Escondido Overhaul: America's Most Desperate Landscape 2013

Jason Cameron and his team from Desperate Landscapes chose this troubled yard to top the year's most challenging curb appeal projects.
By: Lauren Harris

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

©Gary Payne Photography 2013

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

©Gary Payne Photography 2013

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

©Gary Payne Photography 2013

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Photo By: Gary Payne/Getty Images ©2013, DIY Network./Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

America's Most Desperate Landscape 2013

First-time homeowners Ricky and Ronna Ruffin breathed a sigh of relief with the arrival of Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew. The couple's yard was a visual disaster area located at the entrance of an otherwise beautiful Escondido, Calif. neighborhood.

Before: Corner Street View

A previous home improvement project to take down a bulky brick pergola had spiraled out of control, leaving a front yard in ruins. With the Ruffins unable to fix the mess, the rubble-covered lawn was left in a state of deterioration.

After: Corner Street View

In just two days, this corner-lot yard was transformed from an unsightly mess into a visually distinctive showpiece. Perfectly manicured from all angles, it no longer bears the brunt of neighbor complaints.

Before: Front Yard

"X" marks the spot in this frightening front yard. A giant boulder bearing a permanent "x" had become a neighborhood landmark of sorts. As weeds overtook the lawn, the boulder was the only visual statement in this yard, albeit an unusual one.

After: Front Yard

With the boulder removed and lush green sod in place, the newly remade front yard is both beautiful and functional.

Heavy Obstacles

The now semi-famous boulder remains a part of the new landscape design, but is moved closer to the street to maximize lawn space.

Before

A terrible eyesore to neighbors across the street, the right side of the house needed more than just a coat of paint.

After

To provide more privacy and cover the bare wall, trees were planted alongside the house. The treeline of a Cooktown Tulipwood, a 24-foot Carrotwood and, the homeowner's favorite, a Mexican Fan Palm, make for a beautifully scenic space.

Before: Front Walkway

The view of the home's front was impeded by a rotting tree. A less-than-appealing concrete and gravel walkway was in dire need of an overhaul.

After: Front Walkway

With the rotting tree removed and a new front walkway in place, the entry to the home is open and inviting. Five tons of crushed stone, three tons of leveling sand and 200 pieces of Noche Travertine tile went into this beautiful new entryway.

Hard-working Homeowners

Homeowner Ronna Ruffin is ready to help get these plants in the ground. Hard at work, she even practiced her sledgehammer skills during demo portion of the renovation.

After: Front Porch

A new 200-square-foot front patio space is an eye-catching addition to the front entrance. A custom-built redwood bench is nestled in the corner of the patio for extra seating under the new pergola.

After: Front Door

The home's double doors were retained but freshly painted. A bright magenta potted flower adds a lively touch and visual complement to the green doors.

Before: Garage Door

The garage door was the most visible element of the entire home. Unfortunately, this bland facade stood out even more due to a lack of landscaping.

After: Garage Door

A sophisticated grid design on the garage door adds visual interest and complements the new steel pergola.

Before: View From the Street

Strolling the street may have been a frightening experience. You can barely see the house through all the visual clutter.

After: The Final Product

With the dead tree removed and a new front walkway connecting to the city sidewalk, the home's new look is both inviting and visually distinctive. Located at the entrance to the neighborhood, the Ruffin's home now serves as a beautiful gateway to the community.

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