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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The old dilapidated patio cover was removed and replaced with a line of palms, a welcoming walkway and a turquoise cafe set.
Eager to start their lawn makeover, Morgan and Mindi strike a pose with host Jason Cameron.
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.
Lush plants and a charming gravel parking lot bring interest and drama to the once basic home.
Jason and Sidney teamed up to redo Sidney's small, mint green home as a part of Rebuilding Together New Orleans.
Sidney knew a thing or two about hard work and was eager to help with his landscape transformation.
A salmon-pink home sets Sydney apart from his neighbors, while pretty and practical trees provide a bit of privacy.
Mike and Claudia were a cute couple living in a cute home. The only problem? Their landscaping could use a spruce.
Known for its elegant style and ornamental facade, this attractive Tudor home lacks the same detailed look in its landscaping.
Now, structural plants and bright pops of yellow mimic the home's sharp lines and interesting details.
For Marcy and Ryan, a boring home just wouldn't do, so they hoped to display their fun, carefree personalities through the landscape remodel.
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.
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.
A yard entirely of rocks proved to be a big job for Jason Cameron as he worked to improve this unique landscape.
To conserve water in this Las Vegas lawn, an artificial lawn was installed along with desert-hardy plants.
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.
Wild weeds and a hidden front door made this lawn look unkempt and forgotten, the perfect candidate for a total front yard renovation.
After cutting down a large diseased tree, several other small trees were placed around the home's perimeter.
A front door that can't be seen from the road wasn't given much attention before the makeover.
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.
In a neighborhood where only 25 feet separates your door from your neighbor's door, space is at a premium.
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.
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.
This Dallas home looks more like a fortress than a house with the huge brick wall surrounding the entrance.
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.
It looks like Jason's landscaping plans are more than Bethany and Michael expected for their Cincinnati home.
Before the makeover, this home lacked the cozy, cottage feel so prominent in Tudor-style homes.
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.
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.
For being the home of an artist, this house was definitely lacking personal flair.
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.
All bets are off when two professional poker players join forces with Jason to give their Spanish Tudor home a much-needed makeover.
This dreary before was so bad, it's no wonder the neighbors called in for landscape help!
No longer the neighborhood eyesore, this remade lawn boasts palm trees, a lush green lawn and even a new garage door.
For Emma and Trask, who live on a farm, hard work outdoors is an everyday occurence.
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.
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.
It looks like homeowner Edward Wilkerson is ready to get to work on this one-day landscape makeover.
This Chicago home was just begging for a little landscape love with its bare yard and lack of color.
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.
And the 2013 winner for America's Most Desperate Landscape goes to...this sad, boring front yard full of wasted potential.
The new landscape features a paved driveway, a quaint walkway, impressive plantings and a cool planter wall made of boulders.
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 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.
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.
These newlyweds are eager to transform their yard from an ugly before to an enchanting happily ever after.
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.
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.
These young newlyweds are hoping for a front porch as hip as they are, and Jason knows just how to make it happen.
Dark and cluttered, this dreary entrance didn't reflect the fun, lively personalities of the young homeowners.
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.
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.
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?
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.
In its annual nationwide search for America's Most Desperate Landscape, Jntuanantapur 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.
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.
At the home's side entrance, a tattered banner tarp covers a portion of the exterior where siding is missing.
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.
A garage with no driveway, crumbling stairs and two separate front entrances made for a frightening first impression for this home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Replacing worn porch columns is an easy way to beef up the appearance of your porch.
Make your entry grand by widening the steps up to your front door.
Whether it's a gazebo or simply a couple of benches in a cozy garden nook, create a relaxing getaway in the landscape.
Add super-sized planters to create a dramatic entyway garden.
Create interest and dimension in your landscape beds with low, mid-sized and tall plants.
A retaining wall can add usable space to a slope. Get professional help for any wall more than two feet tall.
Natural stone pathways and stairs add an organic look with a lot of class.
A welcoming walkway can make all the difference in your curb appeal.
Make your neighbors green with envy by laying fresh sod.
Large evergreens or ornamental trees provide distinct personality to a landscape.
Jason steps up his game to deal with a feisty homeowner and the city inspector in sunny Miami Springs, Florida. Jason and his crew install a fence, a circular patio and more than 100 plants. But will it be up to code?
This time Jason heads to Woodland Avenue, where Jim and Marsha Burton are the butt of many neighbors' jokes. Their porch is falling apart, there's no landscaping and they need a new sidewalk. The solution? Jason brings in heavy machinery, beautiful new steps and plenty of plants to show the neighbors the Burtons' yard is no laughing matter.
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.
The Adkins's home is out-of-date and out-of-style in their lush, manicured neighborhood. That's why licensed contractor Jason Cameron is hitting the deck to rip out an old deck and pebbled walkway and replace it with a new composite deck. He shows a cool tool for leveling posts and builds a custom bench all in attempt to please the picky neighbors.
From slate walkways to outdoor fire, Jason Cameron gives us his top ten list on how to make your neighbors extremely jealous. He gives tips on easy ways to install these top ten game changers in the neighborhood rivalry contest. You'll see how to install paver driveways, synthetic turf, water features, fireplaces and every kind of walkway you can imagine. Which show stopper-made it to number one on his list?
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.
The Griffiths are turning an old firehouse into their new home, and Jason Cameron is bringing in the brigade to help them complete the transformation outside. He's helping the homeowners lay a new paver patio and put in a new flagpole. Plus, he's bringing a custom fire hydrant fountain and a new stain glass window. Will Jason's hard work put out the fiery complaints from neighbors?
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.
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.
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.
Jason Cameron and his crew face a tough challenge to create a yard fit for entertaining and for dogs as one Chicago couple hopes to transform their muddy front yard into an oasis for friends and family. Jason's plan calls for adding privacy to the yard with lush plantings. He installs a huge travertine patio, a copper bar for icing down adult beverages and adds custom-built couches for seating. Jason also adds a special area for the dogs with artificial turf, a fire hydrant and a fresh water drinking stand.
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.
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.
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