Retro Front Yard Patio

A cedar wall adds privacy to the retro patio that adorns this front yard.
Desperate No More!
Desperate No More!

America's Most Desperate Landscape 2015: Before and After Pictures 24 Photos

Tour the finished yard, complete with fan-voted features.

Texas Transformation: Desperate No More

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We asked you, our readers, to help us reimagine the home exterior for the recipients of the 2014 America's Most Desperate Landscape makeover. Take a look at the results.

Nice People With a Not-So-Nice Yard

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.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before The Makeover

Before Connie and Jason acquired this place, the house was home to Connie’s father’s construction business and her brother-in-law's contracting business. So the yard was never manicured for family leisure time, it was used to park dump trucks and heavy equipment.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After: New Exterior

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.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before: The Gazebo

In the front yard is a covered patio. The neighbors think the double-domed pink structure is hideous, but Connie loves the gazebo and all the shade it provides.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After: New Surroundings

Before we started the makeover, we asked our readers to vote on some of the landscape plans. One of the elements you voted for was the pretty tiered fountain. Good choice. It makes the yard feel like a park or botanical garden.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before: Just an Uncomfortable Bench

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.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After: Home Away From Home

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.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before: Not Too Inviting

The front entry is a little less than welcoming. The grass is almost as brown as the wood beams while the mixed-match concrete and patio pavers makes for a dangerous trip hazard.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After: Draws You Right In

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.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Before: What is This Spot Used For?

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.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

After: Nice Spot for Morning Coffee

The old dilapidated patio cover was removed and replaced with a line of palms, a welcoming walkway and a turquoise cafe set.

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Celebrate!

The homeowners and Desperate Landscapes host Jason Cameron celebrate with some ice-cold beverages. (Mayzee got a big doggie biscuit!)

Photo By: Sarah Wilson/ Getty Images ©2014, DIY Network/Scripps Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Dramatic Before-and-Afters From DIY Network's Desperate Landscapes

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What's more embarrassing than a hideous front yard? A front yard that's so bad even the neighbors are complaining. Check out these transformations, and see how host Jason Cameron added curb appeal to these formerly desperate landscapes.

Meet Morgan and Mindi Rich

Eager to start their lawn makeover, Morgan and Mindi strike a pose with host Jason Cameron.

Before: Weedy Lawn

This bare yard is begging for a little TLC. The weedy yard lacks color and texture and offers only one small tree in the way of landscaping.

After: Bold and Bright

Lush plants and a charming gravel parking lot bring interest and drama to the once basic home.

Meet Sidney Davis

Jason and Sidney teamed up to redo Sidney's small, mint green home as a part of Rebuilding Together New Orleans.

Before: Cookie Cutter

Sidney knew a thing or two about hard work and was eager to help with his landscape transformation.

After: Personal and Stylish

A salmon-pink home sets Sydney apart from his neighbors, while pretty and practical trees provide a bit of privacy.

Meet Mike and Claudia Ratterman

Mike and Claudia were a cute couple living in a cute home. The only problem? Their landscaping could use a spruce.

©2008, DIY Network

Before: Totally Dull

Known for its elegant style and ornamental facade, this attractive Tudor home lacks the same detailed look in its landscaping.

©2008, DIY Network

After: Cheery Surprise

Now, structural plants and bright pops of yellow mimic the home's sharp lines and interesting details.

©2008, DIY Network

Meet Marcy and Ryan Hessling

For Marcy and Ryan, a boring home just wouldn't do, so they hoped to display their fun, carefree personalities through the landscape remodel.

Before: Bare Bones

Though it's obvious the house is stunning, it wasn't reaching its full potential with a drab paint job and no landscaping to speak of.

After: Colorful Showstopper

A gorgeous iron gate, blue stone walkway and patio, bright hues on the home and colorful details all around gave this home a bright, spirited renewal.

Before: Rocky Start

A yard entirely of rocks proved to be a big job for Jason Cameron as he worked to improve this unique landscape.

After: Artfully Artificial

To conserve water in this Las Vegas lawn, an artificial lawn was installed along with desert-hardy plants.

Meet Kathy and Billy Baruth

Billy and his wife Kathy, a popular morning show DJ in Chicago, were surrounded by beautiful houses with perfectly manicured lawns. Theirs stuck out like a sore thumb.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Before: Awkward and Unruly

Wild weeds and a hidden front door made this lawn look unkempt and forgotten, the perfect candidate for a total front yard renovation.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

After: Polished Plantings

After cutting down a large diseased tree, several other small trees were placed around the home's perimeter.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Before: Out of Sight, Out of Mind

A front door that can't be seen from the road wasn't given much attention before the makeover.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

After: Custom Retreat

The new front door area features a cedar bridge and a custom slate waterfall fountain. A pair of rustic railroad ties pulls the look together.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Before: Small but Sweet

In a neighborhood where only 25 feet separates your door from your neighbor's door, space is at a premium.

After: Neighborhood Knock-Out

Despite the close quarters, Jason Cameron is able to give this sweet home major curb appeal, complete with a newly painted door, fresh plants, new stairs and even a new paver walkway.

Meet Jeff and Robin Ankeny

Jeff, a wine broker, along with his wife Robin, a cake ball baker, are ready to turn their mid-century modern home into the showstopper they know it can be.

Photo By: Shannon Faulk / Getty Images

Before: Enter if You Dare

This Dallas home looks more like a fortress than a house with the huge brick wall surrounding the entrance.

Photo By: Shannon Faulk / Getty Images

After: Warm Welcome

With the brick wall removed and a spacious deck added, the homeowners are ready to throw a party. A cheery yellow door, funky outdoor art and a great place to sit and relax make this house the perfect place to entertain.

Photo By: Shannon Faulk / Getty Images

Meet Bethany and Michael Davidson

It looks like Jason's landscaping plans are more than Bethany and Michael expected for their Cincinnati home.

Photo By: Chris Cone/Getty Images

Before: A Blank Slate

Before the makeover, this home lacked the cozy, cottage feel so prominent in Tudor-style homes.

Photo By: Chris Cone/Getty Images

After: Country Cottage Style

A new iron railing and colorful door give this Tudor home a soft, welcoming look. A group of shrubs and flowers in various sizes add interest to the home's main entrance.

Photo By: Chris Cone/Getty Images

Meet Jason and Jennifer Hargis

Artist Jason and his wife Jennifer have a home full of beautiful art, but the outside of their house was in need of a touch up.

Photo By: Chris Cone/Getty Images

Before: Boring in Beige

For being the home of an artist, this house was definitely lacking personal flair.

Photo By: Chris Cone/Getty Images

After: Paint and Planters

A fresh coat of paint and stainless steel planters give the home a cozier, lived-in look that is a major improvement from the lifeless before.

Photo By: Chris Cone/Getty Images

Meet Jackie Witt and David Scarano

All bets are off when two professional poker players join forces with Jason to give their Spanish Tudor home a much-needed makeover.

Before: Desolate Desert

This dreary before was so bad, it's no wonder the neighbors called in for landscape help!

After: A Neighborhood Favorite

No longer the neighborhood eyesore, this remade lawn boasts palm trees, a lush green lawn and even a new garage door.

Meet Emma and Trask McFarland

For Emma and Trask, who live on a farm, hard work outdoors is an everyday occurence.

Photo By: Mark Cornelison/ AP Images

Before: Just the Basics

Affectionately called "The Big Black Box," this mini farm house is already swimming in personality. Unfortunately, the surrounding landscape could use a lot of work.

Photo By: Mark Cornelison/ AP Images

After: Home Sweet Home

No longer just a building sitting on the farm, a pretty new walkway and trees that frame the house finally make this micro home look like it belongs.

Photo By: Mark Cornelison/ AP Images

Meet Edward Wilkerson

It looks like homeowner Edward Wilkerson is ready to get to work on this one-day landscape makeover.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Before: Nothing There

This Chicago home was just begging for a little landscape love with its bare yard and lack of color.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

After: Like a Brand-New Home

In only one day, the Desperate Landscapes crew turned this basic arts and crafts style house into a fun, vibrant home, complete with a new gate and beautiful wooden porch.

Photo By: Jean-Marc Giboux/Getty Images

Before: America's Most Desperate Landscape

And the 2013 winner for America's Most Desperate Landscape goes to...this sad, boring front yard full of wasted potential.

After: From Desperate to Dazzling

The new landscape features a paved driveway, a quaint walkway, impressive plantings and a cool planter wall made of boulders.

Meet Daniella and Peter Vaclavik

After paying for an expensive surgery for their dog, Daniella and Peter didn't have much money left to get professional help for their landscaping. That's where Jason and his crew came in.

Before: A Postponed Project

Before the landscaping overhaul, the view from outside the home showcased sparse plants, plenty of weeds and a house in need of a new paint job.

After: Unique Flair

The fabulous new yard features a new walkway and patio, a one-of-a-kind wall mural and grass that works well in the intense Miami heat.

Meet Catherine and Kyle Reynolds

These newlyweds are eager to transform their yard from an ugly before to an enchanting happily ever after.

Before: Where's the Sidewalk?

Weeds and dead plants take up the entire hill in front of the Reynold's home, and the sidewalk is no where to be seen.

After: A Step Up

New steps make it so much easier to access the home, while a retaining wall and plenty of gorgeous new plants make the most of the hilly terrain.

Meet Riley and Carmen Ralmuto

These young newlyweds are hoping for a front porch as hip as they are, and Jason knows just how to make it happen.

Photo By: Shannon Faulk / Getty Images

Before: Feeling Blue

Dark and cluttered, this dreary entrance didn't reflect the fun, lively personalities of the young homeowners.

Photo By: Shannon Faulk / Getty Images

After: Young Love

A lighter and brighter paint job transformed the old blue entrance, while a pretty new porch rail and a yard full of succulents give the home a much more inviting look.

Photo By: Shannon Faulk / Getty Images

Meet Anthony and Natalie Armendariz

Anthony and Natalie prepare for the long hours of work ahead of them as they get ready to turn a yard full of dirt into a landscape they can actually love.

Before: All Dirt

A yard lacking greenery is a depressing site to say the least. Perhaps they tried to make up for it with their avocado green door?

After: A Welcoming Site

The house is lightened up with a fresh coat of paint, while the new Rookwood Terra Cotta door is bright and welcoming. A brand-new walkway leads to the Limestone Veneer Porch, which is surrounded by a sea of lush, textural plants.

Desperation Turnaround: America's Most Desperate Landscape 2012

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Jason Cameron and the Desperate Landscapes crew undertake their year's toughest makeover project at the end of a long search for America's most curb appeal-challenged yard.

America's Most Desperate Landscape 2012

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.

Before

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.

After

More than 250 new plantings, a new turf lawn, and a reworked walkway and front facade help soften the street view and transform the Stochmal's residence into one of the neighborhood's more visually appealing homes.

Before

At the home's side entrance, a tattered banner tarp covers a portion of the exterior where siding is missing.

After

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.

Before

A garage with no driveway, crumbling stairs and two separate front entrances made for a frightening first impression for this home.

After

Thirty tons of boulders were used in the landscape makeover, including for the two-tiered retaining wall and planting area where a weed-infested hillside once was. A row of 20 densely planted boxwoods creates a green fence.

Before

As part of the unfinished garage project, the old sidewalk and concrete steps along the front of the house had been partially demolished and reduced to rubble. What was left was an actual safety hazard.

After

The transformation includes a completed and newly paved driveway, specially designed stairs with extra-wide 14-inch tread and a completely reconfigured walk-up to the home's front door.

And Done

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.

Top 10 Ways to Go Big in Your Landscaping

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Add super-sized curb appeal to your house with these high-impact landscaping ideas.

#10 Columns

Replacing worn porch columns is an easy way to beef up the appearance of your porch.

#9 Wide Steps

Make your entry grand by widening the steps up to your front door.

#8 Outdoor Room

Whether it's a gazebo or simply a couple of benches in a cozy garden nook, create a relaxing getaway in the landscape.

#7 Big Planters

Add super-sized planters to create a dramatic entyway garden.

#6 Layer Your Landscaping

Create interest and dimension in your landscape beds with low, mid-sized and tall plants.

#5 Retaining Walls

A retaining wall can add usable space to a slope. Get professional help for any wall more than two feet tall.

#4 Stones Paths

Natural stone pathways and stairs add an organic look with a lot of class.

#3 Walkways

A welcoming walkway can make all the difference in your curb appeal.

#2 Lush Lawn

Make your neighbors green with envy by laying fresh sod.

#1 Big Trees

Large evergreens or ornamental trees provide distinct personality to a landscape.

Meet the Host

Jason Cameron

After working his way through college as a carpenter, the DIY Network host turned his passions for home improvement and landscaping into a career as a licensed contractor.
All About Jason

About the show

Nothing is more embarrassing than having the ugliest yard on the block — especially when your neighbors call you out. Armed with creative solutions, licensed contractor Jason Cameron transforms a negligent neighbor's troubled yard into an outdoor showplace — in only one day. From new planting beds and big, new trees to fresh paint and fencing, DIY Network's Desperate Landscapes is all about going from helpless to beautiful!
Season 9, Episode 6

Join the Club

The O'Gradys live on a street filled with garden club members, and they just don't fit in. That's why they've turned to DIY Network licensed contractor, Jason Cameron to help. Jason's brining in an excavator to rip out the old before he bring in the new. He fixes up the house with a new fiberglass door, a fieldstone entryway and a gravel walkway. See how steel edging and weed fabric will ensure the walkway won't walk away.

Wednesday
Apr 1
5pm | 4c
Season 11, Episode 6

A Landscape Gone to the Dog Gets New Life

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.

Wednesday
Apr 8
8pm | 7c
Season 11, Episode 5

Jason Cameron's Hog Wild Landscape Design

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.

Wednesday
Apr 8
10:30pm | 9:30c
Season 12, Episode 2

Rescue Me From My Desperate Landscape

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.

Wednesday
Apr 15
10pm | 9c
Season 12, Episode 1

America's Most Desperate Landscape 2014

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.

Thursday
Apr 16
1:30am | 12:30c
Season 10, Episode 2

Newcomers to the Neighborhood

Neighborhood newcomers, Erynn and Henry, want to fit in and make their yard an entertainment haven for friends and family, but the weeds have gotten in the way. That's Jason Cameron's call to action. He's creating a patio, picnic table and a creative fireplace in the front yard to get the Casanovas fired up about their landscape.

Wednesday
Apr 29
3:30pm | 2:30c
Season 10, Episode 7

Keeping Austin Weird

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!

Wednesday
Apr 29
5pm | 4c
Season 10, Episode 9

Victory over a Victorian

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!

Wednesday
Apr 29
6pm | 5c
Season 11, Episode 2

A Desperate Landscape at Blog Cabin

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.

Wednesday
Apr 29
8:30pm | 7:30c
Season 11, Episode 2

A Desperate Landscape at Blog Cabin

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.

Thursday
Apr 30
3:30am | 2:30c
Season 9, Episode 5

A Tropical Depression

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.

Monday
May 11
3pm | 2c
Season 10, Episode 2

Newcomers to the Neighborhood

Neighborhood newcomers, Erynn and Henry, want to fit in and make their yard an entertainment haven for friends and family, but the weeds have gotten in the way. That's Jason Cameron's call to action. He's creating a patio, picnic table and a creative fireplace in the front yard to get the Casanovas fired up about their landscape.

Monday
May 11
5:30pm | 4:30c
Season 10, Episode 4

Race Before the Alter

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!

Monday
May 11
6pm | 5c

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