Love Your Garden Series 10 Episode 6 A Policeman's Plot

Love Your Garden Series 10 Episode 6 A Policeman's Plot

In this Episode of Love Your Garden Series 10, the series restarts after a break due to Covid-19 on 20 July 2021,and Alan Titchmarsh is in Chippenham, Wiltshire.

He starts the programme by saying 'this year Britain has fallen head over heels for gardening'.

So Alan is back and shocking our unsung heroes on their doorsteps and transforming their gardens.

Alan is surprising 74 year old Richard Warren MBE who has is a Voluntary Community Constable and he is the country oldest Policeman after volunteering for over 50 years!

No doorstep surprise this week Alan is gate-crashing a meeting at the Police Station and he knock and enters the top brasses meeting.

Alan Titchmarsh Richard Warren

A shocked Richard quickly susses he has been setup and tells Alan he been with the Police for 53 years. 'Let him off' Says Alan!

Richard loves the job and thinks he not bad at it.

Gavin William says he got a lovely way with people and can de-escalate situations

Richard cares for his wife Lynette Warren who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and they have been married for 51 years.

Louise Clark

Their daughter Louise Clark says her mum makes her proud by her continuing to get out there and do things, nothing stops her and her Dad is right there with her making the most of things.

Lynette goes to a a local MS Centre and Richard is invaluable there too with helping out doing odd jobs.

Richard and Louise

Richard also is a keen Runner who litter picks at the same time and has completed 5 London Marathons raising over £10,000 for MS Charities.

The Garden
Alan arrives to see the back garden for the first time and to spring the surprise on Lynette.


Lynette is in her dressing gown and completely shocked by the arrival of Alan Titchmarsh and she cant believe Richard has done this to her! Richard is in for a light hearted telling off!

Lynette explains she can no longer get out in the back garden the step is to difficult and she is scared of falling.

Garden before

Lynette was a keen gardener but now she can only look out the door at it.

In the corner of the garden is a large shed with Richards stuff in it, then a greenhouse and some shrubs in the other corner.

central heating heat source pump

Alan asks what the machinery is in the garden and it is there central heating heat source pump and it is ugly and stands out!

Alan team of Contractors arrive and his Love Your Garden team of David Domoney, Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill.

Design Concepts
Alan goes to visit Hanham Court Gardens in Gloucestershire which captures the garden he want to create for the couple and it is rather grand!

Alan goes to visit Hanham Court Gardens

The garden was created by previous owners Julian and Isabel Bannerman who have put their own ideas of an English formal garden.

They have the symmetry of avenues of topiary you expect with views, angles and vistas.

Alan goes to visit Hanham Court Gardens

This style of garden has been adapted to more modern gardens but still has the same elements like , evergreens, clipped hedges, clipped lawns containers of seasonal flowers.

The garden has Magnolias, obelisks covered in fragrant climbing Roses, hedge lined paths and symmetrically placed benches with lovely views.

Alan will use all the ingredients to make the garden.

David is off to look for inspiration to hide the Heat Source Pump in the garden and is visiting a very sleek and modern back garden that has hidden depths!

garden storage

Behind panels in their garden that looks like the end of the garden it has storage behind it and hidden doors!

In one corner of another garden David is in, has a massive 10ft shed but you cannot see if hidden behind a green wall of Portuguese Laurel which is a good hedge.

garden storage

In the other side is a trampoline concealed behind wooden slatted screens and bay trees it is also sunken into the ground but its still visible from the house.

Alan says even smaller than the garden scale down he is planning is the window box and these can make a big difference to the look of a house.

window box

At London top addresses they can pay hundreds of pounds to have the perfect window boxes.

Eoife and her daughter Mia are using Spring bulbs in there window box display and Mia already can name all the flowers.

Jade has window boxes with established Perennials then just adds colourful flowering plants to it. 

Having Blues Fescue and Curry plants already established this year she is adding African Daisies and Snapdragons.

Katie is showing us how to plant up a window box on a budget which is also low maintenance.

window box

The window box she has chosen has its own water reservoir at the bottom and a level gauge to water the plants from the bottom.

She adds a layer of gravel to the bottom for drainage then some peat free compost and then adds some evergreens for all year colour and 1 or 2 seasonal plants and she has some Pansies.

window box

The evergreen she is using includes a Heuchera and the foliage looks lovely with the Pansies who will flower for about 6 months and the finishing touch is a trailing Ivy.

Alan starts drawing his design for the couple for their 22 x 10 Metre non symmetrical garden.


A summerhouse at one side and a pergola dining area opposite that with an oval lawn in the middle with a path all around it.

Frances Job is to tackle the Pergola dining area, a vegetable patch and to create a perfect oval lawn.

Katie job is the summerhouse with planting surround it and a formal pond into the oval lawn complete with Water lilies.

David job is the hard landscaping so the whole of the terrace area with a ramp and also he has to hide that heat pump!

Alan job is the back of the garden and adding a wide border, clipped hedge and a bench focal feature.


The huge Pittosporum in the corner he is going to try and trim it and get it to look good with the design.

A Work in Progress

David already started by paving all the side of the house and now they are starting to add the paved ramp.


David biggest problem is disguising the Heat Source Pump and says we all have things we would like to hide like bins and trampoline which unless you can move need to be hidden.

He wants to create something big but also flexible that can be moved when the pump is needed so he is making a planter on wheels with trellis attached.


Because of the weight of the container you need nice strong Castors at the base to move it around and David is attaching these.

He uses 2 trellis panels which he attaches to the back of the container and demonstrates how well it is at hiding things by making Frances disappear.


David is painting the Obelisks he made out of left over wood a lovely shade of blue and these are great for giving structure in the garden as well as supporting plants and climbers.

David final job is to wheel in his planter and trellis to hide the Heat Source Pump and to see if Alan approves of his idea.

Alan thinks it very clever as you can still get to the pump when needed and it has been painted the same colour as the garden and planted up with Ilex box hedge balls and Tulips.


He is surrounding this with some Pieris Japonica Prelude in planters with ericaceous compost. 

Frances is starting with the oval lawn and has no idea how to mark it out! Danny Jones the Landscaper knows exactly how to create this.

They measure the length and width of the lawn they want and put a stake in the middle.


At the bottom point of the oval you place a stake and then at the sides of the oval and the string tied around them forms a triangle.

You take away the bottom point stake and replace it with a pencil and keeping the string taught you draw out the oval shape.

Frances next job is to start on the raised beds and she nearly finished the first one.


She is making the beds high enough for Lynette to do the vegetables from her wheelchair and round the edge beds she is gong to have fruit.

She is painting her beds to extend their life but you do not have to if you have used exterior wood and as Frances has used scaffold boards they are not that attractive.

Frances, Pergola is going up and they have chosen to have 5 slats across the top and a boxed in edge style and the main posts have been spaced for wheelchair access.

Her next job is to make a Victorian style cloche for use in the raised beds and the first thing to do is to cut some Perspex.


She needs to cut a front, back, 2 roof pieces and 2 gable ends, the Perspex costs about £40 a sheet.

This will make a bespoke cloche that would cost you hundreds to buy after double checking the measurements she scores the Perspex until it snaps off the pieces.

To hold it together she needs a wooden frame made from battening and some thinner wood on the back to secure the Perspex with screws.

bespoke cloche

Frances last job is to put her home made Cloche over her lettuce plants.

Frances is working on the grow your own beds and has bought some plug plants to give the couple a start and first she adds a pole wigwam for climbing beans which is a mixture of Runners and French beans.


As the seedlings are small you have to be careful not to damage the stem so she is prising them apart at the roots.

She adds 2 rows of Broad Beans and these will need some supports like peas sticks when they get bigger as they do not climb.


In the border she is adding fruit and is planting a Chaenomeles or Ornamental Quince the fruit is not edible but the blossom is stunning and she is tying this to an obelisk.

Katie the summer house is going up fast.

Katie is digging out her pond when Alan arrives, she has made it David sized.


She is creating a pretty focal point to be seen from the new summerhouse and she is adding sand to the bottom of the hole she has dug for the pond.

You can use a pond liner or a PVC one but she is using a pre formed square pond which she puts in the hole and checks it all level.

This costs about £180 but it is cheaper doing it the other ways but because she wants it very formal and square this pre formed one is ideal.


It is now filled with water to weigh it down then edging stones are put round to cover the top edge, Alan suggests overhanging them and they look better.

Katie is planting a Cherry tree near to the summerhouse to add some height balance with the summerhouse and Pittosporum.

Next to this she is planting a gorgeous pink flowered Viburnum and will place an evergreen in front of it and 1 behind the Cherry tree.

Alan Katie

She goes to Alan and wants one of his Portuguese Laurels and he manages to spare her just the 1!

With the Laurel at the back and the small Pittosporum at the front it makes for a nicely balanced border.


Katie now trying out places for her spheres of Ilex Crenata Japanese Holly and also added a mirror hedge of them the same as Alan's near the terrace.

This also acts as a safety buffer to the ramp access to the garden and to soften the space she is planting beautiful Hellebores in the semi-shaded area of the garden.

Katie is planting up the pond and is sinking some upside down pots to put the marginal plants on and she chosen some grasses and Iris and they need to be sticking out of the water and she has another one for the other end.

pond plant

She also has 3 pygmy water lilies and in a couple of weeks they will reach the surface and unfurl their leaves.

Alan is starting with the overgrown Pittosporum which if bought that size would be £1,500 to £2,000 so he does not want to get rid of it.


The ideal time to prune it it is in April/May when the fresh growth is starting and you should stop pruning in September so it heals to stop the frost getting in.

He is using a 3 legged tree pruning ladder which makes for a better balanced ladder but he still getting Katie to foot the ladder for safety.


He has pruned it into a neater cone shape and should keep its shape for a couple of years.

Alan having a look at the plants for the garden which he has picked taking inspiration from his garden visit and he wants colour and vibrancy.

He also want to rely on Evergreens to keep the garden looking good all year and that he can clip into shape.


He has chosen Portuguese Laurels, Balls made from a variety of Holly called Ilex Crenata that has tiny leaves that are not spikey and Loropetalum Fire Dance with purple leaves and pink flowers.

He also got another Variegated Pittosporum like the one he was pruning but not as large!

Alan is starting with the box lined pathways using Ilex Crenata and these are already being grown in a line in a trough for ease of planting and for instant effect.


He has already dug the trenches next to the path and he is making sure it is in nice and firmly so there no air pockets.

The line of hedge has taken 12 troughs and they are £60 a trough so its not a cheap look for the garden at £750 in total.

A cheaper option is to buy them as a smaller plant at £3 each and in 4 years they will be this size.


Alan using a string line between 2 canes trims the top of the hedge into a level line and they can be trimmed throughout the growing season up to September.

The shrubs for Alan's borders now need putting in and he adding a Box Balls of Japanese Holly a stunning Magnolia at the back and poor David helping with the placing of the plants and Alan wants them perfect!

He is also adding Camellias which are evergreen and have the most wonderful flowers and he is training this one on a frame to go behind the focal seat in the garden.


They do not like a chalk or limestone earth so the soil needs to be acid to neutral and the flowers do not like too much early morning sun or they go brown, so a sheltered spot as not frost hardy.

To the border Alan has added lime green variegated Euphorbia as they are shorter and he has put the Loropetalum Fire Dance next to the trimmed Pittosporum.


Alan last job is to place his Lutyens traditional garden bench that was designed by English Architect Sir Edwin Lutyens and its just perfect for the formal garden's focal point.

With a few finishing touches the garden is complete.

The Grand Reveal

Richard and Lynette open your eyes

Richard and Lynette open your eyes

'Good grief' 'Blimey' 'Well, WOW look at that' 'Oh fantastic that's really good' 

Alan takes them on a tour of their new garden.

Finished garden

They are speechless and Richard says he can just get on with look after Lynette and not worrying about the garden.

Fully accessible terrace and oval pathway

Finished garden

An oval lawn with mini formal pond

A summerhouse

Finished garden

A bespoke dining area with pergola

Finished garden

A grow your own area

Bench surrounded by formal planting


Their family flood into the garden and are amazed by the transformation and it is going to be used for lots of happy family times together.

All Photographs are copyright of


Landscape Team

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