Behind the scenes at love your garden, episode one

By The Secret Gardener


For Episode one of Love Your Garden, we had a fantastic time in Hull. This is me arriving early on site to get the hard landscaping started.  It was a small garden, and for the centrepiece we created a circular patio that would also act as a dancefloor.

Having a central patio is an incredible feature, because, rather than just having it bolted onto the back of the house, you get a garden that wraps itself the around the focal point of the patio. It’s a stunning effect. 

I also enjoyed the opportunity to create a circular space. It’s a bit more challenging, and involves a lot more cutting with the paving, but it’s well worth it. 

The product we used for the patio was a porcelain tile from Bradstone called Madera, and the quality of these tiles really blew me away. They’re thin, which makes them easier to transport and manoeuvre; this was really handy on this project because of the small access passage, as you will see.

The definition of the pattern on the surface of the tile is absolutely superb, and when laid it really does look like wood flooring. But of course porcelain is hard-wearing and will last for years. Another benefit is that, unlike wood, it doesn’t need treating and it doesn’t become a slip hazard with algae growth.

As you can see we always try to keep the new flooring covered with all of the dirty feet stamping about and heavy equipment being lugged around.


Here you get a taste of the challenges of everyone working in the small garden at once. You often reach a point in the day when you have people working everywhere, walls going up, buildings being constructed, pots being planted, film crew everywhere, and there’s so much to get done that you just feel completely overwhelmed.


This is the passage that we had to bring everything through. One of the first questions whenever you’re landscaping, whether it’s for television or not, is what the access is like into the garden. It really does crystallise what you can and can’t do.

It can be very tricky getting larger items into a garden like this, and so we make our product selections accordingly.

Adding the stylish Hartman furniture on top really brought out the gorgeous definition of the wood pattern on the Bradstone Madera paving. And with the log border and the raised beds, it all came together beautifully.


And here is the finished product with the stunning borders and Alan’s dance steps in the middle. These guys spent so long figuring out where to put each footstep, that I reckon it took longer to put the stickers down than to build the patio! Only joking.

But they really bring a lot of character to it, and make it very personal to the property.All in all, it was tremendous fun, and the Madera paving looked magnificent in its assembly. 




Meet the author

The Secret Gardener

The Secret Gardener is an award-winning landscaper, specialising in bringing colour and ambience to any space.

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