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With her can-do attitude, love of simple gardens
and decades of experience,
Charlie Dimmock is one of Britain's best loved gardeners.
Looking good, boys.
But the new kids on the gardening block are the Rich brothers.
We want to be the brothers that change people's perceptions of gardens.
Winners of multiple medals at the Chelsea Flower Show...
-Oh, good turn.
-That's amazing, isn't it?
..the boys have become known for their dramatic outdoor spaces.
Now these two different generations of gardening are going head-to-head.
I know they've got a gold medal, but I can come up with a few ideas.
They're meeting frustrated garden owners across the country...
Not a lot is going on, is there?
-Not a lot.
-I don't know what to do with it.
..and will each pitch them a design, based on their needs...
-You look confused.
-Go for it.
It doesn't look like it could be our garden.
..brings their design to life...
Hold on. Hold on.
-Sweet as a nut.
-..and the loser has to help them build it.
Keep working, keep working, boys.
Whoa, whoa, whoa! Easy.
This is what happens...
Just get on with it. Sometime today would be good!
..when different styles collide...
I think your brother's throwing the toys out of his pram.
Are we doing this?
..to turning garden dreams into reality.
-Oh, my goodness!
-Look at that.
-Oh, my God! Wow!
It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers to find out which garden
they're going to compete over this time.
We've heard from Sharon and she's in Northampton.
Although it doesn't look it, she is turning 40.
Ooh! So it's a big 4-0 job.
Sharon, a cost controller for a car manufacturer,
has lived at her home in Northampton for 12 years,
during which time she's renovated the house.
When I first moved in, it was pretty much a student digs,
all my friends used to come around, and I had tenants as well that lived
here for a while.
As I reach my 40th year, I want to make sure that it feels like a home,
rather than, I guess, a squatter's student house.
Sharon doesn't just want the garden to be an adult space, however.
There's another important person in her life - her goddaughter, Alex.
And she'd like the garden to appeal to her, too.
And do we have to consider the goddaughter as well?
Yeah, that's quite key.
Sharon said she wants the garden to have, kind of, two lives, really.
One is to embrace the fact that her goddaughter can play safely,
and kind of have fun, and the other is to have this adult
entertainment space where she can have her friends around,
have a few parties and just use it, really.
My goddaughter's at an age where she can now play on her own,
and I make sure she stays in the house at the moment.
But hopefully once the garden has been done, it'll be a nice,
safe place for her to play.
And, in order to transform the unloved, neglected patch into both
the grown-up and child friendly space she hankers after,
Sharon is prepared to dig deep.
The budget for this garden, I have £3,500.
-Quite good, really.
-It's not a huge garden.
No, and it looks like there's a lot of really usable plants.
So, it's the terraced house.
So, to get a better idea of the job, the designers head to Sharon's home
in Northampton on a drizzly afternoon
to see the garden for themselves.
Well, it's nice that they've laid the rain on.
-The red carpet for you.
-Oh, and the rain. Lovely.
-That's not a bad patio, is it?
-Not too bad, is it?
-That's a nice looking patio.
Just needs a bit of TLC, really, doesn't it?
Yeah, quite like the way it drops down to different levels as well.
-Yeah, nice elevation over the garden.
Let's not miss out the old feature trees, look at them.
-That guy in the middle.
-That magnolia... The neighbour's magnolia.
-That is incredible.
Despite the few attractive plants and trees,
the trio soon run out of inspiration in this garden.
Well, yeah, it's a little bit without colour.
-I know it's, you know, early on, but, I mean, it's a bit bland.
-Unless you like green.
-Yeah, green. Phormium, conifer, grass.
-Ivy, that's about it.
But that magnolia is going to look stunning when it's out.
-Some great-looking trees there, aren't there?
-So, no inspiration here.
-I think you should go and get some ideas.
I think that's a great idea, Charlie.
-Mind you, perhaps I'll do that.
-No, not this time.
No, no, no. You look good here, I think.
Tell Sharon to come out with a brolly, please.
So, Harry and David head inside to see if they can get a better idea of
Sharon's likes and dislikes.
This is cool.
Good vibrancy in the colours of the cushions.
It's nice, isn't it? Look at that colour, that's cool.
That's a really cool colour, isn't it?
I think you could definitely put that in some kind of structure or
somewhere in the garden as, like, a bit of a feature.
Yeah, a bit of punch. Well, that's what she wants, doesn't she?
Vibrancy, the colour in the garden. I think that would be cool.
I suppose the green as well, that's a lovely colour combination.
-That looks cool as well, I reckon.
That's nice. Doesn't that work well?
-Put that in the mix.
-I like it.
Meanwhile, Charlie's braving the elements and finding out why,
after a decade in her house,
Sharon's decided to improve the garden now.
So, this year I turned 40.
I know I don't look it, but, yes, I turned 40 this year.
So, the idea is to have a party in the garden with all my friends come
over and enjoy the, obviously, the outdoor space.
OK. You feel like you're growing up now.
-You need a proper garden.
Definitely. So, now I have reached this milestone age of 40
I believe that I need to kind of be a little bit more adult-like,
and have something to represent that, as well.
Oh, that is tall, isn't it?
-It makes you look small for some reason.
-It must be the plant.
Yeah. You can imagine though, can't you, that kind of...
If you want to introduce a bit more of a fantasy element...
-..for Alex, I think that would look really cool.
Imagine as a kid, running through tall outside plants.
Immersive. Surrounded by plants.
-Nice, well, there's lots of food for thought.
So, to sum up - big entertainment area for the 40th,
because you're now a grown-up.
-And then at the end of the garden,
-an area for your goddaughter and other children to play...
..without it being, it's the play park's come to visit your garden.
-I think we're all right with that.
Even though this isn't a huge garden, and the budget is decent,
this is still a big challenge for our designers.
There's lots to consider,
so the trio waste no time and head straight to their drawing boards.
Each of them will come up with a design that works within Sharon's budget.
She'll then have to choose a winning design and the loser will help the
winner build the garden.
Her £3,500 will be used to buy all the materials for their new garden,
because Charlie and the Rich brothers, along with a crack team of
landscapers, will provide the labour.
It's time for the designers to pitch their ideas.
The boys have seen how important it is for Sharon to have colour in the garden.
Will they play it safe, or offer something a little bit more daring?
Whilst Charlie has learned about Sharon's desire to entertain in that
space, can she offer something to make that possible?
-Here we go, Sharon.
-Sell it to me, then, Charlie.
-You look confused.
-Go for it, go for it.
So, these are your steps, your patio area.
-Got that lovely blank wall.
I want to put three big impact plants there in big containers.
Olives or maybe phormiums or bamboo,
so that you have got a bit of a backdrop to your party patio.
-You then come down the steps onto this area, here,
which is going to have a raised fire pit.
-If you know what I mean?
-Yes, yes, yeah.
So, it'll be, sort of, one up from your patio level.
-Raised fire pit, there,
then come down onto a bit more paving around it,
so that if you do feel that you're not too much of a grown-up,
and you want to get your bean bags out on the lawn, you can.
And then we've got a water feature.
A stainless steel one, so it'll be a gentle sound of water running.
-The only thing you need to do with that, maintenance wise,
-is top it up.
So, that's the party area.
Well, Charlie has addressed the entertainment area head-on and
Sharon looks delighted, but the brothers are bound to have
something up their sleeves, too.
We thought it would be perfect to give you larger spaces for
entertaining, for dining out, with a fire bowl.
And also there is this area where Alex can imagine she's in a fantasy
-So, at the front area, here,
we've split it into these two, kind of, adult spaces.
And as you come down the steps, we really wanted to have a bit of a
wow factor and these rendered yellow walls are going to create a bit of a
punch and give a bit of life to the garden.
They also do another job and that is to separate these two spaces.
So, you've got the dining table, you can have a barbecue,
you can be eating out with friends.
And then, by wandering around, down the board work,
you can enter to this more of a kind of sit down,
soft seating area with a fire bowl.
It's nice to have that separation between the two rooms.
The idea of two separate rooms seems to have struck a chord with Sharon.
But can Charlie redress the balance with her ideas for the child-friendly space?
Now, we then get into your goddaughter's zone.
-So, we have a little archway with log stepping stones
running through heavy planting and then onto these boardwalks
-that are going to be one or two boards wide...
-..that will be
suspended over the planting and zigzag round
-onto this structure, here...
-..which I'm thinking is going to
be a small deck, which could be a theatre.
So, she can do a little performance for you.
But then there will be steps up onto round the trunk a higher little
deck where she could maybe sit and draw, a slide coming down or it
could just be a tube coming down and just for a
little bit of theatre, we've put a curtain up, that you can take down
or we could use a shower curtain which should stay out over the summer.
You don't always want to be taking it up and down.
-And you can always use that area, as well.
Charlie has included a play area for Sharon's goddaughter in her design.
But the brothers have taken a more naturalistic approach,
creating an atmospheric enchanted space with plants.
So, we're going to have things that are really tall and like spires,
-I think what we want to do, as well,
is to introduce large leaf things, like gunnera,
which is this lovely, kind of, huge architectural leaf.
-And eupatoriums, which are really tall and have this lovely
flower which gives like, purple.
So, I think the idea is to introduce a select variety of lovely
architectural plants that are going to give that immersive feeling when
you're in the garden. But they'll be, kind of, simple to look after,
-so you're not going to be...
What they do give you is this, kind of, blast of colour and a huge
amount of form in the garden.
And then also what we thought would be really nice is,
to give the garden longevity, is to not make the child's play area
too focused on looking like a child's play area.
So, it's very adaptable.
-OK, thank you.
-Thank you very much.
-Thank you, guys. Cheers.
Both designs address Sharon's brief perfectly.
-OK. I'll leave you to it.
So, it's going to be the details that decide this one.
She can only choose one, so whose will it be?
Will she be won over by Charlie's raised fire bowl,
party patio and play area?
Or the brothers' contemporary rendered wall and naturalistic wonderland?
Hey, Charlie. How did it go?
Yeah, all right.
Did you go magical Hansel and Gretel?
Ooh, in a way, maybe. More Alice in Wonderland, that was our angle.
They understood the fact that I wanted two zones.
They split it up really well.
I like the fact that they've chosen colours I like,
they've made it low-maintenance.
OK, well, I went more theatre, darling.
So, stage, curtain, upstage, downstage, the lot.
Charlie's ideas for the play zone were interesting, as well.
In fact, I think Alex would really like it.
So, you've got the area where, to get the child zone, Alex has to go
through one way and the adults have to go another way as well.
So, that's nice. And the theatre at the back,
she loves playing and telling stories.
Yeah, really, really a magical area for Alex to play in.
It's decision time.
This is going to be a difficult decision,
but I'm going to try my best to choose the right one.
-Keen, they're keen.
Hey, guys. Hello.
-Last but not least, Charlie. There we are.
It was an incredibly hard decision, but I've made my choice.
And it's this one.
-So, what made you choose our design?
-OK, so two main reasons.
Firstly, I loved your extended area.
So, I've got two main areas. One, obviously,
to have the barbecue and for seating.
And also I loved the fact that you've extended it to the child zone,
-but it can grow with Alex.
-So, the fact that as she grows up,
I can change it from a kind of child's area to somewhere where
teenagers can play and, I guess, have bean bags and stuff.
Yeah, it was a really hard choice.
So, the Rich brothers have won this one, but they'll certainly need
Charlie's help if they're going to transform
this joyless plot into a garden to entertain all ages.
It's early morning in Northampton, and while the Rich brothers are
sourcing materials for the garden project, manager Bowen...
Simple, nice, smooth sandstone paving area here.
..along with landscapers Lee, Andy and Steve are raring to go.
Before they can start building Harry and David's design,
there is a lot of clearing up to do.
The old concrete path has got to go to make way for the Rich brothers'
And the old turf is making way for their Alice in Wonderland themed play area.
Now Andy can start laying the base for Sharon's new entertaining space,
recycling the old path as hard core for the new paving.
That's saved us a bit of time, anyway, having to recycle this concrete.
It has. There's a lot to get rid of on this one.
Lee's job is to make a start on the new boardwalk that will replace
the concrete path.
Whilst I'm removing all this concrete path,
I've cut slots out into it, 500mm intervals,
so I can now place by joists into these, cement them all in,
that will create a nice, firm structure.
With the hard core in place,
Andy can start laying the first of the two patios...
..whilst Steve is cracking on with the rendered wall that will divide
the entertaining space from Alex's play area and will eventually add
vibrant yellow colour all year round.
By the time the Rich brothers and their lackey, Charlie, are on their way,
the garden is off to a flying start.
One of the two patios is almost laid and the board walk is in place.
So, how will the brothers divvy up what's left to do?
Are you feeling lucky?
-That sounds ominous.
-Jobs for today.
So, me and Harry are going to stick to, predominantly, the hard landscaping.
-A bit of slabbing, a bit of rendering a wall to do.
-Oh, you're good at that, are you?
-We're going to find out.
-And then you're going to be doing a bit of decorating.
So, a bit of painting and also adding a few really cool, kind of,
-fantasy objects to make it feel like Alice in Wonderland.
-OK. All right, then.
The garden is a hive of activity, but there's a long way to go.
Right, well, I'm going to crack on with some slabbing.
-Make sure the boys are doing some work.
While Charlie cuts the ivy away from the old apple tree,
David is going to finish the main patio area.
Within this garden, we've got two very distinctive slabbed areas.
The area I'm doing at the moment, that's more for Sharon,
so it's the adult seating area.
And it's very contemporary, very modern.
Fits in really nicely with the rest of the garden.
And the slabs we've chosen, we've chosen them for a few reasons.
One of them is to pick up on the existing colour of slabs, so that grey.
So, it unifies the whole garden.
The other reason is, it'll complement the wall really nicely.
It's got that, kind of, warm, burnt yellow colour.
They'll contrast and make a really good effect.
And also, they're lovely and sawn
so again, it just emphasises that really lovely contemporary feeling.
Turn them round. Oh!
Oh, I tell you what, they're pretty heavy.
Because they're quite nice sawn contemporary slabs,
what's really nice is, when you lay them, is to leave them without a mortar joint.
So it butts up the joints really nicely,
it's really neat and a really smart finish.
While David finishes the patio, Harry's at the other end of the
garden using the very same paving slabs to create a different effect -
the Alice in Wonderland-inspired checkerboard.
You can really change the character of the space just by using the slabs
in a different way.
Just by introducing a bit planting,
it's really going to soften the space and it's going to be quite un-defined.
Whereas Dave, up there, is really butting the slabs up together.
And it's nice. You're using the same material, but in a different way.
This space is just as decorative as it is usable.
And that means we can get away with just putting this mortar bed down on
compacted soil, but the key is to leave nice loose soil in between the
slabs, so it means when you come to planting, it makes it really easy.
What's so good about having this informal area, this patchwork of slabs,
is that if Sharon wants to adapt it over time,
then it's very easy to do so.
She can add more planting, she can add more slabs,
and she can create a very different use to this space.
Up near the house, expert carpenter, Lee, is really working his magic
with the wooden planters that complete the dividing of the adult
Hey, Lee. How are you?
-I'm all right, you?
-Yeah, very good. This is looking pukka.
-Really, really good.
-Yeah, happy with it.
What's so nice about it, is actually the seamless
-finish on the front.
-Yeah, I've secret screwed it from the back.
I didn't want to see all the screw heads from the front.
-I mean, it's such a nice wood, it would be a shame to spoil it.
Absolutely, yes. What Lee's saying is, obviously, what he's done is,
he's screwed from the inside.
So, that means you can't actually see any screw heads from the outside.
So, it gives that really gorgeous, seamless, quite modern look.
Originally, we were going to build this out of block and render,
but we have decided to go with larch timber.
There's a couple of reasons. It's going to match in with the walkway
really nicely, and also the natural preservatives, natural oils in here,
is really going to help it stand the test of time.
Help it grey and age. It'll be really nice.
In order to preserve that larch and prolong its life,
David is lining it with a waterproof membrane.
I'm just using roofing clouts for this.
That's because they've got quite a big head,
so that will really help prevent it from ripping.
And also they're galvanised, so it'll stop it from rusting as well.
Working hard or hardly working?
I think hardly working.
You're most probably right, there.
Charlie has an idea to run past David.
Now, this view down the garden...
-Apple tree, lovely.
Needs a little helping hand, I believe.
-This guy in the foreground?
Do you mind if I prune it a little bit?
Perfect. Yeah, lovely. You're so handy today, aren't you?
The boys don't want me to take too much of the tree down,
but this branch here is really going all the wrong way,
so I want to get a bit of a better shape to it.
So, I'm going to take this branch out.
First, Charlie shortens the offending branch to lighten the load.
Argh! It's a bigger branch than you think.
Then the rest needs cutting away with great care.
First off, you want to undercut.
So, there's the ridge.
I'm going to just cut in about a third of the way.
So, the angle of the blade is sort of on an angle.
So, rainwater will run off.
Now I'm going to cut above that, but because I'm left-handed,
I need to be on this side.
There we go. And then you're going to cut just above your undercut.
Just about there.
The same angle.
And by doing that, there's no chance that your bark will tear.
Now, I made a bit of a mistake there, didn't I?
The boys set me up with some nice,
light duties and then I suggested about pruning a tree.
There you go.
Charlie's not the only one who's been taking a sword to wood.
Andy has been busy carving some magical mushroom seating for the
children's fantasy area, with a chainsaw.
Andy, these are incredible.
-They look pretty good, don't they?
-Yeah, I mean,
you really captured the essence of a wild mushroom.
-So, what...? What is it?
-It's a nice piece of Redwood.
-The colour is beautiful.
-You can kind of see the grain there as well, can't you?
-It's really nice.
It's the perfect piece of wood. That's the hardest bit.
Yeah, did you go out searching for it?
We just went to the local log pile and managed to buy some bits of wood.
And did it have that natural shape, as well?
No, no. It was just a straight cut off bit of wood.
I love this as well, the kind of nice little tapered edge.
Yeah. Cut in from the top, straight down.
-Leave it all one piece.
-I know, cos it's pretty heavy.
Yeah, it's pretty heavy, but at least it'll stay together.
Yeah, I love it. And, you know, it's pretty tricky to do, isn't it?
-I don't think anyone could do this.
-Yeah, you need to be trained in chainsaw operation.
-Yeah. Yeah, so be safe.
-You need to be safe.
Get somebody who's a competent chainsaw operator.
Yeah. So, how many have I got, then?
-You have got four.
I'm not sure there's going to be much-room in the garden.
-It takes a while to grow on you, don't worry, Andy.
That's a bad joke. That's a bad joke.
A garden is an ideal place to great a stimulating space for children to play in.
Ivan Hicks has been designing wildly imaginative gardens for more than 30
years with a special affinity for children's gardens.
It makes a funny noise.
At Stratford Butterfly Farm in Stratford-upon-Avon,
young visitors are enthralled by the gorgeous and fascinating tropical
species fluttering around the butterfly enclosure.
But outside, Ivan was tasked with making the surrounding gardens
an equally enthralling place to explore...
..starting with a mirrored walkway.
Well, immediately, you hear excitement when they enter through
these great rings, which are lined with stainless steel.
Immediately, it's like being at the fairground.
They can see contortions.
And in the summer, you can see butterflies flying around them and
butterflies reflected in the stainless steel, as well.
I'm upside down!
The butterfly farm aims to introduce children to wildlife in a fun way.
They wanted a garden that would attract native butterflies,
but they wanted something that interests children on a wide scale.
So, they have this small wildlife pond, here,
which we've adapted for little people.
It's quite Hobbit-y in a way. It's a lot of fun, but it's meant to be.
It's meant to appeal to children.
But it's also home for all kinds of bugs and creatures to live in.
Kids have always been into magic and fantasy.
It's a bit like Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings.
They love all that sort of material.
So, this latches into that, and locks into those ideas, actually.
And it opens up the imagination.
You see them coming round here and they can see creatures and people
running about. I can't, but they can.
Ivan's fantastical additions look like they've always been there and
nothing is bought off the shelf.
What I love doing is just playing with what's available or found
materials. And in every garden you can generally find some house bricks
and pieces of wood.
And we've had a view glittery things, just because it throws light
about and adds a little bit of magic and mystery to it.
It's not expensive materials.
It's bits of nature and bits of discarded...
You're recycling, of course, in a way.
What I like to do is incorporate a sense of humour.
I've got a sense of humour myself,
but you can add it to the garden and that appeals to children and adults.
They can see that you're having a lot of fun.
But a few little things, like numbers on the doors and silver
balls and mirrors and things like that.
It does make it look as though someone is living there.
When it comes to gardens for children,
your only limitation is your own imagination.
In Sharon's garden, the hard landscaping is almost complete.
All the paving is laid in the adult area
and the rendered wall and raised beds are nearly finished.
The new boardwalk leads down to the bottom of the garden,
where the chessboard paving is there to be seen.
Charlie has found herself a quiet corner outside the garden,
where she is cooking up a magical messy project.
Some kokedama, a Japanese style of hanging planters.
I'm going to make some kokedamas, or "kookedamas," not quite sure how to say it.
But they're moth balls with a plant in it.
They're quite fun. Luckily, Sharon's soil has quite a lot of clay in it.
And then it's a case of mud pies.
It's a messy job, but somebody's got to do it.
Get into a nice, sticky mass.
Make a nice ball.
See, I did say it was like mud pies.
Now I've got my plant soaking in a bucket of water.
So, I'm using a little variegated ivy.
And you then just break that in half, like that.
And you pop that in there, like so and you stick it back together.
And then it's a case of wrapping it in moss.
And the great thing about moss, especially sphagnum moss,
is it soaks up moisture.
So, if there's any rain, it soaks it up like a sponge.
So, it'll keep the ball of soil damp.
Find your bits of string...
..and tie them up really tight.
This is where you really need a helping hand for tying the knots.
But I think I can do it.
So, plant-wise, you can use all sorts of plants to go in kokedamas.
From house plants to ivys, bulbs,
snowdrops look really cute in them.
I've done some daffodils.
And some heucheras.
So, it's really up to you.
And we're going to hang them from the tree in the fantasy area at
different heights. So, it should look quite cute.
At the house end of the garden, Harry's ready to give the block work
walls their finishing coat of render,
which has had dye added to give it that yellow hue.
The scratch coat is dry, so I'm now just going to apply the top coat.
I haven't really done much rendering before,
but I know there's a bit of a knack.
So, I'm just going to start at the bottom with the trowel.
And I'm going to push down and pull up,
making sure that this top layer doesn't catch on the top bead.
Although a little roughness and irregularity can look fine in a
garden setting, Harry is going to give these ones a more refined finish.
So, at the moment, the wall looks a little bit rough.
But the next stage is to smooth that out.
It's really important to have a slight dome to the top of the wall.
And that allows the rain water to run off.
Now this is all done, the final stage is to buff it all up and I'm
going to use a bucket of water and a sponge.
Wait for it... It's dry now, so I'm just going to gently, small,
circular motions so that it all knits together really nicely.
You don't want the sponge to be really wet.
So, it's a good idea just to squeeze all that water out.
As you can see, you have...
Compared to the side of the wall when I first started,
this is lovely and smooth.
Everyone's putting their best foot forward,
but this garden's got a long way to go.
-How's it going, Harry?
-Yes, very pleased.
-Yeah, it's good fun.
-It looks great from this side.
-I didn't do that side.
-Have you seen Charlie anywhere?
Do you know what? I've had my head down, so I have no idea where she is.
I haven't seen her in ages. I'm going to try and find her.
-Crack the whip a little bit.
-Yes. Better you than me.
Still lurking behind the skip...
-This is where you've been hiding.
It looks like Charlie's kokedama moss and soil balls are ready to roll.
Oh, I tell you what, these will look awesome hanging in the tree.
-Yeah, they look good, don't they?
-Look at this.
-Well, shall we carry them through?
-Yeah, I think so.
Stringing the kokedamas up from the branches of the old apple tree will
help create the division between Sharon's adult space and Alex's fantasy play area...
Don't swing them around.
..and adds a touch of fairy tale strangeness.
So, what do you want them...? Like, all different heights?
But there's not much time for hanging around.
Charlie's already been reassigned to painting duties up near the house.
Mmm, loving that yellow.
This wall, here, just outside the kitchen door, is a bit sad.
So, we've decided to paint it yellow, because Sharon loves yellow.
I hope she does, because this is definitely yellow.
We swept off the wall to get rid of any loose paint.
And we're using a masonry paint.
I'm going to roller it on. It might need a couple of coats,
but it's definitely going to brighten this area.
Corners like this, down the side of the house, get neglected.
And simply just putting a coat of paint on tidies them up and actually
makes them look way better.
It's easy and quick to do, and not too expensive.
Although Sharon knows that the walls down there are going to be yellow,
I think this is going to be a bit of a surprise for her,
cos we haven't checked.
And speaking of checks, the far end of the garden is also about to get
a splash of bright colour, but this time, it's green.
We've just finished the checkerboard paving, and that
was inspired by the Alice in Wonderland theme.
It's a mix of hard landscaping and soft landscaping.
This turf mixed knitted with the paving really creates this lovely,
soft space to play.
Because Harry is setting the turf flush with the level of the paving
stones, Sharon will be able to mow straight over the top and get clean
edges to the grass without any further trimming.
Once you've cut your turf, it's good to push it down,
so the roots really do connect with the soil.
And then, the next thing is, you need to water it for at least two
weeks so it really knits in and establishes.
Some of the checkerboard squares are going to offer another sensory
experience - the gorgeous scent of fresh camomile.
These are the camomile plugs and they're about 60p per plant.
We've chosen them because it's a lovely sunny spot down here
and they're perfect ground cover.
When your foot brushes past them, then you get this beautiful aroma.
They're very simple to put in.
All you've got to do is push a hole in like that and then place them in.
We're going to put about eight in here and in a couple of weeks,
they're going to spill over, soften the slabs and just create a lovely
little feature at the bottom of the garden.
But turf and camomile are not the only things that are going to be
planted in Alex's checkerboard.
I think I've found the perfect spot for one of Andrew's mushrooms.
I'm just going to put it in the middle of the camomile, here,
so over time, that will fill out and it'll almost look like the mushroom
is coming out off the ground. Charlie, what do you think?
That looks great. It looks really cool.
-Fantasy, isn't it?
Alice in Wonderland, that would've been perfect.
Yeah. Yeah, because that is where...
The mushroom was where the caterpillar was sat on the mushroom, wasn't he?
-Yeah, shall we get one?
See, I've got my own little bit of fantasy going on, here.
You know, Alice in Wonderland,
there's a white rabbit running late down the hole.
So, this is the rabbit hole.
I'm going to dress it up with a few little spring bulbs.
And this is really for Sharon's goddaughter.
Just a bit of fun. I'm sure she'll rearrange it all,
but that's the great thing about children being out in the garden,
just messing around and having fun.
And what with the apple tree, there, I've got lots of the fond memories
of climbing an apple tree and just sitting there for hours and watching time go by.
I wish I could do it now, but we've got quite a lot to do.
And this hard landscaping is exhausting.
This is no time to give in to exhaustion, though.
If the team don't want to be late for a very important date with
Sharon and her friends, they really need to crack on.
They've hardly started the planting yet.
Even the muscle is trying its hand at something a little more dainty than usual.
Makes a change from laying slabs.
-It certainly does, Dave.
-I enjoy it, mate.
We've got things that these comfrey, here, and they're going to look
beautiful contrasting against the bright yellow wall.
It's a little bit more of a shadier spot,
so we've got hebes and ferns.
So altogether it's going to give it a really lovely,
vibrant green contrast against this really vibrant wall.
What to write on the sign?
Charlie is putting the finishing touches to her enchanted rabbit hole.
-If only the same was true of the rest of the garden.
There's still a lot of stuff to go in.
And as everyone mucks in to complete the final touches...
It was about here, wasn't it?
..they're nearly at the finishing post.
Yes. Check it out!
Although, they still need to shed some light on the bottom end of the garden.
Lee's done a great job making these light boxes, and they're pretty
much just clear plastic with a lovely wooden frame.
Very simple to make and I think they're going to make a massive
-difference to the garden at night-time.
Especially putting them down here, little Alex can move them around and
then when you look down out of the house in the evening, bright light shining.
-Really, really cool.
-I've got a yellow one.
-I've got a green.
These solar-powered lights in need no fitting.
Sharon just needs to leave them out in the daylight to charge.
And with that, Sharon's new garden is finally ready for her inspection.
Before she called upon the Garden Rescue team,
Sharon's garden was a neglected, nondescript plot.
Long and narrow, with an ugly concrete path
and an unruly old apple tree.
Now, it's been transformed by its £3,500 makeover.
The Rich brothers have invested the budget in a garden of two halves.
A swish and cool entertaining space for Sharon and her grown-up mates.
And a magical fantasy play area for young Alex and her friends.
The brothers spent £880 on a smart new decking boardwalk and the
matching raised beds and a further £150 on the rendered wall
that altogether embraced Sharon's cosy new seating area.
These simple structural features divide the space up and give strong
definition to this once bland plot.
The outlay on the new paving was £500,
providing two patio areas for Sharon and an Alice in Wonderland
checkerboard in the play area,
lit up after dark by the solar-powered lights.
Alex's play area owes as much to imagination as money.
With it white rabbit's burrow and these home-made mushroom stools
and the camomile plug plants, which altogether came in at £150.
The brothers went for easy care, but colourful planting,
that holds its own against the bright walls.
They spent a total of £670 on plants,
with the masonry paint costing £45.
Happily, the team isn't late for that date with Sharon and Alex,
who's come along with her mum, Megan.
Look down, Alex...
Have the Rich brothers pulled off Sharon's dream garden?
After three, open your eyes.
Three, two, one... Open.
Oh, my God!
-Oh, I really like this, this is fantastic.
Yes, that's your seating area.
-And then this is your dining area.
-Oh, look. Fantastic.
Looking very happy.
And then the steps down, as well. I like that, as well.
By putting the planter on the steps kind of gives...
It defines the entranceway into the garden.
I love the two different areas, as well,
-so the adults can play in this area. Well, eat in this area.
It looks phenomenal. Down here, as well.
Like I say, the split level makes the garden looks so much bigger.
I feel like you guys should go on down.
You've cut this back, as well. Thank you.
I love it. I like it.
Yes, so you've got this whole second area now.
I love it. When the party's happening,
a little bit there for entertaining.
People can sit down and enjoy the area, so, yes, I love it.
Oh, and look - low-maintenance. Thank you.
She remembered - low-maintenance.
-And that's your yellow wall.
-Yes, fantastic. I love it.
-Extra seating, as well, yes?
-All the guests for the party.
Right, so, that the adult area done.
Down to the children's area.
-Alex, shall we go and see the kids' area?
Oh, look at that. Wow. Fantastic, I love it.
-Oh, and these little things, too.
That's what Charlie's been working on -
ONE of the things Charlie's been working on.
The kokedamas... So those are quite cool.
Look at them.
Do you like 'em?
Thinks they're quite cool.
-And then the rabbit hole as well.
-Wow, I didn't see that.
-Shall we go and look at this, Alex?
-Come on over.
-Let's have a look.
-Can you see?
-What's in there?
You'd definitely fit in there.
You could fit in there, couldn't you? No?
So, this is the checkerboard slab area.
Oh, I like this, as well. Fantastic for Alex to come and just enjoy the area.
Yes. It's quite simple.
But I think it looks quite effective, and really fun, as well.
It's really nice. I like these little light boxes, here.
Yes, so there's solar bulbs in there, solar lights.
Shall we go and play, Alex?
And the mushrooms.
-Andy made these amazing mushrooms.
-Shall we go and sit on this one?
-Look at that.
-That's the right size.
-Yes. Oh, oh, oh!
Look at that.
Alex fits the mushrooms really well.
It's a total transformation, and I'm so happy that my 40th birthday's
going to be amazing. I think Alex is happy, as well.
-She can come and play.
She looks very happy.
Only needed one paving, didn't we?
-Yes, only one slab.
-Thank you so much, guys.
It's fantastic. Thank you very much.
I'm so glad you like it.
I can safely say I think we hit the brief.
So you had £3,500 for the garden.
Do you think it was money well spent?
Definitely. I think you've done more than I could ever imagine.
My birthday's going to be fantastic, so adults can play here and Alex
looks like she's really happy and she can play in this area.
Both parts of the brief were filled, thank you so much.
I'm sure the 40th will go down a storm.
Down to this area, ladies.
Who said anything about waiting for her 40th?
Sharon can't wait to celebrate her amazing new garden with her friends.
To Shaz, for her 40th birthday and her brand-new garden.
Yay! Cheers, cheers. Thank you for coming.
Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are tasked with transforming a long, thin garden in Northampton. With a fortieth birthday party only weeks away and a young goddaughter to consider, which designer will win the brief for an exciting, multifunctional space?