Transforming Desperate Landscapes

Transforming Desperate Landscapes

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072511SOCIAL1.jpgAs busy business owners, Kristen Folzenlogen and fiancee Philip James didn’t have much time for landscaping. But they were desperate for a change – so much so, they submitted their yard to be featured on DIY Network’s Desperate Landscapes show.


Folzenlogen and James own a stationary boutique in Hyde Park called Poeme and have very little time for landscaping or home DIY projects. The spring and summer tends to be even more of a challenge because much of their business is wedding and seasonal. So, during planting and maintaining season, they are usually open seven days a week in Poeme. "Basically, since we moved in, we mowed the lawn," Folzenlogen says.


In addition, there was a large tree in the front yard that they took down, but the unsightly stump remained. "The porch came with a rather unattractive indoor/outdoor astro-turf-y carpet on it," Folzenlogen adds. "There were some enormous bushes that completely overtook the front of the house and the facade was in need of a fresh coat of paint."


Folzenlogen says she found out that a local production company, JayTV, produces Desperate Landscapes, and that local homes were typically selected to be featured in the show. "We sent our info in and got an immediate response," says Folzenlogen, "primarily because our yard was truly, truly desperate!"


They taped a few summers ago during the week after July 4. "It was about 107 degrees with the heat index," says Folzenlogen. "We were all sweating like crazy, but it was well worth it!"


Folzenlogen says they were able to express their likes and dislikes before the show was filmed. "So, the producers really took that and our challenges with regards to upkeep into account," she says. "They removed the horrible rug, they removed the stump, we painted the facade, and they planted an enormous amount of hostas and other plants that are really quite hardy, provided we water them regularly." Folzenlogen says that she and James have been good about watering and upkeep.


The best part, according to Folzenlogen, were the actual horticulturalists who were onsite as consultants but not on camera. "They not only explained everything that was happening in terms of why plants were being placed in certain spots, but left us with a diagram of the yard with detailed instructions on the maintenance of the plants and how to care for them," she says. "We have actually learned enough from them to do a bit of our own gardening in the backyard now!"


If someone is interested in being on the show, Folzenlogen says he or she should just visit the JayTV website and submit the information and photos they request. If they are interested, they will be in contact. They will even ask for photos of other yards in your neighborhood. "We live in a beautiful neighborhood with very well-maintained gardens," Folzenlogen says, "so we were clearly ‘desperate.’"


In addition, JayTV will want a names and contact info of neighbors who are willing to vouch for the fact that your yard needs a makeover. "We were fortunate to have several neighbors willing to talk a little smack about our yard," says Folzenlogen with a laugh. "It was all in good fun and such a great experience. Now we want them to come back and complete our backyard."