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Urban Outsiders - Series 2 (2007)
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British garden designer Matt James goes to America to create exciting outdoor spaces.
Ugly outdoor spaces undergo incredible transformations at the hands of England's popular garden guru, Matt James
(aka The City Gardener). From New York to Los Angeles, he does it all with energy, personality and modern flair.
The concrete jungle has never looked this cool!
Jon and Shawn Morehead bought their tiny Brooklyn apartment several years ago, but since then, they have had two children. Their space is at a premium! They have a decent-sized backyard, but it's a wilderness of kids' toys. Matt sets about turning the space into a green garden fit for both adults and children. With a sandpit, swing and storage, suddenly the Moorhead's double their living space!
E02. A Lounge Garden
Zeina Farha is a single New Yorker with a passion for mid-century modern furniture. Her retro taste has been indulged throughout her home, but the yard is a sad story. Matt aims to turn the dusty, dead garden into a place where Zeina can come home from work and chill out. Using decking and lush planting, Matt brings the space to life.
E03. English Cottage Garden
Jennifer Dondero is a green-fingered native New Yorker with the tiniest of studio apartments. Her yard is one of her big loves but despite trying to make it beautiful, but it's more of a dumping ground for plants than anything else. Matt's challenge is to transform the ugly space into a traditional English cottage garden using natural stone, reclaimed brick and a timber pergola.
E04. Contemporary Classic Backyard
Cleve and Megan Brakefield are expecting a baby, but their miniscule backyard is hardly child friendly. Matt uses a combination of sleek granite and old school brick to transform the space into a contemporary oasis where the couple and their new arrival can relax.
E05. Two-View Garden
Allan Suarez and fiance Evelyn Gonzales have a history with their house, since Allan has lived there since he was a small child. However, the garden hasn't been touched since then. They have recently installed a large deck, so the view from above has become just as important as the way it looks from the ground. Using flagstones and traditional topiary, Matt brings structure to the yard, making it a formal yet relaxed space that looks great from any direction.
E06. Tuscan Basement Garden
Scott and Susan Smith and their pug, Lola, have just moved into their Brooklyn Heights apartment. It had one major selling point, a basement garden. However, it's cold, grey and lifeless — a million miles away from the couple's designer dreams. Matt uses a combination of handmade Tuscan terracotta tiles, evergreen plants, cream paint and railway ties to create a lush green hideaway that feels light and airy.
E07. Contemporary Spanish Yard
Adam and Stephanie Guggenheim have recently had their Spanish-influenced Los Angeles home completely renovated from top to bottom. The work has taken a year and now that it's finished, they have turned their attention to the yard. They want a space, where their two kids can play and they can use to entertain. Matt creates a slick contemporary design with a hint of rustic Spanish.
E08. Rustic Landscape Retreat
Kip and Shannon have lived in Pasadena for a few years and although they love their home, the garden is a complete L-shaped disaster. Neither has a green thumb, but both are keen to learn. Matt uses a combination of classy tiles and rustic willow screening to turn this forgotten space into a classy, yet comfortable space.
E09. Japanese-Inspired Garden
Truc Tang and Jae Lee live in Sherman Oaks with their dog, Pixie. They have a good-sized yard, but simply don't know where to start. Matt transforms the bare strip of dying lawn into a contemporary Japanese-influenced garden.
E10. Drought-Tolerant Backyard
Michael and Christy French moved into their Californian ranch-style home a couple of years ago and promptly remodeled the house. They ran out of inspiration when it came to the garden though and it has become a tired, rundown space. Matt creates a drought-tolerant garden featuring paving, decking and native Californian plants.
E11. The Outdoor Room
Gerry Cornell leads a very busy life in Long Beach and has remodeled his home into a chic, cool urban hangout. However, he ran out of inspiration when he got to his back patio. Matt turns the patio into an extension of Gerry's home.
E12. The Low-Maintenance Garden
Patti Olmsted is a busy fast food executive that spends most of her life on the road between business meetings. The garden has been left to suffer; in fact, it's been left to go to ruin. Matt creates a cool yard where Olmsted can relax and unwind, and fills it with plants that won't suffer too much if she is away on business.
E13. Trendy Tropical Garden
Newlyweds Matt and Michelle Turner have lived in their cute and trendy Venice home for three years. Matt is a DJ and Michelle a high-flying pharmaceuticals executive. They love the house, love the neighborhood and love tropical plants, but hate the garden. Matt creates a lush tropical sanctuary right there in Venice.
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