A Special Caribbean Oasis Is Created By A Croydon Garden Makeover
An Overgrown Croydon Garden Is Re-Styled To Envoke The Glory, Beauty & Moments of Tranquility That Can Be Found In The Caribbean. Jamaica In Particular.
The Instant Gardener – Season One Ep 10/10 – Together UK TV Channel (Sky 170) – 5pm To 6pm Saturday August 27 2022 (Carnival Bank Holiday Weekend 2022)
The Final Episode of The Instant Gardener Series 1 Is A Very Tropical Affair With TV Presenter Helen Skelton, Garden Designer Danny Clarke And The Team Includin’ A.J. Euan Rose And Louise Hampden, Tryin’ To Create A Jamaican Theme. Garden Owner Carmen And Granddaughter Shanice, Whos Brought Boyfriend Luke Along Too As There’s A Great Deal To Do, Are Keen To See The Finished Transformation By This Dream Team.
In Terms of Conjurin’ Up A Leafy Taste of The Caribbean In Britian It Was A Case of Savin’ The Best Till Last In This 10 Week Series of The Instant Gardener Presented By TV Presenter Helen Skelton And Professional Gardner Danny Clarke. Everybody In This Episode, Number Ten of Ten, Is Aimin’ To Clear And Re-Vamp An Overgrown, Under-Managed, And Sadly Unused Jungle Garden Into A Beautiful, Enjoyable And Manageable Tropical Oasis That Reminds Owner, Carmen, of Jamaica. Even Though She’s Now Living In Croydon.
Carmen Left Her Home Country When She Was Just Aged 13 To Come To Britain. Here She Eventually Ended Up Dedicatin’ Her Life To The Health Service, As A Result of Which She Ended Up Not Takin’ As Much Care of Herself As She Did of Everybody Else. She Reveals, Workin’ In Mental Health, Includin’ Liftin’ And Strainin’ She Could Be Workin’ 14 Hour Days That Kept Her Out of Her Own Home From Say Instance Seven In The Mornin’ To Nine In The Evenin’.
As Well As The Tragedy of Overworkin’ For Others Leadin’ To Not Lookin’ After Herself, She Suffered The Heartbreaking Tragedy That Is Every Parents Nightmare As She Lost Her Daughter To A Premature And Tragic Death. Her Beloved Daughter Natasha Died In A House Fire. And This Is How, For Approximately The Last Seven Years Her Granddaughter Shaniece Has Come To Live With Her. And It Is Shaniece Who Contacted The Programme Hopin’ To Give Her Grandmother A Nice Surprise Because She Says She Very Much Deserves It After All She Does For The Community.
The Black Gardener Was Inspired By The Black Farmer
On Hand To Help With The Tropical Transformation Is South Londoner And Garden Designer Danny Clarke.
The Brand Name He Chose For His Business Highlights How Important It Is For Budding Entrepreneurs To Have examples of Successful Predecessors. And It’s All About Havin’ An Identity That You Care About. And A Brand Name That Reflects Who You Are And What You Do As A Business With A Particular Identity. It Is An Excellent Example of Clever, Clear And Confident Branding. And It Does What It Says On The Tin. It Is An Excellent Business Lesson.
Inspired By Emmaunuel Wilfred Jones, The Black Farmer, (www.theblackfarmer.com) Clarke Decided He Would Market Himself And The Gardening Business He Set Up In 1997 As The Black Gardener @theblackgardener. And It Worked Very Well.
The Business Was A Success And Is Still Going Strong. Due To His Expertise, Popularity And Affable Personality He Was Recognised Within The Gardening Community And Also Eventually Become A TV Personality. He Has Appeared On A Number of Gardening Shows Including Gardeners World, TV Coverage of The Chelsea Flower Show And Tatton Too.
In 2015 (Nearly 20 Years After He Launched His Garden Design Business) He Was Rewarded With His Own Show On BBC 1. It Aired For Two Seasons With Season One Composed of Ten Episodes And Season Two Composed of 15 Episodes. It Was So Popular It Is Regularly Repeated. Most Recently On The Together UK TV Channel @togetheruktv, Sky 170, Saturday August 27 2022, Bank Holiday Weekend, Which Just So Happens To Be The Start of The Notting Hill Carnival Bank Holiday Celebrations. So It Was Rather Timely. Danny Who Was Born In Oxford And Grew Up In Bromley, South London. Is Also of Jamaican Heritage, Like Carmen.
The Instant Gardener Features TV Presenter Skelton And Garden Designer Danny Clarke
The BBC’s Instant Gardner With Professional Garden Designern Danny Clarke And TV Presenter Helen
Prior To Danny’s Arrival The Garden Had No Shape, No Structure, No Clarity, No Pathway And No Pathway. It Is Literally Like A Overgrown Jungle. And There Are Indeed Scary Animals As Indicated By The Discovery of A Rather Big Frog Lurkin’ In An Overgrown Murky Pond. It Is So Bad That Danny Is Allowed A Seperate Clearance Day Just To Get All The Excessive Debris And Detritus Out of The Way Before He Even Begin His 10 Hour Day of Makeover Magic Which Immediately Commences The Next Mornin’.
A Broken Down Arber Is Removed And A Flowerless Perishing Pergola Is Rescued And Relocated To The Other Side of The Garden To Show off The Hidden Fence It Was Blockin’ Unproductively. Somehow Amongst All The Garden Mayhem The Fence Has Managaged To Stay Lookin’ Good And Proves To Be Useful In It’s Own Right For A Different Purpose (Without The Pergola).
Helen (@helenskelton) Was Keen To Know Why The Garden Was Not Bein’ Tended To. Carmen Explained That Firstly It Was Such A Huge Job And She Was Always Workin’ And Secondly She Wasn’t Able To Do Much Because of Havin’ A Bad Back. She Was Diagnosed With Siatica But Feels That In Addition To The Heavin’, Luggin,’ & Liftin’ At Work, The Stress of The Reality of Losin’ Her Daughter Also Played Its Part.
Asked By Helen If It Would Be Nice To Have Somewhere To Reflect On Her Daughter, Carmen Explained, Natasha Has Never Left My Thoughts. Whatever I Do. Whereever I Go. Natasha Will Never Be Forgotten. Not By Me Anyway.
She Also Says “It Is A Joy To Have Shanice Around. I’m Always Leanin’ On Shanice. She’s Always Happy To Help. I See Her Not Just My Granddaughter But Also My Daughter.”
Dan Is The Man With A Plan
Pictures & Ideas: diygarden.co.uk/ponds/pond-garden-ideas
Jamaican Garden Idea
Designer Dan Is Usually A Man With A Plan And On This Occassion It Guides The Professional Execution of The Re-Designed, Revitalized, And Re-Imagined Garden.
(I) There Was No Egotisical, Self-Indulgent, Experimentation On The Client’s Time Nor Tryin’ To Change The Client’s Mind Into Doin’ What The Professional Powerful Progtagonist Wants And Not What The Client Actually Asked For, Which Has Been Seen On Some Makeover Shows Previously, Where Other Installed Professional Do What They Prefer Rather Than What The Client Desired. No. Not So Here. Dan The Man Was Clear From Day One, He Was There To Give The Client What They Desired. And In This Case It’s A Tropical Garden Innvocative of Jamaica.
(2) He Was Going To Build A Pathway Which Would Run Along The Whole Length of The Garden Providin’ A Guide To The Natural Movement & Mangagement of The Outside Space.
(4) There Would Be Exotic Hardy Planting To Cultivate ‘A Tropical Look & Feel’ In Croydon, South London For Carmen’s Special Jamaica Inspired Healin’ Garden.
(3) There Would Be A Well-Positioined Pond On One Side of The Pathway
(5) Special Garden Structures Will Be Put In Place To Facilitate Further Enjoyment of This Special Outdoor Space
Jamaican Garden Execution
Different Types of Gravel Which Can Add Dynamism To A Garden Very Simply & Effectively
(I) The Path Is To Be Delineated Using Aluminium Edging (That’s Luke Job & Danny Gives A Quick, Clear & Simple Demonstration, As Luke Is A Quick Learner)
(2) Gravel Is To Be Used In The Freshly Cleared Main Garden Space As It’s Easy To Install And It Practical Because It Can Be Laid Up To 7cm Thick Which Prevents Weeds Growing Through, And Yet Can Water Can Permeate Into The Groud. And of Course It It Looks Great.
(3) Danny Advises That Plants Should Be Presented At Various Different Eye Levels, Planting Kept At The Same Level All The Time Is To Be Avoided. Tall Plants Provide A Focal Point And There Is To Be A Mixture of Focal Point Plants. They Will Present Different Heights, Textures, Sounds & Aromas As Tall Plants Are In One Area. Medium In Another Area. And Small Plants (Infills) In Yet Another Area Too.
(4) There Will Be Bespoke Structures Which Allow The Garden To Operate On Different Practical Levels, Bringin’ Different Dynamics To This Outside Area. Shanice Was Tasked With Clearin’ The Pond of Duck Weed. And Splitting & Dividing Overgrown & Neglected Pond Plants Using A Pruning Saw. Danny Shows Her How.
(5) Danny & AJ Concieve A Thoughtful Simple But Effective Idea For A Seating Area.
Jamaican Garden Inspiration & The National Garden Scheme
Whilst Danny’s Department Is The Garden Design, Planning And Execution, Helen And Carmen Work On Inspiration & Shoppin’ And Carmen Very Much Embraces The Latter, Makin’ The Most of A Well Earned And Long Overdue Day Out.
Firstly The National Garden Scheme Is A Gardeners Community Scheme Whereby . Private Gardens Are Made Open To The Public For The Sheer Joy & Philanthropy of It.
And One Gardener Who Decided To Sign Up And Share In The Scenery Scheme Is Former Botony Student Clive Pankhurst Who Has His Own Tropical Style Garden In Camberwell, South London. And Helen And The Instant Gardener Took Carmen Along For Inspiration.
Clive Explains That Hardy Plants Form The Framework of The Tropical Garden. Such Planting Includes Chinese Windmill Palms (Hardy) Banana Plants (Large Wide-Spanning Dark Green Leaves), Golden Bamboo Plants (Adding A Sunshine Feel), Dwarf Palm Plants (Allowin’ For Visual Variation). Gaint Eshiums (Which Provide Great Colour & Height And Also Attract The Bees). Cordylines (Simple & Effective), And Verigaged Horsetail (Providin’ Natural Elegance And An Integral Variety of Shades Givin’ Two For The Price of One).
As She Heads off To The Garden Centre With Carmen To Get Danny’s Prescribed New Plantin’ For The New Tropical Garden, Helen Reveal’s His Moto Is “Plan Before You Plant” And “Stick To The List”. So The Warnin’ Is “Don’t Give In To Temptation” When It Comes To The Shoppin’. But Suffice To Say That’s Not Always Easy To Stick To And A Number of Off Plan Purchases Are Made As Carmen Enjoys The Day.
These Include An Olive Tree (Which Carmen Claims Is Tropical But Helen Believes Is Mediterranean). An Oriental Poppy. Jasmines. & Clemantis, Which Happily Are Evergreens. The Ladies Are Helped Out By The Garden Centre Manager Who Supports The Use of Cordylines For The Garden Makeover And Explains That When In Flower They Produce White Fluffy Flowers Which Give off A Lovely Scent. The Greenery, Spacing, And Various Colours All Seemed To Pique Carmen’s Interest The Best.
Planting Highs & Lows
Tropical Looking Planting Can Add Different Texture, Height & Colour To A Garden. Here An Example of The Red Palm Tree Plant
A Job Expertly Done With Empathy
It Transpires That Designer Danny’s Way of Workin’ Is Methodical, Developmental…And Flexible. On Their Return He Approves The The Evergreen Clemantis Because “It Grows Easy And Can Grow Towards The Trelis. And Carmen’s Other off Plan Purchases Too. He’s Not Too Concerned About The Carmen Goin’ off Plan As Afterall “It Is Her Garden.” Impressively He’s Clearly Choosen To Show Alot of Sensitivity In This Particular Situation Without Makin’ A Big Deal of It.
Havin’ Secured The Planting He Selects Black Grass To Go Under The Structural Plants And Complements This With Golden Grass Too. He Plants A Soft Tree Fern On A Tilt As A Centre Piece. Soil Is Mixed With Compost To Prevent The Roots of The Plant Goin’ In Shock When It’s Planted. And He Adds Giant Eshiums Into The Garden For Height And Exotic Delight Through Colour, Shape & Texture. And Well Placed Cordylines For Dramatic Effect, Along With The Banana Plants And Various Bamboo & Palm Plants. Includin’ Golden Bamboo Plants, Chinese Windmill Palms & Dwarf Palms. All Add To The Jamican Vibe Makin’ The Garden Feel Sunny And Nice.
The Old Arbor Is Gone And Instead There Is A New Generous Sized Bench With Natasha’s Name Engraved On A Silver Plaque Tastefully Placed On The Lower Frontside. It Is Movin’ How Carmen Strokes The Plaque On Seein’ It.
The Newly Cleared Formerly Overgrown Pond Is A Now A Horticultural Hub As A Structural Garden Feature With Tall Pond Plants Which Have Been Split And Divided. Allowin’ The Whole Area To Look More Attractive.
Carmen Is Clearly Moved And Yet Simultaneously Doin’ Her Best To Remain Calm And Composed In The Midst of Alot of Emotion Inevitably Rising. She Says Heartily “Wow This Is Magnificent. Omg This Is Absolutely Wow. This is A Beautiful Garden. More Than I Expected. This Is A Fabulous Garden. Already It Appears To Be Peaceful And Tranquil. It’s A Lovely Garden.”
And On Seein’ Natasha’s Plaque Her Voice Cracks A Little As She Says “This Garden Is Fabulous”
Visibly Happy & Uplifted She Thanks Everyone And We Are Thankful To See Such A Beautiful Outcome. Not Only Is It A Great Job, But It’s A Great Job Done Sensitively, Caringly And Knowingly With Expertise & Empathy By A Great Team Led By Danny & Requested By Shanice!
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