Do you know this woman? Her name is Susie Coelho and apparently she’s an authority on “styling,” whatever that is, and she’s probably really good at it. Just don’t expect her to know anything about gardening, which you just might if you knew that she hosts HGTV’s backyard make-over show, “Outer Spaces.” On it, Susie and her design team set tables and arrange lots of throw pillows and really just furnish and decorate a backyard, specifically a Southern California backyard. That must be an important distinction because these outer spaces are treated exactly like they’re indoors.
And did I mention it’s a reality show? Yep, complete with the grand unveiling of the results to the lucky homeowners, who have to keep their eyes shut until Susie, barely able to contain her excitement, gives the signal. Having fast-forwarded through more
episodes than I care to remember, I can definitively give this show a pass.
Next up is “Curb Appeal.” This photo comes from the show’s website and I’m not sure if it illustrates a before or an after, which pretty much sums up my objection to the show. Because while the changes to the houses are definitely for the better, the “after” landscapes are sometimes actually worse. I’m serious. For instance, in a recent episode involving a cute older house with established plantings, the eager design team ripped out all the full-grown shrubs along the foundation
and replaced them with – I’m not making this up – snapdragons. I’m at a loss to understand, much less explain, why the landscapes on this show are so terrible. Seems to me a lost opportunity.
And while I’m cataloguing my complaints about HGTV, let me add how much I miss Erica Glasener’s erstwhile show “Gardener’s Diary”. An actual horticulturist, Erica conducted half-hour tours of the most interesting gardens and interviewed their equally interesting gardeners and the show was a delight – both eye candy and inspiration. With no garden tour show in their current line-up, maybe HGTV is looking
for a new tour guide. Boy, what a dream gig that would be.