An Alameda Garden: Urban Outsiders

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Urban Outsiders

Perhaps HGTV actually heard some bloggers' complaints that they weren't doing a very good job in the gardening department because they've imported Matt James from the U.K. to dig up a little dirt here in the states.

I've been a fan of James' British show "The City Gardener," which HGTV has been airing lately. The idea is that he takes small, completely neglected urban spaces (usually they're more of a courtyard than a yard) and transforms them into rather lush, relaxing retreats for their owners (who generally haven't got a clue about anything related to gardening). The new American show, "Urban Outsiders," seems to be exactly the same format and the American homeowners are equally clueless.

Although the garden designs on "The City Gardener" seemed to me to lack variety (in the style/design, that is, not in the plants) and the "Urban Outsiders" debut show tonight seemed to be following the same pattern, I like James' shows because he's clearly crazy about plants. And he does something that few designers on HGTV (and perhaps in real life as well) seem to do--he considers the needs and wants of the clients and designs accordingly.

And he's cute.

And I admit it--I'm a sucker for the accent.

Give the show a try.


  1. Will have to look on the cable for his show here.What accent do you have Claire?The british always have gardeners on the TV, who are passionate about plants and gardens.I like Monty Don, Alan Titchmarsh,etc and all the presenters from gardeners world who are good too.

  2. Anonymous3:11 PM


    I'm also a Matt James fan, I would stay up late on Friday nights to catch the show. So what time slot is it on at HGTV? And thanks for the advice about turning on the subtitles/hearing impared mode, sometimes he's so excited about the plants I can't make out what he's saying. His design work is very creative, I liked the sunken table he did in one show.

  3. Anonymous1:55 PM

    Matt Rocks,
    I have been suffering withdrawals since they haven't been making any new episodes of his old show. It's good to see him back on the telly.

  4. Anonymous9:25 AM

    I am thrilled about seeing him in a new TV series. I just wrote about his new show on my blog. I want more people to discover the beauty of more modern garden styles. I guess you do too. I enjoyed your post.


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