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October 2020

Warmest Welcome: Gathering Around A Fire

by Rowan Marney / October 15, 2020

Adding a fire pit to your space provides an eye-catching focal point while increasing the value of your home.


Nothing says "welcome" like a fire pit. They provide both an optimal location for hosting guests, and a relaxing sanctuary for a romantic night in or a quiet evening with the family. The beautiful dancing flames draw you in, making the rest of the world disappear, even for just a moment or two. Fire is also a wonderful way to add a glow to your space without having to install harsh lighting. It adds a certain elegance while also proving a warm atmosphere to unwind in.Highly customizable from their size, to type, to function, there are endless possibilities when choosing the right fire pit to fit your lifestyle. There are portable pits for those who want to have the option of moving their gathering space around. Customizable built-in pits leave room to create a cohesive look and flow within the space. Fire pits come in all shapes and sizes that allow you to choose exactly what size will work for your needs and space. Wood-burning and natural gas fire pits both have their added benefits and harbor different uses, so thinking about the type of experience you want is important.Wood burning fire pits provide guests with a nostalgic and traditional experience. Humans have been making fires this way since the beginning of time so why shouldn't you? There's something about the smell and warmth of a wood burning fire that allows us to relax and reminisce. This type of fire pit needs to be built and placed safely to ensure the flames and sparks won't travel outside the pit. Raised pits and the use of gravel or rock around the area can provide a safer environment to light fires.Natural gas fire pits provide all the benefits of having a fire, without the smell or mess. There is no soot or ash to clean up, no smell left on your clothes, and they cast less emissions when burning. Natural gas pits work by running a gas line to a metal fire pit ring. This ring is placed on top of river rock to provide drainage, then topped with lava rock which absorbs some of the heat. Glass rock can then be added on top to finish the look and give your space that "wow" factor. Natural gas fires do not have sparks that fly out from the flames, making this option the safer of the two.Now that the bulk of the summer heat is over, the best place to enjoy the expansive, Texas starry-night sky is next to a fire. Give yourself, and guests, the ultimate space to enjoy a drink or toast marshmallows as we head into our cooler season!  

The Native Allure

by Erin Crespo / October 6, 2020

[caption id="attachment_17904" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image from Hyde Park Modern Retreat - Front Yard[/caption]

A well-planned landscape can foster community not only for ourselves, but for our landscape as well.


Natives. Most often looked to for their durability and natural stamina in our climate, but a delicious benefit that can be overlooked is the relationships they nurture with wildlife.[caption id="attachment_10844" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image from Oak Hill Country Estate[/caption]Curating a palette of native plants can invite some of our most beloved guests into our gardens. Tubular, nectar-rich flowers can attract hummingbirds flitting from snack to snack. Flat rocks and a wide arrangement of blooms lure in butterflies for rest and sustenance.[caption id="attachment_15618" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image from Hyde Park Adaptable Landscape[/caption]Tiny tree houses, feeders and soft flowing water appeal to many kinds of birds and Fall is a wonderful time to witness an array of them on their annual migration. These are the guests to our homes that fill us with surprise and wonder.[caption id="attachment_16152" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image from Barton Springs Cottage Community[/caption]The restorative quality of nature is a treat that can be integrated into your landscape. Our choices in design can draw or deter desired wildlife to make a seasonal refuge in our gardens or venture elsewhere.  With the right combination of plants and placement, you can become a steward to species that bring you peace and joy.[caption id="attachment_14585" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image from Boulden Creek Retreat[/caption]Another beautiful part of using native and adapted plants is it's an excellent way to stay connected to our environment. There is an aesthetic to our local plant palette that is unique to our area and it's creatures.
Everything has a purpose, everything plays into the whole. When crafting a space where plans and plants come together in a unique and complimentary goal we get to experience the seasons through their interactions within our landscape including blooms and wildlife.[caption id="attachment_14491" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Image from Zilker Native Chic[/caption] 

Wooten Backyard Living

by Dillon Tuttle / October 3, 2020

These homeowners were looking to up their hosting game by modernizing their property to create the ultimate entertainment space. A custom outdoor kitchen was added with a top of the line Delta Heat grill and a special nook for a Big Green Egg. Flagstone was added to create asymmetrical walkways throughout the yard that extended into a ring around the fire pit. Four rectangular trellises were added along the fence and shed, with an all metal pergola located at the back of the pool. This unique structure immediately draws the eye and adds a playful, artistic element to the rest of the space. The use of various sized rocks, gravel, and flagstone give a rough texture that creates a symbiosis with the metalwork. Silver Falls Dichondra creates a beautiful contrast to the rocks and can be found all over the property along with various other grasses, ferns, and agave. A large area of gravel rests on the side of the house, giving the client room to park a recreational vehicle. In front, a privacy fence was added along one of the property lines, leading into a drought resistant, eco-friendly section of yard. This fence, coupled with a giant boulder, doubles as a safety precaution in case drivers miss the turn and run into their lawn. This updated landscaping adds an effortless flow for guests to move from the front yard to the back while creating a very open, welcoming feel to all who enter.

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