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Thread: City Gardener on HGTV

  1. #51
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    12/17

    I missed the first 5 or so minutes. I just know it is a young couple in a row house that have spent 3 yrs renovating the inside and now want to do something on the outside. They are right next to a salvage yard and have a very long and narrow yard. I know that Matt plans to have a little patio area right by the sliding doors and then a narrow flagstone path laid diagonally, of course, to give the illusion of more space and the edges of the path will be surrounded by tall 6 ft bamboo. Of course the wife has found (on the internet) an awesome stainless steel pyramid shaped fountain to use as the water feature. The result was amazing, with such tall bamboo plants and holly topiaries you have an instant garden. I do wish that the produers would do a show and go back and see how some of the gardens have matured.

  2. #52
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    1/7/06

    Yeah, the holidays are over and Matt is back and in Liverpool. He is working on a courtyard garden on a row house althoug he called it a semi. From the back they all looked attached to me. Anyway we had some nice pics from inside the house and it looks as it was gutted and they did a modern reno. I liked the 4 skylights in the master bedroom, and it also looked as if they gutted the attic and left some of the roof beams exposed. The wood looks good against the new drywall and white paint. I like the bathroom cause it had a nice claw foot tub that was higher on one end then the other so you could lean back and just soak, a nice hand held shower and a good size seamless shower.

    The courtyard looks as if it was reno slightly for the sale. wood tiles and gravel covering concrete pavers. A very blank slate. 2 walls of the house and of course the back wall to the alley way and the side wall to the neighbour. The 2 set of french doors to the yard, a window and of course the back door to the alley way are all newer more modern construction but look very nice in keeping with the interior. the courtyard walls are painted white, well at least 2 are and the others are more a peeling piant. Matt does not address the walls at all.

    He decides to do a sunken garden that is covered in brick pavers that have a pattern similiar to the one in the front yard. He does emphasize the difference between using bricks for walls vs bricks for pavers and bricks forpavers are made to withstand frost and opposed to wall bricks that can crack when exposed to frost.

    The owner wants a reclamation yard look, and Matt is concerned about there being enough of a landing from the 2 doors from the house to the yard, you need a space for a landing and not directly on to steps. Matt visits a reclamation yard (junkyard) and picks up an animal watering trough to use as a water feature and a herd of cast iron cows.

    The design based on a square sunken yard that is on a diagonal to the house and surronded y raised beds made from timbers. I guess they do not have a 'Miss Utility' in Liverpool and must be very careful digging up the old yard so they do not hit any pipes or cables. They do find some drain pipes that causes the water feature to be moved over several inches, but that is ok. Matt wants to put in some espaliered cherry trees in the garden and of course lots of shade loving perenials. He does a nice bit about surrounding hostas with copper rings to protect them from slugs. The copper produces a low grade electrical charge that snails and slugs to not like and they will stay away from the hostas. It is that or the beer trap that they can drown in.

    They is another nice bit where the homeowner mocks Matts intensity and how seriously he take plants and his job. You should see his experession when she cuts of all the blooming branches on a bleeding heart, when she tells him all the dormant grasses are dead and why doesn't he just plop all the plants in together.

    Another great show and it was terrible missing Matt over the holidays.
    Last edited by Bearcata; 01-08-2006 at 09:07 AM.

  3. #53
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    01/14/06

    A backyard retreat to be built in a suburb (of London??) called St. Albans. A young couple with 3 kids, 8, 5, and 1, have spent the last 6 yrs renovating a terrace house and using the backyard as a dumping ground for the FYI supplies. Needless to say it is a wasteland. The back neighbor or open area has several tall trees, lime, birch and cooper beech and Matt wants to use those greens and purples as the palette for this backyard.

    What is scary is how bright and intelligent and well spoken the 5 and 8 yr old girls are.

    Matt has to design for the kids, and the father who wants a more chaotic garden and the mom who wants a more formal garden. Both parents do agree that they want the garden for them selves and not taken over by kids toys and swing sets.

    Matt wants to design a garden that takes a person on a journey from the terrace to the back of the yard where there will be a sunken terrace that the parents can sit in and enjoy the garden retreat. Matt mentions that most backyards are straight out boring open spaces all based on straight lines. He wants to design using curves that lead the eye on a journey. There will be a small lawn area edged by boulders the kids can climb on and with half buried iron barrel straps that the kids can climb on and hang from and crawl through. The path will then lead to an sunken seating area, paved with flagstone to match the terrace. The walls will be of brick to match the house, and rough building material held in cages, therefore making vertical bands in the brick wall that match with the back wall of the garden which looks as if it was made of rocks and concrete. Matt will put in some 15 ft birches to tie in the garden to the open area and will also have spots of purple to pull in the color from the cooper beech. Matt puts in a smaller shed because the previous one was too big and paints it green so it disappears. The cool thing is that Matt puts soil on the roof and plants sedums in it to make it a living roof.

    I just wish that some tour company would put together a tour of all of Matt's gardens cause I would be the first one booked.

  4. #54
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    1/21/06 - seaside gravel garden

    Matt is in Hastings, as in Battle of, which is in Sussex and by the sea. This young couple have bought an 8 yr old detached chale style home that is built into the side of a hill, because of this there are a set of steep stairs to get to the house and the back yard is also terrace into the hill. Now this I don't understand, When I watch House Hunters for instance and see how some of the California shows are terraced into the side of a hill the builders usually leave enough space for a good size patio or terrace, but here in the UK the builder leaves enough space between the house and the first terrace for only a walkway and set of stairs. I mean you literally open the door and stare into a 5 ft wall of stone and wood retaining wall not very pleasant and very claustraphobic. At least the stairs lead to a flat space that is wider than it is long covered with yellow pea gravel and is baked dry. There is a another terrace at the back of the garden and then a 6 ft wooden wall on top of that. It gives the garden an air that the wall is about to fall on top of you. MAtt is not pleased. The wider than long garden is very difficult to work in because your eye is constantly drawn to the back wall. It is very hot, no shade at all and the soil is clay. Matt decides that he wants a gravel garden but don't be descouraged Matt's version of a gravel garden is bliss. He says the they needed to address perspective in 3 different ways to fool the eye to thinking the garden is bigger than it is. They also need to cool the garden off and provide a work area for the couple because both work from home. Nichola is an illustrator and Ray is an IT consultant. After clearing out the yard and saving some of the bigger specimens and moving them to another spot, Matt decides to use sawn granite pavers set on a diagonal to produce a diamond pattern for the dining/office area. They will install some poles and hang a sail from it to provide shade from the hot sun. Matt has also ordered oak staves that will be cut down to create steps set on a diagonal that lead from the brick landing to the side of the garden this will all be set in a bed of grey gravel. Matt had to replace all the couples gravel, cause they had a yellow color and it just intensified the impression of heat while the cool grey gravel that Matt chose cools the area down. Matt also picks a palette of pinks and blues and purples to again give the impression of coolness. Also he mentions that the more pastel palette tends to recede again giving the impression the garden is bigger than it it. Matt also chooses 5 different types of grasses to add hieght, sound, and color. Green is also a cooling color. What I really love is the water feature, three icicle water fountains made of glass and about 3 and half ft high shaped like cones. They cost about $400 each but again the water feature helps cool the garden down. I like that the director does overhead shots because that is the only way to truly appreciate this garden. Hopefully one of these days I will figure out how to screen capture and be able to upload pics.
    Last edited by Bearcata; 01-22-2006 at 02:01 PM.

  5. #55
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    PS. I did some googling and got some shots. There hopefully will be a before and after shot of the garden and one of the water feature.

    The water feature can also be seen at www.boste.co.uk
    Attached Images Attached Images

  6. #56
    Fashionista Sandinista Chorita KaBoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearcata View Post
    I like that the director does overhead shots because that is the only way to truly appreciate this garden.
    It's these kind of cinematographic crane shots that really make what could easily be "just another gardening show" something more. That, and Matt is just so talented and cute.
    there is no energy shortage, there is a shortage of imagination

  7. #57
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Matt's comming to America

    Oh, my God, Matt's comming here to America this year and he will be redoing gardens, if you want to have your place redone go to this link on HGTV.

    http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/be_on_hgtv/...349128,00.html
    Last edited by Bearcata; 01-29-2006 at 12:36 PM.

  8. #58
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    Matt was back in London today and going to work on Ben's back yard. He has a two bedroom garden flat. Which means he lives in a house that is divided into 2 flats or apartments. His upstairs neighbour has a balcony and stairs leading down into the yard and Ben has french doors a deck and bit of a yard he also has a side alley.Ben has been this flat for 2 yrs and has redone all the inside and it is nice and modern but the outside is a sea of weeds with an evergreen tree in the corner that he hates, he already took out a tree that was closer to the house. He lives in a neighborhood of gardeners and spends alot of time in other peoples yards. Because of the closely packed in area he would like some privacy and the ability to relax in the yard.

    Matt and Ben clear out all the weeds, cut the tree down and have a stump removers come in and grind the stump out. Matt hoped to save the decking but it is warped and twisted so they have to start from stratch. Matt plans to put in a new deck that partially wraps around into the alley. The point being to make the backyard and side alley be one semless garden and therefore give the illusion of appearing larger. Matt also plans to put up a metal Pergola that also partially wraps around tot he side yard. Matt wants to put up some climbers (climbing vines) on the pergola to give that sense of privacy that is so important to him. Ben has some grave reservations about the pergola but most home owners go through that process cause they have a hard time visualizing the big picture. Matt also puts in this pond in the back corner of the garden. It is made from 2 courses of concrete. He puts in a black liner and covers it with limestone. Now I know here in the US we think of limestone as a very light sandy colored stone but the kind Matt used is a medium dark gray that looks more like common flagstone. Matt also lays downs some tile around the pond and as a transition between the deck and the gravel. The middle of the garden is some nice light gray pea gravel in a basic rectangle with the diagonal corners tiled with the darker gray limestone. The side alley that is not decking is also covered with the gravel. Matt bought some really nice very dark gray, almost black terrazo square pots that he put next to the fence in the alley way and continued up on to the deck. This pots also contain climbers. At the bottom of the garden Matt put a pear tree behind the pond and a cherry on the other side. Once the planting was finished and the ceder tables and chairs put on the deck, you could just feel the calmness, the serenity and peace this garden provides.

  9. #59
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    2/11/06 repeat

    last week and this week are repeats.

    This weeks episode comments can be read in post #4. It had this great shallow stainless steel pool that is so worth drooling over.

  10. #60
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    Matt is back starting this wk on July 12th at 9:30PM

    OH...... MY......GOD, Matt is back and in America. He will be doing a version fo City Gardener in Amercia called Urban Outsiders. It will be starting this Wed, July 12th at 9:30PM.

    TV Programmers love to torture us viewers, Between So You Think You Can Dance, Project Runway starting and this show I will be very busy.
    No goat killers on my island.

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