Having learnt that the exciting news that we had been selected to appear in ‘The Great Gardening Challenge’, we were sent the design brief for our first garden project….

On Tuesday 9th July you will see us near Burnham-in-Crouch, an historic town on the east coast of England in Essex, famous for yachting. We will be building a garden at ‘Knightswood Day Care Centre’, situated a very remote area surrounded by marshes, close to the River Blackwater.

Knightswood Day Care Centre provides a vital service for the residents of this remote and rural area – sending out mini buses covering miles and miles to collect residents and bring them to a centre where they can receive healthcare, friendship and a range of activities from craft to cooking, fitness to music. The wonderful volunteers and staff at Knightswood were determined to provide their clients with opportunities for relaxing, gardening and growing veggies. However, the only outside area available was a horse paddock, so the challenge for Kingdom Gardens was to create an outdoor sanctuary for the centre users to enjoy, which was also be suitable for wheelchair users and those with visual and hearing impairment.

Knightswood Center

And we had two weeks to come up with a design to fulfil their requirements – no problem! EXCEPT, it was the school summer holidays and we were booked to go camping in France with family and friends….

This was a first for us – designing a garden under canvas and seeking out French cafes and restaurants with wi-fi…. We eventually submitted our design – one hour before the deadline from a French restaurant….

Catherine working hard

Back in the UK we had a three-day turn-around, to get the kids back to school and settled with the grandparents before we set off to Essex. On route we stopped off at a farm to make a special eBay purchase for the tv garden… this reclaimed cable drum is part of our design for Knightswood Day Centre.

Tune in to the second episode next Tuesday 9th July at 8pm on channel 5 to see what we did with the cable drum and which team won to go onto the semi-finals! If you missed the first episode, you can watch it now on My5 catchup TV.