HIPPO bags are the strength behind a tidy project..

ITV's Love Your Garden

Make light work of garden waste with a HIPPOBAG™

Gardening is messy work and even a small garden project can create a large amount of waste. On Love Your Garden, we certainly generate more than our fair share, which is why we’ve once again teamed up with HIPPO™ the company behind the innovative HIPPOBAG™.

HIPPO are experts in waste clearance, with over 10 years’ experience of helping tradesmen, home owners, and plenty of enthusiastic gardeners with their various projects.

The versatility of the HIPPOBAG makes it the perfect solution to tackle a variety of garden waste. The HIPPOBAG comes in three sizes, the MIDIBAG, capable of holding up to a tonne of soil, MEGABAG which can take up to 1.5 tonnes of gardening waste and the biggest bag of them all the HIPPOSKIP, which can handle an entire garden shed!

Filming on Love Your Garden is on a tight schedule – the family are due back and we’ve got to make sure that the whole garden is spick and span and the rubbish is all carted away.  HIPPO are a godsend, ensuring that we are all camera-ready when we need to be with no messy mounds of waste in the way.

For the domestic user, using a HIPPOBAG is simple. Just buy a bag from any of the larger DIY stores (or direct from HIPPO at hippobag.co.uk), fill it, then give HIPPO a call and they’ll come and collect the bag – it couldn’t be easier!

ITV's Love Your Garden

Simply pay, fill and order a collection. You don’t even need to be in!

Feeling inspired by the show for gardening makeover? HIPPO are ready to help. The bags arrive flat-packed, avoiding the hassle associated with organising and waiting around for a skip, and there are no rental fees, so don’t worry if weather halts play. When HIPPO comes to collect, you don’t even need to be in!

HIPPO will be exhibiting at this year’s RHS Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. So if you’ve got your ticket, why not pay them a visit while you’re there!

Gardening should be fun, so for a stress-free waste solution with no rental fees, no damage to your driveway or garden and with a simple one off payment, look no further than the HIPPOBAG.

If you have any queries about using a HIPPOBAG don’t hesitate to call the friendly team on 0345 850 0 850 who can advise what will work for your particular project.

Thanks once again to everyone at HIPPO for all their help with the making of Love Your Garden!

By alantitchmarsh

Gardening Under Glass

Tonight’s episode of ITV’s Love Your Garden takes a look at gardening under glass, so we thought we’d take a closer look at some of the options available to you and the history behind glass houses.

Prior to the mid-nineteenth century, the glasshouse was an object reserved for the mega-rich. The window tax and the glass tax meant that even the smallest greenhouse or glasshouse could only really be commissioned by aristocracy or the extremely wealthy.

The repeal of the glass and window taxes (in 1845 and 1851 respectively) dramatically reduced the cost of glasshouses, as did manufacturing innovations of the industrial revolution. These factors, combined with the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park which saw the unveiling of Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace and the desire to grow exotic plants imported from Europe and beyond saw the popularity of the glasshouse rise.

The products which were popular back in Victorian and Edwardian Britain are still very much around today, from a large bespoke glasshouse to a small individual cloche, gardening under glass hasn’t changed very much in 150 years.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Bespoke Greenhouse from http://www.alitex.co.uk

Bespoke Greenhouse

Alitex is  UK company which grew from humble beginnings in the 1950’s, spearheading the wood look Victorian greenhouse. The company’s focus has remained to create truly stunning structures that are functional spaces for plants and people.

Alitex have a range of “off the peg” greenhouses, but it’s bespoke glasshouse commissions are where the company really excel, like this glasshouse constructed in Hertfordshire in 2013.

Every area of the garden where this bespoke glasshouse was installed has been revised to accommodate the busy life of the resident family without compromising  the look of the garden.

The Alitex glasshouse pictured is used to raise all the fruit and veg for the garden from seed. For a bespoke glasshouse to this specification, prices would be in the region of £1,500 – £3,000 per square metre

For more information please visit www.alitex.co.uk


Familiar to most of us who have read Beatrix Potter as a feature in Mr McGregor’s garden, the coldframe is invaluable to many gardeners.

Historically, cold frames were built to be used in addition to a heated greenhouse (ie a hothouse). The name itself exemplifies the distinction between the warm greenhouse and the unheated cold frame. They were frequently built as part of the greenhouse’s foundation brickwork along the southern wall (in northern latitudes). This allowed seeds to be germinated in the greenhouse and then easily moved to the attached cold frame to be “hardened-off” before final planting outside.

This particular product, supplied by www.thegreenhousepeople.co.uk is hand crafted to a high specification by joiners in Staffordshire. Cedar is well known for its natural resistance to both rot and greenhouse pests and diseases, because of the natural oils within the wood..

Price £429.99, to order or for more information please contact www.thegreenhousepeople.co.uk

ITV's Love Your Garden

Mini Greenhouse Cloche

Mini Greenhouse Cloche

When space is an issue and you don’t want to compromise on design, a mini greenhouse cloche could be the answer.  This version, produced by www.blackcountrymetalworks.co.uk  is ideal for protecting young or tender plants from frost and the slug/snail menace.

They are also great for bringing on lettuce or other fragile crops or protecting your favourite blooms during inclement weather.

Square copper and glass mini greenhouse cloche, £132.99 available from www.blackcountrymetalworks.co.uk

Glass Cloche

The Victorians were the first to discover how a glass bell jar cloche can add beauty to a vegetable garden, but sadly traditional bell cloches are now all too rare.

Glass cloches are a traditional way to protect tender plants from frost, pests and strong winds. Cloches are also popular in the home to display cakes and flowers, particularly at weddings.

Sustainable garden product website http://www.henandhammock.co.uk are keen to bring back the cloche.

The company is a small independent business which sells products to help make your garden and home a more beautiful place, and they stock two styles of cloche, flared and straight.

The flared cloches flare out slightly at ground level and have a lower dome (ideal for small plants, cakes and cheese). The straight sided cloches stand taller, making them better suited to taller flower arrangements and plants.

Both styles are beautiful hand blown bell jar glass cloches.

Price £30 each, available from www.henandhammock.co.uk

By alantitchmarsh

Bedding down the perfect compost..

Alan’s grandfather had a saying about how you should prepare your plants “Spend a penny on the plant and a pound on the pot…”, which when translated from canny Yorkshireman means use the best compost you can get, or dig in the finest topsoil suited to your garden conditions.

We work all over the country for Love Your Garden and come across several extremes of soil types, so we needed a topsoil and compost supplier who was able to supply large quantities of both to bring out the best in our gardens.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Gardentopsoildirect.co.uk suppliers of topsoil and compost to Love Your Garden

Boughton Loam have been supplying high quality natural soils, composts, sands, bark mulch and landscape growing media to the professional landscaping industry for nearly 30 yrs.

These materials are now available directly to the general public through their new website www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk.

Peat-Free Promise

All topsoil from Garden Topsoil Direct is derived from natural, dug soil. All their compost is peat-free, an important factor for Alan who recently came out in support of the ethical argument behind using peat based products.

Due to the rise of peat based compost, over 94% of one of the UK’s rarest and most vulnerable habitats, lowland raised peatbogs, have been lost. In fact, there are just 6,000 hectares left in pristine or near-natural condition, making peatland one of the Uk’s most threatened habitats.

We’ve lost count of how much topsoil has gone into the eight gardens featured on the new series which starts tonight (Tuesday 24th June, ITV1 8pm), but whether we’ve been filling raised beds, planting up pots and tubs or just digging in fresh topsoil to get the best from the new borders and beds, we’ve got Boughton to thank.

Digging in new topsoil is a time-consuming business, but it’s well worth it if you live in an area with poor soil.  If you have to contend with a heavy clay soil, live on a new-build with virtually no topsoil or simply want to give your plants the best chance of success, dig in some topsoil.

Topsoil is the soil from which plants derive most of their nutrients, and it is made up of more organic material (such as broken-down plants) than the subsoil underneath. In order for plants to grow well they need a nice thick layer of topsoil to feed on and, for many gardeners, adding topsoil is the only way to get it.

GTD organicblended

7 Easy Steps to Topsoil Success

Step 1

Visit http://www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk and order your topsoil & peat-free compost.  The company offers free delivery to anywhere in mainland UK.

Step 2

Rake all large to medium sized rocks out of your soil and remove them from the area.

Step 3

Break up the soil with the hoe. Loosen it all over the area you intend to add topsoil to at a depth between five inches and one foot. Make sure none of the soil is patted down. You should be able to run your fingers through the soil.

Step 5

Add the manure or compost. Add one bag of manure or compost for every 3 square feet of land. Work the manure into the soil with the hoe until they are well mixed. Manure and compost help create topsoil.

Step 6

Add the topsoil. Add one bag of top soil for every 3 square feet. Work it into the manure and soil mixture with the hoe.

Step 7

Rake over the mixture. Add a 1-inch layer of top soil over the whole area. Do not mix it in.

For more information visit www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk 

If you’re nervous about ordering online, take a look at this user-friendly video guide to online ordering with www.gardentopsoildirect.co.uk




By alantitchmarsh

Hedging our best bet …

We’re incredibly lucky here at Love Your Garden to have built up some great relationships with our suppliers, many of whom really enjoy the opportunity to help deserving families with their products.

One such supplier is Hedges Direct, who donated hedges last year and wanted to do what they could to help out again this year.

The British landscape is characterised by hedging – from traditional mixed native field hedging to the most formal Yew hedging in the country’s most gorgeous gardens – and yet it is a specialised market with few nurseries able to supply the whole range of species and sizes.

ITV's Love Your Garden Episode 4 Laurel hedge

Laurel hedging supplied by Hedges Direct

Love Your Garden viewers may remember the Winchcombe build in 2013 where 6ft Cherry Laurel hedging which was planted to improve privacy.  This year, Hedges Direct (www.hedgesdirect.co.uk) are supplying three of our gardens so we asked them to describe how being involved with Love Your Garden was for them.

June Pearce, one of the owners of Hedges Direct, said: “Last year was a big gamble for us.  Associate Producer Thea Pitcher invited us to supply 6ft hedging with high density planting to give the garden a real instant impact.  We suggested Cherry Laurel (Prunus laurocerasus Rotundifolia) which, as a specialist retailer of hedging, we have in all sizes up to 2.5m.  It’s a fantastic plant with dense, reasonably fast growth but is easy to maintain, fully evergreen, with bright green leaves, good in sun and shade – so ideal for almost all situations.”

June added: “The garden Thea required the hedging for was a large one so it was not a small decision for us to donate over 100 plants but we felt the garden owner was hugely deserving of a private, beautiful garden”.

A lot of our suppliers are incredibly generous and Love Your Garden were delighted when Hedges Direct wanted to be involved with the new series. Approached by the production team, June describes how the company offered advice aswell as products. “We were approached by three Associate Producers to supply hedging of various different types (all top secret at this stage!) for three different gardens” explains June.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Photinia Hedge from Hedges Direct

“Whilst they had their own ideas about what they’d like for each garden, we offered advice on planting density and pot size (which can make a huge difference depending on whether a budget approach or an instant result is required). The programmes in the new series will demonstrate how flexibly hedging can be used in any garden, and that there are unusual as well as common hedging solutions which can be used to create privacy, separate off different areas, add blocks of colour and texture, edge paths or attract wildlife.”

“I think the Producers use us because we now have a track record of delivering top quality plants on the day agreed (which is crucial when you’re filming a TV programme and there’s nowhere to store plants for a day or so until they’re needed), we add value with our expertise – and whilst we’re a small business, we’re big enough to be able to donate the plants. ” continued June.

The three gardens with beautiful new hedging can be seen as part of the new series of Love Your Garden, which begins on Tuesday 24th June on ITV1 at 8pm. For more information on Hedges Direct, please visit www.hedgesdirect.co.uk or phone 01257 263873

By alantitchmarsh

Faking It with Easigrass..

Just a week to go before the new series of Love Your Garden hits your screens.

ITV's Love Your Garden

The perfect Putney garden with Easigrass

We’ve searched the country to bring you eight fabulous inspirational stories, all in need of a garden makeover. Whatever the project, the needs of our garden owners are forefront in our minds, and that means sometimes going against the gardeners grain.

In the first programme Alan Titchmarsh and his team work with the award-winning producer and installer of artificial grass, Easigrass, to help solve one family’s problem with their difficult-to-manage natural lawn.  To install the artificial lawn, Easigrass worked with their valued partner in the North West, Jacques Landscapes Limited.

Love Your Garden rely on the generosity of suppliers to be able to achieve the gardens you see on screen.  Viewers may be interested to note that an approximate costing for this garden of 24m2, using Easi-Belgravia Easigrass, including installation and materials (and an optional 18mm shock pad in this instance) would be £1400 plus VAT.

So why Easigrass?

An artificial lawn can be the solution if you seek a safe, practical, family-friendly, low maintenance and mud-free artificial lawn experience.  Easigrass were the first man-made grass company in the history of the Royal Horticultural Society to be allowed to display their product in a judged show garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and the company made history there in 2012 by achieving ‘Gold’ and ‘Best in Show’ within the new ‘Fresh Garden’ category.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Create a safe play space with Easigrass

Maybe you’ve already encountered Easigrass but never realised it.  Easigrass was at the forefront of helping create the world’s first record-breaking mud-free music festivals, in conjunction with Live Nation’s 2013 Season at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London.  From Springsteen to REWIND and Mumford & Sons, the company helped create the perfect backdrop for a true ‘Summer of Love’ in the Capital.

If you are a fan of sport, Easigrass has installed some of the UK’s best-known pitches and turfs that include Chelsea FC’s training ground, Wimbledon (The All England Lawn Tennis Club) VIP areas and London Borough of Wandsworth’s multi-play areas, amongst others.  Easigrass’s sporting expertise spans three decades and extends from Southall to South Africa, working with a football team in underprivileged townships.

The Lowdown: 

Thinking about artificial grass but not sure how it all works ? Read on to find out the five key stages of Easigrass installation:

1.Remove all existing grass down to a required maximum depth of 60mm.  This is one of the key areas that customers need to know to better understand how the different layers are made up.

2.Aggregate the whole area, compact and screed bar level and get the perfect level right across the whole garden.

3.Add a geo-textile membrane, which is like a thick paper sheet and stops any weeds growing through.

4.Overlay a shockpad cushioned layer for three reasons: child safety, to help maintain levels and also to make the walking experience on Easigrass much more comfortable.

5.Lay and install the Easigrass with commercial joints (glue joints that are 300-wide binds).  Two pieces of Easigrass carpets are bound together like any other professional bind ie seamless.  Then Easigrass installers will spread silica sand into the artificial grass.  Silica sand stabilises the Easigrass system so that the lawn doesn’t ripple or move.  This final stage adds integrity to the system as the final part of the process.

The new series of ITV’s Love Your Garden begins on Tuesday 24th June at 8pm on ITV1. For more information on Easigrass, please visit www.Easigrass.com


By alantitchmarsh
ITV's Love Your Garden

Garden Inspirations

Getting inspiration for a garden re-design can be tricky. Unless you already have a clear vision of what you want in your space, seeing all the options that open gardens, garden centres and horticultural shows have to offer can be mind-blowing.

ITV's Love Your GardenIt’s good then to write down a few pointers first of things which you absolutely need to have in your outside space.  When you’ve done this, think about the type of planting you like – are you a flowery person or do you prefer more architectural plants which make a statement?

Often your taste will already be defined by your home, if you’re a neat ordered minimalist inside you are hardly likely to enjoy a wildflower meadow outside. Think about shapes, lines, colours and write all these things down, in order to compile a wishlist from which it will be easier to design from.

All our Love Your Garden projects are based on the needs of the individual families – and the kind of outside space which is going to make a difference to their lives.  Any good garden designer needs to be capable of designing something which has the wow factor but can be easily maintained and give years of enjoyment, whilst growing and maturing.

ITV's Love Your Garden

The water garden at Beth Chatto Garden in Essex

Only when they have this list do our designers set out in search of inspiration – sometimes this involves only going a few doors down to see what the neighbours have done with a similar space.  One way you can do this yourselves is to investigate the Open Gardens Scheme – run by the National Garden Scheme.

Check out their website and see what is on offer in your area, often at a very small cost or charitable donation and a great way of making new friends in the neighbourhood too. Often, even if you weren’t planning on making more of your outside space, they can result in you wanting to make more of what you already have.

For other inspiration, visit gardens of stately homes such as English Heritage, National Trust and RHS but don’t forget other independent gardens such as Beth Chatto in Essex which can be found on the Visit England website.

However and wherever you go for it, let the inspiration grab hold of you by the trowel and give you a garden you can love forever!