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Thread: City Gardener on HGTV

  1. #71
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    9/06/06 - backyard jail in Brooklyn



    A typical concrete backyard in Brooklyn.

    Although a good size, the backyard is all concrete with a drain in the middle, surrounded on 3 sides by buildings, two of the buildings are multistory apartment buildings. The one side wall is a combination old chainlink fence and wooden fence. The owner, Caliope is in the music business and works long hours and has no gardening experience. She wants a place to relax and entertain in and also be low maintenance. Since breaking up all the concrete would be very expensive, Matt decides to put in raised decking made of cedar, paint the walls, and put in large containers that hold low maintenance plants. He decides on bamboo as it does well in containers and can grow very tall and hopes that will somehow balance the closed in prison feeling that the surrounding apartment buildings give Caliope's backyard.The backyard is cleared out and the old chainlink and wood fence taken down. The new decking will be raised up about 6 to 8 inches off the concrete, partly to remain level and provide proper drainage and keep the wood off the concrete. Caliope asks Matt not to paint the walls of the surrounding buildings. Everything is painted grey so they is a real feeling on institutionalism, but they is a lot of peeling and rust and smudges, that do add character. Matt's OK with not painting as it means less work for him. The overall plan is a raised cedar deck with big cedar containers on all four walls. The old chainlink fence with be replaced with a ceder fence. If Caliope does not stain the cedar it will eventually turn a beautiful silver grey. Matt also put down a pad of black slate tiles by Caliope'f back door that acts as a foyer to her outdoor room. The palette is very simple, orange cedar, black slate and grey walls, eventually the cedar will silver and it will be black, grey and green. Matt is creating a green room within the grey walls of the backyard. Add a simple glass top table and chairs and instant santuary. There are some nice overhead shots that really give a good feel for the space both before and after, its too bad HGTV does not provide those shots.





    No goat killers on my island.

  2. #72
    Fashionista Sandinista Chorita KaBoom's Avatar
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    I hadn't had a chance to see this show until this weekend (but have loved reading your recaps, Bearcata). I'm so pleased that the show has traveled accross the pond so much intact. Matt, the music, direction and videography all seem just like the City Gardener. The only thng that kind of irks me is that they don't mention the budget. That was something that I always liked about CG, because you could see what you could do for X amount of 's. While the prices of some items are mentioned (didn't they say that the cedar decking was about $3400.00?), you really don't know what was spent overall. I understand that there can be regional differences in prices for plants and decking and such, but it nice to know what you get for the money where ever the home owner lives. I also wonder if the show is actually picking up the tab, in order to get homeowners to volunteer their property to be used on the show. Anyhoo, I'd love to have Matt come do my 7th floor south facing 8'x30' balcony.
    there is no energy shortage, there is a shortage of imagination

  3. #73
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    9/13/06 - there are jungles in Brooklyn





    Brooklyn again. Although the we are seeing different aspects of it, this time a single family home with a jungle in the backyard. Well, I know that we are all very busy people but still space, even a small backyard is valuable and even if you can't think of what to do how hard would it have been to mow the area for a time. The one girl said she hadn't used the backyard since she was 5 yrs old and she must be 12 or 13 now. Sheer laziness on the parents part. For gosh's sake get the son off his play station or nintendo and make him mow the lawn, he could use the exercise. It really bother's me that people don't know what to do with a room (indoor or outdoor) in their home and they let it go to seed and then ask for help and then question what the designer is doing. If they knew how to do it none of us would need designers now would we!!!!

    What I like about Matt is that he does think about cost and budget and materials and how they relate to the project and the overall design, style and color of the house. In this case a big burgundy shingled house. Matt chose a cool grey granite to contrast with the red of the house color. He knows it is expensive so he uses a little in such a manner that goes a long way and supports the expensive granite with low cost grey pebbles. I also like how he incorporated the house color into the color scheme for the plantings, all pinks, reds and whites. One thing that I like about Matt as a designer is that he has a very good eye for putting different textures together. While I am not a big fan of vintage, rusty lawn furniture the use of rusty vintage lawn furniture is interesting and as far as the kids using it they can't possiblity damage it any further, so it was a good choice. I do love watching Matt go through the salvage yards back in the UK as their stuff looks so much more interesting than ours.





    No goat killers on my island.

  4. #74
    Read The Clue Bearcata's Avatar
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    9-20 Brooklyn

    9.20.06
    Brooklyn, NY


    http://images.scrippsweb.com/HGTV/20...k_corner_i.jpg

    This is a Jacqui Powell’s backyard and this is what she has been looking at for the last 38 yrs.

    What I liked about this episode is that we are on a tight budget, I do wish we could get some numbers as we do for City Gardener. Still you can see that Jacqui has a nice outdoor table and chair set that is reused and there is a patio next to the house of antique blue slate that Matt digs up and relays is a different pattern. The building out by the back fence is an eyesore not because of the brick. You can use the texture of the brick and the color as part of the overall garden design. What is the eyesore is that there is a backdoor that has been concrete bricked over and there are some steel security bars in the door frame. The neighbor on the left has used corrugated steel panels as fencing material and there is an ugly chain link fence surrounding the yard. I do like in the finished yard that Matt left the right side chain link fence alone because the neighbor on the right has a gorgeous backyard and he takes advantage of the view. Now I do not like the photos that HGTV provides because they really do not show the garden to advantage. It is basically a rectangle. The center portion is grass. There is a blue stale patio next to the house. In a corner of the backyard Matt has but in a circular patio made of concrete brick. Now Matt says he doesn’t like the material but they are on a budget, Still the concrete bricks have enough red in them to pick up on the red in the building behind it. Also on a diagonal corner on the patio Matt puts in a copper fountain from www.kineticfountains.com. At first the fountain looks like a rusted old steel drum but it is made of copper and it is circular. It contrast very nicely with the bigger circular low to the ground patio and then on the diagonal line you have a small vertical circular fountain made of metal. Matt has this gift of mixing textures and that is what has been missing in the last several episodes. I love the play of textures, the tension of the diagonal, the level changes. Matt also uses inexpensive wood panels to cover the unsightly steel panel fence on the left side and a brilliant solution of a hanging wooden panel hides the unsightly concrete filled back door of the back building and it does break up the red brick surface of the building. Matt enhances the look of the circular patio by putting in circular wooden benches and tall circular copper vases. See how the repetition of the materials and the various levels play off each other. I love the design but there were no over head shots of the entire garden that at the staple of this show, too bad for the viewing audience, still Jacqui Powell and her son Maurice are lucky to have Matt James design this garden for them and I hope they will be able to enjoy the garden for another 38 yrs.

    http://images.scrippsweb.com/HGTV/20...ard_back_i.jpg







    HGTV is not consistent in how they handle their jpegs so I had to thumbnail the before and after here and above I just put in the URLs.
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    Last edited by Bearcata; 09-24-2006 at 03:05 PM.
    No goat killers on my island.

  5. #75
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    9/27/06 - Oh, It Never Rains in New York

    Poor Matt rain is the bane of his existence, West Coast, East Coast it doesn’t matter. It rains. Maybe we should send Matt to the drought stricken areas of the world, because if we do it will rain.

    I like that this area, Williamsburg, NY is a commuter suburb but you can still see the skyscapers of NYC. At least that is what it looks like to me.

    Another reason I liked this show is that Basia Grocholski and Douglas Friedmutter poke fun at both Matt and the rain, and Douglas is so typical of many males, really good at his job but all thumbs and brain dead when it comes to anything else, especially manual labor.

    I also like how Matt explains that it can be hard to recreate exactly the feel of, in this case Tuscany and just to take elements of the style that gardens have in that part of the world and to incorporate it in to your backyard and that way you won’t be disappointed.

    Best part of the show; we had a budget and some hard core figures. The budget was $5,000. $2,000 was spent on plants. $1,000 was spent on the red cedar paneling that covered the wall of the basement pit. The clay pavers cost .75 each. There were also 6 to 7 wood panels for the fence and those run about $40 to $50 dollars each.

    This was an interesting challenge as I was not sure how much of the building was Basia’s and Douglas’s. The implication was that the basement was there office but not their living space and in addition they owned the backyard. I am surprised that Matt did something with the basement well. It’s nice to know that he thinks of these things.

    http://images.scrippsweb.com/HGTV/20...ent_view_i.jpg






    Last edited by Bearcata; 09-28-2006 at 09:24 AM.
    No goat killers on my island.

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