Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Landscape Nurseries in Austin

What a blast I had at my last trip visiting local Austin nurseries. You’d think a landscape designer like myself would be over the whole nursery experience but I have to tell you that nothing excites me more than a fully stocked plant nursery. 

I’ll warn you that their parking is a bit challenging at times so I encourage you to go during the week whenever possible, but it is well worth any trouble you may have finding a sweet spot to load up on loads of goodies.

My shopping partner is my son Zachariah. Zach has a form of high functioning Autism and he can get a little over sensitized sometimes, but plants and puppies keep him calm and entertained. He is one of the biggest hearted people I’ve ever known and he has an amazing sense of humor as well as being wise beyond his years. Both of our children are Autistic and nature has been a big part of our therapeutic journey. Many outings ended at a nursery to try a new plant or sensory.

Touring a nursery gives us the opportunity to discuss plants we like and to talk about some of the cool tricks they (plants) can do. Some plants are tough as nails and others need to be babied. The truth is that every nursery carries plants that are on the edge of inappropriate for our planting/hardiness zone 8 here in Austin TX and surrounding area. If we have an exceptional drought season or cold snap, not all plants for zone 8 will survive.
My favorite two examples you will see here are Dianella Flax Lily (green and white stripes above) and Bottlebrush, (fuzzy red things on a bush below). These are two plants that have to be planted in a protected area because they are really zone 9 and may not survive our cold snaps, but a little homework on your part will go a long way when making the right decision. If you’re looking for super low maintenance, make sure your plants are properly spaced (tall and wide) and suitable for the bed at maturity. If you’ve seen it at a commercial property or in a residential median, you can bet it’s drought tolerant and deer resistant. I was very pleased with the selection of tough as nails, Xeriscape plants and trees we saw, but we saw a lot of plants that don’t belong here too.

Apparently it looked so so beautiful Zach thought it also looked delicious. 😉

It can be really tempting to buy plants and trees that don’t work for your space so I always recommend that you hire a Landscape Consultant (like me) to help you choose the right plants for your space before you go shopping. If that’s not an option, do your homework on your spaces light requirements (how many hours of sun or shade the beds or space get), is your space soggy or extra dry and rocky? You also need to amend your soil with compost and avoid all chemicals so your plants have the best advantage to start with. Follow an organic protocol and never over water.

Look for textural interest and evergreen as well as plants that attract wildlife and native bees and pollinators. I’ve never made any secret that spikey cacti aren’t my faves, (I am in love with sedum and echeveria) though I do have clients that enjoy them, so I like to have a variety of interesting textures and colors to choose from and many local nurseries have an array of shapes and sizes too. 

I don’t think Zach was listening when I told him that wasn’t a seat cushion.


If you would like to schedule a plant consultation with me, email me at My fee is $350 an hour for on-site and $235 for a Zoom Consultation, concept sketch and basic instructions. I can save you thousands in costly mistakes. Support local small businesses like mine, support locally owned nurseries and encourage them to carry organic fertilizer, soils and products, as well as local plants and trees for local bee’s and wildlife with your purchase power.

Check out my blogs on Xeriscapedeer resistant, low water, full sun and low maintenance plants, make a plant list and wear some walking shoes. Google anything that catches your eye for the proper hardiness zone and most importantly, have fun!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape and Design

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Austin Tx


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