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Curb Appeal



Landscaping expert Ahmed Hassan, host of HGTV and DIY Network’s “Yard Crashers,” is bringing his palpable, positive energy to Oklahoma City this month at the 31st Annual Home and Garden Show.


He describes his upcoming presentation as a mixture of “stand-up comedy, storytelling and a horticulture class” designed to inspire attendees to feel less intimidated by landscaping and leave with ideas on increasing their homes’ value.

Hassan, a licensed landscape contractor and horticulturalist, has enjoyed immense popularity since the series began in 2008. In each episode he finds unsuspecting homeowners in home improvement stores and surprises them with a free landscaping makeover – a complete redesign of their yard by a team of professionals and specialists over just two days.

In the hour we spent with Hassan, we learned that his landscaping career began in California, long before his hosting gig on “Yard Crashers.” Specifically, it began in the sandbox of the park across the street from his childhood home. Today, Hassan still finds it hard to come in from the outdoors.

How did a landscaping guy land the hosting job with “Yard Crashers”? When I started my landscaping business, I was always out hustling for work, and that’s what I was doing when the show found me. They liked the part about hustling homeowners to get work, so they incorporated that into the show’s opener.

Who are these people who turn you down when you walk up to them? Men. The women are all willing to take me home with them. The men don’t like for some other guy to tell them they can do something better than they can do themselves. Now that people recognize me from the show, more men are willing to say yes the first time, but it was really hard to convince them in the early days.

I would imagine that most people now just want to know how they can run into you at a home improvement store. I get it all the time. “Hey, man, where are you going to be?” Even when we get on location, in whatever city we happen to be in, there’s always someone trying to get me to pick their buddy for a makeover… the old “homey hookup.” But when I pick someone, it’s not planned. It’s important to me to keep that real.

How is the show like your real-life business? Well, I can tell you how it’s unlike my real business – nothing is getting done in two days. That only happens on TV with a huge crew working nonstop for two days. But, I’ve modified my business to model “Yard Crashers” in some ways. I start by interviewing my clients. I get a feel for their energy and what they’re about and then I find the right professionals who specialize in providing the things they want to have done.

Do you see your clients leaning in a particular direction, as far as what they want for an outdoor makeover? Sure. They want to take all the comforts of the indoors outside, so we see more electronics coming outside. Outdoor kitchens are still all the rage. That means the focus has to be on things like shelter, reprieve from harsh elements, utilities, electrical accessibility and things like that. Now, I don’t do all of that myself. I’m just the landscape guy.

Was it always your plan to be the landscape guy? Yes – since I was a little kid. My mother could never get me to come back inside. I was always outside, playing for hours on end in the sandbox at the park across from the house where I grew up, making elaborate designs in the sand with tunnels, hills and all that. Basically, all the things I do today. Of course, I’ve had a lot of professional training since the sandbox era.

A lot of people turn to gardening to de-stress and unwind. Do you find your work to be therapeutic? It might be therapeutic if you were just in your own garden doing it, but it’s not therapeutic when you’re doing it for hire. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. I love it. It’s gratifying to stand in an incredible yard that didn’t look that way before and think, “We created that.”

What advice do you give clients when you conduct the initial consultation? I tell them to think about a space they’ll actually use and enjoy. Don’t create a meditation garden if you’ve never meditated.

Are clients often surprised when their vision and your vision are completely different? Probably, but part of the process is breaking down how the space will be enjoyed. I had a consultation with a single woman who wanted an outdoor fireplace with seating all around it. She wasn’t someone who entertained. Was she really going to sit out there by the fire by herself? When she told me she was into yoga and exercise, I suggested a hot tub feature that she could enjoy alone after she worked out, or with guests if she decides one day to entertain.

If a homeowner wants to do something nice on a restricted budget, where do you think it’s OK to cut corners? If budget is a concern, I always tell homeowners to do more planting and less construction. Construction always runs up the cost of any project. You can accomplish a great effect with more plants.

You’re going to have your work cut out for you when you get to Oklahoma. This is an extreme climate and a lot of plants get snippy about growing in clay soil. How does a homeowner overcome that? Move to California. That’s what everyone else is doing. No, seriously, they’ll just have to come to the Home and Garden Show to find out!


The Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show is a three-day event held January 18-20 that will showcase ideas, expert advice, products and services for home improvement projects.  Admission is $11 for adults and children under age 12 are admitted free. For a $2 discount, tickets may be purchased online at oklahomacityhomeshow.com or at the customer service desk at Buy for Less stores. Show hours are Friday from 12-9pm, Saturday from 10am-9pm and Sunday from 10am-6pm. For more information, visit the website or call 405.466.7469 ext. 120.

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Calendar

September 2018

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

This year will mark the eighth time the John F. Kennedy Awards have been celebrated, honoring individuals making a significant contribution to Oklahoma, its communities and its people, while paying...

Cost: $300

Where:
Skirvin Hilton Hotel
1 Park Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Santa Fe Family Life Center
Telephone: 405-840-1817
Contact Name: James Timberlake
Website »

More information

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More than 20 speakers in a one-track session designed for the digital marketing professional, marketer, business owner or anyone interested in branding, PR, advertising, social media, SEO, search,...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tower Theatre
425 NW 23rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
View map »


Sponsor: BigWing
Telephone: 405.475.4185
Contact Name: Janelle Archer
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

A fabulous art auction to raise money to help support Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO.

Cost: $100

Where:
CHK|Central Boathouse
732 Riversport Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73129
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma A+ Schools at UCO
Telephone: 405.974.3791
Contact Name: Heather Bryant
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Join supporters in communities across the nation for the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. This family-friendly event raises funds to support the...

Cost: $10 for adults or children six and older

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S. Lake Hefner Drive
Oklahoma City , OK  73116
View map »


Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Let’s end childhood cancer. Together! This September, supporters across the country will unite to participate in the St. Jude Walk/Run to End Childhood Cancer, an exciting, family-friendly...

Cost: $10 for Registration

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: ALSAC St. Jude Oklahoma City
Telephone: 405.403.7762
Contact Name: Emily Drover
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
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