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Urban Outsiders - Series 1 (2006)
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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!
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Steve Thompson and Richard Andreoli recently moved to their small home in Echo Park and inherited a backyard in desperate need of some imagination. The space was a horrifying mix of purple walls and lime-green splashes, more psychedelic than classy. Matt takes on this space with a vengeance, going for a Mediterranean look with a modern twist that will create the entertaining space the guys are after. It's not all plain sailing--the California weather is refusing to play ball, going from baking sun to pouring rain and then back again. With Matt more used to the mild weather of London, he finds himself bedridden with sunstroke while the build continues without him.
E02. Water-Saving Garden
Architect Jamie and attorney Alexis Myer are busy young professionals with a very noisy neighbor—LAX, one of the busiest airports in the world. Their daunting backyard looks more like a field than a garden and they harbor dreams of a water-saving space where they can also grow veggies. Matt uses all his garden knowledge to create a garden with a real wow factor that saves water and doesn't cost them a lot.
E03. Hollywood Elegance
Blumes and Jennifer Tracy are two big characters with a big problem. They've tried and failed to resurrect their dead Hollywood space and now it resembles a junkyard. Matt is pushed to the limit trying to inject a bit of Tinseltown chic into this nasty yard.
E04. The Urban Spa
Ex-Marines Jason and Renee Tatum purchased their newly-built home a year ago. They chose everything from the window trims to the floors, but when it came to the outside, they ran out of dollars and ideas. They want a spa-like sanctuary away from the stresses of their busy lives, and Matt has to use all his imagination to transform this small space.
E05. The Bachelor Backyard
Busy Venice bachelor Tom Moyer has always dreamt of a space where he can get away from it all. However, his awkwardly-shaped yard is overgrown with dying plants and is divided into three very separate areas. With a lot of sweat and hard work, Matt and his team open up the space by using natural stone to tie all the areas together.
E06. Lollipop-Inspired Backyard
Soon to be married, Nicole Tran and Peter Chang are happy with their Huntington Beach love nest but the back patio is a real heartbreaker. It's a mixture of mud and tired decking that doesn't fit with their designer dreams. With a combination of clever lighting, scented plants and towering trees, Matt completely transforms the space.
E07. Contemporary Roof Terrace
Todd and Liz Hallet live in the trendy district of Fort Greene, Brooklyn. Their recently-constructed apartment building is sleek and stylish testament to contemporary city living, but the roof terrace is a concrete catastrophe. Matt transforms this dull, colorless terrace into a smart skyscraping sanctuary, proving with roof spaces the sky really can be the limit.
E08. Family-Friendly Yard
Five years ago, Jeff and Jennifer Lederman bought their beautiful Brooklyn brownstone to escape the manic Manhattan life. However, their dream of quality family time hasn't been realized because of their overgrown, ramshackle yard. Matt transforms the mess into a stylish, multifunctional space where the adults can relax and entertain and their daughter, Shira, can play safely in a child-friendly garden.
E09. Modern Minimalist Backyard
New York party girl Caliopie Georgiadis recently brought her dream home in Brooklyn, but there is just one nightmare left lurking out back. Her concrete box of a backyard resembles more state penitentiary than cool and contemporary city escape. Matt turns the blank concrete canvas into a Zen-like paradise.
E10. Backyard Grown-Up Getaway
The Wagners are living the all-American suburban dream in the heart of urban Brooklyn, but their backyard is anything but a haven from the surrounding hustle and bustle. For over half a decade, Helayne and Leslie have let their once children’s playground become an overgrown jungle. Matt takes on the challenge of reclaiming the yard for more grownup pastimes and creates a fantastic getaway using antique paving and reclaimed furniture.
E11. Brilliant City Landscape
After a lifetime of looking out on the same old yard, Jacqui Powell and her son Maurice decide it's time for a change. Their Brooklyn brownstone has been handed down from generation to generation, and although the interior of the building has been transported into the 21st century, the backyard is trapped in a time warp. Matt works his magic to create a garden bursting with bright plants, while remaining on a tight budget.
E12. Tuscan-Inspired Retreat
Basia Grocholski and Douglas Friedmutter have set up home in the fashionable neighborhood of Williamsburg, N.Y. Together they have set up a successful graphic design business that they run from the basement of their condo. With little space to escape from each other, living and working together can quickly turn from a dream into a nightmare. They are both mad about Tuscany, where Douglas proposed and long to be able to step out into Italian-inspired backyard. Matt uses authentic clay bricks and overflowing Mediterranean plantings to transform the yard with a little touch of Tuscany.
E13. City Garden Hideaway
City creatives William Crow and Philip Kain live in a small but perfectly-formed apartment in one of New York’s most desirable districts, the Upper East Side. However, their backyard is dark and dingy. After a failed attempt by William and Philip to create a Spanish courtyard, the yard is shambles full of broken pavers, flaky paint and clutter. Having stripped the garden back to basics, Matt sets about implementing his design of a hideaway from the hectic city.
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