Jamie and Nate

1. Jamie and Nate Answer Audience Questions
After helping Zigi and Yusef get their house ready to sell, Nate Berkus and Jamie Durie—Australia's megastar landscape designer and author of Inspired  —were ready to answer the audience's home and garden questions.
Stephanie and her dog, Billy

2. A Wee Problem
Stephanie has a wee problem with the way her dog, Billy, treats the yard. "Billy likes to lift his leg and pee on all of our plants and flowers," she says. "He also does the same thing in grass. We've tried everything and nothing has worked."

Jamie first recommends that Stephanie add some water to Billy's dry food. This keeps dogs from getting dehydrated and makes their urine less harmful to plants and grass.

"Number two, you've got to reward the dog for actually going to the potty somewhere else—finding a toilet in another area," Jamie says. "Make them feel good about going where you want them to go."
Laura on holiday decorations

3. Decorations and Selling
Laura and her husband recently put their house up for sale, just as the holiday season is approaching. Do they have to play Scrooge this year or can they have some decorations without ruining their chances of selling?

"I don't think you have to look like you're skipping the holiday, by any means," Nate says. However, he says it's a good idea to stick with tasteful decorations like white lights on the tree, all gold or silver ornaments, and white candles.

"When there are tons of things going around, it can conceal the architectural characteristics of the home," he says.
Mark and Melanie on their lawn

4. So Much Beauty in Dirt
In the process of having some work done on their house, Mark and Melanie's lawn was ruined. They ask Jamie, "Should we sod or seed? And have we missed our opportunity to do anything this fall?"

Jamie says that before they even ask this question, Mark and Melanie need to look deeper—down to the dirt. "What I say to most people is make sure it's a fairly sandy compound. Then you get large granules of sand and what we call 'macro pores,' or spaces in between where oxygen and nutrients and water can flow freely. And also the rhizomes (typically horizontal plant stems that grow underground also known as rootstalks) of the turf can get through the soil very easily," Jamie says. "Make sure that's right first, then you can get on with laying your sod."
Serena wants to know how to mix different decorating styles

5. Mixing and Matching
"I like a lot of different styles—modern and traditional—and I'm trying to figure out how to mix it where it looks tasteful," Serena tells Nate.

"Actually, that's my favorite way to decorate," Nate says. "I think that if you do everything that's in the same style, you have an interior that's really flat and uninteresting. The trick is to make sure you're looking at each piece for its own value. If you have a traditional chest, then you need to add something modern to that. Then you need to go back to something traditional on the wall behind it."

Nate says paying attention to colors can help guide you in mixing styles. "For instance, if you have a pair of traditional lamps and they [have] a little red accent, perhaps [add] modern red pottery or something in the center," he says.
Jamie's favorite tree, the 'dragon tree'

6. The "Dragon Tree"
As an acclaimed landscape designer, Jamie frequently incorporates inspiration from his travels into his designs.

When he heard that Oprah's favorite trees are oaks, he was excited to share his own favorite.

"Mine's the dragon tree—it's called 'dracaena draco.' It is a fantastic tree," says Jamie. "It's drought tolerant, it's salt tolerant. It's a type of palm but it is native to the Canary Islands and Madagascar. And it's just a very solid, amazing looking tree and actually there's one in Tenna Reef that's as wide as about four houses, the trunk of it. It's just massive."
Jamie's photo of the Shisendo garden in Kyoto, Japan

7. An Eden of a Garden
While on his travels, Jamie found his favorite garden in the world—the Shisendo Buddhist garden in Kyoto, Japan.

"You've got bamboo and Japanese maples in the background, azaleas in the front and then that beautiful raked white stone. It's just a simple tea house with tatami mats. It was the most peaceful garden I've ever seen."

Oprah agrees. "It's peaceful just looking at it."
FROM: Nate's New $10,000 Challenge
Published on November 21, 2006


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