Love Your Garden transformation in Bolton

Love Your Garden: Episode Four

By David Domoney, July 19

Love Your Garden: Episode Four

We had a marvellous time creating this garden in Bolton this week. They were a truly inspirational family and it was one of our most challenging gardens yet.

It was a huge, long garden from front to back, and absolutely dense with growth. It took a long time just to clear out the old garden before we could even start the landscaping.

Caroline's LONG gardenThis presented us with a huge challenge in terms of landscaping and creating a path. We had to provide access to all parts of the garden from the house, all the way to where we built Katie’s cabin at the very back, and it was a big job.

When it comes to paths many people take the simple route of creating a single, uniform path straight through the garden, but this has significant disadvantages. One is that it doesn’t give you a good vista or viewpoint. Your eye follows the straightest line, your path, all the way to the end of the garden immediately. However, by creating a path with shape and curves that navigate you around the garden, rather than running you straight to the end, you are able to enjoy the garden experience in a far richer way.


Plenty of accessOne of the first things to think about when creating a garden path is accessibility. If someone needs to access the garden with a wheelchair then you will want to stick to gradient slopes. If someone needs access with a walking stick or walking aid then you can put in some small steps but you will want to keep them long and shallow to give space to manoeuvre comfortably.

You also have to think about turns in the path: you don’t want to make sharp, dog-leg corners. A curved turn is better or, if you need a sharp turn, make a square corner to allow room for the chair to rotate.

You also have to think about access into sheds, summer houses and greenhouses. You’ll want gradient slopes again and make sure that the ground level is the same as inside the building with no drops or big obstacles.


We created different zones throughout the space and it’s a great idea for anyone who has a long, thin garden. It breaks up the garden and makes you feel like you are coming through different areas.

Seating ZoneYou can have a little section for ‘grow your own’, an area for the kids, a little patio area for seating and maybe a little summer house. It all adds tremendous depth to the experience. Use hedges or fences to separate the different sections and then have a path meandering through, showing you different aspects of the space as it takes its turns.

I had a great time creating an area for the dogs in this one with the lovely little dog shed. I had a dog when I was young and I think that interacting with pets is a really healthy part of life.

We used raised beds in the ‘grow your own’ section. They really work great for growing edibles. I use them at home, mainly because of the bloomin rabbits! They’re also easy to maintain because you don’t need to bend down all of the time. I’ve got rhubarb and peas in mine, plus some soft fruit. They’re inexpensive and fairly easy to put up, and they will last for years and years.

Path And Paving

We used the Smooth Natural Sandstone paving throughout and it looked outstanding. The hardest thing on these shoots is keeping them clean and, as you saw on the show, the mud on this job was incredible! But we washed them down at the end and they came up a treat.

Ideal paving for wheelchair useIf you don’t want to pave a whole path then there are plenty of other options. For a woodland section you could switch to a bark path and then switch back to paving at the end. Surrounding the path, in some of the borders, we used Scottish Cobbles which matched the stone in the seating area and complemented the paving. Bradstone also does a fantastic range of crushed aggregates, which I have use a lot. If you want to brighten up a darker area then the Mellow Cotswold is a great choice.

You too can create an amazing zoned garden by following this example and the paving options from Bradstone can really help you get the look.


David is a celebrity gardener and broadcaster. A regular face on ITV's Love Your Garden and the resident gardener for ITV's This Morning.

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