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Fabulous flowers, luscious lawns, verdant veggie plots in backyards.
What does your garden say about you?
If it's crying out for an overhaul or you simply need help to get started, we're here to inspire you.
Is that a good shot for you?
I'm Chris Beardshaw, passionate horticulturist,
landscape architect and mad keen cyclist.
I propagated my first seeds when I was four and haven't looked back since.
SNEEZES Is that a roar of appreciation?!
And I'm Colin Donaldson. Builder, landscape gardener and mad keen biker.
For me, it's always been about the property and landscape working together.
If there's heavy machinery involved, all the better.
Trying to get a tune out of that?
We're on a mission to help six families transform their gardens.
So let's get up and grow.
In among the rolling hills of County Tyrone, schoolteachers Dave and Julie Hardy
have just finished building their dream home.
Dave and Julie are passionate about growing their own produce,
especially now there is a new addition to the family - baby Theo.
Neither of us are afraid to get our hands dirty. Get stuck in.
As long as somebody permits!
On our first visit, we set about giving Dave and Julie a starter pack for growing their own.
That was a seriously busy day, building raised beds then filling them in with edible plants.
Then fighting with the polys to get the frame up before the rain came and nightfall.
Get some more bags of topsoil!
It was busy, but we gave Dave and Julie those basic tools and look what they did!
They filled the polythene tunnel full of edibles that can be picked and taken straight to the kitchen.
Nice bird, Chris. He's like you're doppelganger.
Everything is just together.
We can come out and spend a couple of hours out here.
We can just walk away and the time just flies by.
We're still obviously getting used to having Theo as well.
I'm used to just going and doing things and remembering that I have to take the pram with me.
I can't seem to find wellies that small yet, but we will get there.
School finished today so now I have got eight or nine weeks off where I can really get stuck in.
This looks like a proper productive garden, so does it feel like a productive garden?
Yeah, it has been really nice to come out and almost pick
which lettuce you're going to have for tea tonight.
You end up eating half of it before you get in!
"One for me, one for the bucket."
-Would you like to increase the size of this?
Things we haven't got in, like potatoes.
Anything like that just occupies so much space.
You have to be generous with the amount of space you dedicate.
I suggest we start to look around to see where we can make those larger beds.
Because those beds will be very different to the beds we have got over here.
That's the next logical step, if you invest that extra time.
You think this is absorbing, if you want a bit of extra time
but greater rewards, then bigger beds are the way to go.
Now, with the summer coming around,
hopefully we will get some good weather and we can get out
and together we can get some stuff done.
-Three metre and then 900 path.
-Then we can always shoot it down.
'So, Chris, you decided that we should build some more, bigger beds. Isn't that a little ambitious?'
Extending the area may seem like a strange thing to be doing,
given that the guys are in that early stage of getting familiar
with how the fruits and veg are starting to settle down.
But actually, by making the space larger, the range of produce they can grow
suddenly becomes extended and also the nature of that produce.
'Bit early for a drink that strong, isn't it?
'I needed that before the Chris "maths for paths" class.'
Three beds, four metres by three metres with a 900 path between.
And if we want to put a hedge in here, there's not enough room for a path AND a hedge, obviously.
You are looking here for about a metre off of this fence.
Say that's 11.30. You are looking for 10.30.
And that would give you 500 for a hedge.
And a 500 path, which is a very narrow path.
-Would 600 be too narrow?
-Just walk your wheelbarrow through, that's the easiest thing to do.
-That's a shiny new wheelbarrow.
-It is. I killed the other one!
-You could get away with a 600.
-Yes, I think 700, to be safe.
If you go with 700 path, then?
'Good crops rely on one thing. Good muck.'
It's still steaming. That's how you know it's good stuff.
I think if we just get it in through the gate? Yeah.
That's great, super, thanks.
That'd take the lungs out of you!
Before the muck can be dug in, the builders' rubble has to be dug out.
In order to dig those beds, it would be a week's work and it would be too punishing to even attempt.
But yet again, digger at hand, job done in an hour.
-Big Al is making a great job!
-He is. He knows what he's doing.
A good digger man, you could spend hours just standing and watching.
Is that why you stand and watch me for so long?!
You just admiring my handiwork? I thought you were idle!
It was never happening, was it, with the spade? Rubbish soil. Everything else was great!
There's nothing more frustrating than sowing your crops and looking at them and they're not performing.
With the larger beds in deep soil, you can grow the deep-rooted plants.
Even a humble carrot. When you think of a carrot, the root you eat could be six, ten inches long.
But the taproot can go down three or four metres. Horseradish, 12 metres.
A horseradish will penetrate the ground.
All you'd end up with is novelty vegetables if you grew on this.
Which would keep us mildly entertained for an hour or so.
While the digger was weaving its magic, I took a little time out in the tunnel with Dave
to see what he has already managed to grow.
There have been colossal changes since we were last standing here.
-You can get in now.
-A bit warmer? I'm in shorts.
I have ended up building two raised beds and made them nice and long and just got plenty of stuff in.
I'm just trying things, really.
Your tomatoes are coming along nicely.
They're all at different stages.
-You've gone for the natural pest control with the marigolds?
-Thought I'd give it a go.
And you have stuck by "what grows together, goes together"
with your basil sitting in amongst your tomatoes, there?
This is a Thai one. And I just love the smell,
I end up picking it and rubbing it on my fingers.
It's just lovely. It really is.
'Oh, look. A small load. Well, 20 tonnes of topsoil.'
'Yes, I can sense a big job for me coming on. Where is the digger?'
-That would be good for your spuds.
-Shall we go and plant some trees and leave Colin?
-Where is the shovel?
-You could equally divide that.
-Wait till you see!
When you think, you are harvesting fruits and veggies, there is a lot of products going out of the garden,
you've got to put a lot going in.
And that is essentially in the form of nutrients, organic matter.
The nice thing about doing this to the garden is you can play with anything.
You can put in anything you like.
So I wondered if you wanted to have a play with these wee beasties?
This is a very special hazel. The latest craze in hazel growing.
And the roots are impregnated with a fungus.
Actually, most fungi are not at all a problem to plants.
They co-exist with the plants around us.
So this is a mycorrhizal fungi, and the result is once you plant it
and they start to grow, you get truffles.
So the principle is that you should end up with these.
Two little black truffles. £35 for two truffles.
So if, in five years' time, you get two truffles, you've hit the jackpot.
-They are dead easy to grow.
Truffles are not necessarily going to create great crops here but that doesn't matter.
That single truffle Dave harvests in five years will be the best truffle he has ever tasted.
I need a pig to start sniffing them out.
They're good at finding them but also eat them, so it could become a very expensive pig.
-You're much better off with a Jack Russell.
-A Jack Russell?
'Is there anything you don't know, Chris? Do some real work!'
I sense you are feeling the pressure today, sir?
One of the lovely things about your garden is the way that
the land wraps around the building and almost encapsulates it,
and it gives you an opportunity to play with different spaces.
You get a completely different character if you come round
from the veggie gardens at that end, round into this blank canvas.
This is going to be what you're going to see all the time
-and you want something pretty.
-When the sun comes out...
-And it does.
-..this is quite a nice space.
-Yes, nice and sheltered.
And logic would have it that this is a space that you spill out of the sitting room into.
A space out here, a garden around it, with viewing from that end,
viewing from this end and viewing from the house itself.
Excellent. Sounds good.
At the moment, it is just a bare piece of soil, really,
and not even that - it's mud.
'Here we go for another one of Chris's designs on the back of a fag packet.'
A landing, almost.
A seating area or a dining area in the centre of the garden
and then rose garden around.
'Then Dave had to seek approval from the missus.'
'Is that a yes?'
COW MOOS AGAIN
Have we got approval from the boss to continue?
-She's all right with that, is she?
She likes the view from the kitchen window?
Yes, she can stand there when she's doing the dishes and look out.
You walked away from the window before you said that!
That's your linking path through.
It's just been a bit of a mud bath.
So it'll be quite nice to actually have an area as it grows
over the next few weeks or months that we can then sit and enjoy.
I hope everybody likes tomatoes.
'Home-grown tomatoes are like sweeties. And talking of sweeties,
'here's two kids in a sweetie shop.'
This packaging's perfect for Colin, look.
"Planting instructions." "This way up."
Keep it simple, I say.
-Does this feel like Christmas?
If you look over here, there's somewhere...
There it is... There we go.
Just grab a leaf in there.
Two, four, six,
-eight, nine leaflets.
And this one...five leaflets.
-Old rose, new rose.
All the new rose varieties have five leaflets, occasionally seven,
but the older ones have all got sevens or nines.
You get a much better flowering season with these things.
-With the newer roses?
-With the newer roses. The disadvantage is that they are more susceptible to disease.
You know, you never see rosa rugosa with mildew and black spot,
whereas the new varieties, you tend to,
so the breeders are now trying to breed some of the resilience of the old varieties
back into the new ones.
so there's a right old mix here.
-Did you know there's a Chris Beardshaw rose?
-Which obviously will take pride of place in your garden.
And it's a kind of...
It's a masculine sort of rose,
in a shade of...babydoll pink.
Quite feminine. I'm in touch with my feminine side. I get it from Colin.
What I want to do is something which is full of fragrance,
full of blooms, based around roses, and a large seating area.
'Chris, you go, girl!'
'There's nothing wrong with two boys getting in touch with their feminine side. Where's Colin gone?'
'Urgent business in Tuscany, I think you'll find.'
'Well, while you were away, we built more beds - this time for ornamental plants,
'and in particular, our rather fabulous roses.'
I've tried to move away from that rather funereal look
that we grew up with as kids, which is rose, rose, rose, nothing on the ground -
just sort of bleached out.
That's what gave roses such a bad reputation.
This is a slightly different way of doing it,
insomuch as we're using a whole host of different roses,
different flowering styles and lengths, and different habits,
so some are upright, like Fantin-Latour in the centre -
it's one of those big, fluted... almost like a kind of champagne vase.
It's a very grand plant.
Framing that on either side, slightly darker colours,
just to add a little bit of warmth to the garden.
And on this side, it's frilly, it's froufrou,
it's almost like a kind of ballerina's tutu...
Darcey Bussell. So you've got Darcey Bussell in the garden.
You can claim at school you've had Darcey Bussell in the garden.
And then, you introduce some more pastel shades.
And you'll find also the herbaceous will help to protect the roses, too.
This is quite a general mix of herbaceous
but they've been chosen so that they either just peep through
the branches and leaves of the roses without impeding their growth,
or they spread around underneath, a little bit like a carpet,
and nestle themselves against the understory.
Neither will affect the roses - they'll actually enhance their performance.
Roses don't like being alone. They're very gregarious -
they like to be partnered with other plants.
Much better to treat them as they deserve -
the queen of the shrub border.
Then surround them with all their ladies in waiting - the glamorous herbaceous plants
that will just very politely play around underneath the skirt of the roses.
'Fair play, though, Chris - by the time we were both back, Dave and Julie had put in
'a huge amount of work to their garden again, on both the productive side and the ornamental side,
'and look at it now.'
Chris, I was away for one day and this has sprung up.
Mm. You know sometimes you have to make decisions about what you want in life?
-Sometimes those things are very ephemeral and...you know,
and sometimes you want to go for something that's got a bit more substance and meaning to it.
So, you know, you opted for the St Tropez spray-on tan,
after ten days of relaxing by a swimming pool, dangling our pinkies in the water.
Well, there's certainly some fragrance around here.
And the roses are fighting, very manfully,
through the rather...abundant and ripe smell of the mushroom compost.
The mushroom compost we used to use, and it stinks!
There's no two ways about it. But it is very good and they're beside a mushroom farm.
-Go and stick a fork into it and see what happens.
-It'll just melt the fork.
'And that's not the only surprise. Something else new.'
Now, guys, just behind us, this rose garden has sprung up.
-I knew nothing about it, but it's great.
And over here, something else has been happening.
I've laid a bit of lawn
and we're planning actually to change it slightly.
We're thinking about having a slightly larger area
down this area here against the wall.
So we can barbecue and entertain.
Dave had always talked about... He wanted a barbecue area.
He wanted it over there because you get the...obviously, the evening sun.
But we didn't realise just how much he wanted to entertain there.
-We've been able to say...
-We don't like it.
-It's not that...
Well, no. It's not that we didn't like it. We just....
There was an area we wanted to change slightly and we've been able to.
And what happens to the... to the lawn, now?
Are we foreshortening it much?
We were having a chat about it, bringing it in.
Probably to round about where this one is here.
Worth just thinking about the size of those elements, though.
Because if you've got a hedge,
your hedge is going to be 50 centimetres minimum - width,
in order for it to be a decent height.
And for it to look like a proper hedge.
So that's going to take you to about there.
If you're reducing the size of your border down by 60,
you end up with a border less than a metre wide.
-Which is, it's going to look meaningless.
So I think we're in danger of trying to include too many elements in here
and it may be worth considering keeping the borders where they are
but doing away with the lawn.
Much better to say, well, this area where the lawn is,
that's going to be hard surface, then you've still got room
for some decent sized borders and your barbecue.
If you take that centre line off the path,
you can still utilise that.
So you can come in here to a permanent barbecue fixed in here.
So you've got the facility and then you can have a couple of low walls
coming out with prep surfaces, cos there's always,
what do you do with your utensils and food?
You've got things you want to put down when you're...
Either side becomes planting.
You could put a tree there which gives you height.
You could create a great little outdoor kitchen.
Then the borders drift out from that
and when you want to serve the food
you walk out and you've got your dining area out here.
And I think if you went for a relatively loose surface here.
-Maybe going along those lines then, today.
The whole thing has a much more edible and organic feel about it.
Amongst this rather more formal structure.
And that's great,
it doesn't distract from what we'd originally proposed.
It just means that it means a lot more to Dave and Julie.
Is that an accurate size, do you think, of the table you might get?
I would think so, you could get... Yeah, that would be ideal.
The turf would be fine if it's left and it is beautifully laid turf, Roger.
Unfortunately it does have to become hard surface. Sorry.
Are you making a mess of that? COLIN LAUGHS
'Look at this fine example of an Olympic athlete.
'That's what you get for taking time off.'
Wow, that's rooted in!
Now you've torn it!
Is it easier putting it down or lifting it up, Roger?
Do you want a seat?
'Move over, Dec. I'll show you how to do it.'
I had that problem yesterday. Right, go.
See if I can do it first time.
When a child has a little bit too much sugar
they get a bit excitable.
Just watch your foot.
And a bit hysterical.
That's what's happening now.
He just had a few too many of those blue sweeties at lunch.
'Stop making me laugh.
'I'm trying to plant those fruit bushes in a straight line.'
Are you going for the staggered line?
What are you talking about?
Don't let Declan see that, otherwise he'll have his string line out, correcting that.
He's going to go absolutely OCD to make sure his aren't.
I think we're going to overtake each other!
Look what a mess you made.
Look, mine's all neatly... Look! See?
Trees. Where shall we put them, where would you like them?
We've got walnuts, filberts.
What is a filbert?
Well, a filbert... This is a filbert.
Cos we were looking at the labels and we were wondering what...
You have probably seen them in a mixed bag of nuts.
-At Halloween-ish time.
You know a hazelnut is round? Whereas a filbert is more egg-shaped.
-So it's more like that.
-Like an almond, almost.
-Yeah. Oh, there's a picture.
-It's got those kind of big, shaggy ears to them.
It's more prolific than the hazelnut, more likely to get nuts on it.
'The work is really moving on. You rotavated the area for the nuttery
'while Roger was left with the job of mulching the new rose beds with ripe mushroom compost.
'And now, Chris, for your next trick.'
This project's at a stage where we're making big steps forward,
partially because Dave's been working whilst we've been away,
so he's really seized the initiative
and moved the project forward,
which means every time Colin and I come in, we can move forward even further.
So it's almost a game of catch-up.
-So the frame is starting to form, isn't it?
-It gives you an idea.
'From what I expected at the beginning,
'we've - to an extent - got something completely different.'
Now, the new space is going to be far, far better.
'It's nice to have the grass area, but we'll have so much grass to the back.'
-It'll be nice to have the more entertaining, social adult space, really.
'And speaking of adult entertainment...'
When this comes up, you throw that one that way instead of underneath.
There you go. That's it.
'Time for a recap, Chris.
'This started out being about Dave and Julie wanting to grow more
'of their own, so we set them up with a polytunnel and raised beds.
'Then we prepared yet more ground to make a small orchard for fruit bushes.
'The final touch was to plant a nuttery.
'Julie and Dave will now be able to go from fork to fork, garden to kitchen.'
'But this garden is a game of two halves
'and it's also important to have a social space, and in this case,
'we built an outdoor kitchen diner surrounded by the heady scent of roses.'
This is like landscaping with the man from the Milk Tray advert.
And someone out of Brokeback Mountain, just looking at our outfits...
I brought my work shirt.
We need to get some sort of harmony between our outfits.
I'm going to go and get my shirt on.
'Dave and Julie really worked their socks off over the summer to fill the new beds
'to capacity with edibles in the productive side of the garden.'
'And on the ornamental side,
'they can relax amongst the bountiful borders and fabulous fragrances.'
It's nice to see this with sunshine on it, and drying up as well.
-You wet it down to compact it.
-I was expecting it to be more dust.
I know it's quarry dust, but I was expecting it to be more... You know, sink into it.
I think you can get hung up on the type of product that you use,
thinking that's where the beauty comes from.
Really, when the plants start filling, this really isn't that important.
If any of your friends comment on the surface instead of the plants,
you need to think about your friends more carefully, really!
'Dave has rendered the wall.
'The barbecue area is nearly finished and now he and Chris
'are planting something a little unusual for Northern Ireland, figs.'
-Have you resolved the barbecue?
-Yeah, we're planning on getting it rendered, the same as the wall.
-So this will be cooking in here?
That's prep and serving.
Yes. Cooking here.
And then another bit of granite worktop here.
So you can set things, utensils.
It's a great spot, especially on a day like today.
Will it be finished for this afternoon, by the time we...?
Hmm... Maybe not. We could maybe stand the gas barbecue in there for now.
We'll get Colin. He's good at gassing!
You spend so much time in the garden creating good planting and rooting, for most plants.
Figs are the opposite - you spend a lot of time digging a big hole and then filling it full of rubbish.
Give it good, fertile growing conditions and it's just away.
I mean, I've got brown turkey at home and it goes up 12, 15ft a year.
The idea is to give it poor rooting conditions, which reduces the size of the leaf.
It reduces the vigour of the plant, and you end up with
the plant panicking and producing lots of fruit.
-So we'll make little boxes and backfill with rubble.
A little soil as well, and then plant the figs into that
and it'll help to hold them back a little bit.
'The figs are going to need a little support to spread across Dave's new wall.'
That's 120 there. Will I mark it?
Just leave me little kisses on the wall.
If you do the same on that end, I'll start drilling.
Oh, a sneaky one.
He tried to do the undertaking thing again.
-Look at the record.
What I didn't want at the beginning was it all done for you.
I didn't want to be sat in the house, or go away for a weekend
and come back and, "Ta-da! You've got a garden."
-Yeah, it's something that we have been able to work on together.
I think it's just fabulous.
I used to be quite good at this.
Blame having children. That's what it is.
You should never play this sober.
-This must be the nicest bowl arena ever.
It's brilliant. It's like a picture frame, almost,
just frames all the different areas and it really works.
It's completely not what I was expecting, but I'm so pleased with it.
-Really happy with it.
-It's a great learning environment for Theo,
and, crikey - I'd have loved to have had a garden like this when I was growing up.
It's going to be really enjoyable to see it develop and grow.
-Did we win that one?
-Is that 4-0 or 5-0?
-I lost count.
-No! We won the first one.
-The second one?
-That was just practising.
-We weren't competitive at that point.
We let you win.
On a lovely crisp morning with the frost, like this morning,
It just looks fantastic, the whole area.
Just thinking, "That's ours! We're able to go out and use that space."
The first time everybody came, Theo was five days old
and he's now six months old, so within six months,
we've done what we were probably planning on doing over four or five years.
-Maybe even six.
-Probably even six!
Look at you, giving away smiles.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd
E-mail [email protected]
Landscape architect Chris Beardshaw and property developer Colin Donaldson inspire six families across Northern Ireland to 'Get Up and Grow'. In today's programme the task is a game and garden of two halves.
Chris and Colin guide young family, Dave, Julie and baby Theo to 'Get Up and Grow' their own fruit, veg and nuts on one side of their garden in Dromore, while on the other, they create a cooking, dining and social area surrounded by a riotous rose garden that enables the family to take produce from fork to fork in beautiful surroundings.