Season 1, Episode 6

Garden of Zen

Brin and Melina are a creative couple with a dusty L-shaped backyard that Jamie coins "the goat yard". With constant exposure to the sun, there's nothing left but hard dirt and patchy brown grass. Jamie is challenged to create a Japanese tearoom when he learns the homeowners love everything Japanese and want a calming, meditative space to relax. Jamie visits Kyoto for inspiration. First stop is a traditional Japanese teahouse where he is inspired by several design elements including a smattering of elegant red and orange Japanese maples, the use of natural meandering stone, and a welcome rock that Jamie decides to recreate down to the Japanese slippers. A fourth generation tatami mat maker leads Jamie to ponder how to interweave tatami mats into his design. A pruning technique that conjures the feel of clouds becomes a focal point for several Japanese plants in the couple's garden. A simple shoji screen made of inlaid shells, which separates the yard into two outdoor rooms, adds to the overall feeling of meditative calm. Jamie outdoes himself with an outdoor sunken dining room that sits inside a tranquil floating garden.
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