Love Your Garden Series 12 Episode 6 Sudbury

Love Your Garden Series 12 Episode 6 Sudbury

 Alan Titchmarsh welcomes us to Love Your Garden and Series 12 episode 6.

Alan says how he is lucky to meet all sorts of people and he finds people who devote their lives into helping others the most inspirational.

With his team they want to thank these people by giving them their dream garden.

Gardens rejuvenate you and offer tranquillity when you have had a hard day and they are bringing tired gardens back to life.

So this year Alan and his team David DomoneyKatie RushworthFrances Tophill and Danny Clarke are going to surprise some inspirational people and give them breath taking gardens to transform their lives.

They will also share the secrets of how they do this, giving us good ideas to transform the chosen garden as well as in our own gardens.

'Welcome to Love Your Garden'.

Alan is in Sudbury, Suffolk to surprise Charity Shop Worker Eileen Baldwin who at 82 years old and has worked in the Cancer Research Charity Shop for 25 years.

He is greeted at the till and they call Eileen out of the back where she sorts the clothes and a very surprised Eileen declares 'Oh my goodness my favourite gardener '.

Eileen and Alan

They swap pleasantries and Eileen says she been here for 25 years and she loves the job and meeting people.

As well as being a local hero she is also nick named 'the Queen of steam' and Alan knows why as she steams the clothes for the shop so she gives him a go.

Eileen is one of 200,000 people who volunteer in charity shops across the country

Eileen says her garden has not been done and she lives in a new build house and the garden is important to her to get out into nature.

Gary Baldwin

Gary Baldwin, her son says she helped so many people in her life and does whatever she can for them.

If someone needs help she would be the first there and still tries to do that.

Her Friend and co-worker Ivy Pound says the garden will mean the world to her plus she has a soft spot for Alan!

Eileen and Roy have been married for 62 years but 7 years ago Roy was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.

Eileen and Roy

Gary their son says how fit his Dad was before and it also affects their relationship.

Eileen says Roy not the same man and they do not converse anymore.

Friend Ivy says she never complains or wants pity and she just gets on with it.

The Garden
Alan and Eileen arrive at her house and Alan asks where is the back garden and they do not have one just a front garden.

The Garden

The garden is made up of a huge gravel drive and just 2 sections of garden which are bare.

In the corner is a small cabin with a gym in it for her husband Roy who sadly suffers from Parkinson's 

Roy comes out from their house and shakes hands with Alan and they moved here so it be easier for him to manage in a bungalow.

Roy, Eileen and Alan

They show Alan his route to the gym and he finds it hard to manage the change to the gravel drive from the path and the exercise is so beneficial for him.

The garden in its present state is dangerous for Roy to negotiate and it is featureless except for the gym and the bins.

The train passes the garden every half an hour on a branch line to Colchester from Sudbury.

The Gym

Alan asks Eileen what her dream garden is and she wants a garden that makes her smile when she sees it, she likes structure and bright colours she wants something modern not cottagey.

Alan promises to make a garden that will suit both of them although he worried as he is not a cutting edge designer,

I think he can do no wrong for Eileen and her soft spot!

Alan and Eileen

Alan says we carry on through life then something like Roy Parkinson's changes everything and Eileen has this to cope with as well as her charity shop work, so creating a garden is the least they can do to make their lives more enjoyable.

Design Concepts
Alan is visiting a garden in Hertfordshire and he thinks this is the sort of garden for Eileen.

The garden is very romantic and you can sit and lose yourself in it and just relax and he wants to give the couple a bit of romance in their own garden.

Garden visit

The garden is divided into separate spaces using trees and shrubs it also contains sculptures, statues and topiary to add various focal points.

He wants to use this in their garden to distract from the driveway and give you something nice to focus on away from the practical parts of the garden.

The different parts of the garden means there are different areas to relax in at different times of the day or for different moods.

Garden visit

The garden is sunny but on one side it has taller fruit trees and Irish yew hedges to create some shade so it means the mood of the garden is too.

It has a curving path to make you explore and the placing of a Golden Leaved Philadelphus or Mock Orange that would be damaged by the sun and underneath  there are Hellebores and Dicentras.

Right at the bottom of the garden is a bench to take in the view, which be very good in their garden, once they have a nice view that is.

A seating area is so important to sit and enjoy the garden all around you.

Garden plan

Alan starts his plan for Roy and Eileen garden and it is very challenging as at the moment it is just a driveway at the front of their house.

It needs to still be a driveway but also act as their front and back garden all in one.

Frances will make the fence look less dominant in the garden and also to make a bin store with a green roof.

Katie will do the area outside the house and do a pergola over the existing terrace for entertaining under and to surround it with planting and water features.

Garden plan

Alan will be doing the route to Roy's gym as well as a private area outside of it to sit in surrounded by greenery and flowers.

The garden needs to be modern and contemporary even though its for the older generation and by taking away some of the driveway Alan can get all this into his garden design.

Garden Visit
David Domoney is visiting the Garden of Florist Georgie  at Grade II Listed Wappenham Manor which is a good example of how a front garden drive can be incorporated into the garden.


It is zoned and they have a knot garden and Georgie says the garden takes you on a journey with a theme that runs through it so it is all one garden.

There are lots of evergreens in the design so there is interest all year round which gives it structure.

Georgie grows a lot of Tulip varieties which are Eileen's favourite flower and she shares some tips with David on Tulips.


She has flower orders next week so she picks and harvests them now so they last to next week and she had to slow down them to do this.

Georgie digs up the whole plant including the bulb, then she wraps it up in brown paper to keep it cool and dark.

If they were for tomorrow she would just cut them as usual and leave the bulb in the ground for next year.

David and Georgie

In an arrangement the Tulip flower lasts 7 - 10 days and the stored one will last 10 days before it is arranged.

A Work in Progress
Alan calls in his trusty team of contractors as well as fellow Love Your Garden Team members  Frances Tophill and Katie Rushworth

Katie pergola is up and it has a roof so it can be used in all weathers and provide some shade.


Using some of their own Indian Sandstone she is using this to extend the patio and also using stone sets to edge the new border taken from the driveway

Now the Pergola is complete Katie wants to plant all around it so they can sit surrounded by beautiful and highly scented planting.

Katie now setting up the water feature which is just 1 of 3 identical water features in the garden so she can start the planting around it.

The Pergola is made of Oak and mirrors the Oak on the house so Katie would like an archway of Oak in the garden as a 3rd focal piece.

Katie and Alan

Katie approaches Mr Titchmarsh to get his permission to change his design to add more Oak, he is all for it as long as it does not look like goal posts.

Katie is using lots of colour in her area after speaking to Eileen so she has a mixture of blues, purples and pinks.


This includes some blue Delphinium like Eileen wedding dress colour.

By the front door she is planting 2 containers with Tulips Spring Green along with Veronica Gentle Breeze and some Scabious.


Tulips are usually planted in the Autumn when in bulb but she has fully grown plants and both need to be planted 3 times the depth of the bulb.

Katie very heavy Oak archway has arrived and is put into place.


Now they have expanded the borders into the driveway more Katie is struggling as she now has so much extra planting to do, so Frances and the all the team except Alan pitch in to help, Alan has strangely disappeared.

Frances is working on her bin storage and everyone has ugly bins they would like hidden so they have custom built one with doors on the front.

Frances bin store

She is adding a green roof so she has added a surround to the roof with drainage holes at the front which she covers with waterproof material.

Then an inch of gravel is added to the bottom  and then compost planted with a mix of Coastal plants like Sea Thrift and some Alpines like Saxifrage, with grasses like Festuca.

Frances bin store

Next she is adding some small troughs to the doors of the bin store and she again using the Sea Thrift and Erigeron she is adding a Succulent which she breaking it up into Rosettes to fill the gaps.

Frances is testing the new driveway by driving and reversing a car into it and after a 6 point turn she got it parked facing outwards without hitting anything.

Frances has several raised beds to fill that have been lined and filled with compost and they are to help disguise the fence to the train track.


She has chosen to have just Evergreens so it is colourful all year round and she starts by planting an Escallonia as well as a favourite of hers a Choisya Ternata  which has a lovely fragrance.


In between each bed is a Silver Birch tree.

Frances is adding some plant troughs to the gate posts and she planting it with Flocks and some Ivy so it will trail down and make a welcome to the garden.

 Alan there is now a smooth walkway to the Gym with some paving being laid as well as a seating area outside of it with some raised planters.


He is placing a water feature that matches the other 2 in the garden that is made to look like Corten Steel.

Alan is tackling the boundary fence in his area by the Gym and he adding some Portugal Laurels which are evergreens that have been pleached to a framework so they will spread and provide some privacy.


Eileen and Roy son Brett has come to help Alan plant the trees and says how active his parents were when he was growing up and the Parkinson's practically started stopping that straight away.

Roy just accepted it and got on with things but now his mum has to do everything on her own as they are no longer a team.

Alan and Brett

Brett will be on hand to help with the new garden but Alan hopes it will be low maintenance for them in the future.

Alan has started on his planting using the 350 degree wrap around effect he saw in the garden in Hertfordshire.

He is placing the plants and likes playing around with different plant shapes, colours and textures so he has placed a very deep purple Lavender next to a lime green Euphorbia, then there is a pale yellow Potentilla.


This is going to be a lovely seating area and when the water feature is set up it will be very relaxing and it is also right outside Roy bedroom.

Alan now planting up his raised planters and he using Bearded Iris and you need to plant them with the Rhizome on the surface of the soil.


Next he is adding Indian Azaleas which are not hardy so they can replace them if they do not survive.

Roy will now have a very smooth fragrant path to his Gym every day.

The 3 water features in the garden are very modern and contemporary and the water gently bubble up and ripples across the top and will be very calming.

Alan next plant are some tall Pencil Cypress Trees to section of the seating area to make it more private and he trimming the straggle bits to make it look more clipped.


Next he turns on his water feature and after a few tweaks its running smoothly and his final part is to plant up the ends of it.

He picked plants like the colour of the feature and its called Tiarella Spring Symphony and they are very near competition.


With a few finishing touches competed the garden is finished.

What the Garden means for them
Katie is Meeting Eileen and Roy at Kentwell Hall in nearby Long Melford which is a favourite place for the couple to visit.

Eileen and Roy

Katie thinks it is beautiful and Eileen talks about the gardens they have visited like seeing the Tulips in Holland.

Eileen favourite colour is blue and she even wore Delphinium blue to her wedding and Roy likes trees in the garden and used to have a nice Lawn, Eileen likes her gardens to look perfect.

Katie Eileen and Roy

The house they have is not very big so the garden will be another space for them to use especially now they can no longer holiday abroad.

Their Son Brett says the garden is going to let them enjoy being outside again as its now difficult to take Roy out he will not need to if he has a beautiful garden at home.

The Grand Reveal

Eileen open your eyes


'Oh my' 'Isn't it beautiful' 'Oh my goodness' 'Oh! Never seen so many plants' 'oh its wonderful' 'Oh we've Oh, what's in there?'  

The garden is no longer just a driveway but a contemporary space for them to enjoy whatever the weather to relax in

Finished garden

Bin Store with green roof and troughs

Finished garden

Covered Pergola and seating area

Finished garden

Romantic courtyard seating area

Finished garden

Contemporary water features

Bright and scented planting

Finished garden

Smooth pathways to the Gym

Alan takes Eileen on a tour of the garden pointing out all the features as she takes a seat on the new outdoor chairs to take in all the garden.

Roy Eileen and Alan

She cannot stop thanking Alan and she is nearly in tears and Alan brings Roy out on his new walk to the Gym area to join his wife on the new seating area.

Roy face says it all as he gives Alan the thumbs up.


As friends and family join them in their new garden everyone is so pleased for this special couple that they have a lovely garden to enjoy.

All photographs are copyright of


Landscape Team

Tim Weller

James Dale

Jason Williams

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