Love Your Garden behind the scenes feature image no alan

We had a brilliant time in Bolton with this garden, which was one of the longest we’ve ever worked on for this show.


The garden was absolutely solid with plants all the way through, so we had a lot of clearing out to do before we could even begin; and when a lot comes out, there’s a lot to go back in.

In this first picture you can see the pallets and pallets of topsoil waiting to go into the garden.


I arrived early to get some of the hard landscaping done with the guys, and I came out without my lunch. Luckily a very kind neighbour brought us over some beautiful meringues! Here you can see Paul and myself shamelessly tucking into them.

That’s two happy boys right there. What a treat.


This is Sean, our carpenter. As you can see, he’s on top of the world… and the roof as well!

We were very happy at the time because this cabin, which Katie would work on, slotted together considerably easier than we had expected.


The weather turned and we all covered up, and that’s when I brought out the cap.

I’ll tell you, I took considerable gip from the crew for this cap, so I’ve put a few photos of it in the blog just to let you get comfortable with it.


This next shot is Matt, our soundman, with Simon, the cameraman. Everyone was wrapped up against the weather that day.


And here you see Matt and I having a ‘cap-off’, which is like a face-off, but with caps. Needless to say, I caned him.


Next is a brilliant shot of Frances. I had warned her not to slip on the mud, so of course she had to give me a show of how that would look.

The amount of mud was incredible to behold on this shoot.


A cup of tea is the only thing that will keep you going in this kind of weather. And it’s also a chance for me to show off the cap again.


Here you can see Darren, our producer and cameraman, very ably assisted by Guy… who is sporting a very special cap of his own.

We had access to the gardens on both sides, which was great because we could move materials around more easily and the camera men could film us from over the fence.


This is Rebecca, who is one of our researchers. She is planting some of the raised borders for us here.

I love raised borders, and use them in my own garden – mainly because of the bloomin rabbits!


Next shot is our other soundman Lloyd trying to set Frances up with a microphone. He was trying to give us white cables instead of the standard black ones on this shoot. Cheeky lad, he needs to buy some proper kit!


We actually spent the evening at Bolton Wanderers football ground, which was great fun. And here you can see Colin, our series producer, and me screaming ‘GOAL!!!’ for a fantastic selfie opportunity.


Here is Paul very ably fixing up the water butt. We always try to install a water harvesting unit of some sort in each garden we create.


Lloyd, Rob and Colin here, having a lovely rest against the fence as we get on with the hard grafting! It’s alright for some…


Here’s Katie doing some crafty work in the neighbouring garden where we set up for a lot of our creative tasks. I also built the doggy feeder over there a little earlier.


Here’s Kevin, our resident blog diva, in the middle, with Sean on the left and Guy on the right, working hard as we shifted tons and tons of soil into the garden.


It’s always a good sign when the heavy machinery is being taken away, because it means that you are a good way through the job!


Katie basking in the sun… while it lasts!


This is the little Mutt Hut that I created for the lovely pooches. It was great fun to make, and I loved the little dogs so I kept this pic to remind me of them.


Simon here is getting up close and personal with the chickens. It was marvellous to see those poor little creatures who were quite unwell get a lovely new home where they will be well looked after.


The cameras are always on in the garden, trying to capture every little thing to make the best show for you guys at home.


Great photo at the end of the day with the girls.

The sun’s out, the show is finished, and everyone is feeling relieved.


Lloyd and the crew here getting ready to film the family as we unveil the garden to them.


Here’s a shot of the garden from the top with the cabin. As you can see, it really came out beautifully with some stunning colours in the borders.


Here’s the boys from Frosts showing off their guns. They really had to use them on this one. It was hard work and they did a brilliant job.


Amy is touching up my make up here, which usually consists of her dabbing compost on my face.

Frances, as you can see, is not impressed.


The girls doing a victory walk in this shot as we all get ready to go home.


And here’s Alan having a laugh with the mobility scooter, from which he managed to nab a glass of champagne out of my hands as he whizzed past!

He actually shot a whole scene while sat on it too!

A great example of the fun times we have working together on Love Your Garden.

See you next week!