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Matt James

Learn more about Matt James of Urban Outsiders.

A trained horticulturist, lecturer and garden designer, Matt James brings gardening to city dwellers who may have ignored the overgrown, rubbish-filled space at the back of their house.

"You don't need to be an expert, you don't need to know the Latin names for all the plants, but put in a little work and the rewards are priceless," he says. "Even with limited light and poor soil, it's possible to turn the tiniest balcony, the scrappiest backyard, the noisiest, shadiest, pokiest piece of gray space into an oasis of green calm or a stylish area to entertain in."

His approach to gardening will get couch potatoes off the sofa and into the garden. No one needs to be afraid of the space outside the back door any longer. Matt shows how easy it is to create an exciting extension to your home and add value with minimal effort.

In his show The City Gardener, Matt travels around England galvanizing inexperienced and reluctant gardeners to transform the wasteland they call a garden into an extra living space and patch of paradise. From a Southampton bombsite to a shady backyard in Leeds, and from a balcony in Hackney to a patch of weeds in Brighton, Matt is on hand with the tips and motivation to get city gardeners going.

Matt's gardening career began as a teenager working on a small farm, and he went on to study at various horticultural colleges and work at nurseries. As a garden designer, his greatest passion is trees; he is a genuine, 21st-century tree hugger and has made it his mission to inspire as many city dwellers as possible to plant trees.

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