Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Outdoor Room featuring Jamie Durie

An audience of hundreds on a June-gloomy morning
 The world of gardening has a reputation for staid reserve. Enter Jamie Durie to kick the energy up several notches.  This man knows how to move and hold an audience's attention.  A GOOD attribute for a man with a mission: as humans we are intrinsically drawn to gardens: we should give in. With intent and intelligence.

Once upon a time, Jamie originally entertained crowds as a member of Australia's Manpower.  Think Australian Chippendale revue on a goodwill tour. The Australian of Sri Lankan descent also trained with the of the cast of Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas from 1994 to 1996, and mastered a specialised trapeze movement, the Russian flying act. Forget toastmasters, more speakers should learn to dance and fly through the air before standing in front of an audience.  Dressed this day in his signature plaid work shirt, denim and boots at where Roger's Gardens, featured him as a speaker, I can't say I remember a "talk" ever feeling so delightfully  choreographed. Drop in some music, and this event had the entertainment value of a Broadway production.

What Jamie learned as an entertainer, he now puts to use as is a serious horticulturist and landscape architect  with a TV show. The Outdoor Room is one of the few "G"( for garden) shows left on the HGTV Network.

Jamie admires the copper wire wrapped rain chains

The former scout and forever outdoor adventurist is on a mission to help people create gardens that will draw them outside. Gardens that are cohesive, sustainable, diverse and appropriate to the people and setting.
 Ron Vanderhoff, Roger's Gardens General Nursery Manager, explains the product mix of the Costa Mesa gardener's Mecca as  50% plant material and 50% life-style supporting products- making Roger's Gardens simply the best venue to hear the ideal Jamie preaches.   

The Outdoor Room is a book you can read- or even just look at the 200 pictures and absorb what Jamie has learned about what makes garden a memorable  draw.

Below are some of the images that morning that underscored Jamie's landscape design philosophy- to draw people outside and hold us there-

Gardens need destinations. Places to set and enjoy both company and the surroundings. The most romantic dining rooms I have ever encountered had candlelight and a fireplace. Here, a candle lit chandelier and propane tank dressed as a fire feature make for an absolutely seductive setting.


Seating should never be lined up against the wall. It should be arranged for conversation. Note: sheared shrubbery creates a soft curtain of privacy.  Within it, a micro climate is created that would allow you to expand your plant palette.

Above, a Great Room in the great outdoors. Note the focal points- the architecture  and amenities are both manufactured and grown -creating a more interesting balance than if only one or the other had been used to design the seductively functional space.
A simple urn shape covered in a highly geometric and textured finish

Alone, planted or as a fountain, a touch of time-worn elegance
The sculptural qualities of the seaside rain chains

locally crafted by Sunstones of  stone and glass to suit your personal color preference 
A group of 3 or more on the house have the effect of multiple strands of jewelry

Fired Scenic Tile provides nearly indestructible artwork

Imagine the tile surrounded with glowing red and green tropicals

Turned wood Mushrooms - wouldn't they make a wonderful statement standing up in a tray of moss?
 Be still my heart. A Typhoon Polished Green Jade Table, an organically shaped 36'" x48", with natural edges, is surrounded by 4 stump chairs. What a conversation piece this is. If it were for occasional use- I love the stumps appearance. However, if this was for frequent meals, for comfort's sake, I would pair the table with cushioned forged iron chairs. If the budget allowed- the stumps could be worked into the landscaping for party seating.

I am hoping the $4,999. combo finds a home in Diamond Bar and I can write more about it

Jamie looks terrific and I have a serious case of bed-head hair
My one question of the only man I've met who has had experience with both. Which is more interesting to garden with- deer or kangaroo? 

Debra Prinzing has a wonderful post with pictures of Jamie's own personal space.

Oh, yeah, before I forget. Kangaroos are more "interesting" than deer.


Anonymous said...

What a wonderful read that was! Loved the pictures. As soon as I saw the first one I recognized Rogers Garden. I remember walking along looking at all that outdoor furniture with the hefty price tags! Loved the rock table and stools. Yea, I think I would add seat cushions if it were often used. Wonder how they move that thing? A crane? Looks very heavy!
Isn't Jamie a cutie pie? Lucky you got your pic with him. Good one!

XO Trisha

Lydia said...

Hey, Trish! I don't know if that table is a crane of forklift job- it certainly includes a crate, lots of insurance and will involved a commercial rated truck to deliver to site.

Anonymous said...

Oh, on returning home from vacation on Friday on the 405, I contemplated stopping at Roger's Gardens. Suffice to say, I then thought of the financial expenditures I'd made on behalf of the grandson that was with me that week and decided that I would not torture myself by stopping.

I'm so limited here in my condo patio and small flower bed that I could sure use a Jamie at this place!


Sharon Lovejoy said...

Hi dear Lydia,

Oh WOWOWOW, what a wonderful day that must have been. Wish I could've been a fly on the rain chain. I didn't know all that about him. He is certainly hunkalicious, which is GOOD for garden world, right? I don't understand why HGTV has dumped so many great garden shows.

Sending a big hug to you,

Sharon (remind me to tell you about my Roger's employee experience)

Lydia said...

Hey , Judy- Maybe in August I will come down with a tape measure, a pencil and graph paper- from what you've said it would take no time at all to come up with a nice layout to expand your livingspace.

Dear Sharon- I take it you went to the link):- You should see some of the photos he's done.

With the programming changes, I figure HGTV just wants me to watch more public TV.

Tara Dillard said...

How could a magazine be more interesting than your post.

Go Lydia !!!

Pics, content, fun.....

Wouldn't surprise me if a kangaroo did appear in my garden.

Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

nikkipolani said...

Fun fun show, Lydia. A good showman is enjoyable to watch -- and learn from! I don't get down to Roger's much but it's always an enriching experience.

Anonymous said...

You really captured both Roger's Gardens and Jamie Durie. What a dynamic event!
Loved the polished stone table, too. But you didn't divulge if you walked away with your pockets -- or your car -- bulging with fun finds!

Lydia said...

Hey Joan! I actually had a very sick relative at home, so it was take notes and pick up a few herbs- notably tarragon which can be sooooo hard to find- before turning back home. Good decision. Not too many hours later we were checking out the renovations at St Judes Hospital. All came to a good end- and I am prearmed with a list for my next visit to Rogers. Which will be very soon.

Mary Ann Pickett said...

Such comfortable and inviting outdoor spaces!

Lydia said...

Dear Classic Comfortable Home- Thank you for the compliment.

nikkipolani said...

Lydia, I don't have TV reception at home so I rarely get a glimpse of HGTV, but thanks to you, I knew who my boss was talking about when he mentioned he was at Jamie's house for a 4th of July party ;-) What a small world, huh?

Lydia said...

Nikki- that is cool! Thank you for letting me know. My friend Debra Prinzing did a very nice piece on his garden renovation for the LA Times. She adores him and his work.
Without cable we wouldn't have any reception here either.