Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time
Xeriscape, therapeutic Garden

The New Age of Landscape Design

Many of us are constantly thinking of new ways to improve our lives, our bodies and our homes, and the way we think of gardening should be ever evolving as well.

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This is what a native and adapted plant palate looks like. This is my version of Xeriscape. You can choose to have a few plants with space between them or a rainforest. What matters are the plants you choose.

We Are Due For a Change

This article was inspired by a new friend of mine who asked my opinion on landscape design as it related to architecture. I found myself stumbling over the question; not because it was difficult to answer, but because it is a frustrating question. It reminded  to me of how far we have to go.

Architecture and landscape design are centuries old. The concept of design relates directly to the style of home you are designing for. Traditionally, certain architecture dictates certain periods of time and therefore commands a certain look or style of landscape design. I suppose I have always gone against the grain in that manner as even though a certain home requires a particular look. I believe it should mean then, that the ‘look” is also indicative of the century and state we are living in regardless of the style of the home. Long story short, we are in the 21st century and we need to start acting like it.

Lush Xeriscape garden adding interest with texture and contrasting color.

Lush Xeriscape garden with minimal seasonal color added so the home owner can personalize the space each season. adding interest with texture and contrasting foliage makes this Xeriscape garden feel warm,lush and luxurious.

Grass Is Not Opulence 

Gone is the day when plantation style homes had sweeping lawns and lush, thirsty plantings. No more is the water plentiful and seemingly endless where people who had such estates enjoyed it from the lanai, sipping tea.
Times have changed a bit.

While I imagine those who have, will always love the luxury of having. However, even the richest amongst us need to participate in the movement of the 21st century so that the 22nd century will have water.

Shade landscape austin_Lisa LaPaso,designer

Color does not have to come from flowers.

Conservation is Key

There are amazing advances in green technology and we need to tap into the resources of the talented cities we live in. We need to change our thinking about the contrived form of landscaping where maintained shrubs and huge lawns are a symbol of wealth and style.

We can bring architecture into the new age by changing the way architectural design incorporates landscape design. For example, instead of high maintenance shrubs and lawns, we can plant bushes that only reach a certain height so they wont need to be trimmed and replace lawns with ground-covers, herbs and edibles. We can play with contrasting textures, foliage, structure, colors and heights (shown above) to create a “style” that is indicative of a particular type of home, but is low water and low maintenance.

Structural interest should be enhanced by the landscape, not taken over by it.

Structural interest should be enhanced by the landscape, not taken over by it.

Sustainability and Water Conservation 

We need to incorporate sustainable gardening practices into every day living. Creating gardens that both care for themselves, are Eco friendly and provide sustenance for the home owner. We have to be forward thinking when creating new spaces by incorporating rain barrels systems, creating edible and chemical free gardens and by hiring landscape designers that get all this.

As a home owner, this trend must begin with you. You have to insist that the change is made in your space to inspire others to follow suit. Once the “fashion” is common place, the new wave of landscape design will be forever changed to inspire future generations.

Opulence needs to be redefined. If your wealth allows creativity, let that be your statement, not conformity. We are at a pivotal point in history where we can be part of an exciting evolution in design. Just as Architecture has turned “green”, landscape design must leap forward as well. We are the “ground breakers” of future design and it is going to be really exciting to see where we go from here.

If you would like help with your garden and are interetsed in a landscape design or landscape consultation from Leander to Kyle, call me at 512-733-7777 or email me at

Happy Gardening!!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design     (“like” me on Facebook!)                                                                                                                                                               LL&D

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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  1. Lisa, you are so “dead on”. Great article! Since we did a total yard xeriscape, the number of neighbors that see, like, and ask us about it amazing! We love to share advice from our experience that will help others transition. We have no choice but to rethink, redesign, and reconstruct our landscapes to conserve water. 30+% of residential water use can be saved! I see barriers being education about how to xeriscape, and cost to homeowners to transition. New homes construction should be required to xeriscape from the git-go.

    • I agree entirely and think new construct should require rain barrels and recycling of shower and bathroom sink water. We have a long way to go but the more who get on board with the simple changes the better we will all be!


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