"Yard Crashers" contractor Matt Blashaw, center (green coat), explains the yard design to homeowners Brook Warner and Matt Wallace, right, while friends and crewmembers watch during the show's filming Tuesday. Village Life photo by Noel Stack

Cameron Park Life

Cameron Park backyard gets ‘crashed’

By From page A4 | December 11, 2013

Brook Warner walked into a local home improvement store to check out flooring. She walked out with a camera crew and “Yard Crashers” host Matt Blashaw.

This Cameron Park resident hit the yard makeover lottery.

“You get a little emotional about things you’re not too proud of,” Warner said, explaining that she teared up when Blashaw asked about her backyard.

That’s all licensed contractor Blashaw needed. “Any woman who cries over her yard touches my heartstrings,” he said. “I could feel that she wanted a (nice) backyard so bad. I could tell she had passion. That’s the kind of homeowner I look for.”

Tuesday morning, with gray skies and temperatures hovering in the 40s, Blashaw unveiled Kate Bowers’ landscape and garden design for Warner and Matt Wallace’s spacious Country Club Drive backyard. Minutes later the heavy equipment moved in — Warner on the Ditch Witch and Wallace on the compact excavator.

Warner and Wallace purchased their home six years ago but their barren backyard has received little attention. Warner blamed a lack of creativity but said she and Wallace love to entertain and want and outdoor space they can show off to guests and enjoy with their 4-year-old daughter and two dogs.

Bowers’ design starts with a new fence; out with the chain-link and in with wood. A decomposed granite path surrounds the space, with a lush lawn, water feature, boulder seating around a fire pit and Wallace’s favorite improvement — a patch dotted with tree stump stepping stones leading to a raised deck complete with a cocktail table, outdoor seating and a barbecue. Mature trees will serve as a noise buffer and privacy screen on the yard’s western end and Warner and Wallace can grow vegetables in raised bends on the north. DIY Network policy prohibits local media from photographing the design and the finished project prior to the show airing. This episode is scheduled to air on Aug. 4, 2014.

When Blashaw revealed the design, Warner couldn’t stop smiling. “Loved it,” she said. Warner and Wallace pitched several of the ideas that made it into the final plans. “What we intended to do in the next six years,” she joked.

Blashaw and his crew, along with help from friends and local landscapers, turned the backyard into a low-maintenance, foothills-inspired oasis.

“We wanted to bring the foothills in … giving the area a rustic feel,” Blashaw said, adding that he has a special affection for this area. The native Californian said he and his wife enjoy wine tasting in El Dorado and Amador counties.

“Yard Crashers” is in its 12th season on the DIY Network. Blashaw joined the show seven years ago and said he loves to build, create and inspire. Shows like his “give (homeowners) not only to confidence but also the push over the edge to get the project started,” he explained.

Of course, homeowners can work at their own place. On “Yard Crashers” the team has just two days (rain or shine) to turn a blah backyard into a custom retreat.

“We have a saying on ‘Yard Crashers,” Blashaw said. “There is no Day 3.”

Noel Stack


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