Thank You Macmillan & NHS Trust

A MASSIVE thank you to Macmillan who nominated Maggie and who tirelessly care and support people affected by cancer. For more info or to find out how you can help them, please go to

Also Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust who helped us set up Maggie’s surprise and finally, the Croatian National Tourist board who supplied images for the programme.

By alantitchmarsh

Trompe L’oeil

During the programme this week Frances was tasked with creating a special kind of outdoor mural called a Trompe L’oeil. A Trompe L’oeil is a landscape painting (either painted directly onto a garden wall or hung on one) which tricks the eye into believing the image is real and you are actually looking a stunning view of the countryside instead of a blank wall!

Trompe L’oeil artist, Anna Starling, kindly provided Frances with some top tips and tricks of the trade. Anna is the creative force behind “Mural Design”. For more information about Anna and her work please visit


We saw several other fine examples of this imaginative form of Art during the show including designs by Michaela Kelly ( and Gordon Collett (

By alantitchmarsh

Absolute Bollywood

Towards the end of tonight’s show you will have seen a troupe of amazing Bollywood dancers performing in the Iqbal’s newly revealed garden! Absolute Bollywood, are a London based professional dance company who choreographed a dance routine especially for the event. The company provide dancers for all occasions but are also a full-service entertainment company, hosting Bollywood hen parties, pre-wedding dance lessons for couples, individuals or groups. They perform all over the World, including at this year’s prestigious Cannes Film Festival. For more information and to see them in action please visit:


By alantitchmarsh

Mary Seacole Statue Appeal

ITV's Love Your Garden

Mary Seacole Photo courtesy Winchester College

More often than not, our garden owners have been through tremendous personal hardship or tragedy and are nominated by their loved ones for a garden to bring some kind of respite to their lives.

Some times though, we just like to reward genuinely selfless individuals, who have spent their lives looking after others and helping those less fortunate.

One such person is Joan Myers, the recipient of a garden makeover in tonight’s episode.  Although leading a busy life in healthcare, Joan is also ambassador of a charity whose aim is to erect a statue to another leading figure in Nursing.

Born in 1805 in Kingston, Jamaica, Mary Jane Grant she was an extraordinary woman. A lady who rose above prejudice to help hundreds of soldiers on the front line in the Crimean war with her expert Creole herbal treatments, nursing care, compassion and her indefatigable spirit. Mary’s achievements were recognized by Queen Victoria and the Surgeon General of the British Army as well as ordinary soldiers, who would stop ‘Mother Seacole’ in the street to offer their thanks.

Joan is helping The Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal as it strives to raise £96,000 to fund a memorial to this amazing woman in the grounds of St. Thomas’ Hospital, London. The statue would be the first of it’s kind to a named black woman in the United Kingdom – extraordinary considering we are in 2014.

 Mary-Seacole-logoThe Appeal has many supporters including the Jamaican High Commission, the Royal College of Nursing, Unison, Unite, the TUC, NHS Employers, NHS Confederation and a number of army units.

If you would like to support the appeal, you can donate securely online at & you can tick GiftAid for it to be automatically reclaimed, increasing the value of your donation. Or send a cheque [made out to MSMSA] to: Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal c/o Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, London W1G 0RN. You can also now text a donation without charge to the Mary Seacole Memorial Statue Appeal by texting: MARY11 £[amount] to 70070

For more information, please visit or join in with things on Facebook at or on Twitter via: @seacolestatue

By alantitchmarsh

Get kids off gadgets and onto gardening with Hozelock

ITV's Love Your Garden

Get your child to ditch the gadget with Hozelock

If you’re a parent of a school age child, you have probably been ignored more than once while your formerly eloquent child stares intently at their pc/handheld/laptop seemingly unable to see you, hear you or speak to you.

The Playstation, Xbox, Ipad and a host of other gadgets have reduced our once active children to zombies and with the rise of childhood obesity it’s time to take action.

But how to encourage them to switch off Minecraft, Splashy Fish or Candy Crush?

According to a new survey, gardening could be the perfect answer for parents struggling to get their kids off their electronic games gadgets and into the great outdoors.

The survey of 2,000 parents, commissioned by British gardening manufacturer Hozelock, reveals only four out of 10 children regularly play outside and that the majority of parents (seven out of 10) say they can find it a struggle to get their youngsters out of the house and into the garden.

ITV's Love Your Garden

Make gardening fun with Hozelock

In fact two thirds (60 per cent) admit their children now reach straight for their gadgets to beat boredom and one third (30 per cent) confess their youngsters now spend less than two hours a week playing in the garden.

However three quarters (75 per cent) of parents say their children are more likely to want to go outside if they can join them in with gardening jobs like watering the plants or sowing seeds.

Lisa Jordan, UK marketing manager at Hozelock, said: “With a little encouragement from their parents, youngsters can be tempted away from their gadgets to lend a hand in the garden.

“Hozelock has a wide range of products to help children enjoy the garden – take our newly launched Pico Reel for example – this compact watering hose weighs less than two bags of sugar and will help children make light work of watering the garden.”

Hozelock’s ‘Gardening for Life’ campaign aims to encourage parents to get their children to enjoy and appreciate outdoor life during the summer.

TV gardener, David Domoney, who is fronting Hozelock’s ‘Gardening for Life’ campaign to try to get more kids playing outdoors and interested in gardening, said: “Youngsters are playing indoors much more than they used to a generation ago, and many spend nearly five times more time on computer games than playing outside. It’s so important for children to get out in the garden during the summer and get some fresh air and exercise, and if we’re not careful a whole generation will miss out on the joys of the great outdoors.”

David Domoney added: “Despite these findings, there still is some hope that children will want to get out in the garden more this summer. Children love simple activities like sowing seeds, planting flowers, picking fruit and watering the garden. Plus they love getting their hands dirty! A lot of children said they would spend more time in the garden if they could help out with an activity, such as watering the plants. Nowadays there are loads of products on the market which are ideal for little hands to use.”

“Gardening is a great hobby for people of all ages however, for children it’s particularly beneficial. It’s a fun, healthy activity plus the sense of satisfaction children feel when they watch something they’ve had a hand in growing is immeasurable.”

For tips on getting children involved in the garden, and details of the full range of gardening products, check out the Hozelock website, and watch this great video about the Pico Reel. For more information on David Domoney, check out his website at

Hozelock have been instrumental in making sure that all our garden builds on Love Your Garden 2014 have been well watered, and provided much equipment to make watering the gardens easier for our garden owners in the future.   Thanks guys!

ITV's Love Your Garden

By alantitchmarsh

Outdoor Dining with Style

With temperatures set to beat the caribbean this week we all want to get out and enjoy as much fresh air and sunshine as we can.  This means meal times al fresco, and there has never been a better choice of grills around.

Napoleon logoHere on Love Your Garden this series, we’ve been lucky enough to have the support of the lovely people at Napoleon Grills who have supplied BBQ’s to more than one of our garden makeovers.

It’s very rare we get a wishlist for a new garden which doesn’t include somewhere to cook and eat out. Family times around a table outside or inviting friends over for an impromptu burger are so much easier when you have a proper grill, rather than the disposable type which can incinerate food and still manage to leave parts uncooked!

We asked Napoleon for their own list of top tips for outdoor dining, so for how to achieve chargrill heaven..

ITV's Love Your Garden

Napoleon Triumph grill, supplied to the McGinns in Episode 3 of Love Your Garden


1. Safety First: Chances are there will be little ones around when you use your BBQ.  Always supervise children but make sure you let them know first that the BBQ is very hot and not to be played near.  Keep flare from flames down to a minimum by not using too much fat and by cooking with the lid closed as much as possible.

2. Stop Prodding! Contrary to popular belief, food on a bbq does not need constantly prodding and poking! Simply adjust the heat, keep the lid down and let the grill do it’s job. Turn food when it is cooked on one side rather than every 20 seconds – this will help you maintain a consistent cooking temperature and prevents flare-ups. It also means you’re free to join the party!

3. Keep It Juicy: Following on from not prodding and poking too much, ensure the grill is fully heated before you put the food on. This will sear the meat and keep in more of the juices.  Always let meat stand for 10 minutes following cooking (keep it under foil) so that the juices can be reabsorbed into the meat.

4. Bag your space: Create a dedicated sheltered space for cooking and preparation, it is much more likely to entice you outdoors and also allows you to extend the cooking season beyond sunny days and balmy nights.

5. Get creative! Don’t be limited by the predictable – there is life beyond bangers and burgers. Fish, vegetables, coke can chicken  – heck, you can even cook your Christmas turkey on the BBQ and save on precious oven space! So get creative and start thinking outside of the box to get more mileage out of your bbq.


Visit or call 01676 522788 to find your nearest Napoleon Grills stockist. Twitter: @NapoleonGrills Facebook: Napoleon Grills UK

Napoleon Grills Triumph 495 gas barbecue was the unit supplied to episode 3 of Love Your Garden, and enjoys some great features and refinements which makes it just that little bit different.

It has four bottom burners and also has porcelain-enamelled cast iron grates which help to distribute the heat evenly and will last the McGinns for years. Both features help to provide excellent cooking control for grilling, roasting and baking pretty much anything, plus there’s is an additional side ring for saucepans.

The JET-FIRE ignition system makes firing up easy every time and an integral thermometer shows you how hot you’ve got. Too hot, turn the heat down by adjusting the burners, too cool, crank them up!  It couldn’t be simpler.

It’s pretty much like a cooker and if you can use one of them you can use this barbecue!  The bonus is that the food you cook on your Triumph 495 comes with that tantalising barbecue flavour which you certainly won’t get from your oven!

For more information on Napoleon Grills, please visit

By alantitchmarsh

Bird’s Eye View with TMS

Blog mast 1

The mast extends to over 12 metres high

Want to know how we achieve our great aerial shots on our gardens?

Spun Gold Head of Production Jim Boyers explains:

“Our garden builds are amazing, but often difficult to film from a standard camera. It’s all very well filming at ground level but for our viewers to really appreciate the changes evolving in the garden, a high shot is essential.  Previous series of the show saw us approaching this problem with scissor lifts and self propelled booms but not many ordinary gardens can accommodate these relatively large pieces of machinery.”

This left the production team with a problem – how to get a proper birds eye view of the garden with minimal impact.

“Our prayers were answered when we discovered Total Mast Solutions, a company which manufactures and supplies up to 450 different types of masts for uses ranging from bird watching to military applications” says Jim.

Working closely with Head of Sales Hayley Wells, TMS supplied Love Your Garden with a mast which would raise a camera anywhere between 2 and 12 metres in to the air.  They also were able to supply a remote head so we could pan and tilt the camera once it had reached the height.

Blog mast 2

Total Mast Solutions have the birds eye view..

“This has turned out to be an invaluable piece of equipment, entirely perfect for our needs.” says Jim.   “It is light and portable enough to be rigged by one person but stable enough to reach heights impossible with scissor lifts and booms.  Because of the portability we can place the mast wherever we want and the build quality ensures we don’t have to worry about the elements.”

TMS were kind enough to also supply the team with a Hiperpod, an even lighter mast for those really awkward spots.  See the photograph to see both masts in action with the Hiperpod mounted on the annexe roof!

The sky really is the limit with Total Mast Solutions.  If you need to go up in the world, go no further than TMS.

Jim Boyers

Spun Gold TV Head of Production

By alantitchmarsh

Travis Perkins – A hire power

Why buy when you can hire?

At Love Your Garden we’re really fortunate in that a lot of our equipment and products are donated by our very generous suppliers. We’re well aware that when embarking on your own projects, budgets are likely to be a factor and you may not have all the equipment you need to complete a job.

Neighbours, friends and family come in very handy for the odd bit of borrowing, but when you can’t find anyone willing to lend you what you need you can always hire it.

Yas Swindell, Tool Hire Fleet Director at Travis Perkins Hire, discusses the top reasons why hiring can compliment your existing tool kit to ensure you are well-equipped for any project, whatever the size or timescale.

The over riding benefit of choosing a trusted hire supplier is that it makes financial sense and for a number of reasons:

  1. ITV's Love Your Garden

    Your local branch of Travis Perkins has all you need..

    All the latest ranges at your fingertips

Buying a brand new power tool can be a significant purchase and if you decide to go ahead, you need to be confident that its regular use will give significant payback. If you only use that power tool once or twice a year for example, then you will certainly benefit from hiring.

  1. Affordable access to the top brands

In an ideal world you would always purchase the best that the market has to offer. The highest quality tools come at a price for good reason, meaning a significant investment is needed. The hire route will ensure you are best equipped for the job, every time.

  1. Maintained and well serviced kit

How much of your time goes into maintaining or servicing larger pieces of equipment? This returns to the question of how often you use each item. Ensuring that tools and equipment are maintained and therefore operating as safely as possible is made much easier through the use of hired items. All hire equipment is subjected to a rigorous process of regular servicing, maintenance, and testing to ensure it meets the highest health and safety standards.

  1. ITV's Love Your Garden

    Why buy when you can hire?

    Loss or damage of equipment

Another external cost for landscapers is the potential loss and damage of tools and equipment, especially when it comes to larger pieces such as rotavators or even mini-excavators. Hire removes this issue and ensures the user need only focus on the job at hand.

  1. Getting equipment  to site

Organising and transporting equipment to site, particularly if across multiple locations, can be costly and time consuming.  Hire can remove this stress by providing access to an extensive range of tools and equipment needed to get any job done with the option of delivery direct to site to keep the process as simple as possible.

The end-result is not only financial benefits but an effective working process as having access to an extensive range of tools and equipment means any project demand can be met. Thanks to fully serviced kit, you can also ensure all equipment is correctly maintained and therefore operating as safely as possible.

Find out more about Travis Perkins Hire at or learn about its landscaping solutions by visiting

By alantitchmarsh

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, 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

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


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 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

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  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

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 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

By alantitchmarsh