Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Does Your Yard Have Resting Bitch Face?

So several years ago I am feeling particularly defeated and getting really frustrated with my scope of work and the Consult’s I was getting; I had a jag of chemical users who were mad when I got there because they didn’t realize I would spend an hour and their money telling them to stop using them. Turns out, some people aren’t interested in the facts as to why their landscapes were failing. Organic fertilizers, native plants and compost amended soil is the only way to have a successful landscape in Central Texas and I needed to figure out a way to reach the right people or make sure THEY would find ME (because I knew you were out there)!

My husband who is filled with great ideas tells me I should start video taping my garden and plants I love to share and I think for a moment; this is a great idea. BUT, how will I look on camera, will anyone care what I have to say? A blog goes out into blogosphere and though you can see your stats, it is not the same as seeing your actual face and no one commenting or responding so I think to myself “I’ll need to be on my best game”. Flash forward I get all cutied up for a garden tour on video and once I had finished I take my husband and son to my office to show them my first cut I am pretty pleased with and ask them what they think, but there is silence…Finally my husbands says, “You look really angry”.

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BEFORE: Over grown, outdated shrubs can hide the assets of the original architecture, become security issues as well as safety hazards for you and your guests. The odd stone bed and narrow sidewalk look disconnected from the rest of the landscape. Angry face!

Youch! I rewind and play over and over and he was right; I had a pretty wicked resting bitch face even though I was actually happy about what I was doing. While I thought I looked good from the inside, I didn’t look good from the outside. I needed to work on my smile and attitude in what I portrayed to the world. Sometimes, It is hard for us to see what is right before our eyes.

We can use that same analogy on our yards. Everyone who owns a home should stand at the street and see what their yard says about them. What do your neighbors see, does the landscape match the home? Is your landscape appropriate and proportionate to the height of your home? Would you like privacy or trees and have none, are your existing trees and shrubs a problem for your neighbors? Does it look inviting, taken care of and nurtured and is it a space you can care for that is not a burden to you? If not, it is time for a change and your landscape may be due for an updated happier face.

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AFTER: With the old shrubs removed, a new path and extended sidewalk are now the feature. The landscape is the proper scale to the home and make the space feel larger, open, more accessible and updated. Happy face!

The best way to begin your landscape update is to address and remove the plants you know aren’t working. Even if a plant is healthy it is not wise to keep it in an undesirable space. You know who I am talking about; the ones you spend too much time trimming to keep off of the sidewalk or lawn or those that have taken over your windows and eve, as well as the plants that always have bugs, need too much water or never flower like they should. Remove those and find the right plants for the job.

There are so many stunning plants for the Central Texas landscape; Though choosing the  right plants requires some homework or a professional educational consultant to help make the right choices for your space. Be sure plants chosen are for your hardiness zone, (we are zone 8) sun or shade and require little water. Make sure your native and adapted perennial plants and trees are properly spaced so you don’t end up with a blob in a few years. You can find several great plant pages for sun and shade on this blog or my Facebook page at Lisa’s Landscape & Design. There are also excellent recourses for central Texas native and adapted plants online from Grow Green Austin, TX A&M, or the Wild Flower Center website.

It is a new year and new opportunity for change and growth so take some time for your own space and give it a little facelift. update and/or reduce lawn, water hogging plants and problem areas to create a space you can be proud of and enjoy for years to come. Just like people, landscapes evolve and require occasional tune ups so if you are feeling at a loss give me a call at 512-733-7777, or email me at lisalapaso@gmail.com for a Garden Coach/Landscape Consultation, or visit the hundreds of pages, Pinterest, and do it yourself videos or blogs like mine for daily inspiration.

Your yard is the picture frame of your life. Simplify, update, and educate yourself on your land and make the most you can of it for yourself and those around you. Better yards increase real estate returns, set a standard for the neighborhood and invite “you” home with a smile.

Now go get your garden on,

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a TIme”

To Trim or Not to Trim?

This is an oldie but a goodie. Be sure you are trimming for the right reasons at the right time.

Lisa's Landscape & Design

This is a question I hear often and it is has an important answer. There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to Fall /Winter trimming  and I know from my own experience that most trimming done in the Fall/Winter is not done for the right reason.

Landscape companies have little work off-season, so they want to convince you  that you need to cut back and mulch in the Fall/Winter months. While the mulching part is accurate the trimming part is simply not true. I have been doing gardening/landscaping both professionally and personally for over 20 years in Central Texas and  I can tell you most Fall trimming is a bad idea. The only reason you would trim deciduousperennials (returning plants that go dormant in the Winter) in the Fall is for aesthetics, for example, most commercial properties and HOA’s do not leave dying leaves and plants untrimmed…

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5 Easy Steps to Conserve Water in the Texas Landscape.

Central Texas and Austin in particular is growing by leaps and bounds. This constant influx of people has a huge impact on our water source and it is everyones responsibility to conserve whenever possible. This doesn’t mean you install a yard full of rocks and cacti. If you are looking to conserve water in your yard with the least amount of effort I have laid out these 5 easy steps for you to follow.

The photo below is my previous yard and I never used a single chemical in 9 years. There is no irrigation, only rain barrels and hand watering. I had 10 fruit trees, blackberries, raspberries, food everywhere, herbs, flowers and interest in every season.

 

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Soil makes all the difference in the amount of success you have. If you do nothing else to amend your space, compost.

1) Reduce lawn and replace it with low water landscape such as native and adapted plants. Native plants are used to the Central Texas landscape and the drought conditions in general which mean long periods of dry followed by  monsoon. Plant your trees, shrubs and perennial plants with enough room to grow. Proper placement is key to the success of a mature garden as well as controlling maintenance and disease issues later on. Nobody wants a landscape that eventually turns into a blob.

2) Add feature and functionality with river rock or stone paths to lead you to the next space or seating area. One of the worst design mistakes you can make is to seclude your living space to one area. No matter how small your space is you can always create different vantage points which carry you through the space making it feel larger. This always creates areas with pervious (water can soak through) and impervious (cannot penetrate, such as concrete or stone) cover so be sure you are up to code in the city limit or you could be in trouble later. Loose material like river rock, granite, mulch or gravel and pavers can be a great alternative for water absorption in an area that requires no water to look good.

 

3) Create larger existing beds and seating areas. Simple as that, increase your existing bed size by a coupler few feet. Most older homes have overgrown beds anyway so why not embrace it and add some depth. Throw some low plantings in front, clean up and mulch and the whole bed and call it a day. Another great option is to lose the overgrown front shrubs that are eating the house and replacing them with a very simple low profile garden with step stones to take up space. Feature and functionality. Updated, low water, low maintenance and a very easy do-it-yourself project.

Seating area

 

4) Rain barrels are an easy way to conserve water on your own property and you will be amazed by how quickly they fill up even in our Texas droughts. A 2000 sq ft house can collect as much as 30,000 gallons a year. No matter how you do that math, free is free all day and the barrels pay for themselves the first season. Many cities have rebates and free barrels, all they require to work are gutters on your house. There are tons of how-to YouTube videos on set up and general maintenance which is basically nothing at all. Plants  prefer rain water always to city water and it is comforting to know you always have a back up just in case. Just be sure your barrel has never been used for chemicals of any kind.

 

5) I definitely saved the best tip for last…ORGANIC ALL THE WAY IN EVERY WAY! This means you ditch the blue stuff, swear to never use “Weed and Feed”again, and make “Round Up’ the nasty words that they are, then you are well on your way. 

Compost your entire property including lawn, beds and trees each spring. Mulch your beds each fall and fertilize with corn meal, corn gluten, molasses, liquid seaweed and rock minerals like green sand, granite sand and lava sand. Mixing these dry products together at the right time of year can be used on your lawn for an organic weed and feed and recipes can be found all over the internet. Purchase ladybugs, praying mantis or Trichogramma wasps and beneficial nematodes as your organic allies. Learn about companion planting. For every single problem there is an organic solution. Chemicals kill your soil, can kill your plants and harm our planet. Why make bad choices when we don’t have to? This also includes mulch. Make sure you have a nice depth of mulch to hold in moisture and keep soil temperatures at a safe place for frugal growth. Never used chemical treated or colored mulch. Only native shredded mulch like hardwood or local shredded Cedar will do.

Compost removes previous chemical damage, retains more water in the soil and feeds the healthy bacteria and beneficial fungi your plants need for success. Chemical fertilizers kill the soil, make the plant reliant on you for food, need more water and are more vulnerable to pests and disease. Think of the forest and the natural break down of materials. Compost can save the world.

For more great information on conservation and water saving plant selections please contact me for a landscape consultation or garden coach session in the Austin and surrounding area at 512-733-7777 or email me at lisalapaso@gmail.com.

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design (check me out on Facebook)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

 

Hummingbird Garden

Hummingbirds are one of my favorite magical creatures to find in my garden. They are so swift and elusive it feels like a gift each time I find one and they are so spectacular to see drinking from a flower. We also happen to have the same favorite color which is red. They are attracted to flowers by color which is why artificial food is red. That being said, there is a huge advantage to adding these plants to your garden space. Long tubular orange and red flowers are a sure invitation for hummingbirds throughout the season.

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Firecracker fern ,full to part sun, 2.5 x 2.5 ‘deer resistant , low water. Semi evergreen zones 8-11

red prince weiglia

Red Prince Weigela 6×6 full to part sun. Semi evergreen

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Mexican Bush Sage, 5×5′ full to part sun, deer resistant and low water. Deciduous, Zones 8-10.  Though it’s not red, it is tubular and these types of flowers hold the most nectar. Hummingbirds are high energy and they need the most food they can get from each flower.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera 2 x 2 full to part sun, low water, deer resistant except flowers. Evergreen

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FIre Bush 5 x 5 part sun. Deciduous

Pineapple Sage

Pineapple Sage, 3×3 ‘ full to part sun, annual will reseed.

texas star hibiscus

Texas Star Hibiscus, a Texas star indeed ,medium water full to part sun, deciduous

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Fireman’s Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full Sun 10 x 10 full sun, low water, deer resistant. Deciduous

Of all the birds that have visited our gardens, I still get excited every time a hummingbird graces us with its presence. We have some amazing hummingbird species in Austin and the surrounding area. Because they are so quick and fleeting, you really have to position yourself to be in the right place at the right time to see them at work, but you can create a perfect space that attracts them to make the sightings more common. Be sure to place seating areas throughout your space so you have different vantage points throughout the year. Here is a guide to central Texas hummingbirds.

Tropical Sage

Tropical Sage, 2 x 2′ sun to shade, low water, reseeds readily. Deciduous

Pink Salvia is the most common, bright pink and a great hummingbird and butterfly attraction.

Pink Salvia is the most common, bright pink and a great hummingbird and butterfly attraction. 3×3′ full sun, deer resistant, low water. Evergreen.  There is also a beautiful red called Furmans red, Hotlips which is red and white and a lavender and white variety that are not quite as hardy as the red and pink, but worth the effort if you find the right spot.

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Mexican Oregano 3×3′ low water, deer resistant, full to part sun. Evergreen

Yellow Bells Esperanza-beautiful and drought tolerant.

Yellow Bells Esperanza-beautiful and drought tolerant, full sun 8×6′ . Deciduous

Lily’s of all kinds are also great for hummingbirds be there are many to choose from. So for the next spring or faIl season add some of these beautiful plants to the landscape or pots close to a window or patio where you can enjoy the view and the hummingbirds too.

If you are in Austin or the surrounding area and would like a landscape design or educational consultation to include theses and many more beautiful native and adapted plants, shrubs and tree to your landscape, call me at+15127337777 or email me at lisalapaso@gmail.com.

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Lisa’s Landscape Design and Consultation firm

First of all, thank you to those of you who have followed and supported me through the years. It is a huge honor to share my passion with all of you.

I am very excited to announce that LL&D will be changing gears to a full-time design, consulting and home owner education firm. I have been installing landscapes from $5000 to $50,000+ for the last 15 years in Austin and I have been a professional and personal gardener for over 20 years. The flora of central Texas is stunning and I have made it my mission to know the best plants and trees that are successful in nearly any space. My specialty is full sun to full shade deer resistant, low water gardens. If you are in the market for a large or small landscape project, wouldn’t I be of great use to you BEFORE you hire another professional? Or worse, someone who calls themselves a landscaper but doesn’t really know what they are doing, but you don’t know the difference? I can save you thousands on costly mistakes and up sells by telling you how things should really be done, what materials you could use based on my years of design experience. I can help you choose the right plants for the job; not the plants or stone contractors make the most mark up on. My average consult fee is from $100-$150 per hour for the greater Austin area and that small amount of money now can save you thousands later. Take what I have learned from working with sub contractors over the last 15 years and use that information to be an educated consumer when shopping for the right crew. Here are some examples of my designs that have been completed.

If you have recently purchased a new home and need to know what plants and trees you have and how to care for them, you would like to begin a garden of your own or need trimming instruction, soil, sod, trees, plant and shrub selection or design instruction and organic gardening techniques a Garden Coach or Educational Consultant is an excellent tool for the do it yourselfers. I LOVE Educational Consultations because it is such a gift to be able to teach people to live a symbiotic life with their own space while creating an extended living area where everyone in the home gets what they need. We can use the hour to fill in empty spaces, draw a quick sketch for new bed or improve your overall landscape. Should we decide that what you really need is a design (some projects are too big or complex for one hour) The cost of the consult goes towards a design. An average design ranges from $500-1500 plus tax.

Design planning is a personal experience. You need to know that the person who is designing your space understands your needs. I provide a design anyone could follow so they are well suited for the do-it-yourselfer over the course of several years, or to those who plan to bid the work out. With a well thought out design you can take multiple bids on the same product instead of confusing “free” Consultations where each is selling the items they make the most money from. How do I know this?  10 years of Subcontractors… I have done it all from brick laying, to fire pits, patio, water features,organic gardening, plant and tree installation,  trimming to full maintenance on estates in the Austin area. I want to share those years of experience with you so we can create the space that suits you best while staying on budget and addressing the needs of your specific property. This is a large 1 acre design I finished recently. Each design is hand drawn, each plant is listed and planting instruction, timing and materials are discussed at the final meeting.

 

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Hand drawn designs are drawn to scale with a list of plants and installation instruction

I also provide a plant layout service. If you have an educational consultation or design and have your beds prepared, I can have your plants delivered and lay them out on site. This is a great way to be sure the best plants are selected and the layout is perfectly spaced for optimal success. Once I provide you with a consult or design you have access to me by phone, text or email indefinitely to ask follow-up questions about maintenance and general care to be sure you have optimal success.

So let me help you plan the space of your dreams; simplify your life by reducing water need, maintenance and ensure that the money you spend going forward is well spent. I provide consults and design work for the greater Austin area including San Marcos, Wimberly, Buda, Kyle, Leander, Round Rock, Pflugerville and Cedar Park and Bastrop. Please call me at 512-733-7777, or email me at lisalapaso@gmail.com to schedule your landscape design or consultation appointment. I have appointments available  Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m depending on your area.

I look forward to creating with you,

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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Garden Coach Austin

If you are in Austin, Pflugerville, Leander, Cedar Park, Buda, Kyle or Wimberly Texas and you would like to be trained to care for your landscape by a professional on your own property, a Garden Coach (or Landscape Consultant) can be a great value to you.

If you are a new home owner looking to plan, I can provide you with design ideas, plant suggestions, timing and instruction from beginning to end. If you have purchased a home with an established garden and would like plant identification and maintenance instruction, or have an overgrown landscape that has become too much to handle, a Garden Coach can help navigate the plants to keep, and those to give back to Mother Nature. If you are selling your home and want to make the most of your landscape and curb appeal, I can help.

I am a Master  Gardener, Certified in Organic Gardening (including food crops and trees), Water Conservation and Oak Wilt and I specialize in native and adapted, low water, low maintenance lush landscapes from hard Texas sun to full shade. I have work with Central Texas flora for over 20 years and have owned and operated my organic landscape business for over 15 years. I provided installation of hardscapes, plants and trees as well as  design and consult for projects ranging from $6,000 to 60,000 but in the fall of 2016 I decided to use my experience to your advantage. I now only provide designs and consultation and I love every part of the process. Best of all,when we are done you will be very prepared to take on your space. You will also have access to me for follow up questions after the sale.

A session is typically spent talking about your entire landscape from soil to trees, general maintenance and plant ID as well as “fill in” plant options, watering, organic pest solutions and much more. Sometimes we have enough time to make a quick sketch though additional hours can be purchased for this as well. I am also a great resource for information on patio design, hardscapes, installation and materials.

A one hour consultation with me runs from $100 to $150 per hour depending on the area (one hour minimum) and can save you thousands on costly mistakes. This is a great tool for the do-it-yourselfers or for those wanting to have the work done, but do not know where to begin. Honestly, a landscape consult from an educated Garden Coach can make all the difference whether you only want lawn, tree and shrubs or an elaborate garden design.

I also provide a series of coaching programs though the seasons. This is a great way to work through a project with a clear vision and steady access to a professional. If you are interested, rates vary according to need.

This service is hugely popular and appointments are limited during the peak seasons so call me today at 512-733-7777 or email me at lisalapaso@gmail.com to get on the schedule to create the space of your dreams.

img_0158Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on Facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

Central Texas Gardener for Life

 

For those of you who know me and have followed my blog it is a no brainer that I would be excited to be featured on the local PBS station KLRU for my low water, minimal maintenance, mostly edible garden. I actually fueled my passion for gardening here in Central Texas by watching this show faithfully each Saturday back in the day to educate myself on some of the spectacular plants that thrive in Central Texas. As I became more water conscious I decided to specialize in low water , lush designs (not a fan of cactus), I realized that I had become addicted to the flora of Texas.

This past weekend CTG featured my previous home garden built by my husband Cavin Weber and my little old self on a real family budget one plant and rock at a time. The only help we had was with the patio, the rest of the space was entirely planted, composted, rocked and cared for by our 4 little hands and backs. Like many of you, we live on a budget so everything could not be done at once, but over the course of about 4 years we managed to create a sanctuary for ourselves and our family to escape from everyday life and to meld into nature.

We picked hundreds upon hundreds of pounds of food from this small North Austin yard and we shared thousands of beautiful memories, laughs and tears. This is the space where I worked though my youngest son’s fears and sensory issues related to Autism. This is where my eldest son came out to us. This is where my husband and I sometimes argued, made up and got back to work on our grand plan. Just like any other family, we had to work hard for what we have and this space gave us solace from the daily grind.

I want to thank my beautiful husband Cavin Weber for all of his support through the years as I could not be who I am today without his unwavering support and faith in me. I started this business as one girl with a shovel and a mission to “Save the Planet One Yard at a Time” and over the last 14 years, that is just what I did though I still have a lot of yards to go! So call me at 512-733-7777 or contact me at lisalapaso@gmail.com to set up your one hour landscape consultation and let’s get you started in the right direction!

 

 

Central Texas Gardener is a great resource for local plant selection and excellent organic gardening remedies. Watch it each Saturday on KLRU at noon and 4:00 or subscribe online to catch all the action!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

I’m on CTG!

 

Hi friends, I wanted to share with all my readers that I will be featured this weekend on PBS’, “Central Texas Gardener”! They are sharing my personal drought tolerant garden that I designed to incorporate food and color in the landscape along with fruiting trees for shade and fruiting vines.

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Aside from the Moon Flower, everything in this shot can be eaten. The Coral Bean has to be cooked not to be toxic, but the daylilies, rose petals, cactus and of course the nectarines in back all have edible properties. 

 

I have moved recently and had to leave this beautiful space behind but I was so honored to have this beautiful memorial to one of my greatest works of art.

A little piece of heaven.

I can still smell the flowers when I see this space. This is an irrigation free garden! Planting like the rain forest allows a symbiotic relationship that requires very little water.

I am also really excited to be on the show not only because it is a legend in Central Texas Gardening, but for me personally it was my original inspiration to do what I loved for a living. My husband and I used to tape this show every Saturday on our VCR (over 25 years ago) then watch it later in the day over a cup of coffee. We had a great apartment with a balcony that my honey built railing planters on and we had a beautiful collection of potted plants, roses, food and anything I could fit out there. It was our tiny sanctuary and I was inspired by watching CTG. Having come from IL, I was in a complete culture shock and knew nothing about the flora of Central Texas so each week I boned up on my CTG plant collection and when we moved to our first home I bought one of each!

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Creating exquisite Xeriscape and edible gardens that are organic, low maintenance and low water. There is no place for chemicals here.

As my design style changed, so did the garden and before we knew it, we had a master piece the neighbors were clamoring about. When we moved to our next space we took it up a notch and removed the lawn to make more room for flowers and ponds and created a wildlife sanctuary.

Finally in this house I went for more food. I figured if I was going to water at all I better get something to eat out of it, so we planted 3 pomegranates, two pears, a peach, a nectarine, a plum, grapes, lemons, blackberries, raspberries, kumquats and native edibles as well as peppers, tomatoes and herbs of all kinds. The result will be featured on PBS’s Central Texas Gardener this coming Saturday the 9th at noon and 4:00 on KLRU so set your DVR and enjoy…

For more show times and local listings check this out!

Central Texas Gardener

 

Lisa LaPaso

Humble gardener 🙂

Top 5 Landscape Design Tips

The first thing to understand when taking on a landscape project is that sometimes it really is harder than it looks. The good news is that there is a ton of great information to help you take on the challenge. It is important to take into consideration how unique each space is and needs to be treated as such. Be sure to educate yourself by hiring a professional for a landscape consultation, or by reviewing the hundreds of available YouTube “how to” videos or ocean of blogs for Central Texas Gardening. Here are some basic rules of design that will help set you in the right direction.

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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!

  1. Pick a lane

Yes, pick a lane indeed! We have all seen the crazy pot lady who has 14 different kinds/colors of pots in the front yard that don’t match the house or each other. Or how about the “I found 10 different kinds of stone for free on Craigslist” guy? Sometimes a bargain is only a bargain if the outcome just doesn’t matter to you. If the finished product matters and you really want to improve your property value, you have to pick a lane.  That begins with only choosing a maximum of 3 colors/textures.

So for example, if your house is brick and stone, use either the same brick and/or stone in your landscape and perhaps add some colored metal edge and river rock as accents. If your front door is red, carefully use red accents in your pots, bench, art, etc. as too many colors can begin to look riotous when used by an amature. Understand that accents should be used sparingly or it can look “chochki-ish”. Finally, have a plan when choosing your lane, think about the cohesiveness of the overall design and be sure it carries throughout the space.

2. Use the right materials for the job

Cheap products are not a bargain. Free limestone left over from a neighbor’s project is great if that is the material you planned to use. Pre-formed concrete pavers that can never be matched (and frankly are outdated) are the beginning of a disconnected project. Avoid plastic edging, (that should be against the law), and don’t skimp on the details. Buy the landscape fabric for mulch on a hillside or plastic liner for beneath the river rock. Don’t use crushed granite in areas with runoff (it will wash away completely), or pea gravel in a walkway that stays fluid like sand on a beach. Don’t be in a hurry to do the whole project if money is an issue, take your time and do it right the first time. Do consider a landscape design. This can be a great way to see the big picture and tackle bite sized pieces over the course of a few years.

There are many free software programs available online that are very user friendly. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, visit the nurseries and stone yards, and grab samples of the stone to compare in your space.

Remember, stone varies greatly from pallet to pallet if they are not cut at the same time, so if you find a match you love, buy all that you will need.

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3.  Choose the right plants for the job

This is a HUGE problem many people know well for having inherited the standard “builders” beds planted with whatever they had left on the back of the truck. In my neighborhood they made it easy for themselves and gave everyone the same 5 shrubs, liriope and 1.7 Oaks (which I yanked).  Or perhaps you have the “previous owner blob of plants”. They lost control of because they were planted too close together and now they are constant maintenance. If you have sick, unsightly or oversized plants in your space remove them and replace them with plants, trees or shrubs that belong there. Use native and adapted plants, and know their mature size so you can properly space them. Plant at the right time in the right light.

Shade plants go in shade and sun plants need 6 hours of sun, part sun typically means it can do well with less light but it may also mean morning sun only, so do your homework. There are tons of sources for plants here in Central Texas but the best ones have pictures, light requirements and mature size, height and width.

Check out my facebook page and YouTube channel for some great plants and trees for our area. Sounds simple, but of all of my consultations, and I have done HUNDREDS of them, the most common mistake is to choose the wrong plant and/or plant it in the wrong place so map out your beds and measure. Colors of plants should never be restricted, if you like them all use them all but be carefull with heavy colors like red that will take the eye to it. If you use red on one side of your yard, use it on the other. It does not have to be the same plant, but symmetry will help your yard feel more balanced.

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4. Timing is everything

Late Fall/Winter is the best time to plant trees, fruit and many roses. Spring and fall is the best time for plants and shrubs. Summer is the best time to plan, design, install hardscapes and install (empty) mulched beds for the fall. Never take on too many plants at one time. If you have a huge project it may be best to plant in stages so you can water adequately without breaking the bank or the watershed. I suggest you do the front yard one year and the back the next.

5. Improve the value of your space

Not just monetarily, but functionally as well. Over personalizing a space can really hurt the resale of a home not to mention be an eyesore. Just because you’re a UT fan does not mean you need an burnt orange patio. The potential future buyer could be an Aggie 😉 When I design a space I drive through a neighborhood to see what the norm is. If the norm is not impressive I take it up a notch, but building the taj mahal in a middle income neighborhood will never get a return on investment. Intelligently enhancing your landscape will not only improve your quality of life but also improves the quality of the neighborhood and the resale value of your home.

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Before, (above) an outdated landscape with overgrown shrubs and antiquated stone work.

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After, simple and elegant with updated stone work and deer resistant, appropriate sized plants. Over sized plants shrink the house and hide its assets.

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A final note, be sure improve your soil (or in my case dirt/clay) with lots and lots of compost and mulch. Expect to compost every spring and mulch every fall and NEVER use chemical fertilizers or weed control in your yard unless you have exhausted organic efforts first. Most importantly, whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, have fun. If you aren’t enjoying the process you are doing it wrong.

Now go get your garden on!

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on Facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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Deer Resistant Plants for Austin and Central Texas!

Deer are a big problem for those who live among them. While they may be cute and fun to watch, they can wreak havoc on a landscape. You need to know what plants to use to prevent them from turning your yard into a salad bar.

The good news is that there are many “deer resistant” plants, the bad news is that even deer resistant plants can be nibbled on if the deer are hungry enough. It is recommended that you do not feed deer to encourage them not to eat your yard as it can have the reverse effect, but starting with deer resistant plants can definitely help your overall success.

The best plants to use are those that are stinky, spikey or stabby. There is a pretty great list so let’s go over some of them.

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Texas Lantana, full sun. All lantana are deer resisant and my favorite varieties are Dallas Red, Confetti, Gold, Trailing purple and of course, Texas.

White Salvia is also a great choice for deer issues, low water low maintenance. (sun to part sun)

White Salvia is also a great choice for deer issues, low water low maintenance, sun to part sun. All Sages are good deer resistant plants.

Butterfly weed

Butterfly weed, full to part sun. Huge Butterfy Attraction.

Squid Agave, (full to part sun)

Squid Agave, evergreen, full to part sun.

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Any plant with spikey margins, spines or thorns will help deter deers but they will eat roses so be cautious of those.

 

Greggs Mist is an excellent choice because it almost glows in the dark at dusk.

Greggs Mist is an excellent choice because it almost glows in the dark at dusk. deciduous, full to part sun

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Moon Flower Datura, deciduous, full to part sun

Paprika Yarrow is an excellent plant for Central Texas, evergreen, colorful and medicinal.

Paprika Yarrow is an excellent plant for Central Texas, evergreen, colorful and medicinal. Full to part sun

Blueboonet

Mint is an excellent deer resistant ground cover, paddle cactus and bluebonnet, full to part sun

 

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Oregano, evergreen, full to part sun, edible, medicinal.

Many herbs such as basil, mint, rosemary and oregano are for the most part are deer resistant, though some can be exceptions.

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Mexican Bush Sage, semi evergreen, Full to part sun.

upright rosemary

Upright Rosemary, evergreen, full sun, edible

Trailing Rosemary

Trailing Rosemary, evergreen,full to part sun, edible

Fireman's Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full Sun

Fireman’s Cap / Helmet Coral Bean-Full to part sun, deciduous 10 x 10

Golden Showers Thryallis

Golden Showers Thryallis, semi-evergreen, full to part sun 4 x 3

Wonderful Pomegranate

Wonderful Pomegranate, full to part sun, edible fruit 8 x 8

Yellow Bells Esperanza-beautiful and drought tolerant.

Yellow Bells Esperanza-beautiful and drought tolerant. deciduous, full sun. 8 x 6

Pride of Barbados-super drought tolerant. Full sun.

Pride of Barbados-super drought tolerant. Deciduous, full sun. 8 x 6

iris4

Bearded Iris, Evergreen, full to part sun 2 x 2

Texas flowery Senna tree

Texas flowery Senna tree, semi evergreen, full to part sun 8 x 8

Spectacular Bloom!

Evergreen Wysteria, Spectacular Bloom! Full sun.

The Jerusalem Sage has a really fabulous flower form and a beautiful true sage color to the leaf.

The Jerusalem Sage has a really fabulous flower form and a beautiful true sage color to the leaf. Evergreen, full to part sun. 2.5 x 2.5

Incredibly fragrant, evergreen and beautiful.

Confederate Jasmine (or Star) vine is an Incredibly fragrant, evergreen and beautiful. Full to part sun. 15 x 15 spread

Desert Willow Tree

Desert Willow Tree, deciduous, full sun. 20 x 20

Lisa LaPaso-Pineaple Guava

Pineapple Guava, Lg. evergreen shrub, full to part sun. 8 x 6

lisalapaso_mexicanfeathergrass

Mexican Feather Grass, evergreen, full to part sun. 2 x 2

Pink Salvia is the most common, bright pink and a great hummingbird and butterfly attraction.

Pink Salvia is the most common of the salvia greggi but all varieties are deer resistant, a great hummingbird and butterfly attraction. Full sun. 3 x 3

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Echinacia, Purple Cone Flower. Deciduous, medicinal. 2 x 1

Firecracker fern

Firecracker fern, semi evergreen, full to part sun. 2 x 2

Mexican Honey Suckle

Mexican Honey Suckle, semi evergreen full to part sun. 3 x 3

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Flax Lily in the front and Cordiline (the purple leaves) in the back. both are full sun to shade and are awesome evergreen plants for contrast. 2 x 2

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knife Acacia, evergreen full to part sun. 6 x 5

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Twist Leaf Yucca, evergreen, full to part sun. 2.5 x 2.5

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Gulf Muhly full to part sun. Low water and little maintained. Trim back to about 1′ after the last frost to encourage growth.

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Pigeonberry, shade, deciduous. 2 x 3

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Foxtail Fern, evergreen, shade to sun. 2 x 2

Ferns of all kinds are great deer resistant plants. Be sure you are choosing the right fern for your light requirements. Kimberly Queen, Wavy Cloak and Asparagus ferns are great for light and river, holly and wood ferns are great for shade and low light.

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Paddle Cactus, Agave and Palms are all deer resistant, evergreen and very low water/ just be sure not to place them near cars or people like these guys did.

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Kidneywood Tree, Deciduous, sun to part shade. Super fragrant when it blooms. 10 x 10

 

These are just some of the plants I love to use in problem areas to deter deer from inviting thier friends to your buffet. With many colors, textures and light requirements you can find an array of plants to choose from. Plant strategically and send those pesky deer over to the neighbors house for lunch :/

Lisa LaPaso

Lisa’s Landscape & Design (“like” me on facebook!)

“Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”