Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time
Landscape design, austin

The Pandemic Purge, Take Your Space Back.

Mother Tree

I don’t think it’s a secret to anybody at this point that we are in the midst of a pandemic and these events take place about every hundred years or so. They are a steady reminder that mother nature will take things into her own hands when we get out of balance. These anomalies occur when humans become too arrogant or uneducated about the matters of the earth and its flora and fauna.

the Earth is intended to have spaces no man is allowed to pilfer without consequence. These are the lungs of the Earth where Mother Trees live and when her children are disrespected, we will pay for our insolence. Deforestation has lead to outbreaks that would ordinarily be contained in its environment.

In our own yards the same affect is true. When we spread non native plants, tree and grass, douse it in chemical solutions to keep it green and use drinking water to feed the addiction of non native species, what might be the consequences? In Austin, it is algal blooms, erosion issues, water shortages, toxic lakes, invasive species, air pollution and so much more. But you can help, and it’s time to take our yards back.


More recently winter offered a second reminder that Climate Change is very real and it does not mean things will get hotter, it means that the weather events will be more intense.

Start Again
Now that the ice storm has wiped out some of our inventory anyway, there’s no better time to start with a “choose and purge” session. Mark the plants and trees you plan to keep or get rid of depending on the amount and size of your space. Reduce the clutter of oversized plants to see the bigger picture.

Education is key
Find an educated consultant like myself to give you direction, or do your home work by educating yourself on the sunlight, water and maintenance needs, as well as choosing native or adapted plants for the hardiness zone in your area. Choose deer resistant varieties if needed and include assorted evergreen in a balance that makes sense all year round.
Read and watch videos about low water plant choices, proper planting techniques and organic soil amendments. Then choose your design around your needs. In Central Texas, use native and adapted plants for our hardiness zone 8 a/b and be sure to research the plants that can withstand heat and cold from 110° to 10° and back again. Or, you can just email me and I can help.

Design and hardscape choices should be made based on the style of your home as well as your budget. Our materials should match the landscape trends and the local ones. Once we determine the use of each space we can design around our needs.

Rather you choose a modern Hill Country Design, English Garden or a Contemporary Xeriscape, you will want to be intentional with the selection of materials you choose to work with. Go online and watch and read several sources on how to create a dry river bed, how to build a patio, how to pour concrete, digging plants and trees and even irrigation so you have enough information to spot a liar. Then, much like dating, you’ll kiss some frogs. Be patient when bidding and be sure you have an apples to apples concept to work from and stick to the plan unless you find a better solution you’re confident about, then research that one too.

There are so many beautiful choices of plants and materials we can use in central Texas and this past year has been a really important reminder that we need to soften our own space. In particular, we can create a living area outside of our home that makes us feel at peace. With a cohesive plan and a competent contractor, you can pick and chose what you prefer to have done and what you wish to do yourself. Big ticket items like stonework and irrigation or grass removal and bed prep can be left to professionals, but you should be able to do a lot on your own with the right tools, determination and education. Even a simple sketch can transform your idea into a reality.

before and after…simple sketches can start the conversation 

If you would like more information on an educational consultation or landscape design for any where in zone 8A/B, please contact me at If you are looking for heat seeking, shade loving or edible plants and trees, Just keep surfing right here, because my pages are filled with them.


Happy gardening!

Lisa LaPaso

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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