Northamptonshire Garden Rescue


Northamptonshire

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

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experience, 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

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of gardens.

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

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Amazing, isn't it?

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

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

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

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They'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 with it.

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

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That sounds amazing.

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Doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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-The winner...

-Charlie!

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..brings their design to life.

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-Hold on!

-Sweet as a nut!

-And the loser has to help them build it.

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-Keep working, keep working, boys!

-Whoa, easy!

-This is what happens...

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Just get on that, sometime 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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Open your eyes.

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It's lovely.

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-Wow!

-Look at that.

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Whoa! It's not our garden.

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to find out today's

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garden challenge.

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Here we have Shona from Northampton, and the great thing about

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this is she lives with four generations of her family.

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-Wow!

-She's got her mother, her daughter,

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and her granddaughter all under one roof.

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Oh, I bet there's a few discussions sometimes, don't you?

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-That's a very busy household.

-Yeah.

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Shona, a finance administrator, lives with her daughter,

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Lottie, her mother, Patricia, and also looks after

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her granddaughter, Amelia, three days a week.

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Shona would like a garden for the whole family to enjoy,

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particularly her mother, Patricia.

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And they have got a lovely garden. It is quite well-kept,

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because there is a bit of a budding gardener in the family.

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-Who's that, then?

-Mum.

-Oh, OK.

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I've always been a keen gardener, but nowadays, I can't bend so much,

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but I like to get out, do a little bit of pruning and pottering about.

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That's my ideal day - pottering about in a nice garden.

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Despite Patricia's enthusiasm,

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the current garden is a far cry from what either her or her

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daughter's idea of a pottering paradise might be.

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The garden is in dire need of tender, loving care.

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With me working and looking after my grandchild, the garden

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has really not been loved, and of course, my mum

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with her arthritis cannot get round to do the things that

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she'd like to do, so it has sort of being left, really.

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It looks like it's very bare, doesn't it? It's just lawn.

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There is a lot of lawn, and you can't see that well from the photos,

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but there is a slope leading from that patio into the garden.

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In fact, the slope makes enjoying the garden

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very difficult for Shona and her family.

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Mowing can be quite a handful, really, but to have

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a path through the garden to get to the top would be ideal.

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-The main focus on the garden needs to be the slope.

-Yeah.

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So whether we're eating into it to terrace it and make more usable

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space, or terracing it back, putting some steps up to the top of the

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-garden...

-Make it accessible.

-Yes, exactly.

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Mother and daughter would like the designers to

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tackle the treacherous patio as well.

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I tend to trip over it as it is now,

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and I can't afford to do any falling!

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Because I wouldn't be able to get up again.

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The patio looks quite mean as well, doesn't it, really?

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I think it's probably more of a path than a patio.

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It's quite unusable.

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Also high on the priorities list is

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a safe play area for little Amelia.

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They're not too fussed on the design elements of it,

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but it's just making it accessible and usable for all generations,

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so for Mum and for Granddaughter, really, that safety side.

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Quite a tricky brief, that, isn't it, to try and hit all of those?

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To make the garden work for them all,

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Shona and Patricia are prepared to dig deep into their savings.

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Our budget for the garden is £5,000, and hopefully

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that will give us our dreams

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and make four generations really happy.

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A healthy budget, then.

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-Not too bad.

-Yeah, I'm pretty happy with that one.

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Although they have £5,000 to play with,

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the designers have a lot to consider here.

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So without further ado they head to Northampton to meet the

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family and see the garden for themselves.

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While Charlie goes to find Shona in the garden...

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..the brothers head inside to find out what Patricia

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has in mind for the plot.

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-Hello, lads.

-How are you?

-Do you mind if we have a seat?

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-Yes, by all means.

-It's nice and cosy.

-It's nice to see you.

-Yeah.

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How do you see yourself using the garden?

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I like to sit outside and have meals outside in the summertime.

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-Yeah.

-Breakfasts outside.

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-The weather's usually good here.

-Yeah, definitely, yeah.

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So one large space maybe that the whole family can enjoy.

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Oh, yes.

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That would be lovely, yes.

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While Pat is after a communal garden, Shona seems to have

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a slightly different idea about what she'd like to see.

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Well, we want a garden where we can all use it at once,

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or we can use it individually.

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So if my daughter's here and she wants her friends around for

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a barbecue, there's plenty of space and she can use it like that.

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-But you haven't necessarily got to join in?

-No, definitely not!

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-Definitely not.

-OK.

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Something for your daughter to use with her mates.

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And my mum to use. Something...

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I had in mind maybe raised garden beds

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so that she doesn't have to bend down and this sort of thing.

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-So she can still potter and enjoy the garden?

-Yes.

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Something that I can do which is easy to maintain

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-because I'm not the gardener.

-Ah-ha.

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And something for Amelia to play in and feel that she's safe.

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Charlie and the boys have £5,000 to design a garden that each

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member of the family can use, both separately and altogether.

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It must include raised beds, a play area, and a safe patio.

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Suddenly, the budget isn't looking quite so healthy.

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They're going to have to be ingenious.

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The designers compete against each other to come up with

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a design that will work within the family's budget.

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Patricia and Shona will then choose a winner.

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And whoever loses will have to help the winner build the garden.

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The £5,000 will be used to cover the cost of the materials for their

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new garden while the labour will be supplied by Charlie,

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the Rich brothers and their team of landscapers.

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

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There we are.

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-Up the slope.

-Yes, it is, yes.

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-There we go.

-Oh, it looks lovely.

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The main issue here wasn't hard to notice - it's the slope.

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-It certainly is.

-That's what we get paid to do. That's genius.

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What we wanted to make sure is that we dug into that bank,

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we retained it and we gave you a lot larger area to use.

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-That would be good.

-Right, yes.

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The boys are tackling the troublesome slope head-on by digging

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into the lawn and creating three terraces, each retained by sleepers.

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Now I have definitely zoned the garden, but it's going to be

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very multipurpose zoning.

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We've got this gently sloping path so that would sweep round up

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to the sunny part of the garden.

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Charlie has added a path to make the slope more manageable and

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has tried to please both mother and daughter by giving each

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family member their own area, as well as spaces to gather together.

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I've popped in there a nice, big deck area to get that afternoon sun.

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The boys have also added a deck but have incorporated

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a mid-level seating area and a top deck where Amelia can play.

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They also want to give Pat an area to herself to potter about in.

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We've got three small raised planters on the patio and we

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thought that maybe if you wanted you could have a small table and chairs

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just by here so you're surrounded by some trees, shrubs and plants.

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Right. That'll be nice.

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Not to be outdone,

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Charlie has also kept Pat's love of gardening in mind.

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This area down here I've got some raised beds that will be

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sort of what I would call perching height.

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-Right.

-Lovely, yeah.

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But staggered so that it doesn't look too chunky.

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-OK.

-Yeah.

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Charlie's included a modern, child-safe water feature and

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a large play space for Amelia.

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I thought it'd be really nice to make

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a bit of an entranceway for her so this will be screened off

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using clump-forming bamboos...

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-Oh, right.

-..because play equipment's never that pretty.

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-No.

-I have to say.

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-That would screen it off.

-Yeah.

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Then stepping stones - rather than just stepping stones through

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I've laid it out as hopscotch.

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Hopscotch, she'll like that, yes.

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Then this will all be grass.

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Shona and Patricia seem impressed, but can the brothers win them

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over with their planting?

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You've got some shrubs around here that we'd like to keep.

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We'd like to introduce a few more, especially as you guys were saying

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you like a lot of colour - flowers, something that brings in wildlife.

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-Yes, it sounds good. It sounds really good.

-Brilliant.

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-The patio bit...

-Yeah.

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-Um...

-They're just the slabs as they are now

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but, Pat, you did mention some of them are a bit uneven.

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They're all uneven.

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We would make sure they're all safe and no trip hazards.

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-That'll be good. That would be really good.

-Yes.

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Harry and David are going to relay the existing patio but Charlie's

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going one better and is replacing the stones and enlarging the area.

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So the patio area I've definitely extended it because it's

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-a bit mean at the moment.

-It is, yes, very mean.

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-So definitely pushing it out further in front of your patio doors.

-Yeah.

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Yes, thank you very much.

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Well, that's it.

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The pitch is over. The designers have done all they can.

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-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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It's now time for Shona and Patricia to choose between Charlie's

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multipurpose zoning and the boys' terraced communal garden.

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So what did you think about this one, then?

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I like the steps and I like the entertaining area.

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I like this bit in the middle.

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-Yeah, that's nice.

-I thought it was really good.

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We're dividing the garden into individual areas for the

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different generations, so as you go up you get younger.

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How about you, Charlie?

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Yeah, well, I did end up with a big deck up here in the sunshine

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and then I have got a zone for Amelia as well.

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-Nice.

-Oh, perfect.

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These are excellent, having a lower bed there and a water feature.

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Amelia would really like that.

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Yes, I'm impressed.

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I'm impressed with both of them.

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I think you're thinking the same as me?

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Possibly, yes. Shall we go for it?

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-Hello.

-Hello there.

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-Hello.

-Right.

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We've looked at both of them and the winner is...

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Charlie!

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-Well done.

-Thank you.

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We thought your designs were brilliant, absolutely brilliant,

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but we just in mind had Amelia and how we would like to use the garden.

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Oh, good, I'm looking forward to doing that one.

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Oh, dear. Harry's face says it all, but Charlie is thrilled.

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She's going to have to win the boys around, though, because she'll

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need their help to get all the elements of this garden finished.

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It's the first day of the build

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and with Charlie away tending to the finer details of her design,

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it's up to the expert team of landscapers -

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Leigh,

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Andy,

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Steve,

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and Bowen to crack on with the monster task

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of extending the patio to create Charlie's generous seating area.

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But they haven't even cleared all the pots off the old patio before

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they unearth a problem.

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Oh, no.

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-That's a bit naughty, isn't it?

-It's a bit rotten.

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It's a big one. It's right out here, somewhere.

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It's just a concrete manhole chamber.

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It's basically for the run-off for the water from the gutters of

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the house, come through all the way down to the drain.

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But we didn't really know it was here so it's created

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a little bit of a problem.

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Let's get it cleared off and see what we can do.

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We've lost him. He's got a man down.

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Solving unforeseen problems like this will eat into the £5,000

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budget that Charlie has already fully allocated to the design.

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So whilst project manager Bowen hits the phone to try and source

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a low-cost manhole cover...

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No, I don't think we're going to be able to build around it

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to get it to that size.

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..the team cracks on with the patio so it won't cost them in time too.

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-Hello, mate, look what I've got for you.

-Good lad.

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See if that fits in there.

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-Oh, like a glove on a chicken's leg.

-Beautiful.

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By the time Charlie and her willing helpers Harry and David arrive,

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they've made great progress.

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The patio's laid, old shrubs that don't fit the new design have

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been uprooted, and the base for the new decking has been built.

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-It's a vigorous walk in the morning.

-I know.

-It'll get you geed up ready for all your jobs.

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Oh, nice, some good ones today.

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Yeah. This'll get you warm.

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-So the first thing - take the turf off for the path.

-Lovely.

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Nice sweep of a curve.

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-All uphill?

-All uphill.

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And then raised beds.

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You've got to get those done because I have to get the water feature in.

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-OK.

-That's quite key.

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-You can get moving with the turf stripper.

-Lovely!

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So off you go, boys.

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That's your turf stripper there.

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Oh! Push!

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Get the angle right.

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Look at this.

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Wow! This is making a difference, isn't it?

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Good work, guys.

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-Are you all right?

-And the slabs are looking good.

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Yeah, that's right.

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Before they can think about firing up heavy machinery,

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Harry and David need to mark out the shape of the path.

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There we are.

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The arc of the path is key to Charlie's design

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since it will form the spine of the garden.

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The boys must get it right.

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Coming through, coming through.

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-Look at this.

-We're coming through.

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The use of the path already.

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-How does it feel?

-That feels a nice curve, boys. Very good.

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The turf has got to come up, you know.

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-So, yeah.

-How are you feeling?

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-I'm thinking might just take it a bit...

-A bit wider.

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A bit wider cos at the moment, look.

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You want to be able to walk up the garden path

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holding hands and it's a bit too cosy at the moment.

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Let me see. Be comfortable.

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-Not too tight.

-How comfortable?

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That's too... That is...

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-A few drinks comfortable, or what?

-Hello!

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Come on, in we go.

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-About, yeah.

-Just a little.

-Perfect.

-Yeah, that's better.

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You've got lovely warm hands.

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You're not doing enough work. That's why you're not warm.

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Spank your hand.

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And the right one. Come on.

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And now they're all happy with the shape, they can bring in one of

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the big guns in the form of the turf cutter.

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Turf cutters like this

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start about £50 a day and it makes really light work

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of what can be quite a tedious job.

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-That was a good line, mate, well done.

-Yeah.

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Right, on your way.

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ENGINE REVS

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THEY LAUGH

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What's happening there?

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ENGINE STOPS

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A good tip when using a turf cutter is to cut all the turf first

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before peeling off bits because if you start peeling off some

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bits and the turf cutter gets on an angle,

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and then you start cutting unevenly. So cut it all and then peel it up.

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A good tip, when you start to roll it up, cut it into manageable sizes.

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Don't try rolling and shifting large bits of turf.

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Lengths that are maybe a metre, a metre and a half should be fine.

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So this is going to be my hopscotch path,

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leading to the kids' play area here

0:19:070:19:10

so there's going to be a bit of a climbing frame and a slide.

0:19:100:19:13

I'm literally going to lay the slabs straight onto a bit of soil and

0:19:130:19:18

sand, level with the lawn so that they can mow straight over it

0:19:180:19:23

and then in five years' time,

0:19:230:19:26

when they no longer want to play hopscotch,

0:19:260:19:29

they can just be lifted up, reseeded and it's going to be fine.

0:19:290:19:34

Back to lawn.

0:19:340:19:36

It's all well and good, getting rid of the turf, Charlie.

0:19:360:19:38

-Where's it going to go?

-Not here.

-That hole you dug there?

0:19:380:19:41

No, no, no, cos we've got the raised beds to fill.

0:19:410:19:44

-Yeah, down on the bottom.

-Fill in the raised beds.

0:19:440:19:48

I'm glad you've offered to do that job, well done!

0:19:480:19:51

I didn't, you see. I kept quiet.

0:19:510:19:53

You've learnt to be quiet when Charlie's, er...

0:19:530:19:56

Yeah, that's good.

0:19:560:19:57

Raised beds down there and don't forget there is

0:19:570:20:00

-a raised bed at the back of the deck, as well.

-OK.

0:20:000:20:02

-We'll go there first.

-Just walk round the garden

0:20:020:20:04

with the wheelbarrow. Take it back from where it came.

0:20:040:20:08

Recycling the turf is a great idea because getting rid of waste on

0:20:080:20:12

any building project, whether inside or out, can easily bump the cost up.

0:20:120:20:16

In a bid to give Shona the most she can get for her £5,000 budget,

0:20:170:20:20

Charlie has an idea to run past her.

0:20:200:20:22

-Shona, come and have a quick sit down and a quick chat.

-Right.

0:20:250:20:30

-What am I in for?

-It's not difficult, honest.

-OK.

0:20:300:20:33

-This area here is for your granddaughter, yeah?

-Right, yeah.

0:20:330:20:37

And we're going to have the curve of the bamboos hiding it.

0:20:370:20:41

There's going to be the play equipment there.

0:20:410:20:43

-I did have on the design an archway with planters.

-You did, yeah.

0:20:430:20:48

But I'm thinking of being a little bit more artistic and making

0:20:480:20:52

an artistic piece of trellis for climbers...

0:20:520:20:56

-Right.

-But it will be an entranceway, a fun entranceway.

0:20:560:21:00

I'm thinking.

0:21:000:21:02

This is going to be using, like, natural branches.

0:21:040:21:07

-Oh, right. That sounds a good idea.

-Yeah.

0:21:070:21:10

It's going to literally be

0:21:100:21:13

a frame with a door at, sort of, child height.

0:21:130:21:19

Basically when you're sat over on the deck you're going to see that.

0:21:190:21:23

-Mm-hm.

-A bit of a Hansel and Gretel type theme to it.

0:21:230:21:27

That sounds lovely.

0:21:270:21:29

She'd love that, yes, something different.

0:21:290:21:31

Harry and David have moved on to making the raised beds,

0:21:350:21:39

but Charlie, having secured the thumbs up from Shona for the gateway

0:21:390:21:42

to the new play area, now needs to source materials to make it.

0:21:420:21:45

You boys are very quiet. Concentrating, are we?

0:21:470:21:50

-Just digging a hole.

-Digging a hole.

0:21:510:21:54

What are you up to?

0:21:540:21:56

I'm just sculpting.

0:21:560:21:58

Very cool.

0:21:580:22:00

That sounds fun. What are you sculpting?

0:22:000:22:02

I'm going to make a very Hansel and Gretel entranceway

0:22:020:22:06

to the play area.

0:22:060:22:08

Oh, wow, that sounds fun.

0:22:080:22:10

Mmm. See, when you're boss you to get to do all the fun jobs.

0:22:100:22:14

When you're labourers you get to do the really boring stuff.

0:22:140:22:17

I don't get to do the fun things when I'm the boss.

0:22:170:22:20

Dave, let's do it.

0:22:200:22:21

Charlie's decided to use these new sleepers and that's going to

0:22:210:22:25

marry in with the slabs really nicely.

0:22:250:22:27

Beautiful. What we've done on the corner here, we've actually used

0:22:310:22:34

a brick joint so we've overlapped the joint of the timber and that's

0:22:340:22:38

going to make a stronger structure

0:22:380:22:40

and I also think it looks nice, as well.

0:22:400:22:42

Charlie needs an expert landscaper to help her with her big plan.

0:22:420:22:45

So you might think you've finished but over here the entranceway to

0:22:480:22:53

the play area is going to be doing something like this.

0:22:530:22:58

It's like a child's done it.

0:22:580:23:00

-Have you had your drawing pencils out?

-Yeah!

0:23:000:23:02

I don't want the doorway to be too tall so what that sort of height.

0:23:020:23:08

Four foot by two?

0:23:080:23:09

So if we can make a frame up - want some eaves

0:23:090:23:13

and a chimney off to the side, maybe that side or whatever.

0:23:130:23:16

-Window, sort of thing.

-Yeah, one or two.

0:23:160:23:19

There's some nice decking left so we'll make it out of decking and...

0:23:190:23:22

Yeah? And just concrete it in.

0:23:220:23:24

Put the frame into the floor so it's nice and solid

0:23:240:23:27

and then we can work off the frame.

0:23:270:23:29

Rustic, Hansel and Gretel.

0:23:290:23:31

We're using all that over there.

0:23:310:23:33

-Yeah, we can screw that to it.

-Yeah?

-Yeah, no problem.

0:23:330:23:37

Meanwhile, the brothers are cracking on with the path and pegging

0:23:390:23:43

in some shuttering to form the edges of the bound gravel surface.

0:23:430:23:46

These 4 x 1s are perfect for edging the path.

0:23:570:24:00

Because we're creating a curve,

0:24:000:24:01

what you can do, you can soak them overnight in water and that

0:24:010:24:04

will make them more flexible so you get more of an acute angle.

0:24:040:24:07

You can cut notches into the back of them and that will help them

0:24:070:24:10

as well, but because this angle isn't too bad,

0:24:100:24:12

we're just using them as they are and just pegging them as we go.

0:24:120:24:15

Good. One window.

0:24:200:24:22

Leigh and Charlie are moving on apace with the entrance to the play area

0:24:290:24:33

whilst Andy is finishing the ramp up to the decking area, which will

0:24:330:24:37

future proof access to that seating area for all the generations.

0:24:370:24:41

And David starts the Herculean task of bringing in the hard-core

0:24:440:24:47

for the base of that lovely curved path.

0:24:470:24:50

-Into that point.

-Yeah.

0:25:380:25:40

Just so that there's some lavender,

0:25:400:25:42

-there's a bay tree there to give it a little bit of height.

-Yeah.

0:25:420:25:46

Pat doesn't like sitting in full sun.

0:25:480:25:51

-The cat.

-Not the cat, Pat!

0:25:510:25:54

As in Postman.

0:25:540:25:55

CHARLIE SIGHS

0:25:550:25:57

Leigh's using natural ash prunings to clad the frame and make more of

0:26:050:26:09

a screen for the play area.

0:26:090:26:11

You can buy pea sticks similar to these.

0:26:110:26:13

They're a by-product of coppicing and are fantastic for creating

0:26:130:26:16

all sorts of structures for the garden.

0:26:160:26:18

So this is a bit of fun for Amelia but also it'll be

0:26:200:26:24

a really good place for Pat to, you know,

0:26:240:26:27

maybe put a bowl of water for the birds or some feeders on it.

0:26:270:26:31

Yeah, it's a bit different, isn't it?

0:26:310:26:34

Coppicing is a form of woodland management that

0:26:380:26:41

has been practised for thousands of years.

0:26:410:26:43

Essentially it's the harvesting of wooden poles by cutting off

0:26:460:26:50

growth from trees like hazel and willow down to the base

0:26:500:26:53

thus harvesting long poles.

0:26:530:26:55

This process is repeated every seven to 25 years,

0:26:550:26:59

depending on how thick and long you want your poles to be.

0:26:590:27:03

There are copses all over rural Britain and one coppice

0:27:030:27:06

worker, who was practised his trade for nearly 60 years,

0:27:060:27:09

is Alan Waters.

0:27:090:27:11

The ideal crop is a ten to 12 foot pole.

0:27:110:27:15

A rod.

0:27:150:27:17

That's what you're looking for.

0:27:190:27:21

The most common uses for coppiced hazel today are for making

0:27:240:27:27

hurdles for sheep and garden fencing, thatching spars and plant

0:27:270:27:31

supports for the garden, especially pea sticks for supporting

0:27:310:27:34

pea plants and bean poles as a frame for runner beans to climb up.

0:27:340:27:39

However, a skilled coppice worker like Alan can make these

0:27:390:27:42

practical objects into decorative sculptures for the garden.

0:27:420:27:45

Alan places seven long poles in a mould to make the correct

0:27:490:27:52

shape for the tepee

0:27:520:27:54

before tying it at the top.

0:27:540:27:56

Just trying to hold them.

0:27:560:27:59

Hazel is pliable, especially when warm,

0:27:590:28:02

so can be manipulated to make it rope-like.

0:28:020:28:05

You find a hole.

0:28:070:28:09

Poke it down

0:28:090:28:11

as far as you can and then hold it tight

0:28:110:28:13

so you can poke it down

0:28:130:28:16

and you pull it down.

0:28:180:28:19

Then to give climbing plants something to hold on to as

0:28:210:28:25

they grow up the support, Alan weaves more hazel through the frame.

0:28:250:28:29

By using a coppiced hazel, whether you grow anything up it or not,

0:28:290:28:33

or just use it for height in your garden,

0:28:330:28:36

it gives you something to look at.

0:28:360:28:38

And because it's made of natural materials,

0:28:400:28:42

it blends beautifully into the garden.

0:28:420:28:44

Which is why Charlie has chosen to use it on her quirky new

0:28:480:28:51

entrance to the play area in Northampton.

0:28:510:28:54

Out front, the plants have arrived and just in time because most of

0:28:570:29:01

the hard landscaping is finished and the raised beds are being

0:29:010:29:04

filled with compost ready to be planted up.

0:29:040:29:06

Meanwhile, it's Harry's turn with a wheelbarrow as

0:29:100:29:13

he brings in two tonnes of bound gravel to top the path.

0:29:130:29:16

We're putting down the self-binding gravel on this path and it's on

0:29:170:29:20

a slope so it's a great choice for that because it'll knit down

0:29:200:29:24

really tightly and have a lovely finish.

0:29:240:29:26

It'll also link really nicely in with the wood and the paving at

0:29:260:29:29

the bottom so overall it's going to unify the whole garden as one.

0:29:290:29:33

-Right, Charlie.

-Yo!

-I found these outside. Where do you want 'em?

0:29:330:29:37

Right, we need to replicate that curve

0:29:370:29:41

-coming around here. Yeah?

-Oh, OK.

0:29:410:29:46

Before David marks that out,

0:29:460:29:48

the chaps get the play equipment in so he can get the proportions right.

0:29:480:29:52

To mirror the arc of the path, Charlie's design has a row of

0:29:550:29:58

eight bamboos to edge the play area and they all need to be planted.

0:29:580:30:01

-Like that, yeah.

-OK, so the bed's kind of there, in a way.

0:30:040:30:06

OK, cool, I can start that then.

0:30:060:30:09

Then we follow it round, just into this?

0:30:090:30:11

-Into here, say, like that kind of curve?

-Yes.

0:30:110:30:15

The bamboo will provide an evergreen living screen that will sway

0:30:160:30:20

and rustle in the breeze.

0:30:200:30:22

But before there's any chance of that happening...

0:30:240:30:27

David needs to prepare the planting bed.

0:30:280:30:30

That's just the start of the planting,

0:30:340:30:36

there are 56 scented plants to go into the garden, too.

0:30:360:30:39

This is going to be our lovely, scented lavender walkway that

0:30:420:30:46

will bring you up into this sort of Mediterranean decking area.

0:30:460:30:50

We've got a bay tree for a bit of scent and for cooking.

0:30:500:30:53

We've got lavenders.

0:30:530:30:56

We have Steve who's fragrantly scented as well,

0:30:560:30:59

working away at the raised bed there, which is going to be for Pat

0:30:590:31:04

to potter in when she's sat up here,

0:31:040:31:07

if she does sit in the sun because she's not really keen on the sun.

0:31:070:31:10

That's really Pat's area down the bottom.

0:31:100:31:13

It's a bit tough going digging the soil.

0:31:240:31:26

It's going to be worth it, though,

0:31:260:31:27

because we are putting in a native birch, a betula,

0:31:270:31:29

and it is going to be positioned by the deck,

0:31:290:31:31

so it'll give a bit of height to this area

0:31:310:31:33

but also provide a nice bit of dappled shade.

0:31:330:31:35

As you can see, the roots are bare.

0:31:350:31:37

It's a bare root and that means we can plant it between...

0:31:370:31:40

Basically when the tree is dormant, so between the time when the

0:31:400:31:43

leaves fall off and the time when the leaves come back in spring.

0:31:430:31:47

That's great because it means it'll be half the price if you buy

0:31:470:31:49

a tree that has been grown in a container.

0:31:490:31:51

So that's a real plus.

0:31:510:31:53

Just to give the tree a really good head start, we're putting in

0:31:530:31:56

some good quality topsoil and then the original soil on top.

0:31:560:31:59

That's going to give it a bit of substance

0:31:590:32:01

and hold it firm in the hole.

0:32:010:32:02

When planting a tree, it's a good thing to look at

0:32:040:32:06

where the soil level is because that is where it has been dug out

0:32:060:32:09

at the nursery, so that's where you should plant it.

0:32:090:32:11

Halfway through backfilling the hole,

0:32:110:32:13

firm the soil down to get rid of any air pockets.

0:32:130:32:16

After planting,

0:32:160:32:17

water it thoroughly and keep watering regularly for the first year.

0:32:170:32:22

Also, because it hasn't got the root system to anchor it into the soil,

0:32:220:32:25

it's really important to post it.

0:32:250:32:27

It keeps it strong and firm and helps it grow.

0:32:270:32:30

Charlie, meanwhile, is planting up the raised beds near the house.

0:32:310:32:34

So this is going to be a lovely spring-raised bed.

0:32:360:32:40

I'm putting the hellebores up here because you sort of,

0:32:400:32:43

when they're at ground level, you sort of miss how beautiful

0:32:430:32:47

the flowers are and they're the type of flower that you

0:32:470:32:50

really want to look up into, so putting them in the raised bed,

0:32:500:32:53

when you're sat down there,

0:32:530:32:54

you'll be able to see the full beauty of them.

0:32:540:32:57

The addition of a spherical water feature will also provide

0:33:050:33:08

a relaxing soundtrack when the family are on the patio.

0:33:080:33:11

This water feature is a really straightforward simple kit.

0:33:130:33:16

It comes with a small reservoir.

0:33:160:33:18

This is slate effect. It's actually resin,

0:33:180:33:21

so it's very light to move around.

0:33:210:33:23

The tendency is, because the reservoir is circular, that you want

0:33:230:33:29

to put the pebbles or the gravel or the shale,

0:33:290:33:31

which is what we're using here, and follow that circle,

0:33:310:33:34

but it looks a bit odd

0:33:340:33:35

so what I'm going to do is blend

0:33:350:33:39

the shale in and around under the planting.

0:33:390:33:43

That way, it'll look a lot more natural

0:33:430:33:47

and it'll also help suppress quite a lot of the weeds

0:33:470:33:50

that could come up.

0:33:500:33:51

As for keeping the water clear, it's best to treat the water

0:33:510:33:57

straightaway, while it is clear, not when it's gone green.

0:33:570:34:01

It says just add two teaspoons,

0:34:010:34:04

so I'm just going to pop that one there

0:34:040:34:07

and then Shona will have to retreat it once every six weeks.

0:34:070:34:12

Safe for the birds, safe for children,

0:34:120:34:15

so this will be really quite a tactile area,

0:34:150:34:17

because we've got all the scented plants,

0:34:170:34:19

lavenders, thymes and rosemary.

0:34:190:34:23

We've got water that will give a nice,

0:34:230:34:26

gentle sound and Amelia can touch it quite safely and the birds

0:34:260:34:31

will come and bathe and drink, as well.

0:34:310:34:34

Now that the bed is prepared,

0:34:350:34:37

Harry and David can get on with planting the bamboos.

0:34:370:34:39

Charlie has chosen a variety that won't get too tall

0:34:470:34:50

and take over the plot.

0:34:500:34:51

Bamboo has something of a bad reputation for spreading like crazy

0:34:510:34:55

in the garden, but expert Bruce Jordan knows the difference

0:34:550:34:58

between the unruly species and the garden-worthy types.

0:34:580:35:04

One is the Pseudosasa,

0:35:040:35:06

the other one is a bamboo called Phyllostachys.

0:35:060:35:09

Neither of those have got a common name, so it's quite difficult,

0:35:090:35:12

but Pseudosasa was introduced by the Victorians

0:35:120:35:15

and is a real running bamboo,

0:35:150:35:16

will spread without worry across your garden, come up through tarmac.

0:35:160:35:22

Phyllostachys, on the other hand, is much calmer.

0:35:230:35:25

It can wander. I call it wandering.

0:35:250:35:28

It's not really hugely invasive, but it wanders around.

0:35:280:35:32

These wanderers send out runners, which are shoots just below

0:35:320:35:36

the surface of the soil.

0:35:360:35:38

Along their length, they sprout further shoots

0:35:380:35:40

and can quickly run amok.

0:35:400:35:42

Luckily, not all bamboos are badly behaved.

0:35:420:35:46

The best thing to do is to look at Fargesia bamboos.

0:35:460:35:49

They definitely will not run. They form clumps.

0:35:490:35:52

The clump can slowly get bigger, but it's a clump.

0:35:520:35:55

It won't send out any runners.

0:35:550:35:57

They will grow almost in deep shade where there is very little sun.

0:35:570:36:02

They will grow in the sun and they will grow in kind of half sun

0:36:020:36:06

and shade. Pretty much anywhere in the garden, you can grow a Fargesia.

0:36:060:36:10

And once you've selected the right bamboo for your garden,

0:36:100:36:13

they have so much to offer.

0:36:130:36:14

One of the great things about bamboo is they create an amazing atmosphere

0:36:150:36:19

in the garden.

0:36:190:36:20

This is their look pretty much 12 months of the year,

0:36:200:36:23

so they're always looking good, even in the middle of winter.

0:36:230:36:26

On a cold, frosty - even snowy - day,

0:36:260:36:28

you can come out, your bamboo is smiling.

0:36:280:36:31

Particularly ones with golden stems, they glow.

0:36:310:36:34

They glow on a grey, miserable day.

0:36:340:36:36

Charlie has wisely selected a Fargesia for Patricia and Shona,

0:36:410:36:45

which will keep itself to itself.

0:36:450:36:47

Now they're all in the ground, they're looking stunning.

0:36:470:36:50

To make the patio area more intimate,

0:36:530:36:55

Charlie has added an off-the-shelf flat pack pergola,

0:36:550:36:58

available at most garden centres,

0:36:580:37:00

but she's turning it into something special

0:37:000:37:03

by adding a beautiful climber.

0:37:030:37:05

So I'm just trailing this Clematis armandii up over the pergola.

0:37:050:37:11

It's evergreen, got lovely white scented flowers

0:37:110:37:15

and being evergreen,

0:37:150:37:17

this will always look as a nice archway into the garden.

0:37:170:37:20

As the last plants go in

0:37:240:37:25

and the final titivations are completed, this garden is finished.

0:37:250:37:31

Before they called the Garden Rescue team, Shona and Patricia's garden

0:37:370:37:40

was an unloved, neglected, featureless plot

0:37:400:37:43

on an unforgiving slope, not inviting

0:37:430:37:46

to any of the four generations that desperately wanted to use it.

0:37:460:37:50

Now it's had a £5,000 makeover and Charlie has spent every penny

0:37:540:37:58

creating inviting areas of the garden for each of them to enjoy.

0:37:580:38:02

She's spent £450 on a sinuous, bound-gravel path with

0:38:020:38:07

a gentle gradient to make getting to the top of the garden easier.

0:38:070:38:10

The decking area at the top of the garden was a big outlay

0:38:120:38:14

at £850, but it catches the late afternoon sun

0:38:140:38:19

and is the perfect place for a sundowner.

0:38:190:38:21

The play area, with its bespoke Hansel and Gretel entrance,

0:38:240:38:27

climbing frame and hopscotch will delight Amelia for hours.

0:38:270:38:31

So it was well worth the £500 price tag.

0:38:310:38:33

The patio has been relayed with Indian sandstone and extended

0:38:360:38:39

to be both usable and safe.

0:38:390:38:42

It's a sociable space now for all the family to use

0:38:420:38:45

and came in at a substantial £900.

0:38:450:38:48

The 143 plants and the child-safe water feature

0:38:500:38:53

totalled £1,100

0:38:530:38:55

and add life, texture and year-round interest to this garden.

0:38:550:38:59

Time to find out if Charlie has delivered.

0:39:010:39:03

-Come round here.

-Can't wait.

0:39:030:39:05

So you can open your eyes now.

0:39:070:39:09

-Oh, my goodness.

-Oh...

0:39:110:39:13

-Is that good?

-I love it.

0:39:150:39:16

Pat, you're quiet.

0:39:160:39:19

It's been a hard slog, but, by that reaction,

0:39:190:39:21

I think they absolutely love it.

0:39:210:39:22

-Makes it all worth it, doesn't it?

-It does, yeah.

0:39:220:39:25

No, I'm saying I love it.

0:39:250:39:26

-So you wanted a bigger entertainment space.

-We have, yes.

0:39:280:39:32

-You've got this big area here.

-This is the bit I really like along here.

0:39:320:39:37

Shall we wander up your...

0:39:370:39:39

You lead the way up your lavender walkway up to your hot seating area.

0:39:390:39:45

-Really nice.

-Pots out as well.

-So much to see.

0:39:450:39:50

-So all these lavenders will spill over.

-All my favourites.

-Yes.

0:39:500:39:55

-All my favourites.

-Oh, my goodness.

0:39:550:39:58

So it's a nice easy path to walk up. You've got two ways of getting up.

0:39:580:40:01

-You can either step up...

-I want to see everything.

0:40:010:40:06

Another raised bed for you, Mum.

0:40:060:40:09

That's perfect, just perfect.

0:40:090:40:12

Is that the bay we can put in the food?

0:40:120:40:15

Yes, but there's lots of herbs in this garden.

0:40:150:40:17

You've got bay, you've got sage, thyme, rosemary.

0:40:170:40:21

You've got the whole lot. It's overloaded with aromatic foliage.

0:40:210:40:26

Brilliant, brilliant.

0:40:260:40:28

Then, so that access is really easy, we've got a ramp.

0:40:280:40:32

-A ramp down there as well, Mum.

-All ready for my...

-Wheelchair.

0:40:320:40:36

I don't think you'll ever be in a wheelchair.

0:40:360:40:38

You've got too much get up and go, Pat.

0:40:380:40:40

-That's lovely. I love that path.

-It's a lovely colour, isn't it?

0:40:400:40:46

Sort of Mediterranean.

0:40:460:40:47

-Beautiful. I really like that.

-Absolutely gorgeous.

0:40:470:40:50

I'm thrilled to bits with this. Thrilled to bits, I am.

0:40:500:40:54

You can do all your gardening now, look at it.

0:40:540:40:56

I will have such a lovely summer this summer.

0:40:560:40:59

And then you've got the view of Amelia's area there.

0:40:590:41:03

That is fantastic. I'm glad you changed that.

0:41:030:41:07

-I'm really glad you've changed that.

-She's got a hopscotch as well.

0:41:070:41:11

Yeah, we got the hopscotch. We haven't tested it yet. Maybe later.

0:41:110:41:15

-So that's her little screened-off area.

-She will love that.

0:41:170:41:21

I love the bamboo.

0:41:210:41:23

And with the bamboo, I mean, it's clump forming, very slow growing.

0:41:230:41:27

If you don't want it to get really tall, you can cut it as a hedge.

0:41:270:41:31

I like it. I love that, yes.

0:41:310:41:33

But it sort of screens and it's not so obvious where the play area is.

0:41:330:41:38

And then we wander on down to your... Your shady patio area.

0:41:380:41:44

-These are my nice raised beds.

-Yes.

-Perfect, no bending now.

0:41:440:41:49

No, and I have to say, they are really nice just to sit on.

0:41:490:41:54

-They are just at that right height.

-They are, yes.

0:41:560:41:59

So even if you've not got the furniture out, you can just perch.

0:41:590:42:03

Sit on there, yes.

0:42:030:42:04

-Oh, that's wonderful. I love that.

-Nice sound, isn't it?

0:42:040:42:08

It is nice, really nice.

0:42:080:42:10

And the great thing about moving water, with these scented plants,

0:42:100:42:14

you know, your rosemary, this is Christmas box, the water will

0:42:140:42:17

pick that scent up so it will make this area even more scented.

0:42:170:42:21

-Of course, yes, that's beautiful.

-What colour is the clematis?

0:42:210:42:24

-It is a white one.

-That will be lovely up there.

0:42:240:42:27

-It is scented as well, evergreen.

-Yes, smells lovely.

-So pleased.

0:42:270:42:31

You can send your daughters up there with the barbecue and all her

0:42:310:42:34

mates and you're sat down here, nice and quiet.

0:42:340:42:38

Really thrilled with it, I am. I'm really thrilled. Excellent.

0:42:380:42:43

Shona and Patricia desperately wanted a garden they could relax and

0:42:440:42:47

potter about in and that all four generations of family would enjoy.

0:42:470:42:51

What's up here? Look.

0:42:510:42:53

£5,000 was a serious investment to get the garden of their dreams.

0:42:560:42:59

Do Shona and Patricia think their money was well spent?

0:42:590:43:02

Definitely good value for money. Definitely.

0:43:040:43:07

CHEERING

0:43:080:43:10

Well done, Amelia.

0:43:100:43:11

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers tackle a bland garden in Northamptonshire. With four generations sharing the space, the designers have their work cut out to create a design that will suit everyone.


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