The Autistic Gardener Series 2 Episode 1

The Autistic Gardener Series 2 Episode 1

In The Autistic Gardener Series 2 Episode 1 Alan Gardner visits Lancashire to meet Pinky and Joe who have a £10,000 budget for their garden makeover.

Alan Gardner Pinky and Joe

Pinky and Joe's 2,500 foot rear garden of their suburban bungalow is surrounded by the stunning hills of the Lancashire countryside.

The home was likened to Mars with a sad owl bird bath as its epicentre by Alan Gardner

Having lived there for 2 years, the couple had not managed to do anything with the difficult dimensions of the garden. 

Pinky and Joe garden

They were seeking an inspirational wildlife friendly garden that complemented the surrounding scenery or as Pinky put it 'anything better than it is at the moment'!

For this inspiration Alan jetted off to New York to the much acclaimed Sky Line garden in Manhattan. 

A one and a half mile long public park which opened in 2009 featuring The High Line, New York on a disused railway freight line. It is a journey of not only plants and trees, but nature and art. 

Alan Gardner in New York

Following Alan's emotional visit to the High Line his design was for the garden to be a journey through a hillside. 

Using 5 zones and lines made up of bridges, planters, meadow planting, poles to draw the eye up and framing this bold and beautiful walk to transform their triangular suburban plot.

In New York on Broad Way, Lower Manhattan, Alan met the Queen of Conceptual Design Topher Delaney at the 7th floor apartment garden she had designed. 

Topher Delaney design

Using the planters to mirror the skyline and Brownian Theorem geometric designed floor tiles to capture the energy and patterns from the street below. 

garden plans

Alan reveals the garden design to the couple. 

Pinky struggled to imagine this design but they put their full trust in Alan.

Wind turbines in Lancashire

Admin Clerk Pinky and Air Conditioning Engineer Joe were taken by Alan to the wind turbines that dominate the Lancashire hills. 

The 'neuro typicals' at first struggled to see the relevance to their garden.

But by photographing the turbines they captured the quadrilaterals of the blades overlap. 

Pinky and Joe

Alan was able to mesmerise the couple into seeing the shapes within the design.

We are given an insight into what Alan Autistic mind was seeing in the spinning, whooshing repetitiveness of the blades.

Alan Gardner

Anthony and the team that have helped Alan become a Silver medal Chelsea winner clear the site and place the concrete access shaft planters. 

After some adjustments from Alan they become less 'plonk plonk plonk' and more 'bang bang bang' leaving Anthony less than convinced in their choice.

Alan Gardner Anthony

Alan visit to Topher Delaney designed garden in Broadway formulated into his use of Trig Points.

Trig points are the markers the Ordnance Survey mapmakers used from 1936 to map the hidden grids of Great Britain. Trig Pillars

Trig pillars

By placing 9, 12ft lengths of brass through the garden, Alan marked out the invisible.

The owl birdbath in the room! 

Using locally quarried dry stone walling, a bird spa was fashioned using a pond liner and the stones placed on their sides in an interconnecting spiral.

Alan Gardner

Halfway through and Pinky and Jo are left speechless at the progress before them.

As the bare bones of the landscaping are yet to be complimented by Alan planting scheme using 1037 plants (give or take a few). 

Meadow plants to be used to reflect the hillside include, Verbena, Centranthus, Deschampsia and Molinia. 

planting scheme

The Grand Reveal 

Pinky had 'butterflies as big as fruit bats' that were quickly replaced by tears of joy. 

Pinky and Joe

Alan's 21st Century birdbath blew memories of the owl bird bath right out of the water.

The meadow planting scheme softening the edges of the harsh concrete planters complete with handles still attached.

Finished garden

The 12ft carbon rods that are the thicker replacements that originally caused concern with the neighbours.

They described them as 'taxi drivers aerials' but in the end proved a hit and swaying in the kinetic energy of the wind, drawing your eyes upwards and out of the garden.

Finished garden

Brass Trig lines encouraged future challenges to follow the lines to discover the Trig Pillars hidden in the hills.

Finished garden

Finally the 6 pillars used to give a false perspective to trick the eye and highlight focal points within the design.

Bringing the whole concept in at a total cost of £12,000. 

Alan had delivered a life changing garden that Pinky and Joe were over the moon with and experienced a roller coaster of emotions on the journey to the garden they have been waiting for.

Pinky and Joe

All photographs copyright of Channel 4

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