The Hills of Herefordshire – and a lot of Welsh water!

This week Alan and his team of horticultural helpers transform a bare and unfriendly space into a wildlife filled paradise.

Alan with Rhyanne and Mike Nixon

Alan with Rhyanne and Mike Nixon

Bubbly Rhyanne Nixon has been confined to a wheelchair by Motor Neurone Disease. This outgoing lady and her family have moved to a small bungalow where the garden is dominated by a large wooden viewing platform that she cannot access.

She also loves her wildlife and as a former holistic practitioner would enjoy a garden filled with colour and smells. So her friends and family have asked Alan to help enrich her life by giving her the garden of her dreams.

Alan and the men from Dwr Cymru

Alan and the men from Dwr Cymru

Once the family have been sent away Alan and the team can get to work. He wants to create a wildlife friendly environment centred around a large, newly dug pond. But filling it with water is only the first challenge that David Domoney faces.

Looking after the planting is the responsibility of Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill. They create borders filled with Rhyanne’s favourite flowers and smells. And it’s Alan’s job to turn the muddy pond into an oasis of colour and interest ready to attract a host of different species into the garden.

When Rhyanne returns, will the garden be everything she hoped for? Tune in Tuesday 30th July to find out! ITV1 8pm Love Your Garden.

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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

Meet The Phillips –

This week it’s not just the garden makeover recipients who are in for a surprise!  The team have a little trick up their sleeves which certainly raised a smile with Alan.

ITV's Love Your Garden gnomes

A surprise in store for Alan tonight!

It’s episode 5 of Love Your Garden, and Alan Titchmarsh and his team of experts give something back to a Falklands veteran and his wife  by transforming their barren plot into a planting paradise.

John Phillips joined the army as a boy soldier of 15. Specialising in bomb disposal with the Royal Engineers, he was sent to the Falkland Islands with the Task Force in 1982. But when the bomb that he and a colleague were trying to defuse onboard HMS Antelope exploded, his colleague was killed and John was severely injured, losing his left arm at the shoulder.

ITV's Love Your Garden The Phillips

Alan with Mrs and Captain John Phillips

For his bravery John was given one of the Royal Navy’s highest awards – the Distinguished Service Cross. Determined to continue his army career he served for over thirty years and even in retirement devotes a large amount of his time to forces’ charities.

He and his wife Christine have recently moved to Woking to be close to one of their three children but despite being keen gardeners, age and injury mean they are unable to tackle the barren plot they have acquired with their new bungalow.
After surprising the couple with the good news, Alan packs them off to their daughters for a couple of days so that the transformation can begin. He wants to give them a real gardener’s garden, with generous beds overflowing with brightly coloured flowers.

 

ITV's Love Your Garden, Alan planting

Alan planting roses in The Phillips’ garden

There’ll be a greenhouse and raised veg beds so they don’t have to bend too far and a corner seating area so they can relax over a cuppa. But all this means lots of work for the team of David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill so they send for reinforcements. When John’s former commanding officer donates a piece of Falkland’s rock to form a focal point in the garden its some modern Royal Engineers who lend a hand to carry it in.

After everything John has given for Queen and Country a beautiful garden seems a just reward. But what will the couple think of the finished product when they return?

Tune in tonight to find out! Tuesday 23rd July, 8pm, ITV 1

 

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

Gorgeous Gloucestershire gardens..

This week Alan and the team are helping a woman in Gloucestershire who’s devoted her life to caring for others. But transforming her windswept garden into a woodland glade leaves them battling the elements and wading through ankle deep mud.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Alan and Kathy Mason

Big hearted Kathy Mason has spent her life looking after others. Described by all who know her as an incredibly caring and very humble lady, Kathy is always cheery, despite personal tragedies. This selfless mother of two has spent the last 18 years caring for her brother Tony, who was seriously injured and confined to a wheelchair by a horrific road accident. Kathy helped her parents care for Tony after his accident until 1994 when Kathy’s mum was diagnosed with lung cancer. Kathy took over as a full-time carer whilst also caring for her Mum, who then died two years later aged 59. Kathy then had to contend with another blow as she then had to care for her husband, who also died of lung cancer aged just 51 in 1998.

Kathy also devotes herself to fostering and adopting children with learning difficulties. With very little time for herself her current garden just about meets Tony and the children’s needs, but not her own. Kathy loves her garden and has won the best hanging basket display in Winchcombe for the last 2 years running. She is always ready to give friends and family tips on gardening and is an avid watcher of gardening programmes. She would love to have the time and money to improve her garden and make it accessible for Tony.

Kathy was nominated for a Love Your Garden makeover by Headway Charity, which her brother attends twice weekly. Her 17 yr old granddaughter Abbie also wrote in a letter of nomination.

Alan’s arrival at her front door is a wonderful surprise but seeing the garden for himself makes him realise just how big a task he’s taken on. So summoning his loyal team to assist, he sends Kathy and Tony off for a couple of days away to let the transformation unfold. With several existing trees as his inspiration Alan decides to turn the garden into a magical woodland. But the British weather has other ideas, sending torrential rain and bruising hail to hamper the team’s efforts.

David Domoney is tasked with sorting out the boundaries so heads off in search of ways to create privacy and shelter from the gusting wind. With the beds turning rapidly to mud Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill have their work cut out planting the hundreds of flowers and shrubs that will deliver Alan’s enchanted theme. The key feature of the garden will be a picture perfect summerhouse where Kathy can have some time to herself. But laying the lawn that leads up to it causes the team no end of worry as the quagmire they are working with is not suitable for turfing.

Will they find a solution in time for Kathy’s return?

Tune in to ITV1 on Tuesday 16th July to find out! Follow the fun on Facebook and Twitter

By alantitchmarsh

Unseen heroes – Hippowaste

ITV's Love Your Garden

Hippowaste to the rescue again!

You don’t get a great garden without making a mess along the way – and that’s certainly true of our makeovers.

Whether it’s rotten timber decking, unloved patio slabs or disused supermarket trolleys and old mattresses (yes, we’ve found everything!) we know who we can count on to cart away all our mess.

The fantastic people at Hippowaste supply us with all manner of things in order to keep the build moving along, and keep the surrounding streets tidy.

Better still, the company prides itself on recycling over 90% of all it collects, so you get to tick your environmental box too.

Whether you’re a contractor or a DIYer, Hippowaste have the waste management solution for you, check them out at www.hippowaste.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Unseen heroes – Cordek

ITV's Love Your Garden Cordek

Cordek in action on a forthcoming Love Your Garden build

Love Your Garden couldn’t be made without the generous help of our suppliers, some of which never even get to see themselves on the screen.  One such supplier are the lovely folk over at Cordek.

Ever wondered how our gardens look so fabulous at the reveal ? We use Cordek sheeting on every build to cover floor areas which have been finished (decking, paving etc)  to prevent them getting spoilt with other materials. We also use it inside the people’s houses to prevent our big burly builders from spoiling their kitchens and carpets indoors too!

Cordek have a huge range of products for the construction industry and played a huge part in the 2012 Olympic build – check out their range at www.cordek.com. And tell them Love Your Garden said THANKS!

By alantitchmarsh

Magical makeover in Morden…

ITV's Love Your Garden family

Episode 3 Alan meets the lovely Nsowu family

In programme 3 of the new series of Love Your Garden, Alan visits a family in South London who are currently unable to use their garden at all and who would dearly love an outdoor space in which to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

Alan meets the Nwosu family, including Mum Carol, and her children Danny and Ruth.  Danny, who is 16, suffers from Sickle Cell Disease, a condition which affects the red blood cells.   The disease is a disorder affecting mainly people of African or Caribbean descent, and Danny has suffered from numerous associated problems throughout his life.  There is a significantly increased risk of stroke with the disease, and Danny has already had several major strokes as well as a number of minor ones. He has blood transfusions at hospital every three weeks which leave him tired, and he is  frequently confined to his bedroom which he finds very depressing.

Carol is not without her own health problems, including diabetes, asthma and cervical spondylosis. Despite all this, Carol has dedicated her time to running a charity that helps support families with children who also suffer from sickle cell disease (Sickle Cell and Young Stroke Survivors). Understandably this means that the garden at their home in Morden has suffered and the overgrown plot is somewhere no one in the family chooses to spend any time. This average sized urban garden is dominated by a dilapidated garage, a scrubby patch of lawn and a cracked concrete patio.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Ep 3 Before…. with that feeling that you may have bitten off more than you can chew…

Alan surprises Carol on her doorstep and is then allowed to see for himself why the garden has become such an uninspiring and underused space. Packing the family off for a couple of days, his team of contractors set to work tearing down the garage and digging up the patio. Alan’s master plan is to make the garden seem larger by laying it out on the diagonal and to use level changes and straight lines to reinforce the effect of more space. Gaining inspiration from a beautiful garden of a similar size in North London he sets the team the challenge of giving the Nwosu’s their own space that addresses all their needs.

Alan wants David to replace the old garage with a new structure that can be a sanctuary for the kids. But in order to get it into the garden Alan must ask permission from the headmistress of the school that sits behind the house for the crane to have access. With only millimetres to spare,  it’s touch and go if the new building can be lifted in.

Don’t miss Love Your Garden, Tuesday 9th July to find out whether it was all worth it..  Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loveyourgarden2 and join us on Twitter at @loveyourgarden2

By alantitchmarsh