Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Front Yard Design Inspiration for Austintastic Landscapes

When considering a design, it is so important to think about what the space you are designing is going to be used for. When I meet with a couple to talk about how the space will be used, more often than not, there are a few  disagreements about what they want, and how they want to go about it. Each client has a unique set of wants and needs and it is the designers job to create a symbiotic relationship between the two. There are many things to consider when creating a new space and it should be something special to everyone who uses it.

What may not be obvious here is the need for the perfect timing of each trim to ensure maximum color all year. Trimming is done by hand, not by hedgers. A person who does not understand the growth pattern of these plants could do some real damage or prevent any color from showing.

This client likes a linear look, so I infused a little native and adapted color and texture to create depth in an otherwise small space.

In this intimate space (above), the need was to add color, hide the neighbor and give the illusion of more space. I created a layering effect that draws the eye upward to the front of the house, the interesting architecture and I created curves in the rectangular beds to add warmth with an organic feel.

The house below is an older home with updated architecture to bring it out of the 70’s, so I infused this design with a modern style and color theme and the home owner added a contemporary flair in the way of Cedar wood front door and accents.

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Modern Hill Country landscapes also call for linear lines but in this case, clean simplicity is achieved with Lueders and limestone blocks to modernize an outdated stone wall. Modern Hill Country landscape design is a beautiful trend right now that adds a “modern” look to homes built from the 70’s up to today.

Contemporary landscapes like the one shown below are using warm tones in the stone work (hardscape)and native, deer resistant, low water plants in the landscape (softscape). This is a perfect marriage for any Central Texas home.


You should first consider how long you will live in the home and whether or not your remodel will be worth it.  (see “Staging Your Home For a Sale“) Creating a new space with colored rock, or something so personal that only you could love it, may not be the way to go if you know you will be moving in a short time or even in a few years. Spending money on something the next owner may not see as an asset is not always a good plan, but if you design wisely, your new additions may just add value.

A Stunning landscape begins with a professional, knowledgeable landscaper/designer/consultant who listens to your needs and gives you the most bang for your buck!

A stunning landscape begins with a professional consultation or a well laid out plan by the home owner. A knowledgeable landscaper/designer/consultant who listens to your needs and understands your use will give you the most bang for your buck. This remodel increased the value of this home as well as its functionality.

The above property is a 70’s ranch style home that had zero curb appeal and a terribly outdated landscape. The addition of rock in a contemporary, yet artistic layout added depth, interest and allowed the assets of the property to “pop” from the street. In this case the rock was used to glorify the Oaks, lead you from the street to the front door and to give a modernized design to the existing landscape.

Lawns on a slope can be really challenging to water and may require more frequent short watering instead of one long one to achieve 1' of water. If you r yard slopes set your irrigation to 2 or 3 cycles for shorter durations to achieve the necessary minutes.

In this photo I demonstrate the use of river rock as drainage, but also as a border (lined in metal) to allow the plants in the background their proper distinction against the lawn.

My main goal with each client is to create a space that represents all parties in the most thoughtful and cohesive way. I strive to enhance the home, your lifestyle, your garden, your extended living area…Your landscape.

This next garden is obviously a heavy shade space and while there is not a whole lot of color for these deer resistant, low water gardens, there are a lot of textures that play beautifully against one another. When considering the big picture of a space, the designer has so many variables to bring together that it can feel like a puzzle of color and texture but in the end, it is all about how well they play music together. When designing your own space I suggest you lay out all of your plants and live with them for a day so to see how they look to you, do your homework on the types of plants you are using or hire a professional you trust to create that space for you.


A Design is only as effective as the plant list is successful. If the designer is not knowledgable about the plants they are using, even the prettiest layout will not be successful in the end. I have been working with central Texas plants for over 30 years and understand their nature and growth habits, light requirements, mature size and bloom patterns. I know which plants will remain evergreen and which will go dormant over the winter. These are crucial to the overall success of a landscape design.

Softscapes, or plant material are of course any living plant, tree or shrub and they should not only be pretty to look at, they should be spaced properly for the least maintenance, grouped with the same light conditions and water needs as the others and it should provide color and interest year round.

Hardscapes are the metal, stone, concrete, river rock, patio or brick frame you use to add interest to a garden, to add value to your home or to include a place to gather or to get away from it all. They are (for the most part) a permanent fixture so you want to be sure you always carry the same materials throughout the space, front and back for continuity. You do not want your project to eventually look like an afterthought when you have use materials you can no longer find, or use too many stone colors making it look riotous. Buy your stone at the same time if you can because the colors can change dramatically with certain stone, if cut at different times.

Hopefully, I have inspired you to start something special in your space, as the front yard and flower beds are the picture frame of your home and the first place you see when you come home after a hard day at work. shouldn’t that space represent everything you are and hope to be? It should be warm, inviting, and most importantly a soft place to fall, not just another chore.

If you would like a little help creating the space of your dreams, give me a call me at 512-733-7777 or email me at to set up a consultation or bid appointment.

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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1 Comment

  1. F Vandygriff

    GREAT article!!!!! Saving this for future reference..hope you are well!!


    Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2015 20:22:32 +0000 To:

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