Dec 29

Pergolas are a durable and low maintenance option to help define your outdoor space.


Pergolas are an extremely popular feature for outdoor spaces. Not only do they add value to your home, they are affordable, versatile, and easy to install in any space. Pergolas can be built out of many different types of material such as wood, metal, and plastic. They also can be fitted with a canopy, retractible or not, to add a bit more shade. Pergolas are structured to be durable and low maintenance so that they’re ready to be used, no matter the weather.

Nicer to look at than other shade options such as awnings, pergolas can create a cohesive look with the home while adding a sculptural and architectural aspect to the space. They provide extra privacy as well as shade and temperature control, making relaxing under one during the heat of the summer a breeze. Pergolas can be a simple structure, or contain added features like a canopy or moveable beams to create added shade. Pergolas can be simple in design or complex with added features, making them completely adaptable to the space they fill.

Not only are pergolas nice for homeowners, they are great for plants that couldn’t normally survive direct sunlight. Pergolas do not completely disrupt sunlight or air flow, creating optimal growing conditions for plants. They also provide a great opportunity to add vining plants to the base of the structural beams, giving them plenty of room to grow vertically.

If your backyard has been lacking that certain something, try looking into having a pergola installed! These highly customizable structures help define outdoor spaces while adding a bit of extra shade. Pergolas can be built to fit just about any space, making them a top choice for a landscaping structure.

 

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Dec 1

Opting for an Xeriscape allows you to be less dependent on irrigation without sacrificing aesthetic-appeal.


Xeriscape is defined as a style of landscape design requiring little or no irrigation or maintenance. This doesn’t mean you have to skip out on a lawn! With careful planning and design, incorporating xeriscape with a lawn area can provide you with the best of both worlds. Living in Texas, xeriscaped designs thrive under the climate. Not only does it save water, but it allows your space to look great year round no matter if there’s 100 degree sunshine or 32 degree overcast.

Native plants aren’t always used for xeriscaping, but because Texas is such a warm environment, they are the go-to for this type of work. Native plants are already adapted to our environment, making them the optimal choice for survival. Many native Texas plants are drought tolerant, making them perfect for this type of landscaping. Agave, Cacti, Yucca, & Hesperaloe are just some of the examples that we love to work with! These plants are green year round and make great focal points. Evergreen perennials are another option if native plants aren’t your style. Hymenoxys, Damianita, and Salvia Greggii are a few examples of perennials that keep their green foliage throughout the year while also providing colorful, seasonal blooms!

Xeriscape can look both rugged and neat depending on design. Incorporating asymmetrical shapes and edges can help tidy up a xeriscaped lawn. Here at Native Edge, we space plants out, to give them room to grow. Sporadic planting allows for the incorporation of odd-shaped edges and tall planters to add dimension to the landscaping.

The use of a top coat is necessary to keep the landscaping looking sharp. Gravels provide excellent drainage which xeriscape plants typically need. It can also be used to blend planted areas with paths and seating or gathering areas, giving a complete and cohesive look to the space. If you’re tired of spending time and money on watering and upkeep of your current landscaping, xeriscape may just be right for you!

 

 

 

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Nov 21

After these homeowners moved from a modern house in east Austin out to the hill country of Georgetown, they wanted to modernize their landscaping without clashing with their new home. The pre-existing, overgrown beds provided a great shape, so the designer decided to reenforce them with metal edging, and fill them with drought tolerant perennials and structural plants that look great year round. The old plantings had become untamed, shrouding the home and leaving little room to breathe. The new xeriscape was designed to be minimal and sporadic, leaving plenty of room for the new plants to grow into the space. Pea gravel and river rock where the chosen top dressings instead of traditional mulch to keep with the modern theme of the landscaping. Outdoor lighting was added to create depth throughout the property. Not only were they added against the home, they were added to every tree in the front yard, lighting the entire area with a warm, welcoming glow.

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Nov 3
Oct 15

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!

 

 

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Oct 6

Image from Hyde Park Modern Retreat – Front Yard

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.

Image from Oak Hill Country Estate

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.

Image from Hyde Park Adaptable Landscape

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.

Image from Barton Springs Cottage Community

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.

Image from Boulden Creek Retreat

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.

Image from Zilker Native Chic

 

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Oct 3

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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Sep 3

See your landscape at any time with the addition of landscape lighting


Lighting can quickly create a sense of drama in your design. Good landscape lighting can highlight the existing design and show off plant features from new angles. Quantity, spacing and placement of your light fixtures have an effect on the mood and function within a space. You have the option to create a sense of wonder, security, and modern practicality with the installation of lights in your landscape.

A good rule to follow when exploring where to place lighting is fixtures should not be noticeable during the day, or distract from the feel of the space. There are the traditional options of white or warm light, and there are also colored choices like pinks, blues, and purples for backyard spaces that can add an eccentric touch to the color palette.

Plants that have an architectural feel like yuccas, agaves, and cacti, or any that you simply love the look of, can become a new focal point with the assistance of lighting. Smaller and softer lights scattered around the landscape can also provide privacy and security; instead of a large single porch light focusing on one area, the dispersed light allows you to see your environment, enjoy the design, and not be centered in an outdoor spotlight.

Available light plays heavily into the perception of a space and will influence the ways you interact with your outdoor decor. Additionally, incorporating lighting is a sensible way to install safety into your outdoor areas. If your design has walkways, corners, or a meandering path, using light as landmarks is a practical choice that will ensure you and your guests can see their way in low light or at nighttime.


Ready to illuminate your space? Contact us to get started!

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Sep 3

Making space for flowers that bloom at different times of year can enhance the passing of time.


Color is emotional. Whether it’s sprinkled around an open space or encouraged into a full color explosion, color has an impact on our mood and influences our perception of a space.


When thinking about your landscape, consider the areas you would like to call attention to and in what way. Yellows and oranges add a bright burst of color and instantly grab attention while pinks and whites can inspire a soft romance or feeling of lightness.

Color choice can be guided by multiple reasons. Selections can be made based on tones that will compliment the exterior of a home or personal preference. If you have a favorite color or combination, that’s always a solid place to start. Another classic jumping off point is to consider a feeling you want to inspire, especially if you are creating your own private retreat.

The shape and texture of foliage in a design can be highlighted by blending colors. Deeper tones like the images above, can add an intriguing contrast against greens and integrate a more muted richness; the distinction punctuating an otherwise monochromatic bed.

Once your plants are selected, they can be placed singularly for a visual focal point or arranged and dispersed across different beds to blend a larger space into a more cohesive color palette. Play with seasonal changes and make your landscape a living self-expression! Happy planting everyone!


Ready to add color to your landscape? Contact us to get started!

For more images of the projects shown above, check out the full portfolio entries:

Brentwood Family Escape

Brentwood Burle Marx Tribute

Brentwood Plunge Courtyard

Oak Hill Country Estate

Zilker Native Chic

 

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Aug 4

Having a place to sit is a pivotal part of creating an outdoor living space.
It is an unspoken invitation that it’s okay to relax where you are, to be there, to stay. 


Imagine having a living room with no seats or a kitchen table with no chairs. You would have questions right? Do I sit…on the floor? Do I sit…somewhere else?

Chairs and benches are welcoming. Not only for guests, but also for yourself – to be in an area and be comfortable for longer periods of time.

Seating ushers in choices. Morning coffee, evening tea, watching the sunrise or the sunset, an impromptu picnic, a conversation, an outdoor writing space, or another quiet cove to just be. All of these opportunities open up with the arrangement or installation of a seating area.

The nice thing about adding seating to a space is it is completely customizable. If you’re working with corners or slimmer pathways, consider building seating into the plan. Sometimes this can be the most efficient use of your space with the added bonus of a custom build.

A good tip for exploring your options while planning is to just stand out there. What do you want to do? What is missing? Find the place where you instinctively hover and mark that spot in your mind. If you find yourself standing in the same location over and over again, you’ve probably already found your seating area!

Once you’ve found your “spot” now comes the fun bit. Do you wish there was a bench, a bed, a swing, a bistro table? Consider the sun, the shade, and your natural instincts. Do you want to lie back and stretch out or prepare a courtyard to host your friends and family? Don’t shy away from multiple options, versatility is welcome!

 

Design intersects with purpose, planning, and personal aesthetic. The space you already have is a canvas where you can paint the picture you’ve been holding in your mind.

Find your outdoor living space, and take a seat!


Can you see the outline of your future seating area? Let us know!

For more images and seating options check out these portfolio projects:

Crestview Modern Craftsman

Barton Hills Modern Xeriscape

Brentwood Family Escape

Modern Family Entertaining Space

Dreamy Crestview Duplex

Native Modern Mueller

Zilker Native Chic

 

 

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