Browse content similar to Episode 9. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
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'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 are 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 are in the Hampshire town of Basingstoke.
Originally a mediaeval market town,
the population of modern Basingstoke has rocketed to nearly 90,000.
With many high-rise apartment blocks and busy roads,
space for a garden in this busting town is a hard won
and cherished commodity.
In towns, space is at a premium
so gardens aren't always where you might expect to find them.
Today's outdoor space is a few storeys up
and it's left its owner,
who's taking her first steps on the property ladder,
more than a little bit daunted.
I don't want to stand on that. It's too good.
-Hi, nice to meet you. I'm Amy.
-Thanks for having us.
-Come on in.
-I love your doormat.
Amy Jolliffe is a 27-year-old primary school teacher from Wales,
who has recently settled in Basingstoke.
After a long and demoralising battle to find her first teaching job,
Amy now works very long hours.
Like many other key workers, she's also struggled to get her
foot on the property ladder.
But, finally, Amy has been able to buy a part share in her first home,
a new-build flat in the suburbs.
To do that she's had to sacrifice the idea of a dream garden.
In fact, she's been lucky to get what she has
and to transform it will be a tall order.
Amy's so-called garden is, in fact, a roof terrace.
Measuring around 24 square metres,
it's only an eighth of the size of the average UK garden.
The terrace is paved with bog-standard concrete paving stones
which, according to Amy's lease, we can't alter in any permanent way.
It is bounded by glass partitions with brushed metal railings
and brick walls on to sides, which again, we can't modify permanently.
There's also a curious window-like opening.
It's got a great view, but creates a terrific draught.
Amy is desperate to turn her terrace into a cosy,
relaxing outdoor room,
but, so far, all she has managed to do
is install this rather ugly storage unit and plant a few pots.
It's a blank canvas and it has some restrictions, but there's loads
we can do to turn this terrace into the talk of the town.
-Very well, thank you.
-What a great little space this is.
-It's a great space, especially on a day like today.
-How long have you lived here?
-I've lived here for nearly four years.
So, is this a flat that you own outright?
I part buy, part rent.
I'm on the professional scheme that came out about four years ago
and I own just over 50% of the property
and I pay rent to a company who own the rest of it.
-So is the aim to own it outright, eventually?
Within the next three years, I'm hoping to own 100%.
What are the limitations of making over a roof garden
and one that you don't yet fully own outright?
I think it's the structural issues.
We can't drill into the outside walls.
You can't, sort of, get out on to the roof.
There are some health and safety issues there.
The stuff we put in here can't be too heavy,
otherwise the guy below will have a load of ceiling on his head.
Having walked through your house, it's immaculate and gorgeous
and very colourful and there's a lot of character in there.
-That's not reflected out here, though, without being rude.
No, it's not. It's a very bland. It doesn't say "me", at all.
I've managed, in the last three and a half years,
to really make my home bright,
-colourful, represent me...
So we need to put a bit of you into this space, don't we?
Yes. Now I want to be able to bring friends
and family out to this area and enjoy a barbecue
and have just a nice meeting place,
rather than being stuck in the living room.
Danny, this is a blank canvas, but it's a roof terrace,
so there are positives and negatives.
How are you feeling about transforming this space?
I've got a big confession to make.
I've never done a roof garden before.
-This is going to be a first for me. So, Amy, wish me luck.
-Are you green-fingered? Do you do much gardening?
No, I've attempted and ended up killing everything.
-Yeah, I hadn't noticed, Amy. I hadn't noticed(!)
-No, not at all.
-Everything just dies. It doesn't matter how hard I try.
I am quite a busy person.
I start early in the morning
-and I do sometimes finish at eight o'clock at night.
When I come home, I enjoy just sitting down and just relaxing.
And I do actually forget about watering the plants sometimes.
You're dedicated in the classroom.
How would your friends describe your dedication in the garden?
They think it's hysterical.
I planted something just behind you
and, for the last year, thought it was a lavender plant
-and then got told it was bluebells.
So, that's the extent of my gardening skills.
I thought I was doing something right.
Thought it was a perfect flower.
Yep. So I'm the laughing stock of my friends, I think,
when it comes to gardening.
Well, you'll be a laughing stock no more,
cos what we'll do, we'll put some plants in here.
There's no such thing as no maintenance,
but there is low maintenance.
-We'll get out of the way and let you crack on. Help is on its way.
-And I've just got something for you, Helen. The usual.
So, a little shopping list.
So, if you can go enjoy yourself and I'll catch up with you later.
While I whisk Amy away for a bit of R&R -
that's retail and research -
Danny has only ten hours to transform her terrace.
Basically, the outline has got to remain as it is.
So we can do stuff within the walls,
but we can't fix anything to the walls, for example.
So anything we put in here has to be freestanding.
Now, a very good design tip here is to look on the inside
and see what you've got on the inside of your house
and try and project that to the outside.
I've been inside. I've had a look around
and one of the first things that I've noticed
is that Amy likes bright colours,
so I'm going to try and replicate that in this space.
We've got to be very careful with the flooring because of the restrictions.
We can't paint it.
We can clean it, which is good.
That will make a huge difference.
And once cleaned,
perhaps we'll put some, sort of, bright-coloured matting down.
For me, these small pots are a no-no.
So, we want to do something that's high-impact.
Maybe instead of lots of small pots, have maybe two or three large pots.
I wouldn't make it too messy, by having lots of different varieties.
Less is more,
so I'd be inclined just to put one variety of plant in each pot.
I mean, that comes to mind. Maybe an interesting shape.
Maybe a sphere or an oblong, something like that.
The window, although it's great for viewing,
it's a bit of a wind tunnel,
so what we want to do is find a way of diffusing the wind,
just slowing it down.
Furniture-wise, again, we can't fix anything to the walls,
so everything has to be freestanding.
We'll put a bench over there
and paint it, so that it matches the flooring
and, in turn, that will match what's going on inside Amy's flat.
And, perhaps, a bench over here
and, likewise, that will be painted.
Now the main advantage that we've got here,
because nothing is going to be fixed to this space,
so really this is an outside room,
which she can roll up and take with her.
There's no hard-core digging to be done.
All it is, is an installation.
And you know what? I know just the man.
Handyman AJ is on the case, as always.
And he's going to have his work cut out with all the furniture
Danny is planning.
Plus Amy's mum and dad, Jane and Colin,
have come all the way from Wales to help their daughter
transform her roof space.
-Hello, nice to meet you.
-Nice to meet you.
-All right, so what I need you to do is to scrub this patio area.
-And the glass. If that's OK.
-Fine. Yeah. No problem.
-And, AJ, I've got a job for you, mate.
-I'm not scrubbing.
I know you're not scrubbing. I wouldn't dare ask you to scrub.
-That's all right, then.
-But I need you to construct a couple of benches
-If that's OK.
-Now, I want a bench on this wall here.
About a metre and a half wide, but I'd like it to be quite deep,
so maybe half a metre deep.
Yeah. And it's going to have to be stand-alone, isn't it,
because we can't drill into these walls, can we?
Absolutely, because there's rules and regulations here
and we can't touch the walls so they can be stand-alone,
which will be great and that will be great for Amy
because then she's got something that's movable.
-Yeah, take it away.
-Put it in another position round here.
-I would suggest another bench here.
-And we need some kind of buffer.
-Right. So we need to, if we can, to defuse the wind
that comes through that window.
-Like a bit of a screen or something there?
-If you can come up with an idea, that would be fantastic.
I know you can, because, you know...
-I'm the man that can.
-You're the man that can, absolutely.
OK, well, I'll crack on with that. We can't really do much work up here
because you're going to be cleaning this down.
And there's a lot of cutting of wood and things like that,
so I am going to pop downstairs.
-If you need me, holler through the window.
-I will holler very loudly.
-Thank you. I'll see you in a bit.
-See you later.
-Take care. See you later.
-See you later, AJ.
-Tools are over here.
-If you take that. You can do the window.
-And we'll do the scrubbing.
-Yeah, that sounds good.
You must be very proud of your daughter, because she is very
young and managed to get on the property ladder. That's quite rare...
-for youngsters these days.
It was one thing she always wanted, she wanted to get her own place.
From the time she left uni.
In uni, in Plymouth.
-And she left Plymouth and come up this neck of the woods.
And how long has she lived here for now?
She's been here nearly four years now.
I get the impression that she is a very sociable person.
-And she likes to entertain.
-She likes to have her friends around.
She hasn't got a massive...
lot of friends, but the friends she's got, she likes to
have them around in the summer, entertaining and...
-And treat them well.
-And treat them well.
So, this is probably the last part
-she needs to do now.
And what a great space to entertain her friends here.
Something she's wanted for a while.
Colin, you're probably wondering why we are working
-so hard scrubbing this.
You might be thinking, "Well, why aren't we using a jet wash?"
Yes, I did wonder that.
-Well, the reason being is that, you know, it is a roof terrace.
And there could be a water issue.
If we are flooding this with lots of water, there could be a leak
-somewhere, and we don't want it going down into the...
All right, I think it's time for me to leave you,
because I need to see what AJ is getting on with.
Down below, AJ has made a start on the first of his two benches,
-with a special extra feature.
-How's it going, mate?
I decided to build a couple of,
sort of, planters either side,
that the bench will lean against. So I'm just finishing off this.
I've, sort of, offset the wood here.
I'm just using this as a marker, clamped it there. Measured up there.
I'm just screwing the last screw in on this one here.
So, I just thought, either side, bench across the middle and...
No, I love it. That is a bonus, because I wasn't expecting this, AJ.
And to do that means that we've got two more planting opportunities.
-It's what I do for you. I'm always thinking of you.
Thank you very much.
But there's more! AJ is full of surprises today.
You could just make it all...
equilateral like that, but I actually quite like the idea
-of twisting that over.
-And, as you see, the second level...
And then you have this, sort of, zigzag pattern here,
and then the top one, obviously, will stick out here,
here, here and here.
AJ, I love it. Is this going to be nice and light?
Once this is made and then I make another one on the other side,
and then, sort of, a few slats all screwed together, then, that's it.
As long as it's... When it's up there, you are not,
it won't be overbalanced.
-So it is all right. It should be.
-Yeah. You can talk!
As well as the two benches, AJ has also been tasked with
building a windbreak for Amy's draughty aperture.
And he's been thinking ahead.
So how is the windbreak coming on, AJ?
We've got these here, which I'm going to cut to size at some point.
Sort of, like, five inches by one inch.
-And I thought we'd get some batons.
-And then we can then
have one in front of the baton, one behind. So they are offset.
So we've got gaps coming at an angle,
-so the wind isn't just one big force.
-It will still let light through, as well.
-And that's a bonus.
It is a bonus, because we want it so bright up there and lovely.
Do you know, AJ, I knew you would come up with a good idea.
-Put it there.
-For you, brother.
-Thank you, thank you.
-AJ, is there anything I can do to help you, mate?
-Oh, yes, yes.
Um, leave me to it.
While Danny and the team get on with it, I'm taking Amy
to visit a very swish outdoor space that I think will show her
both how flexible and multipurpose a small space can be,
and that gorgeous plans don't have to mean masses of work.
Amy, I've brought you here to see a garden that I hope will excite
-and inspire you.
Because you say you're looking for a bit of inspiration at the minute.
-I am, yes.
-Hopefully, this will do the trick.
-So what do you think of this garden?
-It is beautiful. That is beautiful.
The fire pit is really nice and that bench, actually, is really quirky.
And different, sort of, bits to the garden.
The barbecue area over here...lawn,
seating area, patio.
-Is this the kind of thing you like?
It just doesn't feel like you're where you are.
So I think, actually, this would be a really nice, sort of, look.
Oh, she's changed already, she's changed already!
It doesn't look daunting. It is really, really nice.
-Let's go and test out that seating area.
As someone with a small garden and a very poor track record
in keeping plants alive, I want Amy to see how well chosen
great-looking plants can also be easy to look after.
What are your first impressions, Amy, as a non-gardener,
self-confessed? Is this something you like, is it a bit intimidating?
I don't think it is intimidating.
I've never really thought about using just green plants.
I've always tried using flowers and then they've died really quickly.
This just seems to be such a nice... It has a nice feel to it.
Doesn't look like I will be able to kill too much. It looks
really strong and hard wearing, yet almost tropical, at the same time.
-It is Amy-proof.
-It is Amy-proof.
Back at Amy's own outdoor space, the clean paving is positively
glowing and so are Danny's praises of his team.
This is amazing. I'm surprised you've made such a difference.
When I left you earlier, I didn't think you would get it this clean.
-It has come up really well. A lot better than I thought.
Danny has got a bright colour scheme in mind for jazzing up this
So bright, in fact, you might want to get your sunnies on for this.
-Now, just look at these babies.
-They are really nice.
-Now, is this going to work or is this going to work?
-It's going to work.
-It's going to work.
-It is going to work.
The reason for these large pots is to add a bit of drama
to this outside space. Rather than have lots of small pots,
which aren't really going to make any impact on this space,
I thought large pots would be far better.
And we've put some nice, topiarised round balls in here.
And that brings a bit of cohesion to this space.
Now, one of the things I noticed is that there are no holes
in this pot, so it means they need to be drilled.
The reason we've put holes in the pots is to allow
the water to come through.
If we don't allow water to come through, there is a danger these
pots could fill up with rainwater and damage the roots of the plants.
-Three holes, bit of a triangle?
-No, just one hole.
We just want one hole in the middle here, AJ,
on each pot.
That would be absolutely brilliant.
OK, so, you know,
with a pot this size, a 10ml hole,
just use a 10ml drill bit to drill a hole in the middle.
That's absolutely fine.
And it helps breathing, as well.
If I just put soil in here and I don't protect the hole,
this hole will get blocked.
So, what I'm going to do is put some crockery in there, some broken,
maybe broken pots, some stones, anything like that.
Put that around the hole
before I put the compost in.
That way, that'll keep the hole free from being blocked.
But, Danny, where are you going to get those broken pots?
-I'm going to smash this pot.
And the way I'm going to do it is by putting it in this rubble sack here.
And that way, when I smash it,
we're not going to have splinters everywhere.
And I'm actually protecting myself
and anyone that is in the vicinity from getting anything in their eyes.
I think it's dead now. THEY LAUGH
And there we are, that is all I need. One of these,
just to cover the hole, to keep it unblocked. Simple as that.
A smashing tip there, Danny,
but time is ticking away and there's still no sign of any foliage.
We need to get some plants into those pots.
Oh, that feels good.
I've been dying to do this all day.
Nice to get a bit of compost between the old fingernails.
Right, plant number one is ready to go in and it is a belter.
Pittosporum 'Tom Thumb', an evergreen shrub.
Isn't that an absolute beauty?
And you will notice that...
it is green there, but that's the new growth.
But they will soon turn a darker colour.
An absolutely wonderful plant.
Now, I'm going to show you a little trick when putting...
putting plants in pots.
Take the plant out of the pot...
..and just place the pot...
..inside the larger one.
Now, I reckon I've got the level about right there.
What I'm going to do now is fill the perimeter
of this pot with compost.
Not the pot itself, but go around the outside.
So there we are. So now...
I can put my beautiful plant...
..in that space.
There we are. Ta-da!
One potted pittosporum.
How gorgeous is that?
The reason I'm using this shape, this round shape,
is to give a bit of formality to this garden, to this space.
I think it will look absolutely fantastic.
It is going to keep everything nice and neat and contemporary.
It will be very good for Amy, absolutely brilliant.
Because they do need very little looking after.
I would suggest maybe giving it a trim, as I'm doing now,
maybe two or three times a year.
And that's all it needs.
With some lime green pots and structural to topiary, this
bog-standard terrace is starting to feel like a chic retreat.
While Danny gets his hands dirty, back in the small suburban
paradise on the other side of Basingstoke, I've arranged to
meet its owner, Darrell,
to ask him how he made his garden easy care and part of his home.
Talk us through this place,
because this is almost an extension of your living room, isn't it?
It is. We were looking to have a grown-up space
where we could sit out and entertain, where actually
we could have friends around,
where we could have a barbecue area.
How high or low-maintenance is this garden, though?
This is a very, very low-maintenance garden, so, really, other than
the odd weed popping up, which you just pull out, that's it.
Probably in about, sort of two to three years' time, we'd probably
have to start shaping some of the bushes as they grow,
but apart from that, it is just to sit out and enjoy
the garden and, once or twice a week, sort of cut
the freshly laid lawn.
I noticed, though, you've got a plant on wheels. Why is that on a trolley?
It is actually a very heavy plant, it is actually a very big pot,
but it makes it very easy for us to move around the patio.
You can use it for natural shading.
If you actually want more space, you can
move it to a different part, different part of the garden.
And presumably, if this wasn't your further home,
you could take it with you when you go without a massive amount of hassle.
-That's an idea you could kind of pick up on, isn't it?
How did you come up with all these ideas, because there's a lot
going on, and you kind of said you would never think of this.
-We actually started by creating a, um...
storyboard, where you literally, you know,
you take images from websites,
you cut out pictures from gardening...
magazines and things like that. You sort of put them all together.
And you end up with a complete sort of collage of different shapes
and colours and textures.
And it is amazing when you've got it all on a single
sheet of paper.
You suddenly see that, without even thinking about it,
you've actually picked things, about textures and colours,
um, designs and lighting and things like that.
-Have you ever done that for your garden?
-Not at all.
I just seem to be at a loss to my garden.
Inside, I've got lots of inspiration, I do what you've said,
I do mood boards...
and have a look in all different types of shops to get inspiration,
but then outside it is just...
I am at a loss. And this is just... This is just brilliant.
Whether you're starting a garden from scratch like Amy,
or transforming an existing patch like Darrell,
this gorgeously green space employs a number of great ideas you
could try on your own garden overhaul.
Mood boards aren't just for interior decorating.
Keep copies of pictures that inspire you, and you, like Darrell,
will soon find patterns emerging of the garden looks you love.
If you're not one for constant care, choose more evergreen shrubs
and non-flowering plants.
They can be easier to look after but just as eye-catching.
Experiment with garden design by moving furniture,
pots and boxes around.
Wheeled containers are especially handy.
A small garden needn't become boring with a monthly mix-up.
Back in Basingstoke, it's past two o'clock,
and the roof garden doesn't yet have a stick of furniture.
A check on AJ's progress is in order,
and he's had an inspired idea.
Because it can't be permanently fixed in place,
he's combining the windbreak with a storage bench to anchor it.
-Hi, AJ, how's it going?
-Bit of thought. This windbreaker...
You know, it is going to have to have something heavy on the bottom of it...
-..to stop the wind blowing it one way or the other.
I've built this, this is going to be the second bench.
-If I put a top on there, and then a base in there...
..then we can have storage. You know, it is not going to go anywhere.
AJ, I think that's a great idea,
because Amy has got some ugly storage room upstairs.
And this would be great as an alternative.
I can build it down here, and then she'll have to come down
here and sit on it, otherwise.
So we need to get it up there now and just finish off the construction.
-I'll go get the troops, and we'll get going.
Thanks for that, AJ. Cheers.
I hope Jane and Colin are feeling strong today.
Shifting this furniture is going to be fun.
There we go.
Top work there, team.
Look how well the patio's come up, AJ.
-It's great, isn't it?
-They've been busy.
They have been busy. Absolutely lovely.
-And clear all that way there, we'll push it up there.
-Put a couple of screws in there and then it is all...
And the thing is, I mean, it is very well made. It kind of looks permanent, doesn't it?
-There's a sense of permanence about it.
-What's lovely is that Amy wanted something like this.
-This was what she was talking about.
Now, in keeping with Amy's bright interiors,
the garden furniture needs a bright and funky finish.
OK, thank you.
There's a bit of a squiggly line thing going on over here with
Colin's painting. Jane is absolutely fine, by the way.
She's obviously done this sort of thing before.
The paint has migrated over here.
Oh, Colin, you might have just ruined everything.
Fortunately, we've got some "de-squiggling" tape.
Just stick that on there.
Colin can now paint up to this line here,
produced by this tape...
until his heart's content.
While the team are going hammer and tongs, I want to find out
just how hard Amy grafted to get herself a garden at all.
Amy, talk me through your route into teaching, because it wasn't very straightforward, was it?
No, I did four years at university, but after that
I thought it would be really simple to go and get a job.
But, actually, it is really difficult.
And it took me, I think, over 100 applications, and my nan had to
help me with stamps and envelopes to...
to get my applications out there.
I didn't mind where I moved in the UK,
as long as I had a job at the end of the day.
I've done four years at university, there was no way
I was going back home to not work. I really, really had to try hard.
So you were willing to move anywhere in the country
-so that you could be a teacher...
-..and fulfil that dream?
But when I found Hampshire, that's where it all fell into place.
I've managed to get my first job quite quickly after that.
-A lot of hard work, you've got yourself your job.
What about the home situation?
At the beginning, it was very difficult. I moved from Wales to Hampshire.
And luckily, my auntie, who again is really supportive, let me
stay with her for a few months to get my foot on...feet on the ground
and to save up a bit of money. And then I sort of rented a place.
First of all, I rented a room in somebody's house,
then I rented my own place.
And I just thought, renting, I was just throwing away my money,
so I thought, "Right, I'm going to buy something."
And it just so happened that in Basingstoke they were doing a key worker scheme,
where if you were a teacher or a nurse, you are somebody
who had a key job, you could
get on the property ladder quite easily.
So you are in this part ownership scheme where you own part of it,
-you've taken on a bit of a mortgage, but you also pay a bit of rent.
-And how does that work, then? Will you own it eventually?
You can own as much as you want to.
I started off with a certain percentage,
and some people will probably keep that for the rest of their lives.
Next year, I'm hoping to take on more.
And within three years, hopefully own the whole property outright.
How important is it for you to be a homeowner?
I just think it is really important.
It has made me able to put a stamp on my place.
I've got my personality in my apartment now.
And I'm not afraid to bring people back, you know, friends and family.
We get to relax in a nice place that I'm not embarrassed about.
Amy, the facts are, you've worked very hard,
you've been very dedicated, it has not been easy, you've got yourself
into a career path, you've got yourself onto the property ladder.
It is difficult, though, it is a lot of hard work, and you've just
got to keep going and have the determination to succeed.
I have lots of ideas for the future, and you've just got to go with it.
Hopefully, someone else you'll be shouting from the rooftops is how much you love your garden
-a little bit later on.
-I hope so.
-Right, let's go get some bits on the shopping list.
Meanwhile, back at Danny's academy of roof gardening...
-Dan, can you help me with this screen, I need to off this up at the back?
-Of course I can.
..AJ has bagged himself top marks with that
blinder of an idea, combining the second bench with the windbreak.
-I just thought we'd come and test this out.
-Could do with a little test.
DANNY AND AJ SNORE
-I don't know.
-Right then, I tell you what...
..I'll show you a little bit of the surprise for this.
-We could actually do with Colin's help, as well.
-Because I want you to test...
-Can you come over here, Colin?
Can you pick it up with ease?
I tell you what, Colin, let me take this end.
-Do you know what...
-I'll take this end.
..It is very hard to move, isn't it? It is hard to move.
Especially for a single girl and everything like that.
So, if you could just pick up this end up here slightly...
-and move it around, it would be a lot easier, wouldn't it?
-So my idea, piece de resistance...
-Da, da, da, da, da!
-..are going to go on that end.
-IN HIGH-PITCHED VOICE
-Pluto! Hello, Pluto.
-IN HIGH-PITCHED VOICE
-Pluto! Hello, Pluto!
I'll tighten that up in a minute with a spanner.
-I'll get a spanner on that.
-It is OK.
I have to put up with this all the time. If you stand over there and see now if it is straight.
-Good work, AJ, that looks great.
-AJ, it looks really good.
Time is marching on. With less than two hours left,
this garden is in desperate need of more greenery,
greenery that can cope with a novice gardener.
We've got some rosemary here. And they grow in any soil.
And they grow on the side of hills in the Mediterranean.
So, really, they will tolerate anything. And we've got some mint.
And we'll put the mint in one pot
and we'll put the rosemary in the other pot.
So, you know, this is really nigh on impossible to kill.
Novice gardeners do often put their herbs in together.
Not really knowing what the characteristics of them are.
I mean, most herbs are fine, but you've just got to be aware of,
you know, a herb like mint, because it is a thug
and it will spread.
So... And it will grow anywhere, it will come up in the cracks of your pavement,
if you're not careful.
So, you know, you keep your herbs, your mints,
make sure you keep it well contained. I mean, I can't stress that enough.
-Amy uses a lot of herbs in cooking.
So this, for her, is going to be, well, she's going to be blown away.
-Oh, is she? So she was thinking of doing this anyway.
We were only discussing it last night,
she was going to get some little pots and put her own herbs in.
-That's a stroke of luck, then.
-Totally unexpected, totally.
-And it should fit as snug as a bug in a rug.
And it does. Hey, ho!
With Danny in charge of the foliage, Amy and I want to find other
low-maintenance means of decorating her terrace.
I've brought her to a vintage home and garden shop,
where upcycling is the order of the day.
-Lisa, there is so much to look at outside.
That's before we've even got in. This is Amy.
-Hi, nice to meet you.
-Hi, nice to meet you.
-Amy has a roof terrace.
We have a list, which is basically lanterns and candles.
-Is there anything you can recommend for Amy that would look
-nice on a roof terrace?
-We've got lights that you can have. Candles.
We've got some candles. Tea lights.
Little earthenware pots you can put candles in.
So, whatever your style is, we can incorporate.
Lisa, how much of what you do is about upcycling and recycling?
We do loads of upcycling.
We recycle crates, we recycle garden stuff, furniture,
so a massive proportion.
People want old now. Because it is quality.
But they want to upcycle it.
To make it modern. So...
I've always assumed this would be quite expensive to do,
sort of buying the furniture, then... Quite time-consuming to do it.
-It isn't, though.
You can go to your local, you know, recycling place, a dump,
charity shop, pick up furniture,
pick up old bits of garden stuff, paint them.
Distress them or not, so... And you can do it really cheaply.
A tin of paint costs under £20 and you can get so many pieces,
so don't worry that it's going to be expensive.
You wanted a space for entertaining. How important is lighting?
Lighting is really important
because there isn't any light, really, on my roof terrace,
so it would be quite nice for candles and lots of, sort of,
quite nice lighting. Not too harsh.
Candles would give you that ambient lighting,
so when you're there with friends, lighting is there
but it's not in your face, so glassware, painted glassware.
We do lovely lanterns you stick into pots.
So, you're on a roof, we can paint pots and stick the lanterns in.
Lead us to the lanterns.
I think, slowly, Amy is starting to be reassured
and believe that her outside space can be as exciting,
and interesting as her inside space.
Back at the garden, Amy's outside space is about to get a big lift
and another blast of colour with one of Danny's most novel ideas yet.
Here we go.
-It's wet room flooring. Made from vinyl.
-That is one hell of a colour. Just look at this. Wow!
The reason why we've gone for the shower flooring, is it's nonslip,
so when you come out here, if it's been raining and stuff like that,
there's a bit of water left on it, you won't be slipping anywhere.
Nice and safe as well.
And the other great thing, is when she moves,
she can roll it up and take it with her.
That is awesome, yeah, oh, my gosh!
-It's like everything else here. It just packs up...
-Pack it up.
-..and takes away.
-Which is really good.
If we can just have someone standing on this. We'll lift this.
One to that corner and one, the other.
It's lovely, isn't it?
I would say it needs to come over a good six inches.
If you're going to have a middle with that...
If you've got the lamp there, centralise this with the lamp,
centralise that bench.
Can't we centralise it with the slabs?
So it's equal distance from that fourth slap as this one.
-See what I mean?
-Whatever, whatever, Danny.
If you want to do it weirdly, then fine.
-We'll just roll it out first.
-Roll it out, yeah.
There's a cup there.
-Wow, there we go.
If you look far and far away, you can probably see the Eiffel Tower.
-Do you want to centralise it with that?
-Now you're talking.
Still at the vintage garden shop, Amy and I are searching
for the light in an Aladdin's cave of upcycled wonders.
For somebody on a budget, let's make our own lanterns using glass jars.
So, we have these.
This is one that we've painted just to show people
and it's painted with chalk paint. It gives it a lovely texture.
You can distress it back, so you get the light reflecting through it
and it's really inexpensive.
You can put wire around them, hang them, as well,
so you've got them at different levels, different sizes and it just
gives you something unique, because nobody will have the same as you.
So, if you paint those, does the light still come through?
Yes, it does, and you can just put a tea light,
something like this into the bottom and that will give you
a beautiful light or you can put slightly larger pillar candles in.
-Right, so shall we get loads of these?
You grab any more you want.
Let's get them to the counter.
Amy and I leave with armfuls of potential lanterns
which is just as well,
because dusk is now only an hour away and Danny and the team
are furiously fighting the clock, but will they finish in time?
-Is that her back? Is Amy back?
-Yes, Amy is back.
-Could you do me a favour? Could you stall her?
Take her shopping, take down the pub, taken to a club, do anything,
-just stall her.
-I'll sort that out now.
-Just do a U-turn.
Well stalled, Danny, but I'm still having a sneak preview
just as soon as you've finished planting up AJ's bench planters.
-Hello. Oh, my word!
This is amazing. Can I sit here?
-I love this space. I think this is great.
The one thing Amy said all day, is,
"Oh, I want to take the outside and the inside and merge them together,
"make it an extension."
-Oh, and the herbs.
-Is she going to keep them alive?
-Are they Amy proof?
-We hope so.
This rosemary grows in the Mediterranean
and it grows in any soil and it grows on the side of hills
and, you know, it gets battered by winds and is perfectly happy.
She's got to work quite hard to kill that.
She's got to work hard to kill that.
It does all right there, it should do a OK here.
I've brought a contribution. Amy picked them.
There are lots of different jars in here that will hopefully
work as lanterns, so would you like me to paint these?
-I've got another job for you, Helen.
-That table over there.
-Can you paint a stripe on it for me?
-I think I can manage that.
-Lead the way.
-OK, over here.
Don't you trust me to paint outside the lines?
-So, this is Amy's existing table...
-..that we're giving a new lease of life.
-So this is another form of upcycling.
-Which colour would you like?
Oh, I don't know. What do you reckon? What would you choose?
I think the blue is a bit more... Hello!
All right, we'll do the blue, then.
-And Amy is quite a...
-"Hello" sort of girl.
-I'll catch up with you later.
This is a really cheap way to give an old table a new lease of life.
With a bit of luck, Amy will think this is a brand-new table.
-These are really cool, aren't they?
I think she's chosen very well. Oh, I like this. That's good.
-That kind of goes in with the theme that we've got going on.
That's great, absolutely brilliant.
-Would you like to paint some of these?
I thought, perhaps,
you could paint these the other colour that we've got.
With daylight fading, Amy's pots still need to be positioned.
And when it's finally time to down tools,
the terrace has been completely transformed.
This morning, Amy's garden wasn't a garden at all,
just a bare paved box, a few sad containers and a rather ugly
storage box, all at the mercy of a punishing easterly wind.
In only one day, it's undergone a miraculous rebirth
at the hands of Danny and the team.
Amy was bound by the terms of her lease with no permanent
She was at a loss as to where to start.
Now, thanks to a movable design with some inventive planting
and furnishing, it's a chic and contemporary urban retreat
to be proud of.
Instead of lots of little mismatched containers,
the use of a few dramatic feature plants in citrus-bright pots
makes a striking impact.
Combining bespoke storage space with garden furniture is
the perfect solution for small spaces
and the addition of the screen gives a gorgeous but functional way
to defuse those draughts.
Herbs grown in containers are both handy and hardy for a city
terrace and they might just survive Amy's newfound gusto for gardening.
The dull and dirty slabs have been spruced up
and Danny's ingenious use of this eye-catching vinyl bathroom
flooring brings the whole space together.
By bringing indoor ideas outside,
Danny has not only created a colourful, stylish roof terrace
with an abundance of character, he's also given Amy a portable
garden that can move with her wherever her life takes her next.
It only remains to be seen if this design gets top marks from teacher.
-Oh, my God!
-Come right in.
This is your new garden. What do you think?
It's just bright and just lovely. Really, really nice.
I didn't imagine it to be anything like this and it's just brilliant.
It matches the house and it's got every single
colour that's in my house from, like, the greens,
the blues, the pink. I love it. I can't stop smiling.
I just didn't imagine it to be this nice. Loving the pots.
I never would have been... Never would have thought about big pots.
I've always gone for lots of little pots, when, actually, just five
-bright pots really does make this so much nicer and brighter.
-I love this. That's awesome.
-Stops the wind.
-It's a seat, stops the wind.
-Your dad might put a few of his drinks in there.
-Thank you so much.
And look, you've got your herbs.
We've been debating whether they're Amy-proof or not.
They are, they've got to be.
-They have to be.
-Water, every week.
-Once a week.
She was already talking earlier today about what else she's
-going to grow in here. You've started a new gardener.
-This will give you a great start, won't it?
-It's just fantastic.
-Mum and Dad have worked hard.
-Thank you, as well.
-I'm just glad you like it.
Danny, another job well done.
-Well done, Amy. Enjoy your new instant garden.
Thank you very much.
Amy wanted an easy-maintenance roof garden with character,
where she could wind down after a hard day's work.
With this design, Danny and the team have created
a roll-up-and-go removable wonder,
bursting with colour, where this young
teacher can really relish her free time.
Join us next time for another instant garden.
In Basingstoke, Danny and the team transform a grey and windswept roof terrace into the cosy and colourful outdoor room of owner Aimee's dreams.