Love Your Garden: Frances discusses trees for an overlooked plot

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Alan Titchmarsh and his team were in Hull this week where they got to work transforming a suburban garden into a wildlife haven. Alan was joined by his trusty team comprising of Katie Rushworth, Frances Tophill and David Domoney. The gardening experts worked hard to create a wildlife hub for nature-loving teenager, Harri and his mum Erica.

Frances helped to create an outdoor cinema while David helped create a low maintenance decking which will “never rot”.

Katie added a pond to help encourage wildlife into the garden.

The garden was completely transformed from an overlooked, “featureless” 10 x 15 metre plot into a stunning nature hub.

During the show, the gardening experts shared their “natural solution” for creating seclusion in an overlooked garden.

“Our very natural solution is to surround the boundary with trees,” Alan explained.

“Trees are marvellous things. They’re often overlooked in preference for flowers but I love them.

“The reason I’m planting them along here – it offers a screening but also trees can offer so much for birds, for pollinators and even for the fungus that’s in the soil.

“What I’m planting in this corner is a crab apple and a cherry [tree].

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“They both happen to be members of the same magical family – the rose family.

“And so is this – the rowan. The thing about the rose family is it’s so very useful.

“It’s really fantastically useful for wildlife but its fruit and flowers are fantastic for pollinators.

“It’s also really useful for us.

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“If one autumn, you’re feeling very selfish and you want to take these crab apples and make a jelly with them, then we can eat them too.

“But I’m hoping that Harri won’t do that because he will want the birds to come and get as much pleasure from this as possible.”

Frances also used gravel in another part of the garden to give it a lovely finish.

Underneath the gravel, she put down honeycomb matting which stops the gravel from moving around.

She added: “It stops it moving around and makes it nice and easy and safe to walk on.

“It comes with this integrated membrane that stops weeds coming through.

“So it’s really low maintenance.”

Love Your Garden is available to stream on the ITV hub.

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