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 heads to Las Vegas to help two amazing acrobatic artists. He's bringing in huge boulders, tons of rock and plenty of plants to fix this desperate landscape, but will the judging neighbors give the yard a perfect 10?
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
Two friendly couples share equally desperate landscapes that put the neighborhood to shame. The dual Desperate Landscapes present unique challenges for DIY Network's Jason Cameron. He pours a new driveway, builds a custom arbor, a pergola and has tips for stamping concrete.
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.
Jason Cameron and crew head to rural Owenton, Kentucky to transform an eco-friendly house that sticks out a like a sore thumb. Neighbors say the big black house could use a little green on the outside. Jason builds a greenhouse with cool hydraulic-powered windows. He uses natural stone to create a new walkway and helps this family store their winter fuel in a new, natural container. Plus, Jason adds a lot of new plants to help this tree-hugging family feel more at home in their new house. Will the neighbors in this small community warm up to the changes? Jason hopes to change some minds.
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.
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.