Presenter Helen Skelton and the team turn a deck in Tredegar into a stylish and low-maintenance outdoor room, complete with handmade garden furniture.
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Beautiful gardens are one of Britain's most glorious sights.
But if your green space is more mess than majestic,
making it over can be a daunting prospect,
especially if you're short on time and money.
Well, the Instant Gardener is here.
Danny Clarke is an expert at transforming gardens.
These are really bringing a smile to my face.
Each time, our gardening guru will be showing you how to create gorgeous
-This might look great.
-Each transformation will be packed
with brilliant ideas to help you get to grips
with your own outdoor space.
Just continually deadhead and you'll keep getting that plant to flower.
He'll be turning garden junk...
Oh, look at that.
..into garden jewels...
It's going to be used as a planter, and I think this is going to look
..and showing you how to spend a small budget wisely.
-That's why Danny makes me bring a list.
Be it on shrubs or salvage.
Would you like that in your garden?
And because Danny is the Instant Gardener,
everything you see will happen in a single day.
Oh, thank you so much.
Today's garden nestles in the South Wales town of Tredegar.
Although it has a small population of only 1,500,
this is a place that punches well above its weight historically.
Shaped by the iron and coal industries,
famous politicians Nye Bevan and Neil Kinnock were both born there.
It's also home to today's young couple.
Now, they might not be famous party politicians,
but they certainly like to party, and why not?
They work hard. And they have got a brilliant back yard for beer and
barbecues, spending time socialising with friends and family.
The trouble is, it's a total blank canvas.
Sounds like a job for the Instant Gardener.
-Hello. You must be Scott.
-Nice to meet you.
-Hiya, nice to meet you.
-Let's have a look at this back yard, then.
-Come on in.
Nicola and Scott have been together for six years and married in 2015.
The busy couple both work with children,
with one of Nicola's three jobs being as a support worker for children
with disabilities. But in 2008,
Nicola was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis,
a severe and painful digestive condition similar to Crohn's disease.
She's had to endure several major operations.
Despite this, she works full-time,
tirelessly supporting the children and families in her care.
Danny's arrived super early this morning to have a good look at just
what he's going to be tackling today.
The first thing I notice is the amazing view. It's fantastic.
You can see for miles and miles.
Now, I would say this decking is quite new,
the boundaries are definitely knew.
It's really difficult to sort of work out how new the decking is because
it has algae-fied at the moment.
It's very slippery underfoot.
So we are going to have to address that, perhaps give it a jet wash,
because we don't want anyone tumbling over.
All in all, the garden is pretty bland, and really,
this wall doesn't help either.
It's white, I think that's a pretty boring colour.
And really, it would be a good idea to make it connect to the decking.
I would imagine all I need to do is just find the people who own this
property, kind of somewhere to sit,
just to spruce this up and just make it interesting
and give it a bit of life.
I can't wait to see you pull it out of the bag this time.
With a plan bubbling away,
it's time for Danny to meet the garden's owners.
-What a view.
-How are you, all right?
-Yeah, good, thank you.
-This is Nicola and Scott.
-Nice to meet you, Danny.
-Hello, Scott. Hello, Nicola. Good to meet you.
-Guys, you've got a great view, haven't you?
-Yeah, it's nice, isn't it?
It's not too bad. We take it for granted, really, don't we?
-Shame we haven't got the weather,
but that's the Valleys for you.
Tell me about this house, then. How long have you lived here?
We've been here just over two years, haven't we?
-Since we bought it.
-This was sort of
the decking when we moved in,
but we put the rickety fences up afterwards.
I think this is a brilliant space, because it literally is an outdoor room, isn't it?
-You've got the walls, you've got the floor.
-That's what we want, really.
Somewhere... Because at the moment we just basically don't use it at all,
but we would like to have somewhere...
-Yes, an extension of the house,
where we can come out and use it as a room, really.
OK. So how and who would use it?
We'd have friends over, family.
Barbecues in the summer, that type of thing, really.
Even if I can come out here with my laptop and do some work, that type of thing,
to actually really use the space.
Nicola, be honest, do you have much time?
Because you seem like the busiest woman in Wales.
-How many jobs do you have?
-I've got three jobs at the moment.
-I work with social services, with children with disabilities,
and supporting them and their families. That's my main job.
My second job, I teach,
I run a teaching assistant course and I teach the adults.
And my third job is, I've also got a bridal shop in this town.
And your health hasn't been brilliant, has it?
No, at the moment I'm really good now,
but in the past I've had some health problems.
But I am doing OK now, but in terms of time,
you can always make time to...
-Come in the garden.
Yeah. And I think it is more relaxing if you're out here doing it
-than stuck in the house doing work.
-And now you are in good health,
it would be nice to have somewhere to enjoy and make the most of that
-fabulous Welsh weather you've talked about.
-What do you reckon, Danny?
In my eyes, this is a perfect blank canvas, isn't it?
It is a perfect blank canvas,
but it is a bit of a skating rink at the moment.
It is very slippery.
That will have to be addressed first, without any shadow of a doubt.
But it is a blank canvas, it's an outdoor space, an outdoor room,
or whatever you'd like to call it.
What's your style?
-You like a bit of shabby chic.
-I don't mind a bit of shabby chic, a bit of bunting.
I love flowers.
But I'm not very good at looking after them. But it's because I don't know.
I really don't know how to.
So you would like something that's quite low-maintenance?
But something that looks pretty as well.
-Well, I'm going to leave Scott here with you,
he's going to help you out. Nicola and I are going to do a little bit of research.
-Get out of your hair.
-And I've got a few things I'd like you to get.
Interesting note pad. Three big contemporary pots,
at least 60... 60 centimetres?
60 centimetres high.
-Have a lovely day, have a lovely day.
Nicola, let's hit the road.
-Catch you guys later.
-See you later.
While I take Nicola away for some inspiration,
Danny can reveal his plan for the garden.
So, come on, Danny, what wonders await today?
What we've got here is a bland and boring, featureless outdoor room.
And what I want to do is pack it full to the gunnels with interesting things.
Now, the first thing I think we need to do is to jet wash this decking.
Because it is like a skating rink.
But we also want to unify this area, and how I'm going to do that,
I'm going to use paint.
So I'm going to use purple paint on that side,
perhaps just paint one panel,
perhaps paint a panel over here purple,
maybe two, who knows?
And I want to paint that wall over there a different colour to these
panels over here, so that's going to be pink, and these will be purple.
I think that will make a great combination.
And in this space here, there's nothing really that we can recycle.
And what we're doing to do is bring some pallets in and make some wonderful
furniture out of them.
We are even going to make a small vertical garden,
which we are going to put against that wall over there.
And I'm going to fill it with succulents.
And they are low-maintenance, and Nicola is going to love that.
And once we've built this furniture, we are going to paint them black.
That's going to look absolutely funky with the black,
the purple and the pink going on.
Another thing I would like to do.
I am hoping to do a turf seat.
A turf seat, basically, is something that you can sit on that's made out of turf.
And that should give this area another dimension.
And it's a way of introducing some greenery into the area as well.
Your garden is all about your plants. Any garden is about your plants,
so it is great to have all this furniture in here,
but we need to soften it.
So what I thought I'd do is bring some really spectacular pots into
this area. And put plants into those.
I think that will look really good.
So Danny is packing this garden with furniture,
adding splashes of colour to the walls and fence panels,
constructing an easy-to-maintain vertical planter
and adding some plant pots.
Nicola and Scott are sociable people,
and we're going to give them an outdoor space
in which they can entertain with their friends.
It's an ambitious plan for just one day,
but Danny won't be alone because pallet-meister AJ and the team are
chipping in to make it happen.
Speaking of pallets, where exactly are they, Danny?
Blimey, it's raining.
As usual. Not to worry because I've got plans for this area.
I want to pack it full to the gunnels with furniture.
You've got nothing in this area that we can recycle.
So we are going to have to go out and find it.
-So, shall we get cracking?
-Let's get going.
-So the team are going to leave the garden for once.
Make the most of it, guys, you won't be gone for long.
They're meeting just the man for the job,
local garden centre manager Tony Hilditch.
Hello. Are you the chief here?
-Hello. My name is Danny.
-Danny, pleased to meet you.
-Pleased to meet you. You are?
Great to meet you, Tony. This is AJ.
-This is Scott.
-Hi, Scott, how are you?
I don't know if you can help us at all,
-but we're on the hunt for some pallets.
-Transport pallets, that's it. I've noticed you've got some round the front.
-We have, yeah.
-Could we take those?
-And have you got any others lying around,
because we could do with as many as possible?
I've... Yeah, I should have some somewhere.
-Those all out the front ready to be collected for recycling,
which is what they are there for.
-But I'm sure we can find some more.
-All right, great.
Like most garden centres, and lots of other businesses,
Tony takes delivery of plants,
pots and compost on wooden pallets like these.
As we are making furniture,
I thought it might be a good idea to choose pallets that are more uniform.
-Shall we take these ones?
-You're happy for us to take these?
We'll load what we've got around the front first,
and then we'll come back and pick out a few of these and then we'll be
on our way. That's great, thanks, Tony.
It's going in.
-The red ones.
-Here they come, the red ones.
You know the good thing about that, though. That's already an undercoat.
-So when you paint them,
it's not going to soak into just bare wood.
Why do you think I chose them?
-I don't know.
-For that reason.
No, that's my idea, get out of here.
Most delivery pallets are recycled,
but some businesses may be happy to let you take you a few away - if you
ask nicely. Best not to just help yourself, though.
These are great because we are getting furniture for free.
With AJ's van packed full of pallets,
it's time for the boys to head back to the garden.
Meanwhile, Nicola and I are going to Newport to meet the owner of a unique
back garden that I hope will encourage her interest in plants.
Edward Hay's back garden is a masterclass in making the most of planting
opportunities afforded by planters, pots and hanging baskets.
Right, Nicola, head this way.
It's a relatively small space but there is a lot going on in here.
Plants, trees, huge, big greenhouse back there.
Lots of things going on.
It's quite packed.
I can see how he's made the most of a small space.
-I like it.
-Some people like to pack a small space with loads of different
things to look at. Some people like to keep it quite clean.
Do you like that there is a lot going on here?
Yeah, I like that because it takes your interest a bit more.
Especially with ours, we've just got our decking.
This lovely garden looks perfectly normal until you raise your eyes.
Now, cast your eye that way.
The huge tower of bedding plants.
-It's amazing, right?
-It's fairly tall.
There are lots of questions - it's hard to know what to say.
Let's go meet the man who built it. He's a legend.
Talk us through
this fantastic explosion of pots and colour and brilliance.
Why did you build this?
Because I could. And it's a one-off. Nobody else has got one, have they?
-There you are!
-How long has it been up there?
I finished building it about a month ago.
-So, how big is this?
-About 35 foot.
In that frame, you have a whole series of plant pots
filled with brilliant brightly-coloured plants.
Yeah, it takes about 250 pots.
-In a month, that'll be flowering beautifully,
and in about six weeks, it'll be full.
Eddie, how proud are you of this?
I love it. I love it.
I just love it.
While we admire this fabulous flower tower,
the boys have made it back to the garden,
where we've been pressure-washing the decking
with quite a lot of help from the weather.
-It's very important you keep it clean...
..and you keep it jet-washed, cos you don't want a build-up of algae.
If you get a build-up of algae, then it's going to make it slippery,
it's going to make it dangerous.
-And if you go down on this, it's going to be painful.
How often would you say you do it?
-I would say at least a couple of times a year.
But I would keep an eye on it. But you should be all right here,
I wouldn't think you would get a build-up very quickly,
-because it's quite an open site.
For example, you haven't got shade.
-Cos algae likes shade.
So, I'd imagine this is quite a sunny spot.
Yeah, it can get quite sunny,
so I suppose once every six months, keep an eye on it.
And you'll find there'll be more of a build-up over the winter period.
-But normally you will be doing it in the spring
and, say, sort of late summer.
-But, you know, keep an eye on it in the meantime.
While we finish off the jet washing,
it's time to get the rain covers out
so that Danny and Scott can get on with the painting.
-With the weather, it's not an ideal situation.
Cos really we'd want to paint this fence,
but it's not normally a good idea to paint a fence when it's wet.
-But because we've got to get the job done today,
we haven't got another option. What we're doing here
is just trying to protect the fence as much as we can.
So the plan with two fences, we're going to paint this one.
-That's going to be painted purple.
-And we are going to paint one of the panels over there,
the one covered by the tarp at the minute,
we're going to paint that purple, as well.
That'll give the area some continuity. Do you like that idea?
-Sounds great, yeah.
-You like it?
-Yeah, really good.
-For me, really, I quite like the idea of not painting the whole of the fence.
Cos I quite like the natural wood.
-I also like the painted effect if it's the right colour.
So for me, it's getting the best of both worlds.
I suppose it leaves it open, then,
if we wanted to maybe paint another few panels a different colour
in the future.
You can do that.
Painting fence panels is a cheap and easy way
to brighten up an outdoor space,
and it's giving Danny a chance to chat to him
about the colourful character of his wife.
I get the feeling that the garden's very important to Nicola.
Yeah. I mean, obviously, it's a nice...
It is a big space.
Nicola being as busy as she is,
it is obviously nice for her to come home
and maybe relax out here as opposed to inside all the time.
So Nicola, she's got a very vibrant personality,
but it's been a pretty tough time for her, hasn't it?
Yeah, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.
Pretty much for the last five or six years,
she's been in and out of hospital, she's had quite a lot of surgery.
Some long operations.
Yeah, I mean, luckily she doesn't let it get her down,
she's quite upbeat and confident.
This sort of marries in well with that, really,
as a nice surprise for Nic,
considering all the things she's been through.
So, do you think she's going to like this?
I think she'll like the colour, yeah.
Nicola likes a shabby chic sort of style.
-And I think this sort of resembles that.
I think she'll really like it.
While the boys get on with the painting, over in Newport,
Nicola and I are seeking shelter in Eddie's greenhouse,
as he shares the secrets to his success with container gardening.
Nicola has a garden like yours
in the sense that there's not a lot of room to put things in the ground,
so it would be good for you, and plenty of people, I imagine,
to see how you can have a good garden in pots.
-First thing's this, what are you putting in in terms of compost?
Just potting compost.
There's so many different types and varieties
so it doesn't matter which one you use, they all are all right.
OK. Right, so, you've put in your potting compost.
The potting compost is in. Right?
And then what you do is you put a centre plant, something nice.
Normally, I put a geranium or a fuchsia in the middle -
that's my favourite two plants.
And then you just get other plants, like sophinias,
which I grew from cuttings,
and you can see the roots are there.
When is the best time to take a cutting?
As the plant is growing, you take it from there.
See? And that's a cutting.
So if you wanted to grow your own, you could do it just from that?
-And that goes in compost?
Yeah. And they become like that.
And then you take a cutting of that and...
Using cuttings to increase his plant stock,
it's getting easier to see how Eddie can plant up a whole 35-foot tower.
So, you put in...
Four different plants.
I don't know the name of every plant that I grow,
but as long as you put four plants in there,
and within a couple of weeks, that'll be flourishing.
Nicola, you had a lot of pots in your garden.
-Didn't go so well.
I didn't know when to water them or how much to water them.
That was the main issue.
Watering them - make sure they don't go dry.
As long as they're moist, that's good enough.
You might not have room for a planting pylon on your patio,
but don't be afraid to give container gardening a go,
even if you've never gardened much before.
It can be an easy and rewarding way to get started.
Drainage is one of the keys
to keeping your container plants from drowning.
No matter what the plant, without drainage holes,
its roots will rot.
The bigger the plant, the bigger the pot you need to put it in.
A bit of space and regularly refreshed compost
will ensure healthy growth
and long life for your plant.
When choosing plants for your containers,
make sure they all like the same conditions.
All the plants in one pot
should require the same amount of light and moisture.
Back in Tredegar, AJ is starting work on his pallet master plan.
He's got a table, a sofa and a vertical planter to knock up.
How's it going? What's going on here?
What are you building?
-Your stand-alone flower thing.
-Are you really?
I know you said about maybe having one stand-alone
cos there isn't much wall space.
So I thought, "How am I going to get a pallet just to stand by itself?"
Without putting feet on it, might be a trip hazard, things like that.
-So, I've cut some of these pallets down.
I've got one section there.
Then there's going to be two sections on the two bit.
And then three sections on the three bit.
So your plants can go in here, here and here...
here and here...
Your three, two, one.
Yeah, I love it. I think it's absolutely brilliant.
What's brilliant about this is that it's portable.
You can move it around the garden,
so you've got a forever-changing scenery.
And also if you get tired of it, you can move it around.
You can move it wherever you want.
-What do you think?
-It's great, it's a great idea.
-Well done, 10 out of 10.
-Thank you very much.
With the frame of the planter done,
AJ just needs to add a base to each planting trough,
made from another piece of pallet.
Just nailing these little slats on the bottom of here.
So it'll hold the soil in.
Haven't got to be very strong or anything like that
because there's only a little bit of soil to go in there
and a few nice little pretty planters.
So in theory, there's a bit of a gap
cos you still need drainage in these.
While AJ carries on with the freestanding vertical planter...
..I'm taking a moment with Nicola
to find out how she manages to cope with so much going on in her life,
and what a garden makeover would mean to her.
Nicola, you're fighting fit now but your health hasn't been great
in recent years, has it? Talk me through what's been going on.
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in March 2008,
which is an inflammatory bowel disease.
So I ended up...
I was suffering with that for about two years before I had surgery.
And it was quite a big surgery, wasn't it?
That surgery I had in 2009 was I had my large intestine removed.
-And it was a ten-hour operation.
-What are the long-term effects of a surgery like that?
After the first surgery, I had what was called a sub-total colectomy,
so I ended up with a ileostomy bag.
And I have that now for the rest of my life,
but I've learned to manage that, really,
and because of how ill I was before having it,
managing that is so easy
compared to the complications of the disease itself.
I'm really, really lucky because I know a lot of people
who've been through the same sort of surgeries as me
and they're not as healthy and not as fit as well as what I am,
so I am really lucky with how things have turned out.
I don't want to patronise you and say, "Oh, you are very upbeat
"for something that's quite significant."
-But you are.
-It's just one of those things that have happened,
I think everyone at some point in their life goes through difficult things,
and that was just one thing that, hopefully,
I've come out of the other end of it and I'm fine. I've just got to make the most of feeling well.
I imagine your job gives you quite a lot of perspective.
Yes, because I work with children with disabilities.
And the range of disabilities that I'm seeing on a daily basis in work,
it does put things into perspective
when you see what some of the families go through
that I work with.
How important is a garden to you?
It would be really nice to have a space outside that we can use,
which is like an extension of the home.
But it's just been put on the back burner, really.
You are pretty busy.
So, really, the onus is on Scott to look after this garden.
He should be doing more than what he is with the garden.
He's never going to have any plants to maintain if we don't get to the garden centre.
Let's go and get our shopping, Nicola.
As we head off on our shopping trip,
back in Tredegar, work is in full flow,
and this garden is proving to be part makeover,
part furniture removals for poor AJ.
Hello, AJ. How are you?
You look like a man out of breath.
Yeah, I've just carried this up halfway the Welsh mountains for you.
-Thank you very much.
-Where do you want it?
-Come on, let's move it in where you want it to be.
-Let's move it in.
Maybe a little bit of a brush down.
Up there? On the tarpaulin.
Let's leave it there for now.
As the team get to work on painting the freestanding planter,
there's still time and more than a few pallets left,
so Danny and AJ have decided to knock up another vertical planter,
which will be mounted to the wall.
This is the pallet we are going to use for our vertical planter.
So, here we are, one section, two section, three.
Here are the pieces of wood I've pulled off one of the other pallets,
which will be nailed underneath each of the sections.
There we go, all sorted.
Looks very rustic at the moment and a bit dirty,
but once it's had a bit of a brush down,
and then when Danny's painted it and then planted it,
it'll look really good.
Right, I'm go off up to the wall now.
Well, AJ, you certainly made light work of that,
but something tells me it's not all going to be plain sailing.
Where do you want it? I thought we'd push it up against the wall.
-Where you want it?
-Off the ground?
Oh, no, mate.
We haven't got anything to get it off the ground.
See, ideally, I would have preferred it off the ground,
but if that's not possible...
I've got something in the van that would give it two legs.
It would look a bit more like a billboard up against the wall.
-That'd be better.
The reason being is that I want to put trailers,
-trailing plants down there.
-Yeah, yeah. They're about this long.
-Would that be fine?
-That'd be great.
That will take the weight of it
and then just two screws in the wall will hold it from falling.
That's brilliant. Something like that'd be fine.
Adding legs to a vertical planter like this
will redistribute the weight of the planter
and ease the burden on the wall.
-I love your legs.
-You've got great legs, mate.
So that's going to take the weight of the pallet.
-It's going to screw in here now.
-Screw in the wall.
-Make a mark on the wall.
-And that'll be nice...
-Plug and a screw.
Well done, AJ. Like a Scout, you are always prepared with a solution.
And I'm always prepared to do a bit of shopping,
as I am sure Nicola is, too.
Danny has asked for three large plant pots,
and I think we've come to just the right place.
-Right, we're looking for big contemporary pots.
I believe there are lots here.
-You say pots...
-..I bring you to a world of pots.
In terms of colours, I'm guessing this is kind of the thing you like.
Yes, I do like a baby blue colour.
I just wonder if they would go with anything else that they're planning in the garden.
Is that your preferred style?
-That kind of country cottage, pretty...
-Now, these are the same sort of shape but a lot darker.
Completely different sort of thing going on over here.
Terracotta, maybe something you'd see
-in a sort of Mediterranean-type garden.
-What about those?
Cos they are the more neutral colours, yeah, I like them ones.
-Very sort of modern, contemporary marbley ones.
Again, if it matches everything else that they've done the garden,
then I would prefer to have those than more of the country ones.
We heard from our good friend Eddie, with his flower tower, that the bigger the pot...
The easier to maintain, yeah.
Easier to look after, which is probably quite key for you.
-These are really natural.
-But down here is something a bit more contemporary.
I'm not sensing a lot of love for those, Nicola.
I don't know, because I don't know what flowers
they're putting in them or what's going around them.
I like the look of them.
Let's get some help.
I know a man. Head this way. THEY LAUGH
It's our friend Tony again.
Not just helpful with pallets.
Tony, sorry to interrupt.
-This is Nicola.
-Hiya, nice to meet you.
We are looking for three pots.
-But, to be honest, we're spoilt for choice.
There are so many different pots, shapes, sizes, colours, textures.
-Where do you start?
-You start with what the end product is going to be.
So, essentially, if it's a big plant that is going to grow to a big size,
you want a big pot.
Preferably round, cos a round pot, the roots will grow around the pot.
If it's a square pot, roots grow to corners
and roots don't like corners.
So for most people's bedding, which is summer bedding, fuchsias,
geraniums, flowers, not so fussy, because they don't grow to be old.
They don't have large root structures.
But if it's things that are going to be more established and last longer,
longer term, ideally, a round pot,
because you get better growth cos you get a rounder root bowl
and they prefer that.
Would you plant something different in this huge round pot,
compared to this little oval pot,
compared to this oblong-shaped pot?
Would you plant different things in those?
-Because, I mean, these are more...
That's due to the design of the pot more so than the planting structure.
These are classic, old, English, fire-glazed pot.
More designed for alpines, violas, cos that is the right kind of look.
-I think it's more so...
It's not just about the pots, it's about the overall look,
in that if you put something that didn't work in there...
If you put a conifer in there, it wouldn't really work.
-It's more of a softer pot, more delicate, small flowers,
more sort of childlike, if you like.
-We don't know what is going into Nicola's garden.
So could we look at a few generic pots that might work, for instance?
-Let's go and look at some of these over here.
Who knew there was so much to think about when buying pots?
I think this is going to take some time.
Back in the garden, AJ is turning his attention to the corner seat,
which will comprise of three sections
that can be pushed together to create an L-shaped sofa
or used separately as a table and chairs.
I've got these red pallets here, ready to make the corner seat.
So, the first thing I'm going to do is put some legs on it, so, I'm going to turn it on its belly...
..just to cut off some of this bit of wood that's in the way.
This is what I'm going to use for the legs.
They're all cut to the same size.
That's going to make my job a lot easier.
Just put them in, butt them up against there,
a couple of screws on all the legs and then turn it over
and put one in the top, just for strength.
I'm going to do another two like this,
so we're going to have one there,
one here and then the L-shaped leg here.
Just to show you the height of the seat.
This is what I'm going to do with the second thing.
But that's in theory.
I think that's perfect seating for relaxing.
And then, potentially, lie back and enjoy the sunshine...
..when we get it.
Those two days of the year,
it'll be brilliant.
Come on, AJ, there's no time for that.
-We've only got three hours to get this garden finished.
And there we have, in theory, one pallet what Danny's ordered up.
I'll get that up now,
because I know Danny's got to get these painted
and time is getting on.
That's more like it.
Time to get all these pallets up to the garden.
AJ has enlisted Luke and Scott to help.
Once in position, each piece of the furniture puzzle
can be screwed together.
Meanwhile, with only a few hours left,
Danny is filling up the freestanding vertical planter
with water-retaining succulents.
I'm going to plant this planter with succulents.
They like free-draining soil and that's the reason I'm using them.
The other reason I'm using them is that,
because they like free-draining soil,
you're not going to have to water them so often,
which is great for Scott and Nicola,
because I know they want a low-maintenance garden.
You can tell a succulent by its waxy, fleshy leaf.
And just look at that. Because it's got the ability to store water.
So it can store water for a long time and look after itself,
just like a camel.
And these lewisias, they grow in the mountains of North America.
And they will grow out of the sides, out of crevices.
So, they don't need to take in much to survive.
They need very little soil and they need very little water.
The idea is to pack these in, so there's loads of colour
and these lewisias,
they will flower from spring right through to the autumn.
Now look at that. That looks great against the black of the planters.
I think that works really wonderfully well.
A fantastic plant.
There are many varieties of easy-to-care-for plants around
and if you're looking for ones that require little to no maintenance,
it's a good idea to choose ones that are specially adapted
to arid conditions, such as succulents.
Succulent plants are often grown for their ornamental value.
Because of their sculptural and unusual appearance,
they look particularly striking against stone and brick.
They usually have thickened and swollen fleshy leaves and stems,
designed to retain water.
They can also display waxy, hairy,
or spiny surfaces to create a humid micro-habitat around the plant.
They need almost no watering and very little soil,
so they are extremely easy to care for.
The most common in the UK are known as hens and chickens
because the parent plants throw out
masses of small offspring, the chicks.
To create more new plants for free,
simply break off the baby plants
and push them gently into a rocky crevice
or any other well-drained spot.
While Danny cracks on planting his easy-to-maintain succulents,
back at the garden centre,
Nicola and I are feeling quite overwhelmed
by the sheer amount of pots on offer.
There are so many different pots in here, Tony.
A lot of people will be like Nicola,
in that they'll have decking or yards or gravel areas.
And, if they want colours and flowers and foliage,
they're going to need to put things in pots.
You keep mentioning style.
Would you say it's important to match?
The customer has got to like the end result.
So it's not for me to judge what you buy, because that's what you like.
And if that's your taste, that's what you should have in your garden.
Nicola, it's your garden, so it's up to you.
I don't think I can make a decision,
cos I don't know what they're doing in the garden.
I would prefer to have ones that match with everything else
than just to go for what I like and then it just looks ridiculous with the rest of the garden.
-Looks a bit random.
-As you said, stick to the style.
-Well, I think we could break The Instant Gardener rules
and phone Scott. At least get an indication of what they are doing.
-So you can get something that fits.
-Tony, thank you for your advice and help.
-No worries. Good luck. Give me a shout if you need any help with the pots.
Right, let's phone Scott.
Tony says it's important to think about style
when picking out plant pots,
but as Nicola has no idea what sort of garden Danny has in mind for her,
she's going to call Scott,
who can hopefully shed some light on exactly what Nicola needs to get.
-Hello. We're looking at pots.
And we've got hundreds and hundreds of different types of pots here.
There are ones that I really like,
but I don't want to get them
if they don't go with anything else that they're doing in the garden.
Yeah, the problem we've got here is there's quite a lot of colour.
So, I'd be thinking that if you get something that's sort of colourful,
it's going to be a bit too much colour going on in the garden.
-So, we were sort of hoping
that you would go for the more charcoaly, black,
sort of contemporary sort of colours.
So we'll have more of a theme, rather than lots of colour.
Could we get away with the shabby chic style of pots,
but in a neutral colour?
Or should we go for the really contemporary, minimalist,
think square and clean lines?
Can we...? Or have we got to have those ones?
I think we are more concerned with colour rather than style, Danny?
Is that right?
Well, more colour than style, yeah.
It's more of a colour issue with us, rather than the style.
Style doesn't matter,
as long as they're more neutral.
Just go for the more sort of...
yeah, more neutral sort of coloured ones, I would.
-Rather than the colour ones. OK?
But style doesn't matter,
whether it's modern or whether it's more traditional,
style doesn't matter?
Do you understand what I'm saying?
Yeah, I think so, yeah.
-You think so?
OK. No problem.
-I'll speak to you later.
At the risk of tarring all men with the same brush, his head is exploding now, isn't it?
-You said, "What style do you want?" He's like, "Too many questions."
-He's thinking, "Style, what is that?"
-Yeah. THEY LAUGH
"As long as you're happy, I'm happy."
I think we can find that.
OK. I think that's clear.
Large, neutral pots, preferably dark in colour.
-Yeah, these ones...
-We were told to get big ones. They're the biggest.
-Yeah, these are the biggest, aren't they?
Shall we get three of those? Are they taller than those? Yeah.
-That's about my knee height.
Or the square version? Round or square?
-OK. Let's get three of those.
Because I am like a bull in a china shop, I'm going to get Tony to get those,
rather than try and crash through them and get them out.
-One, two, three?
Scott's not, but anyway...
Now time to get these pots in the car and head back to the garden,
where Danny has an unusual idea to put Scott.
But, with time running out, and the weather turning again,
will Danny's bright idea be a stroke of genius or a total wash-out?
I'm going to make a turf seat here.
I take it you've never heard of a turf seat?
-A turf seat, basically,
is something that you can sit on that's made out of turf.
The way we're going to do that is
we're going to put hessian round the edge...
-..and then soil within the hessian,
so the hessian's containing the soil.
-And we're putting in a false bottom.
-You can see the start of it here.
And then we're going to fill that up to the top with soil
and then the turf's going to go on top.
And all you need to do every couple of weeks,
-just give it a trim with a pair of shears.
-With some shears?
-And that's it.
-What do you think of the idea?
-I... Mind-blowing, if I'm being honest.
Hessian is a cheap way of hiding the false bottom
and giving the turf seat a nice shabby chic finish.
Turf is very easy to look after.
It will grow on that much of soil.
All Scott will need to do is keep it watered.
And I'm going to lay the turf
and I'm just cutting carefully round the edge,
so that all fits nice and snug.
Snug as a bug in a rug.
With the final piece of furniture in place,
it's time for me to deliver the troublesome pots.
But what will Danny and Scott think of them?
You've been busy.
-There's one pot.
-Oh, thank you.
-Let's put this down on the ground for now.
-I love these pallets, they look brilliant.
Yeah, I'm really proud of those. I think they look fantastic, as well.
-That's a turf seat.
Have you ever seen one? What?
-What you laughing at?
-Look at him.
Look at his face!
-HE LAUGHS Are you all right, Scott?
-I'm fine, yeah.
No, he's done all right. I think he's worried.
-Worried about Nicola?
-He's hoping that she's going to like it.
I did get the impression from the pot phone call
that she knows what she likes and she likes what she knows.
-She's got quite a distinct taste, hasn't she?
It was just the vocabulary that she was throwing at me.
-It was blowing my mind slightly.
-I did say, I think there's probably husbands all over the country
-who empathise with that conversation.
-But will that suffice?
-That is great. I like it.
-It's not what you originally wanted, but, let's be honest...
-..you're not going to argue with the girls.
No, I'm not going to argue with the girls, and it's all about compromise. So, that's fine.
-Would you like me to pot these up for you?
-You could help me. That'd be great.
Right, I'll get the pots, I'll pot them up.
We'll get the show on the road.
See you soon.
THEY LAUGH Two broken men - I love it.
It might have been a day of lashing wet weather,
but, finally, the finish line is in sight.
And not a moment too soon.
Right, let's go for it. Five minutes.
Let's get tidy, let's get going.
At the start of the day, this garden was nothing but a drab, empty space
with slippery algae-fied decking.
But now it's a contemporary outdoor room, perfect for entertaining,
relaxing and socialising.
Splashes of brightly-coloured paint, juxtaposed with striking furniture,
creates a modern, funky vibe to this previously unloved space,
with a plethora of seating options, made from recycled pallets,
perfect for any number of guests.
The carefully chosen pots are now home
to these theme-fitting pink cordylines
and home-made upcycled pallet planters
are stuffed with pretty, low-maintenance succulents,
which are ideal for this busy couple.
And all of this was done in one day and on a tiny budget.
It's time to see what Nicola makes of her new-look garden.
Step this way.
This morning, it was a box.
-It's nice, innit?
These are lovely.
Ah, look at that!
-Ah, yeah. It's lovely.
-Oh, you've worked hard.
-And the lights.
-And the pots.
And the pots look lovely with it.
-Yeah, it's lovely.
-A turf seat.
Ah! It looks nice, I like it.
I like that, yeah.
And I love the flowers on there.
That's really, really pretty.
-I love that.
-You see what they're made out of?
-Pallet things, is it?
-Yeah, they're lovely.
We've used recycled pallets
-and AJ's worked really hard today to bring it all together.
-Yeah, I love it. It's really, really nice.
And it's not too much.
Cos when you said on the phone there was lots of colour,
I thought I was going to come out here and it was going to be like a rainbow, but it's not.
And it all complements.
What do you think the pink wall?
Oh, I didn't notice that!
Yeah, it's lovely.
Scott says that pink is one of your favourite colours.
-You're supposed to say yes.
-I do... I do like pink.
To be honest, pinks and purples are my favourites.
-Yeah, it's really, really pretty.
-Are you happy with these pots, or would you rather have got black ones?
-Yeah. I think those look...
-..those look lovely.
-They look great.
Yeah. And they still go with the general theme, as well,
cos that's what we were trying to get at.
That's what we were trying to get from you, Scott. Do you think you'll use this space now?
I love the seating area down the bottom.
-Cos we didn't really know how to sort of section it off, either, did we?
-So, I think it's clear that that area can be like a chill-out...
-And it's a big space, as well...
-..so you can fit more than two people on there, if we had people over, which is ideal.
-Thank you very much.
-That's OK, pleasure.
I think this is a brilliant space.
-Guys, you've done an amazing job.
Nicola, I hope you enjoy it.
I can see you lot having parties out here.
-Enjoying sunrise, sunset.
-A fab space for a fun couple.
-Job well done, guys.
Team, go and have an explore,
have a wander round, take in the garden,
because there is lots to see.
-Enjoy. Good job.
-You're going to get a list of chores now, aren't you?
-Have a look around.
-Go, go, go.
-Thank you, guys.
-I think you should go and have a sit down.
-Yeah, I think I will.
-Or a lie down.
Good job. Good job!
Nicola and Scott wanted a space that they can socialise in,
and they've certainly got that.
With a bit of creativity and a bit of colour,
they've got an outdoor room perfect for partying in.
Join us next time for another instant garden.
Presenter Helen Skelton, garden designer Danny Clarke and the team turn a boring and unused deck in Tredegar into a stylish and low-maintenance outdoor room, complete with handmade garden furniture.