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Blog Cabin

Sep 14

Front Yard Landscape: The Final Touch

Our final Blog Cabin 2012 episode airs on Monday evening. Check tune-in details so you don’t miss a beat. And mark your calendar for the one-hour special, which airs on September 27 at 9 p.m. ET.

Today, I share a special sneak peek with you: an exclusive vlog starring Blog Cabin 2012 show host Chris Grundy and Desperate Landscapes show host Jason Cameron. I love the insider details they share here. Can you imagine transforming a front yard in just eight hours?


  • Posted at 3:08 pm on September 9, 2012
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372 Comments

  1. i believe glojean couln’t say or feel any different good luck to everyone

    michelle scott on September 15, 2012 at 2:23 am
  2. thinking of what to take and what not to take so very ready to win and move in home good luck everyone

    bogeyandbacall on September 15, 2012 at 2:26 am
  3. Grundy, if we see Jason wearing kneepads on his new shows in future, we will know that YOU inspired the change ! I appreciate your echoing the comments made by the bloggers when the siding went up and original front doors were gone—there needed to be something to fill that expanse of front wall. ;)

    LLColeman on September 15, 2012 at 4:11 am
    • Absolutely right, LL! I'll always think of Chris' knee pads, if/when I see Jason wearing them in the future. HEHE! Still needs something in that empty wall space. An arbor? A stained glass window? Something special…xDB)<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm
    • Window of some sort would be the best, but more costly than a pretty trellis . Either would help (besides a new paint job, LOL ;) )

      LLColeman on September 16, 2012 at 1:21 am
    • Greetings LL and Fellow Bloggers! Did you see the show THAT'S SO 80's??! Change is good – right?!? We ALL have experienced poor choices that have had years of residual affects on our environment/decor. — Some 1980's stuff that may be Bad=Leggings, BAD=carpeting in bathroom, BAD=ferns everywhere in the home, BAD=pastels (dusty mauve and baby blue in the home-could have used David Bromsted's expert advice! GOOD=Grundy and his functional yet stylin' Knee pads! GOOD=Having rock 'n roll hair where you have to bend down to get in your car! GOOD times to be had on those nights for shore! ;) Don't you wonder what Matty blah blah's hair was like back then? –hmm he's probably too young! Man did he missed out on cruising around with a stylish Mullet! :( Don't worry Matty I am sure others made up for your loss! :) Now, I remember buying one of those chia pets -where did I stash that critter?? Gotta go and search! Hope you got a good laugh in this morning! Happy Day ALL Day! Truly, Lilly

      Lilly on September 17, 2012 at 6:48 am
  4. What beautiful home! I know that who ever gets this will love all the extras blog cabin put in. I love the hidden cabinet on the tub…little things that make a huge impact! Hope i get to personally walk through and see everything :)

    Penny on September 15, 2012 at 7:36 am
  5. I look forward to unpacking and spending the coming winter enjoying the view! Positive thinking :) whom ever wins will totally enjoy themselves!

    Penny on September 15, 2012 at 7:55 am
  6. Finally I can have a pony!

    What a fantastic place to make/carve out a cross country ski trail. Any restrictions against snowmobiles? Good thing about being close to the road is that it is less to shovel to get the car out! Gosh I hope there's a snowblower included. Hmmmm suggestions for that front entry way so that the beautiful floor is not damaged from all the salt, snow and winter boots. Carpet suggestions? Can ya' plug in a boot warmer somewhere along the wall? Do you guys use a lot of salt ? sand? on the roads up there?Perhaps add an additonal vestibule/ or a screened area in the foyer to keep the cold winds out when you come in the front door???

    Ashtabulannie on September 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm
    • Good point Hokiemom, I had already thought to put up a screen because who wants to look at the mud room while in the dinning or living rooms. I had not considered the blast of cold air when the door is opened. I had just pictured looking at wet dripping outer-ware spread out (all over the place) to dry.

      Eugenia27 on September 16, 2012 at 4:55 pm
    • Good point Hokiemom, I had already thought to put up a screen because who wants to look at the mud room while in the dinning or living rooms. I had not considered the blast of cold air when the door is opened. I had just pictured looking at wet dripping outer-ware spread out (all over the place) to dry.

      Sorry for the double entry but for some reason I wasn't logged in or something.

      Eugenia27 on September 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm
  7. wow so overwhelming

    deb on September 15, 2012 at 3:04 pm
  8. I just took a walk up past the BC and still don't know when they did whatever they did in the big event tent, because the event tent is now gone.
    Kitty and others will be happy to know that they have added a gravel parking area on the house side of the road not too far from the entry. They also added some fall flowering plants so there is color again. I don't know which neighbors Jason talked to about the boulders and stuff out front- the ones I've talked to seem to think it looks a bit ridiculous and over the top. It definitely is the only one like it in the area.

    Camac on September 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm
    • Thanks Camac for the update.
      I wonder what made them change their mind about a driveway next to the house? Did they have to remove some trees and flowers to put in the new driveway? Did they make the front terrace longer so it would meet the driveway and make it easier to get into the house?
      It must look nice with some fall flowers and color around the house after the dead ones are gone.
      I'll have to go by soon to check it all out.

      home_girl on September 15, 2012 at 7:39 pm
    • The dead looking birch trees out front are still there, but the color s of the flowers helps.

      Camac on September 15, 2012 at 11:17 pm
    • Wonders never cease! I hope that they keep it! I think it is a bit odd that the boulders appear over the top to some–there are so many stone walls in New England–I suppose the big rocks just represent 'change' and change may represent anathema to some…? I think that I might actually consider making a rock parking area delineation with the rock overflow. I'd move them to the side front parking area and clearly mark off where vehicles can pull in comfortably, perhaps on the diagonal, to accommodate more cars. That way, neighbors have less to complain about (not that that would have been an issue), and there would be less chance of someone driving beyond the gravel and onto the grass = pretty lawn.;):D<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 15, 2012 at 7:55 pm
    • Yea, and it's not like the had to go far to get the boulders! Our old house was on the top of a hill and the first corner from the hwy so many drivers really sped up going up hill. We lived on the corner lot and the school bus stopped on the side of the house. Like I said earlier, about 8 minutes after the bus picked up probably 10 kids, a guy lost control and drove between our house and the utility poles and several trees( all on our lot). Another time an elderly ( and God help me I am one of those now) lady from down our road turn too sharp and drove through our yard with enough speed to hit our travel trailer hitch area and spun the whole trailer to a different direction. Needless to say we moved and now live on a one block street that is on;y 6 lots long! I am really a big believer in boulders now if close to any road! The gravel parking area is brilliant until it comes time to use the snowblower! Been there and done that also!

      karen on September 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm
    • Ouch! That's scary! This house sits sort of around a wide bend…. I'm wondering about that stuff they used in the compass area that Matt Blashaw mixed–would pouring and spreading that over the gravel give the parking area more "lifetime" and help secure it during snow blowing? Just a crazy thought…B)xD Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm
    • That would take care of the gravel flying and hitting the house while snowblowing! We went from gravel to blacktop and it was much better. We then removed the blacktop (after 20+ years) and my husband put in a brick driveway (single bricks no mesh on the back) and finally we have a good driveway! The only thing is that one has to raise the level on the snowblower so you don't chip the brick but that is an easy task.

      karen on September 17, 2012 at 10:16 am
    • That sounds nice, Karen! :D Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 17, 2012 at 1:20 pm
    • Kitty, I think a traditional rock wall would be more acceptable, but even the rock walls are rarely across the front , by the road. They usually run along the side boundaries. The parking space looks like it may be wide enough to handle 2 cars. Your idea of some rocks around it would certainly help know where the boundaries are when there is snow on the ground.

      Camac on September 15, 2012 at 11:25 pm
    • Camac, the place Gary and I stay at Pemaquid Point has a rock wall across the front as did my Grandparent's home in CT. I had not pictured the rock landscape with an across the front view, but more, as a strategic clumping of them. Yes, to slow down cars, but also as landscape. Early on, I had mentioned to the blog that it would be interesting to insert some soil and peat between the rock sculpture and plant some trailing seasonal color to also include succulents, which I love. I have seen this done in Maine and it is gorgeous! xD:*<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 16, 2012 at 2:03 pm
    • That sounds like it would look very nice. I don't mean to put down what they did in front of the BC, I'm sure many will like it.

      Camac on September 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    • The only thing I'd have done differently would be to add a front porch along the front of the house instead of the patio and arbor. Then you could at least walk from the front door to the side yard where there is parking without getting wet in the rain or snow. You would also be less likely to track in the mud and snow. Just my personal preference. Too bad it wasn't one of the choices for us to vote on….Or was it. Front porches are what you think of when you think of small town America!! :D

      Myra on September 16, 2012 at 12:56 am
    • Hi Myra–the house did not have a porch originally, as far as I know…some of the other old Maine homes I saw in photos lacked porches also..(maybe since the homes were so old and porches rotted under extreme weather, they became too expensive to replace ?) Just a guess.
      I also could not see the Yard episode online–hope they fix it.

      LLColeman on September 16, 2012 at 1:29 am
    • I think the proximity to the road may have been a regulatory issue regarding a front porch. Many early Bloggers requested one.:D Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 16, 2012 at 2:06 pm
    • Youre correct. The building regs prohibited a new porch over the original door. That's why they moved the front door. They could not have built anything over, or in front of, the old door where it was. The old porch was too small and worn and no new porch was permitted so close to the road, They explained that early on. :)

      Clive on September 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm
    • Thank you, Clive! You are always right on! I thought I remembered something concerning that issue. Even the pergola width is shortened–I'm wondering if that was done due to the regulations ? I am SO upset that the contest regulations exclude YOU??? Did I hear that right? There is no vehicle involved in this giveaway! Crapola!!! That's unfair!! :S B);) Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm
    • Yes. Me and about 2 million others who have ties in some way to GM or GMC. I'm a little sad as this was the only DIY or HGTV sweeps that we could enter. All the others had the GM/GMC exclusion as cars were given as part of the prize and GM sponsors HGTV. I guess they sponsor DIY now too. Hey Ho, that's the way things go. ^_^

      I'll be honest and say we would never keep one of the houses, beautiful as they are. But it was nice to enter, just once, every year and hope.

      Clive on September 17, 2012 at 2:02 pm
    • That is a raw deal, Clive. I know that with the HGTV giveaways, some winners revealed that they were notified that they were finalists before the winner was announced…how many finalists for each contest, I do not know. I have a feeling that there may be an unspoken requirement the winner must meet, although it can't be proven…for the DIY contest, I have never heard whether or not DIY's have contest 'finalists'. I doubt I would pass muster if my name were drawn because I do not own a home or have assets, so in a way, I doubt I would be eligible either.

      LLColeman on September 18, 2012 at 3:23 am
    • It is what it is. The rules are clear and unambiguous on the exclusion of people with famiily ties in any way to GM or GMC (and any other companies directly involved in the BC). The rule I have more trouble uderstanding is the one that says even if you're a US citizen and have a house and pay tax in the US you are prohibited from winning if you enter via the website from anywhere outside the 50 states. That excludes aanyone overseas in the forces, on vacation, anyone in the diplomatic corps, anyone doing volunteer work or missionary work overseas etc. That seems a little extreme as all of those people are subject to federal tax irrespective of where they live. o.0

      As for people who claim to have been on the 'short list'- Thats bunk. You either win or you don't. I believe there was a sweeps wher there were five finalists each given a 'key' and only one opened the door but that's not the norm.

      Clive on September 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm
    • Boy that doesn't seem fair if you are a US citizen, it should't matter where you are at the time you enter. Oh well they make the rules.

      vicki_in_Utah on September 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm
    • Greetings LL Question Why do you have to own a home or have assests to win? I do not understand… That would be VERY upsetting to find out – now :(

      Lilly on September 18, 2012 at 9:09 pm
    • I was wondering out loud–there is a big tax up front to pay for the value of the home, and I wonder whether Scripps wanted to make sure the winner could meet the obligation…as I said, there is no way to prove it.
      I am certainly happy for anyone who does win these contests. I just wonder about my own eligibility.
      HGTV contests do allow a choice of cash prize or a home. Anyone would certainly be able to accept the cash option.

      LLColeman on September 19, 2012 at 1:19 am
    • Whether the winner has assets or not should be (and is) irrelevant. There is a 5 day period after the winner is notified when they can accept or decline the prize and Scripps (Riteway probably) does a background check to ensure the winner meets the requirements of the rules. There are no unpublished rules and Scripps has absolutely no obligation to ensure the winner can pay the tax. They would be foolish to get involved in this. The winner is free to keep the house and pay from their assets or sell and pay from proceeds. What the winner should do, IMMEDIATELY, is to get professional advice. Not from friends or family but a person or firm who have experience in these matters. It will cost some $ but saving the winner from excessive taxes or getting into the mess the Cruze family did with their DH win is worth every penny.:) Good luck. Only worry about the tax after you win.^_^

      Clive on September 19, 2012 at 5:20 am
    • OK Clive, what happened with the Cruse family and DH?

      vicki_in_Utah on September 19, 2012 at 9:03 am
    • Clive on September 19, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    • Thanks, and they even got a cash prize along with the house. the BC doesn't get a cash prize or a car.

      vicki_in_Utah on September 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm
    • There was also a fully equipped guest house/boat house included on the lakeside. That also became part of their undoing. The Cruze's wanted to make it into a rental cottage to help pay the taxes. However, the HOA rules clearly forbade that. The Cruze's tried to fight it in court and lost, incurring even more debt. I believe their final selling price of about $1.2 million just covered back taxes and fees on the DH. A sad and cautionary tale.:(

      Clive on September 19, 2012 at 7:17 pm
    • BLEH on those rules!!! o.0:@:'( You are the best Clive! I am so upset about this turn of events! BLEH AGAIN!!! :x :( <3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 19, 2012 at 10:20 pm
    • I can see not building anything over the origional door as it was too close to the road because it was located on the mid section of the house. But the new location is on the side of that mid section. A porch over the new door spanning along the left side section would not extend any closer to the road than the mid section is now. So I guess I'm confused why building codes would prevent it? Does anyone understand what I'm getting at?? Also, I lived in Northern Maine for 14 years and our house was closer to the road than this one is. At least the BC doesn't have logging trucks going past on a daily basis. Ours did and only one accident while we lived there. Not one of the trucks, but a group of teenagers who were driving way too fast and lost control. Missed our house and the house across the street!!

      Myra on September 18, 2012 at 1:42 am
    • Myra I understand what you are saying about a porch being where the door is now. I don't think that would be a problem. When they were saying no porch, that was out front and a porch would put it next to the road. I think that is what they was worry about.
      I think I would want a cover there and move the corbel to the front of that making it look like the door is on the front of the house again and not the side. Make the patio longer there to meet the driveway too.

      home_girl on September 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm
    • Sorry for the confusion. We were talking about why they couldn't build a new porch where the door was originally. That was why it was moved to the side as it is now. I agree completely that they could have built a proper porch and protected the new entrance from rain & snow much bettter than the thing they have built. I guess DIY wanted to show viewers how to build a pergola /verandah /arbor thing so thats what was designed. Not practical, maybe, but driven by the needs/desires of the TV show producers. JMO Something else to add to the 'Honey Do' list for the winner or eventual owner. :)

      Clive on September 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm
    • With the house that close to the road, I think boulders are a good thing. We live on a curve, so one of my sons put some boulders in front of our house. and they have saved our house at least twice that we know of. On a icy day, a truck came around the curve too fast, lost control and came up over the side walk hit the boulders and bounced back onto the street. another time a SUV was going so fast he hit the boulders bounced over them went accross our lawn just missing the house went over the drive way and then out to the street, so the boulders slowed him down at least.

      vicki_in_Utah on September 16, 2012 at 8:48 am
    • YIKES Vicki!!! xD<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 16, 2012 at 2:07 pm
    • what a close call ! hope that never happens again ! o.0 <3

      LLColeman on September 17, 2012 at 4:30 am
    • Over the top, unique, yea or nay — whatever the opinion, with the Blog Cabin so close to the road combined with the lack of a low picket fence or rock wall, I think the house did need a strong landscape presence to "ground" it to the site. The boulders do the job nicely, though I'd take a few out here and there myself and add in shrubbery that would grow up to soften the look somewhat. Then you'd have a front yard landscape that not only provided a safety function against errant traffic but added visual appeal, greenery and even color during the season.

      DBCoop on September 16, 2012 at 11:19 am
    • Maybe even some firm berms……(with helpful earth worms)….

      LLColeman on September 17, 2012 at 4:28 am
    • Hi LL…What are firm berms? I don't think we have those here in Florida!

      Jennie/Florida on September 17, 2012 at 9:49 am
    • There are berms in south Florida.There are berms in private yards, around some subdevisions and a round some gated communites.

      cindy on September 18, 2012 at 9:14 pm
    • ^_^ Good idea and softer than rock if someone does stray from the road in their vehicle. Also easier for plows to see. Having boulders may protect the house but it may also cause the death of a driver who strays. Berms would do the job better, allow for more greenery and give the errant driver a chance.

      Clive on September 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm
    • I agree. The berms — or raised soil mounds that can also be landscaped, but are softer than boulders– are safer [to hit, God forbid] than rocks and boulders…=/ Kitty

      p.s. and earth worms are great for aeration and healthy soil! :D

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 17, 2012 at 1:38 pm
    • It's funny, when I first saw photos of the front area, I thought of berms between the road and the house…I was almost surprised that they were not in the landscape.

      LLColeman on September 18, 2012 at 3:26 am
    • Hi.. LL, well I found out what a Berm is and yes of course we have them here in Florida, lol, but we call them Noise Barriers, Sandbanks or Center slopes, I just never heard the term Brem before… We have them in all our landscapes for added curb appeal.Thank you, Its good to learn something new…

      Jennie/Florida on September 17, 2012 at 3:25 pm
    • i did not get online until tonight, Jennie–sorry you had to seek out the answer…..I was being silly using words like firm and worms to rhyme with berms……….;)

      LLColeman on September 18, 2012 at 3:28 am
    • The rocks that they put down seem to be very coarse, like those used for the first layer of a good road bed. So they will settle in with time and then the winner can put on another layer of rock, level it and put either macadam or concrete on top. Maybe a nice cobblestone path tp the house with some changes to the DIY landscaping would help.

      YankeeNuke on September 19, 2012 at 6:57 pm
  9. Fabulous artistic minds all off you designers have! I’m amazed how you create something from nothing. Thank you for all your hard work.

    amaesing5 on September 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm
  10. So can the locals tell us if the front still looks this good? I think someone said the berch trees were not in good shape. I always wonder what the BC's look like when the winner goes and see them.

    vicki_in_Utah on September 15, 2012 at 9:09 pm
    • Vicki, Carole said somewhere that they have planted Fall color flowers so there is color now. I'm certain DIY will deliver the property in mint condition to the winner.xD:p<3 Kitty

      DwnSoDwnEaster on September 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm

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Blog Cabin is the groundbreaking multimedia experience based on a very simple idea: You Design It, We Build It, You Could Win It! This truly interactive series asks Internet users to vote on the design features for a real vacation getaway. Expert hosts from DIY Network series will be on hand to rebuild the 1920s lakeside house that will become a luxurious home for a lucky sweepstakes winner. Plus, a one-hour Blog Cabin special, hosted by tool expert Chris Grundy, will highlight the incredible transformation.
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