Garden transformation show. The team help Tania, a mother-of-five in Basingstoke, to declutter her disorganised garden and turn it into a child-safe and enchanting space.
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There are few sites 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.
This time, we're in the Hampshire town of Basingstoke.
While its centre is a thriving financial hub,
its rapidly expanding suburbs have seen new housing developments
springing up like daisies.
All around is evidence of typical family life,
in both homes and gardens.
I'm told when you have children,
spare time magically disappears,
and today we're meeting a mum-of-five
who's keen to turn her back garden into an accident-proof space.
With her hands full of family duties,
she needs a child-friendly instant garden.
Tania Reid is a devoted single mum, bringing up her five gorgeous
but demanding children,
ranging from 17 years old right down to only seven months.
As if her home duties weren't enough,
Tania has also started several training courses.
Having worked as a carer for several years, she's determined to
improve her qualifications, and work with even more challenging cases.
With enough on her shoulders from day-to-day,
Tania's garden has taken a back seat in the face of her children's needs.
Now, she's in dire need of a relaxing
and safe outdoor space that all the family can enjoy.
Tania's garden is a classic example of one owned by a very busy parent,
with a mismatched selection of odds and ends
that's grown along with her family.
Running to the gate is a concrete path covered by a lone strip
of synthetic turf, something that Tania is desperate to
have more of in her garden to protect her toddlers from injury.
Near to the house is some rickety wooden decking,
while in the middle of the remnants of the remaining real turf
is a tired-looking swing set, standing on a square of...
Is that carpet?
A rotten rug may not be much help,
but there are some interesting items here, and in the flower bed
are some really lovely fruit trees, which Tania planted herself,
and even a grapevine.
This old bench belonged to Tania's late grandfather,
but is now slowly falling to pieces.
It may look like a complete mess, but with some hard work,
and the right design, this garden could become
a safe and fun haven for the whole family.
Because this garden is so full of junk,
and Danny has only ten hours to improve it, we've allowed him
the special privilege of a pre-makeover visit
from a clear-up team, to strip out all the unwanted clutter,
but leaving Danny any useful finds.
And, with very bad weather forecast, this is an extra blessing.
Danny and his team have already got their hands on the garden,
so let's see how things are coming along.
-Hello! You must be Tania.
-Hello, nice to meet you. Come on in.
Danny, you have been busy already!
Hi, Helen. Hello, Tania.
-Yeah, we've been very busy.
So, what do you use this space for, then, Tania?
Um, the children like coming out here.
We have a barbecue,
and the children just like to play on the swings,
and we use the fruit trees for making some wine and sauces
for ice cream and stuff.
We just love being out in the garden.
-Sauces and ice cream! So, you are quite hands-on in the garden!
And, what stopped you, then?
Why didn't you manage to get bits finished, and things?
Um, well, I was working.
I was a carer, and then I had to stop,
cos I had this little one, and then I had this one,
and I've been doing courses to start my own care agency,
so I've been really busy,
so I haven't had time to finish anything off.
So, little Primrose, here... Hello, Primrose. ..is the youngest of five children?
-Five children, yeah.
-And, your eldest is...?
So, you need your garden to be a lot of things to
-a lot of different people, don't you?
What would you like to see out here?
Um, somewhere safe, because Tilly falls over quite a bit,
so it needs to be quite safe for her, and somewhere where we can sit
and have a barbecue, and just watch the kids play.
Tilly, don't worry about it. It happens to the best of us, doesn't it, Danny?
It does, yeah, absolutely.
And, what about the bench?
The bench, it was with my grandad, and it's sat there,
-and it's kind of sloping to the side all the time!
-So, it has quite a lot of sentimental value?
-It does, yes.
But, bless it, like you say, it's sloping,
it doesn't have much practical use at the moment.
Not at the moment, no, but it would be nice to sit there.
Well, you never know.
Is that something you can do, Danny, because there's a lot of people
who want to use this garden in different ways.
OK, well, we're going to give it a good go,
bearing in mind that the weather isn't that clever today,
so we're going to give it a try, but I'm sure we can do it.
-Is there anything we can help you with?
-Yes, you can.
Um, I've got my trusty book here in my pocket.
-This is his shopping list that he sends us off with.
So, if I can give you that,
-there's a whole list of plants that I'd like you to get.
-So, there you go.
-And, I'll catch up with you later.
We'll get out of your way.
While I take Tania off to find plants and inspiration,
the team can weave their instant garden magic.
So, Danny, what's your plan?
Today, the weather forecast is for torrential rain,
so we've had to take precautions, and put these gazebos up,
otherwise we're going to be working in the squelching mess.
So, the big plan, we've got this bit here, which is
actually quite natural, a natural indentation in the soil,
so we're going to take some of this soil that's in the middle,
and move it over into this dip.
That will assist us in grading it.
The big consideration for Tania is the safety of her children.
We've got some really funky coloured tyre chippings, and that's
what's going to go in that area, to make a patio area close to the house.
Now, beyond that, further out into the garden,
we're going to have a lawned area,
and that's going to consist of artificial grass, which is
absolutely fantastic because it's going to be low-maintenance.
So, Tania can come out here, she won't have to worry about
cutting the grass, doing any weeding or anything like that.
And right in the corner we're going to have a fairy grotto.
That's going to have a seating area
and that's going to have an arch over it.
We've got a little mini orchard here,
so, you know, we don't really need to add to that.
There's some lovely apple trees.
So, really, a lot of things are going to stay.
We're only just going to add to it.
The weather's inclement. I mean, it's going to come in,
it's going to be really awful. So that...
It's going to slow us up.
So we really need to get cracking with this.
Danny's dedicated support team, handyman AJ
and horticulturalist Lou, are here to help as always,
and Tania's brother Dean,
plus her eldest son, 17-year-old student Tom, are pitching in too.
The first job is to dig the whole garden over to level it out.
Today it's raking, raking and more raking,
cos we need to get this nice and level.
You look like you've done this before.
Yeah, I like doing gardening, groundwork and bits like that.
-Right, yeah, you're doing a good job, I must admit.
-Definitely handy lads to have on our team.
That's really good. And they're making a great job of it.
So I don't know what we would do without them.
In only an hour the team make a huge difference to the lay of the land.
You can see the sweat on my brow, working really hard, erm,
doing all this by myself, as you can see(!)
I suppose you've got to go back to your dressing room,
haven't you, to have your lobster bisque(?)
DANNY LAUGHS Yeah, that's next on the list!
-In fact, I just had the phone call to say it'll be ready soon!
-So I'll have to leave you guys to it.
-What do you think Tania would think of this?
-Oh, she'd be shocked.
-She would be.
-She would, looking at it now.
-Yeah, it's completely different.
-Will she be happy with the way it is?
-Not left like this!
All right, then, cos I thought it was going to lead to something.
I was actually going to say, well, if she's going to be happy
with it now why don't we just go home and leave it?
But, er, that would be unfair, wouldn't it,
so we need to get cracking and get it done.
With the ground level, Danny can lay out his design for the patio -
a rectangle filled with child-friendly rubber bark chips.
So, one of the things we need to do is to mark out the patio area.
-So, erm, shall we get cracking on that?
-Shall we do that?
-All right, so, what I'll do, if you can hold that for me?
-Yeah, no probs.
And if you could put that against the wall.
And we're going to measure out about two metres.
So, all we need to do is do a straight line,
or a rough line, between the two pegs.
When I was thinking about it, I thought, oh, it's like a referee
drawing a line ready to pull in a wall.
I could see them all standing there like this.
-Yeah, oh, oh, hold on!
If we jump, he might do a Messi and try and pass it under the wall
-and into the net.
-It could well be.
-It could be, couldn't it?
-What do you reckon?
-THEY LAUGH Let's all duck!
While Danny and the boys are plotting a safe
but stylish haven for Tania, I'm taking her to a woodland garden
with an air of enchantment.
As part of Danny's plan is for a fairy grotto, I'm showing Tania how
some creative gardening can make a magical wonderland
for both kids and adults.
To prove the theory, we've brought Tania's two little ones with us,
and Tania's mum Jan has come along to help with the children.
Come on, then, Tilly! Let's see what we can find!
-Come on down this way.
-Like a flamingo pink!
Flamingo pink, yeah.
-She's quite happy outside, isn't she?
-Yeah, she loves the garden.
Primrose is in camouflage!
It's a shame about the weather
but there's plenty of cover in this garden.
As someone who clearly loves her children,
-and loves your garden, put quite a lot of effort into it...
..what's it like to see your little girl running around,
-looking into the flowers?
-Oh, it's lovely, it's amazing.
Hopefully she'll be like that when, er, with our garden.
Is that what you'd kind of like to see, your kids out there,
enjoying the outside space, liking it, loving it?
Yeah, exploring it, smelling it, erm, yeah, enjoying the weather,
when it's nice!
Furzey Gardens in the New Forest
is a gorgeous maze of informal woodland planting and winding paths.
Built around a 16th century thatched cottage,
it was first planted in 1922,
and has some inspired fairytale touches.
Now, then, what do we have down here?
It's a fairy gate!
Show Mummy the fairy gate!
-Where's the fairy gate? Look, and the glitter.
-You see that?
What is it, Tilly? Fairies?
And is this a kind of element you might like to
introduce to your garden? Little bit of magic and mystery?
Bit of magic, yeah, definitely.
Well, there's plenty more to learn about this garden.
It's not all about fairies,
I knew they were something you would like, but let's go
-and find the head gardener, who can tell us a bit more.
Keep your eye out for the fairies.
While we go searching for inspiration as well as magical
beings, back in Basingstoke, the gathering clouds have finally burst.
Levelling the garden just got that much harder
as the soil turns to mud.
But, undeterred, Danny's digging a trench
for some edging for his rubber chip patio.
-Whatever you do, don't fill up Danny's trench.
-He'll be upset.
I will be very upset.
But he's spotted a potential problem.
When it comes to building any surface, you see, you don't want
your earth to go above the level of the damp proof course.
And what I mean by the damp proof course...
There's normally like a black line here.
So you don't want your earth above there...
cos that could cause problems to the wall.
The patio edging can now go in,
but those rubber chips will have to wait.
The delivery van carrying them, and the artificial turf,
is trapped in deluge-ridden traffic, and time is beginning to get short.
We've got no rubber chippings, we've got no artificial grass,
but what we have got is an absolute monsoon.
Just listen to it.
RAIN PATTERS ON TARP
And rain isn't the only problem that will interfere with Danny's digging.
Here's a little tip - when the ground is very bony,
what I mean's stony, it's just a horticultural term, "bony,"
but when it's very stony, erm, sometimes your fork,
when you're digging with a fork, it doesn't go in very far
because you might have hit a stone.
So what I would do is put the fork upright like this
and just gently twist it.
Take your time, don't rush it.
And you'll find that that stone that's in the ground
will slowly get displaced.
Look at that.
With the ground prepared, Danny can unleash his creative flair
for his favourite part of the process -
One of my favourites...
..are these foxgloves.
Now this is a great woodland plant, but having said that,
as well as being good in shade, it's also good in the sun.
I mean, I would say really good in half shade and sun,
an absolute beautiful plant,
with a bell-shaped flower,
and I don't know if you've noticed,
bees love them, erm,
and they use the flowers like a landing pad.
So they go in there and collect the nectar, they then fly off again.
I would really recommend this plant.
An absolute showstopper.
Back in the garden, the trees for the fairy grotto are in position.
These have got to be a must for an enchanted garden,
contorted hazel with these twisty stems.
They're going to give this garden
that enchanted, that, erm, mysterious feel.
I think, an absolute must.
Another bonus is you get lovely long catkins in the spring.
Kids absolutely love catkins.
They're going to find these absolutely wonderful.
If you're lucky you can get hazelnuts on these.
But you wouldn't want to eat them -
mainly for decoration.
But they look absolutely fabulous.
-Looks like they've got lives of their own, doesn't it?
Which adds to their sort of spookiness.
-Yeah, very, very mysterious.
-Brilliant, doing their own thing.
Great. OK, so, shall we plant them in?
Cos I know you're dying to put them in the ground.
I'd just like to get something in the ground!
Lou is never happier than when she's putting things in the ground,
than when she's planting!
Look at the smile on her face!
While Danny and Lou go nuts over their hazel trees, Tania and I
are continuing our magical mystery tour of Furzey Gardens.
I want to find out more from head gardener Peter.
Come down here.
Peter! Good to see you!
-You look very busy.
-Just doing a bit of weeding.
This is Tania and her family.
-Nice to meet you. Hiya.
-Nice to meet you.
Tell us a bit about Furzey Gardens, then, Peter.
Right, we're really lucky, Furzey's a fantastic place.
It's been here for 90 years.
We've got some wonderful rare and beautiful plants.
There's so much to look at, from tiny bluebells close to the ground
to these huge big towering blousy flowers.
Is it quite intentional to have those different heights?
Yeah, well, we're very lucky.
We've got sort of stock and all the plant material.
But, yeah, everybody should try and do that in their garden.
It makes so much more interest if you've got different things
at different levels happening at different times of the year.
So that idea of under-planting and putting a lot into one space,
is that something you can recreate in a small garden?
Yeah, I think especially in a small garden cos you've got to
get as much in as you can.
I really love to fill every available square inch of
garden with plants.
There's no point in looking at soil, you want to look at the colour.
It's lovely to see the big smile that creeps over your face when your
girls are sort of running around and exploring and all the rest of it.
Again, is that something intentional that you've tried to create here?
The garden is really popular with children,
and I think, erm, gardens are just great places for kids.
Er, we're trying to really emphasise here, we're making this environment,
inviting children and making it fun for them, and trying to
give them an opportunity to really discover plants, discover nature.
But how do you get kids excited about plants and nature,
-Well, we've got a little thing going on here,
apparently there are fairies living in this garden.
I've never seen them but, you know,
you see enough evidence of them here and there.
The kids seem to find them.
And seeing the fairies is just
an extension of the wildlife we have here.
And how important is it for you for your children to be
excited by the garden and getting down amongst the plants?
Really exciting cos it gives them a new, erm, lease on nature.
It's not just something that's grown, it's, it takes time to bloom,
it takes different smells and all sorts.
Exactly what you were saying,
we really want the children to get in amongst the plants and
smell them and touch them and feel them, and really understand them.
This garden feels very unmanaged. I suspect that's not true.
Not really, no.
We have to work quite hard to make it look this informal,
actually, but that's what we want.
We don't want a very organised place, erm, very formal.
We want people to be able to relax
and feel that it's very naturalistic.
Is that something you like?
Very, yeah, definitely, because otherwise it just looks too,
erm, too straight and boring.
So something like this is so much more...
it's so much more relaxing
and a joy to look at rather than just seeing something straight.
So how do you do that? How do you create the effortless look?
Well, we have lots of wild flowers, and we allow them to grow,
we allow them to self-seed.
We let all the bluebells and the daffodils stay.
We don't cut them back, we leave them.
There is a lot of long grass, we've got orchids in the garden.
And it's just making sure that nothing is too neat.
It feels like a wonderful atmosphere.
You kind of have had a smile since you stepped foot in this place.
-And you said that the garden is kind of important to creating
-an atmosphere for your whole family.
-Peter, thank you very much for your time.
-Has this given you some ideas?
I don't think we can create something on this scale
but we can certainly pinch a few ideas.
-Come on, team!
Shall we find some more fairies, Tilly?
We might not all have the long history and impressive acreage of
Furzey, but there are plenty of ideas in this enchanting garden
that are easy to try out at home.
Create mystery in your garden by planting hedges, shrubs or other
barriers, so that the eye can't see the whole garden at a glance.
Twisting paths produce a journey around the garden.
A design that draws you around different areas can work,
even in small spaces.
Kids adore miniature things.
While fairy doors may work a treat,
so will other tiny magical touches
like Alpine strawberries or bonsai trees.
Back at Tania's garden, planting is under way,
despite the torrential rain.
Look at this flower.
Now, this is a great plant for any situation.
Put it in the ground and it's going to give some amazing ground cover.
Now, this is called bugle.
That's the common name for it.
Or the Latin name, Ajuga.
Absolutely beautiful. It's got these lovely glossy
sort of reddy-coloured leaves, erm,
and, you know, I can't sing its praises highly enough.
We're now more than halfway through the day,
and the downpour is showing no sign of stopping.
The garden's wringing wet despite the gazebos,
and Danny's team is drenched.
But there's one ray of sunshine -
AJ's been to buy the arch.
So I've been out shopping for you
and got you something just to put your plants up.
Oh, do you know, it's about time we had some good news.
-That's brought a smile to my face.
-Will that do? Have a look.
Do you know what, that's...
I think it'll be wide enough to go over...the bench.
Absolutely ideal. We're going to put the bench here.
So your feet are effectively on the lawn when you're sitting down.
So that means all we need to do is put
a couple of slabs on each of the four corners for the legs of the bench.
-Brilliant. Which reminds me...
-I need to start fixing that bench.
-I think you do.
-So can I get off and...?
-You go off and do your thing.
And we'll crack on with this.
-Brilliant, great, see you in a bit.
-See you in a bit.
Danny did sort of promise to try
and renovate Tania's late grandad's bench,
so AJ gets to work fixing the struts to make it serviceable once more.
It's down to the boys to construct the archway.
But, of course, AJ can't help getting involved too.
It's a flat pack kit,
which should mean that it's super simple to put together.
-So, I reckon, by looking at this...
-And at the top here.
-..the four threes are the bottom ones.
The bottom one has to have no hole at the top.
It has to have the, er...
-Yeah, the bit...
-One of them bits.
-Yeah, the top's got to be like that.
Three ones on top.
The fours are the cross bars, and the twos are the arches.
And then a couple of them might have one on it
but everything else will be, that's straight, will be a one.
Well, that sounds easy enough!
While Danny's team struggle with simple instructions
in the pouring rain, I'm taking some time out with Tania
to find out why having a family garden is so important to her.
Tell me a bit about your family, then, Tania,
because five children on your own, that must be quite full-on at times.
Five children's quite hard.
They're from, like, 17 to seven months,
so they're a whole different range.
The older ones kind of help out sometimes - if they're paid!
Erm, but, yeah, it's quite hard.
-17-year-olds down to Primrose.
They're kind of at every stage, aren't they,
so you're dealing with school and exams and moving from primary
school to secondary school, and you're dealing with potty training.
-Are you tired?
-All the time.
Tired all the time.
Up at half five, maybe six in the morning,
getting everybody ready for school,
getting all the breakfasts ready for school, getting everybody
out of the door, and then off to the shops in the morning...
It is very tiring but it's worth it cos I love it.
So your whole life is dedicated to the children?
My whole life is dedicated to my children.
How much of the day or the week do you spend doing things for you?
I've never done it. I haven't done anything for myself for 17 years.
My life is my children.
Tell me about the garden, then, because you, in the past,
have tried to do things in the garden by yourself, for them.
What is the garden for in your eyes? Is it for them or for you?
It's about integrating children and the adults together.
So the children could be playing
but also the adults are there to have their kind of thing going on.
-All the time you're doing things for the children...
..if you had the garden as a nice, entertaining, relaxing space,
would you be able to enjoy it, do something for you,
but also at the same time...?
I think so, cos at night, when I've got the children to sleep,
it would be lovely to sit out there with the stars.
I love the stars, it'd be nice to sit out there with some candles,
with the solar lights on and just chill,
and maybe have a glass of wine that I haven't had in a long time!
For Tania, time for gardening is a distant dream,
as she's not only looking after the children
but also training to pursue her career in care.
I want to be an independent carer, so I'm doing psychotherapy
and counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy.
I'm also doing a dementia befriender course at the moment,
just so I can have...
as much information, as much knowledge as what maybe
a normal carer would have, I've got.
So being a full-time mum, doing your training, doesn't leave
a lot of time, what about resources in terms of money?
Are you in a position to just hire a gardener and say,
"Come in, transform my garden?"
No, I'm not in a position, and I try to use
the things I have, to re-use them in a different way, if I can,
because money's quite tight.
I can imagine with five children to feed!
You have said several times that you want your garden to be
-Tilly always falls over thin air, so...
And I don't like seeing bruises on children, so it's a good...
It needs to be safe for them falling over.
Gorgeous as she is, she is a little accident-prone, bless her,
-She's fallen over several times today!
-So it's important for you to have
somewhere that they can go out there...?
Yeah, and I haven't got to worry, I know they're safe out there
and they're not going to harm themself.
OK, well, fingers crossed you are going to end up with a garden
that you can enjoy, that the children can enjoy, and that
you can switch off in for probably about three to four minutes.
TANIA LAUGHS Yeah! OK!
Back in Basingstoke, AJ has managed to breathe new life
into Tania's grandad's old bench.
Look at him!
You look like a man who's, erm, very happy with his work.
-I like it. If you're sitting on it, it must be sturdy!
You got me there.
Now the bench will take pride of place in the corner,
tucked amongst Danny's bewitching bedding.
But it needs a firm base, and AJ has the answer.
-These are some of the slabs we took out...
-OK, brilliant, so, yeah.
-..earlier for the recycling.
Now, we've got two whole ones,
but then we've got two with these corners cut off.
But it's worked out for the best.
Cos you've got a nice 90 degree angle there and you're
offsetting this arch, so normally you'd think, "Oh, hold on a second!
"That's not going to look very nice there."
But as we're offsetting the angle...
..we'd want the corner off anyway.
Do you know what? That is what you call a happy accident!
-Brilliant. Well thought through, so, I like it.
We've got two of these sort of reddy-pink ones like that,
and then two whole yellow ones...
-Can go at the back.
-Sounds good. I like it.
-I'll crack on.
AJ uses the edge of one slab to level the ground before laying the
others so that Danny can position that expertly assembled arch.
Now, we've got this arch. Now, an arch, what do you do with an arch?
You normally walk through it. The issue here is, where do you walk to?
At the moment, you're just going to walk to that fence, aren't you?
Walk through the arch to that fence.
So I've come up with an idea of perhaps using one of Tania's...
So this is another example as to how we can
and put it...
..behind the seating area like this.
So it actually gives you the illusion
of the garden seeming bigger than it is.
And any archway to Fairyland's going to need some climbers.
Danny's chosen a Clematis, but he's also recycling something
he's found in Tania's hoard - a neglected grapevine.
I think what has happened is Tania, erm,
hasn't known what to do with it and she's probably just plonked it
here for the time being, thinking she might plant it in the future.
So what I'm going to do, I'm going to dig it up,
and the plan is to put it over the arch, OK?
Now, it's important that you don't buy a tender vine.
Buy a hardy one.
If you buy a tender one the chances are you'll lose it
in a harsh winter.
A hardy one is more likely to survive.
Pinch some of the grapes out
and all the energy will go into making nice big bunches,
and they will look absolutely fabulous,
especially against that arch over there.
And the kids will love 'em cos they'll want to pick 'em
and eat them, and it's a great way to introduce them to gardening.
What could be better?
There we are.
Now I've rescued it, I'm going to give it a nice new home
where it can flourish.
The archway's looking good,
but the rest of the garden is frankly a shocker.
With less than two hours to go, there's still no artificial lawn,
and the rubber chippings are still missing in transit - until now.
-Some good news.
-Some good news?
-Look what's turned up.
Deep, deep, deep joy!
-So at least we can get this down...
-Get this down, brilliant.
-..in that area, and then we'll just take it from there.
-Everything all right?
-I'll crack on with that.
-At least that's one half of the issue resolved.
-Nice colour, though.
-It's a lovely colour, isn't it?
-It's a lovely colour.
Yeah, it looks really funky. Brilliant.
These recycled rubber chippings will provide a safe,
soft area for the children.
I haven't said this yet, Danny, but -
on any of the gardens we've done -
but I do actually love this planting you've done here today.
-Thank you very much, AJ.
-It is really nice.
Praise from AJ is praise indeed.
-Thank you very much.
-That's all you'll get. Never again.
-But you need cheering up.
-Thank you, thank you.
The planting and the patio might be looking good, but thanks to the
downpour the ground is a disaster, an ankle-deep muddy swamp.
There's no way the artificial grass is going down on this.
The team need to spread a thick layer of builder's sand
to level the ground before fitting that artificial grass.
But, despite making a start on that, and with Tania due home
within the hour, it's not looking like the job can be finished today.
Today has not gone well, has it?
It hasn't been a good day, but this rain certainly hasn't helped, has it?
-It's all been against us.
-The rain has been against us.
We've just got to put this down to experience...
and never experience it again.
Next time, turn up, turn around, and just leave.
With Danny and the team praying for a let-up in the rain,
Tania and I have one last task to complete -
finding the plants on Danny's shopping list.
Time to collar a friendly expert in Furzey's garden shop.
These look kind of...
Oh, they're pretty, yeah, definitely.
-They're lovely. Really lovely.
-I don't know what they are.
-Can I help you?
-I suspect Tim does.
-Tim, Tania, Tania, Tim.
We are after some plants that we can put underneath trees,
because Danny the gardener was very keen that we get some things
that you can under-plant, and they're going to be OK there.
On our list we have geraniums.
Is there anything else you would recommend?
We've got the veronica, with the lovely white flowers that'll
gradually increase and spread.
On the other side we've got the brunnera, which is great for the
silvery foliage, forming mats,
and you can divide it as well to get new plants for free.
And the aquilegia,
which will self-seed around.
You don't know what colour seedlings you're going to get up, so
you'll have a nice variety, and they should self-seed all over the area.
-Oh, that's really good, there's like variety.
Yeah, because some people have a particular colour palette.
-Is that something you're bothered about?
-I'm not bothered.
As long as it... As long as there's a whole range, I don't mind.
-I like colours.
-And you talked about those plants forming a mat.
Does that give quite a woodland sort of feel and atmosphere?
-Yes, it'll give a nice natural effect, yes.
This selection of plants look as if they would fit well
in a sort of fairy dell woodland setting.
Will they survive in a garden frequented by young children?
Yes, they will, they're all fairly tough
so will take a few knocks from children.
Erm, they're also suitable cos they will get a bit of shade
from the trees, so these can all
-tolerate a bit of shade as well.
How easy is it to grow an azalea
if you don't have the right kind of soil?
So if you don't have acid soil,
-you either grow it in a container with ericaceous compost...
..or you add peat to your soil to make the soil more acid.
-What about these geraniums?
Well, those geraniums, they're great.
They, again, they're very tough.
They can take, you know, a few knocks from the children,
and, yeah, again, they'll form a carpet,
and they seed around as well.
Oh, lovely, it's already starting to look like a forest, in my mind!
It's a woodland, child-proof, colourful mix of exciting plants.
Is there anything else, Tim, that might create a bit of magic
and welcome the fairies to Tania's garden?
Well, to create that extra bit of fairy magic, I recommend...
-Your very own fairy door.
-Your very own fairy door.
Oh, wow, and it has "Primrose" on! Oh, that's lovely.
-They've made that especially for you.
-Oh, thank you.
-Your very own fairy door to welcome fairies to the garden.
While Danny and the team have been hard at work,
I've left Tania to look after the children.
I'm popping back to the garden
for an exclusive preview of this magical transformation.
You two look like a real sorry pair,
but that's nothing compared to the garden!
-What's gone wrong?
-Well, whatever could have gone wrong has gone wrong.
Erm, it's been an absolute nightmare today.
-As you can see, we haven't quite finished.
-So what should be here?
Should be artificial grass. We tried and tried to get it done.
I feel like I need to hug you both, you look as if you could cry!
Do you know what? The garden that is done looks great,
the plants look great,
-this looks fabulous.
Yeah, I mean, it looks great, but we couldn't quite finish it off.
-And really the turf would have just brought it all together.
Yeah, this is potentially a nightmare
for a mother of young children...
-..cos all that mud is going to go in the house.
I know if my mum was watching this she would have nightmares.
What are we going to do?
Well, we're going to come back very, very soon
and we're going to complete it.
And I'll break the news, shall I?
-Yes, that'd be good.
-Stay there, you two.
OK, Helen, thank you.
Thanks to the weather, it's the first time an instant garden
hasn't been finished in a day, and we're all gutted.
Poor Danny - and poor Tania!
A few days later, you wouldn't know it was the same country,
it is so sunny, so Danny and AJ are heading back to finish the job,
hoping that the mud bath has dried out.
Do you want to have a look and see what you think about this?
What do you reckon to this...?
-Well, it's ten times better than before.
Still a bit of work to do.
Yeah, we've got to level it off, haven't we?
But that shouldn't take long - unless, of course,
Danny's used his day off to think up more work for himself!
AJ, while I've been away, I've been thinking,
that metal edging just doesn't look right.
I'm not totally happy with it.
I think we need something that's softer.
I think wood would be more in keeping with this garden,
with the overall scheme. I reckon we should change it to that.
The other thing I thought was perhaps we could get
a bit of shade in the garden.
It's a south-facing garden,
on a hot day it's going to be pretty baking in here,
so I thought we could get some shade in,
so I thought we'd get a shade sail erected.
-What are you calling it?
BOTH: Shade sail.
It's a ship's sail, really.
It's like the same shape as a ship's sail.
Say that quickly.
-Same shape as a...
-Same shape as a sip-ship's sail!
Same shape as a ship's shail!
Same shape as a ship's shail! Hmm, tongue twister.
-Shut up, OK.
So this shade...
-How are you going to create it?
Well, I thought we could use...
As it's a triangle, we're going to need three posts.
Attached to three posts, the triangular sail will create
a stylish sun shade in this very open garden.
If we have this side either slightly higher or lower than that one
to give it a bit more 3D shape?
-Yeah, and that'll look quite quirky, won't it?
-I think so.
Yeah, it'll look great.
But now, as well as finishing the lawn,
Danny's created two more new jobs -
putting up the shade sail and changing the patio edging.
Better get a move on, boys!
The good thing about timber edging,
it's better than that aluminium stuff,
the fact that you just dig a trench, bang, in it goes,
and it's a lot more solid and straight, and...
..you can't beat wood.
Now onto the sail, which needs three poles to hold it up.
AJ has just added the cement, so it's quick-dried cement,
so it should go off within 20 minutes.
With any sort of things like this
I would always, if you've got the time,
give it as long as possible so then we can just leave it
and let it settle itself.
Right, just get it out of the way of the cement. Well done, Sherlock.
Right, can you reach now, clever clogs?
No, I've put it at the perfect height that you asked me to put it.
You can't reach!
Oh, hold on. AJ, I think this looks absolutely fabulous.
And apart from looking great, being a great feature, I think
this will give welcome shade for Tania's children.
At long last Danny can finish the lawn.
Artificial turf needs a base of sand laid to a depth of 5cm
and levelled out over the lumps and bumps.
Here's a little tip - when raking an area and you want it nice
and level, get down low.
Then you can see where you're going,
and also the motion of the rake is going to be
at least parallel to the ground.
And now I've done this, will I be able to get up again?
To get the sand base good and firm, Danny's using a wacker plate,
a machine with a vibrating plate to compact the sand.
A not-quite-instant day and a half after they began,
Danny and AJ can finally get that artificial lawn rolled out.
Really, this is the last thing that you do.
I mean, even when you're laying normal turf it's normally
a thing you do as you're going out of the gate,
the last thing you do, because you don't want people walking on it.
And to be fair, erm, with turf, normal turf, you can't really walk
on it for at least 10 days cos you'll want it to settle and to take root.
But with this, once it's down, you can quite happily walk on it,
and the kids can come out and play straight away.
-This is kind of like the last mile of our marathon.
Come on, then. Come on, let's sprint it!
Once the turf that Tania so desperately wanted is finally
rolled out, all that remains is to secure it with metal pins.
And as a finishing touch, we've got this lovely fairy door that
Tania and Helen brought back for the kids,
and I'm just going to put it under this tree.
At long last, this epic, almost instant garden is complete!
When we started, this garden was a hotchpotch of mismatched ideas,
hazardous half-finished projects,
and the chaos that only five energetic children can create.
Now, Tania's back garden is a child-safe
and stylish sanctuary with a touch of fairy enchantment.
In less than two days, including the worst weather
so far this year, Danny has waved his magic wand over the clutter
and conjured up a glorious new look.
With no spare time to tackle her garden's disorder,
busy mum Tania was overwhelmed by the task of starting afresh.
Now, with some clever design and courage in the face of adversity,
Danny has created a garden that the whole family can enjoy together.
Using child-friendly materials like artificial turf and rubber
makes a safe haven that's also low-maintenance -
a winner for any hectic household.
Plus Danny's shade sail has given valuable shelter for Tania's
little ones, while making a stunning centrepiece for the garden.
The patio has been transformed from a dismal attempt at decking
into a cushioned and colourful chill-out zone for Mum and children.
The old bench has been revitalised with a surrounding of climbers
and a cunning visual illusion.
And by using existing features to their full advantage,
Danny has breathed new life into the borders and used Tania's style
to build a woodland wonderland,
complete with some truly enchanting planting.
So what will Tania and her tots think of their new-look garden?
Eyes closed. Come forward a bit.
Forward a bit.
There we go. Now you can open your eyes.
-What do you think?
-Oh, it's lovely!
-Do you like it?
-I do, thank you!
Yeah, it's lovely, thank you!
-We've put the lawn down.
-Yeah! It's lovely!
-Oh, it's going to be so safe.
-So that's nice and safe for the kids.
And over there...
-the barbecue area...
-..and the chimney.
So that's your little area, your little patio area,
-and at the back is your fairy grotto.
-I love the shade sail, yeah, that's gorgeous.
-It's lovely, isn't it?
-I noticed you've done some planting...
-And that looks fantastic, that looks absolutely brilliant.
So if I've done nothing else,
-I've encouraged you to do a bit of gardening.
-You have, yeah.
-And the bench?
-Yeah, that looks really good, thank you.
Yeah? So we've managed to piece that together for you and get it nice and stable.
Looks good, don't it, Tilly? Look at the chair!
Wow! What do you say? Shall we say thank you?
Thank you, Danny!
Say thank you!
It's been a bit of a journey but we got there in the end, and Tania
and the kids seem to be really enjoying their not-so-instant garden!
Congratulations, Danny, on creating a gorgeous garden against the odds.
Now Tania finally has a unique, child-safe space that she
and her family can enjoy together.
Join us next time for another Instant Garden.
The team help Tania, a mother-of-five in Basingstoke, to declutter her disorganised garden and turn it into the child-safe and enchanting space of her dreams.