Special Thank You To Decori

DSC_0095---CopyThank you to everyone who helped with the stunning final garden – it honestly couldn’t have been done without every single one of you!

The whole garden team would love to give a special thank you to Decori, who provided the amazing piece of metal sculpture work in the garden. They create wonderful decorative metal artwork, which is available directly to you via their online shop.


They create bespoke features for both interiors and exteriors, and have a reputation for working with leading London architects and interior designers.

DSC_0111---Copy-(2)Decori was launched in 2015, to bring decorative metal artwork to home and garden lovers throughout the UK – they belong to a larger group called CEL; a collection of long-established businesses that all have the laser-cutting and shaping of metal at their heart.

They were great to work with, and the piece is truly a stunning piece of modern sculpture that beautifully connects the garden with the surrounding countryside.

Please visit www.decori.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Second Nature, A Delight

Second-Nature-eco-chic11146412_780820892025618_11838578181817698_o-2Second Nature we’re an absolute delight to work with this series! They gave us a plethora of beautiful products for our garden in Durham, which helped make the garden extra special for the family.

10003763_802967669810940_423422395942265522_o-1They have a very clear and strong ethic within their company, and this is expressed in both their service and their products. It is a lovely family run business based in Dumfries, but don’t worry because they also have an internet shop where you can find their fair trade, eco-friendly or natural quality products in abundance. They have all sorts of products for your home, including a lovely selection of ethically sourced rugs, check them out here!



By alantitchmarsh

Huge Thank You To Ace Liftaway

ace-liftaway-logoThank you so much to everyone at Ace Liftaway, they have been a fantastic help in this 2016 series of Love your Garden. Located in Hampshire, Ace Liftaway quickly and efficiently provided skips to help us with our most recent garden project. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and had a friendly and hardworking team.

Visit their website at www.aceliftaway.co.uk for a fast and easy company who provide everything from wheelie bins and Loos, to Roll on/Roll off containers and skips.

By alantitchmarsh

Yves Delorme Providing French Luxury


A huge thank you to Yves Delorme for bringing some Je Ne Sais Quoi to our garden the other week! The monogrammed Bath Robes and Towels they provided for our garden in Hampshire were truly stunning – and really helped give Rosie and her family a real taste of French luxury.

Yves Delorme were lovely to work with – clearly endorsing their reputation as a high-quality, established brand.

Discover The World of Yves Delorme with their online platforms: Bed & Bath Linens, Accessories, Down, Fragrance …luxury products from traditional French savoir-faire.


By alantitchmarsh

Get Herbilicious

herbilicious_logoOn this week’s show we were lucky enough to have fresh herbs donated to us by Vitacress Herbs, the leading supplier to the UK market.

Vitacress’ website www.lovefreshherbs.co.uk is the place to go to for recipes and inspiration for enjoying fresh herbs. Fresh herbs are a kitchen essential and can turn the simplest meal into something exciting and special, providing that extra character that brings other ingredients into balance. They add natural flavour, aroma, texture and colour to all your culinary creations.

Each herb brings a unique flavour to a dish and cooking with fresh herbs couldn’t be easier. So whether you’re looking to perk up your smoothies, give lunches a boost, or put the finishing touches to your favourite evening meal, visit www.lovefreshherbs.co.uk for all the top tips and advice for making every day herbilicious.

By alantitchmarsh

The Best Tool For The Job – Is A Burgon & Ball Tool!

The team working on the 2016 series of Love Your Garden has once again enjoyed using high quality stainless steel tools from Burgon & Ball in garden projects across the country. This is the fifth series for which the Sheffield-based manufacturer has supplied tools and accessories, and the team still loves them. The tools are certainly put through their paces during the filming – and they don’t disappoint!


This year the Love Your Garden team has used Burgon & Ball digging forks and spades, Groundbreaker spades, hand tools, pruning knives, Ground Master multi tools, Kneelo kneelers and rakes. In addition, a selection of watering cans, retro enamel giftware, trugs, plant labels, and more besides have been featured in the gardens. Many of the tools are endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society, possibly the highest gardening accolade.

Burgon & Ball started manufacturing cast steel shears in Sheffield’s industrial heartland in 1730 and has exceptional expertise in steelmaking. This expertise makes all the difference when it comes to quality, since many of a product’s most important attributes only emerge when a tool is used. It means that Burgon & Ball can ensure an edge tool cuts beautifully – not just when it’s brought home from the shop, but months and years down the line, too.

In recent years Burgon & Ball has won some major industry awards for design and innovation with its tools and accessories; ideas like the Weed Slice, the Razor Hoe and the Poc-kit gardener’s utility belt.

All in all, Burgon & Ball offers a brilliant combination of expertise, design and quality, making these tools the perfect choice to tackle the challenges faced by the Love Your Garden team!

By alantitchmarsh

A Huge Thank You To WoodblocX

WoodblocXWoodblocX donated two raised beds for Maggie Simkiss’ Croatian inspired garden, featured in episode six. Assembled by the on-site team, the beds were placed alongside the gorgeous pencil cypress trees and English lavender to create a stunning display.

WoodblocX kits are simple to build, family-friendly and will last for 20 years or more. As there is no heavy lifting or sharp tools needed helpers of all ages can get involved too, so you could have a garden as wonderful as Maggie’s in no time at all!

WoodblocX are available exclusively online, browse the different kit selections or design you own! If your design is complicated or you need some help, WoodblocX offers a free design service. www.WoodblocX.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Protek Wood Stain

Revolving Vantage SummerhouseOur friends at Protek have supplied most of the paint and treatment for every series of Love Your Garden and we are so grateful for their generosity. They are a small family run firm, who produce wood stain and treatments in a huge range of colours. There is no need to have a boring shed or fence when you can have Protek!!!

For episode 7, they supplied us with Somerset Blue, Mendip Mist and Cornish Cream paint – incredibly for Enid and Robbie’s garden in the west country!!!

It’s not just exterior paint they do – there is a large range of interior colours plus natural stains to preserve and enhance your timber.

Please visit their website and check out the full range available


By alantitchmarsh

Thank You Black Dog of Wells

IMG_2879Black Dog of Wells, the designers of handmade decorative terracotta wall plaques very kindly donated some beautiful tiles for our idyllic Croatian dream garden in Hull.

The tiles were displayed around the garden; on the walls and tucked in to Maggie’s brand new shelving. The beautiful designs reflected Maggie’s love of animals; including her favourite butterflies! As well as reflecting the sunny Mediterranean theme running throughout.

IMG_2881The company who are based in Wells, Somerset craft a range of unique and personal tiles out of clay for decoration in gardens and homes around the country. Philippa Threlfall, the designer creates a variety of popular designs, whilst also offering a personalised service where you can make them your own!

For more information on where to find these products, see: www.blackdogofwells.com

By alantitchmarsh

Thank You Macmillan & NHS Trust

A MASSIVE thank you to Macmillan who nominated Maggie and who tirelessly care and support people affected by cancer. For more info or to find out how you can help them, please go to www.macmillan.org.uk

Also Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust who helped us set up Maggie’s surprise and finally, the Croatian National Tourist board who supplied images for the programme.

By alantitchmarsh

Trompe L’oeil

During the programme this week Frances was tasked with creating a special kind of outdoor mural called a Trompe L’oeil. A Trompe L’oeil is a landscape painting (either painted directly onto a garden wall or hung on one) which tricks the eye into believing the image is real and you are actually looking a stunning view of the countryside instead of a blank wall!

Trompe L’oeil artist, Anna Starling, kindly provided Frances with some top tips and tricks of the trade. Anna is the creative force behind “Mural Design”. For more information about Anna and her work please visit http://www.muraldesign.co.uk/


We saw several other fine examples of this imaginative form of Art during the show including designs by Michaela Kelly (http://www.art-by-kelly.co/) and Gordon Collett (http://www.muralartist.co.uk/)

By alantitchmarsh

Absolute Bollywood

Towards the end of tonight’s show you will have seen a troupe of amazing Bollywood dancers performing in the Iqbal’s newly revealed garden! Absolute Bollywood, are a London based professional dance company who choreographed a dance routine especially for the event. The company provide dancers for all occasions but are also a full-service entertainment company, hosting Bollywood hen parties, pre-wedding dance lessons for couples, individuals or groups. They perform all over the World, including at this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival. For more information and to see them in action please visit: www.absolutebollywood.co.uk


By alantitchmarsh

Get kids off gadgets and onto gardening with Hozelock

ITV's Love Your Garden

Get your child to ditch the gadget with Hozelock

If you’re a parent of a school age child, you have probably been ignored more than once while your formerly eloquent child stares intently at their pc/handheld/laptop seemingly unable to see you, hear you or speak to you.

The Playstation, Xbox, Ipad and a host of other gadgets have reduced our once active children to zombies and with the rise of childhood obesity it’s time to take action.

But how to encourage them to switch off Minecraft, Splashy Fish or Candy Crush?

According to a new survey, gardening could be the perfect answer for parents struggling to get their kids off their electronic games gadgets and into the great outdoors.

The survey of 2,000 parents, commissioned by British gardening manufacturer Hozelock, reveals only four out of 10 children regularly play outside and that the majority of parents (seven out of 10) say they can find it a struggle to get their youngsters out of the house and into the garden.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Make gardening fun with Hozelock

In fact two thirds (60 per cent) admit their children now reach straight for their gadgets to beat boredom and one third (30 per cent) confess their youngsters now spend less than two hours a week playing in the garden.

However three quarters (75 per cent) of parents say their children are more likely to want to go outside if they can join them in with gardening jobs like watering the plants or sowing seeds.

Lisa Jordan, UK marketing manager at Hozelock, said: “With a little encouragement from their parents, youngsters can be tempted away from their gadgets to lend a hand in the garden.

“Hozelock has a wide range of products to help children enjoy the garden – take our newly launched Pico Reel for example – this compact watering hose weighs less than two bags of sugar and will help children make light work of watering the garden.”

Hozelock’s ‘Gardening for Life’ campaign aims to encourage parents to get their children to enjoy and appreciate outdoor life during the summer.

TV gardener, David Domoney, who is fronting Hozelock’s ‘Gardening for Life’ campaign to try to get more kids playing outdoors and interested in gardening, said: “Youngsters are playing indoors much more than they used to a generation ago, and many spend nearly five times more time on computer games than playing outside. It’s so important for children to get out in the garden during the summer and get some fresh air and exercise, and if we’re not careful a whole generation will miss out on the joys of the great outdoors.”

David Domoney added: “Despite these findings, there still is some hope that children will want to get out in the garden more this summer. Children love simple activities like sowing seeds, planting flowers, picking fruit and watering the garden. Plus they love getting their hands dirty! A lot of children said they would spend more time in the garden if they could help out with an activity, such as watering the plants. Nowadays there are loads of products on the market which are ideal for little hands to use.”

“Gardening is a great hobby for people of all ages however, for children it’s particularly beneficial. It’s a fun, healthy activity plus the sense of satisfaction children feel when they watch something they’ve had a hand in growing is immeasurable.”

For tips on getting children involved in the garden, and details of the full range of gardening products, check out the Hozelock website www.hozelock.com, and watch this great video about the Pico Reel. For more information on David Domoney, check out his website at www.daviddomoney.com

Hozelock have been instrumental in making sure that all our garden builds on Love Your Garden 2014 have been well watered, and provided much equipment to make watering the gardens easier for our garden owners in the future.   Thanks guys!

ITV's Love Your Garden

By alantitchmarsh

Outdoor Dining with Style

With temperatures set to beat the caribbean this week we all want to get out and enjoy as much fresh air and sunshine as we can.  This means meal times al fresco, and there has never been a better choice of grills around.

Napoleon logoHere on Love Your Garden this series, we’ve been lucky enough to have the support of the lovely people at Napoleon Grills who have supplied BBQ’s to more than one of our garden makeovers.

It’s very rare we get a wishlist for a new garden which doesn’t include somewhere to cook and eat out. Family times around a table outside or inviting friends over for an impromptu burger are so much easier when you have a proper grill, rather than the disposable type which can incinerate food and still manage to leave parts uncooked!

We asked Napoleon for their own list of top tips for outdoor dining, so for how to achieve chargrill heaven..

ITV's Love Your Garden

Napoleon Triumph grill, supplied to the McGinns in Episode 3 of Love Your Garden


1. Safety First: Chances are there will be little ones around when you use your BBQ.  Always supervise children but make sure you let them know first that the BBQ is very hot and not to be played near.  Keep flare from flames down to a minimum by not using too much fat and by cooking with the lid closed as much as possible.

2. Stop Prodding! Contrary to popular belief, food on a bbq does not need constantly prodding and poking! Simply adjust the heat, keep the lid down and let the grill do it’s job. Turn food when it is cooked on one side rather than every 20 seconds – this will help you maintain a consistent cooking temperature and prevents flare-ups. It also means you’re free to join the party!

3. Keep It Juicy: Following on from not prodding and poking too much, ensure the grill is fully heated before you put the food on. This will sear the meat and keep in more of the juices.  Always let meat stand for 10 minutes following cooking (keep it under foil) so that the juices can be reabsorbed into the meat.

4. Bag your space: Create a dedicated sheltered space for cooking and preparation, it is much more likely to entice you outdoors and also allows you to extend the cooking season beyond sunny days and balmy nights.

5. Get creative! Don’t be limited by the predictable – there is life beyond bangers and burgers. Fish, vegetables, coke can chicken  – heck, you can even cook your Christmas turkey on the BBQ and save on precious oven space! So get creative and start thinking outside of the box to get more mileage out of your bbq.


Visit http://www.napoleongrills.co.uk or call 01676 522788 to find your nearest Napoleon Grills stockist. Twitter: @NapoleonGrills Facebook: Napoleon Grills UK

Napoleon Grills Triumph 495 gas barbecue was the unit supplied to episode 3 of Love Your Garden, and enjoys some great features and refinements which makes it just that little bit different.

It has four bottom burners and also has porcelain-enamelled cast iron grates which help to distribute the heat evenly and will last the McGinns for years. Both features help to provide excellent cooking control for grilling, roasting and baking pretty much anything, plus there’s is an additional side ring for saucepans.

The JET-FIRE ignition system makes firing up easy every time and an integral thermometer shows you how hot you’ve got. Too hot, turn the heat down by adjusting the burners, too cool, crank them up!  It couldn’t be simpler.

It’s pretty much like a cooker and if you can use one of them you can use this barbecue!  The bonus is that the food you cook on your Triumph 495 comes with that tantalising barbecue flavour which you certainly won’t get from your oven!

For more information on Napoleon Grills, please visit www.napoleongrills.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Bird’s Eye View with TMS

Blog mast 1

The mast extends to over 12 metres high

Want to know how we achieve our great aerial shots on our gardens?

Spun Gold Head of Production Jim Boyers explains:

“Our garden builds are amazing, but often difficult to film from a standard camera. It’s all very well filming at ground level but for our viewers to really appreciate the changes evolving in the garden, a high shot is essential.  Previous series of the show saw us approaching this problem with scissor lifts and self propelled booms but not many ordinary gardens can accommodate these relatively large pieces of machinery.”

This left the production team with a problem – how to get a proper birds eye view of the garden with minimal impact.

“Our prayers were answered when we discovered Total Mast Solutions, a company which manufactures and supplies up to 450 different types of masts for uses ranging from bird watching to military applications” says Jim.

Working closely with Head of Sales Hayley Wells, TMS supplied Love Your Garden with a mast which would raise a camera anywhere between 2 and 12 metres in to the air.  They also were able to supply a remote head so we could pan and tilt the camera once it had reached the height.

Blog mast 2

Total Mast Solutions have the birds eye view..

“This has turned out to be an invaluable piece of equipment, entirely perfect for our needs.” says Jim.   “It is light and portable enough to be rigged by one person but stable enough to reach heights impossible with scissor lifts and booms.  Because of the portability we can place the mast wherever we want and the build quality ensures we don’t have to worry about the elements.”

TMS were kind enough to also supply the team with a Hiperpod, an even lighter mast for those really awkward spots.  See the photograph to see both masts in action with the Hiperpod mounted on the annexe roof!

The sky really is the limit with Total Mast Solutions.  If you need to go up in the world, go no further than TMS.

Jim Boyers

Spun Gold TV Head of Production


By alantitchmarsh

Travis Perkins – A hire power

Why buy when you can hire?

At Love Your Garden we’re really fortunate in that a lot of our equipment and products are donated by our very generous suppliers. We’re well aware that when embarking on your own projects, budgets are likely to be a factor and you may not have all the equipment you need to complete a job.

Neighbours, friends and family come in very handy for the odd bit of borrowing, but when you can’t find anyone willing to lend you what you need you can always hire it.

Yas Swindell, Tool Hire Fleet Director at Travis Perkins Hire, discusses the top reasons why hiring can compliment your existing tool kit to ensure you are well-equipped for any project, whatever the size or timescale.

The over riding benefit of choosing a trusted hire supplier is that it makes financial sense and for a number of reasons:

  1. ITV's Love Your Garden

    Your local branch of Travis Perkins has all you need..

    All the latest ranges at your fingertips

Buying a brand new power tool can be a significant purchase and if you decide to go ahead, you need to be confident that its regular use will give significant payback. If you only use that power tool once or twice a year for example, then you will certainly benefit from hiring.

  1. Affordable access to the top brands

In an ideal world you would always purchase the best that the market has to offer. The highest quality tools come at a price for good reason, meaning a significant investment is needed. The hire route will ensure you are best equipped for the job, every time.

  1. Maintained and well serviced kit

How much of your time goes into maintaining or servicing larger pieces of equipment? This returns to the question of how often you use each item. Ensuring that tools and equipment are maintained and therefore operating as safely as possible is made much easier through the use of hired items. All hire equipment is subjected to a rigorous process of regular servicing, maintenance, and testing to ensure it meets the highest health and safety standards.

  1. ITV's Love Your Garden

    Why buy when you can hire?

    Loss or damage of equipment

Another external cost for landscapers is the potential loss and damage of tools and equipment, especially when it comes to larger pieces such as rotavators or even mini-excavators. Hire removes this issue and ensures the user need only focus on the job at hand.

  1. Getting equipment  to site

Organising and transporting equipment to site, particularly if across multiple locations, can be costly and time consuming.  Hire can remove this stress by providing access to an extensive range of tools and equipment needed to get any job done with the option of delivery direct to site to keep the process as simple as possible.

The end-result is not only financial benefits but an effective working process as having access to an extensive range of tools and equipment means any project demand can be met. Thanks to fully serviced kit, you can also ensure all equipment is correctly maintained and therefore operating as safely as possible.

Find out more about Travis Perkins Hire at http://www.travisperkins.co.uk/trade-services/tool-and-equipment-hire-services or learn about its landscaping solutions by visiting www.travisperkins.co.uk/c/landscaping/893313.

By alantitchmarsh

HIPPO bags are the strength behind a tidy project..

ITV's Love Your Garden

Make light work of garden waste with a HIPPOBAG™

Gardening is messy work and even a small garden project can create a large amount of waste. On Love Your Garden, we certainly generate more than our fair share, which is why we’ve once again teamed up with HIPPO™ the company behind the innovative HIPPOBAG™.

HIPPO are experts in waste clearance, with over 10 years’ experience of helping tradesmen, home owners, and plenty of enthusiastic gardeners with their various projects.

The versatility of the HIPPOBAG makes it the perfect solution to tackle a variety of garden waste. The HIPPOBAG comes in three sizes, the MIDIBAG, capable of holding up to a tonne of soil, MEGABAG which can take up to 1.5 tonnes of gardening waste and the biggest bag of them all the HIPPOSKIP, which can handle an entire garden shed!

Filming on Love Your Garden is on a tight schedule – the family are due back and we’ve got to make sure that the whole garden is spick and span and the rubbish is all carted away.  HIPPO are a godsend, ensuring that we are all camera-ready when we need to be with no messy mounds of waste in the way.

For the domestic user, using a HIPPOBAG is simple. Just buy a bag from any of the larger DIY stores (or direct from HIPPO at hippobag.co.uk), fill it, then give HIPPO a call and they’ll come and collect the bag – it couldn’t be easier!

ITV's Love Your Garden

Simply pay, fill and order a collection. You don’t even need to be in!

Feeling inspired by the show for gardening makeover? HIPPO are ready to help. The bags arrive flat-packed, avoiding the hassle associated with organising and waiting around for a skip, and there are no rental fees, so don’t worry if weather halts play. When HIPPO comes to collect, you don’t even need to be in!

HIPPO will be exhibiting at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. So if you’ve got your ticket, why not pay them a visit while you’re there!

Gardening should be fun, so for a stress-free waste solution with no rental fees, no damage to your driveway or garden and with a simple one off payment, look no further than the HIPPOBAG.

If you have any queries about using a HIPPOBAG don’t hesitate to call the friendly team on 0345 850 0 850 who can advise what will work for your particular project.

Thanks once again to everyone at HIPPO for all their help with the making of Love Your Garden!

By alantitchmarsh

Gardening Under Glass

Tonight’s episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden takes a look at gardening under glass, so we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the options available to you and the history behind glass houses.

Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, the glasshouse was an object reserved for the mega-rich. The window tax and the glass tax meant that even the smallest greenhouse or glasshouse could only really be commissioned by aristocracy or the extremely wealthy.

The repeal of the glass and window taxes (in 1845 and 1851 respectively) dramatically reduced the cost of glasshouses, as did manufacturing innovations of the industrial revolution. These factors, combined with the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park which saw the unveiling of Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and the desire to grow exotic plants imported from Europe and beyond saw the popularity of the glasshouse rise.

The products which were popular back in Victorian and Edwardian Britain are still very much around today, from a large bespoke glasshouse to a small individual cloche, gardening under glass hasn’t changed very much in 150 years.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Bespoke Greenhouse from http://www.alitex.co.uk

Bespoke Greenhouse

Alitex is  UK company which grew from humble beginnings in the 1950’s, spearheading the wood look Victorian greenhouse. The company’s focus has remained to create truly stunning structures that are functional spaces for plants and people.

Alitex have a range of “off the peg” greenhouses, but it’s bespoke glasshouse commissions are where the company really excel, like this glasshouse constructed in Hertfordshire in 2013.

Every area of the garden where this bespoke glasshouse was installed has been revised to accommodate the busy life of the resident family without compromising  the look of the garden.

The Alitex glasshouse pictured is used to raise all the fruit and veg for the garden from seed. For a bespoke glasshouse to this specification, prices would be in the region of £1,500 – £3,000 per square metre

For more information please visit www.alitex.co.uk


Familiar to most of us who have read Beatrix Potter as a feature in Mr McGregor’s garden, the coldframe is invaluable to many gardeners.

Historically, cold frames were built to be used in addition to a heated greenhouse (ie a hothouse). The name itself exemplifies the distinction between the warm greenhouse and the unheated cold frame. They were frequently built as part of the greenhouse’s foundation brickwork along the southern wall (in northern latitudes). This allowed seeds to be germinated in the greenhouse and then easily moved to the attached cold frame to be “hardened-off” before final planting outside.

This particular product, supplied by www.thegreenhousepeople.co.uk is hand crafted to a high specification by joiners in Staffordshire. Cedar is well known for its natural resistance to both rot and greenhouse pests and diseases, because of the natural oils within the wood..

Price £429.99, to order or for more information please contact www.thegreenhousepeople.co.uk

ITV's Love Your Garden

Mini Greenhouse Cloche

Mini Greenhouse Cloche

When space is an issue and you don’t want to compromise on design, a mini greenhouse cloche could be the answer.  This version, produced by www.blackcountrymetalworks.co.uk  is ideal for protecting young or tender plants from frost and the slug/snail menace.

They are also great for bringing on lettuce or other fragile crops or protecting your favourite blooms during inclement weather.

Square copper and glass mini greenhouse cloche, £132.99 available from www.blackcountrymetalworks.co.uk

Glass Cloche

The Victorians were the first to discover how a glass bell jar cloche can add beauty to a vegetable garden, but sadly traditional bell cloches are now all too rare.

Glass cloches are a traditional way to protect tender plants from frost, pests and strong winds. Cloches are also popular in the home to display cakes and flowers, particularly at weddings.

Sustainable garden product website http://www.henandhammock.co.uk are keen to bring back the cloche.

The company is a small independent business which sells products to help make your garden and home a more beautiful place, and they stock two styles of cloche, flared and straight.

The flared cloches flare out slightly at ground level and have a lower dome (ideal for small plants, cakes and cheese). The straight sided cloches stand taller, making them better suited to taller flower arrangements and plants.

Both styles are beautiful hand blown bell jar glass cloches.

Price £30 each, available from www.henandhammock.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Bedding down the perfect compost..

Alan’s grandfather had a saying about how you should prepare your plants “Spend a penny on the plant and a pound on the pot…”, which when translated from canny Yorkshireman means use the best compost you can get, or dig in the finest topsoil suited to your garden conditions.

We work all over the country for Love Your Garden and come across several extremes of soil types, so we needed a topsoil and compost supplier who was able to supply large quantities of both to bring out the best in our gardens.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Gardentopsoildirect.co.uk suppliers of topsoil and compost to Love Your Garden

Boughton Loam have been supplying high quality natural soils, composts, sands, bark mulch and landscape growing media to the professional landscaping industry for nearly 30 yrs.

These materials are now available directly to the general public through their new website www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk.

Peat-Free Promise

All topsoil from Garden Topsoil Direct is derived from natural, dug soil. All their compost is peat-free, an important factor for Alan who recently came out in support of the ethical argument behind using peat based products.

Due to the rise of peat based compost, over 94% of one of the UK’s rarest and most vulnerable habitats, lowland raised peatbogs, have been lost. In fact, there are just 6,000 hectares left in pristine or near-natural condition, making peatland one of the Uk’s most threatened habitats.

We’ve lost count of how much topsoil has gone into the eight gardens featured on the new series which starts tonight (Tuesday 24th June, ITV1 8pm), but whether we’ve been filling raised beds, planting up pots and tubs or just digging in fresh topsoil to get the best from the new borders and beds, we’ve got Boughton to thank.

Digging in new topsoil is a time-consuming business, but it’s well worth it if you live in an area with poor soil.  If you have to contend with a heavy clay soil, live on a new-build with virtually no topsoil or simply want to give your plants the best chance of success, dig in some topsoil.

Topsoil is the soil from which plants derive most of their nutrients, and it is made up of more organic material (such as broken-down plants) than the subsoil underneath. In order for plants to grow well they need a nice thick layer of topsoil to feed on and, for many gardeners, adding topsoil is the only way to get it.

GTD organicblended

7 Easy Steps to Topsoil Success

Step 1

Visit http://www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk and order your topsoil & peat-free compost.  The company offers free delivery to anywhere in mainland UK.

Step 2

Rake all large to medium sized rocks out of your soil and remove them from the area.

Step 3

Break up the soil with the hoe. Loosen it all over the area you intend to add topsoil to at a depth between five inches and one foot. Make sure none of the soil is patted down. You should be able to run your fingers through the soil.

Step 5

Add the manure or compost. Add one bag of manure or compost for every 3 square feet of land. Work the manure into the soil with the hoe until they are well mixed. Manure and compost help create topsoil.

Step 6

Add the topsoil. Add one bag of top soil for every 3 square feet. Work it into the manure and soil mixture with the hoe.

Step 7

Rake over the mixture. Add a 1-inch layer of top soil over the whole area. Do not mix it in.

For more information visit www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk 

If you’re nervous about ordering online, take a look at this user-friendly video guide to online ordering with www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk




By alantitchmarsh

Hedging our best bet …

We’re incredibly lucky here at Love Your Garden to have built up some great relationships with our suppliers, many of whom really enjoy the opportunity to help deserving families with their products.

One such supplier is Hedges Direct, who donated hedges last year and wanted to do what they could to help out again this year.

The British landscape is characterised by hedging – from traditional mixed native field hedging to the most formal Yew hedging in the country’s most gorgeous gardens – and yet it is a specialised market with few nurseries able to supply the whole range of species and sizes.

ITV's Love Your Garden Episode 4 Laurel hedge

Laurel hedging supplied by Hedges Direct

Love Your Garden viewers may remember the Winchcombe build in 2013 where 6ft Cherry Laurel hedging which was planted to improve privacy.  This year, Hedges Direct (www.hedgesdirect.co.uk) are supplying three of our gardens so we asked them to describe how being involved with Love Your Garden was for them.

June Pearce, one of the owners of Hedges Direct, said: “Last year was a big gamble for us.  Associate Producer Thea Pitcher invited us to supply 6ft hedging with high density planting to give the garden a real instant impact.  We suggested Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia) which, as a specialist retailer of hedging, we have in all sizes up to 2.5m.  It’s a fantastic plant with dense, reasonably fast growth but is easy to maintain, fully evergreen, with bright green leaves, good in sun and shade – so ideal for almost all situations.”

June added: “The garden Thea required the hedging for was a large one so it was not a small decision for us to donate over 100 plants but we felt the garden owner was hugely deserving of a private, beautiful garden”.

A lot of our suppliers are incredibly generous and Love Your Garden were delighted when Hedges Direct wanted to be involved with the new series. Approached by the production team, June describes how the company offered advice aswell as products. “We were approached by three Associate Producers to supply hedging of various different types (all top secret at this stage!) for three different gardens” explains June.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Photinia Hedge from Hedges Direct

“Whilst they had their own ideas about what they’d like for each garden, we offered advice on planting density and pot size (which can make a huge difference depending on whether a budget approach or an instant result is required). The programmes in the new series will demonstrate how flexibly hedging can be used in any garden, and that there are unusual as well as common hedging solutions which can be used to create privacy, separate off different areas, add blocks of colour and texture, edge paths or attract wildlife.”

“I think the Producers use us because we now have a track record of delivering top quality plants on the day agreed (which is crucial when you’re filming a TV programme and there’s nowhere to store plants for a day or so until they’re needed), we add value with our expertise – and whilst we’re a small business, we’re big enough to be able to donate the plants. ” continued June.

The three gardens with beautiful new hedging can be seen as part of the new series of Love Your Garden, which begins on Tuesday 24th June on ITV1 at 8pm. For more information on Hedges Direct, please visit www.hedgesdirect.co.uk or phone 01257 263873

By alantitchmarsh

Faking It with Easigrass..

Just a week to go before the new series of Love Your Garden hits your screens.

ITV's Love Your Garden

The perfect Putney garden with Easigrass

We’ve searched the country to bring you eight fabulous inspirational stories, all in need of a garden makeover. Whatever the project, the needs of our garden owners are forefront in our minds, and that means sometimes going against the gardeners grain.

In the first programme Alan Titchmarsh and his team work with the award-winning producer and installer of artificial grass, Easigrass, to help solve one family’s problem with their difficult-to-manage natural lawn.  To install the artificial lawn, Easigrass worked with their valued partner in the North West, Jacques Landscapes Limited.

Love Your Garden rely on the generosity of suppliers to be able to achieve the gardens you see on screen.  Viewers may be interested to note that an approximate costing for this garden of 24m2, using Easi-Belgravia Easigrass, including installation and materials (and an optional 18mm shock pad in this instance) would be £1400 plus VAT.

So why Easigrass?

An artificial lawn can be the solution if you seek a safe, practical, family-friendly, low maintenance and mud-free artificial lawn experience.  Easigrass were the first man-made grass company in the history of the Royal Horticultural Society to be allowed to display their product in a judged show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and the company made history there in 2012 by achieving ‘Gold’ and ‘Best in Show’ within the new ‘Fresh Garden’ category.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Create a safe play space with Easigrass

Maybe you’ve already encountered Easigrass but never realised it.  Easigrass was at the forefront of helping create the world’s first record-breaking mud-free music festivals, in conjunction with Live Nation’s 2013 Season at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.  From Springsteen to REWIND and Mumford & Sons, the company helped create the perfect backdrop for a true ‘Summer of Love’ in the Capital.

If you are a fan of sport, Easigrass has installed some of the UK’s best-known pitches and turfs that include Chelsea FC’s training ground, Wimbledon (The All England Lawn Tennis Club) VIP areas and London Borough of Wandsworth’s multi-play areas, amongst others.  Easigrass’s sporting expertise spans three decades and extends from Southall to South Africa, working with a football team in underprivileged townships.

The Lowdown: 

Thinking about artificial grass but not sure how it all works ? Read on to find out the five key stages of Easigrass installation:

1.Remove all existing grass down to a required maximum depth of 60mm.  This is one of the key areas that customers need to know to better understand how the different layers are made up.

2.Aggregate the whole area, compact and screed bar level and get the perfect level right across the whole garden.

3.Add a geo-textile membrane, which is like a thick paper sheet and stops any weeds growing through.

4.Overlay a shockpad cushioned layer for three reasons: child safety, to help maintain levels and also to make the walking experience on Easigrass much more comfortable.

5.Lay and install the Easigrass with commercial joints (glue joints that are 300-wide binds).  Two pieces of Easigrass carpets are bound together like any other professional bind ie seamless.  Then Easigrass installers will spread silica sand into the artificial grass.  Silica sand stabilises the Easigrass system so that the lawn doesn’t ripple or move.  This final stage adds integrity to the system as the final part of the process.

The new series of ITV’s Love Your Garden begins on Tuesday 24th June at 8pm on ITV1. For more information on Easigrass, please visit www.Easigrass.com


By alantitchmarsh
ITV's Love Your Garden Grab truck

Unseen heroes – Axtell Grab trucks

ITV's Love Your Garden Grab truck

Grab Truck from Axtell http://www.grabtrucks.com

Back on our Morden build we had a humongous amount of waste to get out of the sunken garden we created for the Nwosu’s, and we called on local company Grabtrucks to help us out.

No sooner had we done so than they arrived to help clear the waste so that the build could continue on schedule.

Grab lorries are a godsend if you have a lot of waste to get rid of in one go which you can’t get into a skip easily.  The 8 wheeled vehicles fit over twice the size of two skips on board at a fraction of the cost. Their website is really user-friendly and will tell you all you need to know, so go have a look at http://www.grabtrucks.com or give them a bell on 08456 526652.

By alantitchmarsh

Unseen Heroes – Burgon and Ball

There are many suppliers who give generously to the Love Your Garden team and never get a mention during the show.

Burgon and Ball have supplied every show of the series with some of the finest wooden handled spades, forks and hand tools known to man. We certainly put them through their paces during the build and they didn’t let us down.

Burgon & Ball began manufacturing in 1730 in the industrial heartland of Sheffield and are passionate about quality – many of the most important product attributes are ‘hidden qualities’ that only emerge when a tool is used. Qualities such as ensuring an edge tool cuts months and years down the line, not just when it’s brought home from the shop.

The secret behind this lies with the hardness of the metal – all Burgon & Ball edge tools are made from high-carbon steel, heat treated to the optimum hardness (measured in Rockwell values) for that tool.

Today Burgon & Ball are the largest manufacturer of sheep shears in the world. They are also at the leading edge of garden tool and accessory innovation & design – in recent years launching some of the best received new products in the industry.

  • Burgon & Ball tools are designed to exceed both British Standards and performance expectations.
  • The Burgon & Ball brand has a unique 280 year pedigree and is widely respected among serious gardeners and farmers.
  • All Burgon & Ball tools are covered by a no-quibble 5 year guarantee against any manufacturing defect.

Always on hand – we’ve found Burgon & Ball tools in quite a few of the photo’s from the builds..

By alantitchmarsh

We’re all about design on Love Your Garden, but this doesn’t just extend to the gardens.

Frances Tophill ITV's Love Your Garden presenter

Frances wearing Viviene of Holloway blouse

Our presenters are a dapper bunch, and we owe a big thanks to the wonderful people over at Viviene of Holloway, who have provided our lovely Frances with some great clothing for the series.

The  label is famed for its 1940’s and 50’s inspired look and has dressed celebs such as Kelly Brook along with our fabulous Frances. Frances loves the land-girl look so much that she is planning to stock up on more of the great designs from Viviene of Holloway.

If you want to see for yourself, the store is located (as you would expect) at 294 Holloway Road, London N7 6NJ, T:020 88084241 – Web Order Enquiries T: 0208 8084241 or check out their website at www.vivieneofholloway.com

Loving the land-girl look..

Katie, David and Alan get their hands dirty

No Time To Pose..

Captured hard at work, Katie Rushworth, David Domoney and Alan Titchmarsh get their hands dirty preparing another fabulous makeover during series 2 of Love Your Garden.

By alantitchmarsh
Love Your Garden ITV Alan Titchmarsh

All hands on deck..

It really is all hands to the pump when filming gets underway. It’s often a bit of a scramble to get everything into position for the final reveal, and quite often the crew are called upon to extend their talents.

Whether you’re a runner, research, production manager or producer – you’d better know how to use a spade and a screwdriver when working on Love Your Garden!

By alantitchmarsh