The Lucky Gardener


HGTV Series, ‘Urban Outsiders’, pt. 3
April 6, 2011, 09:59
Filed under: Uncategorized

This, the third of the six gardens we installed for the HGTV series, Urban Outsiders, was the smallest space we’d encountered.  A mere 8′ x 20′ , surrounded by brick walls and solidly covered in soot and detritus, it was more alleyway than backyard.

We had six days to build the garden as designed. How we found room for 4 workers, 3 film crew members and a director, plus piles of demo’d concrete, new tile, mortar, bricks, and top soil is still a mystery. Three days of soaking rain added to an already tense atmosphere for claiming rights to the limited indoor staging areas located amidst the laundry room/storage space used by the building’s tenants.

Typical of NYC backyards, access from the street to site meant negotiating a series of up and down stairs, back-twisting turns, head-whacking steel I-beams, skin-tight hallways and the occasional head-scratching of how to maneuver materials spec’d by the designer which didn’t fit through door jambs.

We were all new to our forced relationship of builders and chroniclers sharing intimate spaces to create incredible gardens and TV shows. This project tested the resolve of us all. My crews worked on auto-pilot, doing great construction as they always did. I was in charge of continuity, keeping everyone on the set happy and productive.

The new design fit the site perfectly and maximized the owner’s living space. In addition to the new construction, power-washing the brick, re-pointing masonry and changing the deck railing brought the new and old elements into modern harmony. These changes are evident in the photos below.


1 Comment so far
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Amazing transformation!!

Comment by bernice & lester




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