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.
Anthony and Natalie Armendariz took a huge risk when they bought a house over the internet! When they arrived at their new home, the exterior pictures didn't showcase the dust bowl they now call home. Jason Cameron and his Desperate Landscapes crew come to rescue the mobile designing couple by creating a landscape that they can be proud to call their new home. From a private sunken patio with a brand new entrance to ten tons of materials, Jason makes a yard that will almost never need watering but will never be dusty again!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ryan and Marcy Hesseling, a bar and wig shop owner, look to Jason Cameron to help them bring back some unique New Orleans style in their front yard. Jason uses a huge Southern Magnolia tree, a refurbished iron gate, a new blue stone slate walkway and tons of vibrant colors and plants to create a landscape worthy of the historical French Quarter tradition.
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 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.
Jason Cameron trudges through a rainy day to transform the Seattle yard of Selome and Abiy. They would love to host their huge Ethiopian, but their home is being renovated inside and the front yard is a mess. The work starts by ripping off the old concrete steps leading to the porch and adding new wooden steps and beefed up posts and railings to match the home. Beautiful volcanic rock is brought in to create natural steps leading into the yard. A big gazebo to host family gatherings, complete with a massive steel roof, is added. At then end of the day, Selome and Abiy celebrate the results with their extended family, and Mother Nature celebrates with a beautiful double rainbow.
Chris McDonough fled Philadelphia's cold winters for a sunnier life near the beach, but her yard is anything but sunny. She lives in a historic area filled with cute bungalows, but her house is boring and barren. Jason Cameron has a plan to turn Chris's yard into a tropical paradise, and to do it, he'll add a retractable awning, a new bar and patio, and green screen with custom shelves. With all the fun new elements, Chris will definitely fit into this funky neighborhood.
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?
Jes Mayer and her two sons saved up for months to buy an old home in Cincinnati. The house has a huge yard for Jes's sons to play in, but with a big yard came more work than Jes could handle. Jason's plan to breathe new life into this old beauty is to create a beautiful landscape. The plan calls for tons of crushed stone to create a Victorian circle driveway as well as a new patio. Stone stairs will be added leading to an arbor to the left of the front door, and the home's old front door gets a facelift to create a landscape that fits with the house and the whole neighborhood.