NEW SE­RIES A RE­ALLY WILD RIDE FOR JAMIE

Herald Sun - Switched On - - COVER STORY - COLIN VICK­ERY NA­TIONAL TV WRITER

Jamie Durie is ready for a rum­ble in the jun­gle.

The 45-year-old land­scape de­signer has been tasked with fix­ing some of Amer­ica’s most run­down back­yards – and that spells dan­ger.

Out­back Na­tion is Back­yard Blitz on steroids. We’re talk­ing al­li­ga­tors, rat­tlesnakes, and, in one price­less scene, com­ing nose to nose with a skunk.

Durie’s list of in­juries as he hacked through tan­gles of ne­glected bush around fam­ily homes with his ma­chete, in­cluded bro­ken fin­gers, a frac­tured shoul­der and frac­tured ribs.

“It’s def­i­nitely the most dan­ger­ous show I’ve ever worked on,” Durie says.

“There were plenty of un­pre­dictable sit­u­a­tions. Th­ese gar­dens have all been ne­glected for a decade or two.”

It is Durie’s job to work with fam­i­lies to clear away the mess and then de­sign and build new out­door ar­eas.

Of­ten, Durie is help­ing th­ese fam­i­lies heal in some way. The Ren­shaws, from Cal­i­for­nia, have money trou­bles.

“If you scratch the sur­face, there has usu­ally been some sort of trauma or tur­moil within the fam­ily that has led them to ne­glect their gar­dens,” Durie says. “The idea is they have to face their fears and then learn to fall in love with their own back­yard again.”

Durie’s makeovers in­clude every­thing from an artist re­treat to a ca­bana, a mini golf course and a ver­ti­cal gar­den.

“I’ve never re­ally had prob­lems com­ing up with the ideas,” he says. “It is build­ing them in lim­ited time frames with small bud­gets that re­ally is the chal­leng­ing part.

Durie says the show was lifechang­ing for the fam­i­lies.

“There is no point in build­ing peo­ple beau­ti­ful gar­dens un­less they’re truly a part of the process. Only then will they feel re­spect­ful of what’s been built and not take it for granted and spend time main­tain­ing it when you’re gone.”

OUT­BACK NA­TION, LIFE­STYLE HOME, MON­DAY, 9.30PM

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