Go behind the scenes of the Love Your Wild Garden special. See the team create the wildlife garden for the hospice from presenter David Domoney.
1 We’re all about to get cracking on this special garden makeover. All the deliveries have arrived and it’s such a great atmosphere because we know it’s something different on Love Your Garden. Here is Guy rustling up a few cups of tea to get everybody started.
2 The main feature in this garden was a raised island bed surrounded by gabions. Gabion comes from the Italian gabbione, meaning big cage. It’s a popular feature in garden design filled with large rocks. Here we’ve added a wildlife twist by using stones alongside slate, logs, pine cones and glass bottles and all sorts of other things. It makes it a great habitat for insects and wildlife.
3 Here I am doing a bit of grafting. It took barrows and barrows of soil to fill that island bed. You wouldn’t believe how much went in. Here I’ve been caught halfway through hefting a load of soil into position.
4 Adam from Frosts Landscapes is just arranging another bag of soil for me to shovel in to that bed. Thanks, Adam.
5 I never seem to stop emptying these bags. Putting fresh topsoil in a garden is a really good way to improve your garden and make sure trees and shrubs can establish quicker. We use a lot of soil in the garden makeovers. Obviously, it helps if you have a TV gardener handy to shift it all for you!
6 Look at what I have to put up with on this show! Here is Katie photobombing me, and not for the first time. She’s threatening to whack me on the head with that spade – cheeky monkey. As you can see, we have a lot of fun making Love Your Garden.
7 Here is what the island bed looked like before the plants went it. I loved this feature. The path snakes around it to give the garden a curved shape. The gabions themselves create a lovely unique style.
8 Katie is explaining to the cameras how she’s going to plant the island. You can see cameraman Stef in the foreground and director Natalie too. You can always spot her on Love Your Garden – she has the most outrageous hat. It looks like loads of sweets stuck together in a pink pompom.
9 I wanted to give you an idea of just how big the pond is. It’s phenomenal and we had to excavate that huge hole with diggers. But it’s going to be a marvellous feature for the wildlife, both aquatic life and birds and insects too.
10 We’re often frustrated by cameramen are taking pictures of us as we work and it holds us up. Here is head of production Jim taking some photos of Frances. Alan has come up behind him to give him a, um… gentle nudge with a garden fork to encourage him to move out of the way. He needs to finish digging that border!
11 Cameraman Steve clambered into that hole to get a shot of the digger coming into the garden. We needed to dig lots of big holes to accommodate those trees. And Steve really goes the extra mile for the right shot.
12 Here is a photo with those birds! We had these wind-up birds that we were working on. You can see Katie with our runner Rose and our big boss Matt in the background. We’re desperately trying to get these birds to work so we can annoy Alan with them.
13 Aidan and Matt from Frosts Landscapes getting stuck in. They are cutting up the bamboo that I used to make the solitary bee hotels.
14 Here is Frances trying out a real New Age look. She’s made a little crown out of a daisy chain. It works pretty well actually.
15 I am getting stuck into some planting. In some parts of the garden where vehicles have run over the soil, we have to do a lot of digging to turn the soil over again. But I like planting because it makes a nice change from lugging around boulders and emptying wheelbarrows!
16 When I got home that evening at the end of the shoot, there were little birds in my own bird house! To see these little faces when I got back made my day.
17 And here are my bees. I’m a beekeeper and I have three hives at the bottom of the garden. They provide me with endless entertainment and plenty of honey. I’m a great lover of wildlife gardens and make plenty of room for all creatures in my own garden.
Hope you enjoyed our wildlife special. Catch up with all of series 5 here!
Here’s some more wildlife ideas for you to try!
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.