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 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.
When Jason Cameron discovers a beat up dog park he gets to work giving the Alabaster Alabama puppy population a great place to have fun! Jeni Miller was chosen the winner of the Beneful's Dream Dog Park Makeover and Jason and his team acted fast. From amazing water features to incredible play spaces, it's a dream dog park come true for an entire community.
Jason Cameron heads to Chicago to help popular morning show DJ Kathy Hart and her husband Billy Baruth fix up their ugly front yard. The family lives in a neighborhood of perfectly manicured front lawns and theirs sticks out with its weeds and hidden front door. Jason brings his calvary to cut down a diseased tree, rip out an ugly sidewalk and paint the brick and wood siding. The landscape design includes a rustic cedar bridge, a Mexican beach pebble dry creek, a custom, curving poplar bench and a custom slate waterfall fountain.
Jason Cameron saddles up and plays cowboy as he helps The Herd in Fort Worth, Texas create a new entrance for their non-profit educational center and pen. Jason teaches the cowboys to use their shovels for something other than manure as they add native cacti, grasses and shrubs to the landscape. Jason uses reclaimed brick to create a huge new walkway with a basket weave pattern, and he tries his hand at branding. He's not branding any steer, but he is branding The Herd's new entrance with a unique sign. The final work is something the entire Fort Worth Stockyards historic district can be proud of.
Samantha and Vince love their home in Oceanside, California. They love being close to the beach and spend as much free time there as their jobs allow but they don't have a lot of time to spare. They have been rehabbing the inside of their home and Vince is a Marine Reservist and Samantha works as an animal trainer at Sea World. The first order of business is to get rid of a fence that's falling apart and to clear some ugly trees and debris. Jason's plan calls for building a new fence with a modern style to help keep their dog corralled. They build some custom surfboard lights and add a new paver patio and redwood fireplace for Sam and Vince to relax with friends.
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?
"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."
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 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.
It's a dog day in the landscape when licensed contractor, Jason Cameron, turns a Desperate Landscape into a play field for a dog named Votto. Jason borrows ideas from his huge Dream Dog Park makeover and puts them into one lucky family's yard. With a low maintenance fence, a covered patio and dog toys galore, Jason pulls out all the stops to create one beautiful landscape that people and pups can enjoy.
Jeff Cole is a firefighter who works hard to help put out wildfires in California. It's a shame that Jeff and his wife Ashley have a fire hazard of their own in their front yard. To top it off, the front yard features an ugly old wishing well that everyone's been wishing would go away. Jeff brings a huge team of firefighters to help clear the debris that make the front yard dangerous, and Jason brings chainsaws to cut down some cypresses that are home to pests. He builds a custom concrete seating area and adds a fire pit to create an entertainment area for the homeowners. He also brings in artificial turf to help the Coles stay sensitive to California's water issues and to give their son Jameson and place to play. At the end of the day, the neighbors return to find out if their wishes have come true and the desperate and fire hazard have been cleared.
DIY Network's Jason Cameron heads to Willard Avenue to help the Grubbs family find their front door. What was once the area's original majestic farmhouse is now the most majestic eye-sore! With the help of some serious excavating equipment, Jason demos a wrap-around porch and dodges a potential project ender with some mason work and quick thinking. The neighbors come home to find a completely transformed house that no longer leaves the front entrance in question.
Samantha and Doug Louder bought a charming old home with a challenging landscape. With ivy, stumps, peeling paint and a crumbling walkway, the front yard had no charm. Jason Cameron designs a Victorian landscape that fits in nicely with the home and this neighborhood filled with impeccably tended yards. Jason's plan calls for taming the ivy, creating a Victorian-inspired trellis, building a beautiful fountain, and creating a bed swing for the front porch. At the end of eight hours, the house and yard are both oozing charm and awaiting reviews from the neighbors.