Oxton, Birkenhead Garden Rescue


Oxton, Birkenhead

Garden renovation series. Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers visit Oxton, where musician Gareth's garden is in need of a total rethink.


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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 that change people's perceptions of gardens.

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Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea flower show...

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-Look at it turn.

-It's amazing.

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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're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...

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-Not a lot going on, is there?

-Not a lot!

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I don't know what to do.

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

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-You look confused.

-I am. Go for it!

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-..and budget.

-It doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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-The winner...

-Charlie!

-Yeah, awesome!

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..brings their design to life.

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-Hold on, hold on.

-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 would 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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-Yes.

-Right, are we doing this?

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..to turn garden dreams into reality.

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Wow!

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Oh, my goodness.

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-Wow!

-Look at that!

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Oh, my God!

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Wow!

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to get cracking

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on this week's garden challenge.

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This is Gareth.

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And, not stating the obvious, he is a professional musician.

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I'm not even sure what instrument that is!

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I think it's a bassoon, so, yeah...

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And he's in Merseyside, and this is his garden.

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And it's his first garden.

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He's done a little bit of gardening in it and really quite enjoys it.

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But doesn't really know where to go.

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For the first time, Gareth,

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a bassoonist in the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,

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has a garden he can finally call his own.

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However, his new plot in Oxton, Birkenhead,

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is leaving him a little uninspired.

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I've never had a garden before, so I've bought a lawn mower,

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and that's about as far as I've got, really.

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The idea of doing a garden overwhelms me

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because I have no idea of what would work and what wouldn't work.

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And what's possible within the space I've got.

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But there's a problem with the garden,

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leaving half of it unusable.

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The main issues around the garden is the fact that it slopes downwards,

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and also to the sides.

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The patio area is useful, but I find the lawn is not used at all.

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It's basically dead space.

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The one thing you can't really see from these pictures,

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but he did mention, is the garden, sort of,

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suddenly slopes off down this corner.

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I think that can be really exciting sometimes,

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to have a small garden with a drastic level change.

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Quite interesting to come up with a creative solution.

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-Yes, it makes you do something different, doesn't it?

-Yes.

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Different could be just what the doctor ordered,

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because there's stiff competition from the neighbours,

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who open their gardens to the public once a year.

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The pressure's on.

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But, will he ever be able to work out how to use that mower?

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The village I live in on the Wirral

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has a secret gardens event every year,

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where lots of the houses open their gardens to the public

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and you can look round them.

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And I realised my garden wasn't quite up to scratch, really.

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And that's not the only request.

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Gareth's living room is on the second floor of his house,

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so the garden will often be looked down on from there.

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It's really important the design looks good from above,

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because you're always looking down on it from the living room,

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and from the bedrooms.

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Clearly, Gareth wants something with the wow factor,

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so he isn't holding back on the budget.

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In my budget I've got about £4,000,

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which I've saved really hard for,

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and I wanted to put that much in

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because I really view it as an extra room, really.

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And budget, £4,000.

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-Very nice.

-Yes, I've got a smile on my face for that.

-That's good.

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I'm very proud of how I've got the house so far,

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and I want the garden to live up to the same idea of the house.

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Not necessarily in a retro way,

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but a kind of cool designed area is what I'm looking for really.

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To me that's a really cool brief.

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I mean, giving us a bit of scope to be creative.

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And, kind of, give him some amazing entertaining space.

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-And show off, maybe.

-Show off with something a bit different.

-Yes.

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To get a better idea of the job, the designers head to Oxton

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to meet Gareth and see the garden for themselves.

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Now, this house is like an upside-down house, yes?

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Where in sort of day-time, you're living in the middle floor.

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So you're looking down on the garden.

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It's not just important from the ground level.

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You're going to view it from the garden,

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and also from upstairs, and that's where we're going, check it out upstairs.

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And I'll have a chat with Gareth and see what he's got in mind.

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The brothers head inside to see what they can discover

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about Gareth's style and taste.

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Lovely and open in here, isn't it?

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Yeah, stunning space, really beautiful.

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Kind of, like, nicely laid out and the furniture...

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Danish furniture, you've got to love it.

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Yeah, it's minimal, isn't it? Clean, really good lines.

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And these windows are incredible.

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To have two massive windows like this looking down to the garden

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makes that really important.

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It seems Gareth has a fondness for a certain colour.

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-It's nice and smart in here, isn't it?

-Yeah, really cool.

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I picked up on the orange in the living room, the blinds,

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but it's a running theme, isn't it?

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Yes, we've got the microwave, the telephone, the blinds...

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As well as the retro theme, there's definitely a hint of industrialism.

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The metal splash back there,

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-and that cage there, very industrial indeed.

-Yes.

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Meanwhile outside Charlie is getting straight to the heart of the matter.

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Now, tell me about your garden. This is your first garden, isn't it?

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It is, it's the first house I've ever owned with a garden,

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so it's all very new to me, really.

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And who uses the garden?

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I use it, friends come over, especially in the summer,

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-for barbecues, that sort of thing.

-Hang out, chill.

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-Yeah, exactly.

-What else do we need to consider about the garden?

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The main living accommodation is on the first floor,

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so you're always looking down at the garden.

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OK, so that's your main hanging out area in the day time?

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Yeah, so a bit of structure would be good.

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The Californian blocks, the flowery blocks,

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do you love them or hate them?

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It's either, either normally.

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I must say I love them, I think they're really cool

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in a kind of retro way.

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-Yes, so out they're in?

-Yes, that's the idea, isn't it, I think.

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So, you'd like to keep those, or have something with those.

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Yes, something about them would be good, I think.

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A little bird tells me that the garden might be open to the public.

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Well, Oxton every year does have a secret gardens event,

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where people open their gardens to the public.

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It's partly what inspired me to have a look at my own garden, really,

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so it might be something I could consider.

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-A bit nerve-racking, though, isn't it?

-Definitely, yes!

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Are there any plants that you would really, sort of, like?

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Any types of plants you like?

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Yes, I like colours, I like herbaceous planting,

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but I also like straight lines and structure.

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So, we're saying extension of the house, big entertainment area,

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definitely like the Californian blocks,

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and maybe make it so cool that you can open it to the public.

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Yes, that sounds perfect.

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The rival designers waste no more time and set to work

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to come up with some show-stopping designs to win Gareth over.

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Each of them will come up with a design to suit the brief

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and the budget.

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Then Gareth will have to choose one design over the other,

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and the loser will help the winner build the garden.

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The £4,000 will be used to buy all the materials for the new garden,

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but on top of that, Charlie and the Rich brothers,

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along with their usual team of landscapers,

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will provide the labour.

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

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-Hello.

-Hello.

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Charlie kicks off, offering up a modern style,

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and remembering that it's a space to be viewed from above.

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I've tried to give you a garden that has got some of the features in it,

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but keeping it quite contemporary,

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and with a good form to it from above.

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So, this is your renewed patio.

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I am going with slabs, white slabs,

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that will make it look quite sleek and contemporary.

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But the boys come out fighting, too.

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They propose a garden that matches the interior of Gareth's home.

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We wanted to make sure that we gave you a garden that complimented

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the interior of your house because it's beautiful.

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We wanted to make sure that the outside did the inside justice.

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-OK.

-So, it's really cool, stylish, it's very unique.

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We haven't forgotten that it's a garden that will be looked down upon

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not just be within, so we wanted to make sure we mimic the clean lines

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and the structure, and, kind of,

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the functionality of the furniture in your house.

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And provide that when you're looking down on it.

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Charlie has a winning plan for addressing that slope at the far end

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of the garden.

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But this is a deck that basically sails out over the dip.

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So, you'll be able to sit on the edge and dangle your feet.

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Because this area here, I'm going to go for a jungle feel.

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Lots of really dramatic plants.

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Um... Arundo donax, fatsias...

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and you can sit there in the evening.

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But the brothers also have an ingenious idea,

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an equally knockout feature

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which will address the level issue in the garden.

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We didn't want to do the ordinary.

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We wanted to do something really cool, really different.

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And extremely unique.

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So what we've done is we've put in, sat down into the land,

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this cube self-contained unit

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that's level inside, but the land works around it.

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It's made out of Cor-Ten steel,

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so it's like steel that's been allowed to rust and oxidise,

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so it's got a really textured, orange, bright, vibrant finish.

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So it's going to be really cool, really different, and memorable.

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Brilliant.

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The brothers may have played their ace card,

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but Charlie's also thinking outside the box.

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She knows just how much Gareth loves those Californian blocks.

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These sections here are feature walls.

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Using your Californian blocks, but upright.

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To create some interest.

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So, you want to go down because you won't be able to see

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this bit of the garden, it'll draw you down.

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And just to add a bit more colour,

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I've put some glass blocks in between,

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and then we're going to uplight them at night.

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-Wow.

-So that will... Especially this one here,

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so that will be drawing you down to this entertainment area.

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But drawing for a second time on Gareth's love of the colour orange,

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the brothers have one final card left to play.

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What we'd like to use in here is a grass called Molinia

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and in the summer it's this lovely, kind of, green.

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Then as autumn comes it turns vivid orange.

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You know, the perennials, we would like to choose

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things like Persicaria and Helinium,

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which are, like, perennials, which have this red tone.

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-OK.

-So, the whole garden is going to have that warmth to it.

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-Brilliant.

-I don't know whether it says cool, but it does say fun.

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No, it does.

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Gareth can only choose one design, so whose will it be?

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See you in a bit.

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Will he opt for the Rich brothers' weathered steel box

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that's set into the slope, and their vibrant array of orange plants,

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or will he go for Charlie's suspended deck

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and a revamped Californian blocks?

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-How was that?

-Yeah, good.

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So, what was your nod back to the '70s retro feel?

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We've made this, like, steel box that, kind of, sits in the garden.

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So we just sat that box in there and just create this level inside.

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Then everything else just works off that.

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Wow! That's really cool cool!

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-Hopefully.

-I think I understand.

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But will Gareth think it's as cool?

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I love the way that it's on really different levels,

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so you're out the door, then you're down a level,

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then you're onto a different level. I think that'll look amazing.

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I also like the orange nature of the planting, the way that's going to,

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sort of, offset against the colour of the steel.

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See, I used the Californian blocks as structural uprights

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with some glass and then uplit them.

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Oh, that sounds cool, as well.

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In Charlie's design, I love the actual planting and lighting.

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So it's going to be really hard to decide which one to pick.

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Time for the moment of truth.

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Gareth is ready to reveal the winner.

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-Come on!

-All right, all right.

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Very, very hard decision,

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because both designs were absolutely awesome.

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But, after much deliberation, the design I've chosen is...

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Yeah!

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Woo! Cheers, Gareth. So, what made you go for this one?

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What swung it was the steel square box feature,

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utilising part of the garden that doesn't get used.

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I just thought it was so innovative and would look amazing from the top,

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and also be a really useful space.

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So, the Rich brothers have emerged the victors this time.

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But, with a transformation on this scale

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it will take the know-how of all three gardeners

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to make this unusual project a success.

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It's early morning in Oxton, and project manager Bowen,

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along with his team Lee, Andy, and Steve, have arrived to get cracking,

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whilst the brothers are away finalising their choice of plants.

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Here we go.

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We've got this big Cor-Ten steel box,

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which we're going to sit into the ground.

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-Great stuff.

-Then we get it stripped off and levelling.

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-Digger in?

-Yeah, digger in.

-Let's crack on.

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Meanwhile, outside on the road, the materials are starting to arrive.

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Steel's here. We'll need all hands on deck to get this off.

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Weathered steel, sometimes known as Cor-Ten steel, has been oxidised

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to create a striking and protective rust-like surface.

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Orange in colour, it has extra resistance to the elements,

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meaning low-maintenance costs,

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and therefore it's perfect for long lasting outdoor structure.

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They've weathered all the outside for us.

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What with, real weather?

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-Yeah, real weather.

-You use real weather to weather it?

-Imported.

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Next job is to dismantle and recycle those Californian blocks

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to create some steps down into the garden.

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But will they be able to salvage any?

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You'll get an odd one, but you won't get many,

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because they're so weak.

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It's not looking good so far.

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Is that one?

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Just put that on the grass.

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And finally, one block salvaged,

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let's hope they can save enough for the brothers' plans.

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California, here we come!

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Meanwhile, the digger's arrived.

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What's the problem?

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But it appears that all is not well.

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-Oh, no.

-We'll be all right.

-Can we get through?

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It doesn't seem to want to start.

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It's flat-lining.

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Quick!

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Bowen takes control and searches for another machine.

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What's the verdict, Bowen?

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But sadly it doesn't look like one's available for another three hours.

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I'm trying every company.

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You can't have it all. We've got sunshine.

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Meanwhile, the boys get on with some other jobs.

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After a long wait, the search is over and in comes digger number two.

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Or does it?

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Fingers crossed, crack into it this afternoon,

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it'll be a long, hard night, and you never know, we might get it done.

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-Straighten that up.

-It ain't going.

-No.

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Straighten this up, mate. Straighten that back.

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And, before long, it's mission aborted for digger number two.

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Although, clearly spirits are still high, but don't try this at home.

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We're here, we're here!

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32 slabs.

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And it's back to that paving.

0:18:030:18:05

At least there's something to be getting on with.

0:18:050:18:08

Meanwhile outside, digger number three has come to save the day.

0:18:120:18:16

If the team don't manage to get this one in,

0:18:160:18:18

they'll be almost a day behind schedule.

0:18:180:18:21

Let's hope their luck changes.

0:18:210:18:22

Unfortunately, it's 20 millimetres wider than the door frame,

0:18:270:18:30

so we're not actually going to get this one in, either.

0:18:300:18:33

Third time lucky has not quite been so lucky yet.

0:18:330:18:36

-We've had no luck today, have we?

-No, we've had some bad luck today.

0:18:360:18:39

A decision has been made.

0:18:410:18:42

It's off with that door frame, thanks to Steve.

0:18:420:18:45

But are their fortunes about to change?

0:18:450:18:48

755!

0:18:480:18:50

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Something's rubbing!

0:18:550:18:57

Something's rubbing somewhere.

0:18:570:18:59

And it's over the threshold finally.

0:19:020:19:04

A digger has made it through to the garden.

0:19:040:19:07

Right, sun's come out, let's dig.

0:19:080:19:10

At last the levelling can begin.

0:19:120:19:14

Who knew one small digger, or the lack of one,

0:19:140:19:17

could cause so many problems?

0:19:170:19:19

And finally they can make a start on constructing the star feature

0:19:260:19:29

of the brothers' design, the weathered steel box.

0:19:290:19:32

With all the setbacks, there's still a long way to go,

0:19:340:19:37

and the question is, will the team have done enough

0:19:370:19:40

before the designers arrive?

0:19:400:19:41

And it's time for the brothers to divvy up the tasks ahead.

0:19:460:19:49

Right, guys, I think we all thought it was going to be a bit of hassle

0:19:510:19:54

getting the weathered steel in.

0:19:540:19:56

Turns out that was a breeze, but everything else decided to go wrong.

0:19:560:20:00

No, it's thumbs up from now on, yeah?

0:20:000:20:04

-Yes.

-Plain sailing!

-Oh, good.

0:20:040:20:07

What we'll do... Obviously, the main focus in that garden is the weathered steel.

0:20:070:20:10

But there are some California blocks that Gareth loved,

0:20:100:20:12

so we'll think how we're going to use them.

0:20:120:20:14

And it is quite a small garden,

0:20:140:20:15

but we've got lots of lovely native trees and shrubs.

0:20:150:20:18

So it's going to feel quite wooded, quite native,

0:20:180:20:21

so it's going to be perfect.

0:20:210:20:22

So, small and perfect, yeah?

0:20:220:20:24

Yes, Charlie.

0:20:240:20:25

THEY CHUCKLE

0:20:250:20:27

Tall but perfect.

0:20:270:20:28

Let's hope they're happy with progress so far.

0:20:300:20:33

-Wow! Isn't this looking good?

-Yeah.

-It's fab.

0:20:340:20:38

I don't know why I'm so surprised.

0:20:380:20:41

Neither do I.

0:20:410:20:42

You can already see how the new patio

0:20:420:20:44

has made a massive difference to the garden. Putting down these new,

0:20:440:20:47

modern, contemporary slabs has made a big difference compared to that

0:20:470:20:50

orange-and-pink Battenburg mismatched slabs

0:20:500:20:52

that were here before. And it really links nicely with the interior,

0:20:520:20:55

and I feel like it really draws you out into the new dining space.

0:20:550:20:58

The Californian blocks made up a kind of wall by here,

0:20:580:21:02

which almost disconnected the upper terrace from the lower terrace.

0:21:020:21:05

We got rid of that, which allows that to flow down.

0:21:050:21:08

But, also, Gareth loved those Californian blocks,

0:21:080:21:10

so we wanted to re-use them.

0:21:100:21:12

So we've got this raised planter on the upper terrace.

0:21:120:21:14

And we're also using them as the risers for the steps.

0:21:140:21:17

And these are going to sit in here, like that,

0:21:190:21:23

and create a lovely little transition space

0:21:230:21:25

from the top terrace into the lower area.

0:21:250:21:28

And here, we're going to have a gravel path that leads down into

0:21:280:21:31

the main feature in the garden.

0:21:310:21:33

Gareth put a lot of focus and effort into the design of his house.

0:21:330:21:36

And we really wanted to emphasise this outdoor room in the garden.

0:21:360:21:40

And I think the weathered-steel box does it perfectly.

0:21:400:21:43

What we wanted to create was this quite immersive space,

0:21:430:21:45

so the top terrace, lovely and hot.

0:21:450:21:47

This lower terrace, we want to introduce birch

0:21:470:21:50

and hawthorn and hazel. So it's going to be this, like,

0:21:500:21:53

slightly wooded feeling and a lovely dappled space to go and sit.

0:21:530:21:57

There's two sides of it up at the moment.

0:21:570:21:59

Imagine having the other two - it'll really close you off.

0:21:590:22:02

Inside, it's not just going to be gravel.

0:22:020:22:04

We'll have pockets of plants, we're going to have benches,

0:22:040:22:06

and we're going to have a tree, as well.

0:22:060:22:08

So it's just going to be a garden within a garden, pretty much.

0:22:080:22:11

Meanwhile, Charlie's starting work on an unusual project for the fence.

0:22:110:22:15

All gardens have boundaries,

0:22:160:22:18

whether it's a hedge or a fence.

0:22:180:22:21

The thing about fences is they are not a thing of beauty.

0:22:210:22:23

And you can go, sort of, one of two ways.

0:22:230:22:25

You can either make it disappear, which Gareth has done down there -

0:22:250:22:28

he's painted it, sort of, a black colour,

0:22:280:22:30

so you see the plants but you don't see the fence.

0:22:300:22:33

Or you embrace it and make it pop, which is what I'm going to do here.

0:22:330:22:38

I'm going along the route of Mondrian,

0:22:380:22:43

the artist, the blocks of colour.

0:22:430:22:45

And we're going to use oranges and yellows and make it really vibrant.

0:22:450:22:50

And it sort of lends itself,

0:22:500:22:51

because it's already got these bits of timber.

0:22:510:22:54

But I might need to put a few more in, so...

0:22:540:22:57

I'm thinking, one about there.

0:22:570:22:59

But it's important to choose the right colours

0:23:000:23:03

if it's going to be a true work of art.

0:23:030:23:06

Think about this. Three colours.

0:23:060:23:08

One, two...

0:23:080:23:09

Cos they can't be the same, can they?

0:23:100:23:13

Meanwhile, Andy is getting creative

0:23:130:23:15

with those recycled Californian blocks...

0:23:150:23:18

..whilst Bowen's lining the steps so weeds can't poke through.

0:23:200:23:23

Now, Andy needs to saw some blocks in half - carefully -

0:23:250:23:28

because they only just managed to salvage enough.

0:23:280:23:31

And it's not long before...

0:23:370:23:38

..a step.

0:23:400:23:41

Meanwhile, Steve is cracking on

0:23:440:23:46

constructing the key feature of the garden.

0:23:460:23:48

This garden's going really well. We've started welding

0:23:480:23:51

the weathered steel together, so the box is actually being created.

0:23:510:23:54

As you can see down here,

0:23:540:23:55

they're just putting the other corner on, as well.

0:23:550:23:57

So you really start to feel the space.

0:23:570:23:59

You get an idea of it. It's going to feel nice and enclosed,

0:23:590:24:02

nice and cosy,

0:24:020:24:04

and it's just something quite different. I really like it.

0:24:040:24:06

At the far end of the garden, Harry's addressing crowd control.

0:24:070:24:12

What I'm doing here is I'm removing this hypericum,

0:24:120:24:14

because it's grown too close to the salvia,

0:24:140:24:16

and it's kind of crowding it out.

0:24:160:24:18

So we're going to transplant it.

0:24:180:24:19

And this salvia's absolutely stunning.

0:24:190:24:22

It's got a gorgeous scent

0:24:220:24:23

and a beautiful kind of scarlet-red flower.

0:24:230:24:26

And this space is very, kind of, wild.

0:24:260:24:28

We've got geraniums, crocosmia, Welsh poppy, bluebells,

0:24:280:24:32

and forget-me-nots. We want this space to feel quite undefined,

0:24:320:24:35

quite natural. But we're also going to introduce a few of our own

0:24:350:24:39

perennials down here, and shrubs.

0:24:390:24:41

It's going to have a sense of unity, but still lovely and wild.

0:24:410:24:45

If I can get it out...

0:24:460:24:48

Wow!

0:24:520:24:54

Charlie's numbering each of the panels

0:24:540:24:56

to show which colours she intends to paint them.

0:24:560:25:00

So, ones.

0:25:000:25:02

Ooh, hello, hello. Ooh, one.

0:25:060:25:09

One.

0:25:090:25:10

Two. One. One.

0:25:100:25:12

One. That's a definite one there.

0:25:140:25:17

What have you gone and done?

0:25:180:25:20

It'll all be fine. Don't worry.

0:25:210:25:23

It's just going to be white and black.

0:25:230:25:25

Love it. If it's urban grey, Charlie, we're happy.

0:25:250:25:28

Well, I can mix the black and white together

0:25:280:25:30

-and get urban grey, if you want.

-Ooh, yeah! Now we're talking.

0:25:300:25:33

At one point, it seemed a long way off but, thankfully,

0:25:400:25:43

the weathered-steel box is really starting to take shape.

0:25:430:25:47

Meanwhile, the Californian blocks are being put to yet more good use,

0:25:520:25:56

in the shape of a raised bed.

0:25:560:25:58

And the brothers are bringing in some trees

0:26:000:26:02

that will sit inside the steel box.

0:26:020:26:05

I'm bringing in some of the birch trees, placing them in the garden,

0:26:090:26:12

and you can see how it instantly transforms the space.

0:26:120:26:14

It's uplifted it, given it a lot of vertical height.

0:26:140:26:17

One of the key points of bringing the trees in

0:26:170:26:19

is to help screen off the houses back there.

0:26:190:26:21

And these trees are key, as well,

0:26:210:26:23

because this box is quite flat,

0:26:230:26:26

and it just kind of carries your eye through to the back wall.

0:26:260:26:29

But what these trees do is they add a bit of vertical height.

0:26:290:26:31

And when Gareth's up in his living room, looking down on the garden,

0:26:310:26:34

they're going to create a lovely little natural screen that's going

0:26:340:26:37

to filter his view through to the houses

0:26:370:26:39

and altogether make it a really nice, intimate,

0:26:390:26:42

quite immersive space.

0:26:420:26:44

At the other end of the garden,

0:26:460:26:48

it looks like Charlie's still enjoying her painting.

0:26:480:26:50

-I'm going to leave those four for you.

-No problemo.

0:26:510:26:54

-Dare I start another colour?

-Yes.

0:26:540:26:57

Woohoo!

0:26:570:26:59

The excitement! Another colour.

0:26:590:27:02

I'm so enjoying this job.

0:27:020:27:05

Now that the steel box has been securely welded together,

0:27:050:27:08

the next job is to pin it down.

0:27:080:27:10

All I'm doing now is I'm staking them

0:27:130:27:15

from the bottom with a steel rod.

0:27:150:27:17

As you can see, the inside of these boxes are still silver,

0:27:170:27:20

whereas the outside has been pre-rusted.

0:27:200:27:22

So, over time, this is going to rust and compliment

0:27:220:27:25

and be exactly the same as the outside.

0:27:250:27:27

-More pegs for you, sir.

-Thank you very much.

0:27:280:27:30

There you go. And also, that patina,

0:27:300:27:33

that rust is the secret behind why it's used so much in industry

0:27:330:27:37

and in architecture. What it's doing is

0:27:370:27:40

it's reacting with the oxygen within the atmosphere.

0:27:400:27:42

And that's creating a rust.

0:27:420:27:43

But what weathered steel has - the make up of it

0:27:430:27:45

has the ability to control that rusting process.

0:27:450:27:48

So, as opposed to something like mild steel...

0:27:480:27:50

What that does is that reacts,

0:27:500:27:52

rusts, then starts to flake, and it starts to degrade down.

0:27:520:27:55

Whereas weathered steel controls that and you get this kind of

0:27:550:27:58

soft, powdery rust on the surface.

0:27:580:28:00

And that will continue for two to three years.

0:28:000:28:02

Then after that, it'll stabilise. And that means you've got

0:28:020:28:05

this continual rust on it, continual protection.

0:28:050:28:08

What's so good about the weathered steel is you don't need to paint it,

0:28:080:28:11

whereas normal steel, like a mild steel, you will have to paint it,

0:28:110:28:14

and that's something you have to repeat.

0:28:140:28:16

You'll have to constantly repeat to protect it.

0:28:160:28:18

That's why weathered steel is a perfect option.

0:28:180:28:21

That's good, cos I'm fed up with painting.

0:28:210:28:23

Outside, the rest of the team are starting to think about seating

0:28:280:28:32

for the steel box.

0:28:320:28:34

Lee and Andy are constructing a simple timber structure.

0:28:340:28:36

Meanwhile, the trees that will go inside the steel box need planting.

0:28:420:28:46

To do that, the brothers are cutting holes for them

0:28:460:28:48

in the weed-resistant membrane.

0:28:480:28:50

And with the holes dug, the trees can finally go in.

0:28:520:28:56

That's gorgeous.

0:29:040:29:05

Cos you've actually got branches coming out over a little bit.

0:29:050:29:08

Outside, Lee is finishing off that seating.

0:29:100:29:13

For extra strength, he's gluing the legs into place and then screwing in

0:29:130:29:16

the fixings, skilfully ensuring that the screws themselves are invisible.

0:29:160:29:21

There's more to positioning these trees than first meets the eye.

0:29:250:29:28

The brothers are attempting to create a woodland

0:29:280:29:31

at the end of Gareth's garden.

0:29:310:29:33

It's really important to think about the positioning of trees and shrubs in your garden.

0:29:340:29:38

What me and Harry wanted to do in this garden is replicate a woodland.

0:29:380:29:41

And if you're wandering through a woodland, you get different layers

0:29:410:29:44

of vegetation. So, first off, you have your canopy layer.

0:29:440:29:46

That'll be the trees. So the birch here are creating that.

0:29:460:29:49

And we've positioned them to act as a nice screen from the houses,

0:29:490:29:52

onlooking windows, but also to give that nice bit of dappled shade.

0:29:520:29:56

And beneath the canopy layer you then have the shrub layer.

0:29:560:29:59

So we've got hawthorn and we've got hazel for that.

0:29:590:30:02

They're going to act, again, to obscure views,

0:30:020:30:05

those natural screens,

0:30:050:30:06

but help to divide the space a little bit more than the trees are.

0:30:060:30:09

Then below that, you'd have the field layer, which is the planting.

0:30:090:30:12

And we've got things like foxgloves and ferns.

0:30:120:30:14

So with the trees, shrubs and the planting,

0:30:140:30:17

hopefully Gareth will be transported into a British woodland.

0:30:170:30:20

Charlie's Mondrian-style fence is coming along beautifully.

0:30:230:30:27

Wow!

0:30:270:30:29

Apparently I've got to do a dab now, whatever that is.

0:30:350:30:38

Dab of paint. Fish.

0:30:380:30:40

But apparently it's something like that.

0:30:400:30:43

An elephant?!

0:30:450:30:46

Show me.

0:30:470:30:48

I feel like Harry'd be better suited to this.

0:30:480:30:51

Going on what Charlie did, is it, like, a...?

0:30:530:30:56

-That's it.

-Let's have a look.

0:30:560:30:58

-There you go.

-I don't know.

0:30:580:31:00

-I'm not street enough.

-Neither am I.

-Oh, dear.

0:31:000:31:03

Charlie's wall will certainly make a big statement in Gareth's garden,

0:31:050:31:09

but will it curry favour with the residents of Oxton?

0:31:090:31:13

Once a year, the residents of this village-like community of Birkenhead

0:31:170:31:22

come together to reveal their secrets,

0:31:220:31:24

including what exactly it is that lies behind their high stone walls.

0:31:240:31:29

Jade Little is one of the organisers of their Secret Gardens event.

0:31:300:31:34

Secret Gardens is a community event that takes place every year.

0:31:340:31:38

It's been running for 17 years now.

0:31:380:31:40

And it's to promote the conservation area.

0:31:400:31:42

We have 20 gardens open each year.

0:31:420:31:45

Lots of entertainment for families to come to.

0:31:450:31:48

And it's just a wonderful event, particularly when the sun's shining.

0:31:480:31:52

It's very much a community-inspired affair.

0:31:520:31:56

People in the village love their gardens.

0:31:560:31:58

And it was realised that...

0:31:580:32:01

Let them show them off,

0:32:010:32:02

let people come in and see what these gardens are like.

0:32:020:32:05

And it was also an opportunity

0:32:050:32:06

to have an event that brought the community together

0:32:060:32:09

and also to make money for local charities.

0:32:090:32:12

It doesn't matter what size your garden is -

0:32:120:32:15

everyone is welcome to take part.

0:32:150:32:17

We've got modern properties and period properties.

0:32:180:32:20

We welcome everybody to offer their garden for Secret Gardens.

0:32:200:32:24

One of those couples, Tom and Ruth,

0:32:260:32:29

have a very popular garden that visitors flock to.

0:32:290:32:32

When we open our garden to the public,

0:32:320:32:34

it seems to just make all of our hard work worthwhile.

0:32:340:32:39

People come in.

0:32:390:32:41

They're astounded by what they see.

0:32:410:32:43

They ask questions.

0:32:430:32:44

They tell us about their gardens and what they're going to do,

0:32:450:32:49

and what they hope to do.

0:32:490:32:50

A lot of it is that it does give people ideas,

0:32:500:32:53

even very simple things, like we have... On a couple of walls,

0:32:530:32:57

we've got mirrors. People have gone away from here saying,

0:32:570:33:00

"Oh, yeah, we must get a mirror and put it on the wall."

0:33:000:33:04

-It's small things, in the main.

-Mm.

0:33:040:33:06

Not all the gardens are large.

0:33:110:33:13

Ann and Phil also love inviting people into their smaller space.

0:33:130:33:18

It's not a competition for the best-kept garden.

0:33:180:33:23

Because that's quite a daunting prospect for most people.

0:33:230:33:26

They would worry about too many weeds

0:33:260:33:29

or the paths weren't clear and so on.

0:33:290:33:31

The garden just has to reflect the house and garden together,

0:33:310:33:35

the relationship between the property and the garden.

0:33:350:33:40

They should do a garden that reflects their interests,

0:33:400:33:43

and who they are.

0:33:430:33:45

Certainly, I would recommend it.

0:33:450:33:47

My advice to anyone who's opening their garden for the first time is,

0:33:490:33:52

enjoy the day.

0:33:520:33:54

Because the visitors are lovely.

0:33:540:33:55

They ask lots of questions

0:33:550:33:57

and they're extremely complimentary about everybody's garden.

0:33:570:34:00

So, relax, have a glass of wine in your garden and enjoy the day.

0:34:000:34:04

Around the corner, back in Gareth's garden,

0:34:060:34:09

they're a long way off relaxing.

0:34:090:34:11

Look what I've got here for you, boys.

0:34:110:34:13

Oh, dream!

0:34:130:34:14

-One for there.

-I'll hold that for you.

0:34:150:34:17

-Not quite sure what this bit does.

-Nice.

0:34:170:34:20

That's going to be dowelled into that. Other way, Andy. Like that.

0:34:210:34:25

-Something...

-Nice.

-..like that.

0:34:260:34:28

There's a really lovely detail here, as well, that you can see.

0:34:280:34:31

What Lee's done is he's just notched a little bit out of the first

0:34:310:34:35

bit of timber that you sit on.

0:34:350:34:36

That's instead of just attaching them as two separate things.

0:34:360:34:39

It makes them, kind of, join as one. There's some secret screwing here,

0:34:390:34:42

so they've screwed a hole, let the screw go in,

0:34:420:34:44

and glued it in so it holds it nice and tight.

0:34:440:34:47

But it does give the appearance it's been notched out and it's just fitting in nice and snug.

0:34:470:34:50

Before long, the postholes have been dug

0:34:580:35:00

and the seats are dropped into position.

0:35:000:35:02

And Andy's giving it a test run -

0:35:050:35:07

just to check that it works, of course.

0:35:070:35:09

The weathered-steel box isn't the only metal in this space.

0:35:100:35:14

Tying in with the industrial theme,

0:35:140:35:16

the brothers are using offcuts of steel

0:35:160:35:18

as dividers down at the end of the garden.

0:35:180:35:20

These pieces of metal are offcuts from a steel fabrication company.

0:35:240:35:28

What they've done is they've laser-cut out these shapes,

0:35:280:35:30

but that's left this really ornamental framework.

0:35:300:35:33

They're not rusted at the moment.

0:35:330:35:35

But over time, they will weather and they will rust,

0:35:350:35:37

same as the weathered steel. So that'll link in nicely.

0:35:370:35:40

And I think it'll accentuate that industrial feeling in the garden.

0:35:400:35:43

Charlie's almost finished that wall, although it has been a team effort.

0:35:440:35:49

Lee's been a demon on the carpentry, as ever.

0:35:490:35:51

Meanwhile, the more delicate planting is being arranged.

0:35:550:35:58

The work of the Garden Rescue team isn't far from done.

0:36:000:36:04

And finally, Charlie gets to do some gardening at last!

0:36:070:36:11

So, we've reused the Californian blocks

0:36:120:36:15

to make this little raised planter.

0:36:150:36:17

I mean, these really do say retro '70s.

0:36:170:36:21

Thought about painting them

0:36:210:36:23

but I didn't know whether that might be a step too far.

0:36:230:36:26

But what I am going to do is pick up the colours of that wall

0:36:260:36:29

in the planting here. So, we've got the black of the ophiopogon,

0:36:290:36:34

and then I'm going to use some French and African marigolds.

0:36:340:36:39

In the '70s, you used to see these in rows

0:36:390:36:42

all the way round people's front gardens.

0:36:420:36:45

So it's got that real, sort of, retro feel.

0:36:450:36:48

And if he doesn't like them, they only last a year,

0:36:480:36:50

so he can plant something else instead.

0:36:500:36:52

So, now, I don't know whether to do them random.

0:36:550:37:00

I fancy quite doing them in blocks.

0:37:000:37:03

What do you think? So when you look down on it,

0:37:030:37:05

it does look like my fence over there.

0:37:050:37:07

I'll have one like that, and one like that.

0:37:070:37:10

I have to say, this planting is totally opposite

0:37:100:37:14

to the very tasteful, elegant woodland feel

0:37:140:37:17

of the bottom half of the garden.

0:37:170:37:21

But it's quite fun.

0:37:210:37:23

They may have got off to a difficult start but, with a change of luck,

0:37:340:37:38

Gareth's garden is nearly ready for its reveal.

0:37:380:37:40

There's one last job - compacting the bound gravel

0:37:440:37:47

with a wacker plate to form a practical and long-lasting surface.

0:37:470:37:50

And then the final touch -

0:37:540:37:56

an upcycled oak table for Gareth to rest a cold drink upon

0:37:560:38:00

on a long summer's evening.

0:38:000:38:02

Before Gareth called on the help of Charlie and the Rich brothers,

0:38:050:38:08

his garden was nothing more than an empty, sloping,

0:38:080:38:12

blank space, devoid of character.

0:38:120:38:14

Now his garden has had a £4,000 makeover.

0:38:160:38:19

And the brothers have spent every penny

0:38:190:38:22

on creating a stylish and totally unique space

0:38:220:38:24

that makes a stunning extension to Gareth's home.

0:38:240:38:28

Charlie transformed the dull wooden fence by creating a colourful

0:38:300:38:34

Mondrian-style art feature at a cost of £60.

0:38:340:38:38

As well as keeping some of the existing planting

0:38:390:38:41

at the end of the garden, the brothers invested £335

0:38:410:38:44

in additional trees and herbaceous plants

0:38:440:38:47

to create a secluded woodland feel.

0:38:470:38:50

The team salvaged some of Gareth's treasured Californian blocks,

0:38:530:38:57

transforming them into raised beds and decorative steps,

0:38:570:39:00

topped with offcuts of the limestone paving.

0:39:000:39:02

And last but certainly not least, costing £2,250,

0:39:080:39:13

the boys spent over half their budget on the weathered-steel box,

0:39:130:39:17

a stunning and unique addition to Gareth's garden

0:39:170:39:20

that totally transforms the space.

0:39:200:39:23

It's time to find out if the Rich brothers have delivered.

0:39:260:39:29

Right, so, me and Dave love your house,

0:39:310:39:35

and we loved everything about it. So we did feel a little bit of pressure

0:39:350:39:39

in creating a garden that is going to match that

0:39:390:39:42

and, obviously, a space that you're going to love.

0:39:420:39:44

We know you love that industrial look, definitely a bit of orange.

0:39:440:39:48

So, open your eyes and have a look at your garden.

0:39:480:39:51

What do you think?

0:39:560:39:58

It's awesome. I can't believe it.

0:39:580:40:00

This doesn't look like the same garden.

0:40:000:40:02

It's absolutely amazing.

0:40:020:40:03

It has changed a lot, hasn't it?

0:40:030:40:05

Thank you so much. It's absolutely incredible.

0:40:050:40:09

Well, that's a good result.

0:40:090:40:11

What do you think about the box?

0:40:110:40:14

-The steel box.

-I love it.

0:40:140:40:15

Cos I... You told me about it and I visualised it but I had no idea,

0:40:170:40:21

actually, what it was going to look like, and it's amazing.

0:40:210:40:24

I love the way it goes... Like, this is totally open,

0:40:240:40:27

and it goes down into a whole new space.

0:40:270:40:30

-Yes.

-It's like a usable space, as well.

0:40:300:40:32

It's absolutely... Oh, my goodness.

0:40:320:40:33

-THEY CHUCKLE

-Yeah, look at that.

0:40:330:40:37

It does look pretty cool, I have to say. I think he likes it.

0:40:400:40:43

Charlie's created you a Mondrian...

0:40:440:40:46

That's... It's brilliant.

0:40:460:40:49

-Do you want to have a little wander down?

-Yeah, absolutely. Awesome.

0:40:490:40:51

You've totally used my retro Californian blocks.

0:40:530:40:56

Yes, we used them on the step. We've also used them in a little planter

0:40:560:40:59

-over there.

-Amazing.

-Go down and have a look at the woodland area.

0:40:590:41:02

Down here is the woodland understory planting.

0:41:030:41:06

So, we've kept some of the things that you had.

0:41:060:41:09

-Yes.

-Because you loved that kind of wild, unkempt look.

-Definitely.

0:41:090:41:12

We've just introduced a few foxgloves and ferns,

0:41:120:41:15

things like filipendula that will grow up.

0:41:150:41:16

-They're kind of woodland understory planting.

-Yeah.

0:41:160:41:19

So it should be really, really cool.

0:41:190:41:20

I think it looks so private, as well,

0:41:200:41:22

-the way you put a tree in the corner makes the whole thing really intimate.

-Yeah.

0:41:220:41:26

The trees have added so much to this garden.

0:41:260:41:28

It kind of gives it that really cosy feeling.

0:41:280:41:31

Can you see yourself using this space to entertain in the evenings?

0:41:330:41:37

Definitely. You've made the whole thing so private, as well.

0:41:370:41:40

It's brilliant.

0:41:400:41:42

It does give an extra, totally fresh, new area

0:41:420:41:49

to the house.

0:41:490:41:50

-It was £4,000.

-It was, yes.

-Do you think it's money well spent?

0:41:500:41:54

Definitely. It's like a whole new room of my house.

0:41:540:41:58

-It's absolutely brilliant.

-Do you think it complements...

0:41:580:42:01

Is it your favourite room now?

0:42:010:42:03

Yes, it's much better than any I could think of, yeah.

0:42:030:42:06

-It's brilliant.

-The million-dollar question,

0:42:060:42:08

something that's been looming all day...

0:42:080:42:10

We know you wanted to open it to the public.

0:42:100:42:13

Is that something you would be willing to do now you see it?

0:42:130:42:16

I think so, yeah. I'll have to get on to the authorities

0:42:170:42:20

but, yeah, I reckon. I think people would love to see it, yes.

0:42:200:42:23

£4,000 was a lot of money to spend. So once the dust has settled,

0:42:250:42:30

is Gareth still happy with the end results?

0:42:300:42:33

The garden has surpassed my expectations.

0:42:330:42:36

Now I think it's my favourite room of the house.

0:42:360:42:38

I'm most looking forward to seeing how the garden evolves

0:42:390:42:42

over the next year,

0:42:420:42:44

and possibly seeing if I could open it to the village.

0:42:440:42:47

Musician Gareth is in need of a total garden rethink at his Oxton home. This is a garden that is best seen from his upstairs living room windows, so will either Charlie Dimmock or the Rich brothers be able to come up with a suitable overview?