Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Xeriscape Design Austin

This is an alternative with plenty of sod, but more importantly an excellent use of rock and plants.

This is a neighbors home who I think nicely represents compromise with sod and  an excellent use of rock and plants. While I am not a fan of this much sod, it is a nice solution for reduction.

For all of those reading this and thinking about going Xeriscape, not sure if you even like Xeriscape, or have not made up your minds one way or the other…This blog’s for you!

I started my career over 20 years ago and I was doing Xeriscape long before it was cool. The facts were, I was simply using native and adapted, low water, low maintenance plants because they were easy and the most prolific. Duh! it just made sense right? Who has the time to spend hours and hours working in the garden when you can spend minimal time for the maximum results while spending the rest of your free time enjoying it.

I am a professional landscape designer, but the truth is that we are all landscape designers based on our own personal taste and ideas, some of us just have a better eye for the implementation and a desire to do so. If you are interested in improving your landscapes water saving potential while making it a more glorious place to reside, Xeriscape is where it’s at! I know the choices can feel over whelming and that is where a third party (me) can help. However, if you are a do-it-yourselfer as I am ,  a professional landscape consultation can help set you in the right direction.

You need to have a conceptual outline for the design you are implementing and that may be based on a number of legitimate needs and desires. It is very important to remember that Xeriscape does not mean cactus, it simply means “drought tolerant plants”. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of plants trees, shrubs and herbs that flower and produce fruit that are considered “drought tolerant”. So what is your dream yard? Perhaps your dream is creating an edible garden with fruiting trees, you may want to grow flowers for cutting, collect all the colors of green, create a collection of cactus,( not my bag, but it’s not my space) or maybe your dream is not to be chained to your yard work and you simply want to reduce water and maintenance. Whatever your reason for design, it needs to be a personal experience that inspires you to enjoy time in your space more than you do now.

One primary concern for these changes in Austin is that we will lose the integrity of what makes Austin so special. We need to be sure that while we are making these important changes that we stay “Austiny” and do not become El Paso, or Arizona. Though we need to adopt some of their techniques with an Austin-tastic spin on it.

This is Xeriscape!

This is Xeriscape for Austin!

One of the challenges for our area is the incredulous population growth that has led to mass home building, expansion and a serious water shortage. While lawns may have been a tradition for many generations, they are and will continue to be a thing of the past. Small intentional lawns spaces will replace the enormous water hogging sods and Xeriscape will replace the outdated builders shrubs and landscapes. If we do not make these changes now while we can, we will have to resort to rock yards for the lack of available drinking water…

A friendly compromise of sod and stone, plants and home.

A friendly compromise of sod and stone, plants and home.

Another really cool option is alternative sods like Buffalo and Habiturf. These are sustainable lawns that require less water and chemical treatments for success. Too much rock is HOT, so we need to be careful about the placement and amount of rock we use in out landscapes, but mulch and Xerophytic plants are the best of both worlds.

Reduced sod, river rock nuisance strips and lush Xerophytic beds.

Reduced sod, river rock nuisance strips and lush Xerophytic beds.

All plants with paths to each space is also less water than sod. (Such as the two examples below). The first is native plants with annual color, the second is an edible garden.

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. This includes drought tolerant annuals and perennials for all year color.

Food takes no more water to grow than grass…but you cannot eat your lawn 🙂

Creating exquisite Xeriscape and edible gardens that are oraganic, low maintenance and low water.

Creating exquisite Xeriscape and edible gardens that are organic, low maintenance and low water.

Obviously Xeriscape can take on a number of unique designs suitable for most any home in most any neighborhood. We are in a great need for change and it is time we all begin to choose alternative landscape solutions to reduce our water usage and to set an example for those around us that we are in a new age. If you are planning to Xeriscape, be sure to add lots of compost and to choose the right plants for our area. Visit my YouTube and LL&D pages for a list of my favorite plants trees and shrubs by clicking the links below.

No go get your Xeriscape garden on!

Lisa LaPaso

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

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Check me out on YouTube!

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