Meet Jason and Connie and their dog Mayzee. They own a unique custom-built home on 2-1/2 acres in Texas Hill Country. The yard is big, but before we came along, it was barren in some spots and overgrown in other areas. We completely overhauled their desperate landscape and turned it into a space where Jason, Connie and Mayzee can relax, entertain and run free. Check it out.
Viola! No walls or windows were replaced, but the house looks completely different thanks to a new coat of paint, board-and-batten shutters and a timber-framed pergola over the entry. The lush landscaping makes for a park-like setting. Instead of a water-hungry lawn, drought-tolerant plants and low-maintenance groundcovers were used because they’re more likely to thrive in the hot, dry climate. The tiered fountain lends an elegant Southwestern flair and complements the stucco-surfaced home.
The gazebo has an interesting story. Connie’s dad knew some masonry workers who were hired to build the structures at a San Antonio library. They needed a place to practice their work, so Connie’s father offered up his property. Inside the domes, the ceiling is lined with intricate brickwork, similar to that used by the Mexican brick culture of the Rio Grande Valley.
The gazebo has become a beautiful outdoor kitchen, living and dining room. The floor was lined with square patio pavers (which you voted for). Up above, wrought-iron candle chandeliers cast light down on the wicker furniture (which you also voted for). In the background sits the new fireplace and pizza oven.
Two of the design choices you voted for were the paint color for the door and the new house numbers. Nice work. The Spanish-red door is a perfect accompaniment to the soft adobe-colored stucco and mahogany-stained pergola. The modern font used for the house numbers gives the entry a contemporary vibe.
Connie and Jason are world travelers who have worked their way through many countries. They spent a summer on a farm in New Zealand, taught English in Austria and Korea and ran a canoe sightseeing business in Prague. They’ve seen some of the most beautiful gardens in the world and would love to bring a little bit of that beauty into their own yard.
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.
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.
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.
Two young homeowners spent their savings rehabbing their house and financing an expensive spinal surgery for their dog. The yard has literally gone to the dogs! Jason rescues the space with a new patio, new paint and lots of new landscaping.
Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew head to Fort Worth, Texas to help a couple of hip, young newlyweds turn their ugly old porch into a neighborhood destination. Jason builds new railings to match the house. He builds big new steps to make the porch more inviting and gives the porch floor a fresh coat of paint. Add in a brand new landscape and lots of succulent plants and you'll get a huge Texas-sized landscape that the young homeowners and their friends will all love.
Jason is on hand to help two dedicated rehabbers fix up their desperate landscape. Neighbors describe the house as "mustard gone bad," so Jason brings in gallons of paint and a new entry door, rips out the old dated sidewalk and builds a brand-new arbor to put the complaints to rest.
"Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscape crew conduct their annual search for America's Most Desperate Landscape. Jason reviewed videos and pictures from all across the country and found the ugliest front yard in Escondido, California. He pulls out all the stops to transform the Ruffin family's front yard from one of the worst in the country to one of the best. Jason takes down a huge dying tree, rips out an ugly old walkway, sledgehammers an old brick planter and moves a massive boulder to clear this ugly yard, and then he brings in the cool stuff. Jason installs a travertine walkway, a beautiful steel pergola, a new garage door, a fountain and custom-built benches. All of that plus hundreds of plants transform America's Most Desperate Landscape into on of the most beautiful around."
The neighbors say that Ben Hillman and LaRoy Holloway have royally screwed up this landscape decorating with plastic plants! Jason Cameron and his team come to the rescue and build a custom-made shade house, create a perfectly linear formal walkway and of course bring in some real plants. The neighbors were excited about the changes Ben and LaRoy brought to the inside, but wait until they see what Jason brought for the outside!
Jason Cameron teams up with Chris Grundy for one of the final projects at Blog Cabin. This dynamic duo installs new stairs for the front porch, sleek stainless steel wires to act as the porch railing, and a vintage pergola with seating area to enjoy the beautiful views.
Alec and Jenny Harmes want to completely transform their front yard to welcome their out of town wedding guests. Jason and his team move in to make that dream a reality. With the help of a local artist, Jason creates 4 glass mosaic planters that perfectly blend into this funky Austin, Texas neighborhood. The Desperate Landscapes team also adds indigenous plants throughout the yard that require almost no water. The biggest change: a completely flipped driveway made of lava basalt!
Jason Cameron and his crew comb through application after application to find the ugliest front yard in America. Their search takes them to Helotes, Texas where Jason and Connie Vela are living in a mess. Their home used to house Connie's father's construction business and the yard shows it. There is junk left behind and there is even a prototype building that has a strong resemblance to a female body part. It's one of the most unusual projects we've ever tackled. Jason Cameron takes his Desperate Landscape crew to Texas for the massive two day project that includes tearing out part of the driveway, ripping off an unusual and dangerous overhang at the front door and camouflaging the femininely-shaped building. Once the clearing is finished, Jason and his team build a beautiful fireplace and pizza oven, lay a stone walkway and build a beautiful new portico. The finishing touch for this new yard is a huge fountain surrounded by yellow roses. When the work is finished, the Velas' complaining neighbors return to celebrate another Desperate Landscapes success.
Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes team bring out the heavy machinery to find a house hidden on a hill. Dying trees, weeds, crumbling steps and driveway make this gem of a Tudor hard to see. With chainsaws, a jackhammer and a hydraulic hammer drill, Jason takes down the trees, rips out the old steps and replaces an awful 2X4 handrail with one that matches the style of the house. Plus, he shows a truck bed liner spray can help a plant grow in a concrete jungle.
Jason Cameron and crew head to rural Owenton, Kentucky to transform an eco-friendly house that sticks out a like a sore thumb. Neighbors say the big black house could use a little green on the outside. Jason builds a greenhouse with cool hydraulic-powered windows. He uses natural stone to create a new walkway and helps this family store their winter fuel in a new, natural container. Plus, Jason adds a lot of new plants to help this tree-hugging family feel more at home in their new house. Will the neighbors in this small community warm up to the changes? Jason hopes to change some minds.
Willy and Jennie Jacobson have been the subject of some serious criticism in their Albuquerque neighborhood, and they are calling on Jason Cameron for help. The couple have asked Jason to turn their prickly, rocky and ugly landscape into a beautiful play space for their young sons. Jason brings in heavy equipment to move some huge boulders to create a a play space with seating. Plus, he brings out the big guns to move a heavy ipe deck into the yard. Jason also taps into Willy's artistic side to have him paint a mural to fit into the landscape. The end result is a fun, family-friendly space that the neighbors love.
Rain and Seattle go together, but in the suburb of Kirkland, Mother Nature is doing her best to stop Jason Cameron and his crew from fixing a Desperate Landscape. The front yard once looked like a mini-golf course, but the homeowners stripped it clean and now it's just a barren landscape with a rickety balcony, ripped awnings and broken concrete pieces. Jason has a plan to turn the ugly front yard into an Asian-inspired landscape to match the design style inside the home. He rebuilds the deck with beautiful Brazilian teak wood that features a unique Asian design to keep the bad spirits away. Despite the mud and muck, Jason creates a beautiful walkway with a ringed-entrance to the yard. He also adds a natural stone fountain and beautiful bamboo. The big question though is whether the neighbors will be happy with the dramatic changes?
Brandon and Jenny Donovan's home is hidden behind a creek and a huge wall that stretches the length of their house. The neighbors say the property looks abandoned and want Jason Cameron to fix it. Jason tears down the ugly block wall and builds a custom rough cut cedar bridge over the creek. The project features unusual Mid Century Modern paint color, a paver walkway, and a low maintenance entertainment area to turn this diamond-in-the-rough into a real beauty.