To the Pynes of Cumbria

ITV's Love Your Garden

Alan with the Pyne family in Cumbria

In the final episode of the current series Alan and the team transform the Cumbrian garden of the Pynes, an inspirational family who lost their daughter Alice to cancer in January this year.  She had become world famous due to the bucket list of things she wanted to do or achieve in her final years and, whilst the family continue her charitable causes in her memory, their garden has become neglected.

Alice Pyne bravely fought Hodgkins Lymphoma for over five years. Determined to live her life to the fullest she started a bucket list of achievements that she wanted to tick off. The list captured the public’s imagination and became a news story worldwide. Top of her list was to get more people to sign up to the bone marrow register as Alice was unable to find a match that might help her until it was too late.

She and her family also raised thousands of pounds for charity including one she started herself that provides holidays for serious or terminally ill children and their families. Sadly Alice died in January this year but her family continue to raise money and awareness in her name.

After getting over the shock of finding Alan Titchmarsh on their doorstep, Vicky and Simon Pyne show him how the garden has suffered over the last few years, when they have had to spend so much time travelling to and from hospital visits. This awkwardly shaped plot slopes down to a stream, and has areas of very damp shade as well as bright and sunny corners.

Taking his inspiration from the majestic beauty of the Lake District, Alan’s plan is to build them a garden that brings the best of the Cumbrian landscape to their back door. So, sending the family off for a couple of days away, he summons his team of landscape gardeners to transform the space. Alan’s main idea is to create a rock garden.

Though they’ve fallen out of fashion he thinks they are ripe for revival, so tasks hard landscaping expert David Domoney with realising his vision. Five tonnes of rock later, and its ready for Alan to plant with nearly 600 Alpines and rock plants. Elsewhere, whilst Frances Tophill plants an area with Alice’s favourite colours, Katie Rushworth is designing a space that will be a refuge for Alice’s 14 year old sister Milly, who has also faced her own health problems over the years.

The unseasonably hot weather makes building the garden a struggle. The plants need constant watering and the turf has to be laid before it is too late. Will the team finish the garden on time and will it give the Pynes the dream garden they so richly deserve?


By alantitchmarsh