paving continues down the enchanted garden

0:40:040:40:07

and past an array of focal points,

0:40:070:40:09

including artistically placed tree stumps at £75.

0:40:090:40:13

And those lucky stone steps are £200.

0:40:150:40:18

The sunken seating area at the bottom of the garden

0:40:210:40:23

gives the couple a place to retreat.

0:40:230:40:26

The striking dew pond cost a total of £180...

0:40:260:40:29

..and has given a dramatic touch

0:40:300:40:33

with insect-eating Sarracenias at £25.

0:40:330:40:36

Charlie's really brought this garden to life

0:40:370:40:41

with £1,250 of fairy-friendly planting

0:40:410:40:44

including ferns, black lace elderflower and lupines.

0:40:440:40:47

It's time to see if Charlie has delivered the magical,

0:40:510:40:53

fairy-themed garden that Tom and Heather have been dreaming about.

0:40:530:40:57

Here we go.

0:40:580:40:59

OK, you can open your eyes.

0:41:040:41:06

Oh, my God!

0:41:080:41:09

It's beautiful!

0:41:100:41:12

-You're speechless!

-Yeah!

0:41:120:41:13

Oh, wow!

0:41:130:41:15

-That's a good reaction, isn't it?

-Yes.

0:41:150:41:17

So, your patio's a little bigger.

0:41:170:41:19

A little bit bigger, yeah, just a little bit.

0:41:190:41:21

Table fits on there nicely.

0:41:210:41:24

-Oh, it's lovely.

-Won't topple off the chairs any more.

-No!

0:41:240:41:27

Come and explore your meandering path.

0:41:270:41:29

So, this is just a really floral,

0:41:320:41:34

-very pretty-pretty, girlie flowerbed here.

-Yes!

0:41:340:41:38

-Yep.

-With lilacs and lupines.

0:41:380:41:41

Lots of very soft colours.

0:41:410:41:43

But I got the boys to man up the table,

0:41:430:41:46

so you've got some Venus fly traps,

0:41:460:41:49

-so they'll catch all the midges and flies.

-That's good.

0:41:490:41:52

Oh, look at that, loving the little carnivorous plants as well.

0:41:520:41:54

-Yeah. I'm quite proud of that table.

-I like it.

0:41:540:41:57

So, if you wander on down.

0:41:570:41:59

-Oh, the fire!

-That's awesome.

0:41:590:42:02

The wood's beautiful. I love it.

0:42:020:42:04

And then we've got our stone stacks there.

0:42:040:42:08

-Oh, wow!

-THEY LAUGH

0:42:080:42:10

It's lovely!

0:42:100:42:12

So, wander on down to this...

0:42:120:42:14

-A water feature.

-Yeah!

0:42:150:42:17

So, we've got your lovely insectivorous plants there.

0:42:170:42:21

And then you've got your little trickle of water,

0:42:210:42:24

so it's quite nice, and we even put you a little bench in there.

0:42:240:42:27

Oh, wow! Yes. I didn't notice that.

0:42:270:42:29

So you don't have to bring

0:42:290:42:31

your chairs all the way down here all the time.

0:42:310:42:34

Yeah, I mean, that is such a cool little area down there.

0:42:340:42:36

Having the carnivorous plants, the water feature.

0:42:360:42:39

Really tranquil little spot.

0:42:390:42:40

It's so lovely down here. It's like a secret escape.

0:42:400:42:45

Yeah. It looks completely different to how it looks from standing up

0:42:450:42:48

by the house. It's like we've got two gardens, I suppose.

0:42:480:42:51

So, do you think, design-wise, we got it right?

0:42:510:42:55

Definitely. And more, actually.

0:42:560:42:58

-I couldn't have pictured it like this.

-No.

0:42:580:43:02

I mean, it's just...it's...

0:43:020:43:03

It's perfect.

0:43:030:43:04

So, after the fairy dust has settled,

0:43:060:43:09

are Tom and Heather still spellbound by their new garden?

0:43:090:43:14

I think it was just such a boring garden before.

0:43:140:43:16

It had no personality. It had no style.

0:43:160:43:19

And it didn't suit us, did it, at all?

0:43:190:43:21

And now it's magical and beautiful

0:43:210:43:24

and it's exactly what I wanted.

0:43:240:43:27

And just the timescale as well.

0:43:270:43:29

The weather's not been great and to have achieved this

0:43:290:43:31

-in such a short time, it's...

-It's beautiful.

0:43:310:43:33

Couldn't have asked for anything more.

0:43:330:43:35

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers conjure up a magical fairy theme for Tom and Heather's sloping garden. But whose design will leave the couple spellbound?


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