Watford Garden Rescue


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With her can-do attitude,

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love of simple gardens and decades of experience,

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

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Looking good, boys.

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

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We want to be the brothers that change people's perceptions of gardens.

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

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That's amazing, isn't it?

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

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

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

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

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Not a lot going on, is there?

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-Not a lot!

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

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

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Wow!

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-..and budget.

-That sounds amazing.

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Doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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The winner...

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..brings their design to life.

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Hold on, hold on.

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Sweet as a nut.

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And the loser has to help them build it.

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Keep working, keep working, boys.

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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 his toys out of the pram.

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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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Oh, it's lovely.

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Wow.

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-Look at that.

-Wow.

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It's not our garden!

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

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today's garden challenge.

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We've just heard from Archie, from Hertfordshire.

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He really loves his garden but his wife Manjula dreams

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of this designer space.

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Archie and Manjula have lived at their Watford home

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with its modest plot for 15 years.

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It's a very different life to the one they used to have in their old home in Zambia.

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I grew up in Africa, and I met Manjula

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on one of my trips to the UK.

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Once we got married I moved there with him.

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And we lived there for about eight years.

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But the lifestyle there in Africa was really good.

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During the morning you'd wake up and you'd see the wild peacocks,

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you can hear them, the sun's coming over the trees

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and it's really lovely.

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And their garden in Africa was rather different, too.

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We had an enormous garden with a swimming pool and a very large veranda where we could entertain.

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We had a lot of fruit trees and avocado pears and mango trees

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-and...

-I think we spent more time in the garden than we did in the house.

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Archie worked for a company that sold mining equipment and the garden

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was so large they had to have a full-time gardener.

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Their 12 metre by 15 metre garden in Watford isn't quite the same.

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I don't spend that much time in the garden.

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It's not that I don't have the time,

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it's just that it doesn't inspire me.

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So now, 30 years after they lived there,

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they think it's time for a garden that takes them back to those halcyon days.

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They want to have a garden that reminds them of Africa.

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It definitely doesn't look African at the moment, does it?

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No! It looks a bit mixed up, though.

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You've got fuchsia, you've got magnolias,

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gladiolis, mixed in with your strawberries.

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But there's another reason why a new garden is

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so important to the couple.

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There's a special birthday on the way.

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I'm approaching my big birthday next year.

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She doesn't want to say what it is.

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Shall we make it the big 30?!

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I wanted to spend money on her and I think it's a present that she'll

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-sort of see and enjoy for years to come.

-Yeah.

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And Manjula has already started her birthday wish list.

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What I'd really like to see in my garden is an area for entertaining,

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and secondly, a really amazing water feature that makes a statement

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which I can sit and admire.

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Like, I want to sit and admire it for hours on end.

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So, budget wise?

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We're looking at £6,000.

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-That's not bad.

-That's good, yes.

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We should be able to get some of the things that she wants for that,

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-shouldn't we?

-I think so, definitely.

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-We can provide her that wow factor for her birthday.

-Yeah.

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£6,000 is a serious amount of cash.

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But this garden not only needs to be on par with their old garden in

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Africa, it's also going to be a present for Manjula.

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The pressure is on and our designers are going to need to find out more.

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So, Charlie and the Rich brothers waste no time in heading to the

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couple's home in Watford to take a closer look.

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They both want to get their hands on that six grand,

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so are looking for clues that might give them an advantage.

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It's quite a big space, isn't it?

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The patio looks very 1970s, doesn't it?

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I suppose you're too young to know.

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No, I can definitely see that wall as well.

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It's quite prominent, isn't it?

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It's quite a sun trap down there in the evening so maybe another little

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-seating area.

-Yeah, that'd be nice.

-Some nice plants against the wall, maybe.

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Yeah, I think so. A few overlooking houses, mainly over there.

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But there is a tree also that can screen that.

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But maybe that's something to think about. A bit of privacy.

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For £6,000,

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the Patels are going to expect more than just a few plants and trees

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so the boys head inside to look for inspiration.

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So this is Manjula and Archie's prayer room.

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Nice space, isn't it?

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Quite intimate. I think when we're looking at the garden,

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having a space as relaxing as this,

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somewhere where they feel quite private is going to be very important.

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Maybe nicely surrounded by some trees, quite immersed in the garden.

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Meanwhile, Charlie wants to know why the current garden doesn't work for Manjula.

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There's lots of lovely plants in here.

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That is what I keep on saying to Manjula.

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Way too many, I think.

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Way too many? Oh, I think more.

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But there are some really unusual ones.

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-Are you the gardener?

-Oh, no.

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-No, no, no.

-This is all my hard work.

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So do you tell him off at all about all the plants?

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Because I have to say they're quite eclectically mixed up, aren't they?

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-I'm trying to be nice.

-Being nice is the right word.

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Yes, definitely.

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They're a little bit too mixed up.

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I'm a minimalist. Less is more, is my opinion.

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-Inside, the boys have spotted some clues relating to the couple's former life.

-Wow.

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I don't know about you, but definitely the colours hit me first in this room.

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You've got the sofas, that kind of earthy brown.

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You've got the vase, then this painting, beautiful.

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It really does evoke this African feel, doesn't it?

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It would be nice for the hard landscaping out there maybe trying to pick some of those colours.

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So, what sort of plants would you like?

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I know you don't want many.

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Actually, one or two in the garden which I really like.

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I like roses. I like lilies.

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-The one over there.

-The camellia?

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So, is it a nice bright colour, is it?

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Yes, we've yellow, we've got pink, red.

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Sounds like they're more sort of going towards the hot colours.

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Yes. They are, really hot, yeah.

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Wow. There's an awful lot of elements to consider here.

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Hot colours, earthy tones, water features, contemplative spaces,

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patios and the added pressure of a birthday present thrown in

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to really up the stakes.

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Even with a £6,000 budget, this is a formidable challenge.

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Our rival designers are going to have to get creative.

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Each of them will have to come up with a design that matches Archie

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and Manjula's style and their budget.

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Their £6,000 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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The couple will then have to choose a winner and whoever loses will have

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to help the winner build the garden.

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

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The boys have seen how the couple's house contains hints of their past

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life in Africa. So, will their new design reflect this?

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All right, so, this is our design.

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-OK.

-Wow.

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Whilst Charlie has learned that Manjula likes hot,

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vibrant colours but also likes minimalism in her garden.

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Can she weave both these ideas into her new design?

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Oh, wow.

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What I've done is to keep it very simple but elegant.

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I've gone with circles.

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-Right.

-So this is a natural stone patio

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and then we've got a pergola over the top

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of the seating area, just very simple,

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with climbing plants going up it.

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OK.

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Charlie's design is simple and unfussy, just how Manjula likes it.

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But the boys are trying something very different.

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We really wanted to reflect a natural Zambian landscape.

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OK.

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But do it in a more of a modern, quite functional way.

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The main features are these slabbed areas and these replicate that kind

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of cracked earth, so it's quite fragmented,

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quite architectural and quite modern.

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So these lead you through the garden and then this is where you cross,

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this deck bridge over a natural water feature.

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-All right. OK.

-So something that is quite calming, quite soft,

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something that you maybe find in a natural landscape.

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So a few rocks around it.

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Harry and David have gone for it,

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evoking the African landscape and adding the water feature

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Manjula was looking for.

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How will Charlie respond?

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I have got a water feature.

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It is, again, very simple.

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So the water drops from one level to the next to the next,

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and into a bowl.

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So you'll be able to pop your hand under the water

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-and feel it run through your fingers.

-All right, OK.

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So Charlie's given Manjula a water feature she can play with

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as well as stare at.

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Meanwhile, the boys have remembered another feature from the house.

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We want to split the garden into these two areas and split up by this

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wall. This area here is very calming, very private,

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surrounded by shrubs and right next to the water feature.

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So you're kind of immersed in this little space.

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-OK.

-This back area is a lot more open.

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A family space where you can sit and eat outside.

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The boys haven't forgotten that the old garden in Africa was a place to

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entertain, but Charlie is not going to be outdone.

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The patio is your big entertainment area.

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And then this is a deck area,

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so you can sit enjoying the evening sun out there.

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And then through the deck area I have put a tree to give you a bit of

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screening so you don't see the houses over there.

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Then I've got circles of organ pipe poles around the garden which will

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draw the theme all together of using arcs and circles,

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while still keeping it very simple.

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These are two completely different designs and the couple are giving

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nothing away, so it might just be the planting that decides it.

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We really wanted to have this vibrant warmth, reds, oranges,

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somewhere that's really going to uplift this garden.

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So you've got crocosmia, you've got persicaria.

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-Red-hot pokers, we thought would be nice.

-Yeah, red-hot pokers.

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And then, amongst this,

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we've got trees and shrubs so maybe a fruit tree so you can go out and

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-pick your fruit.

-Right.

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When it comes to the planting, I've gone for really hot colours.

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Things like imperial fritillarias,

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abutilon, which has these lovely red lanterns

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that hang down and then yellow petals that come out.

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And because this wall at the back here is so warm,

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I thought it be great to grow a feijoa on it.

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Hot colours, vibrant plants and fruit trees.

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Both these designs deliver the planting Manjula loves.

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Thank you very much, guys.

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-Cheers.

-Thank you.

-Thank you.

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So now, it's up to the couple to decide.

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Archie wants to give Manjula the birthday present she has been

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longing for since they left Africa 30 years ago.

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So it's vital that they make the right choice.

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I love this pergola.

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It sort of gives that African feel.

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And then she's got these really nice colours which I like.

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I have to say I think I won them over with the plant selection.

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I've got feijoa, I've got really nice, hot colours.

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That's good fighting talk there but we've also got some fiery hot planting, haven't we?

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This is really nice, isn't it, this water feature?

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I like the little bridge going across.

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We've also got a bridge so they get to walk over their water feature.

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So is it just still water, then?

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It's a natural pool.

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OK, mine is much more sensory than that, much more interactive.

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-You can touch it?

-Yes, yes.

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You can't touch our water.

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Summer in Africa.

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Are you going to make this decision, or am I?

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Because I don't want to.

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Archie and Manjula can only pick one,

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so which one delivers the most for their £6,000?

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Will they be won over by the Rich brothers earthy African tones and

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bridge over a large water feature?

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Or will they be tempted by Charlie's simple, elegant circles,

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interactive water feature, and her hot, fiery plant selection?

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It's decision time.

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Hello, hello.

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-OK.

-This has been really, really tough.

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I wish I could have both gardens.

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But finally we've come to a decision and this is it.

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Oh!

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And boys, it was the water feature that clinched it because I think

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it's really statement making.

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Water feature, fantastic!

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Well, OK.

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So the Rich brothers' design has come up trumps.

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And not only that,

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they beat the queen of the water features at her own game.

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But this is a really complex design, with two different seating areas,

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and a multitude of textures and surfaces

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plus that huge statement water feature.

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They'll definitely be needing Charlie's help to pull this off.

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It is day one of the build in Watford,

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and while the boys are off sourcing some vibrant African-inspired plants,

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Paul and his trusty team of landscapers

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make a start on the garden.

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Snip that away.

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And that.

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The Rich brothers are planning a massive transformation for this garden,

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which means nearly everything must go.

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And with a job this size, they won't be doing it all by hand.

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But with the space cleared,

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Scott and project manager Paul have found a manhole cover

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that looks problematic.

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The manhole cover's quite high, isn't it?

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And I think that falls in the patio area.

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Seeing that they have a problem,

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Paul decides he'd better call the boys.

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-'Hello.'

-Hi, Harry, it's Paul here.

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'Hey, Paul.'

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Hi, we've got a large manhole which is going to be sticking out

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of your paving, so have you any ideas?

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'Can we do a recessed cover over that?'

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Off memory,

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there's not going to be enough money in the budget for a recess manhole,

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guys, because unfortunately,

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we're kind of like knocking on the door of 6K.

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'All right, well, we're both on the way over now

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'so we'll see you shortly and then we can have an idea.

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OK, guys. See you in a bit.

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-'Perfect, cheers.'

-Cheers, bye-bye.

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While they wait for the governors to arrive,

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the team crack on with prep work and Mark makes a start on the wall.

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In the boys' design,

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it would divide the al fresco dining area from the rest of the garden.

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With the landscapers powering on,

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it's not long before the A team arrives.

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And it looks like the boys have been busy.

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As you can see, we're definitely not short of materials, are we?

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It's a builders' yard, builders' yard.

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-My goodness.

-This is a massive project, really.

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I mean, we've got a water feature, we've got slabbing,

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we've got a bridge, we've got a sitting area, big trees.

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-What haven't we got?

-A cup of tea.

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I could do that. I'm good at making tea.

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-Definitely start with that.

-Start with that, yeah.

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Then it's just down to hard landscaping and planting, really.

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Just? I love the "just".

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-Optimistic.

-I'll just go and put the kettle on.

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First things first, though.

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David needs to deal with the annoying manhole cover

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that reared its head earlier.

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The main issue with this is that it's actually situated where we

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wanted one of our slab patios.

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What we would love to have done

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would be to have a recessed manhole and that would be a little gap,

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and then we put a slab inside it and so it becomes seamless

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with the patio, but we haven't got the budget for that, unfortunately.

0:17:420:17:45

So what we're doing is we're just adjusting the patio line

0:17:450:17:48

around it. That means the planting bed can come in and we'll put a few

0:17:480:17:51

plants around it that'll grow over and disguise it completely.

0:17:510:17:54

Not only was the boys' water feature preferred over Charlie's,

0:17:570:18:01

but just to rub her nose in it,

0:18:010:18:02

they've asked her to build it, as well.

0:18:020:18:04

So, the boys are using a butyl liner.

0:18:060:18:09

As you can see, the ground is very stony.

0:18:090:18:13

So we're putting a good layer of soft sand in first,

0:18:130:18:17

then we're going to put some underfelt down to protect the liner

0:18:170:18:21

and then the liner on top of that.

0:18:210:18:24

Quality pond liners are expensive, and by first lining the pond

0:18:240:18:27

with sand it will protect it against punctures.

0:18:270:18:30

The Rich brothers wanted to give Archie and Manjula a garden with

0:18:320:18:36

a difference and one that would evoke the happy memories

0:18:360:18:38

of their time in Zambia.

0:18:380:18:40

So, they've designed a distinctive angular patio

0:18:400:18:43

intersected with irregular deep cuts.

0:18:430:18:46

But to achieve this unique effect,

0:18:480:18:50

they first need to lay the slabs,

0:18:500:18:52

then cut out the shape.

0:18:520:18:54

We've gone for the idea of having this dried soil,

0:18:590:19:02

this cracked earth look.

0:19:020:19:03

So it's quite fragmented, quite architectural,

0:19:030:19:06

and all the patio slabs lead off each other.

0:19:060:19:08

What we're going to do is bring it back,

0:19:080:19:10

maybe about 200ml from here and create a parallel line.

0:19:100:19:13

That's for the next area of slabbing.

0:19:130:19:15

And then this is going to be a lovely little run of gravel and maybe a bit of interplanting.

0:19:150:19:19

Just to break it up, create that step over.

0:19:190:19:21

It just should make the space a little bit more interesting.

0:19:210:19:24

Using your garden to evoke special memories is a great idea.

0:19:240:19:28

And one person that has taken it to the extreme

0:19:320:19:35

is 58-year-old software developer Tim Wilmot.

0:19:350:19:38

25 years ago,

0:19:390:19:40

Tim decided to create a tropical jungle at his home in Bristol,

0:19:400:19:44

reminiscent of gardens he had visited as a boy

0:19:440:19:47

more than 20 years earlier.

0:19:470:19:49

As a kid I had a holiday on the Isles of Scilly,

0:19:510:19:55

the island of Tresco.

0:19:550:19:57

And there's some wonderful exotic gardens down there.

0:19:570:20:00

That must have stuck in my memory.

0:20:000:20:02

And then as an adult now,

0:20:020:20:03

I'm able to grow this wonderful exotic paradise

0:20:030:20:06

maybe reminiscing back to my childhood.

0:20:060:20:08

I've always been interested in these sorts of plants, palm trees,

0:20:160:20:20

unusual plants. And we had them in pots in our previous garden

0:20:200:20:24

but coming here and having a slightly larger garden,

0:20:240:20:27

it gave me the opportunity to let them escape and roam wild,

0:20:270:20:31

and really grow to their proper size.

0:20:310:20:34

While Tim may have invested a lot of time in the garden,

0:20:400:20:42

he doesn't think you need to pour all your money into it as well.

0:20:420:20:45

Don't be put off by thinking that

0:20:470:20:49

these sorts of plants can be expensive.

0:20:490:20:52

A lot of them can be bought quite small,

0:20:520:20:54

particularly things like grasses, bananas, ferns, fatsias.

0:20:540:20:59

They can be relatively inexpensive.

0:21:010:21:02

Buy them young and they can have a better chance of surviving as well,

0:21:020:21:05

if you buy them young. Often if you do buy them too large,

0:21:050:21:09

then it would be more difficult for them

0:21:090:21:11

to establish themselves in our season.

0:21:110:21:13

And the end result is a feeling of transportation which makes Tim feel

0:21:160:21:20

like he's stepped out of his door into tropical paradise.

0:21:200:21:24

It does make me feel as if I'm somewhere different.

0:21:260:21:28

You feel like it's raising the temperature by a few degrees.

0:21:280:21:32

But we're still in the UK.

0:21:320:21:33

The effect is lovely.

0:21:330:21:35

Back in Watford, the boys are hoping that their exotic garden

0:21:400:21:43

will transport Archie and Manjula back to their time in Zambia.

0:21:430:21:47

But first, they have to build it.

0:21:480:21:50

Laying paving stones is thirsty work,

0:21:500:21:53

so the boys are relieved that the tea lady has finally arrived.

0:21:530:21:56

Kettle's boiled. There's sugar in there to keep you sweet, sir.

0:21:580:22:02

-Cheers.

-Not for you.

-Bit of salt in mine, is there?

0:22:020:22:04

Well, something, something.

0:22:040:22:06

Looks like you've got a bit of dye from your hair come off, Charlie.

0:22:060:22:10

Do you use colour on yours?

0:22:100:22:12

Yeah.

0:22:120:22:14

That's why it's going grey. Going grey, I am.

0:22:140:22:16

It's only since working with you boys.

0:22:160:22:19

So, the pond is almost ready for a liner.

0:22:190:22:21

I'm waiting on you, Guvnor.

0:22:210:22:23

-I'll be over now. After my coffee.

-Cool.

0:22:230:22:25

Angles are everything in the brothers' design,

0:22:310:22:34

and so with paving progressing nicely,

0:22:340:22:36

David decides it's time for the blocked wall

0:22:360:22:38

to get the same treatment.

0:22:380:22:40

Within the design, this all helps to divide the garden.

0:22:410:22:43

It creates a really lovely space, where the sun is.

0:22:430:22:46

They can have that al fresco dining.

0:22:460:22:48

It's where most of the activity will be.

0:22:480:22:50

So it's lovely separating that from the rest of the garden.

0:22:500:22:52

Now, what we're doing with this wall, it's not going to be the same

0:22:520:22:55

as regular walls. It's going to have a peak and that angular shape

0:22:550:22:58

will link in really nicely with the patios in the garden.

0:22:580:23:01

We've built this using lightweight blocks which makes it really easy

0:23:010:23:04

to cut, which is the next thing I've got to do.

0:23:040:23:06

Better than on your face.

0:23:060:23:08

The grinder makes short work of the blocked wall but with lightweight

0:23:150:23:18

breeze blocks like these,

0:23:180:23:20

you don't actually need power tools to cut them down to size.

0:23:200:23:23

If you don't have access to an angle grinder then a hand saw

0:23:250:23:28

is perfect for this job.

0:23:280:23:29

Because we're using the lightweight blocks it means the wood saw goes

0:23:290:23:32

straight through them, and it's actually going to give you

0:23:320:23:35

a finer finish.

0:23:350:23:37

Beautiful.

0:23:450:23:46

Really nice. Now all it needs is a bit of render.

0:23:470:23:50

With the sand in, Harry and Charlie can start lining the pond.

0:24:000:24:05

Good work, Charlie.

0:24:050:24:07

-The digger made light work of this, didn't it?

-It did.

0:24:070:24:09

Got the liner here so that's going to stop the roots from coming

0:24:090:24:12

through. So, shall we get it...

0:24:120:24:14

Find an end, any end will do.

0:24:140:24:16

When building a pond,

0:24:170:24:19

it's important to get it right from the beginning

0:24:190:24:21

as leaks and holes can be expensive to fix down the line.

0:24:210:24:25

And so a good-quality underlay is key.

0:24:250:24:27

Cheaper options such as old carpets,

0:24:280:24:30

blankets and newspapers will rot over time.

0:24:300:24:33

Not only smelling bad but also they leave the liner vulnerable

0:24:330:24:36

to piercing.

0:24:360:24:38

And with a pond liner in, the water can begin to flow.

0:24:400:24:42

The team are flying and Archie and Manjula want to keep everyone's

0:24:470:24:51

strength up so that they reach the finish line.

0:24:510:24:53

Look at these. Lovely.

0:24:550:24:56

A similar shape to the wall, aren't they?

0:24:560:24:58

-Yeah.

-That's exactly why I made them.

0:24:580:25:01

It's actually lucky you came because I've got to run

0:25:010:25:03

-a few things by you.

-OK.

0:25:030:25:05

And one of them is for this main dining area here.

0:25:050:25:07

Obviously, the key thing in here is that you have that outdoor lifestyle,

0:25:070:25:10

that's your dining area. So you need somewhere to eat off, like a table.

0:25:100:25:14

So we thought a bit of furniture would be great.

0:25:140:25:16

So what we've done is we've given you this lovely chunk

0:25:160:25:19

of cedar here as the table top.

0:25:190:25:21

And then we've got a couple of chunks of oak to sit that on.

0:25:210:25:24

I think that's a great idea. It goes with the theme as well, you know,

0:25:240:25:26

-the African theme.

-And Archie,

0:25:260:25:28

I know you love growing your own fruit and veg as well.

0:25:280:25:30

We're going to bring in some raised planters for you.

0:25:300:25:33

-Great.

-So it's going to make it really easy to dig up the soil,

0:25:330:25:35

really easy to maintain and also we'll fit them in with the design,

0:25:350:25:38

so quite angular, slightly modern looking.

0:25:380:25:41

That would please Manjula as otherwise they'll go all over the place.

0:25:410:25:44

-Give you some boundaries.

-Yeah, yeah, yeah.

0:25:440:25:46

Right, I'm going to ask you guys to leave.

0:25:460:25:48

-OK.

-But the plate can definitely stay.

0:25:480:25:50

-And then you can come back for a big surprise.

-All right, thank you.

0:25:500:25:53

-All right, enjoy.

-Will do.

0:25:530:25:54

See you guys. Bye.

0:25:540:25:55

With the weight of the water now holding down the pond liner,

0:26:060:26:10

Harry can smooth out a few of the old creases.

0:26:100:26:13

So the ponds fling up nicely, and what I'm doing at the moment,

0:26:130:26:15

because there's a nice body of water in there, is pulling the liner,

0:26:150:26:18

getting rid of as many folds as possible.

0:26:180:26:20

We're using a butyl rubber and this is great quality pond liner.

0:26:200:26:25

It gets up to about 15 years guarantee.

0:26:250:26:27

With a small garden like this,

0:26:310:26:33

making the most of the available resources is key.

0:26:330:26:35

And the warm, sunny wall at the end of the garden is the ideal spot for

0:26:370:26:40

growing a fig tree.

0:26:400:26:41

However, to stop the fig from

0:26:430:26:45

encroaching on the al fresco dining area,

0:26:450:26:47

the boys are going to train it against the wall,

0:26:470:26:50

and they have given Charlie the job of attaching the wires.

0:26:500:26:53

The boys have let me loose with a drill.

0:26:550:26:58

And their knitting.

0:26:580:27:01

When you're using wire,

0:27:030:27:05

don't just pull one bit because you end up with a mess like this.

0:27:050:27:08

Driving me bonkers, it is.

0:27:080:27:10

Driving me bonkers.

0:27:100:27:11

I'll be some time doing this.

0:27:120:27:14

It's ever so exciting.

0:27:140:27:15

The centrepiece of the brothers' design is the tranquil pond

0:27:190:27:21

with a picturesque bridge that links the two sides of the garden.

0:27:210:27:25

When it came to choosing the garden they wanted,

0:27:280:27:30

this was the feature that really swayed Archie and Manjula's final

0:27:300:27:33

decision, so the boys need to make sure it meets their expectations.

0:27:330:27:37

So we're just screwing the decking boards onto the frame now

0:27:430:27:46

and what we're going to do, just to get that bespoke feeling,

0:27:460:27:48

like the rest of the garden, we're going to pull a line and we're going

0:27:480:27:51

to cut a taper into the deck boards so that it's thinner at one end

0:27:510:27:54

and thicker at the other.

0:27:540:27:55

And that should just fit in with the whole shape of the garden.

0:27:550:27:58

We're using Balau wood to create the bridge.

0:28:050:28:07

That's a sustainable hardwood,

0:28:070:28:08

which means it's going to have really good longevity, looks great,

0:28:080:28:12

nice and sturdy, and the colour matches the slabs really nicely.

0:28:120:28:14

I think it's nice, if you're designing a feature

0:28:140:28:17

within the garden,

0:28:170:28:18

then using a quality material like this really makes it stand out.

0:28:180:28:21

With Archie and Manjula giving them the green light

0:28:300:28:33

for the additional planter, it's all go for the boys.

0:28:330:28:36

We're using marine ply for the raised planters,

0:28:380:28:41

and like the cedar table top,

0:28:410:28:42

this has natural oils and tannins in it that will make it last a lot

0:28:420:28:46

longer outside and also makes it quite waterproof.

0:28:460:28:48

This is definitely more expensive than normal ply,

0:28:480:28:51

so you're looking about £60-£70 per sheet.

0:28:510:28:53

So drawing the lines out, that utilises most of the board,

0:28:530:28:56

so we only have a tiny bit of wastage.

0:28:560:28:58

Raised planters can be made from a wide range of materials including

0:29:000:29:04

brick, stone and timber, even old barrels and bathtubs can be used.

0:29:040:29:09

But building this one from scratch out of durable plywood

0:29:090:29:12

means that the boys can give the planter a unique angular shape

0:29:120:29:15

that will tie in with the rest of their design.

0:29:150:29:18

Charlie? Going to have to have another hand, I think.

0:29:200:29:23

Oh. Give us your strong arm.

0:29:240:29:26

I haven't got any strong arms.

0:29:260:29:28

I'm going to cut through and then you just hold that up.

0:29:280:29:31

So I'm going to be going left round here so you have to hold here.

0:29:310:29:34

-Just put your hands...

-Nice.

0:29:340:29:35

Right, ready.

0:29:350:29:37

Nice. Look at that!

0:29:450:29:47

So, what's this for, then? Tell me, tell me.

0:29:470:29:49

-Raised planter.

-Oh, OK.

0:29:490:29:51

Angular raised planter to match in with the patio.

0:29:510:29:53

-On a wobble?

-Got a little bit of a high bit, a low bit.

0:29:530:29:56

A bit of high, a bit of low.

0:29:560:29:58

I think it's quite nice making your own planter, isn't it?

0:29:580:30:01

-Very satisfying.

-Personal touch for someone if they do it themselves.

0:30:010:30:04

And you can use any odd bits of wood you've got.

0:30:040:30:06

-Yeah.

-If it's an odd shape, you can use odd bits of wood.

0:30:060:30:11

One of Archie and Manjula's fondest memories of their garden in Africa

0:30:160:30:20

was the wonderful fruit trees it had.

0:30:200:30:22

And although Watford isn't quite warm enough for growing mangoes,

0:30:220:30:26

a luscious fig tree isn't a bad compromise.

0:30:260:30:29

And with the wires finally attached,

0:30:290:30:31

the fig is ready to begin its training.

0:30:310:30:33

So I haven't got it right against the wall,

0:30:340:30:37

and I've also put some wires in.

0:30:370:30:39

With figs, if you fan them out, you get a lot more fruit on them.

0:30:390:30:45

So we're going to sort of train this down and tie it onto that wire.

0:30:450:30:50

This one is going to go up and then we'll train it onto the next wire.

0:30:500:30:53

Fastening the plants tight without damaging the stem is a real issue

0:30:540:30:58

when training plants.

0:30:580:31:00

But Charlie knows a little trick that can overcome this conundrum.

0:31:000:31:05

So try and get the wires as tight as you possibly can.

0:31:050:31:07

I mean, that's about as tight as I can get it.

0:31:070:31:10

And talking of tights, just here, a pair of old tights.

0:31:100:31:15

And you think, what am I doing with those?

0:31:150:31:17

They make absolutely great ties for plants.

0:31:170:31:22

So you just want to cut that about a centimetre thick.

0:31:220:31:26

And then the great thing about them is they're very, very strong

0:31:270:31:32

but they are also very soft.

0:31:320:31:34

So you can use them to tie

0:31:340:31:37

round a stem of a plant, so there's a bit of give,

0:31:370:31:41

but likewise it holds it in position.

0:31:410:31:43

With the hard landscaping nearly complete,

0:31:480:31:50

it's time to start getting the feature trees into position.

0:31:500:31:53

-Which way are you going first?

-To you first.

0:31:570:32:00

Waddle, waddle.

0:32:000:32:02

-One big one now.

-Waddle.

0:32:020:32:03

And I'd get out the hole, if I were you.

0:32:030:32:06

Ready?

0:32:060:32:07

The boys have chosen a sumac tree, the staghorn.

0:32:080:32:12

It's actually native to North America,

0:32:120:32:14

but will add plenty of colour to the garden across the seasons.

0:32:140:32:18

So, why the sumacs?

0:32:180:32:20

Do you know, not only for its amazing autumn colour

0:32:200:32:23

and the kind of way that the red links in with the whole garden,

0:32:230:32:25

but, you know, it's got lovely details like the kind of furriness

0:32:250:32:29

of the stem. The staghorn.

0:32:290:32:30

Like the antlers, isn't it?

0:32:300:32:32

Fluffy. Really tactile.

0:32:320:32:33

-I think it's beautiful.

-And it kind of evokes the African feel as well,

0:32:330:32:37

this kind of large canopy.

0:32:370:32:38

For that savanna look.

0:32:380:32:39

-Savanna, exactly.

-Here in Watford.

0:32:390:32:42

Another key plant that the boys have chosen is this cercis, Forest Pansy.

0:32:570:33:02

Beautiful, heart-shaped, purple leaves during the summer,

0:33:020:33:05

come the autumn they go golden and red and then in the spring you get

0:33:050:33:11

these clusters of magenta,

0:33:110:33:13

pink flowers that literally just come out of the wood.

0:33:130:33:17

Fabulous. One of my favourite plants.

0:33:170:33:19

The colour palette of a garden can set the tone.

0:33:210:33:23

Blues, purples and greens are very calming

0:33:250:33:28

and are typically referred to as cool colours.

0:33:280:33:31

While reds, pinks, yellows and oranges are hot colours

0:33:330:33:37

that add vibrancy and can make a garden feel warmer and more exotic.

0:33:370:33:41

And this is a tactic that has been employed with fabulous effect at the

0:33:440:33:48

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens in Oxfordshire,

0:33:480:33:52

well-known for their hot borders filled with vibrant planting.

0:33:520:33:55

Hot red, yellow and orange flowers like daisies,

0:33:590:34:03

salvias and dahlias are interplanted with the bright,

0:34:030:34:07

variegated leaves of coleus and polka dot plants,

0:34:070:34:11

providing a riot of colour.

0:34:110:34:13

Combined with lush foliage and dramatic-shaped plants like bananas,

0:34:160:34:21

phormiums and castor bean, to create a hot, fiery, exotic look.

0:34:210:34:26

And it is this idea of hot borders and warm colours

0:34:300:34:33

that the Rich brothers are bringing

0:34:330:34:35

to Manjula and Archie's garden in Watford,

0:34:350:34:37

adding warmth and vibrancy to the planting with flowers

0:34:370:34:40

such as crocosmia and persicaria.

0:34:400:34:42

Then, by painting the wall and raised planter with a warm red,

0:34:440:34:47

they are able to continue this theme through the landscaping.

0:34:470:34:50

And tying it all together is the rusty red earth gravel

0:34:560:34:59

which runs throughout this exotic garden.

0:34:590:35:01

The transformation is nearly complete

0:35:040:35:06

and the boys can't wait to get the bridge in

0:35:060:35:08

and see what it looks like.

0:35:080:35:10

Who put that wall there, then?

0:35:120:35:13

I know.

0:35:130:35:15

Let's pass this over to...

0:35:150:35:17

Ready?

0:35:170:35:19

-Back that way, mate.

-Don't rest it on the wall, there, boss.

0:35:190:35:23

-Ready?

-Bring her in.

0:35:230:35:25

-All right.

-Yes, got it.

0:35:250:35:27

Right, lower it down.

0:35:270:35:29

A bit more. Your end up.

0:35:310:35:32

Yeah, keep going. A bit more.

0:35:320:35:34

How is that at your end?

0:35:340:35:36

-Yeah.

-It looks nice, it almost looks bespoke, that bridge, you know.

0:35:360:35:40

Harry might have taken charge of constructing the pond,

0:35:490:35:52

but when it comes to the aquatic plants,

0:35:520:35:54

he's more than happy to let Charlie take the lead.

0:35:540:35:57

So popping in a couple of water lilies for the boys.

0:36:000:36:03

We've got this one here which is a chromatella,

0:36:030:36:06

lovely lemon, pale yellow flowers.

0:36:060:36:09

And sparkly, spotty foliage.

0:36:090:36:12

Sort of marbled effect, which I quite like.

0:36:120:36:14

And then also just a plain, very pale pink one.

0:36:140:36:17

So we're using just garden soil.

0:36:190:36:21

You don't have to have aquatic soil.

0:36:210:36:23

As long as there's not lots of chemicals in it,

0:36:230:36:26

or you've not put lime or anything like that, garden soil is fine.

0:36:260:36:31

Deciding to build a robust all-weather dining table at the end

0:36:350:36:39

of the garden was a masterstroke by the Rich brothers,

0:36:390:36:42

creating an al fresco dining space perfect for any occasion.

0:36:420:36:46

It's a big old chunk, isn't it?

0:36:480:36:50

The large slab of cedar is a hardy, rot-resistant timber that,

0:36:500:36:53

when left untreated,

0:36:530:36:54

will weather over time and acquire an attractive silver-grey sheen

0:36:540:36:58

to perfectly complement the sun-baked look of the garden.

0:36:580:37:01

Beautiful bit of cedar, isn't it?

0:37:030:37:05

Gorgeous.

0:37:050:37:06

Although this garden is a present for Manjula,

0:37:090:37:12

the boys knew they couldn't forget about Archie

0:37:120:37:15

and his love of pottering round.

0:37:150:37:18

So, by adding a raised planter,

0:37:180:37:20

it provides the perfect space to add a few little extras to the garden.

0:37:200:37:23

Just planting a few herbs here for Archie and Manjula.

0:37:260:37:29

And what's so good about a raised bed like this is that you can put your own soil in.

0:37:290:37:32

This garden has been really difficult digging,

0:37:320:37:34

it's been full of stone, rubble, not easy at all.

0:37:340:37:37

So this just makes it really, really simple.

0:37:370:37:39

Raised beds are definitely seen as something that is quite traditional in a garden.

0:37:410:37:44

This one shows how it's gone against that and it's quite angular.

0:37:440:37:47

I think that's what me and Harry tried to stress in this garden,

0:37:470:37:49

making everything bespoke, it's definitely not traditional,

0:37:490:37:52

it's angular, it's quite modern, and I think it really works.

0:37:520:37:55

With the planter complete, there's just the finishing touches to go.

0:38:010:38:04

In a previous life,

0:38:160:38:18

Archie and Manjula's garden was little more than an uninspired lawn

0:38:180:38:21

with borders. A far cry from the lush African garden that they had

0:38:210:38:26

to say goodbye to when they left their home in Zambia.

0:38:260:38:29

Now it's had a £6,000 makeover

0:38:330:38:35

and the Rich brothers have pulled out all the stops

0:38:350:38:38

to bring some of that African colour to Watford and give them the garden

0:38:380:38:43

they have been yearning for.

0:38:430:38:44

The brothers spent £1,700 on the smooth natural sandstone pavers

0:38:470:38:54

which were used to build the large patio areas...

0:38:540:38:56

..broken by angular strips of gravel to evoke the sun-cracked earth of Africa.

0:38:570:39:02

40 cubic metres of rusty earth-red gravel were used to intersect

0:39:060:39:10

the paving and surface the outdoor seating areas.

0:39:100:39:13

Costing just £440.

0:39:150:39:17

While the stunning cedar slab and the oak blocks that the brothers

0:39:210:39:25

built the bespoke al fresco dining table from cost £280.

0:39:250:39:29

Hot colours were essential for this garden and the vibrant plants

0:39:350:39:39

cost a total of £1,500.

0:39:390:39:41

With the three majestic sumacs that give the garden that all-important

0:39:430:39:47

height and structure costing an indulgent £220 each.

0:39:470:39:51

And finally, the tranquil pond that forms the centrepiece of the garden,

0:39:560:40:00

complete with a beautiful hardwood bridge, cost just over £1,000.

0:40:000:40:05

For more than 30 years, Archie and Manjula have been longing

0:40:120:40:15

for a garden like they had in Africa.

0:40:150:40:17

And with a significant milestone approaching for Manjula,

0:40:180:40:21

Archie wanted to give her a present she would enjoy for years to come.

0:40:210:40:25

OK, we're going to spin you round a little bit.

0:40:250:40:27

-OK.

-It's time to find out if the boys were up to the task.

0:40:270:40:31

Ready, and open your eyes to your garden.

0:40:330:40:35

Wow.

0:40:370:40:38

What do you think?

0:40:390:40:41

-Amazing.

-I'm never lost for words.

0:40:410:40:44

-But I am speechless.

-This is incredible.

0:40:440:40:46

Wow. This is really my garden?

0:40:460:40:49

Yeah.

0:40:490:40:51

Manjula's happy.

0:40:510:40:53

Does it have that African feeling?

0:40:530:40:55

The colours are amazing.

0:40:550:40:57

With the strong sun.

0:40:570:40:58

The slabs.

0:40:590:41:01

And it matches the wall there.

0:41:010:41:02

Yeah, everything has that little bit of unity, doesn't it?

0:41:020:41:05

- It all links. - Every corner you look.

0:41:050:41:07

And then as it grows all the plants will get bigger and it'll fill out the beds.

0:41:070:41:11

Exactly. Look at the bridge. Oh, wow.

0:41:110:41:13

Definitely.

0:41:130:41:15

-Is it going to take my weight?

-Yeah.

0:41:150:41:17

I can't believe it.

0:41:190:41:21

What do you think of the trees?

0:41:210:41:23

-Oh, yeah.

-Beautiful.

0:41:230:41:25

The colour!

0:41:250:41:27

The trees do look fabulous.

0:41:270:41:28

They really break the garden up.

0:41:280:41:31

Oh, look at that. That's just for me. Look at that.

0:41:310:41:35

I just love it. Now she won't let me loose anywhere else.

0:41:350:41:37

-Definitely not.

-I knew Archie would be happy.

0:41:380:41:41

He likes his plants, he does.

0:41:410:41:44

So, the dining area.

0:41:440:41:46

Al fresco, yes.

0:41:460:41:48

It's beautiful. It's not what I expected in shape, but it's amazing.

0:41:500:41:54

It's absolutely...

0:41:540:41:56

Chunky, solid, you know.

0:41:560:41:58

This is the best birthday present ever.

0:41:580:42:00

Thank you.

0:42:000:42:02

-Thank you, boys.

-The boys did do well.

0:42:020:42:05

It was hard graft.

0:42:050:42:06

There was a lot to do and it was all bespoke.

0:42:060:42:09

Really pleased.

0:42:090:42:10

Pleased is an understatement of the year.

0:42:110:42:14

I am ecstatic.

0:42:140:42:16

So now that the Garden Rescue team has packed up and gone,

0:42:190:42:22

do Archie and Manjula still think the garden

0:42:220:42:25

is everything that the Rich brothers promised?

0:42:250:42:27

I don't think the sketch did justice to the actual garden itself.

0:42:290:42:34

The water feature is brilliant.

0:42:350:42:38

The bridge going over it, you know.

0:42:380:42:40

It's beautifully done.

0:42:400:42:41

£6,000 is a serious amount to spend,

0:42:430:42:46

even to create your dream garden.

0:42:460:42:48

So, was the money well spent?

0:42:480:42:51

It was money very well spent, yes.

0:42:530:42:55

-Definitely.

-It sort of gives us an extension to the house, you know.

0:42:550:43:00

With outdoor dining and entertainment area.

0:43:000:43:03

It's something very different.

0:43:030:43:05

I mean, you can walk around anywhere near and you won't find a garden like this.

0:43:050:43:10

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers compete to design a £6,000 garden for a couple in Watford who crave a space to remind them of their former garden in Africa. They pull out all their creative stops to conjure up scenes of the savannah in the home counties.


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