Lisa's Landscape & Design

Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time

Texas Betony

Texas Betony is a super drought tolerant plant that is suitable for xeriscape gardens of all kinds. Central Texas has a lot of challenges with rock and hard clay and this beauty is a winner from a specimen, planted in mass, in pots on the patio or as a whimsical addition to a cottage style garden. It also makes a great cascading plant on stone walls, rock gardens and terracing. 

Interesting arrow shaped, bright green leaves with the typical square stems common to the members of the mint family. It’s herbaceous nature means that it is deer resistant and being a native, it is disease resistant as well.

Showy 8” coral spikes of color on and off throughout the spring and summer months. Generally 2 ‘ x 2 ‘ish, evergreen in mild winters and an attraction to hummingbirds. 

If you would like help choosing low water, low maintenance plants and trees for your hardiness zone 8a/b landscape, contact me at lisalapaso@gmail.com for an online Educational Consultation or Landscape Design. 

 

Lisa LaPaso

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time “

Walker’s Low Catmint

I found this little jewel about 15 years ago by accident and I was very happy to see it become quite popular since then. Over the last 20 years I have designed and installed hundreds of homes using hundreds of plants and trees from sun to shade. This year is a whole new level of landscape design in Austin Texas. Why? Because now we realize that to live in Austin means the plants and trees we choose need to survive from 10° to 110° and sometimes, within days.

Walker’s Low Catmint, sun to part sun, evergreen, 2 x 2

My mission from the conception of this blog is bring awareness to the plants and trees that are not only native and adapted, but low water and low maintenance. We have other things to do and our gardens should be working for us more than we work for it, or we’re doing it wrong. 

Silver green, leathery foliage is accompanied by tall spikes of fragrant, lavender blue flowers throughout the spring and summer months. It’s Evergreen beauty transitions through the winter and quickly produce blooms again in early spring.

Deer and bunny resistant and a great value towards textural interest and effortless beauty. The tall flower spikes are lovely in floral arrangements and are a huge attraction to native bees and butterflies. Excellent for xeriscape beds and pots for dramatic affect. 

Landscape design with texture and color

Walker’s Low Catmint with red Drift Roses and white Yarrow.

This plant is beautiful as a specimen, planted in mass or cascading from a wall or terracing. It is a low mounding perennial that reaches to around 2 ‘w x 1.5 ‘ish, when mature. Very little water once established and little to no maintenance to maintain its beautiful look. It can be cut back very easily if used near pathways and it’s minty scent is a mosquito deterrent, to boot. Dutifully serving hardiness zones 4-9, it’s worth making some room next season for this lavender lovely.

 

Lisa LaPaso

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time’

White Mistflower, “Shrubby White Boneset”

While many have seen its relative “Blue Mistflower”, this fragrant white variety will be a new favorite too. I use White Mistflower, or Shrubby White Boneset, from full sun to mostly shade, and this evergreen beauty is well worth the real estate in a low water landscape.

E3CC08FA-50A8-4B74-8551-79838C753CF8

A native the Central Texas and the Edwards Plateau, this Incredibly fragrant, semi evergreen shrub is beautiful as a specimen or planted in mass.

C6A68A3F-7A26-4FB8-B663-5BB4C0738204

One of our important pollinator plants, it has a funky Dr. Seuss looking flower that stands out in the landscape. It is also really effective planted in mass not just for its look but for the scent that permeates the space. Considered semi-evergreen for its quick comeback after a freeze, and even after the harshest winter she bounces right back.

C86B35E6-8666-48C4-8C66-95A0BDA4B421

White Mistflower works great in pots as well alone or planted in groupings of color.

87758396-3639-400D-9350-6CAD34CBC01E

White Mistflower, fragrant, sun to shade, low water, deer resistant.

This woody perennial plant is super low water once established, flowering off and on through the summer with fuzzy white bouquets and a beautiful texture in shaded spaces for affect. Next season, find a new spot to give this little gem a try. Give it at least 3’ in Central Texas and some can reach to 6’ tall over time.

Native to Texas and a great choice for all of hardiness zone 8-10, excellent for a moonlight garden or pollination bed and much like it’s blue counterpart, is a showy butterfly and bee attraction. 

Happy Gardening!

Lisa LaPaso

”Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”

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.

573F4321-4A7E-46CE-A504-252306143587

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


Now that the ice storm has wiped out some of your 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 and oversized plants to see the bigger picture.

Find an educated consultant like myself to give you direction, or do your home work by educating yourself on the light, water and maintenance needs, as well as 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 Organic gardening for your area including proper planting techniques and organic soil amendments. Then choose your design around your needs. Only 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 just email me and I can help.

Rather you choose 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. Here is another area that requires some homework. Go online and watch several sources on how to create a dry river bed, how to build a patio, 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, so when you’re bidding 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 and 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 Lisalapaso@gmail.com. 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”

Online Landscape Consultation, Austin and Zone 8

So let’s just get right to it, 2020 has been a real eye-opener when it comes to how we do business and where our priorities lie. Being the mother of a young adult son with autism, a Landscape Designer and Educational Consultant for the last 20 years in Central Texas, I am well versed in adjustments; but I am more determined than ever to accomplish both at the highest levels. Right now that means I provide services online, and not only does this allow me to safely continue to do what I love, but for you that means you still get a high quality service at a great price.

A46CC1A8-F801-40E9-AB52-AF2BA79E8B5CI charge $225 for one hour of online service, this includes a 30 minute zoom call and a detailed write up including concept sketches without plant detail. (I now also provide in person consultation for difficult topography or large projects for $295 for a 30 minute “walk and talk“, followed by the same detail as the online version.) With either service, this is an opportunity for the client to ask questions of a professional landscape contractor/designer who has over 20 years experience in the Central Texas Landscape. With my online service you still have my undivided attention through Zoom for 30 minutes and the rest of that hour is spent on a detailed write up of our discussion. With either service, you get my professional design and material recommendations, an edited plant list for your space and preference, (to use throughout the years), and a rough sketch to implement or share with a contractor.

You will also receive my detailed direction on all things Gardening from how to properly plant a tree or shrub, to when to plant, how to water, organic protocols and much more. You will also receive a brief write up on design suggestions and a customized plant list edited to your light conditions.

Finally, I send you photo examples of solutions and a basic idea of how to approach them on the budget you have to work with. I also provide examples that speak to your style and the style of your home.

Here are the best candidates for 0nline Consultation:

* Anyone who likes to do it yourself. DIY!

* Anyone who has a few weird spots in the yard they can’t seem to get to grow.

* Anyone with lawn, erosion, or drainage issues who can capture these events on video for discussion.

* Anyone with a predominantly flat yard and a clean pallet, looking for some Design direction. 

* Anyone who would like to learn more about their existing plants, trees, lawn, watering and general maintenance.

* Anyone who has recently purchased a home and doesn’t know what’s actually living in their yard, or what they want to keep or remove.

* Anyone selling their home who would like to know how to give it a quick makeready facelift, for a quick sale.

* Anyone who would like to bid out the work to be done, but would like a designer’s opinion on which materials to use.

* Anyone who’s feeling discouraged in their Central Texas landscape and would like to get excited about it again.

img_20150521_133727-1

Details of the Online Consultation service:

* 30 minute Zoom call (including provided email photo and video supported documentation)

* A detailed write up of our conversation including photo examples and or appropriate websites for accurate and detailed information.

* A custom plant list based on your specific light needs. All of the recommended plants are low water, low maintenance, deer resistance upon request, and perennial native or adapted plants.

* A detailed write up of general information and instructions on planting such as technique, timing, watering, soil preparation and lawn care. This will also include my organic protocols and local nurseries that carry the plants I recommend.

* A rough sketch of the concept we discussed as shown above.

* My recently added “Design by the Foot” diagram that shows you how to allocate plants properly.

* Photos of all of my recommended materials such as stone color and shape, River rock and patio stone, metal edging and water features, as well as seating, fire pits, and so much more.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Online Consultations are provided Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 11 PM. I accept payments through Venmo or Zelle. You can contact me at Lisalapaso@gmail.com for an online or in person appointment to get started on the space you need at the price you can’t beat. I have worked and taught for 25 years in the Central Texas Landscape and all I do is Xeriscape and environmentally friendly gardens while “Saving the Planet One Yard at a Time”.

Lisa LaPaso

%d bloggers like this: