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.
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?