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 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 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.
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.
"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."
Michael Linsday and Manuel Quintero bit off a bit more than they could chew when trying to convert an old caretaker's house and horse stable into something that would fit into this San Diego neighborhood. Their neighbors are unhappy and that's why they turn to DIY Network's Jason Cameron for help. Jason repairs a falling down pergola and helps save a huge 100-year-old fig tree!
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.
Hurricane Katrina wiped out Ulrick and Michele Jean-Pierre's landscape, but Jason Cameron completes this transformation and makes it better than ever! It's an unbelievable mix of Carribean art, exotic plants, and new Orleans character. This lightning-fast transformation closes a very long chapter for one amazing couple.
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.
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.
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?
Licensed contractor Jason Cameron has heard the call for help for Jessica and Reece Gable. Their house is hidden by an overgrown mini forest. Jason uses some unconventional tools to clear the landscape when he brings in goats to eat the weeds. He tackles some of the trees with chainsaws, and then turns his eye toward creating a huge wooden deck, tree trunk stepping stones, and a cool zipline for the Gable children. The huge project takes this Desperate Landscape from worst on the block to first.
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.
Jason Cameron heads to Albuquerque to help Wendy and Adam Livermore. The homeowners are renovating a foreclosure, and these Wisconsin transplants know nothing about landscaping in New Mexico. Jason's plan to help banish their desperation includes building a new deck featuring the Zia sun, an important part of the culture in New Mexico. A beautiful wooden loggia with a sailcloth cover will add shade to the yard. A fire feature will keep the homeowners warm at night and a water feature will add a relaxing touch. The front yard will also include a living wall and plenty of plants that thrive in the Albuquerque sun. Is all this enough to stop the neighbors' complaints? Jason thinks the answer will be a resounding yes.