Love Your Garden Series 11 Episode 6 A Green Garden

Love Your Garden Series 11 Episode 6 A Green Garden

Alan Titchmarsh is back for this episode of Love Your GardenSeries 11

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 Salford to surprise Margaret Mary who has turned around the lives of others as well as her own.

He again goes for the sneak round to the back door technique and a very surprised Margaret Mary pops her head through the blinds!

Margaret Mary

'Oh oh' is all she can say and Alan persuades her to come out into her back garden.

She has been nominated for a new garden by her 3 sisters for recognition of all the work she does and that you had just got this house and her first ever garden.

Margaret Mary was born and bred in Salford and loves the City and now runs a Community Cafe for recovering Alcoholics and Addicts.

Over 6 years ago she too had an alcohol problem and she sort help and now she works with the community doing things for other people.

Joanne Koch

Joanne Koch says her big sister never does anything for herself or asks for anything and just does everything for other people.

She is not only a Support Worker for Addictions and Mental Health problems she also volunteers at a Community Cafe.

Nick Burke, Centre Manager, of Salford Lifestyle Centre said having Margaret Mary is great as she is so approachable which helps people to open up to her.

Margaret Mary and Nick Burke

Margaret Mary says she shares her own experiences with people and this gives them hope that they too can get through things for better tomorrows.

Fellow Volunteer Beverly Jones says Margaret Mary 'feeds the world mentally, physically and emotionally'.

Friend Esther Derber said when she met Margaret Mary 3 years before she was in a bad place and she was so supportive to her, like a breath of fresh air.

Juliet Eastham another friend says she got a good spiritual connection with mother earth and nature so doing this garden for her will mean everything to her.

The Garden
Margaret Mary tells Alan this is the only garden she has ever had after recently moving to the property.

The Garden

Alan says the garden has so much scope and she already has a compost heap and a nice pile of pallets they can use as well as anything else in the garden.

He asks about the shed and that is full of her kitchen equipment, her kitchen full of the food as she loves to make meals.

The Garden

So Alan says a garden where you can grow stuff to eat, as well as somewhere to sit and she loves circles so lots of curves as well.

So a kitchen garden to feed herself and others, that also looks nice, is kind to the planet and with no straight lines.

The Garden

Alan says she has overcome so much and is now helping others, Margaret Mary says a garden would change her whole life.

Design Concepts
Alan is at Bramdean House in Hampshire to see their fabulous kitchen garden, full of fruit and vegetables that have supplied the house for over 250 years.

There is so much space and a huge variety of crops.

Bramdean House

Traditional kitchen gardens grow efficiently as well as being organic and good for the environment. 

The soil is enriched by compost and organic matter produced from the rest of the garden and having a good compost heap is the key to having good produce.

The garden at Bramdean is not only organic it is also sustainable as they even grow their own Hazel to use as poles and supports for netting and peas.

By using the nets and poles over their crops it also means that they do not need spraying so they are fully organic.

The garden is in formal straight lines but Margaret Mary wants circles so Alan going to have to think how he can make this work in the garden.

Old Kitchen Gardens use the walls that are south and West facing for fruit trees that they train against them and the heat is kept in the walls.

Alan points out a Oullins Golden Gage Plum tree and next to them Pears.

Margaret Mary has a wall in her garden so thats the fruit sorted.

Next to the Kitchen Garden  they have an orchard full of Pears, Plums and Apple trees and Margaret Mary's garden will have one too.

Alan sets to work to design Margaret Mary's 12 x 8 metre Garden that will use recycled and repurposed material.

Alan Titchmarsh

A circular area with raised beds and table is for Frances to do along with a pickling shed.

An orchard and compost heap for Katie.

Alan will be a pool for nature and crops and a spiral herb bed.


He wants a buzzing with life eco garden for Margaret Mary as well as a modern kitchen garden.

A Work in Progress
Alan team of contractors arrive along with Love Your Garden Team Members Katie Rushworth and Frances Tophill.

Katie is starting work on her mini orchard area which is also going to house the compost bin and log store.

Katie fence posts

She has some sustainable timber poles and she is using them to mark out the border of this area before adding the rails.

They are using a post basher to drive the posts in so there is no need to use concrete, not the easiest for jobs for Katie!

The compost area is a very important part of a kitchen garden and she is making this one out of the old pallets.

Compost bin

You need 4 pallets which you screw together and she fills the new bin with Margaret Mary's old compost to give it a good start.

Katie has some trees being delivered for the Orchard in the corner and Margaret Mary loves Fruit trees that she wants to pick from with the Grandchildren.

Katie in Orchard

If you want your own Fruit Trees you do not need a large space if you grow Dwarf Fruit Trees which are grafted onto different root stock.

This means they will stay Dwarf as the root stock will not allow them to grow big.


Katie is planting Apple, Plums and Cherries which will be good for pies and crumbles.

The Apple variety is Apple James Grieve and if you do not eat all the apples the wildlife will, so a lovely addition to the garden.

Katie is adding some edible flowers in the planters that are either side of the recycled plastic bench.

Katie is adding some edible flowers

She is planting a Daylily called Night Embers which not only looks amazing but is also edible and next to that she adding Sweet Woodruff that can be made into a tonic.

She also adding Dianthus and she created a little snack area next to the seat to nibble on.

Frances is making round planters out of old wood.

The next thing she is saving is an old door which she plans to put into the pickling shed and she screws it to the back wall. Very rustic!.


Next the outside is getting a coat of paint and the shed is for not only preparing her pickles but also for storing them.

For the final touch to the door Frances hangs a lovely old mirror on it as well as adding some recycled shelves for pickles.

Frances is working on her central seating area and is cutting the lid off an old barrel and is going to make a trio of containers from barrels.


She is making drainage holes in the bottom and lining with a waterproof membrane.

As she rolls the barrel Alan predictably sings 'roll out the barrel we'll have a barrel of fun' 

You can buy old barrels for approximately £50 each and Frances is using a mix of full and half barrels.

Alan and Frances

She is going to plant a fragrant and edible perimeter to her seating area in the barrels and they are also near to the outdoor kitchen and pickling shed.

Frances is planting up her border with Pruning Vegetables that have big root systems, do not require much watering and keep on delivering produce every year.


She is planting a favourite Perennial Kale which grows to 3 to 4 foot tall so is safe from pests.

The next to be planted is a bit unusual an Egyptian Walking Onion which at the end of the season has baubles which when they land on the ground they make new plants.

Frances is planting up one of her Barrels with a plant that used to be a favourite sweet of hers a Liquorice Plant and has roots you use and it is member of the Pea family.


This is a hardy plant unlike the Citrus Plant she is putting in another Barrel so she is planting the Lemon Tree in its pot so it can be taken out in the Winter and taken indoors.

Alan is with Katie who is showing him the ideal thing to make his pond out of... an old bath and he is not very impressed.

He says old baths can work well in the garden and can even be made to look pretty.

Bath pond

They sink the bath well into the ground and then add gravel to the bottom of the sealed up bath before surrounding the top edge with stones.

Alan plans to grow Watercress in the bath and round the edge of the bath he is planting Potentilla or Globe Flowers and Cat Mint.

At the tap end to look like there is water flowing he is placing a grass to drape over.

Alan and Bath pond

He then starts to fill the bath and adds some big stones to the bottom and a log for a ramp for any wildlife to get out of the bath.

Next he adds the marginal aquatic plants Houttuynia Cypress and Myriophyllum and the last plant is the Watercress.

Bath pond

The Watercress will root into the gravel and you can even grow it in pots but the compost needs to be kept moist.

Alan is starting on his spiral herb bed which he is hoping puts a modern spin on the traditional.

spiral herb bed

He has some flat stones which he is laying like a dry stone wall in a spiral pattern which descends in height.

He fills the middle with soil as he goes to help stabilise the formation and the finished design gives him 2 different micro climates to plant in.

spiral herb bed

He is planting in drifts starting with Sages at the top, the driest part then some creeping Thyme, next some Mint followed by Chives then it is all filled up.

Alan is placing a table that is made out of an old cable reel which makes a lovely solid table.

They are busy planting as much fruit, vegetables and flowers into the garden they can and Alan wants to add yet more Fruit Trees.

He is attaching wires to the wall and he has some young Espalier Apple, Plum and Pear Trees to put in.

attaching wires to the wall

The wall faces South East so is good for putting the trees on and the Vine Wires he has put in the wall keep them about an inch from the wall.

The wires are 12 - 15 inches apart and you can then train the trees to them as they grow.

The first one he is planting is a Coeur De Boeuf Apple which is an old variety dating back to 1200 and is a French variety.

Alan and fruit trees

They have already been trained but you need to keep tying the branches in to keep them growing in the horizontal lines.

Next it the Pear tree and the area by a wall can get dry as its protected from the rain so it will need regularly watering.

With a few finishing touches the garden is complete

The Grand Reveal

Margaret Mary Open your eyes

Margaret Mary

'Oh my god' 'I never imagined this' 'Oh my goodness, oh look' 'It looks so huge' 'Oh that's awesome' 'Recycling' ' Oh that's so beautiful it's like a big bouquet' 'I am gonna teach the children to grow vegetables' 'that's so awesome' 'Oh look I really like that Mr T, I really do'.

The recycled, reused Eco Kitchen Garden

Finished garden

Outdoor Kitchen

Finished garden

Pickling Shed

Finished garden

Orchard and Espalier Fruit Trees

Finished garden

Planting to attract wildlife

Finished garden

A Bath Pond

An overwhelmed Margaret May Finally sits down to take it all in as people flood in to share her amazement at the garden makeover.

Canalside Garden

David Domoney is by the Canal in Leicester and the garden is not your typical garden it is on the riverbank.

Canal mooring

The Canal boat and moorings belong to Tim and Charlotte and they love living there as they are close to nature and wildlife and it is also very quiet.

They are moored up here 95% of the time and go out on the canals 3 or 4 times a year.

Tim and Charlotte

They are moored on the River Soar with a small community of boat owners and they border a nature reserve and are passionate wildlife lovers.

Neighbour Louise Hall says when the river rises there is so much litter that comes down into the river.

Charlotte litter pick

Charlotte goes out on her Kayak litter picking to keep the river clean and this makes a real difference to the river.

They also both help out at the Community Allotment which is nearby.

The Garden
The Canalside mooring area needs a lot of work and some more plants as it is very bare at the moment.


This will become an eco Kitchen Garden but in a very small area and nothing like the usual gardens David does.

Tim says they have always struggled to make the space functional and somewhere to enjoy.

mooring area

The area is also used for their recycling and they have a log store made from old pallets.

David job is to revamp the area in an eco friendly way to somewhere to grow produce as well as an entertainment area for friends.

Design Concepts
David is on the towpath of the Grand Union Canal to visit a garden that has a lot of plants and produce in a small space.

The garden is actually on an narrow boat and David climbs up onto the roof to get a good look at the very full and colourful displays.

WOW is his response to the abundance of colour as well as edibles and it is full of bees enjoying the moving garden.

Salad Crops

They have Tomatoes, Salad Crops, Lettuce, Rocket, Chives, Chilli's and Peppers everything you need for lunch on the go!

The flowering plants include Thrift, Marigolds and Osteospermums.

David like the idea it is all moveable and he going to use this idea for the garden.

A Work in Progress
The contractors and Love Your Garden team member David Domoney have started work on the area to be made over.

David is starting the garden by reusing old pallets as a fence around the area and this is then getting a stripe of paint.

recycled plastic modular system.

He wants to get as ,many plants in the area as possible so he is using a recycled plastic modular system.

It can grow the plants vertically to save space and they can be moved in sections onto the boat to take with them but is also self watering if they leave them when they are away.

Growing your own is good environmentally as well as having more mineral and nutrients when freshly picked and eaten.

recycled plastic modular system.

They can have an array of produce in the vertical containers including herb like Chives, Parsley. Sage, thyme and Mint.

He has also fitted in some Strawberries at the bottom as well as flowers for the Bees as well.

David plans to use every inch of available space on the recycled Pallet fence to hang portable plant containers on.

All the plants are going to need watering so David is making a sail suspended from some tall posts as well as provide shade it will collect water when it rains.

David and rain sail

He has added a rain chain at the lowest point of the sail so water will run down into a bucket and this originated in Japan instead of ugly down pipes.

They give it a test with a brave David standing under the sail and he is kept lovely and dry as the water runs down into the bucket.

David next job is to paint and reuse 2 second hand wheelbarrows and convert them into planters.

The wheelbarrows

The wheelbarrows are spacious and can get a lot of soil in them you just need to drill some drainage holes and because they have wheels you can move them where you like.

He plans a his and hers wheelbarrow and Tim is having a grow your own Barrow made up of Marrow, Leeks, Peppers and Chillies.

The wheelbarrows

Charlottes one is full of flowers including Erigeron, edible flowers and Herbs.

In the centre of the garden they have made a table from an old crate and underneath it made from fence panel post is a cat hotel!

With chairs added and some finishing touches the Canalside garden is complete.

The Grand Reveal

Tim and Charlotte open your eyes

Tim and Charlotte

'Oh my god' 'Oh. WOW' 'oh that's stunning' 'it's amazing' 'that's stunning' 'oh look the bees are gonna go wild' 'oh well I think we can definitely have friends round now'  'It gives us an extra room' 'oh its incredible'.

A sail water catcher

Finished garden

Living walls 

Finished garden

Seating and entertaining area

Finished garden

Wheelbarrow raised beds

Tim and Charlotte

As Tim and Charlotte clink glasses them and their cats are overjoyed at their new garden.

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