Love Your Garden Series 11 Episode 3 A Dog & Thai Paradise

Love Your Garden Series 11 Episode 3 A Dog & Thai Paradise

Alan Titchmarsh is back for the third episode of Love Your Garden Series 11 but this is the first one shown of the new series that was aired on 07 September 2021 after mixing them in with the delayed rest of Series 10. 

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 as well as sharing tips and tricks for your own garden.

But series 11 is different they are transforming not one but two gardens with the help of new Love Your Garden Team member Danny Clarke.

Alan is in Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire to create an Asian inspired garden for Paramedic dog lover Joanne who has 4 rescue dogs

Her Son Flynn knows Alan is coming and has given him access via the back door to surprise his Mum.


Alan knocks on the French doors and a very surprised Joanne opens them along with Flynn who wrote Alan a passionate letter for help to give his Mum a new garden.

Jo says how proud she is of him and she goes on to tell Alan she a Community Paramedic with the NHS working with GPs and Community Nurses.

Alan says thats full on and Jo says its rewarding treating people at home so they don't have to be admitted to Hospital.

Jo started as a Nurse when she was 18 years old but she always wanted to be a Paramedic.

Wife Kerry

Alan asks about the dogs and Jo says she met her Wife Kerry who already had a rescue dog and now they have rescue dogs, some that then move on.

So the garden has to suit Jo, wife Kelly, Flynn and the current 4 dogs.

Flynn says his mum is very caring, looks out for other people and inspires him.


Alan tells how Jo found her 8th rescue dog in a terrible state in Thailand when on holiday and wife Kerry goes on to explain how Jo found Loulou on the streets of Bangkok.

So Jo took the dog to a dog sanctuary in Thailand where she spent the rest of their holiday as a volunteer, then she adopted Loulou and flew her home.

Kerry says Jo is superwoman and has transformed Loulou with her love and has so much energy and devotion.

The Garden
Alan has a look at the garden that has a Hoggin area that used to have artificial grass on it and its very compacted with no drainage, not good for the dogs mess.

The Garden

There is a raised decking area, a hammock and some garden furniture.

Alan says its a bit bland and boring and they say they don't like coming out there much.

The Garden

Jo says the area also smells because there are so many dogs so that is not pleasant.

Alan suggests bringing some Thailand to the garden and Jo eyes light up 'amazing' she says.

A zen area for some calm for Jo after running about after people and dogs. 

Design Concepts
Alan is looking for some tropical inspiration in the city and has come to a South London garden which is a exotic garden that does not feel like your in the city still.

exotic garden

The garden is packed full of foliage at different height levels, it has waterfalls and bridges and seating areas.

The foliage is mostly green but there is some colour and a Beschorneria from Mexico which is related to Asparagus adds some red to the garden.

exotic garden

The garden contains huge boulders like you find in gardens in Thailand and they also edge the pathways.

There is a perfect pond complete with fish but dogs and fish do not go together.

exotic garden

Alan starts drawing his plans which makes her remember Thailand and the holiday she cut short to rescue Loulou.

David will make a seating area on the hardstanding by the back door and a dog shower.

Katie will do the oriental pergola and a chill out area for Flynn.

Alan will create a jungle escape with foliage and boulders.


A dog friendly garden with a shower and compostable loo and to also remind them of Thailand, somewhere soothing to relax in.

A Work in Progress
Alan called in his team of Contractors and his Love Your Garden Team of David Domoney, Katie Rushworth for this garden makeover.

David has started work on the area for Jo's dogs and is building the wall for the dog shower.


There is hole left for the taps and it will have a flexi hose to get to all parts of the dogs.

He now making the wooden base and he is using spacers to leave gaps for the water to run away under the boards.

David has some patterned and plain tiles for the dog shower, the tiles are similar to what you would find in a Thai Palace and he is arranging them in a random pattern.

He has outdoor tiles and the patterned ones are between £4.50 - £5.00 but the plain ones are £1.40 - £1.50.

David has some patterned and plain tiles

He is putting waterproof tile adhesive directly onto the wall and will attach the tiles and add spacers.

He uses the new shower attachment to hose down the area as well as Katie's boots.

David has a show stopper plant for his area and it is a Gunnera Manicata which is commonly known as Giant Rhubarb and this will be planted to enjoy the run off from  the Dog Shower.


The leaves look life Rhubarb but are not edible and the flower at the front will turn red and it can grow huge so he is using a liner to contain it and make the ground boggy so he is putting a few drainage holes in it.

David is making a dog safe water feature out of a Lotus Bowl raised up on a wooden plinth and in it he has a Dwarf Water Lily and it is the smallest of the white cup flower ones.

water feature

The leaves will cover the surface and prevent Algae forming as well as little white flowers

Katie is starting work on the Sala which is a covered area to entertain in and she is making this by customising a bought Pergola.


She is painting the wood with a colour called Cedarwood so it looks like Madang which is the tree and hard wood that is used to make Thai buildings.

It allows the natural grain of the wood to still show through.

Katie has put the roof on the Sala using a simple Apex design using 4 by 2s and roofing battens.


Next she cuts ornate detailing into plywood sheets for the roof panels then she paints the roof parts with gold paint for some added bling that is common in Thailand.

Lastly she is cutting out some decorative end points to the roof to finish off the Thai elegant look.

Felt Shingles

Instead of a tiled roof for the Sala Katie is using Green Felt Shingles which she is going to lay in a fish scale pattern.

Katie is adding the finishing touches to her Sala by spray painting some really nice drapes an she is using a patterned radiator cover for the stencil design.

She is laying it on the edge of the material and covered the rest with newspaper to form a barrier.


The spray paint is added in layers so it is nice and even.

Alan is in the next door garden inspecting the plants that have arrived, like a kid in a sweet shop!

There is a Palm tree like the ones he saw earlier and this one is a hardy variety called Trachycarpus and they are using hardy plants as plants native to Thailand would not survive our climate.


He has also got a Tetrapanax Rex or T-Rex which has large hand shaped leaves and a Fatsia Polycarpa which is like a  Fatsia Japonica, or Fake Castor Oil plant but its more extended.

They will plant in layers with pops of colour from the Australian Bottlebrushes which are very hardy.

The whole planting scheme has to be dog friendly too.

Alan is going to turn a standard Cypress conifer into a an exotic looking plant by cloud pruning it which is popular in Asian gardens.

Alan cloud pruning

It is originally a Japanese art form and it is supposed to reveal the true essence of the tree.

He starts at the top by shortening the leaves and then works downwards removing branches to leave clusters of growth to form the clouds.

Niwaki is the Japanese name for Cloud pruning.

Alan cloud pruning

To make the branches go outwards you can wrap wire around the stems and fastens them to the rim of the container.

Once it is established it will need a trim twice a year with shears.

Alan is sprucing up Jo's Buddha with some gold gilt paint.

Time for some plants and Alan is planting at the back of the garden to get the tropical feel to the garden and he starts with the trees and then he will layer it down in height.

Neolitsea tree

The tree is a Neolitsea and they got this from a specialist Nursery and it comes from Japan but is hardy in our climate.

He then got some Cut Leaf Elder which will need clipping to keep it in the layer and then the biggest Dahlia Dahlia Imperialis.

Katie and Alan step back to admire it and it is looking good but Katie thinks it needs one more plant in the corner!

tropical plants

She finds him a Nandina and he reckons 2 will fill the gap.

Nandina is also called the Sacred Bamboo of Japan, Nandina Domestica and the foliage starts off red and turns to green, it is hardy and like dappled shade.

It also has white flowers followed by berries but it is the red foliage that its known for.

Alan continues his tropical planting with a feature tree Eriobotrya the Loquat,  Eriobotrya Japonica meaning it comes from Japan, but originally it is actually from China.

It is evergreen with large leaves and in warmer climates it has yellow fruit but it is Hardy in our climate.

He is now on the ground cover layer that is dog friendly and its always best to check the plant is ok for dogs.

Alan is planting Alchemilla, Lady's Mantle and to contrast with the lime green leaves a purple Heuchera.

Next job is the dog loo in the far corner and the wooden frame has arrived and put in place over the pit and Alan puts the metal dog loo on top.

Alan dog loo

It is not actually for the dogs to sit on but to dispose of the dog waste with water which will filter away.

David passes him some toilet roll in case he wants to hold a dog over its new loo!

Alan dog loo

Alan declines the offer....

Alan raking some gravel around by his plants and the Dog Loo and says its a good place for the dogs to have a wee so it will drain away and not smell and on the lawn it leaves brown patches.

Flynn is the reason they are here doing the makeover for his Mum so Alan has invited him to help and he sees the garden for the first time and he thinks the garden is great.


Alan asks why his Mum Jo loves dogs so much and Flynn said because Jo Wife had one when  they met Jo just kept getting more and more dogs, all rescued and some staying and others moving on.

Alan has a Jasmine for Flynn to plant to climb up the Sala and in Thailand it is the Mothers Day Flower and Alan has already pre dug a hole.


Flynn knocks the plant out of the pot and plants it leaning towards the pillar following Alan's directions.

This is Flynn first time planting anything and he has done well.

Alan large rocks have arrived and he directs David where to place them around the gravel area.

The last finishing touch is the hammock for Flynn area and Katie tests it whilst the last things are put in place including the Buddha.

The Grand Reveal

Joanne open your eyes

Joanne open your eyes

*speechless* 'Oh my god' 'oh my god, it's ama...' 'I don't know what to say' 'oh my Buddha's there it's amazing' ' I'm speechless, I never .. I'm never speechless'

An Exotic Thai Inspired Paradise

Finished garden

A Sala to seek shade

Finished garden

Flynn area with Hammock

Finished garden

A Dog Shower

Dog Loo

Finished garden

Tropical planting

Alan shows Jo the Jasmine that Flynn planted and the Mother's Day story from Thailand.

Kerry and Flynn

Kerry and Flynn see the garden and they are amazed at the transformation.

Katie gets Flynn to try out the Hammock as the dogs come out and inspect the garden and they all sit and enjoy their new garden.

Danny Clark is in Salford to bring some Asian influence to a tiny backyard for Dawn who has dedicated her life to survivors of Domestic Abuse.

Danny and Dawn

Her Colleague Justine says how Dawn has worked with Salford Women's Aid for nearly 40 years and it would not be the same without her drive and energy.

Dawn's Sister Trish says she has a heart of gold and is very deserving of this garden as she would do anything for anyone.

Dawn has a Labrador cross called Missy

Dawn has a Labrador cross called Missy who is a rescue dog and she also dog sits for Basset Hounds Reacher and Henry.

The Garden
The tiny garden is only about 20 square metres, 5 by 5 but just because its a small garden it doesn't mean it will be a little job to transform it!

The Garden

There a large shrub on one side that is taking over.

The garden also has to be dog friendly as well as somewhere to relax in .

Danny tells her that they want to create a Asian inspired garden and Dawn is excited by this.

Design Concepts
Alan shows us a minimalistic garden in West London which has boundaries in block colours to create a contemporary look.

minimalistic garden

Bamboo and grasses are used to keep a simple 2 variety planting scheme and there is also an entertaining area with a Bar Be Que.

A Work in Progress
The Contractors have arrived and started work.

Danny first job is to start by painting the boundary walls a bold green stripes so there will be a lighter strips so it is not a block of colour.

bamboo to clad the wall

On another wall he is using bamboo to clad the wall all over.

The Bamboo is a durable product that will last a long time and are as strong as using oak would be.

Now the time for some plants and to make a real statement they are putting some Bamboo into pots and they are using 2 varieties of Bamboo Fargesia and Phyllostachys.

potting Bamboo

The Fargesia is the well behaved clumping Bamboo and the Phyllostachys is the sort of Bamboo that runs and spreads.

So the pots contain the Phyllostachys so they keep contained and will grow tall.

The excess of the bamboo poles has been used to edge the bed that the large shrub came out of.

Danny loves digging and getting close to the soil and when he is digging it is all he is thinking about plus it is a good workout!

Rosie brings him a large Bamboo for the bed called Fargesia Panda and Rosie thinks thats a great name for this attractive Bamboo that only grows 8 - 10 feet tall.

Danny planting

Danny says you can see from the roots its clump forming as he does not want the roots to run everywhere and he back filling the hole with his hands to compact it.

At the front he is adding some Feather grass which turns orange in the autumn.

Alan dog loo

Danny is adding a design feature to the garden, a bar edged in the Bamboo for drinks whilst underneath doggie treats and a bed for the dog.

The Prosecco table complete and some finishing touches to add like the arrival of an Egg Chair and the garden is complete.

Danny thinks they have done a 'marvellous garden' 

The Grand Reveal

Danny gets to say 'Dawn open your Eyes'

Danny gets to say Dawn open your Eyes

'Oh my....'  'Sorry I don't know what to say' 'I don't know how you've don't it'  'it's just amazing' 'Thank you'

finished garden

Green walls and  Bamboo clad feature walls

finished garden

Comfortable seating area

Bamboo planting

finished garden

Thai inspired entertainment area with table and dog area underneath

Danny Clarke

Dawn is in tears as she notices the things for Missy under her new bar / table as friends and family flood into the tiny garden the dogs run around excited at the new garden.

All photographs are copyright of


Salford Women's Aid

Landscape Team

Jason Williams

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