Help for a Hero
Alan Titchmarsh on making a dream garden for a former Royal Marine who lost three limbs in action
NEW factual Love Your Garden wednesday / ITV / 8.00Pm
Father-of-three Mark Ormrod misses out on simple things that other dads take for granted. Currently in training for this year’s Invictus Games, on Christmas Eve 2007, Royal Marines Commando Mark sustained life-changing injuries after triggering an improvised explosive device while on a routine patrol in Afghanistan.
Thanks to the swift action of the men around him and rapid medical treatment, Mark became the UK’S first triple amputee to survive the Afghanistan conflict .
This week, Alan Titchmarsh and his team are hoping to improve Mark’s life by giving his backyard a dream makeover as the ITV show, Love Your Garden, returns for a new nine-part series. Here, Alan tells us more about what he’s doing for Mark, who lives in Plymouth with his wife Becky and three children Kezia, 12, Mason, five, and Evelyn, three…
Mark sounds like a guy who deserves a new garden…
His bravery and strength of character in the face of terrible circumstances is remarkable. His prosthetic legs make walking on uneven surfaces very difficult and he wants to be able to play with his children, so we want to create a very special garden for him. Mark does a lot of work with the charity Help for Heroes, so we decided we would try to help a hero.
What plans do you have for Mark’s garden?
I’m proposing a contemporary design with four zones. A spa area for Mark, a patio dining space for entertaining friends and family, a lawn with a seat for mum and dad, and a kids’ zone with a playhouse. Hopefully, we can create a space where Mark and his family can make some memories.
Why is this series in particular so close to your heart?
I love it because we can make a real difference to people’s lives. Their gardens have been inaccessible or they’re too busy helping others to work on them. To open up their garden, when it’s been out of bounds before, that’s a great delight.
Do you ever worry you’ve taken on too big a challenge? Every garden is like standing at the foot of the north face of the Eiger and asking, ‘How the hell do we get up there?’ People say, ‘Oh you’ve done it for years, you know it’ll work!’ But there are issues every time. We’ve always managed to get the work done so far, so fingers crossed!
Mark’s bravery and strength of character is remarkable
Inspired: alan with Mark and his wife, Becky
Making a difference: