Garden transformation show. Lydia and Aydin from Northamptonshire need a low-allergen garden so that their son Mavi, afflicted by severe allergies, can play outside safely.
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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 are short on time?
Well, meet the Instant Gardener.
Danny Clarke is an expert at transforming gardens.
Here is 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 are floating in amongst the grasses.
'..and advice on spending wisely on a budget...'
That's why Danny makes me bring a list. OK.
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 have come to Northampton, right in the heart of England.
A few miles outside the town is the sleepy parish of Earls Barton.
A lovely slice of traditional village life,
with a history dating back to the Saxon times.
Among the ancient monuments,
thatched roofs and sandstone cottages
are well-kept country gardens, displayed proudly on every corner.
This peaceful neighbourhood is the perfect place to
bring up a young family.
We are here to meet a dedicated mum of two
who is desperate for a gorgeous garden
in which her kids can play out.
But not just any old garden will do.
-You must be Lydia.
-Lovely to meet you.
-Let's have a look at this garden then.
-Come on in.
Lydia Guclu and her husband Aydin, who grew up in Turkey,
are the proud parents of two lively boys, Finlay and Mavi.
Younger son Mavi suffers terribly from hay fever
so severe that just playing outside can cause uncontrollable
sneezing and other allergic reactions
that leave his skin cracked and bleeding.
All too often, this has kept the whole family inside.
But mum Lydia is desperate for her boys to get out into the
fresh air much more.
So she has called in the Instant Gardener to see if he can
create a garden Mavi can play in without aggravating his allergies.
At the moment, the garden mainly consists of a large, tired lawn
splattered with dead patches and weeds,
serving mainly as a safe area for the boys' trampoline.
Turf alone can be a problem for Mavi's allergies,
so this is a bit of a no-no.
Near the house there is an uninspiring
and slightly grubby patio, which is the only seating area
for the family to socialise in and from which they can view the garden.
At the end of the garden is an impressive box hedge
which hasn't seen a pair of shears for a good few years.
As box can cause hay fever, this could be an issue.
Other than this, there is barely a plant anywhere.
Apart from a few forlorn bulbs
and weeds standing like soldiers around the boundary.
Let's hope Danny has got a few ideas to help all the family
enjoy their garden without sneezing or scratching.
It's a great space. Hey, Danny!
-That's what we like to see.
Tell me about the house first
because you've only been here a short amount of time, haven't you?
Yeah, we moved in in October, six months ago.
It was a refurb project,
so we have refurbed all of it, haven't we, indoors?
-But we ran out of money.
So the garden had to wait.
So you haven't done anything to the garden yet?
Short of a bit of grass cutting and a little bit of digging,
that's about it.
How good is that for you, then, Danny? Cos this is a blank canvas.
That's ideal. We've got the freedom to do what we want.
So no digging out loads of bits and bobs that are going to get in
your way, you can just get to work.
Just get to work, crack on and get it constructed.
What would you like to see?
I think we just want it to be really family friendly.
I think it needs to be family friendly more than anything else.
Cos we don't... I don't really have a vision, to be honest with you.
-Otherwise it wouldn't look like that.
-We like to eat out here.
We like to spend time in the garden as a family.
Your family has some quite specific needs, doesn't it?
In particular, Mavi, our youngest, he's six years old,
he has got a lot of allergies. He has the usual hay fever but he's
also got a dust mite allergy, a nut allergy, things like that.
But when he comes out here and rolls around and romps
around on the grass, his eyes water.
He'll do probably about 100 sneezes over and over and over again.
It wears him out.
It sounds like Mavi's allergies are quite extreme.
Is there such a thing as a low-allergen garden
-in which he can play?
-Absolutely. Most definitely.
And that's what we are going to attempt to create.
We are giving you a big challenge.
And not to put the pressure on, Danny,
but a six-year-old's playing out time is at stake here.
Yeah, that's right. It's no problem. We will get it done.
-I trust you.
-I've got a little book for you.
If I can hand that to you, that's full of low-allergen plants.
If you can go and get that for me, we will see you later.
-Let's go shopping, Lydia.
-Come on, Aydin. Let's get going.
We are splitting up Mum and Dad for the day.
Lydia is coming with me
whilst Aydin is going to become part of Danny's team...
along with handyman AJ
and horticulturalist Lou.
Time for Danny to get started. So, what's the plan, Dan?
The family want a low-allergen garden.
And at the moment, they've got a garden that is full of weeds.
So the one thing we can do that will make a big difference is to
reduce the turf, the amount of turf that is in the garden.
What we are going to do is have three concentric circles.
We are going to have a large lawn circle here.
We are going to have a circular gravel area
interlocking into the circular lawn.
And at the back, we are going to have a circular play area.
Around the first circle I'm just going to have a normal crisp edge.
But for the other two circles, the gravel circle
and the child's play area, I'm going
to edge it in my lovely flexible friend,
which is the aluminium edging.
The bits that aren't circled, that's where the plants are going to be.
By doing that, we are bringing the plants into the garden.
They are not going to be stuck round the edges.
The most exciting part of this garden is this lovely box hedge.
And look at the condition of it. Absolutely wonderful.
It could do with a trim. It's been neglected for some time.
But I'm not going to trim it at the moment
because it is the wrong time of year.
You really want to be trimming it after the last frost.
We've got a patio here so that's fine.
Once it's been cleaned and de-weeded,
it's going to really look absolutely fine.
There is a hell of a lot to do in this garden.
The clock is really ticking. So we had better get going.
Too right, Danny. We've got just eight hours to get all of this done.
And the weather is looking changeable
so there is no time to waste.
Danny's first job is to mark out those circles.
Ably assisted by man of the house Aydin and his trusty handyman AJ.
His toolkit consists of a ball of twine, some marker paint
and a stick to position in the very middle of the circle.
-Aydin, this is my central point.
For the first circle. If you roll that out for me. Keep going.
Keep going. Keep going.
-Just sweep this round like this.
As you can see, we are getting a nice, perfect circle. There we are.
The duo have clearly and cleanly marked out the first circle.
Now onto the second.
And then the third.
This time, Aydin is going to give it a go.
I'm just going to go round in circles, that's about it.
Go round in circles, yeah.
Slowly, slowly. Don't go quickly.
I can't move as quickly as you.
-Is that's all right or...?
-Yeah, absolutely fine.
The only worry for me
is that I might be stuck in this position permanently now.
-Low and slow.
That's it, that's it.
Whilst Danny, AJ and Aydin run rings around each other,
I've whisked Lydia off for a visit to Kelmarsh Hall.
A local stately home, built in the 1730s
and famed for its gardens.
We've come here because I've learned there is someone who can help us
research the type of plants that will be safe to
choose for the family's new low-allergen garden.
This is Kelmarsh Hall, Lydia. What do you make of it?
It's beautiful. It's lovely.
It certainly is stunning.
Dating back to the 18th century, the gardens at Kelmarsh are listed
as Grade II star by English Heritage.
Which means they are gardens of national significance.
It's clear that a lot of love and care goes into keeping them
-You look a little bit scared.
-Lot of maintenance, isn't it?
-There is a lot of maintenance.
Don't worry, we are
not going to create something as extensive as this.
But we can learn a lot about low-allergen plants.
Let's go meet Sam.
I've arranged to meet Sam Bailey
who is the junior gardener here.
Sam's grandmother also has a lot of allergies.
So he has made it a bit of a personal mission
to know what is safe
and what can really aggravate.
So, the perfect person to give Lydia some advice.
-Good to see you.
-Good to see you.
-Sorry to interrupt. This is Lydia.
-Pleased to meet you.
-Are you all right?
-Sam, take us through the basics.
What is the difference between a low-allergen
-and a high-allergen plant?
-It all comes down to the pollen.
It comes down to the size of the pollen, and how it is dispersed.
We have this oak tree here. The pollen is spread by the wind.
Then here we have a tulip,
which is pollinated by insects.
The difference being, the pollen is quite heavy
and the flowers are blousy.
So the pollen isn't airborne for long.
Whereas with this oak tree, the pollen is quite small
and when it is blowing in the wind
it aggravates the immune system.
Presumably Mavi's hay fever
and allergies are going to be triggered more by airborne pollen.
That's because it's small
and it's more likely to get into the nasal passage.
-Is that surprising news to you?
I didn't think I would be able to have a flowery garden cos
I would have thought the pollen that you can see would have been worse.
Have you ever had a flowery garden?
No, never had a flowery garden.
Go for your big blousy flowers.
I like big blousy flowers.
Well, you are in luck. Sam says you can have them.
At the minute, Lydia's garden has quite a lot of lawn.
How much of a problem is that for someone with allergies?
It can be a bit of a problem.
Because lawn can gather dust and it can gather pollen from other plants.
And also, when the lawn flowers, grass is wind pollinated
so the pollen is likely to cause allergies.
If you have a lawn, I would recommend cutting it once a week.
-I never knew that.
-There you go, you can see that to Aydin now.
You've got to get out there and cut it.
-You have some of that kind of hedge, some box hedge in your garden.
What about that? Is that going to cause many problems for Mavi?
Box is pollinated by insects but it does produce a lot of pollen
if you brush past it.
The trick is to keep it well maintained.
If you cut it when you are meant to, you don't have these flowers.
Whilst Lydia and I carry on with our research,
back at the house a secret weapon has just arrived.
In the shape of Lydia's mum, Mel.
-Hiya, how are you doing?
-This is Danny.
-How are you?
-I'm fine, thank you. How are you?
-Good to meet you.
She's into a bit of gardening herself.
-Are you into gardening yourself?
-I've got just the job for you, then.
If you could just jet-wash this patio for me
it would be great.
Pressure washing is one of the quickest
and easiest ways to bring a patio back to life.
Just look how much grime it clears away with, frankly, minimal effort.
You can rent a pressure washer from your local hire shop
for between £25 and £65 a day.
Depending on what size you choose.
It's keeping her quiet for a while, isn't it?
-Which can't be such a bad thing.
-Oh, no, that's...
Teasing someone in charge of a pressure washer?
Dangerous move, Danny.
Go and do some work.
She's pointing that at us, we should go and do some work.
Otherwise it might go off. Come on, let's get going.
Joking aside, pressure washers can be dangerous,
so should never be aimed at other people.
Meanwhile, back at Kelmarsh Hall, Lydia and I are picking Sam's
brains about the kind of plants he recommends for allergy sufferers.
Would these be good in the garden for someone like Mavi?
Yep. Lamprocapnos. It's got very colourful flowers.
The stamen is hidden inside this flower.
So it's very unlikely the pollen is going to come out.
Because the stamen is hidden, that's another hypoallergenic plant?
What else would be good in the garden for Lydia to look at
and less likely perhaps to aggravate Mavi's allergies?
You can have cherries with lovely double flowers
and apple blossom because the pollen is heavier.
Again, that's really surprised me
cos I'd have thought cherry blossom and apple blossom,
with them being so colourful and flowery and showy,
they would be a nightmare for hay fever sufferers. But no.
Similar to cut flowers. We have some roses just here.
It's a bit early for the rose here be in bloom
but these are ones that you've got for us.
Yeah, yeah. Just to show you.
The flowers are double
so the pollen will struggle to get out of there anyway.
The pollen is quite heavy and it's less likely to be airborne for long.
-Thank you very much, Sam.
-You are welcome.
-Of course you can.
I thought he'd never ask. Thanks.
Sam clearly knows his stuff when it comes to low-allergen planting
and how to maintain your garden.
If you or a member of your family suffer from allergies,
here are some tips to take away from Sam's brilliant advice.
A lawn can give off a lot of pollen and collect dust.
But you can reduce this by mowing the lawn regularly.
Ideally, once a week.
Remember, big, blousy flowers
don't automatically mean that their
pollen is going to be problematic.
Plants pollinated by insects have heavier pollen
that remains with the flower head until it is collected.
It's the plants whose pollen is airborne that you need to
avoid too much contact with.
Airborne pollen is smaller and lighter
and more likely to be breathed in.
Ask at your local garden centre for help identifying the different
types of plants.
Alternatively, lists of plants suitable for specific
allergies can be found in an internet search.
Back at the house, with two hours already used up,
Danny and Aydin's next job is to remove the excess turf.
We've hired a turf cutter for the day,
which will take up the bulk of it.
But the edges will need to be done by hand.
The way to do that is...
Just do that. Nice straight line down.
-But keep this as upright as possible.
-And we will try and do a nice neat edge following the line.
Because there is such a big area, we are going to use this turf cutter.
-That is going to be AJ's job.
-While we carry on with the edging.
But Danny has noticed some discoloured patches of lawn
that are inside the circle they do want to keep.
Aydin, what has happened here, mate?
What's happened with these patches, do you know? Any idea?
-Lydia had the great idea of using weedkiller.
-And she killed the grass.
-OK, it's not the end of the world.
I mean, it doesn't look brilliant, as you know. As you can see.
What we are going to do, we are going to save a few bits of turf
and we are going to do a repair job within that circle.
-Yeah, that's a good idea.
-So all is not lost.
-Cos I'm a big fan of reusing stuff.
-Yeah, recycling staff.
Recycling grass... That's...first I've heard of it.
Can you crack on and do something?
It's all great having these little white circles
-but we need to dig them out.
-We need to crack on.
Get working otherwise this garden is never going to get done.
You do need to crack on! Less hugging and more working.
Reducing the size of the garden's lawn will lessen its capacity to
aggravate Mavi's allergies.
But Danny's plan will reduce the turf without compromising
the children's safe play area.
With six hours left, let's see how they are getting on.
Aydin, now the turf has been lifted
we've got to mark out the circles, re-mark them.
With all the excess turf now lifted,
the circles are marked out for the final time.
This bit is where the shingle is going to go.
And that is the kiddies play area.
I'm amazed at the amount of work we have got through.
And I would like to think that we are ahead of schedule.
But this could be famous last words.
I like your confidence, Danny, but probably best not to speak too soon.
The next stage of the transformation is to line the circles with
this fabulously bendy edging.
This is lawn edging, aluminium lawn edging.
What it does, it retains the shape of the lawn.
But it also will contain the gravel that's here,
so it works on both counts.
And we will also use it to contain the rubber chippings
that will go in the kiddies area.
Anyway, I've got a bone to pick with you.
-Why is your name spelt with an A?
If it's 'Eyeden'? That doesn't make sense. Come on, clever clogs.
Answer that one.
It's because it's Turkish.
Won me over.
While the boys bicker over vowel sounds in the garden,
I'm taking the time to chat to Lydia about how her youngest son's
allergies have affected not just him but the whole family.
So, Lydia, tell me about Mavi's allergies
because we are not just talking about a few sneezes here, are we?
No. No, it started off as what I thought was dry skin. Eczema.
And it just escalated.
You know, when you have a baby and they have that peely skin
when they are first-born, it just went from there.
We tried all these creams and lotions
and it just seemed to be getting worse as he got older.
How bad was it?
At the worst, it was at the point where in the morning
he would wake up and stretch and it would just crack,
his arms would crack, his legs would crack and it would bleed.
He'd wake up in the night sometimes crying that he was sore.
Day in, day out, it's quite debilitating, isn't it?
As long as his medication is maintained
so he has various amounts of antihistamine
and medication throughout the day,
and he has three lots of creams applied to him throughout the day.
As long as that is maintained and nothing is missed,
at the moment, everything is really tight.
What difference would a nice garden in which Mavi
and Finlay can play out together make to your family?
The whole outdoor living, you know,
I don't want my boys to grow up on computers and stuck indoors.
I want them to be outside.
A low-allergen garden could freely provide a space for your family
and maybe give you a bit of family time perhaps?
Yeah, we've never had it.
We have our dinners outside, we have our barbecue outside,
but as soon as that's over, we're in.
It's clear Mavi's condition has really affected the whole family.
So this garden is going to be key to giving them
some special time together.
Back at the garden, Danny, along with Lydia's mum, Mel,
are dealing with the section of lawn that has been damaged by weedkiller.
One of the things that I have noticed is that your daughter,
I think, believes in scorched earth policy.
-She doesn't like the weeds.
-She doesn't like weeds. OK then.
Earlier on, as you know, we lifted the turf with the turf cutter.
-And we've left some rolls to one side in anticipation of
repairing this lawn.
What I'm going to do is
roll out a piece to cover the area.
Doesn't have to be exact.
Just cut down like this. You don't have to go down too far.
It doesn't have to be exactly square or anything like that.
Just take away the residue.
And you'll see that if I tip that,
that's the shape of what I'm going to put in its place.
So we now need to dig this out.
A bit out. If we go down too far
it's not the end of the world.
We can always build it up again.
Then you'll see. We will do a little dummy run.
And that should fit in beautifully there.
Pat it down.
One repaired piece of lawn.
But there is a problem,
Danny has noticed quite a few dandelions hiding amongst the turf.
These are the really bad news for Mavi's allergies.
The dandelion things that are floating about in the air,
they just bring it... His eyes come up first.
They swell and then they stream.
Rolling on the grass isn't a good one either.
But Weedkiller Danny has a tried and tested tip for removing
dandelions and other weeds from your lawn.
It's useful to know whether you have allergies or not.
As you can see, we've got some dandelion here.
These weeds are high in airborne pollen.
Like flowers, flowers have pollen. Weeds have pollen.
These are perennial weeds which means they come back year after year.
To stop them coming back, we need to dig up the roots as well.
If we leave a fraction of the root in there, those weeds will regrow.
-The way I would do this would be to get a fork...
Just dig down, like this. As far as you can go.
Then just gently lift the turf, like this.
Then in fact you are going to lift out the whole thing.
There it is.
And just free it.
It doesn't matter if you make a mess of the turf.
Cos it will fit back in.
-Like this. And just stamp it down. And away you go.
Only another million to do.
Meanwhile, AJ and Aydin are getting stuck in creating a trench
to sink that lovely bendy aluminium edging into.
Step on it, guys. Only four hours left, you know.
All right, the trenches. We've made the circle of the edging here.
We are just digging so it will go down into the ground slightly.
It will give a bit of stability as well as the pegs.
But then we can also get the height once again
so it's not too high to be a tripping hazard.
Do you need this side deeper than that side?
Cos it's quite high, isn't it?
Do you needed it levelled out a little?
Do you know what, we can then just dig a little bit lower on
certain areas, maybe raise it there just to get it as level as possible.
The trench here is not being dug for some reason.
This is a great way to recycle, isn't it, Mel?
-So we waste as little as possible.
There is no magic science to it. If you just keep a rhythm going.
Then it doesn't seem like work, does it?
Gardening shouldn't be work. It should be fun.
-It should be fun.
It's fun, isn't it, Aydin?
I love it(!)
Yeah? You enjoying it?
-I thought you were.
Patience is definitely a virtue.
Meanwhile, Lydia and I have arrived at a local garden centre to
work through the shopping list Danny gave us earlier.
It's an Instant Gardener rule that you should always go shopping
equipped with a list.
Over £5 billion a year are spent in garden centres,
and it's wise to know what you want before you walk in the door
so you don't waste money on plants
that aren't suitable for your garden.
Danny has asked us for some specific low-allergen plants.
Not that we've got a clue what any of them are.
Right, Lydia, what is on our list?
We are looking for...
How do you feel about the kind of colours and flowers?
Is this the kind of scene you would like to see in your garden?
Yeah, it's lovely. It's really nice. I wouldn't have touched them before.
Why do you say it like that?
"Oh, it's lovely." Because you would feel guilty about having them?
Yeah, because I just think the pollen is bad for Mavi.
But you can have flowering plants in your garden without causing him
-too much distress.
Let's have a look for those.
Yes, we do need some help.
We are after some plants that would sit well in a low-allergen
garden because Lydia's son has some quite severe allergies.
-Just down here we have a Campanula.
-Which is on our list.
-Which have bell-shaped flowers.
-And heavy pollen.
So that's going to be flowery as well once it all grows?
Very flowery. They also come in blue, there is pink and there is white.
It says on there, "Perfect for pollinators."
So that backs up the point, doesn't it, that this isn't airborne pollen?
That's correct, yes.
It's slightly heavier pollen for the bees to go and collect.
-OK, brilliant. Let's have one of those.
As long as Mavi is not rolling around in it.
We have foxglove, Digitalis.
This one is primrose carousel. Also with the bell-shaped flowers.
This one I would certainly recommend to you.
-That looks gorgeous.
-That looks really lovely.
Have a look at the double rose.
OK? As you can see again, we've got this little signature on there.
"Good for honeybees." So we have a heavier pollen inside the flower.
And the pollen is just hidden inside there as well, so it's not airborne.
It's not floating around in the atmosphere.
-OK, let's definitely have one of those then.
I feel like you've been let at the chocolate box for the first
time ever because would you have ever dared put these
kind of plants in your garden before?
No. Definitely not. I would have gone all green.
Presumably Mavi can put them in himself, can't he?
These aren't going to cause him much problem?
Absolutely. And why not?
The rose, clearly you'd be careful because of the spikes,
I wouldn't recommend he do that one, but the other two,
-the Campanula and Digitalis, for sure.
I couldn't imagine my children not doing this
because they love gardening.
And it would be nice for Mavi to be able to do the same.
It's lovely how when you talk about your children and the garden,
-a big smile comes on your face.
-Do you want that?
-I'd love that. I'd love to do that.
Mavi has just done a little sunflower on the windowsill,
he doesn't... He wouldn't be planting.
He might be from now on.
Yeah, that would be lovely.
While Lydia dreams of a whole new garden
experience for Mavi, Danny's taking stock of what's still left to do.
Only three hours left, Mr Clarke. You need to get a wriggle on.
We've still got to do the kiddies area.
That's the circular area over there.
And we've got to put the membrane down
and then put the material on top.
And we've still got this area in the centre,
the circular area in the centre to do.
Which is going to be gravelled.
As you know, this area is another seating area. It's a patio area.
And I'm going to do the favourite bit, get on with the planting.
And the first thing that is going to go in are three trees.
-Do you want us to do that now?
-Yeah, lay it down.
But the first challenge is simply getting them in the garden.
Just to put down. Oh, my word!
Don't mind me, boys.
In your own time.
Yeah, that's it.
That's it. Just here. That's it. It's lovely.
Where do you want this one then?
Don't overdo it, mate.
That's what I like to see. People at work.
That the art of garden design, delegation.
What's AJ got left to do, I wonder. Well, we've got...
Before the gravel and the rubber chippings can go down, there is
one crucial job left to do.
Putting down a layer of membrane
which acts as yet another
layer of defence.
The great thing about this membrane
is that it is full of tiny perforations
which allow the water to come through and stop the weeds coming up.
As the ground covering for the kids' play area,
Danny has chosen these rubber chippings.
A great choice for a low-allergen garden.
And with the weather looking iffy,
it's really time to get those spread.
-Now we've got these lovely blue chippings.
And what's great about these, these are good for you and your children
because, unlike bark chips, these have got no fungal spores in it.
They are made from recycled forklift tyres.
The reason they use forklift tyres is
because they haven't got bits of metal in the rubber.
-Why are they blue?
-What do you mean, "Why are they blue?"
I mean, how... I mean, rubber is normally black, right?
They've coloured it.
It was probably black but they have coloured it.
-I see, OK. It's not just blue...
-Just for you.
-Just for me?
Just for you.
You can just rip it and pour it out? Is that what you do?
What's really good about this rubber stuff is that when they land on
this, it's going to be a lot better than hard soil or even grass really.
He's going to do wrestling on it anyway, so he will love it.
These rubber chippings not only look good, they feel good too.
Back at the garden centre,
Mike has got even more suggestions for the kinds of plants anyone
with allergies might want to consider for their garden.
Remember, it's always worth asking members of staff
or even your fellow customers for advice.
You can never get enough gardening tips.
-We have some begonias.
You can see inside there...nice heavy pollen.
And we have some geraniums, which are ideal for the garden.
As you can see,
there's an array of plants that you can use
in the garden with Mavi that are low-allergen.
We have got two big pots as well that we need to fill.
Is there anything that you would recommend to give a little
bit of structure?
-We'd also look at Cordyline.
-Let's put the Cordyline in.
-Thank you for your help, Mike.
-You are most welcome.
-OK, let's take these to the checkout.
-And your reassurance.
We have everything on Danny's list,
plus a couple of Cordylines for Lydia's planters
on her new sparkly patio.
Back in the garden, it's time to start planting up and Danny
and plantswoman Lou, as always, have a plan to stick to.
Lou and I are putting the big plants in position.
It's always best to put the big plants in first.
And then work downwards with the medium-sized plants
and under planting with the smaller ones.
If you can get that right, they give you height.
So if you get those right,
then everything else will naturally follow.
Shall I start placing things where I think and then we can...
-Yeah, and I'll start digging holes for these.
-OK, that's a plan.
I've got this beautiful Amelanchier here.
This Amelanchier likes full sun or half sun.
And it flowers April-May time.
I'm going to dig a hole nearly twice the size of the root ball.
The common sort of thinking, or used to be, to dig a circular hole.
But I'm going to dig a square hole.
The reason being, I don't want the roots to keep going round
and round and round. I want them to find their own way.
Come on, Danny, it's time to get down and dirty.
This soil has been really well-prepared.
Which makes it a lot easier to dig.
I don't go to the gym. I don't need to. This is my gym.
This is my gym and this is my office. And I'm with wonderful people.
How good is that?
I would suggest you keep it well watered for the first three or
four years of its life. It's very, very important.
But once you do that, it will find its own way.
Its roots will go out and look after itself.
There is a little bit of compost in the pot.
I'm going to use this to mixed in with the soil that was in the hole.
Just turn the compost into the soil like this.
An absolutely beautiful tree and it flowers April-May time.
My pants are falling down.
One tree down, two to go.
This tree is an Acer palmatum.
At this time of year, it's this kind of lovely green.
But this will turn red in the autumn.
Very, very showy tree. Absolutely gorgeous.
The most important thing with this
though is to put it in a fairly sheltered area.
But it should be absolutely fine by this fence.
But what I would do is keep an eye on it.
If it does struggle for any reason, um, it might be an idea to move it.
Now, being green fingered is all about observation.
Walk around your garden at regular intervals,
look and see how your plants are doing.
If they are starting to wilt a bit,
it will either be they need water or they'll need feeding.
Bit like human beings.
Look at your plants. Try and develop a relationship with them.
Cos they will tell you what they need.
Does anyone know the time?
I think we are doing absolutely fine.
Doesn't get dark till midnight, does it?
You know, I doubt Lydia and the boys will be awake at midnight.
We really need to get this garden finished pronto.
Hopefully an extra pair of hands will help.
Oh, my word! This is a different place!
-You have been busy!
-We have been busy.
-I have been busy shopping.
-Let me take those from you.
Do you know what, I thought these might look quite nice in the pots.
-And it is a bit of a nod to the Mediterranean
because of Aydin's heritage.
Absolutely. Yeah, we've got a few nods to the Mediterranean
-going on today.
-I'll crack on with these.
There you go. Better get cracking. Got loads of work to do.
But my efforts are nothing compared to Danny's incredible
choice of plants.
Helped, of course, by horticulturalist Lou.
She is getting really excited.
-Oh, yeah. It's absolutely... Look at this.
Look at the way this purple Heuchera...
Look at the way it picks up on the purple edge.
What a great combination.
I think it's fantastic.
Of course, when you've got these sorts of shapes you need that
-sort of punctuation to fill the corner, don't you?
Yeah, it's great. And I love the colours.
The way this colour, this purple
picks up on the purple edge of this leaf.
Isn't that fantastic? And also the blue.
-Look how it stands out against the blue rubber chippings.
I think it's absolutely perfect.
The other name for Phormium is New Zealand flax.
These come in two different varieties.
You get the softer leafed one
and the more spiky, more rigid one.
The reason we've got a soft-leafed phormium round this play area -
if you have a spiky one it's not going to be very child friendly.
So we felt this would be a better choice.
Now, you've got to be very careful
because you could be kneeling down in the garden
and you can easily poke yourself in the eye with one of these.
So it's best to have a softer one.
It's all hands on deck.
AJ gives the rubber chips a thorough raking to break up any lumps
while Lou and Mel are cracking on with all that planting.
But there is a long way to go. And I'm doing my bit to help.
OK, I've run out of compost.
So do not...tell Lou or Danny.
Because I'm not supposed to do this.
Helped. Done it.
Well, sometimes needs must.
With the other planting and landscaping still unfinished,
the moment comes to crown the new play area with the boys' trampoline.
I love this stuff, Danny. This is so perfect.
It's great, isn't it? Absolutely brilliant.
And what's great about it though, no spores.
So kids can roll around in it and it's ideal for a low-allergen garden.
Lydia was joking that Mavi likes to roll around in the garden.
-He can roll around in this.
-Yeah, definitely, to his heart's content.
Mavi is going to absolutely love it.
And so is Lydia when she sees some of the plants Danny has chosen.
What have we got here?
We've got a Brunnera here. This, again, is a low-allergen plant.
Look at those lovely blue delicate flowers.
I think Lydia was worried that she was going to put
things in the garden that would then cause Mavi loads of problems.
And she was worried that she would have to have a boring garden.
Cos she didn't think she could have flowers.
Yeah, it's just goes to show, you don't need to have a boring garden.
You can find plants to suit any situation.
There are so many different varieties out there.
She talks so much about Mavi and his needs,
and obviously his allergies are quite severe, but I suspect
this would be really nice for Lydia to have a place to relax and enjoy.
There is only ten minutes left before Lydia gets home.
One last push, team!
The foxglove can go here.
-I love that!
-Yeah, it's going to go here.
Is it difficult to look after?
What, foxgloves? No. They are easy.
I tell you what, they are great for bees. You know the little flower?
-Nice landing pad for the bees.
And that comes back to what we were saying about them -
-no airborne pollen.
How are you feeling? Are you worried that she's going to like it?
Well, as a garden designer, you are always worried
if people are going to like it or not. That's a natural reaction.
You want people to like your work. So fingers crossed she will like it.
There's not much time for those nerves to kick him
because they are going to be here in five minutes.
Right, I'll get that Campanula in.
As Aydin mops up the mud that's been trodden under the patio
since its first jet wash, there is
just time for the final touches before Lydia's return.
Before, the garden had little more to offer than a bare,
plain lawn dotted with scars and infested with dandelions and weeds.
The odd plant stood forlornly around the edges.
And a grubby patio provided the only space for family time together.
But in a few daylight hours, Danny has transformed it.
First of all, he has reduced the lawn which, mended and de-weeded,
provides the first circular area
of this exciting contemporary design.
In the middle is a gravel circle,
intended as a second sitting area.
And at the end of the garden is the kids' play circle,
colourful and with no danger of aggravating allergens.
The patio has been cleaned and refreshed.
The perfect outdoor dining area.
But the piece de resistance must be Danny's fabulous planting,
creating a beautiful and colourful sanctuary,
made all the more special by knowing it's full of low-allergen plants
that Mavi and his mum can enjoy worry-free.
The unloved barren space has been transformed into an exciting
and elegantly-designed paradise.
Where reduced risk of pollen has meant no reduction
in style and beauty.
What an amazing difference in just one day. Danny, I salute you.
But now for the moment of truth.
What will Lydia and the boys make of all the hard work?
Here we go. This is your new garden.
Oh, my God! Look at it! Whoa.
-What do you think?
-Oh, my gosh!
Look at the blue under the trampoline, boys!
Is that a good "amazing?"
-Oh, my gosh!
Oh, my gosh! It looks so different.
Lydia, all of the plants here are low-allergen
so they are not going to aggravate Mavi's allergies.
You can come out here, you can play out here, you can
use your patio, you can have some family time.
You can be out here for ages now, Finlay.
Oh, my gosh! Oh, my gosh!
Look at it!
Mavi, look at your trampoline! It's got a blue... Oh, my gosh!
Look at all the plants!
Oh, my gosh! It looks so different.
And it looks like Mavi for one can't wait any longer to try it out.
That's just brilliant!
You were a little bit worried about having so many flowers and plants
in the garden because you didn't want it to cause problems for Mavi.
-He's clearly very happy already.
But rest assured, these plants are not going to cause him
-any problems, are they?
-No. They are all low-allergen plants.
-Oh, my gosh!
-Low in pollen so they won't be a problem for the kids.
-Thank you. Thank you so much.
-That's OK. My pleasure.
I don't know your brother that well. Is that a sign that he's happy?
-Do you want to go and join him?
-Go on. Go on.
Oh, my gosh! That's so lovely. Look at it.
-Thank you so much.
-It's an absolute pleasure.
Look at it. Look at all the plants.
They are so nice.
You wanted a space for your family. I think they seem quite happy.
-You did really well.
-Thank you. You too.
-Thank you so much, everybody.
I hope you enjoy this new family space.
-This is your new instant garden.
Come on, go and have a look.
It has certainly got the boys' seal of approval.
Danny and the team have created a play-safe,
sneeze-free instant garden
packed with gorgeous low-allergen plants that will get the boys
away from their computers
and allow the whole family to spend a lot more time outside together.
Lydia and Aydin from Northamptonshire are desperate for a low-allergen garden so that their younger son Mavi, afflicted by severe allergies, can play outside safely.