Jan 3

In Austin, when someone says they’re worried about how the weather will affect their plants, that usually means  heat or drought. However, every winter there always seems to be that one cold snap that takes out half your garden bed without you realizing it, and you’re left feeling  completely confused. 

That’s why we’re here to help! Here are our tips for how to combat the cold, so you can continue to enjoy your landscape all year long. H

1. Stick with Styrofoam: The tips of the cactus are the most sensitive to frost damage, because that’s where they put out new growth. A styrofoam cup is heavy enough to where it won’t fly off, and the warm air trapped inside helps the cactus get through those chilly nights.

2. Take out a Towel: For some plants it’s best to cover them completely with a towel, burlap sack, or blanket. This traps in heat and also helps prevent frost crystals from forming on your plant. Remember to take off your sheet when it starts to warm up again, otherwise moisture can condense inside and freeze in the next frost.

3. Water them Well: I know it seems counterintuitive to water your plants right before a frost, but that’s actually one of the best things you can do for them. Water acts as a insulator, trapping in more heat than dry aerated soil. Plump, water filled leaves will be more protected against cold damage, which can quickly dry out a plant.

DON’T DO THIS WITH SUCCULENTS!
Succulents prefer dry soil, and their specialized leaves can burst in the cold if they have been given too much water.

4. Pause, don’t Panic: Even if your plant does experience some frost damage that doesn’t mean it’s dead. Sometimes, all it needs is a good pruning to get right back to its old self. Wait until spring  to see the difference between healthy stems and dead before you prune. Pruning too early will expose the plant to further frost damage, which could result in the entire plant’s eventual end.

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Dec 4

“Don’t throw away your Christmas tree; give it another life by recycling it! City of Austin curbside customers can recycle their trees by leaving them at the curb on their regular collection day. All other residents can drop trees off at Zilker Park.”

“The Zilker Drop Off times are on the weekends, from DEC 30-JAN 7. Check out the website for more details. 

“Trees collected will be turned into mulch and will be available for free on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Jan. 18, 9 a.m.”

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Dec 4

Every year around Christmas time millions of families huddle up in their minivans and hit the road looking for parking lots, home improvement stores, nurseries, and schools all with one thing on their minds – fir or spruce? Picking out and decorating evergreens has been a winter tradition for centuries. But, have you ever wondered what happens to trees once the season is done?

Nowadays, there are a lot more uses for cut trees than just firewood. In fact, fallen trees play an integral role in the ecosystem, providing shelter and protection for fish, birds, mammals and insects.

In Chesapeake Bay, old Christmas trees help bring Poplar island new life by providing shelter and nesting for local sea fowls. This is just one part of a larger effort by The Poplar Island Restoration Project to rebuild the once 2,000 acre island into a thriving wildlife habitat.

In just over 10 years the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has restored the beach from a meager 10 acres to over 1,140. However, because the land is so new, the marshes will need more time before shrubs and trees reach maturity and can support bird species on their own.

Christmas trees have proven to be a viable answer to this temporary problem. According to FWS biologist Peter McGowan, since  biologists have been on the scene documented bird species have increased from ten to over 170, with over 26 nesting species. Since 2005, unsuspecting families’ trees have become new homes for black ducks,
diamondback terrapins,  snowy egrets, and red-winged blackbirds.

The project is set to be completed in 2027 and will max out around 1700 acres, containing uplands, wetlands, and several acres of open water habitat.

 

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Dec 4

It’s Christmas time, and down here in Texas we do things slightly differently than in other states. That’s why, with a name like “Christmas cactus”, you knew I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to talk about this succulent sweetheart. 

1. Watering/Soil. Christmas cactus, or Schlumbergera bridgessii, needs moist soil to grow, but not soaking. Too much and the plant will rot, too little and it might not bloom. Well draining soil makes this much easier. Put sand or small stones at the base of the pot to help you get this effect. 

3. Sunlight: Bright, indirect light is best, like that which comes through a house window. Direct sunlight, especially in Texas, can burn the plant. 

4. Temperature/Humidity: Christmas cactus prefer the temperature to hover around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50-60 at night. They are tropical plants, so high humidity is a must. Fill their drip tray with pebbles and water, or mist often to keep them happy. 

5. Fertilizer: Fertilize monthly from late winter to late summer with 20-20-20. Don’t  fertilize in the winter as the plant will start to go dormant. 

6. Blooming: The Christmas cactus can be a finicky bloomer. They require at least 12 hours of total darkness for 6-8 weeks during the evenings to form buds. This includes indoor lighting! Cover your plant with a tarp if you are unsure and be sure to cut back on how much you water. Once buds form you can remove the tarp.  Be sure to start this process earlier in fall if you want a thanksgiving bloom; it can take up to 12 weeks for the buds to bloom once they’ve formed.  

Don’t take my word for it? 

Gardening Know How has several articles specifically on caring for Christmas cactus. 

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Nov 13

For this project we were given the pleasure of working with one of our repeat clientsand quite the project it was. Situated in one of Austin’s most premiere locations, before we got our hands on it the landscape for this house was left in significant disrepair. There were broken water features, limbs damaging the sides of the house, overgrown grass and weeds, and overgrown vines. The homeowners trusted us to come up with new ways to enhance and cleanup the space on this beautiful property, while also keeping it dog friendly and adding some new raised planters for a vegetable garden. Two living walls and a custom water feature made this property unique from others like it, and native plants were chosen to frame the house, rather than distract from it, giving it our Native Edge touch. After several months of install, plus one outdoor shower and kitchen later, the finished product turned out to be well worth the effort.

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Nov 6

All too often designers need to be reminded not to focus on form over function. However, in order to truly have complete functionality within a space one must think creatively otherwise it would be impossible to achieve.

When we were given this project back in February we knew it was going to be a challenge. Before, the entire space was virtually unusable for entertaining, and the homeowners would rarely go outside. The stairs needed support beams to be sturdy, but other than that no thought was put into the function of the space under the stairs, especially since it was in such a small yard.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After we got our hands on it, however, that all changed. By simply using techniques and design elements we were already comfortable with, we were able to utilize every inch of space. The stairwell’s height actually turned out to be one of its greatest assets when we installed this vertical herb garden along the side. Stairs are a perfect place to put a garden like this, because if you put a planter box at every other stair you’ll know they’ll be evenly spaced and look great! Because there was equipment under the stairs, we also created a gate out of the same material used for the vertical garden creating a seamless finish, as well as adding mesh along the side to allow vines to grow up. 

Not mentioned above, we also created this fire pit/planter box combo allowing for even more utility despite our lack of dimensions. We finished the entire design with our signature cement pavers and gorgeous yellow pots and now this backyard is fit for any home!

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Nov 6

With the weather finally starting to cool down and the holiday spirit starting to ramp up, you’re probably planning on preparing a lot of holiday meals this coming winter and fall. And what would a holiday meal be, of course, without some fresh herbs! Herbs not only taste good, they look good, and can be a beautiful part of any landscape. Especially, when it comes to hedging.That’s because as you cut off leaves for your recipes, you can also trim the plant into the shape you want. Double duty!

 

 

 

 

 

Trim the tops off your plants to create a more traditional look, or trim your rosemary into a small tree or topiary just in time for the winter holidays!

One of my favorite herbs to do this with, which is dramatic and easy to care for, is rosemary. Rosemary does well in the Texas sun and is drought resistant. You just need to make sure it has well drained soil, and you’re good to go. Trim it often and your rosemary with continue to bring you fresh new growth every year.

When looking to buy your own plant be sure to get a variety of rosemary that is upright and not creeping. Creeping rosemary stays low to the ground and will spill over edges if planted in a container. Upright rosemary grows up, and is used to create hedges. Upright rosemary has a higher oil content, which means it tastes better, and it is also easier to harvest!

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Oct 31

Our fun “Shower Butler” sculpture has found a perfect new home- just outside the master shower! Can’t wait to show some more fun shots from this recent install!

47 Instagram Likes

Our fun “Shower Butler” sculpture has found a perfect new home- just outside the master shower! Can’t wait to show some more fun shots from this recent install! #fun #funny #landscape #landscapedesign #landscapearchitecture #landscapeconstruction #metal #butler #atx #atxlife #atxlivin #nativeedge #nativeedgelandscape

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Oct 20

A little before and after sample on this beautiful Friday! What a transformation with this now wildlife habitat! Can’t wait to show you more!

68 Instagram Likes

A little before and after sample on this beautiful Friday! What a transformation with this now wildlife habitat! Can’t wait to show you more! #beforeandafter #before #after #atx #landscapedesign #landscape #landscapeconstruction #atxlife #wildlife #nature #native #nativeedge #nativeedgelandscape

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Oct 18
Rodney Stoutenger

Wrapping up

By Rodney Stoutenger | Comments 5

More photos to come soon! This amazing garden home transformation went from dead and useless space, to an area full interest, texture and ample space to entertain!

102 Instagram Likes

More photos to come soon! This amazing garden home transformation went from dead and useless space, to an area full interest, texture and ample space to entertain! #garden #home #modern #landscape #concrete #cedar #pottery #potd #landscapedesign #landscapersdream #landscapearchitecture #landscapeconstruction #atx #atxlife #native #nativeedge #nativeedgelandscape

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