Desperation Turnaround: America's Most Desperate Landscape 2012
America's Most Desperate Landscape 2012
In its annual nationwide search for America's Most Desperate Landscape, DIY Network ultimately found just what it was looking for at the Derby, Conn., home of Patty and Cas Stochmal. The home's dilapidated front exterior was overgrown, unsightly and downright unsafe. Enter landscaping pro Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew for their biggest curb appeal makeover project of the year.
Earlier, a contractor debacle and an unfinished garage-addition project resulted in a home improvement disaster. Moreover, the yard had become so overgrown and turned into such a neighborhood eyesore that neighbors (at least for the purposes of the "Most Desperate Landscape" entry video) took up the role of angry villagers and started an uprising.
More than 250 new plantings, a new turf lawn, and a reworked walkway and front facade help soften the street view and transform the Stochmal's residence into one of the neighborhood's more visually appealing homes.
At the home's side entrance, a tattered banner tarp covers a portion of the exterior where siding is missing.
In a first for Desperate Landscapes, this home makeover includes the addition of a screened porch where the distressed side entrance had been. All-new landscaping surrounds the porch addition. Adding the new porch required demolishing the damaged brick stairs that previously led to the side door.
A garage with no driveway, crumbling stairs and two separate front entrances made for a frightening first impression for this home.
Thirty tons of boulders were used in the landscape makeover, including for the two-tiered retaining wall and planting area where a weed-infested hillside once was. A row of 20 densely planted boxwoods creates a green fence.
As part of the unfinished garage project, the old sidewalk and concrete steps along the front of the house had been partially demolished and reduced to rubble. What was left was an actual safety hazard.
The transformation includes a completed and newly paved driveway, specially designed stairs with extra-wide 14-inch tread and a completely reconfigured walk-up to the home's front door.
The Stochmal's house, built some 50 years earlier by Cas Stochmal's father, gets reinvigorated with a well-deserved upgrade. As a tribute to the home's history and the care that went into the structure years before, a section at the top and center of the new walkway is fashioned from bricks that were part of the home's original hand-laid brick walk. Cas' cherished stone lions were also preserved and incorporated into the newly designed front entrance.