December 7 2013 Latest news:
Sara Odeen-Isbister , Senior Reporter
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
A 90-year-old grandmother received a birthday present of a life time – a garden transformation by two green fingered celebrities.
Alan Titchmarsh amd David Domoney gave Iris Insole, from Barking, the garden of her dreams as part of an ITV series called Love Your Garden.
They battled rain and wind to turn the area into a low maintenance haven for birds and other wildlife, flourishing with roses, her favourite flower.
Among the garden’s new features are birch trees, a summer house, bird boxes, an irrigation system and a pond.
Iris’s two grandaughters, Maria McDermott and Francesca Starkie, nominated the sprightly pensioner for the revamp – to be screened next Tuesday (July 10) – because her birthday was coming up.
Maria told the Post: “I saw an advert for the programme in a newspaper and thought it would be a perfect birthday present for my grandma.
“They did an absolutely amazing job and she was gobsmacked when she saw it. She was also very excited to meet Alan as she’s a big fan.”
Speaking to the Post last week, David said the Barking transformation was one of the most difficult gardening challenges he has faced in his career.
“We had two days to finish and the weather was absolutely awful,” he explained. “There was torrential rain and wind which made it very difficult to work outside.
“I really didn’t think we’d finish it in time, but everyone worked extremely hard and thankfully we managed it.”
David said it was a pleasure to be able to help Iris.
He added: “She wanted somewhere that she could sit and relax, that didn’t need too much looking after and I think we provided that. She’s a lovely lady and I’m glad we were able to help her out.”