Helping the Dean family, in East Sussex – Episode 1

ITV's Love Your Garden

The Dean family with Alan

Alan Titchmarsh returns with a new series of the hit gardening show where he and his team transform the outdoor spaces of some very special people who are struggling to build their dream garden. In this episode he comes to the rescue of a fellow gardener and his family in Hurst Green as they bravely cope with a life threatening illness.

Diagnosed two years ago with Motor Neurone Disease, Malcolm Dean is confined to a wheelchair and unable to be outside doing the gardening that he used to love. He and his wife Trish, and 9 year old son George, have recently moved into a specially adapted bungalow, a few doors down from their old home. But the sloping garden makes it virtually impossible for Malcolm to get much beyond the end of the ramp which his friends and family bought and installed.

Alan turns up to surprise the family and to see for himself how unsuitable the current garden is for their needs. He then sends them away whilst his crack team of landscapers and horticulturalists arrive on site, hoping to build a garden that exceeds the family’s expectations. But it will be an uphill struggle in more ways than one. As the team set about transforming the Dean’s challenging patch, Alan visits Wickham Lodge, an amazing terraced garden just down the road, looking for ideas to inspire his design.

Frances Tophill ITV's Love Your Garden presenter

Frances Tophill

Landscape gardener Katie Rushworth gets to work laying out beds that take advantage of the slope, whilst horticulturist Frances Tophill chooses plants that will add year round colour to the garden. To give young George a place to call his own, hard landscaping expert David Domoney sets out on a quest to find the ultimate treehouse and then uses it to inspire his own design in the Dean’s garden. Catching up with Trish, Alan discovers just how much the family’s life has changed and also how much they value every moment that they can spend together. Alan returns to the build determined that the garden should reflect the Dean’s past, present and future.

At last the garden is finished, so, when Alan reveals it to a tearful Trish and Malcolm, has he created their dream garden?

To view this programme, click here (viewing available up to 25th July 2013)

By alantitchmarsh