Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Landscape and Xeriscape Design, Austin Texas

Replace your boring sod with a Texas friendly, low water, low maintenance garden that adds value to your home and life.

Replace your boring sod with a Texas friendly, low water, low maintenance garden that adds value to your home and life.

Landscapes in Austin can be tricky as we are in an evolution of environmental change and a desperate need for water conservation and sustainable gardens. If you are in the market for a native landscape design in the greater Austin area, especially Xeriscape low water, low maintenance design and installation, than that is my specialty and I would be delighted to work with you on your project. But before you call anyone there are some things you need to consider.

The first thing to consider when planning a landscape installation is how long you plan to live in your home. If you are there for a good long time, or you want it to suit you no matter how long you plan to be there, then have at it. If you are considering a move in the next few years. I suggest you read up on how to stage your home for sale before you start.

The next important consideration is your budget. If the sky is the limit, then good for you, enjoy the ride and what designer would not love to have an endless budget to play with. (I have had the opportunity and it’s delightful ) Though most people are not in that position and new landscapes are pricier than people think because materials like stone, mulch, plants and trees add up quickly and quality labor comes at a price. You would not go to a second rate dentist who has a general idea how to fix your problem, and you should not cut corners when it comes to your precious plants and expensive stone work. I pride myself in assisting the customer to make the most of the money they have to spend and it is important for your landscaper/designer to understand the value of your dollar no matter your income. Certain materials cost what they cost and there are no substitutes, but it is the designers job to create clever alternatives that can save you money and give you the ultimate results you are looking for. If your landscape professional is spending most of your time trying to sell you upgrades, they may not be serving your best interest.

Be sure you are hiring a professional with a native and adapted plant knowledge. Proper plant selection, layout, planting techniques and soil knowledge are something that comes with experience. The wrong plant selection can destroy the best executed design.

This is what a xeriscape, low water, low maintenance garden looks like!

This is what a xeriscape, low water, low maintenance garden looks like!

Be sure the plants your designer is choosing are the plants that belong in our area, not just the least expensive plants they found to make a profit. Always choose low water, low maintenance plants and trees. Austin is in a serious drought with no relief in sight and water friendly landscapes can be lush and beautiful. The less maintenance for you (through proper plant placement) the greater your reward from the landscape.

Something a lot of people neglect to consider is the maintenance that goes along with the garden your designer has created for you. Your designer should ask questions about your life, ages of your children, pets  how much time you travel with work or for play and how often you want to be in the garden doing maintenance. My goal is to give you a garden that requires real work every Spring and Fall, not every week or every month. This is achieved by choosing the right plants for the space and by placing the plants with enough room from sidewalks, patios and each other, so that they do not require trimming. River rock sidewalks and creek beds require a weekly weeding. River rock is not a no maintenance solution, this is a no water situation and your designer/installer needs to tell you these things so your expectations are met.

Another important consideration is to be realistic about what are your priorities and what are your dreams for this project. If a budget has to be met, it is important to keep your needs in check. If you must establish some shade before you can enjoy your space, then obviously some trees or a covered patio are a priority or all the flowers in the world will not encourage you to spend time outside. If you need a patio to grill and entertain, then solutions need to be made to give you the space of your dreams with the budget of your reality. Alternative materials can be used to create all sorts of fabulous spaces that you may not have considered and that is again, where your designer/installer should shine.

IMG_2880Lastly, follow your instincts not your pocketbook to make the best choice for your design and installation. I firmly believe your designer needs to meet your personal needs as the space you are offering to them (and they are charging you for) is an extension of your living space and not a place you want to look at with regret. Do your homework on the person/people you hire. Check references and establish a trust so you can maintain a lasting relationship. I maintain relationships with my customers years after the landscape installation so I can guide them through at least the first few years until they feel comfortable with their success. You do not want to deal with someone who installs and runs, as anyone who “creates” landscapes, (not just installs them) takes pride in their work and needs for you to be successful and happy so you will tell your friends and so on.

I have installed and designed residential landscape designs in Austin for the last 15 years and I would love to put my many years of plant and design experience to work for you. Call me at 512-733-7777 or email me for a landscape design or consultation at lisalapaso@gmail.com. Here is a little more info about ME.

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design ( “like” me on facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Check out my videos on YouTube!

3 Comments

  1. Great Post! Also thanks for the Yard Tips!

    • Glad it was helpful! I am always looking for new topics if you have any suggestions, please share!

  2. I’m not in Austin but I like seeing what grows well there. If it can handle your heat, I know it can take ours. Then I just have to worry about cold tolerance.

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