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As we get closer to summer and people are spending more time outdoors, an ugly backyard becomes harder to ignore - or excuse.
One solution is to look to a local landscape designer like Lorena Beightler of Lorena Beightler Landscape Design, who has owned her own landscaping business for five years, and was once an employee of The Sacramento Press. Beightler was recently a featured designer on a cable television show called Yard Crashers that teaches people how to complete landscaping renovations themselves or with a group of friends.
The show was created by Sacramentans Bill Swan and Peter Holmes from the production company Idea Factory, and it was so successful that it was picked up by the popular DIY Network.
In the show, Bay Area resident and host Ahmed Hassan scours home improvement stores and offers to help people remodel their backyards. Instead of merely offering his professional opinion, he uses funds to transform people's backyards into the landscape of their dreams.
For the episode entitled "Backyard Living Room," Beightler worked with David Abrahams from local company Abrahams Landscaping & Concrete, while Hassan worked with the Sacramento homeowners and their friends. The whole process took two days, and cameramen shot 30 hours of footage which was cut down to 20 minutes.
"The idea is that someone at home can recreate [what is done on the show]," says Beightler.
In the episode, Beightler helped a Tahoe Park couple who had moved into their new home only a few weeks earlier. She said in a phone interview that the couple's backyard was "the ugliest thing you've seen in your life," but now, "it looks so cool."
"I'm really green-conscious, so I was really conscious about what we were using. There was a dead tree, so instead of taking it out, we turned it into a stump with a table. The table, windows and doors are all salvaged material," she said.
Though the show aired Monday, May 4 and reran Tuesday, May 5, Beightler has not yet seen the show itself, she says, because, "I don't own a television because I'm a really active person, and I'm never still enough to sit in front of the television." However, her brother and parents have seen it and she has also heard from friends that, "I'm in the show being funny and silly a lot."
The producers of the show liked her episode so much that she was asked to reappear in the third season's "Holiday Special" episode due to air during the holidays this year.
Here is DIY Network's description of the show and the next few showings will be: May 19 at 5:30 p.m., May 20 at 9:30 p.m., and May 25 at 7:30 p.m.
*Photographs courtesy Lorena Beightler