Episode 13 The Instant Gardener


Episode 13

Garden transformation show. Presenter Helen Skelton and the team try to create a magical and inspiring children's play garden in a tiny, dark backyard in Hailsham.


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Transcript


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Beautiful gardens are one of Britain's most glorious sights.

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But if your green space is more mess than majestic,

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making it over can be a daunting prospect.

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Especially if you're short on time and money.

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Well, the Instant Gardener is here.

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# Ta-da! #

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Danny Clarke is an expert at transforming gardens.

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These are really bringing a smile to my face.

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Each time, our gardening guru will be showing you

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how to create gorgeous garden makeovers.

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Doesn't that look great?

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Each transformation will be packed with brilliant ideas

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to help you get to grips with your own outdoor space.

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Just continually deadhead

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and you will keep getting that plant to flower.

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He'll be turning garden junk...

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Oh, look at that!

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..into garden jewels.

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It's going to be used as a planter,

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and I think this is going to look absolutely terrific.

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'And showing you how to spend a small budget wisely...'

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-That's why Danny makes me bring a list!

-OK.

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'..be it on shrubs or salvage.'

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Would you like that in your garden?

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'And because Danny is the INSTANT Gardener,

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'everything you see will happen in a single day.'

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Oh, thank you so much.

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Oh, wow!

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That's unbelievable.

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Today, we're in Hailsham in East Sussex.

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Nestled between the ancient woodlands of the Weald Forest Ridge

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and the chalk hills of the South Downs,

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Hailsham's position and warm climate

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make for excellent growing conditions and glorious gardens.

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But we found one that's letting the side down.

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Not all gardens have room for hundreds of plants

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and a well-kept lawn.

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We're here to meet a couple whose outside space is minimal,

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but whose hopes for the future are big.

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-Hello.

-Hello.

-Hello, I'm Helen. You must be Jess.

-Yes, Jess.

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-Dave?

-I'm Dave, yeah. Nice to meet you.

-Good to see you.

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-Hi.

-Right, let's have a look at this garden, then.

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-Cool, come on through.

-Yeah, come in.

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Hard-working Jess and Dave King have been married for nearly five years

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and recently bought their first home.

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But with Jess's full-time studies

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and Dave's community work with offenders,

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time and money to spend on the garden has been hard to come by.

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They're doting godparents to two young children

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and would love to have a family of their own.

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But so far, that's proved difficult,

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as Dave was injured while serving in the British Army.

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Nevertheless, Jess and Dave want an enchanting, child-friendly space

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for their godchildren's frequent visits,

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and for the children they hope to have in the future.

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So they've called on the Instant Gardener to work his magic.

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Danny's already been to Hailsham,

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a few days before starting the transformation,

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for a sneak preview of Jess and Dave's bijou back yard.

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I've come here for a sneaky peek.

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First impressions are very important.

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So, I'm going to take a look.

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Wow. Now, my first impression of this garden is that it's very small.

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I have to say, it's probably one of the tiniest gardens I've seen.

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What I'm going to try and do is make it look larger than it actually is.

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So I'll use some little design tricks to do that.

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And coming down here to the end, I can see a little alley.

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A lot of people would probably see this as wasted space.

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For me, this space is not a total write-off.

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So, let's make something interesting and let's make it usable.

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Do you know what?

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Overall, a lot of people are daunted with an area this size.

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But there is a lot you can do.

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You can cram a lot into a small garden,

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just by playing little tricks.

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A few days later, Danny returns with a plan in mind.

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But first it's time for him to meet the garden's owners.

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-Danny.

-Hello, Helen.

-Good to see you.

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-Good to see you, too.

-This is Jess. This is Dave.

-Hello.

-Hello, Jess.

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-Nice to meet you.

-Hiya.

-Hello, Dave. Good to meet you.

-Right.

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It's not going to take us long to explore your garden.

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But I think this is a brilliant space. Little sun trap.

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-Do you spend a lot of time out here?

-Um, we'd like to, but...

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-We try to.

-..at the moment, we don't really feel

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it's anything nice to spend time in, at the moment.

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Have you done much out here?

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-Yeah, can't you tell?

-THEY LAUGH

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-Um, no. No, we haven't.

-When we moved in,

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we was just concentrating on doing bits of work for the house.

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But we're trying to have children,

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so saving up for IVF and stuff like that.

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So we're trying to pick our budget and see what we can do.

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In the meantime, you don't want to be spending money on the garden,

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-but you'd like to use the space?

-Yes, absolutely.

-Yes.

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How would you like to use the space? What do you want to do out here?

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It's somewhere that... We want it to be an extra room.

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We want to be able to be out here, spend some time out here.

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But the other thing that we would like it to be is child-friendly,

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and at the moment, it's a little bit dangerous.

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Because not only do we want to have kids in the future,

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we would also like to foster in the future.

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-But we do have two godchildren, as well.

-Yeah, they are our world.

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They spend a lot of time with us. So that's Holly and Aidan.

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And how old are they?

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Holly is two-and-a-half and Aidan is six months.

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And because Holly...

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When she comes over here, she loves the outdoor space.

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So she'll come out with her wellies on

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and likes bouncing a ball in all weathers.

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And likes sweeping the leaves for us and...

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But it makes our hearts go like this,

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cos we're constantly watching her,

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that she doesn't fall down the step or anything.

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What kind of style?

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What is your sort of ideal look for a garden?

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I'd like to say we're... we're quite modern,

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but at the same time, we love reminders of your childhood.

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Or things that make you go, "Aww."

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And stuff like that.

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So, within the house, we've kind of gone with that theme.

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But with a modern twist.

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-Modern fairytales?

-Yes.

-Yeah.

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Danny, have you ever been tasked with making a garden

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that makes you go, "Mmm"? THEY LAUGH

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It's very, very tiny.

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But I'm very much aware that you guys want a garden that's for you

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as well as for kids.

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Anything is going to be better than what's here.

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-That's what we've said.

-Yeah.

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You know, even just doing the smallest thing.

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Because it is what it is at the moment.

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-OK.

-It's going to make a massive difference.

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I think with a bit of clever trickery,

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I think we can make full use of your space.

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I believe in you, Danny. You're going to be fine.

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-I'm glad you do.

-So much so that I'm going to leave Dave with you.

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We're going to get out of your hair.

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We're going to go off on a RESEARCH shopping trip.

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And you know what's coming now, Helen.

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The trusty notebook.

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-This is our list, so we don't go off piste.

-Oh, OK.

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"A tree or a plant, at least six foot tall."

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-We can do that.

-Yeah.

-You can do that?

-OK.

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-Have a lovely day.

-Happy hunting.

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-See you in a bit.

-All the best.

-Bye.

-Bye.

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While I whisk Jess away for a spot of research,

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Danny has just one day to transform this dark and pokey plot

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into a fun-filled wonderland.

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So, what's the plan, Dan?

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Now, Jess and Dave want a fantasy garden.

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We're in a woodland glade here,

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and there's going to be a lot of shade,

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so I want to put shade-loving plants into this space.

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My mantra is, "Your garden's all about your plants."

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So, just because you've got a paved area,

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there's no reason why you can't introduce plants into your space.

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One of the things I thought of doing

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was to create little planting pockets.

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If we do that, we can put some plants in there.

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This fence is all over the place,

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so it needs repairing.

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These posts are a bit wobbly.

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So we're going to straighten the fence.

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We're going to make that good.

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And we're going to put a mural on the new one.

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So down here... I mean, all I can see is a very narrow alleyway.

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So we're going to deck all of this

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and we're going to bring it up to the level of this patio here.

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You know what this says to me?

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It's saying to me, "Skittles."

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So I was thinking of putting a bowling alley down here,

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for the kids to play on.

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The other thing I'd like to do

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is perhaps put a mirror against this fence.

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Because it's very shady,

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we've got this big conifer here, that's blotting out loads of light.

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So I want to make it a bit more light and airy.

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And, that way, we're going to elongate this space.

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So Danny plans to transform Jess and Dave's boring back yard

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into a magical and fun-packed space.

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He's going to dig out pockets in the crazy paving.

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And fill them with shade-loving plants.

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He's going to add a mural to brighten up a new fence

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and he'll add decking down the side of the house

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where the children can play skittles.

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It might be a tiny plot, but it's a big ask.

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Fortunately, he's got Dave on hand to help.

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And, of course, he can also call on trusty handyman AJ...

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and his helpers, Luke and Amyrose.

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-Hi, Dave. AJ.

-Nice to meet you.

-You too. Good.

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-Strong?

-Yeah.

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Good lad. Good lad.

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Dave, one of the most important things with any garden

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are the boundaries.

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If your boundaries aren't very good,

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then your eye goes towards them immediately.

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And you're not looking at the beauty of the garden.

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-So the first thing we're going to do is to sort this fence out.

-Right.

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We're going to replace it.

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-Shall we crack on?

-Let's go.

-Yeah, let's get going.

-Let's get started.

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As the old fence panels are rotten and need to be replaced,

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we've asked permission to use Dave's neighbours' garden for access.

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And while they come down easily enough,

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Danny's spotted a hidden danger.

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There's something that I've become very aware of.

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-It's that there's nails just sticking up here...

-Right, yeah.

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..out of the wood.

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So he has a tip to stay safe.

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It's always an idea, when you're taking anything down,

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is just try and put everything in one pile straight away.

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You're not treading on it.

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The last thing you want is to be treading on a nail.

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As the old posts are still in good condition,

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the team can recycle them elsewhere in the garden.

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But, before they fit new ones, there's a job to be done.

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What we need to do is get these old posts out.

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-These rotten posts out.

-OK.

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-Out

-of the ground. The fact is,

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-there's usually a big lump of concrete at the bottom of it.

-Yeah.

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As we don't have much time, and they're in the right place,

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if we chisel that out, we can then put the posts in,

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-get them straight and then backfill it with some concrete.

-OK.

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And if we can get the holes prepared now,

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that's a good job for you to do.

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-I'll crack on with that.

-Thank you very much.

-Great, thank you.

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While Dave is chiselling away,

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Danny is keen to prepare for planting

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by working out where he's going to break through the old paving

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to create new planting holes, or pockets.

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The idea is to put a pocket in the middle of each fence.

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So I'm going to mark one here.

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So, for now, I'll just do a little dot.

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There's going to be a fence panel going here.

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So I'm going to make a marker here.

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And I'm trying to visualise how the garden's going to look

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when it's been planted up.

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Now, what I'm going to do is make use of this little bit of bed here.

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Marking out before actually making the holes

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will give you a good idea how things will look

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before you commit yourself.

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I had a choice to make here -

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either a planting pocket or a pot.

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Now, I've chosen planting pockets.

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Space is at a premium in this garden.

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Pots do take up quite a bit of room.

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And the other thing to bear in mind

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is that pots are high in maintenance -

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you have to water the plants, you have to feed the plants.

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Most patios have a gradient running away from the house.

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So, the great thing is when it rains,

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the water is going to run down and spill into the planting pockets.

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And Danny has plans for a star plant at the end of the garden.

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Now, what's going in here is a big tree -

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it's going to be at least six foot tall - that I've asked Helen to get.

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So I need to mark out this hole large enough to take the roots.

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While Danny and the boys are bashing away in the back yard,

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I'm taking Jess to view an inspirational garden for some ideas.

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We're on our way to a garden I think you're going to love.

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It's perfect for children and young people,

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got all kinds of features for children with different abilities.

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So there's a lot going on there.

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I really hope this is going to get to your imagination running wild

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about what you might be able to do in your garden.

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Sounds brilliant.

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I've chosen a garden that perfectly illustrates

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how a space can be transformed into a child's paradise

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by a bit of creative design.

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This magical woodland walk is in the grounds of Chestnut Tree House,

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a children's hospice in Sussex,

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and it was designed especially for the young people who use it.

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So, Jess, what do you think of this?

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Wow, this archway is amazing.

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-It's magical, isn't it?

-Yes.

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A few magical touches.

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-A little door there.

-Oh, that is so cute.

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-For fairies, or goblins, or...

-Absolutely.

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And I love the signpost. That is fantastic.

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-I feel like I want to wander off into a little journey.

-Yes.

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The winding paths kind of take your eyes that way.

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Yeah, yeah. It just feels like you're not in the real world.

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It makes you want to explore and have an adventure.

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-There's quite a lot to see, but it's not busy, is it?

-No.

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It's kind of taking your eye here, there and everywhere.

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It's natural. It's like you're in a story, but it's really natural.

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What do you think of the bug hotels, the kind of piles of pallets?

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They're natural materials,

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all to encourage bugs, beasties, creepy crawlies.

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Yeah, I think that's brilliant.

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I think my goddaughter particularly, she'd love that.

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She'd love looking for all the creatures.

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So, the whole idea of fairytales and childlike inspiration,

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that's not necessarily for younger people...

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-No, not necessarily.

-That's for you guys.

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Yeah, I think so. I think that we are like that.

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I think that's why we relate to children especially

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because we have that kind of romanticised idea.

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It's nothing to do with the pressures of adult life.

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Jess, this is undeniably fun for children.

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-Is it chalkboard paint?

-Yes!

-Oh, excellent.

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Children will have a great time with one of these.

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What about you and Dave?

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Are you creative?

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I'm not artistic, no. Dave is.

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Dave does a lot of murals and a lot of artwork.

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Even your colouring in is artistic.

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JESS LAUGHS

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'While Jess and I release our inner children for inspiration,

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'back at the house, it's all about perspiration.

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'With two hours of the day already gone,

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'the old posts are proving a nightmare

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'to dig out from the concrete.'

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So, the thing is with this, we've got a post in the ground.

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It's stuck fast in there because it's surrounded by concrete.

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Now, AJ's been really working patiently at this.

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And look at that. He's got it out.

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AJ, put it there, mate.

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And that's the thing with gardening.

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You just have to be patient.

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-It is.

-And in the end, it will reward you.

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-As you've just seen.

-Sorry, I couldn't hear you.

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I had my ears... What did you say?

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-LAUGHING:

-Do you want me to repeat that?

-Yeah.

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THEY LAUGH

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The setbacks with digging out the post holes

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have already put Danny behind schedule.

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And he's got an even bigger job ahead.

0:14:220:14:25

Now the next task is to get this concrete up for the planting hole.

0:14:250:14:29

-OK.

-Now, the thing is, I need to go...

0:14:290:14:31

If I can just get a plant from over here.

0:14:310:14:34

I need to go deep enough

0:14:340:14:36

-to put this in the soil.

-OK.

0:14:360:14:39

Well, deeper, if possible,

0:14:390:14:41

cos the deeper we go, the better.

0:14:410:14:42

So I reckon, if we went down, say, six inches,

0:14:420:14:47

which is the depth of this pot, plus another four to six inches,

0:14:470:14:51

I think that will give this plant a great start in life.

0:14:510:14:55

To break through all that crazy paving in a hurry,

0:14:570:14:59

the team has decided to use heavy-duty power tools.

0:14:590:15:03

Jackhammers are designed to break through concrete,

0:15:030:15:06

but they're not really a tool for the amateur,

0:15:060:15:08

so you can also try the slow and safe method

0:15:080:15:10

of a trusty hammer and chisel.

0:15:100:15:12

Let's hope this baby can save some time for Danny and the team

0:15:120:15:16

but it's a tough job,

0:15:160:15:17

and Danny welcomed a break to chat with ex-serviceman Dave.

0:15:170:15:21

-Getting there.

-You're being very patient.

0:15:210:15:23

You're quite handy with tools, aren't you?

0:15:230:15:25

-You're very practical.

-My main thing is doing art.

0:15:250:15:27

Just started doing it as a hobby, enjoy doing it in my spare time.

0:15:270:15:31

So you didn't know that you were that creative?

0:15:310:15:33

You just started doing it?

0:15:330:15:34

Well, because I'm dyslexic and when I was at school, back then,

0:15:340:15:37

it wasn't recognised as much, so I was put down...

0:15:370:15:40

-Rather than now - I think they help kids.

-They're encouraged.

0:15:400:15:43

I used to be put down as a troublemaker in class,

0:15:430:15:45

cos I didn't understand what they was doing.

0:15:450:15:48

Do you know what, Dave?

0:15:480:15:49

-I think everyone's got creativity.

-Definitely, yeah.

0:15:490:15:52

And you're very lucky, cos you found that vehicle.

0:15:520:15:54

I'm really excited about all of this, so a bit nervous.

0:15:540:15:57

I don't know what it'll look like after. I haven't got your vision.

0:15:570:15:59

YOU'RE nervous?

0:15:590:16:01

Imagine how I feel!

0:16:010:16:03

-I trust you.

-OK, well, keep up the good work.

0:16:030:16:05

-OK. Cheers.

-Cheers.

0:16:050:16:07

Don't go all wobbly on us now, Danny -

0:16:070:16:08

there's far too much work to do!

0:16:080:16:10

At least AJ is making a start

0:16:100:16:12

on the potentially ankle-breaking side area of the garden,

0:16:120:16:16

to make it safer and more attractive to use.

0:16:160:16:19

I bet you've been wondering what's going on here.

0:16:190:16:21

-Er, yeah, a little bit.

-Any ideas?

0:16:210:16:23

-I'm guessing it's some sort of decking.

-Some sort of decking?

0:16:230:16:26

That is going to be a bowling alley. All right?

0:16:260:16:28

-For the kids.

-I don't know about the kids - I'll be on it!

0:16:280:16:30

-Oh, you'll be on it?

-THEY LAUGH

0:16:300:16:32

You know, it also doubles up as another area as well.

0:16:320:16:34

Yeah, yeah, definitely.

0:16:340:16:36

Decking will also raise the height of this neglected side area

0:16:360:16:39

to the same level as the rest of the garden,

0:16:390:16:42

to prevent tripping over the old step.

0:16:420:16:44

But what's the best way to lay decking?

0:16:440:16:46

Start by building a sturdy subframe.

0:16:460:16:50

We've got this treated timber.

0:16:500:16:52

This is 3x2 we're using at the moment.

0:16:520:16:54

Ideally, we should really use maybe 4x2 for the strength-wise,

0:16:540:16:58

but we've got a big lump of concrete here,

0:16:580:17:01

and we just don't have the time to dig it all out.

0:17:010:17:05

Ingeniously, AJ has been able

0:17:050:17:06

to increase the strength of this subframe

0:17:060:17:09

with chocks of wood he's recycled from those old fence posts.

0:17:090:17:13

These chocks are obviously chunks of wood

0:17:130:17:15

that I've cut from the fence posts and they're just screwed in.

0:17:150:17:19

Now, the more chocks you put in, the more strength.

0:17:190:17:22

Just measure them just underneath,

0:17:220:17:23

where the decking is going to go, and that's it.

0:17:230:17:26

But why does it need to be so high, AJ?

0:17:260:17:28

With a decking area, always have it slightly off the ground,

0:17:300:17:33

because if you've got water

0:17:330:17:34

that obviously runs through from the rain,

0:17:340:17:37

you don't want these cross beams or the framework in general,

0:17:370:17:41

on the ground, sitting in pools of water.

0:17:410:17:44

Otherwise it will rot a lot quicker.

0:17:440:17:46

It soaks it up straight through and it comes through the decking boards,

0:17:460:17:49

and the whole lot doesn't have the lifespan that it should have.

0:17:490:17:53

And, of course, it must fit securely.

0:17:530:17:56

I'm going to have to make a little bit of a framework round...

0:17:560:18:02

-HE SIGHS

-..my bugbear, a drain,

0:18:020:18:04

because we need to be able to have access to that

0:18:040:18:07

and then all along the way here, complete to the end,

0:18:070:18:10

and once that's all down and secure,

0:18:100:18:12

we've got some nice solid beams here on this side,

0:18:120:18:14

which can actually make the whole frame solid

0:18:140:18:17

and it's not going to move.

0:18:170:18:19

On this side, it will be stilted

0:18:190:18:20

on those little chocks I talked about earlier,

0:18:200:18:23

and then, just start putting the decking boards down.

0:18:230:18:26

We'll be back later for some tips on laying those decking boards.

0:18:270:18:31

In the meantime, Jess and I are still at Chestnut Tree House,

0:18:310:18:35

to meet the director of children's services, Linda Perry.

0:18:350:18:38

-Linda!

-Hello.

0:18:390:18:41

-Good to see you.

-Hi.

0:18:410:18:43

We love this garden.

0:18:430:18:45

Well, the whole concept of the garden started with the children,

0:18:450:18:48

and we just said to them, "If we had an extra piece of ground,

0:18:480:18:52

"what would you like?"

0:18:520:18:53

And we had a mood board set up, and they all cut out pictures

0:18:530:18:56

of what they'd like to see in the garden,

0:18:560:18:58

and one of the overriding things was that a lot of the children,

0:18:580:19:01

they are in wheelchairs or have mobility difficulties,

0:19:010:19:04

and can't actually walk along the countryside like you and I can.

0:19:040:19:08

So that was the start of the garden,

0:19:080:19:10

and so it was around looking at what they can see from where they are,

0:19:100:19:13

rather than from where we are.

0:19:130:19:15

-So different vantage points?

-Yes.

0:19:150:19:16

Something that Jess picked up on is it's quite magical.

0:19:160:19:20

-You said it feels like stepping into a book.

-Yes.

0:19:200:19:22

Was the idea to create a space that children could escape,

0:19:220:19:26

kind of disappear into their own little heads and worlds?

0:19:260:19:29

Yes, we had lots of pictures

0:19:290:19:31

of things like Wind In The Willows, Hogwarts,

0:19:310:19:33

and I think you might have seen some of the little magical doors...

0:19:330:19:36

-Yes.

-..behind, and the children love hiding little toys and things

0:19:360:19:40

-in there for the next person who comes along.

-Aww.

0:19:400:19:42

So there were lots of different concepts like that.

0:19:420:19:44

How much fun do the children have in this garden?

0:19:440:19:47

Oh, they absolutely love it.

0:19:470:19:49

What I think is really good, because of the lovely surface we've got,

0:19:490:19:51

-they can use it all year round.

-Yeah.

0:19:510:19:53

And the children, even when they're really sick,

0:19:530:19:56

really like to come out when it's cold or it's snowy,

0:19:560:19:59

or raining and obviously,

0:19:590:20:01

we've got shelter for them if it suddenly pours down with rain,

0:20:010:20:03

but that's all part of the fun.

0:20:030:20:05

They love it if it all goes wrong and they get soaking wet.

0:20:050:20:07

My goddaughter, she loves doing the muddy puddle thing -

0:20:070:20:10

you know, jumping in the puddles,

0:20:100:20:11

-and she doesn't care that it gets you dirty.

-Yeah.

0:20:110:20:13

-It's more fun if it gets you dirty.

-Yes, exactly!

0:20:130:20:16

We may not all need our gardens

0:20:180:20:20

to be wheelchair accessible and child-friendly,

0:20:200:20:23

but this fantastical woodland walk is bursting with magical ideas

0:20:230:20:27

that would work well in any garden.

0:20:270:20:30

Arches and portals invite curiosity and draw you in,

0:20:300:20:33

and you can map a journey through a garden,

0:20:330:20:35

even if it's not very big.

0:20:350:20:37

Create drama by making use of vertical spaces,

0:20:370:20:41

with tall structures or plants reaching towards the sky.

0:20:410:20:45

And if you're planning a garden to keep the kids busy,

0:20:450:20:48

try interactive features such as chalkboards,

0:20:480:20:50

musical instruments,

0:20:500:20:52

and dens that will keep them entertained year-round.

0:20:520:20:55

Back at Jess's garden, and with just four hours to go,

0:20:590:21:02

it still looks like a building site.

0:21:020:21:04

It's taking ages to get through the concrete base underneath the paving

0:21:040:21:08

to make those planting pockets, even using the jackhammer.

0:21:080:21:12

When he's done, there will be two pockets by the fence

0:21:120:21:15

and a larger area by the back door.

0:21:150:21:17

In the meantime, while the team has a quick tea break,

0:21:170:21:20

Danny wants to get started on the planting by reusing this old trough.

0:21:200:21:25

This concrete planter has been in my way all day and I just thought,

0:21:250:21:29

"You know, I've got to find a use for it."

0:21:290:21:31

Well, why not put the pulmonaria in there?

0:21:310:21:33

These are fantastic plans for a woodland garden.

0:21:330:21:37

And, you know, the other name for these is lungwort.

0:21:370:21:41

And you know the reason for that is that if you look at the leaves here,

0:21:410:21:44

they look like a diseased lung.

0:21:440:21:46

And in olden times, they used this plant, would you believe it,

0:21:460:21:50

as a cure for lung disease.

0:21:500:21:53

Thank God we've got penicillin now, that's all I can say.

0:21:530:21:57

They kind of look fluorescent-looking.

0:21:570:21:59

Now, this part has got lots of leaves, you'll notice that.

0:21:590:22:02

Now, the reason for that is because, if it ever gets damaged,

0:22:020:22:05

if any of the leaves gets damaged,

0:22:050:22:07

there's plenty more for this plant to recover.

0:22:070:22:10

And all I'm going to do, I'm not going to put any rubble in here.

0:22:100:22:13

I mean, a lot of people like to put rubble in the base of their planters

0:22:130:22:16

for drainage but I'm not going to do that,

0:22:160:22:18

because this planter is heavy enough

0:22:180:22:21

and we've got to move it from this position into the garden.

0:22:210:22:24

And this pulmonaria will be perfectly happy

0:22:240:22:26

without any drainage in it.

0:22:260:22:28

What I'll do is fill this up as much as I can...

0:22:280:22:31

..position it...

0:22:330:22:35

There we go.

0:22:370:22:38

Put them in in a row,

0:22:390:22:42

and then, all I'm going to do, take handfuls...

0:22:420:22:45

..and just top the soil up around it. Look at that.

0:22:460:22:49

Doesn't that look great?

0:22:510:22:52

They need very little care.

0:22:520:22:54

They'll just romp away, get on with it, they will self seed,

0:22:540:22:58

and before much longer, you'll have pulmonaria everywhere.

0:22:580:23:02

Another great bonus with this plant

0:23:020:23:05

is that the bees absolutely adore it.

0:23:050:23:08

With regular watering,

0:23:080:23:09

those pulmonaria will thrive in Dave and Jess' shady back garden

0:23:090:23:13

but Danny's found something not quite as healthy

0:23:130:23:16

at the sunny front of the house.

0:23:160:23:18

-Dave?

-Yes.

-I'd just like to show you something.

0:23:180:23:21

It's called a spotted laurel.

0:23:210:23:23

-Or an aucuba.

-Right, OK.

0:23:230:23:24

Japanese spotted laurel.

0:23:240:23:26

Now, I would say it's in the wrong place,

0:23:260:23:29

because it should be in the shade,

0:23:290:23:30

and it's at the front of the house, where you've got lots of sunshine.

0:23:300:23:33

-Working its way onto the road!

-Well, I don't know about that.

0:23:330:23:36

-But you can see it's looking a bit poorly.

-Yeah.

0:23:360:23:38

-So would you mind if I put it round the back?

-No, of course not.

0:23:380:23:41

Yeah? One of the things with plants like this - shade-loving plants -

0:23:410:23:44

the way to spot them is by their leaves.

0:23:440:23:47

One is the fact that the leaves are so large,

0:23:470:23:49

-so they want to catch every bit of sunlight that's available.

-OK.

0:23:490:23:52

-See, this has got glossy, shiny leaves?

-Yeah, yeah.

0:23:520:23:55

It's a way of surviving.

0:23:550:23:57

Cos what it's doing, it's taking every ounce of sunlight it can find,

0:23:570:24:00

and it's bouncing it off its shiny leaf onto another shiny leaf.

0:24:000:24:03

-Oh, right, OK.

-If we just make it happy, put it in the right place,

0:24:030:24:07

it will bounce back.

0:24:070:24:09

-Do that.

-Do you want me to get...?

0:24:090:24:11

Yes, please. Thanks.

0:24:110:24:12

And Danny's got another idea to brighten up this shady garden

0:24:120:24:16

which will make use of Dave's artistic skills.

0:24:160:24:19

Danny's got him a large white sheet of acrylic

0:24:190:24:22

to create a mural to bring a bit of drama into the garden.

0:24:220:24:25

-The acrylic is to be screwed to the fence.

-OK.

0:24:250:24:28

-All right? So we're going to put it fairly central.

-Yeah.

0:24:280:24:31

-And really, it's... The theme is for an enchanted magical space.

-OK.

0:24:310:24:37

'While Dave is painting a mural to delight his godchildren,

0:24:390:24:42

'I'm taking some time with Jess

0:24:420:24:44

'to reflect on why a child-friendly garden

0:24:440:24:47

'is so important to her and Dave.'

0:24:470:24:49

Jess, you and Dave are very excited about having a garden

0:24:500:24:55

that's good for children.

0:24:550:24:56

You'd love to have a family - so far, that's not happened.

0:24:560:25:00

What is the situation for you guys?

0:25:000:25:01

Well, unfortunately, we can't have children of our own naturally.

0:25:010:25:04

I think it's particularly hard for Dave,

0:25:040:25:06

because he was injured when he was in the British Army

0:25:060:25:10

and that's part of the reason why we can't have children naturally.

0:25:100:25:13

So what about his military career? Where was he?

0:25:130:25:16

He was based in Ireland a couple of times for active duty,

0:25:160:25:20

Northern Ireland, and then he was also in Bosnia as well,

0:25:200:25:24

and when he was in Bosnia,

0:25:240:25:26

he was actually captured and tortured while he was there.

0:25:260:25:29

He has suffered quite badly with post-traumatic stress

0:25:290:25:32

and, you know, he's been quite poorly in the past,

0:25:320:25:34

because of the stuff that happened to him there.

0:25:340:25:36

In the last few years, um...

0:25:360:25:38

he has overcome a lot of those issues.

0:25:380:25:41

He's now not on any medication and he's sleeping much better, um...

0:25:410:25:45

and he's just wonderful.

0:25:450:25:47

-Hopefully, you'll have your own children one day.

-Yeah.

0:25:470:25:50

In the meantime, what do you think a new garden,

0:25:500:25:53

a new outdoor space, would bring to your lives?

0:25:530:25:55

I think for us, it's just an extension of the house,

0:25:550:25:58

somewhere that we can, you know, sit after a hard day. And our work...

0:25:580:26:02

Our work and my study can be quite intense,

0:26:020:26:05

so I think it's just quite nice to have somewhere outside

0:26:050:26:08

that you can have that relaxing space.

0:26:080:26:10

But things are anything but relaxed in the garden.

0:26:100:26:13

There's less than three hours to go,

0:26:130:26:15

and the team have only just finished preparing holes

0:26:150:26:18

for the new fence poles.

0:26:180:26:20

Meanwhile, in next door's garden,

0:26:200:26:22

Dave is making much better progress on his mural.

0:26:220:26:25

Despite the fact that Danny didn't give him any prior warning,

0:26:250:26:28

and he has a tight deadline to work to,

0:26:280:26:31

he's come up with his own

0:26:310:26:33

mysterious enchanted forest design from scratch.

0:26:330:26:36

I quite like the idea as time goes on,

0:26:360:26:38

if it starts to fade or whatever, because it's white board,

0:26:380:26:41

and as Holly and Aidan get older,

0:26:410:26:43

they can start adding into it and going over it,

0:26:430:26:46

so it would be their board, basically.

0:26:460:26:47

They can just have a bit of fun with it.

0:26:470:26:50

Normally, he would work on a painting over several weeks,

0:26:500:26:53

but Danny wants it completed in less than two hours.

0:26:530:26:56

No pressure then, Dave!

0:26:560:26:58

Once the detail comes in and I put some leaves in and a few birds,

0:26:580:27:02

the actual details won't take long.

0:27:020:27:05

I love your confidence, Dave - that's what we want to hear.

0:27:050:27:08

and it's good to see those new posts finally being concreted in

0:27:080:27:12

nearly eight hours after the old ones were removed.

0:27:120:27:16

Elsewhere, Danny's got a tip

0:27:160:27:17

on how to revive the spotted laurel he found in the front garden.

0:27:170:27:21

One of the things that it does need is fresh compost. It needs food.

0:27:210:27:25

If you think about plants, what do they need?

0:27:250:27:28

Two things. They need either feeding or they need watering.

0:27:280:27:31

But, as you can see, it's been growing in a pot

0:27:310:27:34

and the roots have been going round in circles.

0:27:340:27:38

I know it looks like I'm being brutal,

0:27:380:27:40

but rest assured that this plant will definitely benefit

0:27:400:27:45

from my little bit of tough love.

0:27:450:27:47

Get as much of this barren compost out,

0:27:490:27:53

cos I want to make room for the new, nutritious stuff.

0:27:530:27:57

Free those roots.

0:27:570:27:59

Don't be frightened that you pull handfuls away.

0:27:590:28:01

This plant will be absolutely fine.

0:28:010:28:04

I think I may have done just enough here with this,

0:28:040:28:07

so I'll just put a few handfuls in the bottom.

0:28:070:28:11

Just check the level by putting that back in.

0:28:110:28:13

I'm quite happy with the height of that.

0:28:160:28:18

And then just grab more handfuls of compost and pack the sides out.

0:28:190:28:23

Get some luscious, nutritious food in there for the plant.

0:28:230:28:27

There we go.

0:28:270:28:28

Bang! All done.

0:28:300:28:32

Bang, indeed! With the old plant successfully revived,

0:28:320:28:35

I'm now heading off to a local nursery

0:28:350:28:37

to find the special new one that Danny's after.

0:28:370:28:40

As always, he's given me a list to follow

0:28:400:28:42

and, today, there's just one thing on it...

0:28:420:28:45

If you've got something that you particularly need for your garden,

0:28:480:28:52

it's worth finding a specialist nursery.

0:28:520:28:54

They'll have the expertise to help you

0:28:540:28:56

and provide a wider selection for you to choose from,

0:28:560:28:59

which is why I've brought Jess here to Architectural Plants,

0:28:590:29:03

to look for a larger-than-life addition to her magical garden.

0:29:030:29:07

Right, Jess. Cast your eye around this nursery.

0:29:070:29:11

Some very special plants here.

0:29:110:29:12

What do you think of these kinds of trees?

0:29:120:29:14

I think they're beautiful. I think they're lovely,

0:29:140:29:16

but I can't see how they'll fit in our garden.

0:29:160:29:18

I think you'd be surprised.

0:29:180:29:20

Now, this is a nursery that specialises in big plants,

0:29:200:29:23

impressive specimens.

0:29:230:29:24

Something like this in your garden would draw the eye up

0:29:240:29:27

-and I think you could have something like this.

-OK.

0:29:270:29:31

To find out more,

0:29:310:29:32

we've enlisted the help of resident horticulturalist Guy Watts.

0:29:320:29:36

Guy, we are looking for something impressive for a small garden.

0:29:360:29:40

-Can you have a big tree in a small garden?

-You can, yeah.

0:29:400:29:43

It's all about finding the right tree for the right site, really.

0:29:430:29:46

So the key thing to do is look for trees or plants

0:29:460:29:49

with quite big leaves and glossy leaves,

0:29:490:29:51

and they'll be much more tolerant to low light levels.

0:29:510:29:54

But if you have a small garden

0:29:540:29:55

-and then you get a big tree with big leaves...

-Yeah.

0:29:550:29:58

..isn't it going to feel a bit claustrophobic?

0:29:580:30:00

That depends about the design.

0:30:000:30:02

If you take off the lower limbs of the tree - so, lift...

0:30:020:30:05

lifting up the tree - you'll create a kind of canopy,

0:30:050:30:08

which means that you can grow some amazing plants underneath it.

0:30:080:30:11

-They'll need to be shade tolerant, as well.

-Mm-hm.

0:30:110:30:13

But you can create a nice sort of jungley, tropical feel

0:30:130:30:15

and make your garden feel bigger.

0:30:150:30:17

What about this? This looks cool.

0:30:170:30:19

Yeah, so, this is a Phillyrea latifolia.

0:30:190:30:22

That's the name of the plant.

0:30:220:30:23

But it's actually been clipped, cloud pruned.

0:30:230:30:25

It's a bit like a bonsai tree.

0:30:250:30:26

You could put something like this in the garden.

0:30:260:30:29

But again, high maintenance,

0:30:290:30:30

and if you're not a horticulturalist or have a gardener,

0:30:300:30:32

-I'd recommend you steer clear of it.

-Quite expensive, as well, that one.

0:30:320:30:36

They are. Because they are essentially a tree

0:30:360:30:38

that has grown over time and been heavily maintained,

0:30:380:30:40

they are more expensive, yeah.

0:30:400:30:42

'While Jess and I lose ourselves among these jolly green giants,

0:30:420:30:46

'back in Hailsham, with just two hours remaining,

0:30:460:30:49

'Danny's got more planting plans.'

0:30:490:30:51

This is a very shady garden.

0:30:510:30:53

And the reason it's shady is because it's surrounded by trees.

0:30:530:30:56

And I would say it's really dappled shade, it's not heavy shade,

0:30:560:31:00

so these plants will thrive in this particular space.

0:31:000:31:04

And what we've got here is a fern

0:31:040:31:07

and some hellebores, and they're absolutely gorgeous.

0:31:070:31:11

When choosing plants for shade,

0:31:110:31:12

it is important to choose the right plants,

0:31:120:31:14

cos some plants will not thrive in heavy shade

0:31:140:31:18

but would rather thrive in a dappled shade.

0:31:180:31:20

So, you know, all you need to do is read the label,

0:31:200:31:23

or even do an internet search just to double-check,

0:31:230:31:26

or even ask at the garden centre.

0:31:260:31:28

So, what I've done, I've put hellebore, then a fern,

0:31:280:31:31

hellebore, fern and so on.

0:31:310:31:33

And the reason I'm doing this

0:31:330:31:34

is cos I want to make this garden cohesive.

0:31:340:31:37

I want to give a bit of flow, I want to create a bit of harmony.

0:31:370:31:40

Because I've prepared the soil - it's all in the preparation -

0:31:400:31:43

planting is very, very simple.

0:31:430:31:45

So these will go in the ground in a jiff.

0:31:470:31:49

Just keep them coming.

0:31:550:31:57

Tease the plants out of the pots.

0:31:570:31:59

Just drag the soil round.

0:32:000:32:02

Just play around with it like this, give it a nice little tilth.

0:32:030:32:07

And, in no time, this will be complete.

0:32:070:32:10

Always a good idea just to hold the plant like this,

0:32:130:32:16

so you don't damage the leaves.

0:32:160:32:18

Just have them slightly proud of the ground.

0:32:180:32:21

It just allows the new shoots to come through, OK?

0:32:210:32:25

And don't compact the soil.

0:32:250:32:26

You can see me patting it around here.

0:32:260:32:28

Don't compact it too much.

0:32:280:32:29

Cos, when it rains, we want the rain to sort of go to the roots.

0:32:290:32:32

We don't want the rain to lie on top.

0:32:320:32:35

Talking of rain, it's beginning to shower.

0:32:350:32:37

That's all they need(!)

0:32:370:32:39

But, despite having just a couple of hours to work on it,

0:32:390:32:42

Dave has nearly finished painting his mural.

0:32:420:32:45

Although he's still not quite sure

0:32:450:32:47

how it all fits into Danny's grand plan.

0:32:470:32:49

I'm keeping positive. I've got to know Danny,

0:32:490:32:51

and this may come back to haunt me, but I do trust him.

0:32:510:32:54

HE LAUGHS

0:32:540:32:55

Like, I do know that he's going to be doing...

0:32:550:32:58

Whatever is in his head's going to be amazing, so...

0:32:580:33:01

That might come back to bite me.

0:33:010:33:03

'It's going to really brighten up that shady back garden, Dave.

0:33:030:33:06

'Back at the nursery, Jess and I are still looking

0:33:070:33:10

'for the one big tree Danny's asked for.'

0:33:100:33:13

OK, well, what would you recommend?

0:33:130:33:14

First one we'll look at is Eriobotrya japonica,

0:33:140:33:17

which has a fruit on it,

0:33:170:33:18

but it's actually a very large leaf, glossy leaf.

0:33:180:33:21

This is a... What we call a half standard.

0:33:210:33:24

So, you remember I mentioned about clipping off the lower limbs?

0:33:240:33:28

That gives you some cover below.

0:33:280:33:29

And then you've got your shady growth at the top.

0:33:290:33:32

If you have got a small garden and you want something big,

0:33:320:33:34

is that what you would recommend, keeping the bottom quite bare?

0:33:340:33:37

Yeah, I mean this...

0:33:370:33:39

Cos I think the idea of what are trying to do for you

0:33:390:33:41

is to have that kind of feature plant,

0:33:410:33:43

the specimen plant above but, below it, be able to underplant it.

0:33:430:33:46

And the problem is, if we went for something very bushy,

0:33:460:33:49

it'd take up quite a lot and make your garden feel quite...

0:33:490:33:51

-even smaller than it is.

-Yeah.

-Most of our stuff doesn't flower,

0:33:510:33:54

but I am going to show you Magnolia grandiflora, which would.

0:33:540:33:57

THIS is a gorgeous tree.

0:33:570:33:59

This is a Magnolia denudata.

0:33:590:34:02

But it's deciduous, so that means the leaves drop through the winter,

0:34:020:34:05

whereas the magnolia I'm going to show you is shade-loving.

0:34:050:34:08

You can see here, the flowers have come to the end.

0:34:080:34:10

They've been out sort of February, March time. Beautiful white flowers.

0:34:100:34:14

-Mm.

-Then the leaf will come on -

0:34:140:34:15

-you can see new buds coming on here, as well.

-It looks beautiful.

0:34:150:34:18

It is beautiful. I don't think it's quite right for your site.

0:34:180:34:21

-First, you're not going to get the height.

-Yeah.

0:34:210:34:23

And you won't get that shade-loving side

0:34:230:34:24

we get with the Magnolia grandiflora.

0:34:240:34:26

-OK. Cool.

-OK.

-Shall we go and have a look?

-Thanks.

0:34:260:34:30

So, this is what you would recommend, is it?

0:34:300:34:32

Yeah, this is it, Magnolia grandiflora. So, you men...

0:34:320:34:35

-Again, we talked about big, glossy leaves.

-Yeah, it's beautiful.

0:34:350:34:38

You can see these here, the water coming off them.

0:34:380:34:41

And you can see how some of the lower limbs have been cut off.

0:34:410:34:43

So, as it grows in your site, we would recommend that you do that.

0:34:430:34:46

And does this stay green all year?

0:34:460:34:48

Yeah, this is evergreen.

0:34:480:34:49

-Unlike the other magnolia, it doesn't drop its leaves.

-Oh, OK.

0:34:490:34:51

And it's also really nice,

0:34:510:34:53

you can start to see the flower buds coming on,

0:34:530:34:55

but they'll come later in the year, so, unlike other magnolias

0:34:550:34:57

that are coming out in sort of February, March,

0:34:570:34:59

these will be later in the year,

0:34:590:35:01

-so you'll get these massive white flowers...

-Wow.

0:35:010:35:03

..or cream flowers and they have an amazing smell, as well, so...

0:35:030:35:06

Oh, that sounds perfect.

0:35:060:35:07

It does look quite big. Is it going to get bigger?

0:35:070:35:09

Yeah, yeah, it will, yeah. So these can get up to 20 foot.

0:35:090:35:12

But you can always manage magnolia.

0:35:120:35:15

-They don't mind being cut back.

-OK.

0:35:150:35:16

The most important thing to remember is plant high.

0:35:160:35:19

So, we always recommend you plant about an inch over ground level.

0:35:190:35:23

And also, when you're cutting back,

0:35:230:35:26

try and avoid when really frosty times.

0:35:260:35:28

Well, Danny said get a tree that's at least six foot.

0:35:280:35:31

-That is at least six foot.

-Yes.

-OK, cool.

0:35:310:35:33

-How tall are you?

-Six foot, yeah.

-OK, brilliant, thank you very much.

0:35:330:35:36

We'll take that if you can deliver it.

0:35:360:35:38

Yeah, brilliant. Yeah, we can do delivery.

0:35:380:35:40

And I'll also tag it now just to make sure no-one buys it.

0:35:400:35:42

-Thank you very much, Guy.

-Perfect.

-OK.

0:35:420:35:45

'Jess and I have sealed our deal,

0:35:450:35:47

'but with only an hour-and-a-half left,

0:35:470:35:49

'Danny is still a long way off

0:35:490:35:50

'completing his shoebox-sized creation.'

0:35:500:35:54

-Danny?

-Oh, yes, yes?

0:35:540:35:55

Just got a text from Jess.

0:35:550:35:57

She said that they're about ten minutes away with the plant.

0:35:570:36:00

If you could sort of take care of that side of things.

0:36:000:36:03

-Yeah. OK.

-That would be wonderful.

0:36:030:36:04

And we can just crack on and try and get this job finished.

0:36:040:36:07

And speaking of jobs that need finishing,

0:36:070:36:09

let's see how AJ and Luke are progressing with the decking.

0:36:090:36:12

Right, we're getting to the last stages of this decking.

0:36:120:36:16

Where... Sort of get it down, screwed down.

0:36:160:36:19

Obviously, got to profile round a few of the bits like drainage there.

0:36:190:36:23

And to make sure water runs away through it, AJ has another top tip.

0:36:230:36:27

Luke is using a 5mm-thick screw to get the spaces going.

0:36:270:36:33

But normally, I would cut a bit of wood or even have a 5mm space.

0:36:330:36:37

You can use the tiles... You know, crisscross tile spacers.

0:36:370:36:41

Stick them on there and you put a few down there,

0:36:410:36:43

and you just butt it up, carry on screwing.

0:36:430:36:46

But as we're short of time and running out,

0:36:460:36:48

I've just said, "Get one of the screws,

0:36:480:36:50

"slip it in the side between it,

0:36:500:36:52

"hold it down, use another screw, screw in."

0:36:520:36:55

It's now the final push to get the garden finished.

0:36:550:36:58

Thankfully, those fence panels are going up at last.

0:36:580:37:01

Shall we put this one in first?

0:37:010:37:03

Well, it is nearly dark, it's raining,

0:37:030:37:04

so fingers crossed the job is nearly done.

0:37:040:37:08

All right, now you need to come my way now.

0:37:080:37:10

Danny, Dave!

0:37:120:37:15

You supposed to be making a garden, not breaking a garden.

0:37:150:37:18

I know, I know, but, Helen, you can't make an omelette

0:37:180:37:20

without breaking a few eggs.

0:37:200:37:22

-It's not finished, is it?

-No.

0:37:220:37:24

-Did you bring me the tree?

-Yes.

0:37:240:37:25

Cos we need to get that in the ground right now.

0:37:250:37:27

I don't think that's your only issue but, yes, I've got your tree.

0:37:270:37:30

-# Ta-da! #

-Lovely.

0:37:300:37:31

Oh, this is absolutely gorgeous.

0:37:310:37:32

It's going to flower later in the year.

0:37:320:37:34

-I thought you'd be impressed.

-That would be wonderful.

0:37:340:37:37

-You know what, it will give the garden some height.

-Yeah.

0:37:370:37:39

I've got a lovely home for it.

0:37:390:37:40

It's going to fill that space perfectly.

0:37:400:37:43

We're talking about plants for shade.

0:37:450:37:47

Look at the size of these leaves.

0:37:470:37:48

Nice and big - so it can gather any light that's available - and glossy,

0:37:480:37:52

which means it's going to bounce the light off all these leaves.

0:37:520:37:57

And this is late flowering.

0:37:580:37:59

A lot of magnolias only flower in the spring,

0:37:590:38:02

but this one is late flowering.

0:38:020:38:03

And it's got such a wonderful scent.

0:38:030:38:06

It's going to look magnificent in that garden over there.

0:38:060:38:09

All right, one, two, three. Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

0:38:090:38:13

But that's a big tree to plant, and time is against us.

0:38:130:38:16

All set, ready?

0:38:180:38:20

Look at that. Perfect.

0:38:220:38:23

In my expert opinion, I would put bluebells underneath it.

0:38:230:38:26

-All right, OK. All right.

-DANNY LAUGHS

0:38:260:38:29

I thought that tree was too big when we were in the nursery,

0:38:290:38:33

but I think that looks good.

0:38:330:38:37

'With the magnificent magnolia in place,

0:38:370:38:39

'I can underplant it with shade-loving bluebells.'

0:38:390:38:42

I aim to please.

0:38:420:38:43

'Essentially, bluebells are bulbs.

0:38:440:38:47

'Each year, they'll naturally increase in number, and each spring,

0:38:470:38:50

'a host of bluebells will pop up beneath this magical tree.'

0:38:500:38:54

I'm still unsure whether we're going to get this done.

0:38:550:38:58

The light is fading very quickly.

0:38:580:38:59

So while they're doing the painting,

0:38:590:39:01

I'm going to get the plants in the planting pockets.

0:39:010:39:04

That's it. So if we can get it central over that hole,

0:39:050:39:08

cos that's where the plants are going to go.

0:39:080:39:09

Dave, that is impressive.

0:39:090:39:11

'With the rain getting heavier and the light fading,

0:39:110:39:13

'there are still key jobs to complete.'

0:39:130:39:16

Let's get all the plants in.

0:39:160:39:17

'Behind Danny's back, though,

0:39:170:39:19

'I'm doing my bit to get the garden finished.'

0:39:190:39:22

Danny thinks that we should cut a slab to fill in that gap.

0:39:220:39:26

-Yeah.

-I think it will be quicker and easier

0:39:260:39:28

if we just put some compost in, put a few extra plants in.

0:39:280:39:30

-I agree with you. I reckon we should just do it.

-Right, pull rank?

0:39:300:39:33

-Shall we do it, yeah?

-Yeah.

0:39:330:39:34

If we do it, he won't even know... He's back, he's back, he's back.

0:39:370:39:40

Oh, look, you brought plants...

0:39:400:39:41

-Brilliant. Cheers, Danny.

-There you go.

0:39:410:39:43

Distract him, Dave, distract him. DAVE CHUCKLES

0:39:430:39:45

-What do you think of the picture? Nice, innit?

-It's great.

0:39:450:39:47

-Yeah, you've done a really good job.

-Go, go!

-Well done.

0:39:470:39:50

DAVE LAUGHS

0:39:500:39:52

Do we just tip it out? I've seen him do this.

0:39:520:39:54

'It might not exactly be to plan,

0:39:540:39:56

'but our decisive action could help

0:39:560:39:58

'get this garden done before nightfall.'

0:39:580:40:00

I think we've still got a bit to do.

0:40:030:40:05

Little bit of tidying up to do and I think we're slowly getting there.

0:40:050:40:09

'Yeah, SLOWLY is the word.

0:40:090:40:10

'Move it, Danny!'

0:40:100:40:11

I feel like something's missing.

0:40:110:40:13

You just stand there. Yeah.

0:40:130:40:15

'And something to delight' children of all ages.

0:40:150:40:18

-Playtime!

-Playtime?

0:40:180:40:20

I know it's all about the plans but kind of the skittles, too, right?

0:40:200:40:24

-I'm downing tools, so I'm playing with that.

-OK. There you go.

0:40:240:40:26

-Football, skittles.

-Yeah, lovely. They're for round the side.

-Yep.

0:40:260:40:30

It's now a matter of fixing the last fence panel into position

0:40:300:40:34

and getting the garden nice and tidy.

0:40:340:40:36

Then, with light fading fast,

0:40:360:40:37

it'll be time for the big moment

0:40:370:40:39

when Jess and Dave step out into their new outdoor wonderland.

0:40:390:40:43

It's time for the moment of truth,

0:40:500:40:52

even though darkness has now fallen in the garden.

0:40:520:40:55

So what will Jess, Dave and their godchildren, Holly and Aidan,

0:40:550:40:59

think of all this hard work?

0:40:590:41:01

Hello, Holly.

0:41:020:41:04

What's all these people?

0:41:040:41:06

-Hello!

-Hi!

0:41:060:41:08

-Look!

-What do you think, Jess?

0:41:110:41:12

Oh, wow!

0:41:120:41:14

It's amazing.

0:41:140:41:16

SHE GASPS

0:41:160:41:17

-Did Dave do that?

-He did, yeah.

0:41:170:41:19

Some plants behind you that are going to...

0:41:190:41:21

-Oh, that's lovely.

-Look at all these, Holly, look.

0:41:210:41:24

When Danny arrived at the start of the day,

0:41:250:41:28

Jess and Dave's truly tiny back garden was a dull, uninviting space

0:41:280:41:33

with a rotten fence at the back that was falling down,

0:41:330:41:36

a neglected, uneven storage area at the side of the house,

0:41:360:41:41

and the only plants you could see were the ones next door.

0:41:410:41:44

But, in just a few hours,

0:41:460:41:49

Danny has transformed it into a magical children's playground.

0:41:490:41:52

He's replaced the rickety old fence with a new, solid, upright one

0:41:540:41:58

and brightened it up with Dave's impressive mural.

0:41:580:42:01

Down the side return, he's laid decking for a bowling alley,

0:42:030:42:06

where their young godchildren can play.

0:42:060:42:08

And he's cut out planting pockets in the crazy paving.

0:42:090:42:13

There's now a striking summer flowering magnolia tree

0:42:140:42:18

and a range of shade-loving plants by the back door.

0:42:180:42:21

He's recycled an old trough as a container for these pulmonaria

0:42:230:42:28

and revitalised a pot-bound Japanese laurel.

0:42:280:42:31

And he's made it all look bigger with a mirror on the side fence.

0:42:310:42:36

From pokey, dark yard to magical children's play space

0:42:360:42:39

in just one day.

0:42:390:42:41

Lots of things that Danny hopes your godchildren will love,

0:42:410:42:44

-lovely Holly and Aidan.

-Yeah.

-We think they'll enjoy it.

0:42:440:42:46

-But also, hopefully, this is a space for you guys.

-Yes.

0:42:460:42:50

A tree that's going to flower for you in the summer.

0:42:500:42:52

-Beautiful tree.

-Dining space.

0:42:520:42:54

Your husband has been grafting all day to create this lovely garden,

0:42:540:42:58

alongside Danny. What do you think?

0:42:580:43:00

Oh, it's lovely. It looks so lovely.

0:43:000:43:02

It looks so different.

0:43:020:43:04

Yeah, I love the little plants.

0:43:040:43:06

I think it looks bigger.

0:43:060:43:08

Putting the plants in, the big plant over there,

0:43:080:43:10

-it takes your eye off the boundaries a bit.

-Yeah.

0:43:100:43:12

And you probably noticed at the end over there, there's a mirror.

0:43:120:43:15

That has the effect of making the garden look bigger.

0:43:150:43:17

Yeah, brilliant. That's excellent.

0:43:170:43:19

Have you seen the end? What's under the mirror?

0:43:190:43:21

Yeah, there's decking down there,

0:43:210:43:23

so there's no horrible step any more.

0:43:230:43:25

-It's not just decking.

-No.

0:43:250:43:27

-No?

-I think I might have to put you down for this bit, Holly.

0:43:270:43:29

-Not just decking.

-Oh.

0:43:290:43:30

Holly, go and have a look round the corner.

0:43:300:43:32

-Ooh.

-What's round here?

0:43:320:43:35

There's a little bowling alley.

0:43:350:43:37

So you can throw a ball at the things and knock them down.

0:43:370:43:39

Yay!

0:43:390:43:41

DAVE LAUGHS

0:43:410:43:42

-This is quite a small garden.

-Yeah.

0:43:430:43:46

Does that mean it was less work?

0:43:460:43:48

No. I would say we've done as much work in a garden this size

0:43:480:43:52

as we've done in a larger garden.

0:43:520:43:54

Holly, our toughest critic.

0:43:540:43:57

Is it a thumbs up or a thumbs down?

0:43:570:43:59

-Do you like it?

-Holly, I hope you enjoy this garden.

0:43:590:44:02

I love that you two keep thinking about

0:44:020:44:03

how everyone else will enjoy it.

0:44:030:44:05

But fingers crossed you'll get lots of pleasure out of it

0:44:050:44:07

-for years to come.

-Thank you.

0:44:070:44:09

-Danny, well done.

-Thank you, Helen.

0:44:090:44:10

A little bit of creative thinking

0:44:100:44:12

has turned this small, relatively unused back yard

0:44:120:44:15

into a skittles alley, a socialising space,

0:44:150:44:18

a magical wonderland.

0:44:180:44:19

-Have a well-earned rest.

-Thank you very much.

0:44:190:44:21

I think it's fair to say

0:44:210:44:22

this has been another successful instant garden.

0:44:220:44:25

Presenter Helen Skelton, garden designer Danny Clarke and the team try to create a magical and inspiring children's play garden in a tiny, dark backyard in Hailsham.