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.
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 is called to action in Dallas where everything is big including the Desperate Landscapes! A Mid-Century Modern home needs a major overhaul, and the homeowners, a wine broker and a popular cake ball baker, are eager for help. Jason tears down a huge brick wall that makes the Mid-Century home look like a fortress. He builds a big composite deck great for this family that loves to entertain and he plants an architectural landscape with funky shapes and a fountain. Plus, he adds great geometrical art to the wall. This is one Desperate Landscape makeover that takes the cake ball.
Kevin and Annamarie Cronin have moved into Annamarie's childhood home. While they worked hard to make the inside their own, the outside is a mess. Neighbors hate the barren landscape, the yellow front door, and they wonder what's up with all the gnomes. Jason Cameron is called in to bring peace back to this well-manicured neighborhood. He paints the house to tone down the yellow door that the Cronins love. He adds deer tolerant plants to the landscape, and Jason builds a huge pergola to help the home fit with all the others in the neighborhood that boast nice porches. With a beautiful new seating area and plenty of plants, the Cronins put their gnomes in the landscape and put the neighbors' complaints to a rest.
Jason Cameron trudges through a rainy day to transform the Seattle yard of Selome and Abiy. They would love to host their huge Ethiopian, but their home is being renovated inside and the front yard is a mess. The work starts by ripping off the old concrete steps leading to the porch and adding new wooden steps and beefed up posts and railings to match the home. Beautiful volcanic rock is brought in to create natural steps leading into the yard. A big gazebo to host family gatherings, complete with a massive steel roof, is added. At then end of the day, Selome and Abiy celebrate the results with their extended family, and Mother Nature celebrates with a beautiful double rainbow.
The Griffiths are turning an old firehouse into their new home, and Jason Cameron is bringing in the brigade to help them complete the transformation outside. He's helping the homeowners lay a new paver patio and put in a new flagpole. Plus, he's bringing a custom fire hydrant fountain and a new stain glass window. Will Jason's hard work put out the fiery complaints from neighbors?
The Danjals were excited to move from snowy Canada to sunny Miami, but they fell out of their neighbor's good graces when the landscape fell apart. DIY Network's Jason Cameron heads to the beach to buil. a one of a kind modern wall. Plus, he brings in tons of tropical plants and transplants a 20 foot palm!
Jason Cameron and his crew face a tough challenge to create a yard fit for entertaining and for dogs as one Chicago couple hopes to transform their muddy front yard into an oasis for friends and family. Jason's plan calls for adding privacy to the yard with lush plantings. He installs a huge travertine patio, a copper bar for icing down adult beverages and adds custom-built couches for seating. Jason also adds a special area for the dogs with artificial turf, a fire hydrant and a fresh water drinking stand.
It's time for a big, Texas style invasion for Eric and Betinna Hess. Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew are keeping things weird in Austin, Texas with a fence you can write on without getting into trouble, spinning planters made with a product that bends as you build and special edging that lets you design a path which goes any way you want! Plus, the artists who made this neighborhood magical!
A California dad misses his Hawaiian roots and is longing for a lush landscape. Jason Cameron and his crew give Vanessa and Cody Jacinto what they wish for with tropical plants, a new driveway with a stained border and a custom paver walkway stamped with sea turtles. Plus, Jason has a surprise for the homeowners and the neighbors. He's included some fake plants in the yard, but can anyone pick them out?
Ya La'ford is a popular St. Petersburg, Florida artist with an ugly front yard. She and her husband Vic are in need of some serious help. Jason brings in bold paint colors for the house and puts new steps on the front porch and covers them with glass tiles. The yard gets a synthetic turf yoga zone, seashell paver walkway and a new patio. At the end of the day, neighbors are impressed to see the transformation.
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 Cameron receives a 911 call from Casey Ballman, a firefighter, and Megan Ballman, an ER nurse whose Desperate Landscape is an emergency situation. The landscape is hidden by overgrown trees that threaten the house. The chainsaws come out and the changes start. With the trees gone, Jason can start on other projects. He removes a chunk of concrete so he can create a bigger stoop. He digs a huge trench to help with drainage in the front yard. Jason also builds a huge entertainment pavilion with a sailcloth roof. Plus, he's bringing in all kinds of plants that will thrive in the yard including a big new tree that won't threaten the structure of the house. At the end of the day, the neighbors, including Casey's boss and his mom, come back to see if the rescue mission was a success.
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.