Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time
Xeriscape design

“Garden Itis”

I suppose I truly developed garden-Iris in my youth as I had a bedroom full of potted plants who were my only true friends, along with my shadow of a dog and I actually named all of my plants. My Grandpa and Grandma LaPaso were avid gardeners with whom I spent a lot of time as a child, so as I grew older I ventured into outdoor gardening and became a certified rock and plant-o-haulic. Nature is my therapy.

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Unfortunately, as I grew older and got on with life which was more complicated, I got a lot more “Itis’s”, and a lot more “Ologist’s” to go with them. The last 16 years of my life have been a roller coaster of pain and depression followed by the weight gain and an overall crappy outlook on life.

I had taken on too much and had become woefully out of balance.


I needed my own “ Consultation” to get my mental house in order, but I had to do the groundwork while working with my new limitations. In that transition, I discovered I could no longer tolerate heat, I was diagnosed with occupational arthritis, weird inflammatory digestive and skin reactions to things that had never been an issue and a lot of stress in my life. Even with removing the stress factor I would forever be affected by pain and I’ll never know when it’s coming…or going.

You have to do the work! A common mistake people make is to look to the quick fix. True and meaningful change takes time.


I was shocked as a consultant that some of my Dr’s never asked me about my eating habits, my lifestyle or stress level. During a consultation for your health or landscape, you have to start from the ground up. 

By making small changes over time, I realized that the impact could be quite significant and much like with gardening. Once I had a better understanding of what I needed for success, I felt in control for the first time in a long time and it was contagious!

I reduced my responsibilities and did more of what gave me happiness. I started saying no to others and yes to myself, I removed toxic people and situations from our family life, I only accept clients who are a good fit and I got rid of my long term contractors who didn’t appreciate my value. Much like a garden, your body doesn’t like being neglected. Yet, the smallest amount of effort can give great rewards and even greater rewards for larger efforts.

I often explain that the soil is like our bodies, without proper nutrients and care even the best plants can struggle. We have to remember both you and your plants are what you eat, and even too much of a good thing can be bad. 

In our diet, when we have a bad reaction to something it can be obvious, in other areas it may require restrictions until we discover the issue which comes down to eliminating every single thing you eat and starting with a limited pallet, then introducing new things as you tolerate, or succeed at the former. Plants can’t respond verbally, but if your landscape is constantly struggling, it’s the soil, watering habits or the plant selection. Nutrients, stress factors and selection.

When your yard is a mess, it has clearly taken you a minute to get there. When your health or life is in chaos, most times it can be traced to a few common denominators. Chemical use can cause more harm than good, always be organic. Choose native plants and trees and learn proper watering techniques so that your plants (and you) aren’t stressed repeatedly. 


A landscape consultation with a low water, organic plant and landscape specialist can be a great tool to cure the problems you can’t seem to work out. A design is also a great way to start off in the right direction and keep going that way.


Much like any diet or exercise regimen, it begins with a plan of attack and a basic education. You wouldn’t just go to the store and take a fistful of pills without reading the label, so that applies to what you use in your yard. Plants, trees and organic protocols should always be chosen by an educated professional, or educated home owner for the best Xeriscape garden results.

Xeriscape doesn’t mean cactus , it means low water garden. Self care doesn’t mean deprivation, it means prioritization. 


What we put the most energy into is what we get in exchange. If your circle bring you grief, find a new one or create an outlet. If your garden is a mess, you don’t know where to begin or you have these weird little spots that give you grief, seek some input and guidance: then create a plan that makes sense to you and stay true to it. Remember your vitamins, (compost), lots of water, (plants need it once a week or so), and lots of good, whole food (organic fertilizers like seaweed, Molasses and liquid compost) and rest (winter).

Email me at to schedule your Landscape health checkup/Consultation or low water, Landscape Design.

I’ll look forward to hearing from you

Lisa LaPaso

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”


  1. Kim

    Yes, indeed, life is short and we each need to inventory our lives. I have had to edit a person or two from my life because of toxicity……………….leading to better quality of life. My garden has been neglected lately b/c of a family emergency. I am so happy to just now be getting back to this much loved hobby. The therapeutic effect is real!

    • Hi Kim, I think this has been a challenging year for many. I believe we are all in a greater awakening period because we have become so disconnected from nature in such a big way. Even as a career I let the stress of my responsibilities eat at me. So just like in a diet, I removed everything that was not a positive, then reintroduced or didn’t. It’s has served me well. Blessing to you on your journey.

  2. Anonymous

    Great post. Very inspiring; I admire your tenacity. Thank for this.

    • Thank you for your comment. I am on a long journey as we all are at one point or another and I see a lot of parallels in the garden and in life. When we get “cluttered down”, we miss the little things that add up. Balance begins in nature and we have to be connected to it, to be connected to ourselves. It also teaches us patience.

  3. Kate

    Wow, your story sounds very similar to mine health wise. It was a serious weekend of gardening followed by much pain and inability to do my office job that led to me to finally discover the oxalate connection. I’m following the low oxalate way now to get my life, body and weekends of gardening back! Sorry, spinach.

  4. Cyndia Moore

    Great post, and so true. Wish I lived in your area, but I’m in Grapevine (DFW area).

    • Thank you, I wish you great success in your space. You have a great plant pallet as well and the fun is finding them and creating a space that’s your own.

  5. Great blog and pics. Thanks for writing about the importance of good food and environment. Now I want grapes and peaches!

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