Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Leaf Landscape Supply Austin

What a blast I had at my last trip to Leaf Landscape, which used to be “Emerald Gardens”, for all of you “way back” Austinites. I used to make the trek down south, then sort of forgot about it to be honest. 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 nursery. So when I saw a couple of years ago that they had moved and grown, I needed to check it out again. I am all about an inventory of native grasses, native and adapted plants, trees and shrubs, and Leaf Landscape Supply did not disappoint.

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. They have a load up drive through that is super convenient for large orders and pick up.

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 (that stroll around the property) 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. Zach recently graduated from high school and now we are acclimating him into his adult life. Both of my children are Autistic (18 and 26) and nature has been a big part of our therapeutic journey.

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 they offer.

The yard always looks amazing, it is easy to navigate and the plant selection is one of the best around. I tell my clients up north that it is well worth the drive down to 290 just west of Mopac to check this place out. The service is great, the selection is beautiful and the prices are fair. 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.

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 I’d say Leaf Landscape has one of the largest selections out there. They are also knowledgeable and eager to help with selection and special orders.

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, at your home or at a local nursery to make the best plant choices for your space, give me a call or text at 512-733-7777, or email me at My fee is $125 – $150 an hour depending on your location and I can save you thousands in costly mistakes. Support local small businesses like mine, and locally owned nurseries like Leaf Landscape Supply and encourage them to carry organic fertilizer, soils and products, as well as local plants and trees for local bee’s and wildlife.

Check out my blogs on Xeriscapedeer resistant, low water, full sun and low maintenance plants, then visit Leaf Landscape Supply in far south Austin off of Mopac on the 290 frontage road. Wear your walking shoes because this place is big, check out the discount section in back, and tell them Lisa sent you!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape and Design

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Austin Tx


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