Somerset 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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Wow, that's amazing, isn't it?

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

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

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

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

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Not a lot going on, is there? Not a lot!

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I don't know what to do with it.

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

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Wow!

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..and budget.

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-Oh, that sounds amazing.

-Doesn't look like it could be our garden.

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The winner...

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Yay!

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Yeah!

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..brings their design to life...

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Hold on, hold on! Sweet as a nut.

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..and the loser has to help them build it.

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Keep working, keep working, 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's throwing the toys out of his pram.

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Right, are we doing this?

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..to turn garden dreams into reality.

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-Open your eyes.

-Oh!

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Oh, it's lovely.

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Wow!

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Look at that!

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Whoa!

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It's not our garden!

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It's time for Charlie and the Rich brothers

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to find out today's garden challenge.

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Here we have Jane and Michael. They're from Somerset.

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Smiley, Smiley.

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Here's their garden. Look at that.

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-What a view! Oh, my!

-Isn't that beautiful?

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-Can't go wrong with that, can you?

-No.

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Jane, a primary school teacher, and her husband Michael

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have enjoyed spectacular views from their home for 20 years.

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When we came to look around the house,

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we went to the back garden and just stood there and went...

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"Oh, my gosh."

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The view is why we bought the house.

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But the garden itself isn't quite as picturesque.

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People will come in and go,

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"Wow, what a great view," but wouldn't it be lovely if they sat

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in a beautiful garden and said, "Wow, Jane, this is a lovely garden,

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"and it has a great view"?

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And there's another issue

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that's not going to make life easy for the designers.

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Has this got a bit of a slope here or is that my imagination?

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It does look a little bit like that, doesn't it?

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-Can't really tell, though, how much of a slope.

-No.

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In fact, it's a VERY steep slope,

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but slopes can sometimes have added benefits.

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Over the years, Jane, Michael and their two daughters

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have found a rather novel use for theirs.

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The girls really love the slope, rolling down it sideways,

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and then, when we discovered you could put a water slide on it

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with a piece of tarpaulin, they shot down it.

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We used to apologise to the neighbours

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about the amount of shrieking that was going on in the summer!

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But since the girls have gone off to university,

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things have become much quieter.

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There's not really an awful lot going on in the garden.

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It's almost at a standstill, isn't it?

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Every year that goes by, it just gets more and more tired.

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It's a gorgeous setting, huge potential,

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but, at the moment, it's wasted. It's a bit of an empty space.

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It's just transforming it, really,

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-from being a bland lawn into something special.

-Yeah.

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Jane and Michael have a particular theme in mind.

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We'd like something really quintessentially English about it,

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something that will attract the wildlife,

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something that'll be peaceful, like, English country garden.

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What would you like?

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I'd like to replace my corkscrew hazel, which died.

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That was my favourite plant.

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Are you going to accuse me again of killing it?

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Let's talk about the money!

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-£3,000.

-I think that's quite good.

-That's quite a decent amount.

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-Yeah.

-I know it's a biggish garden, but...

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I think, whatever we do, it's really important to keep that view.

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Really? I'd be blanking it out, lots of trees up there...

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We've got this one, we've got this one!

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LAUGHTER

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£3,000 might be a healthy budget,

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but it's clear there's going to be a lot of work to do.

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So Charlie and the boys head to Somerset to take a look

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at the view and that slope.

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-Wow.

-It is, isn't it?

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-It's way better than the pictures.

-Yeah. Panoramic.

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But if you do that...

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-Block it out...

-Don't look at the view, look at the garden...

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-Then you're in trouble!

-Pretty boring, isn't it?

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Yes. And a bit of a slope as well, which...

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A bit? Understatement of the year!

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This looks like you'd roll a cheese down it and chase it, mate!

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Sloping gardens are notoriously tricky to design,

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but there are things Charlie and the Rich brothers can do

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to make the most of this particular one.

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Terracing is a tried and tested method of making sloping gardens

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more accessible, and it doesn't have to be uniform.

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Each level or terrace can have its own individual purpose or theme.

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The design could also include steps or add a feature path that meanders

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or zigzags around the garden.

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Or they could choose a mixture of hardy, easy-to-care-for plants

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to make the slope more attractive

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without adding too much extra maintenance.

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But before they decide how they'll tackle this particular slope,

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they need to find out what will suit Jane and Michael,

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so Harry and David head inside to take a look around the house.

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Can they spot any clues about the couple's taste?

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Meanwhile, Charlie will grill Jane and Michael to find out more.

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So, the garden's got lots of,

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obviously, very fond memories for you.

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Yes, it definitely does,

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-but, you know, it's time now to look forward...

-Uh-huh.

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..and to make it more of a garden just for us.

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I mean, this patio area, is there a reason why it's here?

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In the evening, when the sun's setting over there,

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it's really quite sheltered,

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and it's beautiful views over the valley.

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So we wouldn't want to be planting this up heavily so you can't use it?

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No.

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LAUGHTER

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-Some beautiful pieces of furniture in here.

-That is nice, isn't it?

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-'60s Danish, got to love it.

-Good start.

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What's so nice is, it's just got really lovely lines, hasn't it?

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Lovely material. It's quite simple, quite elegant.

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Definitely how we'd like to portray the garden.

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-Yeah.

-Also, they've got a few nice cushions,

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they've got a few nice throws.

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It's lovely to have this kind of beautifully crafted structures

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in the garden, but I think you have to have something that softens it.

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Some soft, airy planting that's blowing in the wind.

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-It would be gorgeous.

-Timeless and elegant.

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Much like myself!

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The Rich brothers have been inspired

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whilst, outside, Charlie's doing some investigating of her own.

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When it comes to the design, what are you thinking about?

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We'd like something really typically English countryside.

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We were thinking about, sort of, a wildlife area.

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Something down the middle, you were thinking, wasn't it?

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With flowers either side.

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So, we are saying very traditional English garden,

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-manor house, walled garden...

-Oh, manor house would be nice!

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I like that idea!

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So, would you like to get rid of all the lawn?

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-No.

-No.

-No.

-So, we want some lawn.

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Would you like it terraced?

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Not particularly, no.

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-I'm doing really well here, aren't I?

-We like the slope.

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The slope has been our friend for many years.

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So, Jane and Michael want an English country garden,

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whilst preserving their beloved slope, and that fantastic view.

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It's time for the designers to get to work.

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Charlie and the Rich brothers will compete against each other

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to come up with a design that will work

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within Jane and Michael's £3,000 budget.

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The couple will then have to choose a winner,

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

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The £3,000 budget will be used to cover the cost of the materials

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for their new garden, while the labour will be supplied

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by Charlie, the Rich brothers and their team of landscapers.

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

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Hello.

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The brothers have spotted Jane and Michael's love of elegant, clean lines.

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How will that feature in their design?

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While Charlie knows they're keen on a traditional, English theme,

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can she give Jane and Michael the garden they've been dreaming about?

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So, for me, your garden is all about...

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-the journey to your seating area, and the plants.

-Wow.

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So, making it quintessentially English,

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we're going to have a stone pathway

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leading to this feature,

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which is going to be a weeping rose.

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-And you've got a sort of a seat already here.

-We have, yeah.

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I want to enhance that.

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And we can plant some camomile through the grass

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so it'll be a scented seat.

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The Rich brothers have really got to work hard to beat this one, Charlie.

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Charlie's thrown down the gauntlet.

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How will David and Harry respond?

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We know this garden for you is very much about the view.

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So what we wanted to do is give you a really, really special place

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where you can appreciate the view from.

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But you've got to get there first, of course, that's quite important,

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so what we've done is, we've put in this quite linear, straight path,

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which creates a really nice avenue,

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but before you can get down to this space and appreciate it,

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you've got to turn off left and that takes you through

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a large planted bed. And, then, down in this area,

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-we've made this lower seating area much larger, haven't we?

-Yeah.

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The brothers have focused their attention

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on the lower part of the garden.

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Enlarging the patio area will make it much more comfortable

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and appealing place to be, but the couple seem unsure.

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It's not the quintessentially English garden they asked for.

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You'll carry on walking down and so I'd lose the steps down here

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and just have one, so the path slopes down,

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but it won't be so steep,

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-so you don't spill your wine on the way down.

-Very important!

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And then this is my sensory walkway,

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with stepping stones running through, down to your seating area.

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Charlie has left the existing patio untouched,

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while the brothers have gone one step further

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and framed their extended patio with a retaining dry-stone wall.

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The stone wall is actually a key feature in this design,

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and not only does it create this lovely structure

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around the seating space, but also it incorporates these steps.

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I would never even have thought about doing something like that.

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And we'd bring the planting down into this lower space

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so it still feels very much part of the garden.

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What plants are going to be in there?

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We'd like to introduce a few small trees and shrubs,

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things like blackthorn, hawthorn,

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and then this big bed of grasses and perennials will create

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a lot of movement, attract the wildlife,

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and it's basically like a bit of living artwork.

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Harry and David have also incorporated a separate meadow area.

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Planted with grasses and wild flowers,

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this will be great for attracting butterflies,

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but, when it comes to planting, Charlie's not to be outdone.

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Plant-wise, delphiniums and thistles and peonies...

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You can put a lot of annuals in,

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which are going to be great for the wildlife,

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things like wheat and grasses, which the birds are going to love.

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And, then, to pick up on the English theme,

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we've got simple arches

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covered with lots of different climbers.

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Very silent. I don't know whether that's a good thing or not!

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-It's absolutely...

-I think it's fabulous, yeah.

-I'm amazed.

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Charlie has stuck to the brief with her traditional English design,

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and Jane and Michael certainly seem happy.

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Will this be an easy win for Charlie

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or will the Rich brothers' clean geometric lines

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and their emphasis on that important view steal her thunder?

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It's time to decide.

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It's like Charlie's really done exactly what we've asked her to do.

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We've got this curvaceous garden with beautiful planting.

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Well, that went pretty well for us, I feel.

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-How did it go for you, Charlie?

-Yeah, loved the plants.

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-What did you go for?

-Oh, lots of really glamorous cottage plants.

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And the Rich brothers have come at it from a totally different angle,

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but I can imagine us entertaining here.

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We focused completely on that bottom area.

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I didn't change the bottom area at all!

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-That's interesting.

-Well, I hope they don't choose yours.

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-Why not?

-All that groundwork! All that soil moving!

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I think, if I'm going to have to work for you,

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I'm going to make sure I twist my ankle that day!

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So, will it be the Rich brothers' modern, straight lines,

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extended patio and wild flower meadow,

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or Charlie's English country garden with meandering paths

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and colourful, traditional planting?

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-Hello.

-Hello!

-Good afternoon.

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Now, this was a really, really, really difficult decision.

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We've had a good look at both designs and, er...

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We've decided on...

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Ta-da!

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-BROTHERS CHEER

-Stamp on my foot now!

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LAUGHTER

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Amazing! How come you went for ours?

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Oh, you've just come up with ideas that we'd never have dreamt of.

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The walled garden with the steps within it,

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we thought was just really clever.

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And that bigger space, I think that...

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I can see why you went for the boys' design,

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cos I didn't change that bottom area at all,

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and that will just make it a bigger space away from the house,

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so I can... And you'll appreciate the view so much more.

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-Thanks, Charlie!

-I'm not doing any work!

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-I'm just going to look.

-Are you feeling all right?

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LAUGHTER

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The brothers are thrilled,

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but they're going to have to keep Charlie out of hospital

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if she's going to help with this one!

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They'll need all the hands and feet they can get to pull this off.

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It's early morning in the Somerset countryside...

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..and the landscaping team are here to clear the garden.

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The Rich brothers are off sourcing the shrubs and grasses

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for their design, so they've given Scott, Scott, Seb,

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and the project manager Bonnie the unenviable task of excavating

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the extra patio area at the bottom of the garden,

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but, first, they need to remove the old retaining wall.

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That's been really well built, hasn't it?

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-That's going to be fun.

-What we might need to do

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is dig from the other side and then lift the sleepers out.

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Yeah, take the sleepers out,

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-then we'll probably have to grind these off, I'd imagine.

-Yeah.

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The existing path is about 1.5 metres wide,

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but needs to be double the size.

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The steep slope makes it unsafe to use a digger,

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so it'll all have to be done by hand,

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and removing all that soil is proving an uphill battle.

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Come on, Scott, you can do it!

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I'm going to be disappointed if I have to help you.

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Oh, he's struggling, he's struggling!

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Come on, come on!

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Whoa!

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The soil just keeps on coming,

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so Bonnie comes up with a plan to re-use more of it in the garden.

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With all this soil, do you think we could make a step

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-and back-fill it in there?

-I think that's a really good idea, actually.

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Bonnie wants to create a step in the path as it leads down from the deck,

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using soil to build up the top section and make it less of a slope,

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but will the Rich brothers agree?

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LINE RINGS

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-'Hello?'

-Hi, David, it's Bonnie.

-'Oh, hey, Bonnie.'

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We've got too much soil and we could possibly use some of

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the sleepers and actually create a little step down.

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Do you think that would work?

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Cos it would help us get rid of some of the soil.

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'Yeah, very happy with that. Yeah, go ahead.'

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-Thanks, David.

-'No worries. Bye-bye.'

-Bye!

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With the thumbs-up from the bosses,

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at least some of that soil can be re-homed.

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Out front, the materials have arrived for the dry-stone wall.

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Not exactly a gentle landing, but at least they do need broken stones.

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With the big dig completed,

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a new retaining wall goes in to stop the rest of the lawn

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crashing down the hill.

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These concrete blocks are strong enough to retain the weight,

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but will be concealed behind the dry-stone wall.

0:16:550:16:57

Work is progressing well, and David, Harry and Charlie arrive on site.

0:17:010:17:05

-Oh, wow, doesn't that look different?

-Yeah, very different.

0:17:070:17:10

They've done really well, haven't they?

0:17:100:17:12

They have. That area down there looks really big.

0:17:120:17:14

Right, I'm off home, then!

0:17:140:17:15

-No, Charlie, not yet!

-Not a chance.

0:17:150:17:17

It's incredible. Well, there are plenty of things to get done

0:17:170:17:20

in the garden - a path to build,

0:17:200:17:22

-we've got the stone walling to get on with.

-It's my day, isn't it?

0:17:220:17:25

But, at the moment, there's a large pile of soil over there,

0:17:250:17:27

and that's actually not part of our design

0:17:270:17:29

so we'll have to figure out what we're doing with it.

0:17:290:17:32

I'm not barrowing it up these stairs!

0:17:320:17:34

Well, you might be in luck, Charlie,

0:17:340:17:36

because the brothers want to use it to bring a feature

0:17:360:17:39

of the surrounding landscape into the garden.

0:17:390:17:41

Having soil left over like this isn't necessarily a bad thing.

0:17:410:17:45

A bit of sculpting, I think.

0:17:450:17:47

The landscape says it all, really, doesn't it?

0:17:470:17:49

Try and echo a bit of that.

0:17:490:17:51

What, the grassy knoll over there?

0:17:510:17:53

Bringing the grassy knoll into their garden?

0:17:530:17:56

-Yeah.

-Are we doing anything with this bit of...?

0:17:560:17:58

On my design, that was a beautiful, centred seat,

0:17:590:18:03

but they didn't choose my design.

0:18:030:18:05

-Do you want us to still do it, Charlie?

-Yeah?

-Yeah.

0:18:050:18:08

It's nice to have another kind of perch back in the garden.

0:18:080:18:11

-Different views.

-And then we could use this as a kind of...

0:18:110:18:13

Just to accentuate that curve and maybe a sit-soft area, lie back,

0:18:130:18:17

-look at the stars.

-So, you need to push that soil,

0:18:170:18:20

-you need to push that soil that way.

-I need a spade, do I?

-Yeah.

0:18:200:18:23

-Oh, what?

-And I will go and check it out with Jane and Michael.

0:18:230:18:27

-Lovely. Cheers, Charlie.

-Perfect.

0:18:270:18:30

While Charlie goes to fetch Jane and Michael,

0:18:300:18:33

Harry and David make a start on sculpting all that soil into a mound

0:18:330:18:37

which, in time, will become the couple's very own grassy knoll.

0:18:370:18:40

So, this area here, the boys reckon that I can do my seat.

0:18:430:18:47

You know, in my design that you didn't choose?

0:18:470:18:50

-Oh, yes.

-Yes.

-Not that I'm bitter!

0:18:500:18:52

-Don't be bitter!

-LAUGHTER

0:18:520:18:54

I think we remember it, vaguely.

0:18:540:18:56

So, what I'm hoping to do, and the boys think it's a good idea,

0:18:560:19:00

is I make that into a scented seat that you can perch,

0:19:000:19:03

and the boys are sculpting the soil around here so that this will be

0:19:030:19:07

a much more enclosed seating area

0:19:070:19:09

that you look at the beautiful garden.

0:19:090:19:11

That's just amazing.

0:19:110:19:13

-I'm so pleased, because I was really bereft about the...

-The seat?

-Yeah.

0:19:130:19:17

-You've made my wife a very happy lady.

-Good, good.

0:19:170:19:20

Well, I'm hoping you're going to make her very happy as well

0:19:200:19:23

and take her away for a lovely lunch.

0:19:230:19:26

Well, I'm sure we can manage that.

0:19:260:19:28

Because it's time that you, sort of,

0:19:280:19:29

leave the house so we can get on with the garden.

0:19:290:19:32

-Lovely. How exciting.

-All right?

-Thank you very much.

-Let's go.

0:19:320:19:35

-Cheers.

-Should be all done by the time you come back.

0:19:350:19:37

-Lovely. Thank you.

-Cheers.

0:19:370:19:39

-She says, smiling!

-LAUGHTER

0:19:390:19:41

So, it's a yes to the seat,

0:19:410:19:43

which will provide another place where they can enjoy that view,

0:19:430:19:47

which should keep the couple - and Charlie - happy.

0:19:470:19:49

A well-designed garden will not only enhance the views,

0:19:500:19:53

but frame them in the best way possible,

0:19:530:19:55

and, if you get this right, the benefits can be spectacular.

0:19:550:19:59

Set on the edge of the rolling Cotswold Hills,

0:20:050:20:08

one of the best views in the region can be seen

0:20:080:20:10

from historic Kiftsgate Court Garden in Chipping Campden,

0:20:100:20:14

which has been in Anne Chambers's family for three generations.

0:20:140:20:17

We have a spectacular view.

0:20:210:20:22

I think, on a clear day, you can see about 50 or 60 miles.

0:20:220:20:26

Framing the view, we have these very old pines,

0:20:290:20:32

these radiata pines and Scots pines,

0:20:320:20:34

which we doctor and cut the branches every year so that you can see

0:20:340:20:38

through the pine trees out into the landscape beyond.

0:20:380:20:42

When you do a garden, you want something a bit different,

0:20:440:20:47

but you also want it to flow, so the garden looks as though

0:20:470:20:50

it naturally goes into the countryside,

0:20:500:20:52

which I think is very nice,

0:20:520:20:54

so you sort of envelop the countryside into the garden.

0:20:540:20:57

Framing the view doesn't have to be limited to expansive vistas.

0:20:590:21:03

In other gardens, a favourite tree or sculpture

0:21:030:21:07

are framed using hedges...

0:21:070:21:09

arches...

0:21:090:21:11

or walkways.

0:21:110:21:12

Just as an artist frames a painting,

0:21:120:21:15

the views in a garden can be enhanced by blocking out

0:21:150:21:18

undesirable distractions and directing the eye to focus on

0:21:180:21:21

a scene's most striking features.

0:21:210:21:23

Alternatively, obscuring all or part of a view so that it isn't

0:21:280:21:32

immediately on display will provide visitors

0:21:320:21:34

with a pleasant surprise as they turn a corner

0:21:340:21:36

and discover something unexpected.

0:21:360:21:38

The brothers have incorporated their own surprise element

0:21:440:21:47

into their design. At the top of the garden,

0:21:470:21:49

Jane and Michael's sunken patio will be obscured from the few

0:21:490:21:53

by the perennial planting beds.

0:21:530:21:55

Only as they approach the steps will the patio be revealed.

0:21:550:21:58

Back in the garden,

0:22:000:22:02

Charlie's cracking on with her own unexpected task.

0:22:020:22:04

This is my willow hurdle that I'm going to use

0:22:050:22:09

as the front face of the bench to make a wall.

0:22:090:22:13

Quick and easy and bendy, hopefully.

0:22:130:22:15

Oh, look at that!

0:22:150:22:18

-Yep.

-Looking good, isn't it?

-It is.

0:22:180:22:20

That's got to be up, level,

0:22:200:22:21

so we're going to dig in a bit, I think.

0:22:210:22:23

Yeah, like that.

0:22:250:22:26

Front of the seat.

0:22:270:22:29

We're going to whip that off there. Yeah? Does it make sense?

0:22:290:22:33

-I think it does.

-It makes "fence"!

0:22:330:22:35

It makes "fence"!

0:22:350:22:36

Oh... Get back to your sculpting of soil!

0:22:360:22:40

That's told him.

0:22:400:22:42

Who's meant to be in charge of this garden?

0:22:420:22:44

In the patio, the ugly concrete blocks

0:22:480:22:50

are disappearing behind natural stone,

0:22:500:22:53

sourced from the local quarry.

0:22:530:22:55

This is being laid to form the dry-stone wall,

0:22:550:22:57

which will not only make an attractive feature,

0:22:570:22:59

but will fit perfectly into the rural setting.

0:22:590:23:03

The sunken area at the moment is coming on really well

0:23:030:23:06

and the guys are dressing it with a local limestone,

0:23:060:23:08

which is going to give that lovely dry-stone-wall effect.

0:23:080:23:11

Me and Dave use stone a lot in our designs

0:23:110:23:14

and especially stone walling.

0:23:140:23:15

It's got a lovely natural appearance

0:23:150:23:17

and it adds that lovely bit of depth to the garden.

0:23:170:23:20

Also, this limestone depicts the local area

0:23:200:23:22

and what's so nice is it forges this connection

0:23:220:23:24

between the garden and the landscape.

0:23:240:23:27

But because it's a natural product, each stone is unique,

0:23:270:23:30

which is very difficult to use

0:23:300:23:32

and creating a stone wall is a real craft,

0:23:320:23:34

but with that you get something very special.

0:23:340:23:36

On the other side of the garden,

0:23:440:23:45

landscaper Scott is constructing Bonnie's extra step,

0:23:450:23:48

which will make that slope easier to navigate.

0:23:480:23:52

He's repurposing some old sleepers from the original retaining walls

0:23:520:23:56

and he's not the only one putting these to good use.

0:23:560:23:58

So, originally, retaining the seating area down the bottom,

0:24:050:24:07

there was a lot of these sleepers,

0:24:070:24:09

so we've replaced them with a lovely dry-stone wall.

0:24:090:24:11

So, what we're going to do is create a lovely length of deck,

0:24:110:24:14

which creates a lovely spot in the garden to sit.

0:24:140:24:16

Timber!

0:24:170:24:19

The deck in the midst of the meadow area will provide Jane and Michael

0:24:190:24:22

with yet another place to sit.

0:24:220:24:24

They'll have no excuse not to get out into the garden

0:24:240:24:27

once the brothers have finished!

0:24:270:24:29

I want it to be about that height-ish...

0:24:290:24:33

At the top of the garden,

0:24:330:24:34

Charlie and Scott are measuring out the frame for her seat.

0:24:340:24:37

Measure that.

0:24:370:24:39

I will measure that there.

0:24:390:24:40

That is 22... A foot, basically.

0:24:400:24:43

How long have we been in the metric system?

0:24:430:24:45

LAUGHTER

0:24:450:24:47

The willow hurdle needs cutting to the right size,

0:24:490:24:51

and then can be attached to posts at either end.

0:24:510:24:54

Charlie, it's looking good, but it looks a little high.

0:24:560:24:59

No, no, no. It's bum height,

0:24:590:25:01

so it's going to go down a little lower...

0:25:010:25:02

-That's perfect, actually.

-Yeah.

0:25:020:25:04

So, yeah, it's going to come down a bit.

0:25:040:25:06

It's looking gorgeous, though. I think this will link really nicely

0:25:060:25:09

-with the shrubs, with the plants.

-Yeah, and picking up

0:25:090:25:11

natural products using natural stone,

0:25:110:25:14

-natural hurdles.

-Love it.

-I'm getting really carried away.

0:25:140:25:18

I might even put a back up there as well.

0:25:180:25:21

Oh, that'd be really nice!

0:25:210:25:22

The garden is beginning to come together,

0:25:280:25:30

but building a dry-stone wall can be a tricky and time-consuming job,

0:25:300:25:34

so the boys have brought in specialist Neil

0:25:340:25:37

to get this done quickly and correctly.

0:25:370:25:39

And, because Harry has some experience in this field,

0:25:390:25:42

he'll be helping out, too.

0:25:420:25:44

-Hi, Neil.

-Hi.

0:25:440:25:45

-This is looking great.

-Oh, thanks.

0:25:450:25:48

I used to do a bit of stone walling back in Wales,

0:25:480:25:50

and I know it's a tricky art.

0:25:500:25:52

It is. It is tricky.

0:25:520:25:53

It takes years of practice.

0:25:530:25:56

And it is an art form.

0:25:560:25:58

There's a saying -

0:25:580:26:00

"If you pick up one stone, you've got to find a home for it."

0:26:000:26:03

-No waste.

-That's right.

0:26:030:26:05

If it doesn't go on here, then you find somewhere else on the wall.

0:26:050:26:08

-Yeah.

-So, yeah, "There's a home for every stone."

0:26:080:26:11

Yeah, that's the one! You don't mind if I crack on at the end, do you?

0:26:110:26:14

No, go ahead.

0:26:140:26:15

In the meadow area, David is cutting his timber to size.

0:26:200:26:24

Definitely looking forward to this, but they're quite difficult to cut.

0:26:240:26:28

That's my excuse anyway.

0:26:290:26:30

Reclaimed sleepers like these can cost around £60,

0:26:320:26:35

but brand-new ones will only set you back about half that.

0:26:350:26:38

Thanks to the old retaining wall, these ones were free.

0:26:380:26:41

Just persevere. Two hands.

0:26:430:26:46

Project manager Bonnie is marking out where the turf will be lifted

0:26:480:26:52

to make way for the brothers' path.

0:26:520:26:54

To speed the process along, they're using a motorised turf cutter,

0:26:540:26:58

which can cost around £50 a day to hire.

0:26:580:27:00

Dream. Easy.

0:27:080:27:09

Perfect. So this now is going to give a nice little seating area -

0:27:130:27:16

sit behind some shrubs, amongst the planting,

0:27:160:27:19

just a lovely place to look at the view.

0:27:190:27:20

David has nearly finished the decking

0:27:240:27:26

and Charlie has popped over to inspect his handiwork.

0:27:260:27:29

-It's going to be lovely.

-Well, hopefully.

0:27:290:27:32

One chair, book, look at the view.

0:27:320:27:35

-Perfect.

-Alone time.

0:27:350:27:37

-Yeah, exactly.

-There will be so many seats in this garden

0:27:370:27:39

that they ain't going to do any gardening,

0:27:390:27:41

they're just going to be sit there, sit there, sit there...

0:27:410:27:44

It's like a park, there's so many places to sit!

0:27:440:27:47

Seating is an important part of any garden,

0:27:470:27:50

and most sitting places are located in the sunniest area.

0:27:500:27:53

But if yours is open to the elements,

0:27:550:27:58

it should be in a more protected position.

0:27:580:28:00

Useful seating isn't limited to benches or chairs.

0:28:030:28:06

Any flat surface will work.

0:28:060:28:08

When it comes to design and style,

0:28:080:28:10

the only restriction is your own imagination.

0:28:100:28:12

In steep gardens,

0:28:180:28:19

any resting areas will be especially welcome on the way up the slope,

0:28:190:28:23

but any seats on uneven surfaces

0:28:230:28:25

should be safely fixed to the ground.

0:28:250:28:27

However, the most important thing about a seating area is the view,

0:28:300:28:34

and the new sunken patio will be the perfect place

0:28:340:28:37

for Jane and Michael to enjoy theirs from.

0:28:370:28:39

Unlike cemented walls,

0:28:430:28:44

a dry-stone wall is made by stacking stones

0:28:440:28:47

without using mortar to hold them together.

0:28:470:28:50

By choosing the stones carefully and packing them tightly,

0:28:500:28:52

a dry-stone wall can be completely self-supporting

0:28:520:28:55

and last hundreds of years.

0:28:550:28:57

Apart from looking great, this wall will provide an excellent habitat

0:28:570:29:01

for rock plants and insects alike.

0:29:010:29:03

The great thing about dry-stone walls is,

0:29:060:29:08

it creates all these little cracks and crevices for wildlife,

0:29:080:29:11

and it's a great little space just to encourage that.

0:29:110:29:14

And, over time, it's going to grow moss and lichen, and, again,

0:29:150:29:19

that's really, kind of, encouraging more wildlife in here,

0:29:190:29:21

and it'll soften the wall

0:29:210:29:23

and it'll become part of the fabric of the garden.

0:29:230:29:25

So, how goes it in the dry-stone walling world?

0:29:350:29:37

-Very well.

-Yeah?

0:29:370:29:39

-Yes.

-So, Neil, when he graduates, does he get a hat like this?

0:29:390:29:44

-He can have my hat.

-Shall we see what it looks like?

0:29:440:29:47

Wow, that's a tight fit, isn't it?

0:29:470:29:49

I've graduated.

0:29:510:29:53

-That's put ten years on you, mate.

-Oh, I can feel the power already!

0:29:530:29:56

Now, I'm not here just to chit-chat.

0:29:560:29:58

-I'm on the scrounge.

-You're always on the scrounge.

0:29:580:30:00

-Yeah, that big bit of stone...

-I was saving that one for you.

0:30:000:30:04

Oh, thank you, that's good.

0:30:040:30:06

So, steal a few bits like that...

0:30:060:30:08

But, yeah, not bad, not bad.

0:30:080:30:10

So, with my acquired bits of stone...

0:30:160:30:20

we're going to create...

0:30:200:30:22

..a jigsaw effect. So, like that...

0:30:230:30:26

Oh, no.

0:30:260:30:27

That's a nicer side.

0:30:270:30:29

And then we'll have another one there, there, there, there.

0:30:300:30:33

Leaving gaps.

0:30:330:30:35

So that'll make the surface to sit on, and plants all around.

0:30:350:30:39

And look at everybody who's doing absolutely nothing.

0:30:390:30:44

How many men does it take to build a dry-stone wall?

0:30:460:30:50

Charlie, it's really important to step back

0:30:500:30:52

and have a look at what you've just done.

0:30:520:30:54

Tea break over, the lads are breaking ground on the planting beds.

0:30:570:31:01

The two Scotts are using simple timber edging

0:31:040:31:06

to hold the path in place.

0:31:060:31:08

Ready-to-assemble edging kits are available to buy

0:31:090:31:11

in a range of colours and materials.

0:31:110:31:13

The boys have chosen wood to fit in well

0:31:130:31:16

with all the other natural elements in the garden.

0:31:160:31:19

And, speaking of nature,

0:31:190:31:20

it's time for David to get some of it into the ground,

0:31:200:31:23

and he's starting with the contorted hazel,

0:31:230:31:25

which should go down well with Michael.

0:31:250:31:27

So, this is the exciting part of the garden now,

0:31:300:31:32

where the plants start coming in,

0:31:320:31:34

and this part of the garden is reserved for the shrubs,

0:31:340:31:36

so we want to focus the view down to the landscape,

0:31:360:31:39

but also help to blur out some of the buildings here on the left.

0:31:390:31:42

One plant that Michael's really particular about

0:31:420:31:45

was the contorted hazel, and you can see why, cos, without the leaves,

0:31:450:31:48

you can really see these twisted, gnarled stems,

0:31:480:31:50

and it makes a really interesting shrub.

0:31:500:31:53

And what's so great is that it is quite slow growing,

0:31:530:31:56

so it's not going to grow too big and block out the view,

0:31:560:31:58

but it'll work perfectly in this situation.

0:31:580:32:02

With a contorted hazel, you will have to keep an eye on it,

0:32:020:32:04

because it's grafted onto the rootstock of a standard hazel,

0:32:040:32:07

and that means that straight shoots will come up through the middle,

0:32:070:32:10

so you've got to keep an eye, cut them off,

0:32:100:32:12

and that means that the twisted, more gnarled ones will keep growing.

0:32:120:32:15

It's best practice to plant shrubs when they're smaller

0:32:160:32:19

if they're in windier conditions.

0:32:190:32:20

That means they'll have a better chance of establishing

0:32:200:32:23

and growing well.

0:32:230:32:24

As well as the contorted hazel, we've also got a standard hazel,

0:32:260:32:29

and that's Corylus avellana.

0:32:290:32:30

And what's so great about this is, you can coppice it,

0:32:300:32:33

you can cut it down at the base,

0:32:330:32:34

and that means if it ever grows too tall,

0:32:340:32:36

you just chop it down and you let it regrow,

0:32:360:32:39

and that means it's going to be a healthier shrub.

0:32:390:32:41

As well as preventing a tree from growing too tall,

0:32:410:32:44

coppicing will encourage regeneration

0:32:440:32:46

and make the plant appear fuller.

0:32:460:32:48

The motte layer for the paths is finally going down

0:32:540:32:57

and Charlie's nearly finished her seat.

0:32:570:32:59

She just needs to add the finishing touches.

0:32:590:33:02

So, we've got plants that really like sunny conditions,

0:33:020:33:05

so this is a rock rose, a double one.

0:33:050:33:08

The great thing about having a double rock rose

0:33:080:33:11

is the flowers last way longer than the single ones.

0:33:110:33:14

Then we've got this erodium,

0:33:140:33:16

and it sort of has a floppy habit to it,

0:33:160:33:18

so it'll soften that wall at the back.

0:33:180:33:21

Big, pink, open flowers, so I'm thinking up there somewhere.

0:33:210:33:26

And, then, for the scent, we've got this rosemary,

0:33:260:33:29

and that one's a prostrate one, which means it sort of tumbles,

0:33:290:33:33

so it'll tumble over this corner, so as they walk down the steps,

0:33:330:33:36

they'll knock against it and get the scent.

0:33:360:33:39

And then I'm going to squash some thymes in.

0:33:390:33:41

Originally, I did say that I was going to use camomile,

0:33:410:33:45

but I've gone for thymes,

0:33:450:33:47

because they're really good for bees and butterflies

0:33:470:33:50

and it'll pick up the wildlife planting

0:33:500:33:53

that David's doing over there.

0:33:530:33:54

This is sedum Autumn Joy,

0:34:120:34:13

and what's so nice is, it's actually recycled from the original garden,

0:34:130:34:16

so it's lovely to be able to put them back in the new beds.

0:34:160:34:19

We've left the seed heads up as well, because I think what's so nice

0:34:190:34:22

about these is, it gives amazing winter form

0:34:220:34:24

and when the grasses are long and left as well,

0:34:240:34:27

this garden's going to have lovely interest in the winter.

0:34:270:34:29

Look out, lads - Charlie's on the scrounge again.

0:34:320:34:35

So, I'm almost finished, but I really need an evergreen there.

0:34:350:34:39

And they've got them all.

0:34:400:34:42

Harry!

0:34:420:34:44

Don't try and ignore me! I saw you pretend you didn't hear me!

0:34:440:34:48

I'm after an evergreen.

0:34:480:34:50

-OK.

-Is that... So I can have one?

-Yeah, of course.

0:34:500:34:53

You don't have to ask, Charlie.

0:34:530:34:55

-OK, then.

-Take whatever you want!

0:34:550:34:57

-They won't say that later.

-You're in danger!

0:34:570:34:59

Let's hope the brothers don't regret their generosity.

0:35:010:35:03

I might take two, actually.

0:35:040:35:06

Oh, yeah.

0:35:070:35:09

Maybe a hellebore.

0:35:100:35:11

Hey! How many have you got in there?

0:35:170:35:19

A couple more than one.

0:35:190:35:21

LAUGHTER

0:35:210:35:22

So, I'm thinking...

0:35:220:35:23

That'll fill up that space.

0:35:240:35:26

-Nice.

-Nice. I mean, you wouldn't like that daphne anyhow,

0:35:260:35:29

cos it's variegated.

0:35:290:35:31

-Don't worry about it, have it.

-So, I'm thinking that might be nice...

0:35:310:35:34

-Just over the fence?

-No.

0:35:340:35:36

Just down there, leading into your meadow,

0:35:360:35:38

cos that's going to be meadow, isn't it?

0:35:380:35:40

-Yes, going to seed that up.

-So that'll just give me an evergreen...

0:35:400:35:43

Yeah. Really scented.

0:35:430:35:44

And then I couldn't resist the hellebore, cos it's too pretty.

0:35:440:35:47

-No problem at all.

-Don't know where I'm going to put it,

0:35:470:35:50

but I'll get it in there somewhere!

0:35:500:35:51

While Charlie gets her pilfered plants in,

0:35:580:36:01

David is putting the final touches to the meadow.

0:36:010:36:04

Wild flower meadow seed is a really easy, really cost-effective way

0:36:050:36:08

of adding a lot of interest to the garden.

0:36:080:36:11

What we've got here is a grass and wild flower mix,

0:36:110:36:13

so it's going to add a really lovely, natural element

0:36:130:36:15

into the garden, and what's so great about this is,

0:36:150:36:18

it thrives on poorer soils.

0:36:180:36:19

You don't have to add manure, you don't have to have the topsoil.

0:36:190:36:21

It'll do really, really well and, actually, poorer soil will help

0:36:210:36:24

the flowers take over rather than the grass dominating the space.

0:36:240:36:27

And a little trick when sowing, if you've got a small space like this,

0:36:270:36:30

you don't have to worry too much about it.

0:36:300:36:32

You want to make sure you just put out a thin layer on top,

0:36:320:36:34

and then you can just go back over it.

0:36:340:36:36

This little area of the garden's really going to transform this summer.

0:36:360:36:39

When the shrubs come into leaf and the meadow starts growing,

0:36:390:36:41

all the flowers will come out and the grasses will thread through it,

0:36:410:36:45

and that's so nice, because it's actually going to tie in

0:36:450:36:47

with our perennial planting beds over here.

0:36:470:36:49

There are three different types of grasses in these beds.

0:36:530:36:55

This one here is the pheasant tail grass.

0:36:550:36:57

As you can see, it's really pretty, because the tint of the leaves

0:36:570:37:00

picks up really nicely with the gravel.

0:37:000:37:02

What's so great about this is it will spread and it will take over,

0:37:020:37:05

which means it might self-seed in the gravel as well,

0:37:050:37:08

so it'll really create this meadow-like effect

0:37:080:37:10

with the perennials poking out through.

0:37:100:37:12

As you can see, the planting's really beginning to take shape,

0:37:120:37:15

so all we've got to do is get the garden finished.

0:37:150:37:17

And, with the weather on the turn,

0:37:250:37:26

the team had better get a move on

0:37:260:37:28

so Jane and Michael can see their new garden before the rain hits.

0:37:280:37:31

Before they called in Charlie and the Rich brothers,

0:37:420:37:45

Jane and Michael's garden was an unloved, boring and barely used hill

0:37:450:37:49

that the family had outgrown.

0:37:490:37:50

Now it's been given a new lease of life with a £3,000 makeover.

0:37:560:38:00

At the heart of the design is the extended sunken patio,

0:38:030:38:06

where the couple can spend many a relaxing evening

0:38:060:38:09

basking in the setting sun.

0:38:090:38:11

Sheltered from the elements by the locally sourced dry-stone wall -

0:38:110:38:14

which cost a total of £502 -

0:38:140:38:17

the patio area blends naturally with the rural setting

0:38:170:38:20

whilst following clean, geometric lines.

0:38:200:38:23

The brothers have repositioned Jane and Michael's chiminea,

0:38:240:38:27

whilst a chunky table that has been gathering dust in the garage

0:38:270:38:30

now has a new home.

0:38:300:38:32

But, of course, it's not the only place to sit and enjoy

0:38:350:38:38

those glorious views.

0:38:380:38:40

The brothers have spent £75

0:38:400:38:41

on the materials and plants for Charlie's rustic seat.

0:38:410:38:45

It will be a perfect place for a morning coffee

0:38:450:38:47

surrounded by beautiful rock roses

0:38:470:38:50

and fragrant thyme and rosemary to excite the senses.

0:38:500:38:53

In a few months' time,

0:38:540:38:55

the garden will be awash with colour and fragrance.

0:38:550:38:58

The boys spent £103 on three types of ornamental grasses

0:38:580:39:02

planted either side of the new path.

0:39:020:39:05

But more form and structure is provided free of charge

0:39:050:39:08

by Jane's existing sedums.

0:39:080:39:10

The meadow area features a recycled sleeper deck

0:39:150:39:18

and the tall grasses and wild flowers

0:39:180:39:20

will provide a haven for birds, bees and butterflies in the future.

0:39:200:39:25

And not forgetting not one, but two contorted hazels, which cost £46.

0:39:250:39:30

Jane and Michael had dreamed of a quintessential English garden.

0:39:360:39:40

But, at the last minute,

0:39:400:39:41

opted for the Rich brothers' clean and minimal contemporary design.

0:39:410:39:44

-(Here they come!)

-As it starts to drizzle,

0:39:440:39:46

it's time to find out if their gamble has paid off.

0:39:460:39:49

-Are you excited?

-Yes!

0:39:510:39:54

I think we're excited.

0:39:540:39:55

LAUGHTER

0:39:550:39:57

OK, open your eyes.

0:39:570:39:59

-Wow.

-Oh, my gosh.

0:40:000:40:02

-It's absolutely spot-on.

-Oh, fantastic. Isn't that amazing?

0:40:020:40:06

-Is it what you expected?

-No!

-It's actually better.

0:40:060:40:09

It's...it's exceeded my expectations!

0:40:090:40:11

-That's a win!

-We can rest easy!

0:40:110:40:13

-I just want to get down there.

-Well, hey, it's your garden.

0:40:140:40:17

-Go ahead!

-Let's go.

0:40:170:40:18

Get ready to step onto the path.

0:40:200:40:22

-There we go.

-Just makes it a lot more usable, doesn't it?

0:40:220:40:25

-It looks great.

-We put a step in as well.

-That's super.

0:40:250:40:28

Right, then, which way?

0:40:280:40:30

The idea then is to, kind of, dogleg to the left,

0:40:300:40:32

just between the two planting beds.

0:40:320:40:34

-That's super.

-All of these will knit together and you'll have

0:40:340:40:37

this lovely, natural planting scheme.

0:40:370:40:39

-That's my corkscrew hazel!

-There's your corkscrew hazel!

0:40:390:40:42

Really pleased about that one.

0:40:420:40:44

We put that at the front as well, so you could really see it.

0:40:440:40:47

He likes his twisted hazel.

0:40:470:40:49

And he's got two, so he'll be doubly excited.

0:40:500:40:53

So, there's meadow seed down there, all through there,

0:40:530:40:55

so in the summer that will grow up.

0:40:550:40:57

-Lovely.

-All green and natural.

0:40:570:40:58

Lovely. So, you don't want me to weed it, then?

0:40:580:41:01

-Don't you dare!

-Don't touch it!

-LAUGHTER

0:41:010:41:04

All right, head on down the steps.

0:41:040:41:07

-There we go.

-The dry-stone wall.

0:41:070:41:09

That is amazing, isn't it?

0:41:090:41:11

It looks so fabulous.

0:41:110:41:12

Doesn't it add a nice character to it?

0:41:120:41:14

It's just unbelievable.

0:41:140:41:16

It's depictive of this local area.

0:41:160:41:18

-It's nice to have a little bit of that in your garden.

-Beautiful.

0:41:180:41:21

Oh, they love that area down the bottom.

0:41:210:41:23

I can see them spending a lot of time there.

0:41:230:41:26

It's so nice, just giving you that extra bit of space down here.

0:41:260:41:29

It really makes it a lot more usable.

0:41:290:41:31

It's just beautiful.

0:41:310:41:33

We've got something else to see as well.

0:41:330:41:35

We've got Charlie's little spot up here. We can't forget about that!

0:41:350:41:38

And now my bit.

0:41:380:41:39

How exciting!

0:41:400:41:42

-How's that?

-Gosh.

0:41:430:41:46

I love it. Charlie's very clever.

0:41:460:41:48

-She is.

-She's a clever lady, isn't she?

0:41:480:41:51

They like my bench, that's a hit.

0:41:510:41:53

And I think the whole garden has gone down a storm.

0:41:530:41:57

The Rich brothers spotted Jane and Michael's love of timeless elegance

0:42:020:42:05

and gave them a garden to be proud of.

0:42:050:42:08

So, are the couple happy with their decision?

0:42:080:42:10

I just can't believe what they've done.

0:42:120:42:14

I can't wait till it's dry and I can go and sit over there

0:42:140:42:16

-and watch the sun rise.

-And all the flowers come out and it's all beautiful.

0:42:160:42:20

It's going to be a great summer.

0:42:200:42:21

It's even better than we thought it would be.

0:42:250:42:28

It's given us more space.

0:42:280:42:29

I mean, I know we saw the plans, but, actually, to see it

0:42:290:42:32

in real life, it is more stunning and just...

0:42:320:42:36

It's just perfect for us.

0:42:360:42:38

This dry-stone wall just blends in so well.

0:42:420:42:45

And when all these scented plants are at their height in the summer...

0:42:450:42:48

At last, I've got my corkscrew hazel in place.

0:42:480:42:51

-Yes!

-Here's to you, doing the gardening.

0:42:510:42:53

-Thank you. Cheers.

-Cheers.

0:42:530:42:55

Charlie Dimmock and the Rich brothers are challenged to come up with the best design for a rural back garden with a steep slope. Whose plan to make the best of the spectacular Somerset view will the owners choose?


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