The BEST episodes of Big Dreams Small Spaces

Every episode of Big Dreams Small Spaces ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Big Dreams Small Spaces!

Horticulturalist Monty Don works with amateur gardeners to help them create the garden of their dreams.

Last Updated: 1/24/2024Network: BBC TwoStatus: Ended
Unimaginable Ambitions for Outdoor Spaces in Essex & Ipswich
2 votes

#1 - Unimaginable Ambitions for Outdoor Spaces in Essex & Ipswich

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired 2/3/2017

In Essex, Denise has never ventured beyond the decking area behind her house. But she dreams of having an altogether dreamlike garden, including building the ruins of a mill to remind her of her childhood. Her husband Dave isn't quite as enthusiastic about any of it, not least the amount of work involved, so Monty is called in to mediate. Meanwhile in Ipswich, father and daughter team Rob and Jo run a family charity together and are no strangers to hard labour. It's just as well, because their plan to build a productive terraced allotment on a treacherously steep slope in the middle of a wooded wasteland leaves Monty lost for words. But with a bit of advice and the help of an army of volunteers, can they go from mad to possible?

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Feel-Good Spaces in Brighton & High Wycombe
5 votes

#2 - Feel-Good Spaces in Brighton & High Wycombe

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired 1/6/2017

Monty Don comes to the rescue of two sets of gardeners in desperate need of feel-good spaces. In Brighton, determined duo Helen and Dax have their hands full with twins, one of whom has special needs. Their current garden is a building site, but armed with advice from Monty they attack the challenge head on. With so many requirements from one small space, it feels their garden might burst at the seams. A trip to the Chelsea Flower Show soon has them focused on what's really important, but do they have enough energy left to get the work done? Meanwhile in High Wycombe, newly single Valerie is looking for a fresh lease of life, but her 'concrete driveway' of a garden has brought her plans to an abrupt halt, as she has no idea how to plant in or on it! A visit to an inspirational pottery puts her back on track, but with so many choices can Valerie decide on the right ones?

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Garden Transformations in Bury & Hackney
2 votes

#3 - Garden Transformations in Bury & Hackney

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired 2/17/2017

One is a tiny urban courtyard in Hackney. Its owners, Karla and Stuart, dream of transforming it into a miniature urban jungle, inspired by Karla's childhood in the Philippines. With Monty's encouragement and a visit to tropical garden in Leeds their hopes run high. But can they ever squeeze all their ideas into their tiny space? Monty is also called in to help a whole community create the outdoor area of their dreams. It's the play area for a local primary school in Bury, Lancashire. Three mothers with children at the school are keen to make the most of this valuable asset, dreaming of a play space, a wildlife area and a place to grow vegetables and herbs. But with no serious gardening experience, and the hopes of the children and village at stake, can they every create something which will please everyone?

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Garden Suitable for Entertaining in Leyton & Bath
5 votes

#4 - Garden Suitable for Entertaining in Leyton & Bath

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired 1/13/2017

In Leyton, Tariq and Sairah want to turn their dumping ground of a back yard into a sumptuous award-winning garden, suitable for entertaining friends and family. Both have competitive jobs in the banking sector and are used to winning at work but when it comes to gardening, they don't know where to begin. With an inspirational trip to the gardening event of the year, the Chelsea Flower Show, Monty tried to put them on the fast track to developing their own personal style but can they put the work in to earn the approval of the country's top gardener? Meanwhile in Bath, Ant and Jake want to replicate the Japanese gardens they have visited all over the world and set themselves the added challenge of creating three very different sections in their L-shaped plot. However, after a visit from Monty, events take a dramatic turn when they discover an underlying problem with their soil that calls for an extreme solution. Will they be able to complete their dream garden on time and on budget?

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Barnet & Salisbury
36 votes

#5 - Barnet & Salisbury

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 2/18/2016

In Salisbury, newly engaged Glenn and Zoe want a brand new garden and most of all they are desperate to produce flowers for their wedding. Currently, their steeply sloping garden is completely unusable. Armed with advice from Monty and plenty of enthusiasm, they set about creating the garden of their dreams. But with their wedding looming, can they get the planting done in time? A trip to Sarah Raven's garden in Sussex might provide them with the inspiration they need. Meanwhile in Barnet, Monty gets to work on an overgrown allotment which is being turned into a site for keeping bees. The owner Nighat wants to grow her own fruit and veg as well as bee-friendly plants, but currently all that's there are weeds and overgrown trees. After a trip to a stunning forest garden, Nighat is determined to turn this site around. But can Monty persuade her to leave her worries at the garden gate and just go for it?

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Corris & Hayling
32 votes

#6 - Corris & Hayling

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/22/2014

Monty travels to two corners of the country where the challenges he faces are very different. On the south coast he is presented with a front garden ravaged by salty winds and in Snowdonia he helps a mountainside garden stuck between a rockery and a hard place. On top of that, one budget is as small as the garden, and in the other, the enthusiasts don't always listen to his advice. So what will Monty's final verdict be?

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Clapham & Hereford
36 votes

#7 - Clapham & Hereford

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 2/25/2016

Monty Don helps two sets of amateur gardeners with very definite ideas and very different approaches to creating their dream gardens. In Clapham, young couple Jack and Chris want to turn their tiny urban back space into a Victorian-inspired plant collector's paradise with a hi-tech twist. The super organised duo know exactly what they are after - a special dahlia collection, a fern wall and lots of modern gardening gadgets. But as Monty discovers, their timing is not perfect - they are trying to combine making a new garden with totally refurbishing their home. Meanwhile in Hereford, Frankie is trying to renovate her cottage garden with the help of her mother Pat, in memory of Frankie's sister who died in a tragic accident. Frankie has an ambitious, if rather chaotic, approach to gardening and wants to include some unusual elements like a Roman-style pond and a gigantic head made from mud. Monty is stunned by Frankie's plans, but can he persuade her to follow his practical advice?

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Swindon & Wakefield
33 votes

#8 - Swindon & Wakefield

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired 10/21/2014

In this second programme, a truck driver from Wakefield with a passion for flowers wants to create a perfect outside space for his girlfriend and burgeoning family, while in Swindon, a widow who has to leave her beloved garden wants to find the best way of turning her new bleak patch of green into an enticing cottage garden. Both have big ideas but tackling their outside spaces in one of the wettest winters on record makes the going very tough. There's plenty of mud, sweat and tears. And they also know they have a timetable to keep to. What will Monty's final verdict be?

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Bromley & Dorset
35 votes

#9 - Bromley & Dorset

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/24/2014

Monty faces some of the most unexpected ideas - a Norwegian garden complete with waterfalls and other big plans to be fashioned out of a tiny back yard in Dorset and nothing less than a Japanese tea garden to be created out of an overgrown patch of ground in Bromley. There's plenty of mud, sweat and tears and at times the ideas seem little more than pipedreams. Can they make it in the end and what is Monty's final verdict?

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Boring Back Yard to Magical Forest in Blackpool & Bristol
3 votes

#10 - Boring Back Yard to Magical Forest in Blackpool & Bristol

Season 3 - Episode 6 - Aired 2/24/2017

In Blackpool, Alex, a young accountant, dreams of turning her boring back yard into a magical enchanted forest, complete with fairy lights and luscious woodland plants. Monty comes up with a big and daring idea and to illustrate his point, sends Alex to visit the ancient trees of Holker Hall in Cumbria. But will this young dreamer feel Monty's suggestion is too ambitious to take on? In Bristol, Ross has taken on a very over-grown allotment. But with no experience of growing edibles, he is feeling overwhelmed. A few months before, he had lost his job, broken up with his partner and found himself with nowhere to live. Now, happily, Ross's life is getting back on track - he has got a job and a flat. With his newly acquired allotment, he wants a space to relax in as much as a vegetable garden. Can Monty help Ross build up his confidence as well as his gardening know how and build his dream outside space?

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Bromley & Stoke
8 votes

#11 - Bromley & Stoke

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/10/2016

In Bromley, Mei an and Gerard have ambitious plans to turn their narrow, split-level garden into a Japanese paradise. Their attention to detail means they will stop at nothing to create the perfect Eastern retreat, complete with a mountain stream, mossy boulders and traditional Japanese plants. But with tons of soil to move and the budget running out, have they bitten off more than they can chew? Meanwhile in Stoke, artists Anna and Andrew want to transform their tiny concrete yard into a haven of tranquillity with something beautiful to look at in every corner. They are going to have to use all their creative flair to turn this blank canvas into something amazing, but with ambitions for a green roof, living wall and elaborate vertical gardening, are they in danger of overcrowding this very small space?

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Billericay & Teddington
4 votes

#12 - Billericay & Teddington

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired 3/31/2016

In Teddington, Jennifer enlists the help of her sisters to create an Italian-themed garden in memory of their parents. She has great ideas and a budget to match, but growing citrus trees, olive trees and vines in a leafy London suburb is easier said than done. Will Monty be able to guide the sisters to a Mediterranean style success? Meanwhile in Billericay, Monty offers advice to Karensa who wants to turn an unkempt strip of back garden into a fantasy for her daughter, inspired by Lewis Carol's Alice in Wonderland. With a tiny budget but plenty of enthusiasm, she wants to create a chessboard patio, a heart-shaped lawn and a teapot water feature.

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Cadeby & Sussex
34 votes

#13 - Cadeby & Sussex

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 10/20/2014

One couple battle to turn a clay-clogged building site in Sussex into a piece of Portugal. Another couple attempt to clear an overgrown forest of undergrowth in their new back garden.

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Hitchin & Worthing
5 votes

#14 - Hitchin & Worthing

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 3/24/2016

A couple in Worthing want a family garden for their young son who has Down's syndrome. Monty pitches in with clearing the site before leading an expedition to RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey where the family learn about different types of sensory plant. In the town of Hitchin, Hertfordshire, Monty offers advice to Aletheia who wants to create a community garden for her neighbourhood. They take a trip to Cranbrook Community Garden in London to see how the scheme might work.

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Rubble Filled Gardens in Stockport & Tufnell Park
2 votes

#15 - Rubble Filled Gardens in Stockport & Tufnell Park

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired 2/10/2017

In north London, Ian and Rose have recently moved into their new basement home and are hoping to create a wildlife-friendly space. Currently it is a building site - neglected by previous owners. They also need expert advice since their plot is surrounded by four large trees blocking a lot of natural sunlight. Even if they manage to clear their space, can they ever create the garden of their dreams? They are in serious need of help and advice, but can Monty set them on the right track? Meanwhile in Stockport, Jo and Steve's equally large garden has become a dump as they build a new extension. The couple lead busy working lives with Jo travelling the globe as an air hostess and Steve working long night shifts at a bakery. Their longed-for dream is a haven to relax and get away from it all in. The problem is Jo has so many exciting ideas about what she wants to do and Steve is rather more pragmatic. Can Monty help the couple work out the best of their ideas and give them the advice they need to get going?

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Oxford & Pewsey
6 votes

#16 - Oxford & Pewsey

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired 3/17/2016

In Oxford, neighbours Anne and Fliss are set on breaking down boundaries. They want to combine the front gardens of their semi-detached houses into one wonderful space filled with all their favourite grasses and perennials. The big question for Monty is whether two gardening enthusiasts, with definite ideas of their own, can work together to achieve one goal. With conflict looming, will Britain's favourite garden expert be able to bring his calming influence and garden know-how to the Oxford neighbours and achieve horticultural harmony? Meanwhile in Pewsey, former army officer Sally has a tarmac and rubble-covered area that she wants to convert into a cosy, scented, wildlife-friendly haven for her daughters Georgina and Caitlin - and she wants it ready in time for the summer. All three have a lot of different ideas and Monty can see that there is a great deal to achieve in a short timeframe. Fortunately for Sally, she has an army of friends willing to get involved. Can Monty take command of Sally and her troops to complete this ambitious project before the summer is over and the girls go back to school?

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Doncaster & Walthamstow
31 votes

#17 - Doncaster & Walthamstow

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired 10/23/2014

Monty helps two families create dream gardens that are as much for the children as for the adults. In Doncaster, Nikki and John want a garden full of edible plants and fruit. They have a a tiny budget, a busy life with children and the wettest winter on record to contend with. And in east London, Nicola and John have dreams of creating a model village in their front yard and a seaside garden in the back. Their knowledge of gardens and their skills are severely tested. Can these enthusiasts step up to the mark? And what will Monty's verdict be?

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