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.
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.
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.
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