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.
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.