Australian Jamie Durie, internationally celebrated landscape designer, horticulturalist, host of “The Outdoor Room” and author of The Outdoor Room,” will host Australia Rocks the Pier, presented by G’Day USA, which returns for it’s third year to the Santa Monica Pier this Thursday, Aug. 2 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., as part of the Twilight Concert Series.
He is the founder and director of Durie Design, an award-winning TV host and producer, the author of nine best-selling books and a passionate environmentalist and humanitarian.
Five years ago Durie was invited to be a regular guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” He now splits his time between his home and design studio in Sydney, Australia and his base in Los Angeles.
Durie took the time to speak with The Mirror to offer some outdoor gardening tips.
Jamie, what tips do you have for Santa Monica residents when it comes to revitalizing their outdoor spaces?
My favorite way to create impact in a garden is to change levels… even in a small space… this creates major impact. I also love unusual or unexpected planting combinations…and of course the clever use of color, lighting, etc
There are many easy, budget re-vamp options for your outdoor room. Paint is a relatively inexpensive way of changing a whole look very quickly and there is nothing like it for freshening up a space. For summer you could paint that feature wall apple green or turquoise and in the winter a warming burnt orange or deep, crushed berry tone. Changing your cushion covers seasonally will also freshen up your outdoor room.
What challenges does warm weather all year round pose?
Who wouldn’t be happy with warm sunny weather all year round? Because backyards are a living, growing landscape, we should invest in suitable plants for the conditions, improve the soil where necessary, and critically, manage how we use water.
We should all be thinking about what we can do to save water around the home. Placement of plants within the garden is important for water conservation as you can save water by grouping plants with similar water requirements together. Water features have to be chosen carefully to reduce surface area and splash, keeping water lost to evaporation to a minimum. You can also save water by making sure your garden is mulched and filled with water crystals to help the soil retain moisture, by adding a trigger nozzle on your hose, and by installing a water tank.
What plants best suit this climate?
You should choose plants that are best suited to your micro-climate and you can get good advise at a local plant nursery like Armstrong Garden Centre in Santa Monica. However, drought-tolerant, California-friendly, water-wise plants would be an important part of a sustainable landscape for the Santa Monica climate. Succulents and cacti are some of my favorite plants because they are so architectural and textural as well… perfect for the warmer climates.
Are you looking forward to Australia Rocks the Pier this Thursday?
I am very much looking forward to hosting the Australia Rocks the Pier concert on Thursday. The concert will feature top Australian musicians… what could be nicer than being in the fresh air, watching the sun set and experiencing some great Australian music, art and culture!