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.
The Suarez family bought a house in the neighborhood they grew up in. Their childhood friends are still their neighbors - and they aren't happy! That's why they turn to Jason Cameron and his team to bring some much needed TLC to the home. Watch as Jason brings in elements from the whole neighborhood to help this landscape go from worst to first.
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.
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.
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 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.
The Aguerres' front yard doesn't fit in with the lush tropical neighborhood of Pembroke Pines, Fla. DIY Network's Jason Cameron and his team bring the Aguerres' love for Key West into their landscape to appease their complaining neighbors. Watch as Jason brings out the excavator to demo a huge concrete wall and replace it with metal fabricated paneled walls that provide privacy for the homeowners and eye-candy for the neighbors. Jason also transforms one of those walls into a glass tiled water feature in the front and adds a special surprise for the homeowners' eyes only.
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.
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!
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 turns a Desperate Landscape on a huge corner lot into a show-stopper. In a neighborhood that's slowly coming back to life after years of neglect, Jason meets a fun, young couple open to new ideas.That's Jason's call to pull out all the stops and create a fence out of hog wire, a huge cedar deck and cedar walkway and include some funky artwork created by a local artist.
Joe and Amy Vance are in law enforcement by day and in their spare time, they are bodybuilders. They boast that they are great at growing muscles and not-so-great at growing plants. They've called muscleman Jason Cameron for some help to restore Amy's grandparents' home to its former glory. Jason busts up part of the massive driveway to create a new paver patio with a circular patio kit. The patio gets some screening from a curved cedar fence and some plantings. In between their hard work in the landscape, Jason and the homeowners flex their muscles and show off their hard work in the gym, and at the end of the day, they're ready to show off the landscape to the neighbors.
Jason Cameron and his Desperate Landscapes crew create an Arts and Crafts style landscape at an old Chicago bungalow. The design includes a custom-built cedar porch, a cool copper awning, a brick walkway and a beautiful wooden gate. Jason also plants a landscape filled with prairie style plantings that will thrive in Chicago's cold winter weather.
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.