Love Your Garden Series 10 Episode 1 Harri's Wildlife Garden

Love Your Garden Series 10 Episode 1  Harri's Wildlife Garden

In Love Your Garden Series 10 episode 1, Alan Titchmarsh and the team visit Harri's family in Hull, East Yorkshire.

Since this episode was first aired and I first wrote this, Harri Torr sadly passed away in March 2020,

Alan Titchmarsh and Harri Torr

My thoughts are with his family at the tragic loss of this truly inspirational young man aged just 16 years old.

In this first episode of Love Your Garden series 10, Alan Titchmarsh is in Hull, East Yorkshire to surprise an incredible 15 year old young man.

Alan Titchmarsh arrives at the door

Alan arrives on the doorstep and the door is opened by Erica Torr who is left speechless by his arrival.

The 'strange man on her doorstep' makes his way into the living room to meet an equally surprised Harri.

Harri on the sofa

Alan is joined on the sofa by a very tearful Erica who has brought up Harri and his brother Josh and a menagerie of pets.

Alan is also joined on the sofa by dogs Chalkie and Jellie who both give him a very warm welcome and settle down for a cuddle.

Alan enjoys a cup of tea with the family

In January last year Harrison became unwell and Erica suspected he had a broken leg. 

Harrison was worried because  they had done an X-ray on a completely different part of his leg.

The doctors informed them they had found a suspected Cancerous tumour.

The family were obviously shocked at the diagnosis of Osteosarcoma or Bone Cancer at just 15 years old and more so when the Consultant Bob informed them Harri leg was not saveable.

Alan asked Harri about the shock of finding out he was to lose his leg. 

Harri said in some ways he was glad the pain was going to go away. The tumour was very large and the skin on his leg was silver and shiny so he had suspected the worse.

Harri talks about his illness

Following the amputation and treatment they were given the good news it had gone, and Harri had rung the 'all clear' bell and the family had been out to celebrate.

Unfortunately just 2 weeks later, scans revealed the cancer had in fact spread and 3 more operations were to follow to remove tumours from his lungs.

Erica just knew that he was 'not going to make it' and this was confirmed by the Consultant and it was terminal.

A tearful Erica

Harri said he was more worried about his family, than himself and what they would be going through.

An emotional Alan speaks about how remarkable Harri is to come to terms with this diagnosis.

A tearful Erica speaks of how proud she is of Harri and how she couldn't cope without him.

Harri says he has been give between 3 - 12 months to live, but he his attitude has been to get as many things done as he can from his bucket list.

Harri is a fighter and Erica confirms that everyone who meets him finds him to be an inspirational, positive, lovely boy.

Josh, Harri's brother

Josh his brother talks about how 'he looks up to him', 'how he looks on the upside of life', 'just living the best he can'. 'An absolute hero'.

His consultant Dr Bob Phillips, talks  about Harri being 'an amazing young man'

Harri refuses to be defined by his prognosis and makes others feel good being around him.

Harri plays with a child in hospital

When he is in hospital for treatment he helps other children and teenagers going through the same as him.

Sally Morrison, Ward nurse, talks about how inspirational and amazing Harri has been at helping others.

The top of Harri bucket list is a garden!


The Garden

They have a big, square garden which includes a special bench made by Harri with his uncle and cousin.

The Big square garden
Harri's bench

Alan asks Harri about his ideal 'Bucket List' garden.

Harri loves plants, a place for nature and a pond with frogs.

Harri loves wildlife and has a pet Gecko and a Tree Dragon in his bedroom.

Harri's Garden

For his Mum, Harri would like a quiet area in the garden to be by herself and gather her thoughts.

So the garden is to be for Harri, His mum, dogs, cats and wildlife, a place to be together but also to be alone when things get tough.

Alan is joined by his trusty team of David Domoney, Katie Rushworth, Frances Tophill and his Landscapers.

The garden is 10m by 15m and although all the gardens they do are for special people, Alan says this one is especially special for this exceptional young man.

David, Alan and Katie

Alan wells up as he says 'he is amazing' and remind him of himself at 15 as they share the same love of nature and wildlife.

David job is to play with the levels in the garden but no lawn. He will also be replacing the deck and adding an outdoor kitchen.

Katie job is the left hand side of the garden, for wildlife including a pond. She will also create a chillout area.

Frances job is the end of the garden, Harri's area. There is to also a shed as well as an outdoor cinema and seating.

Alan job is the central area, an area for Erica. He will create a calm seating area for them to spend time together or for Erica to get some alone time next to a dry river bed and water feature.

The Plan for Harri's Garden

The garden is to be a balance of wildlife, water and fun. 


A work in progress

David has a challenging job to create levels within the garden which is to have no lawn to keep it low maintenance. 

He has replaced the old wood decking with a composite plastic deck, which is non-slip and requires no maintenance.

Wooden Decking

In front of the decking David has some large wooden planters leading down some steps to a paved area with planting pockets including one for a tree.

Pizza oven

David is adding a dining table to his decking and creating an outdoor kitchen with a wooden base and with a granite worktop, a pizza oven then takes pride of place.

Tuscan herbs are planted

Next door to this is a mini greenhouse filled with Tuscan herbs like Rosemary, Oregano and Thyme. 

Roses

Final job is to give Harri seat a facelift before it is moved to next to the pond. 

David is giving it a quick paint wash and is impressed with the bench, Harri has made himself!


Katie has started work on her pond but the heavy clay soil means a digger is needed, but even that gets clogged up with clay!

Heavy Digger for the clay

Once dug out Katie lines the pond with sand to protect the Butyl rubber liner which she smooths out the creases and fills with water. 

Katie lays the pond lining

She says its at the ugly stage so patience and vision is needed.

Katie is bridging the pond to Harri's shed using the same composite decking in a tapered zig zag design right over the pond.

To make the pond a wildlife haven she is adding pebbles and rocks to disguise the liner and create a beach entrance to the pond.

Katie adds plants to the pond

Next the plants are added with the pond needing at least a third to a half coverage. 

She adds water spearmint, Club Brush to help oxygenate and Marsh Marigold for their yellow buttercup flowers.

David rushes over with something very important for Katie's Pond!

A frog for the pond!

Its first inhabitant, a frog, ready to check out its new pad! 

Behind the pond she is planting a mini woodland of Birch trees.

Frances plants birch trees

To make the pond child friendly and safe Katie is adding a safety grid just under the surface with metal cross beam supports that plastic square grids that sit on legs.



Frances is creating a Love Your Garden first, an outdoor cinema from Harri's Bucket List complete with an exciting unique design feature and cinema seating.

Chameleon mural

She has called in professional Graffiti Artist Meghan Russell aka Peachzz to create a mural of a giant Chameleon. 

Frances also has composite decking with holes in it for cinema lay-back seating supports to pop up from.

Frances lays the gravel

In front of the mural / screen Frances is laying a honeycomb matting to cover with gravel so that it stays in place.

Frances is adding trees to the overlooked boundary to offer not only screening but for birds and pollinators.

Frances plants a Crab-Apple Malus, a cherry Prunus and a Rowan tree

She is planting a Crab-Apple Malus, a cherry Prunus and a Rowan, all members of the same family which are all great for wildlife.

To the cinema area she adds a removable white screen for movie time.


Alan is creating a wall water feature for the sanctuary for Erica.

Water feature

On the other side of the wall for the outdoor cinema he is placing 2 letterbox water cascades for water to cascade down into a reservoir below, which is then pumped back round.

Tiled walls and new plants

The wall is then tiled to hide the pipes and grouted.

At the bottom covering the reservoirs are different sized pebbles with pockets of planting of Irises to create a dry river bed effect.

Switchgrass is planted

Alan plants in the bed next to the boardwalk Panicum Virgatum Switchgrass to create a water meadow effect.


Alan upstairs in Harri's room gives them all a water feature out of the window!

He is also giving the Gecko a new mini tropical paradise Vivarium with the help of Harri. 

The Gecko gets a new mini tropical paradise Vivarium

They add wood and Devil's Ivy Golden Pothos.

Harri says he gets the Geckos out if he is feeling a bit down to just hold them. 

Harri talks about his geckos

Harri is trying to make the most of life. 

You have to live each day like you are dying, whether you have a diagnosis of cancer or a life limiting illness or not. 

Inspirational words and thoughts from someone so young! Pete Free 🌻

Alan plants more dense around the patio

Alan is planting up the area around his patio next to a bench seat with dense planting to create a retreat. 

He is using Dogwood, Lavender, Rosemary and Sarcococca in the Christmas Box. 
 

Alan visits a wildlife garden in Lincoln. 


Wildlife garden in Lincoln

The owners have transformed their suburban garden into a leafy wildlife retreat.

They have a stunning Indian slate water feature which cascades into a Grecian style urn.  

Indian slate water feature

This creates the sound of a natural stream is also a haven for birds and amphibians that love splashing around under it.

Through a gate is an area with trees, shrubs, acers, birches and bamboos under planted with woodland ferns.

Outdoor area

Another water feature and shallow stream runs alongside a raised walkway and bridge that leads to a covered terracotta roofed seating area with an outdoor fireplace and large pond.

Katie visits Malmesbury Wiltshire to the home of amateur gardeners Finn and Nicki Spicer at River Barn.

Finn and Nicki Spicer

At the heart of their 3 1/2 acre nature reserve is a huge pond which in warmer months is used as a natural swimming pool!

They have otters and have a nocturnal camera which has caught these as well as badgers, foxes and deer.

Large pond at River Barn

it has a huge liner costing £1000, they then planted it and the Marsh Marigolds have done particularly well.

Benches around a pond

From spring, the aquatic and bog plants produce much needed food for pollinators and the landscape has been brought right up to the pond by surrounding it with Birches.

Boat shape seating

A seating are in the shape of a boat and bridge give the ideal spot to watch the pondlife.


What the garden means to the family

Alan meets with Erica to find out more about Harri and how to make the ideal garden they both will love.

Alan meets with Erica

Harri was a joker at school but now he is older he has become more mature and she is surprised by his strength.

Erica says she thinks he has been born for a reason to show people just how strong people can be.

Harri in hospital

Harri's attitude is everything, fun and that life is for living not moping.

Erica says they just carry on as normal and keep strong.

Tears flow as Erica says the hardest part is that 'I've got to let go'.

Tears flow from Erica

She wants Harri at home at the end so she can say goodbye.

So the garden is important and even so that it is on his Bucket List, somewhere for Harri to go to be happy or shout and scream if he has too.

Alan says it is also somewhere for Erica. She says be somewhere nice to sit and talk about what they need to.

They will only know 2 weeks before, when it is the end of Harri short life.  

She will put his bed by the French doors so he can see out into his garden and enjoy the view for his final moments.

Chalkie the dog

The garden will make the best of the time he has left, although Harri has said its all for just him and Chalkie the dog!

A parent can't imagine the unthinkable heartbreak of losing a child, but when you are facing this it takes a special person to make their way through this.

Erica and Harri have not got long left together and the team are doing their best to make the garden a special place to spend that time in.

Harri and Erica

Heart breaking to watch such remarkable strength! Pete Free 🌻


Bucket List

On Harri's bucket list is to plant a Tree.

Alan has chosen a Sumach tree Rhus Typhina, which Alan prepares in the patio area for Harri to complete during the reveal. 

Harri plants a tree in the patio

A gentle prune and its all ready for Harri to add the final spadesful of soil.

The final touches and the garden is finished.


The Grand Reveal

The garden has been transformed from a blank boring garden in to a wildlife haven for Harri and Erica to enjoy their limited time together.

A garden to enjoy, reflect, have difficult conversations, spend time together with family, or alone times, for fun, laughter and tears. 

An inspirational garden for a truly inspirational young man.

Harri  and Erica open our eyes

Harri and Erica reveal

'WOW' 'WOW' Then silence, they are speechless for a moment. 'It don't look like we're at home'

'No it doesn't' 'It looks like somebody else's garden, it doesn't look anything like mine at all' 'It's absolutely beautiful' 'Oh its gorgeous' 'OH Harri love' 'It's Magic' 

Overhead view of garden

As a stunned Harri and Erica take a tour of the garden, pointing out bits the lizard and his bench and are still stunned by the transformation.

The outdoor kitchen

They reveal the seating area with outdoor kitchen.


Patio with water feature

A patio area with water feature and area for sitting to chat or reflect, with Harri's tree.


Boardwalk with pond

A boardwalk leading to the wildlife area and pond.

Harri's retreat

A retreat for Harri to hangout whatever the weather.

Dogs area

The dog are not forgotten!

Even an armadillo.

Outdoor cinema area

The cinema area to watch movies or just hang out with the stunning mural.

Harri talks about the massive difference this is going to make to them, a kind of escape area, where he can be somewhere else.

Alan sits with Harri and Erica

An emotional Alan says 'you're very welcome'.

As friends and family flood in to see the garden for the first time and celebrate 2 Bucket List items with Harri and his family.

Champagne corks pop and fly round the garden.

Harri's animation

The opening movie is... An animation by Harri himself!

Alan closes the show by repeating the words of Harri 'Make every second count, make every moment special'.

Alan hopes they have many more special moments in the garden.


All photographs are copyright of ITV.com




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