Garden transformation show. In Croydon, Danny and the team create a Jamaican-style garden for owner Carmen, who needs somewhere tranquil to remember her lost daughter.
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There are few sights more satisfying than a beautiful garden,
but what do you do if your outdoor space
isn't quite so picture-perfect and you're short on time?
Well, meet the Instant Gardener.
Danny Clarke is an expert at transforming gardens.
Here's my plan...
I'm going to rejuvenate this garden.
Each time our gardening guru will show you how to create
gorgeous garden makeovers.
That's the art of garden design - delegation.
Each transformation will be packed with brilliant ideas and tips...
It makes it easier to cut through.
..to help you get to grips with your own outdoor space.
It does feel unnatural, but take your time.
With his magical ideas...
These flowers will look like they're floating in amongst the grasses...
..and advice on spending wisely on a budget.
-That's why Danny makes me bring a list!
Oh, my word!
This is amazing!
And because he's the INSTANT gardener, everything you see
will happen in just one day.
Oh, my gosh!
That looks so much better!
Today we're in South London -
welcome to Croydon and its dramatic urban skyline.
Dominated by large office blocks,
it's a bustling commercial centre,
an important transport hub,
and home to more than 50,000 people...
..many of whom have created their own small garden paradises
as a retreat from the hectic metropolis.
We've come to a quiet residential street in Croydon
to meet a very special lady
who is longing for a garden paradise
that will take her back to her own roots.
Hello. Hi, Helen. How are you?
I'm very good. Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too. Come on in.
Thank you. Let's have a look at this garden.
Carmen is a much-loved, hard-working grandmother
who gives much of her time to the community
by working at a local hospital.
For the last few years she's also been busy bringing up
her granddaughter Shanice.
Seven years ago, Carmen lost her daughter, Natasha - Shanice's mother - in a house fire.
Since the death of Natasha,
Carmen has been Shanice's guardian and parent,
raising her throughout the rest of her childhood
to become the thriving young woman she is today.
It was Shanice who contacted The Instant Gardner
to ask for help in giving her grandmother
a garden that would take her back to her roots in Jamaica,
a place where family can be together and remember.
Carmen's recently moved into a new home,
hoping to put her family tragedy behind her,
but her new garden is a complete and utter mess,
and totally overgrown.
In the corner, there's a rickety old arbour that's seen better days.
There's an old pergola that runs along one side of the garden,
with what used to be
a path beneath it.
The centrepiece is an ornamental pond full of duckweed,
and surrounded by an assortment of rubbish and unkempt rockeries.
But it does have some redeeming features,
including the fact that the patio faces east
and gets the morning sun.
Because this garden is so full of junk,
and Danny has only 10 hours to improve it,
we've allowed him the special privilege of a pre-makeover clear up -
and with very bad weather forecast, it's an extra blessing.
It's a moody makeover morning
and Carmen's granddaughter Shanice is on hand to help Danny out.
But now it's time for us all to find out just what Carmen
wants from her instant garden transformation.
-Rain doesn't stop our team, does it, Danny?
-Hello, Helen! How are you?
I'm good! Tell me about this garden.
It looks like you've been pretty busy.
How different was it yesterday?
You could hardly move through it, it was so overgrown.
So many nasties everywhere.
Is that fair?
The garden was a jungle.
So why haven't you done anything to it?
You've done a lot of work in the house,
why haven't you touched the garden?
It was such a huge job
and I wasn't able to do anything because I have a bad back.
Now, I know you're back's not been well, but I also suspect
you are quite a busy lady.
How hard does she work, Shanice?
My grandma works really hard.
She works all the time
and I don't really see her very often.
You're always volunteering and doing things for other people,
-so no time for the garden?
I rarely have time for myself or the garden,
because I'm always working.
I can do long hours.
I can work from 7am until 9pm, so there's hardly any time.
What would you love to see out here?
I would love to have a garden to remind me of my childhood days,
when I was in Jamaica.
A tropical garden.
So, when did you move over here from Jamaica?
I came here when I was, like, 13 years old.
What do you reckon then, Danny?
Can you take Carmen back to her teenage and childhood years
-and remind her of Jamaica?
-I hope so. I've got a plan here.
And there's a list in this plan that is going to make your garden look fantastic.
-So, happy shopping.
-We'll go and do the shopping.
-We can cope with that.
-See you later.
-All the best. Bye.
Whilst I whisk Carmen away for shopping and inspiration,
Danny's challenge is to create
a tropical paradise designed to transport her
to her childhood home in Jamaica.
But with just 10 hours to do it,
he's got a tough job, to say the least.
So what's the plan, Dan?
Carmen would like a tropical garden.
A garden that's going to remind her of her homeland.
So what we're going to do is create a journey for her.
And this is the start of the journey.
So by building a path for her, we're going to come
in this direction and then bear left.
With the pond again on our right-hand side,
we're going to do a right-hand turn
through the pergola.
And look at this lovely fence that we've exposed.
It was completely covered in nasties.
We're coming back this way.
Pond on the right-hand side, till we get to here,
and then we've reached Jamaica.
What a lovely tropical paradise.
The way we're going to create that
is by bleeding gravel through this area,
and up, popping through the gravel, is going to be
lovely, hardy exotics -
bamboos, tree ferns, grasses...
to give us that jungly effect.
How fantastic is that going to look?
Sounds amazing, Danny.
But if you're going to create another country in a day,
you'd better get on with it.
And with two major jobs to negotiate -
an extensive garden path and a complicated tropical planting plan -
there's no time to lose!
Luckily, Danny's team - handyman AJ
and horticulturalist Lou -
are here to help with this tropical transformation.
Today he's also got Shanice, as well as her boyfriend, Luke,
who has arrived ready and willing to get his hands dirty.
Good job, too, as Danny immediately commandeers him
to help with the biggest landscaping job he's planned -
creating a new garden path.
First of all, using marker paint,
Danny draws the outline of the path which will traverse the length of the garden.
Following right behind him is handyman AJ
who is digging the trench for the path edging.
Now the trench has been dug,
Danny's going to use one of his favourite quick fixes...
This aluminium flexible edging should speed up this tricky job
before the garden turns into a bog.
As you can see, the boys are putting in this lovely aluminium edging.
This is going to make the edge of the path.
You can make this in any shape you like.
Now, if you look closely, you've got these little grooves
which means you can interlock it
to make it nice and seamless,
and you just add pegs in here
and that keeps it nice and secure.
Sounds simple enough, but Luke needs a lesson in edging, first.
If you look at these grooves...
here...you can just slide it in.
There we go.
If you can just lift it slightly for me... That's it.
We've got it exactly right. So that's it nicely in the groove.
-Now we can adjust the length
by sliding it either inwards, like this...
or outwards, like that.
Lesson two for Danny's young assistant
is how to make a neat bend in the edging.
Might be a bit trickier.
So, we're going to go through the process again...
-with an angle in it.
So what I'm going to do is just
put it roughly in the position to where I want it to be...
So now I know it roughly wants to go at right angles
-from that point.
Keep your finger on that edge...
-We need to turn it over the other way.
I've put this foot on this post
to make a nice clean right angle,
till we've got it
to where we want it to be.
So, Luke, you see a nice neat bend,
almost at a right angle. That's all we need. Nice and simple.
With a bit of luck...
-..we should he able to...
-I've got this end.
Now we're going to slide it back in...
-I think we've got it there, haven't we?
-Absolutely brilliant. Do you reckon you can do this on your own?
OK, Luke. Let's go for it.
As Luke gets to grips with edging the path,
Danny starts Shanice off with clearing the old pond.
We want to clear this pond because it's full of duckweed and rubbish.
So we're going to use this net.
So skim it over the surface.
Try and be mindful of any animals - frogs, etc - that might be in here.
Never mind if you catch one or two
because we'll give them a second chance.
So if they end up in this bucket,
like this, right, we can just turn it to one side
and they can make their own way out on their own free will.
While Shanice is pond-clearing,
Danny wants to find out just how important grandmother Carmen
has been to Shanice since the death of her mother
in a terrible accident.
So why did you call us in for your grandmother? What was the reason behind it?
Well, we've been living together for quite a long time now.
It's been about seven years or so.
Just because she took me in after my mum passed away.
So, we've just been together quite a lot and I just wanted her
to have a really nice garden.
She gives so much back to the community,
and she has been doing so for such a long time -
ever since I can remember, really.
I really think that this is something that she deserves.
She sounds like an amazing woman.
We'll get this garden finished.
-Mind out for those frogs.
-OK. Will do!
It really does sound like Carmen will get a lot
out of her new garden.
Leaving Danny and the team to carry on their race against time and the weather,
I've got a treat for Carmen.
I want to give her an opportunity to be inspired
and get a real sense of what her new tropical garden might be like.
I've brought her to a local garden
that has all the elements of a Caribbean hideaway -
including the tropical rain!
Carmen, before we get started on Danny's list,
I wanted you to see a garden
and realise how beautiful and exotic a tropical garden can be in London.
-Do you trust us?
You will after this.
This sumptuous sanctuary in Camberwell
is the brainchild of Clive Pankhurst,
a former botany student who loves jungle plants.
Come and have a look at this oasis, Carmen.
This is excellent.
You kind of don't expect it in a back garden, do you, in London?
-What an oasis!
It's great, isn't it?
-Does this remind you of Jamaica?
Very much so. All the greenery and the space
and the different colours.
Thank you. Well, it's really just getting going again at the moment.
It's very much kind of a summer garden.
What you've got at the moment are the very hardy plants
that form the framework of the jungle garden here.
Whilst Clive offers tropical tips and gives us a tour
of his urban jungle,
Danny is still at the very beginning of his labour of love.
Back in the garden, the team are three hours into the day,
and they still haven't finished with the fiddly edging
for the new garden path. The day will be over before they know it!
They've got to get a move on! Come on, team!
The last thing we have to do now is knock the stakes in.
As you can see, we've got the outline of the path now.
If you look around, it's all in, all in place,
so let's just move in over here...
-AJ, can I take the mallet from you?
-Thank you very much.
-There you are, Luke.
-And if you just continue around here.
-Knocking them in.
Whilst the rest of the team have been tackling the hard landscaping,
Carmen's granddaughter Shanice has been on pond duty.
And she's come across something interesting.
Danny, I've found a frog!
Let's come and have a look.
Ah! Lovely frog.
With the frog given his freedom,
he makes his way back to his old habitat.
But Danny's concerned that the pond plant-life
is looking a little restricted, too.
As always, he's got a tip.
Recycling is at the heart of everything that Danny does,
and he's got a plan to make Carmen's plants magically multiply.
As you can see, we've a bit of overcrowding happening here
with these irises.
That can happen in a bed as well as a pond. So, let me show you
how we can rectify that. It's very, very easy.
Just a few quick, easy steps.
Now you can be quite brutal with plants.
So don't be frightened to get in there and give them a good old cut.
What I've got here is a pruning saw, but you can use a breadknife -
that's absolutely fine.
I'm just going to give them a little tug...
and then just cut through.
And try and get through...
the root or tuber as much as I can.
Look at that.
Look how wonderful that is.
That's the root of the bog iris.
Now all I'm going to do is drop it in this corner.
And in time that will multiply.
So, the idea being, that we can make more plants out of one plant,
which is really great value for money.
-Do you think you can do that for me, Shanice?
I've got to crack on because we need to get this garden finished.
-Catch up with you later.
-See you later.
I quite agree, Danny,
there really is no time to lose.
But the good news is the edging is finally in place.
That means we can dress the new path with gravel.
But with two tonnes of gravel to lay, it's a big job.
Stand by your barrows, boys!
And the reason I'm using gravel is because it is easy to put down
and it's nice and cheap.
Danny is laying his gravel 7cm thick,
deep enough to prevent weeds growing through.
Another thing about gravel is that it is eco-friendly,
and the water will permeate through.
So that helps with flooding.
I know it has been raining hard, Danny,
but let's hope Croydon doesn't flood today.
It's certainly not dampening Carmen's appreciation
of Clive's garden in Camberwell.
We're lucky enough to be getting a tropical masterclass
from this enthusiastic gardener.
Is there anything here that you would find in Jamaica?
Because you were keen on getting some plants
-that remind you of growing up in Jamaica.
You've things like the palm trees,
which are perfectly hardy.
That's a Trachycarpus.
Then we've got things like hardy gingers which give a bit of colour,
-and the banana trees, as well.
And will all of those things survive?
Some of it is a balance.
With a jungle garden, what you need to do is look for things
like the Trachycarpus that are very hardy,
and then supplement them with more tender things.
So it's about pulling together the right plants
to make you feel like you've got a bit of Jamaica.
Is that the kind of thing you had in mind, Carmen?
Yes, more or less.
I love the palm trees,
and I love the bananas.
I just love the different colours.
Something like this would be gorgeous.
Because, I mean, it is quite overgrown,
but that's the sort of style, isn't it?
Yes, that is what I'm aiming for -
a sort of naturalistic planting,
where it feels a bit like the plants are in control.
A feeling of the jungle being there,
which is why I've got the bamboos quite close.
You've got so much colour, so many different textures...
Is that a conscious decision by you
to make a little kaleidoscope?
Yeah, I'm aiming for a very leafy garden. There's lots of leaves.
And when I do have colour, I try to have big stab of red.
Less is more, I think.
But it's definitely about these big leaves, big plants,
and feeling small.
It works. They're amazing.
What are those?
We've got some more hardy palms.
This is a Chamaerops.
And then these are giant Echiums -
so they're biennials or triennials.
-At the moment they're growing about a foot a week, I think.
They just go huge, kind of shooting up,
and then they're a tower of flowers which the bees love.
My word! That is incredible.
-What sorts of colours?
They're kind of blue,
but you can have white, as well.
Another thing you might like to try is the Cordyline.
These plants here.
Again, they're very easy.
And they're pretty hardy,
and give that nice exotic feel.
This is undoubtedly amazing
but how are you feeling, Carmen?
Are you excited or intimidated by this?
This is so pretty and tropical!
I feel like you'd have to travel halfway round the world
to experience something like this.
It does feel very exotic, doesn't it?
He has the perfect hiding place, hasn't he?
-I think we're going to lose you, aren't we?
-"Oh, she's at the bottom of Clive's garden."
This garden has had quite an effect on Carmen.
If it has also had an effect on you,
then here are a few tips
to help you recreate this taste of the tropics.
To survive our less-than-tropical climate,
Clive has chosen a lot of hardy exotics -
plants which look exotic,
but can actually withstand our cool, wet UK climate.
Choose Cordylines, Chamaerops and giant Echiums
to transport you to your very own jungle.
Position your plants in a naturalistic style -
large leaves mixed with narrow pathways
help to create the idea of a jungle hideaway.
But do be realistic about the climate where you live.
Hardy exotics may not thrive in more northern parts of Britain.
But there are still plenty of luscious-looking evergreen plants
that will tolerate harsher conditions
and give this leafy jungle effect.
Keep an eye out for the National Garden Scheme
which lists hundreds of private gardens, including Clive's,
that are sometimes open to the public.
I wanted Carmen to truly appreciate
the beauty of a tropical garden
and it's clear that one of Clive's garden's strengths
is in his choice of some truly wonderful plants.
Back at the house, the team are halfway through their day,
and Danny and Lou are starting to bring in a veritable jungle of tropical beauties
ready for the second major part of Danny's design plan -
the exotic planting.
If they're going to get it right,
it's essential to plan where everything is going to go.
What Lou and I are doing,
we're bringing the plants out and putting them in groups.
So we're going to put the tall plants in one area,
the medium-sized plants in another,
and the smaller plants - the infills - in another area.
Then we're going to decide where the plants are going to go.
Whilst Danny and Lou have been on plant duty,
AJ has been busy creating a viewing platform
for the pond out of decking boards.
He's also spotted a bit of a problem.
All right, hello, AJ. What's happening here?
Well, yesterday the digger came in
and it's broken the edging stones for the pond.
We can't leave it like that.
Let's get them out, fill this area here with the stones
that you're doing in the pathways
to tie in the front and back of the garden.
-Yeah, that sounds like a great solution, AJ.
-Excellent, AJ. Problem solved.
But with pond-repair going on
and the gravel laying still incomplete,
this emergency repair is adding time to the job.
The team haven't really started on part two of Danny's plan -
the plants aren't even in position yet, never mind planted!
Danny is going to have to crack the whip
if the garden's going to be ready for Carmen's return.
While the team get on with the digging,
I want to learn more from Carmen about her life
and the tragic set of circumstances
that brought her and her granddaughter Shanice
under the same roof.
Now, Carmen, your Shanice said that you work pretty hard -
and she wasn't kidding!
You can work seven days a week, 7am to 9pm.
What is it that you do?
I work for a hospital for mentally impaired people.
I used to work in their rehabilitation centre,
but now I don't because of my back.
I'm not able to carry out certain duties,
so I'm in the reception area now.
I mean, this isn't just a bit of a twinge, is it?
You were out of action for quite a while because of your back,
-Yes, I was laid up for four months. I was unable to walk.
I think I was diagnosed with sciatica
but I think it was all down to stress, because I don't know
if you know, but I lost my daughter, which is Shanice's mother, Natasha.
And I think my body just caved in.
-Natasha died in a house fire, didn't she?
So quite a traumatic circumstance and after that, her daughter,
Shanice, your granddaughter, came to live with you. How has that been?
It's a joy to have Shanice around.
Shanice is a wonderful person.
I never see Shanice as my granddaughter,
I see Shanice as my granddaughter and daughter rolled into one.
Shanice takes the place of the daughter that I lost.
Have you been quite a good support for each other?
Because I imagine you need each other at a time like that.
We are very good support of each other.
We're always leaning on each other. I'm always leaning on Shanice.
Shanice is always a happy, jolly, friendly person.
She's always ready to help.
Bearing in mind how hard you work, how much you've had to deal
with over the last few years, how nice would it be to have a
garden to just sit in and have a moment for yourself?
To be honest with you,
words cannot explain how nice it would be to have a garden space.
We could spend more time together, we could socialise
and we could have friends over, so, it's a nice thought to have a garden.
Would it be somewhere that you might be able to go
and have a moment and think about Natasha and, sort of, reflect?
Well, Natasha has never left my thoughts.
Natasha is always in my thoughts, whatever I do, wherever I go.
If we were in the garden, we would be talking about Natasha, no doubt.
She'd be the topic of the conversation and I think I'd
like to have something in the garden to remind me of Natasha.
Natasha will never be forgotten, not by me, anyway.
Back at Carmen's, things seem to have barely progressed.
Danny and Lou are still positioning the plants.
It should be a race against time now as there are less than three
hours to go before our return.
I'm not sure there's time for lengthy discussion, you two.
I reckon we should put plants in the gravel here.
So, she is forced around that way.
Only because there's a bit of a lip here. We'll put stuff in here.
I'll tell you what we could put in here, one of the pittosporums.
-Bosh, in the middle. Yeah?
Danny's important rule is... plan before you plant.
There are all sorts of tricks
and techniques to creating the perfect garden,
but good plant choice and where you place each one is critical.
I think we should put things into some sort of positioning.
We don't really want it in shade though, do we, the bamboo?
-I'm just thinking we've got three.
-So we're going to put one here.
The best approach is to place big statement plants first, to
define the structure and lead the eye around the space, then add
the middle-sized plants, dotting them around to break-up the formality.
Finally, use the small plants as under planting
below the larger specimens.
This is an example of a structural plant. Just look at this.
This is going to give you height in the garden and it's going to lead
your eye upwards, which is fantastic,
because you need that in the garden.
You don't want your eye to be at the same level all the time.
The eye needs to bounce up and down and this will certainly do it.
Not only that, it'll give...
When the wind blows through it, it'll give you sound.
What Danny is doing with the bamboo, is creating a focal point
which will draw your eye to a particular place in the garden.
But plants aren't the only way to achieve this.
Other objects, such as sculpture or pieces of furniture, can also
be placed to draw the eye to a particular spot.
Your ferns were going to go with the tree fern, weren't they?
Depends where you want it, really.
-We'll put the tree fern in the front, shall we?
It feels that we're getting on top of each other now, doesn't it?
-I'll tell you what will look nice down there,
one of the fatsias will look nice down there.
Here's a great example of a plant that we can infill under
the structural plants.
It's ophiopogon nigrescens or black grass.
Look how lovely that is.
This will fill out in time so after I plant this in the ground,
it'll send out little runners and multiply. Great value for money.
You know what we can do with this?
What we talked about earlier when we were talking about the pond
and we can divide to make more, we can do exactly the same with this.
Let me show you how to do it. We can be very brutal with this.
I'm going to put this down on the ground, get a nice sharp spade
and just cut into it. There we are.
As easy as that and I'll put that in the ground all around the garden.
Great idea, Danny.
Finally, the plants are actually starting to go in the ground.
Meanwhile, Carmen and I, armed with Danny's list,
have come to her local garden centre to buy a few more.
Danny's golden rule is stick to the list.
It's all too easy to be tempted to buy the first colourful thing
you see, but it's much better to do your homework first
and then just seek out the plants you know
will do well in your garden.
Don't give in to temptation.
I'm sure Carmen's absolutely the type of lady to follow the rules.
-I feel like we've got plenty to pick from.
-I hope so.
Right, we do have a list.
Exotic plants that can withstand cold, wet weather are the order
of the day and there's a plethora of flora on offer here.
-That looks nice.
-Let's go for it.
If we're going to get the right stuff,
we need some professional help.
Luckily, there's an expert on hand to help with all things tropical.
Garden centre manager, Oliver Cranley.
-Good afternoon, can I help you?
Yes, you probably can help us.
We're after some hardy plants that would create
a bit of a tropical environment.
OK, no worries, we've got
some cordylines that I can show you just up this way.
Just up here on the left.
-Oh, so this is what Clive had in his garden, isn't it?
-Palms. They're hardy in the south-east.
They have... When they're more established,
they have a nice white fluffy flower that's got a really strong scent.
It'll take a few years before it flowers.
-Are they hard to look after?
Just in the winter, if it gets really cold, you can
fleece them up, gather up all the leaves and put some fleece round.
Most gardens around here, it's quite sheltered,
-so you should be fine.
-OK. Anything else we should be getting?
Yes, we've got some more tropical palms that go along the same
kind of lines of the cordyline, so some nice palms and things
at the top I can show you.
-We'll have a look. I'll reverse. It's easier than...
-He had these in his garden.
-I remember I was admiring them and he said they were pretty hardy.
Are they hardy?
In the south-east, it's pretty sheltered,
so just protect it in prolonged cold spells, but they'll be OK.
Clive definitely had a trachycarpus, but it was huge.
-Will these grow quite big?
-They'll grow eventually, yeah.
-But his was not in pots.
-Yeah, he put them in the ground.
If it's a really established one, they do get hardier.
-There we go.
Carmen's sticking to the plan and with the help of Ollie,
we're getting some really lovely plants.
Back in the garden, with less than an hour to go,
Danny's still in the midst of a planting plan summit with Lou.
He needs to get a move on now.
These grasses, I don't know where these are going to go,
but we'll find a place for them.
-And they're going to need a lot of planting.
-What do you reckon, Lou?
I think you've achieved what you wanted to with Carmen's journey
-around the garden.
-I think so.
I think every stop and turn, there's something of real interest there.
Yeah, I think so and, you know, this is part of the journey, isn't it?
This is part of the journey into Jamaica, let's say.
She had a jungle before, but she'll have a nicer jungle now.
Now for the star of the show - the tree fern, Dicksonia antarctica.
When Carmen sees this, she's going to absolutely love it,
and we're going to plant it in a very prominent position.
I'm going to dig a hole about a spit deep,
which is about a length of a shovel.
You really need a deeper hole than you intend,
because you need enough space to put some compost in.
And that's the same for any plant.
Now, I'm going to mix in the soil I've dug out the hole,
with a bit of compost.
Now, here's a little nugget for you.
By mixing the compost and the soil,
the roots of the plant are not hitting the bad soil straightaway.
They're getting used to the soil, so the plant won't be in
so much shock when the roots get there.
I thought a wacky thing to do would be to put
it at a bit of an angle, rather than putting it upright.
The choice is yours.
You can have upright if you prefer, or you can have it slightly leaning.
Now, Luke, can you just told that for me? Thanks very much.
And now I'm going to backfill with this lovely soil that I've
just mixed in. As you backfill, you want to tap the soil down.
This way, I'm getting rid of as many airlocks as possible.
You don't want any water going down there
and then it freezing in the cold.
Luke is now tapping down for me, because he's seen
what I've been doing, so now he's taken over.
He's a very fast learner, is Luke.
Just keep going until we're there.
Now, Luke, I think you can let go of that now. That's brilliant.
Now for the great unveiling, so, I tied this one up earlier to
protect the fronds in transportation.
I've just found an old belt that I've got. Mind you,
that's probably why my pants are falling down at the moment.
I should use the belt for what it's intended for.
And look at this. What a beauty. You've got to admit.
What a wonderful specimen of a plant.
Now, this is where the growth is. This is the root system.
This fibrous root system. Look how great that is. Fantastic.
I almost feel something prehistoric is going to pop out from behind it.
What a wonderful specimen of a plant.
It's got to be a real show stopper for Carmen.
Good job, Danny, Carmen is going to absolutely love it,
but can we crack on and get the rest of those plants in the ground?
Speaking of Carmen, back at the garden centre,
the lady who follows the rules has just decided to break them.
Anyone ever heard of a rhododendron in the jungle?
I thought not.
If you're going for something quite tropical and jungle-esque,
can you mix and match?
-Can you get something like that and then a rhododendron?
-Yes, you can, yes.
-The customer is always right. Yes, you can.
Yes, because they are going to be blooming, aren't they?
Yes, they're flowering.
We aren't really sticking to Danny's list, are we?
-No, but this is Carmen's choice.
-Exactly, it's Carmen's garden.
-I'll deal with Danny.
Carmen is so stoic and so humble and grounded, but what I'm
learning here at the garden centre, is that she's also very cheeky.
She's just tried to tell me that these olive plants are tropical.
I'm pretty sure they are Mediterranean,
but I'm not going to argue with her.
If she wants one, she can have one.
-Is it hardy?
-Jasmine's are hardy, yes.
-Pink buds and it opens into white flowers.
-Where are they from?
-Say Jamaica, say Jamaica, say Jamaica!
-I believe they're from...Jamaica.
And there's no stopping Carmen, now.
-Another random plant has taken her fancy.
-Look, look what she's found.
-That's a climber.
-That's a climber. There you go.
-That's an evergreen clematis.
-And clematis spread quite a lot, don't they?
Until this point, I feel like you were nervous,
but now I feel you're excited about this garden.
Oh, I'm very excited because I'm buying things.
-Because you're getting some control back?
When will this start flowering?
The buds are just about to open, so in the next week.
-So I'll have flowers in the next week?
-Well, you will if we get them back and get them in the garden.
Thank you, Ollie. Thank you.
In a garden, we have a gardener tearing his hair out because we've
just ripped up his plan, but we've got some lovely plants, haven't we?
Well, that was a turn up for the books, or maybe the rule book
just got thrown out of the window.
Time now for Carmen to have a sit down and for me
to head back to the garden and break the news to Danny.
You have been busy.
We've been busy. What a transformation. What do you think?
I'm really, really impressed. And, look, I wanted to help.
-Here's a tropical plant.
-Yes, this is definitely tropical.
This will definitely work in the garden.
This one is not quite so tropical but Carmen really wanted it, so...
I'm not so sure about this one, Helen,
but as it's Carmen, as she chose it, we'll find a place for it.
-I didn't want to argue with her.
-You can't argue with it.
-It's her garden.
-You wouldn't want to argue with her at any stage.
-Right, what can I do to help?
-I'll show you.
Well, that went easier than expected.
I just need to break the clematis to him now.
Everyone is really getting stuck in as it's nearly time to reveal
the garden to Carmen.
But Danny wants to add a special something
he's personally chosen and brought here.
A wonderful old bench to fit in with her tropical theme.
Danny, this is a gorgeous bench. Have you made this?
I haven't made it, but it's something that I'd like
Carmen to have. I think it's absolutely beautiful.
It's a place where she can sit and reflect
and enjoy the garden, and also, we've put this trellis in.
We recycled it, because it was on the other side of the garden and
by taking it off that fence, we've revealed a beautiful piece of wood.
You've used things that were already here, but you've also added a lot.
There's a lot to take in and I think you've hit the nail
on the head by saying this is a good place for her to sit and reflect.
She's a very stoic lady, all about her family.
Hopefully, this garden, in particular, this place,
is going to give her a real chance to reflect,
-reminisce and celebrate the good things.
-Which will be fantastic.
So, on here, are we going to put something?
-Yes, you brought back a clematis, didn't you?
So, shall we put that in place?
I was going to try and sneak that into the garden
-but that's allowed, is it?
-I'm getting it before you change your mind.
Do these grow quite easily and rapidly?
They grow very easily, very rapidly and you know the bonus
-with that, is they get a lovely scent...
-And it's an evergreen.
Most clematis shed their leaves.
Well, Carmen is really keen on flowers and this is
a flowering plant, isn't it?
That will do the job. Very fast-growing.
-It'll cover this trellis in no time.
One of the things we've got to do here, Helen, plant it at an angle.
So what we're going to do, if you, sort of, put it like that...
-Towards the trellis?
-Towards the trellis.
Then, do you feed this through?
-Feed this through.
-Without breaking it.
Break it and then, there you go.
There are so many different plants in here,
loads of different textures.
Is there going to be much colour once these bed in?
Yes, they'll be a lot of colour.
In fact, it won't look any different to how it looks now.
Most of these plants are evergreens,
so the colour you see now is the colour you'll see in the winter.
And is there going to be much for her to do in terms of maintenance?
Not a lot. It's a low-maintenance garden and once these fill out,
there'll be not much space for weeds to grow.
My maxim is where there's a plant, there isn't a weed,
-which is great.
Well, I love this, I love this bench, I love the pond,
I love it all.
It's important to plant climbers such as clematis at an angle,
because this will encourage them to grow towards a trellis or wall.
Don't forget to leave a healthy gap between the plant
and the fence, around 20cm should be fine.
Whilst the team work feverishly to get this job finished,
Danny and AJ are adding an important final touch to the bench,
a plaque engraved in memory of Carmen's daughter.
We're just putting the plaque on,
one of the finishing details to this bench.
This is a place where Carmen is going to sit to contemplate
and to while away the hours while she enjoys her garden,
so we thought it would be a nice little touch to do this for her.
-That's a brilliant touch. Beautiful, isn't it?
-You like it?
-It's fantastic, it's great, isn't it?
Personalise it. Absolutely.
With that, the garden is finished at last.
Before, it was an overgrown mess, strewn with rubbish
and lacking shape or structure.
A broken down arbour dominated the far end of the garden,
whilst a neglected pergola ran the length of the fence.
A crowded, stagnant pond took centre stage, but with no clear pathways
or lovingly tended plants. The whole garden looked like a wasteland.
In just one day, it's been completely transformed.
A gravel path twists and turns around the garden,
creating a journey.
The pond has been cleared and the overgrown irises
split and re-deployed to give balance.
The collapsing arbour has gone and the pergola has been restored.
There's even a bench dedicated to Carmen's daughter, Natasha,
for moments of quiet reflection.
And, finally, there's the planting,
designed to realise Carmen's Caribbean dream.
Cordylines, grasses and other hardy exotics with a stunning tree fern
as the centrepiece, transport you away to a tropical paradise.
Danny and the team have excelled themselves to create this
exotic space for a very deserving lady and her family.
But it's the moment of truth. Time for Carmen to see her garden.
-This is your new garden after a day.
Oh, my Lord!
Oh, this is magnificent.
I just saw you in the shop.
Oh, my God, this is absolutely wow.
-Come in, team. Shanice, you made this happen.
-From that reaction, are you glad you did?
-Yes, I am glad I did.
This is a beautiful garden. More than I expected. Shanice, thank you.
Whoa, this is a fabulous garden.
-So pleased you like it.
-Already, appears to be peaceful and tranquil.
It's a lovely garden.
You've spent most of the day telling me that you want your Shanice
-and your kids to be happy.
-But they really want you to be happy.
Do you think you'll have a nice time out here?
I'm sure it's going to bring us happiness
and I'm sure we'll spend many happy moments out here and I have all this
to thank you for, Danny. Thank you very much.
-You're most welcome.
There's one more surprise in store for Carmen.
Danny's tribute to his daughter.
-Danny's put a bench in for you to have a moment.
We thought you'd like somewhere to sit and to contemplate and think
about life, and we thought this would be
a beautiful setting for you.
And it is. Absolutely beautiful.
I want to remember Natasha because we have nice memories of her.
And we'll continue to have nice memories of her,
and while we sit here, we can reminisce.
It's a beautiful garden, Danny, thank you very much.
Well, thank you all round. Danny, thank you for the garden planning.
Shanice, thank you for the hard work and Carmen,
thank you for allowing us in here to create your instant garden.
It's a fabulous garden. Thank you. Thank you, Danny.
You're most welcome.
Danny has really gone above and beyond to give Carmen
the tropical, tranquil outdoor haven she's craved.
A space where she can drift away in a tropical daydream.
A place to relax in, to remember in, and to share with all the family.
In Croydon, Danny and the team create a Jamaican-style garden for owner Carmen, who needs somewhere tranquil to remember her lost daughter.