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The Backyard Makeover Contest
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Approved Submissions
 
Here are submissions we have approved.
 
  1 2       Viewing: 1-50 of 86
 
 
   
 
Description:  My hardworking son will be starting college locally in the fall. An outdoor living space where he could invite his friends, maybe even visit with me, is my dream! I have difficulty just keeping up with the minimal maintenance at our 100-year-old home and yard. The space has areas unresolved from early renovations and removal of an unsalvagable garage. It desperately needs expertise and materials that I am not financially able to provide. There is so much potential here to create a peaceful backyard oasis in north New London. Don't be misled by the green, it gets parched by July!
First Name:  Suzanne
Last Name:  Cattanach
City:  New London
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  When we added on to our house 4 years ago, we had our backyard partially filled in and seeded. The grass never really took, and then it rained for several days, carving out gullies in my backyard. These trenches plague us to this day, and we have barren areas in the 2 corners where the water accumulates in heavy storms. We still get streams running down with every rain storm! Help!!
First Name:  Catherine
Last Name:  Ellis
City:  Pawcatuck
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Our home was just meant to be, when I saw it I fell in love. It was on 28 Michele Dr. and my name is Michele (with one "l" just like the street) and my husband was 28. We have lived in our home for 7 years and have not had the opportunity to do anything with the backyard. We have two young children (4 and 2 years) and they want to play outside everyday. We need a space to enjoy, relax and play. It is a large open space so anything is possible!
First Name:  Michele
Last Name:  Devine
City:  Norwich
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  I'm a single working mom with a 16-year-old daughter and a 24-year-old son, a USMC veteran, with a one-year-old daughter. My yard is a disaster, and what I would love more than anything is to have a beautiful yard for my family to enjoy! I fantasize about transforming my eyesore of weeds and barren soil into a lovely green retreat for my family. I would love to have a yard in which my daughter could feel proud to host her friends, an actual lawn for my granddaughter to play on. Thank you!
First Name:  Brooke
Last Name:  Battista
City:  Waterford
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Family of four desperately seeking help for a cluttered backyard. Parties in the summer leaves everyone scorched and lifeless on the deck in direct sun. Good thing all the trees came down for the pool, but we forgot about needing shade cover. Our fire pit is a rusty tire ring , not very appetizing for S'mores. We do not have green thumbs and wish for landscaping that pops, instead of nature's rocks and weeds. After eighteen years, it is time to admit we need help.
First Name:  Michelle
Last Name:  Collier
City:  Waterford
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Help!!! My husband and I bought our first house in late winter. When we bought it there was 2 feet of snow on the ground, and we took a gamble. What we found under the snow was an over grown mess of a yard full of trash, random treasures, but not much grass! We have done lots of work already, but there is still LOTS and LOTS to be done. We would appreciate a backyard makeover, as now most of our energy is going into preparation to welcome out first child this fall.
First Name:  Mandie
Last Name:  Middleton
City:  Uncasville
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Being a stay at work father working 55 hours a week it's never easy to find the time for yard work. I need an eighth day!!! Reaching the point of needing a retaining wall and no $$ for the project makes this makeover a finger crosser. The yard falls off the back of the house a good 60 feet so working alone is dangerous.
First Name:  Ed
Last Name:  Isenburg
City:  Gales Ferry
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  The house is over 100 years old and the yard was used for farming. The house survived the hurricane of 1938 with only a small fire in the back of the house.There is a tree in backyard that is very large and over 70 years old. The yard is collapsing on one side from where the old septic tank and well. It could be beautiful with some help.
First Name:  Jo-Ann
Last Name:  Nalley
City:  New London
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  My backyard needs a makeover because it has taken a beating over the past 30 years. Two children, three grandchildren and countless neices and nephews have taken a toll on it. In addition, I have been staring at a faltering lawn and a decrepit garage for more years than I can remember. As we head toward retirement, we are not going to be able to do the work ourselves. We really need this makeover!
First Name:  Sandra
Last Name:  Flannigan
City:  Waterford
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Every year for the past 18 years rain or shine, my family has hosted an end-of-summer celebration in New London for over 100 of our closest friends and family. During the last weekend in August, we throw a cookout at Bates Woods Park on Saturday and we move the festivities to our backyard for barbecue on Sunday. This year Bates Woods Park is finally getting a facelift. Our backyard is in dire need of an overhaul as well. We sure would put it to good use.
First Name:  Estelle
Last Name:  Harrison
City:  New London
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  This could be a nice area to sit and enjoy the backyard... But with no grass, a broken birdbath and a bench that may not last much longer, it just doesn't cut it. We would love to have some nice grass and a fire pit to enjoy this area with friends, but it's just too small and unsightly - please help!
First Name:  David
Last Name:  Olson
City:  Gales Ferry
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Roommates since my dad passed in 2001, I purchased my home to make my mom’s lifelong dream of owning a home become a reality. Mom enjoyed spending ever chance she got outside and last spring I was hoping to finally create a nice outdoor space for her when she passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. I dream of having a beautiful space where I can go after a long day and find peace to help me through the grief I still feel. This prize would make my dream come true.
First Name:  Emily
Last Name:  Lavoie
City:  Groton
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  My poor backyard. When we bought this house 4 years ago it was in the spring and we didn't know that it was going to spring into a yard full of weeds. We have tried everything to get rid of them but they seem to get worse each year. And the plants that we have bought have been snuffed out by the weeds. Any help we could get would be great. Thanks for you vote. With a new yard we could have our friends over for a fire.
First Name:  Andrew
Last Name:  Weishar
City:  Gales Ferry
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  The BEST potential for that “before and after” makeover is mine! What has been done is beautiful and done by us but realize it’s “what has been done.” For 8 years even our neighbors have filed complaints with the town. Having a love for our family owned business equals stress, no money and no time. An outdoor space would provide relaxing family time, my boys could swim and play with our rescue dog and my dream of hosting my daughter’s 2011 H.S. graduation! This backyard makeover would be more of a “life-makeover” for me…and the neighbors!
First Name:  Jennifer
Last Name:  Sobiech
City:  Quaker Hill
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Help! I am flower, landscape, designer challenged. I recently bought my first home a year & 1/2 ago and am spending hours in the yard, wanting to make it a beautiful extension of my tiny home. I excitedly buy flowers but do not know where to put them. I need to 'edge' first, but have no idea what that means. I have grubs? That sounds awful!I I would be so grateful for the help and advice of professionals!!! I want to do the work, just do not know where to start! Thank you for your consideration!
First Name:  Susan
Last Name:  Irvine
City:  Mystic
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  We cannot afford a camera or even a phone with a decent camera. All the time our yard floods when we have a down pour. Our basement floods and destroys our internet router.
First Name:  James
Last Name:  Jackson
City:  Groton
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Mysmall backyard was home to an icecream factory decades ago! It 's mostly concrete. Part of the yard slopes steeply with a falling-over retaining wall. The concrete area floods during rainstorms, turning the dirt "driveway" into a huge muddy mess! Mosquitos are a constant problem preventing outside enjoyment. There's no escaping the afternoon sun. Our beloved swing is falling apart after 12 years. Our shed is rusted-out and leaks badly. My husband grows organic hot peppers to make his own hot-sauce using containers; there is nowhere for a real garden. HELP!
First Name:  Julia
Last Name:  Gorham
City:  norwich
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Our backyard is crooked. I have no gardening tools except a rake (currently "misplaced"), a hedge trimmer with blades duller than a butter knife and a lawn mower that despises me. Lots of the grass in the backyard is disguised as dirt. Actually, it is dirt. The possum living in the backyard is embarrassed to have friends over. Neighbors whisper that my pathetic backyard is dragging down property values. Most important reason I need a backyard makeover? I owe my wife big-time, and having a new backyard would help me out of the red.
First Name:  Frank
Last Name:  Francisconi
City:  New London
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Well, where do I begin? I have trees 15 feet tall, I have a HUGE bolder in my yard where we started digging to make our yard flat and then this big huge bolder appeared. Our lawn, when you walk, is nothing but bumps. We've got a well on one side of our yard that is falling apart. Its embarassing and I feel like I'm living in a jungle and our yard has looked like this for 2 years. Please consider our yard for the Backyard Makeover, all our neighbors have nice yards!
First Name:  Donna
Last Name:  Machinski
City:  waterford
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  My yard is too small for the amount of busy landscaping the previous owners did to it. We have 4 children that reside here and one on the way. My husband works 2 jobs and I attend college while being a mother and local business owner. There is not enough time or money for us to do what we would like to make this livable for our family. I LOVE the yard, it is why I bought the house. I just dream of enjoying it for two years. This is a fun project for a backyard artist!
First Name:  Nicki
Last Name:  Bonanno
City:  New London
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  This is a picture of our backyard, its just a mountain of loom and my children would really like grass to play on. Im constantly cleaning up dirt and mud throughout the house and it is impossible to entertain. Please help me and my family enjoy the outdoors again.
First Name:  Betsy
Last Name:  Wright
City:  North STonington
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Please vote for me. I have 2 kids and I would like a nice place for them to play. I also love to have family and friends over and would love to have a nice place to hang out in the nice warm weather coming.
First Name:  Alicia
Last Name:  Lyda
City:  Groton
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  My wife works for the American Cancer Society and I work for a non-profit that helps the homeless. When we come home at the end of the day to our first home in Gales Ferry, we are out of energy to tackle our blank slate of a back yard. The deck is splintery, the gardens are sad, and the fire pit I tried building sits unfinished. There is little shade, and weeds and poison ivy form a natural fence around the perimeter. We'd love to have a relaxing area to start a family, please help!
First Name:  Matthew
Last Name:  Bradley
City:  Gales Ferry
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  My backyard is spacious with a patio and fence, however, the grass is worse than crabgrass and the children find it so hot and uncomfortable to play on it. We would welcome a new backyard and awning to enjoy the summers. The fence needs to be repainted and I have been unemployed seeking active employment. This would be a blessing to win this makeover!
First Name:  Deborah
Last Name:  Linder
City:  Waterford
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  For the last few years, we have been trying to renovate our home. But, do to reasons beyond our control, we are unable to finish our backyard. We look forward to using it for family enjoyment, but are unable to do so. It is a pile of dirt, stumps and concrete. We could really use this backyard makeover so our family could enjoy it for years to come.
First Name:  Connie
Last Name:  Purple
City:  Norwich
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  We're seeking help in a backyard makeover. After moving into our new home we had unexpected expenses which wouldn't allow us to finish our lawn and backyard. We're slowly saving but will take years before we can afford to do it properly, ourselves. We have just under an 1 acre of land and as you can see in the picture 1/2 of it is covered in dirt, shrubs and haven't had a lawn since we moved in. Thanks for your consideration and hopefully with a new backyard, we can focus on starting our family, who enjoy for years to come.
First Name:  Amit
Last Name:  Patel
City:  Niantic
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Our backyard is a disaster. We can't grow any new grass, it seems that the entire yard is slowly eroding into the storm drain at the corner of the street because we are at the bottom of a hilly neighborhood. Now we can see all the roots from our trees so cutting the grass (weeds) is an obstacle course for my mower. We also have a few truckloads of debris from an old woodpile that I have been in the process of removing. Would like to build a large rock retaining wall, fire pit and all new grass.
First Name:  Carolyn
Last Name:  Greer
City:  Groton
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  When I saw the ad for this contest, I immediately wanted to enter. Our daughter recently, woefully, asked us if we could give our backyard a makeover because she didn't feel like she could play there any more because it was yucky. Our yard is a bustling habitat of grubs and moles, which attracts skunks (we think) that are currently digging up the yard making holes looking for the yummy grubs. We are convinced they laugh at us as we fill/fall in the holes. Our yard is less of a lawn and more of a weed blanket. Please help!
First Name:  Amy
Last Name:  Macensky Main
City:  Pawcatuck
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Do we ever need help!! My great-great uncle built our Point O'Woods cottage in 1922, and it has remained in the family. We used to have a lovely, sloping bedrock hillside behind our cottage, with trees and nice shrubbery. Our childhood memories were destroyed in an instant when, in the process of constructing sewer and water lines, the bedrock and our block patio were dynamite blasted to smithereens! It was replaced with these giant boulders, that we don't know how to landscape around. Can you help us put our backyard back together?
First Name:  Carol
Last Name:  Clawson
City:  South Lyme
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  We have lived in our house since 1999 and have spent hundreds of dollars clearing the weeds and brush from the backyard, but every year it grows back. We have a rocky slope that we cannot walk on which leads to a flat overgrown lawn below. It would be a challenge for the companies listed in The Day to transform it into a beautiful rock garden with a path to get to the lawn below. We would also love to have a party for our neighbors, many of whom have lost their jobs.
First Name:  Marnie
Last Name:  Paggioli
City:  Salem
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  We are renovating an 1880's farmhouse. The yard has lots of potential, but has been neglected while we renovate the inside. It has a perfect spot for a patio and fire pit with a view. There are lots of places for the kids to explore, old stone walls and rocks. All are overgrown and covered in vines and poison ivy. The house was built on the land that couldn't be farmed, so the ground is rocky and uneven. There is a stream in the backyard that any landscaping will need to take into account.
First Name:  Charles
Last Name:  Curtis
City:  Preston
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Hi,
We have lived in this house for just under two years. It is the first time our three boys have had a great backyard space, however, it is almost too bare. We put all available funds into purchasing the house, so the backyard has remained untouched. We roast on the deck and have huddle under the patio umbrella for relief! It would be wonderful to be able to hang out under an awning and look out onto a beautifully landscaped (grub-free) backyard.
Thank you for your consideration!
First Name:  janet
Last Name:  alloway
City:  waterford
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Please help! We have an awful yard. Just to mow it, it's like a roller coaster, up, down, up,down. No wonder I hurt after. Not to mention the moles that live beneath and leave their trail. The cost to have it fix is not in our budget, since my husband's accident he just can't get out there to do it. So please readers find in your hearts to help us out. Thank-you
First Name:  Janet Carter
Last Name:  Lesieur
City:  Uncasville
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Our house was built in 1949 and neglected for years.We bought it a year ago and have been trying to improve it since. We have accomplished a lot, but there is so much more to do. There is little grass due to overgrown trees, and this "patio" is in need of help. A deck off the back is also in rough shape and in line with the afternoon sun where an awning would be perfect. We just had some of the huge trees removed and can't afford to do much more. Thanks for considering us!
First Name:  Kim
Last Name:  Hogan
City:  Lyme
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  A year ago this March, after the floods, my basement full of soggy stuff---now destroyed---got dragged outside so I could bleach the floor and walls.

Rubbermaid cartons, wilted boxes, and knick-knacks faded where they were deposited on our backyard patio and yard.

In the jungle out there critters found new places to hide, and exhausted I lost my will and hope.

Dare I dream of creating a special summer space to enjoy with my husband and kitties? With your help I’d be able to look at it anew.

A small sweet miracle ...
First Name:  Wendy
Last Name:  Eckholm
City:  Groton
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  I am a single mother of two hearing impaired children. When their father left I was left with the house needing many repairs. I put all my focus and money on those repairs and the yard got out of hand. Between the cost of hearing aid and now braces I could use a little help getting the yard in some order. I work full time and boys are active in sports. I sure could use and appreciate the help. I have started but am so lost as to where to go next.
First Name:  Patty-Lynn
Last Name:  Pescatello
City:  Groton
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  I am a 25 year old mother of two boys who dreams of a backyard makeover we bought our house 4 yrs ago in ledyard and i loved the way the back yard was two levels it has some really nice stone wall but i never realized how much it was to fix (grass,flowers) everything takes time and money and those to things i dont have.It seems like something always gets in the way i would love a safe family friendly yard for my two sons something we can look at everyday and be proud of
First Name:  jennifer
Last Name:  york
City:  Ledyard
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Within the last year we finally completed the purchase of our very own home. It was a long and hard process as it was a short sale and it took forever and there was a lot of work to do inside and we haven't gotten around to the outside. As you can see it's overgrown with poison ivy and pricker bushes, and there is a broken fence and leaky metal shed that need to be removed. We'd like a backyard our 2 young children can play in safely and we can enjoy with company, it's a disgrace now.
First Name:  Amanda
Last Name:  Tagg
City:  North Stonington
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  My parents have no idea I'm doing this, but their backyard is in DESPERATE need of a makeover. Since last years flood, my parents have been unable to upkeep their yard. When the river flooded, it brought large stones and pebbles into their yard and it's overwhelming. I just moved back into town and my first week home, I spent cleaning my moms yard, but it didn't do much justice. Because of all the stones and debri, my daughters are unable to enjoy "Grammie's" yard to its full potential. The shed alone, doesn't have its 4th wall.
First Name:  Jessica
Last Name:  Bradford
City:  North Stonington
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Please help! We're a working family with an almost 3-yr old and 8-month old so we're lucky to have time to cook dinner and do laundry most days- never mind re-do our yard! We live on an extremely busy road so the backyard has to be our safe area to play. Our lawn is a lovely combo of crab grass and weeds along with tons of ant hills this year. The space has great potential and we'd love nothing more than to have a yard where the adults and kids can all play this summer!
First Name:  Jenelle
Last Name:  Fiano
City:  Waterford
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  Single parent with a teaching gig,
Who has two rescued pups and two teens that are getting too big,
To have their friends in the house when there is nice outdoor weather.

Alas, backyard cannot be used,
Going back there we get abused,
By the gullies, weeds, bugs, tall grass; more fun would be had being tarred and feathered.

With two jobs and going to school,
And no extra money to spend is making us lose our cool,
Yet, we still dream of a backyard oasis for get-togethers.

Please vote for our neglected yard,
We will hold ...
First Name:  Kimberly
Last Name:  Thibeau
City:  Waterford
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  Dad would love a beautiful yard but doesn't have time to fix the problems with it because he puts his family’s needs first. Instead of doing things for himself, he does things for his seven children. “He drives us everywhere, washes the dishes and goes to the firehouse to earn money. When we break things, he goes to get stuff to replace it. He cares for us when we’re sick, cooks, comes to all of our events, and listens to our stories. We take walks.” Help us give him more time to be our dad.
First Name:  Robert
Last Name:  Tompkins
City:  Groton
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  My yard is pathetic! I have no clue to what I am doing. Half of it is fenced in by chain link and the other half by white vinyl. It has no rhyme or reason. I also share my yard with a nine pound tortoise that was rescued from becoming soup. She is about 40yrs old. I've tried to tortoise proof my yard because she runs away, or maybe a better word, walks away. I love my yard but it is a MESS ! Geraldine and I would both love a new yard makeover.
First Name:  Cindy
Last Name:  Sutter
City:  Niantic
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  our backyard is the pits! Literally! We have several missing patches of grass.We also lost our pool which just left us with a sand pit. We have over grown limbs on our tress that invade the deck so watch your head if your on it.A good portion of our yard is overgrown with dead trees and brush. A backyard make over would help not only our yard but give my family and dogs a place to relax and destress from our very hectic overwhelming life.Im sure everyone can understand this being we are all going through tough times.
First Name:  sara
Last Name:  cramer
City:  Ledyard
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  My husband passed away in December of 2008; I lost my job in January of 2009 and am still unemployed. We had planned to fence-in our backyard to keep our grandsons (two of whom live here) safe, as we live on a busy state highway. A friend recommended someone who could do the job; unfortunately he started the job, took my money and hasn’t returned to finish the job. It’s really beyond my expertise and that of my sons to even attempt to complete the wall or stairs. Thank you!
First Name:  Claire
Last Name:  Dunaj
City:  East Haven
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  When we bought this house, it had a lovely terraced backyard, but the landscaping is terrible. There are uglier yards, or not maintained yards...but its harder to work with an established landscape. Our porch is falling apart, and its hard to do yard work, because theres no shade for my 9 mo old. My husband is Navy, and we want to feel comfortable having bbqs. The weeds and over-abundance of bushes are ugly. My 3yr old daughter keeps getting ticks on her because its a forest. This yard has so much potential, and we will maintain it!
First Name:  Victoria
Last Name:  Morton-Williams
City:  Gales Ferry
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  I live in an 1860s Greek Revival home located in a Norwich historic district near St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Our postage-stamp-sized backyard is overgrown and ugly. We would like to find a way to make the space really pretty, usable and worthy of being situated in such a lovely and historic area. Both my husband and I are unemployed due to the cutbacks of two prominent, local companies, so our budget is extremely limited at this time. This house deserves a backyard oasis that resembles an English garden with lots of flowers and stonework.
First Name:  Dianne
Last Name:  Brown
City:  Norwich
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  I am trying to win this contest for my mom. She works hard everyday at her job at Uconn Health Center in Farmington, CT. She also comes home to single handedly raise three children. I recently was in a very bad car accident and because my family was forced to care for me, the beauty of our backyard has died. I hear my mom worrying about the yard all the time and would do anything to see the smile on her face with the win of this contest. Thank you very much.
First Name:  Jenna
Last Name:  Shaw
City:  Old Saybrook
State:  CT
 
   
 
Description:  For the past 2 years I’ve tried to sell my home in hopes of moving to a small farm with my son. With no luck it’s time to take down the for sale sign and be thankful for what we do have and not dwell on what we’ve lost. We have a good little home for the 2 of us with a backyard in need of attention – maybe the new dream can be of an amazing backyard with an awning, green grass, fire pit and beautifu landscaping to enjoy!
First Name:  karen
Last Name:  duff
City:  bozrah
State:  CT
   
 
Description:  I have lived in this location for 20 years. The backyard is what sold me on this hose. Over the years trees from neighboring yards have killed the grass and taken over the space. As you can see I have only a small patch of grass to enjoy. I would love to restore my backyard to the santuary that it once was.There is nothing better in New London than to sit in your yard and enjoy the quiet of the early morning or late evening.
First Name:  Jaye
Last Name:  Wilson
City:  New London
State:  CT
 
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The Backyard Makeover Contest

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