Your Garden Made Perfect is back on BBC Two for a second series and its garden designers are ready to transform outdoor spaces once again, with the help of virtual reality.
The sister show to the popular Your Home Made Perfect, the series sees designers put to the task of reimagining gardens for couples, families or individuals before revealing them through the power of virtual reality. The guests don VR goggles to experience the designers’ visions come to life, before choosing their favourite.
Angela Scanlon presents both shows and guides the guests on their journey, from their first VR experience to the final finished garden.
We sat down with Angela to find out more about the garden makeover show, what we can expect from the second series and why her own outdoor space means so much to her.
What makes Your Garden Made Perfect different from other shows?
To my mind, garden shows are like sweeping lawns and deep borders. For us, it’s definitely about more urban spaces, smaller gardens, really clever solutions to limited spaces [like] a patio, if you’ve got a tiny shared courtyard, or even public spaces.
The big thing that sets it apart from other makeover-type shows is virtual reality. We’ve got a team of designers and we have a couple or a family or whoever with a problem. [It could be that] they hate their garden, or they don’t know what to do or how to start. Our two designers create the dream garden (they hope!) and pitch for it. Then the contributors choose and we plant it. They plant it – I don’t!
How similar are the final gardens in real life, compared to the original virtual reality design?
Sometimes when I’m doing voiceover [for shots of the garden], I’m like, “is this the virtual reality or is this the real thing?” So they can be really, really similar.
It still blows my mind that the VR is so realistic and then that it’s achievable. These designers manage to create these gardens that look exactly like the little dream goggles situation.
What is it like to step into the final garden, having witnessed the initial 3D design through VR goggles?
Oh, it’s the best. [When] the cameras are setting up I hover outside the front door because I do not want to have to recreate my natural reaction.
The massive impact that it can have on a family and the ease that they feel and the happiness that it can give or it can hold, is often quite emotional. It’s really lovely, actually.
There are a lot of things to consider when planning a garden that most viewers perhaps wouldn’t have thought about before. How much have you learnt while working on the show?
I am not a design pro, particularly when it comes to gardens. But over the course of four series of Your Home Made Perfect, I now go into a house, (which is really annoying for people, I generally try to keep to myself) and I’ll think, “oh the living room should not be here, the light is not here at all until the evening.”
With the garden one, one of the simplest things they all say is right plants, right place. I’d always say “what are you talking about?” I just buy a plant in the garden centre, put it in the hole that I’ve dug and the rest is history. But if you buy a plant that needs sun or needs shade and you put it in the wrong place or the soil is the wrong alkalinity, then it’s not going to really work. So there are quite simple things [that I’m learning].
Do you have your own outdoor space? What do you gain from the time you spend time in it?
We have a little garden and I honestly love it so much… I think my garden, surprisingly, became a real anchor for me over the over the past couple of years when lockdown was at its highest.
We’d take the table out when the weather was gorgeous. We’d pop the kitchen table onto the patio and dress it up with a tablecloth and we’d feel like we were on holiday, even though we were in North London.
It’s been massive for me and for my head and for my sanity, and I think a lot of people relate to that.
Will there be another series of Your Garden Made Perfect and, if so, will you be part of it?
If I’m sacked they haven’t told me! I’m not one hundred per cent sure, as we haven’t got to that point yet, but hopefully.
Your Home Made Perfect is now on Netflix, so it’s found a whole other audience. It’s in Australia and it’s in Singapore and I get random messages from South Africa from people loving the show. I’m just so thrilled to be part of something that really resonates with people and they love it.
Your Garden Made Perfect airs on BBC Two from Friday 4 February at 8pm. Your Home Made Perfect is available now on Netflix.
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