King of Dirt
Gino Panaro tells it like it is: If your backyard is a sea of crab grass and half-dead bushes, he’ll chide you for not performing proper maintenance in the first place, then he’ll put on the gloves and get to work. Gino, along with his brother and business partner, Ralph, performs landscape makeovers in the New York City area, hauling in fresh sod, plants and trees to distressed outdoor spaces while adding his own design ideas into the mix. The idea of the tough-talking, Brooklyn-born Gino discussing how a variety of colorful plants brings balance to a home seems like an amusing contradiction, but there’s no denying the guy knows his greenery.
Gino finds himself in the middle of a project that has seen many delays. Homeowners Nunzio and Deb are anxious to get their yard finished so they can start using their new pool before the summer is over. There’s a lot of work to do – coping around a new pool, a new patio, a new driveway, and then Gino will need Ralph and Gina’s help to get the plants in before the homeowners miss any more of their summer!
Giorgio and Jennifer knew what they were getting themselves into when they bought their current home, but now, they are ready to make some changes. Their backyard has an aggressive slope transitioning into a highway (that’s right, a highway) and without any hardscapes their forced to eat off of patio furniture that sits on overgrown grass. Gino doesn’t like any of this. He wants to come in to groom their sloping hill so that even though he can’t do much about the noise, at least he can improve the view. Also, with a brand stamped concrete patio, these young lovebirds will have a proper place to entertain friends and family. That is if Ralph can fight off the bugs and Gina doesn’t have trouble with the fertilizer.
Steve and Jessica have a wasteland in their backyard and with a 3-year-old daughter, an unsafe outdoor area won’t do. Gino hopes to give these homeowners sturdy steps up to their house and between the two tiers of their generous backyard. He also wants to trim the overgrown trees and build a brand new patio where this family can enjoy their upcoming summer. Possible snags in the plan arise when the crew overheats, Ralph gets wrapped up in the past and Gina makes friends with a curious bee.
Jerry and Maryann have a gorgeous home in Staten Island. The only problem is that their backyard has turned into a swamp, complete with its own lagoon. With old landscaping, broken down hardscaping and an out-of-order swimming pool that has been collecting debris for years, these homeowners need some serious help. Gino wants to rip out the pre-existing pool to install a brand new fiberglass fixture to start. He’ll also install a generous paver patio for entertaining with a matching set of steps. Throughout the process, Ralph tries to keep cool in the warm weather, while Gino brings in some particularly “sharp” plants for this project.
Charlie and Monica already had someone build a patio and landscape their backyard a few months ago. The only problem is the guy jumped ship halfway through the job. If there’s one thing Gino hates to see, it’s a generous yard that’s been mismanaged by a lazy landscaper. With crab grass where a walkway should be, an array of toys randomly strewn all over the yard and no landscaping to speak of, this is a big job. Gino plans on bringing in a new, safe play area with state-of-the-art rubber mulch, a new paver walkway and a natural looking fire pit so these homeowners can forget about the past.
Dolly Rogers wants to make over the public area of this Children’s Specialized Hospital in order to honour her son Joey, who recently passed away after being a patient there. Gino is more than happy to participate in this special project in order to give back to the community. Gino plans on ripping out the preexisting trees and grass in order to make room for a brand new family of plant life to attract butterflies. With Ralph battling the difficulties of a public workspace and Gina at odds with the sprinkler system, this hospital may get some laughs before this job is completed.
Jeff and Sara have been living happily in their home for about a year and half, despite their messy front yard. With a dangerous sloped walkway, huge sun-blocking trees and a house you can’t even see due to overgrown shrubs, this is definitely a lot of work. Gino plans on taking out everything, including the stairs, the plant life and hopes to at least trim the trees in order to put in an all-natural stone stairway with fresh plant life. Trouble arises when a hornet’s nest compromises the project, Ralph has trouble transporting the new stairs and Gina struggles with laying out the plants.
Vince and Tracy already have a gorgeous backyard with a large pool, but they love to entertain, and they do not have the backyard for that. With a huge spacious area where these homeowners are just growing grass, Gino is hoping to come in and build an extremely generous paver patio as well as two walkways, one to the pool and one to the driveway. He’ll also give Vince and Tracy a shed to store their tools in, and an all new stairway leading to their back door. In the meantime Ralph will focus on site maintenance and Gina will try to help put her colorful touch on the project with some handpicked plant life.
Celso and Teresa have a huge newly constructed home they’ve been in for only a few years with their kids. Only problem is the front yard isn’t as nice as the house it’s in front of. With a fried lawn that consists of rocks and dirt, a narrow builder walkway and no landscaping to speak of, this couple is looking to be brought back to life. Gino is always happy to put a smile on a homeowners face, but this is almost a personal vendetta for him. A front lawn this bad? Forget about it! Gino plans on bringing in his friend Ted to build a beautiful new stamped concrete walkway while laying down over 5,000 square feet of fresh sod and all new plant life which will hopefully serve as a welcoming sight for the Selgado’s for years to come. He’ll also introduce a state of the art sprinkler system that will ensure this lawn will live on for years to come. With Ralph helping with waste management and Gina taking care of the plants, this should be a project that will make the whole neighborhood jealous.
Brian and Jen are happy in their new home, but the boring builder landscape in the front of their house has them feeling like they need a makeover. With a generic walkway, exposed foundation and no plants whatsoever, this yard needs a miracle worker. Gino wants to veneer over the pre-existing walkway to give it a more unique flow, and he also wants to use a new stucco material to help the foundation match the brick already above the front doorway. With some help from Gina and her plant prowess, Gino is hoping to give Brian and Jen something to be proud of.
Nish and Falgun are happy in their brand new home, but their lackluster backyard isn’t something to invite the neighbors over. With a steep downward slope, no pathways, and uneven sod, this yard needs Gino’s magic touch. Gino wants to create a large patio with a retaining wall for support, replace the irrigation system, and top it off with a special surprise for the homeowners. With some help from his crew, Gino is hoping to make Nish and Falgun a backyard that is the talk of the town.
Wally and Jo had their beautiful home built three years ago with one tragic flaw – no landscaping. Gino plans to create a beautiful front lawn with low maintenance plants, accent lighting, and a special surprise for the homeowner that keeps grass from invading the new plant beds. With some help from his crew, Gino is hoping to turn Wally and Jo’s place from looking like a model home to a one of a kind design.
Mindy’s gorgeous home is being hidden by an overgrown landscape and a dilapidated walkway. Gino plans to rip everything out and start from scratch. He plans to bring in a new paver pathway, an irrigation system, new sod, and colorful new plants to top off the landscape. With some help from his crew, Gino is hoping to bring Mindy’s classic looking home out of the dark ages.