Virtual reality makes your garden perfect

Joel, Angela, Tom, Pip, Manoj and HelenJoel, Angela, Tom, Pip, Manoj and Helen
Joel, Angela, Tom, Pip, Manoj and Helen
Thursday: Your Garden Made Perfect; (BBC2, 8pm)

During last year’s lockdown, many people with gardens found themselves spending more time in them than ever before. However, that means they also had more opportunities to find fault with them.

While a lot of people who are unhappy with the inside of their homes have a rough idea of how they can improve their surroundings, even if it’s just painting the walls a different colour or shifting the furniture around, it can be harder for novice gardeners to know where to start.

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Luckily, that’s where presenter Angela Scanlon and her new series Your Garden Made Perfect comes in. As the title suggests, it follows on from Your Home Made Perfect, the series which used the latest technology, special effects and virtual reality to give people an idea of how their house could be transformed.

So, unlike classic makeover shows of yesteryear – Changing Rooms springs to mind – there shouldn’t be any nasty surprises when the homeowners see the finished article. It also means that in this new show, those taking part can get an idea of their garden’s potential before they’ve even filled a wheelbarrow or uprooted a tree.

We’re also promised that while the series will feature some ambitious projects involving large plots with budgets to match, it will also be making the most of some smaller spaces too, while offering viewers tips and inspiration to get stuck in themselves.

In the first episode, we’re introduced to Demi and Laura, who have a busy family life in Hertfordshire – and a lacklustre L-shaped garden that’s strewn with kids’ toys. While they both agree it needs a new lease of life, they have different ideas of how it could be used. Demi loves entertaining, while Laura really wants a relaxing space where the family can spend quality time together.

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The award-winning garden designers hoping to come up with something that will suit them both are Helen Elks-Smith and Manoj Malde. Helen wants to bring a bit of romance to the plot, with glorious planting and luxurious seating areas and has also come up with a plan to tackle its changing levels. Meanwhile, Manoj envisages a Japanese-inspired entertainment zone, and is keen to add a signature splash of colour.

Virtual reality is used to bring both designs to life, but which will win out? And just in case you need a little extra help imagining what the gardens will look like in reality, Angela is given a tour of two places that inspired the schemes.

Meanwhile, Joel Bird, who is an expert in tackling challenging outdoor spaces, meets mum Julie and her son, Tom, from Stockton-on-Tees. Tom is a first-time buyer, and his new property comes with a garden that is something of a blank canvas – a daunting prospect for someone new to all this horticultural.

Luckily, Joel has a plan to transform it with a contemporary design that looks sensational but will fit a tight budget, as well as access to some interactive technology.

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