America's Most Desperate Landscape 2010: Landscape Tips for Weekly Winner 2

The second weekly winner is Melissa Cerrato of Kingston, Mass. for her video of a yard that's starkly bare and mostly sand. Jason Cameron offers tips for turning this sandpit into a beautiful front yard.


The front yard of a small gray house with bold white trim and a gray stone retaining wall

Melissa's video of her desperate landscape shows a bare front yard that looks more like a sandbox. Jason Cameron offers tips for this desperate landscape:

1. The first step: get rid of almost all the sand and replace it with soil. Any sand left behind can be mixed with soil to help with drainage. The new soil mixture should be no more than 30 percent sand and 70 percent soil.

2. Build and install new window boxes under the front windows. Plant with a mix of flowering annuals and trailing ivies. My suggestion is to paint the boxes a pale blue to complement the brown house. This will help achieve that "cottage" look you want.

3. Plant a tall, narrow evergreen such as Thuja plicata 'Virescens' on the left side of the house. A great choice for a Boston-area landscape, this conical arborvitae will help to balance the house and screen the driveway.

4. Plant 'Green Velvet' boxwood (Buxus) or 'China Girl' holly (Ilex x meserveae 'China Girl') across the front of the house under the windows. These shrubs will provide a year-round evergreen frame and can be trimmed to complement the window boxes.

5. Plant trailing evergreen vines or flowering perennials such as Phlox subulata along edge of stone wall. The trailing plants will help to soften to walls and integrate them with the landscape.

Bonus tip: If you have some help — and plenty of energy — use the sand you pulled out of the yard as a base for a new step to the front door!

As a weekly winner, Melissa receives a $100 prize for

Keep Reading

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.