This week we were in Hythe, Hampshire to transform the garden of a lovely family. Their little girl Isabelle has severely impaired vision, and we wanted to create a sensory garden for her to experience, but also a space that would work practically for the family’s needs.
Here we can see at this early stage n the garden where everything has been cleared out and we are left with empty space. You can see the hard landscaping starting to go down. I took this picture from the back corner of the garden which was up a slope. When you are working in a sloped garden, until it is levelled off it just feels like you have a mountain of work ahead of you, and at this point we’ve probably only got about 48 hours until the garden is supposed to be completed. There’s a phenomenal amount of work going in at the early stage, and although you’re very hopful and excited, you realise there’s quite a weight of responsibility on your shoulders.
At the top of the garden here you can see the framework for the raised decking going up here. There’s something about wooden features in a garden that everyone loves. The smooth, level surfaces look beautiful and they are so durable too. Sometimes putting the garden together feels like doing a jigsaw – with the patio down, the decked area down, it’s like the edges of the jigsaw are in place, and then it’s about filling in the centre.
Here’s Frances and I giving our best smiles. Sometimes they stop the work in the garden to do some filming or presenting. Katie and Alan were both on camera here, so Frances and I were having a cheeky catch up.
Here you can see Anthony at the front, Dino at the back, and our director Natalie just double checking what format she wants to film this section in. Sometimes we have to film things out of order for the sake of the camera, or we have screwed something together and suddenly they decide they want to film it, so we have to take it apart and do it again. You have to have a great deal of patience at times, and an understanding of how TV works, but it’s a marvellous team and we’ve worked together a long time. Natalie has been once of our longest serving directors and she’s brilliant at what she does.
Alan is just getting into position to do a bit of filming. There’s all sorts of chaos at this point of the garden when all the different components are coming in quickly and the crew are trying to capture everything on film as we go.
Patrick here is a lovely chap who joined us for this particular episode. He’s a builder who helped put a retaining wall in behind Katie’s teepee building.
Here we are sanding down the oak table taht I got to build for the patio. Natalie doesn’t like to feel like she’s missing out, and you can see her having a go here behind me. Sanding always looks like fun until you’ve done a couple of rounds and your arms are aching and you’re choking on dust. So she a had a quick go, and then, what do you know, I’m back on it for another hour.
This is a fantastic picture of Dave. He’s the muscle on the team. I swear, this guy could lift a pallet of slabs on one shoulder. He worked his socks off on a really hot day and earned a nice bit of R&R here. As you can see, wheelbarrows are not just good for lugging stuff around…
Anthony is the owner of Berry Landscapes, who worked with us on all of the more southern locations for Love Your Garden this year. Marvellous guys and a delight to work with.
Cameraman Rob and soundman Lloyd are having a little break and hiding from the elements in Katie’s garden teepee building here.
Alan is doing a bit of planting for the camera here. Wherever we are there’s cameras on us and we are mic’d up all the time too, but we love doing the gardening and talking about it too.
This is that what it looks like for us when we are doing that famous shot at the end of each episode where Alan is asking us all what we think of the garden and if we’re happy with it, and then we all give a big cheer and we go get the family.
Frances and Katie have got their headphones on here because they are listening as Alan shows the family around the garden. We all have to get out of site as that takes place but we love to hear the family’s reactions.
Here’s me with some of the Berry Landscapes team. This was going to be the last episode we filmed with them this year because the last two episodes would be up north. Such a great group of lads, and always a pleasure to work with.
As usual it was a true delight to create this garden for this wonderful family, and I hope they enjoy it for many, many years to come.
See you next week!
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
It all looks so complex and difficult to fit everything together. How you guys achieve everything in such a short space of time is unbelievable. Especially when the weather is often against you as well.
The designs are all so stunning and beautiful, and motivational for those of us ‘who enjoy our gardens’, but could never hope to achieve such creative designs
We’re off to Southport Flower Show next week, and will probably bring lots more plants home.
Motivating people to get out in their garden is David’s greatest passion.
Did you see him or any of the other celebrities at the Southport Celebrity Theatre?