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 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.
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.
Taylor and Jordan Henry have worked hard to make their home beautiful on the inside, but their front yard is a mess of weeds, railroad ties and a hideous box hiding a water softener. They have a gorgeous view of the Sandia Mountains from their front yard and they want to bring that mountain vibe to their front yard. They also want the yard to be water friendly. Jason's plan calls for adding water-friendly plants and trees to the landscape that will thrive under the low-water conditions in Albuquerque. He's also designed a natural looking stone patio plus he's asked local artisans to create a beautiful stained glass window and a tree of life sculpture for the yard. If that weren't enough, they install a beautiful tile walkway leading to the front door. The work is enough to blow away the neighbors.
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 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.
Licensed contractor Jason Cameron is called to help the owners of a cool Mid-Century home with a horrendous landscape. Owners Lisa and Andrew Cape are busy keeping up with three small boys and their full-time jobs. Jason designs a landscape that is low maintenance and Mid-Century with a funky, patterned patio, a grill station with a wood mosaic wall, prairie style plants, vintage furniture and a play space for the Cape boys.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.