See behind the scenes of ITV garden makeover show Love Your Garden!
1 We’ll start this week with Katie getting ready to paint the wall. In many cases, while we are filming nobody can make any noise. This means that we landscapers have to stand around and wait until filming finishes. But it’s amazing what a difference a lick of paint makes!
2 Here is Katie again, this time sat inside a pot. That is as far as she could get into it, so we put a box over her head. Then when Alan came back to the garden, he spotted the box and wondered what was in it. He lifted it up and got the fright of his life seeing Katie pop up like a jack in the box. Unfortunately, he took longer to arrive than we anticipated and she had to wait in that pot with her head in a box for ages. While we laughed.
3 Frances is here with make-up artist Amy and production manager Holly. The three of them are taking a well-earned break, but there are no tables or chairs so they are sitting on the van tail lift. The moment we hear the ice cream van jingle on Love Your Garden, we all race to get our hands on those cooling ice lollies.
4 This is everyone checking over the plans for the gardens with the film crew. The plan is vital to the garden makeover. It has to be designed so it’s right for the family and also in a way that can be built in a two-day time frame. And it has to fit in with the garden theme. Once we’ve got the plan, we stick to it.
5 Filming a garden makeover looks like this. It always appears so intimate when you watch it on TV, but there is a whole crew standing in that garden. Aside from presenters and cameramen, there are sound guys, producers, directors behind the camera, and a whole army of landscapers standing around waiting for them to finish.
6 Here is a shot of our director Hayley. She’s cutting out that cardboard paint pallet that I offer to Frances while she’s painting. Hayley is always suitably equipped for work on Love Your Garden: scissors in her hand, a pen in her mouth and a bottle of water in her pocket. Our directors are always prepared for anything!
7 This is a funny coincidence. One of the delivery vans that brought the shed happened to have a suitable number plate – LYG for Love Your Garden. Spooky!
8 Frances is looking very studious here with her glasses on, painting that gorgeous Tuscan scene. It looked really stunning when she was finished. She did a lot of work on it during the day and even took it back with her in the evening to work on it some more. True dedication.
9 Here is Kevin, once again getting in on the blogs you’ll notice! He’s making out that he’s painting a canvas – here’s the before and after.
Yeah right, Kev. Nobody is going to believe that you painted that. For one thing, you’re holding a massive paintbrush and a tin of fence stain! He’s trying to take credit for Frances’ hard work, the cheeky monkey!
10 Marcus is here building these amazing raised beds. I love the design – they are like wooden Meccano pieces. You just slot them together and fix them in place with the pins. Marcus did a great job with that.
11 Here is Will, our producer-director. He’s always got a sunny disposition – unless he discovers that there are no tea bags left for him to have a cuppa. Then he’s a completely different character!
12 I promise you, dear blog readers, that I did not set this shot up. I simply walked past and it was such an opportune photo. Here is Alex, our runner, trying to figure out some flat pack instructions. Sat behind that ‘Warning – man at work’ sign.
13 Here are the Frosts Landscapes lads having a break. Because there is no seating, they grab whatever they can. You can see behind them the narrow alleyway where they carried everything through into the garden. From left to right we have Sam, Marcus, Matt, another Sam and Tam.
14 I love this photo! We’re just having a quick break and Tam is getting a little too comfortable on those soil bulk bags. Meanwhile Frances is perched delicately on the edge. They are surprisingly comfy to sit on, actually.
15 This is Matt in the garden. He looks at first like he is really admiring those flowers in the window box. But actually he’s just bashed his head on the side of it as he was trying to hang it up. That’s going to be sore.
16 These are some of the toys that we had for Katie’s water feature. I think the frog looks a little like Alan, the fish is Katie and Frances with her glasses is the duck. I suppose that leaves me – the smiley, sunny face on the end!
17 Look at this! We got invaded by slugs and snails overnight. They are a nightmare with soft, tender plants. We had to get rid of them quickly before Alan arrived.
18 Here I am just about to check out that rocking chair. It was a nice bit of kit – I liked it! It’s a nice moment because I’m just nonchalantly relaxing in the street while a makeover is taking place in the back garden.
19 Here is our final shot as all the finishing touches are going into the garden. I loved this makeover and I thought it made the garden look completely different. The design had great character and a holiday from home feel. It was a pleasure to work on and the family were immensely deserving. I hope they enjoy it.
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.