- In General
Remember when you were a child? How our endless imaginations took us to new worlds, on daring adventures and shaped the way we see ourselves? Turns out, that’s still true. Let’s explore the ways that now as adults we can share and spread our love of play with our children, our loved ones – even ourselves – and why we should.
We all need playtime, it allows us to express ourselves, explore our dreams and engage our imaginations. As adults, it’s a part of our relaxation routine: stress management through self care.
For children however, play is as close to a necessity as food, water, and shelter. Our children learn when they play – they dream, they problem-solve, they discover who they are.
The free movement of an open space paired with communication lets kids practice collaboration, creativity, courage. Whether they are acting out their favorite folk tale or recreating daily activities, play allows children to model behaviors they gather from us. We get to witness them decide what groceries and teas are “absolutely necessary” for hosting a stuffed-animal dinner or chuckle quietly as they let loose their wildest fantasies in a safe and controlled environment: from swashbuckling pirates fencing on turf and rescuing mermaids from fishing nets – to brave astronauts hopscotching across stones on a distant planet discovering alien life.
Playtime helps our young ones learn to be decisive, make choices – chase after goals of their own making. Just like story time before bed is a surefire way to get wide-eyed adoration, playtime teaches them to begin writing stories of their own. We all need play. It teaches us to be social, to self-regulate, to be flexible in our changing world. It is part of what makes us human.
So as caregivers, parents, homeowners with nieces and nephews and friends with kids that look around our houses with mischief and curiosity – what can we do to embrace this powerful activity? Our answer is simple, make space for it. From a dedicated playscape, to a swing set, to a game area, to an open patch of turf you can run around on – make room for playtime. It is simply too important to pass up.
References: The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical report, The Power of Play: A Pediatric Role in Enhancing Development in Young Children, Pediatrics September 2018, 142 (3) e20182058; DOI: https://doi.org/10.1542/peds.2018-2058Read more
Opinion: grass or ground cover?
Creating a garden or an outdoor space is a bit like making a team, everyone serves a purpose, everyone has their specialty, and everyone works together to better the whole.
When considering dressing up an area, the first question you want to ask is what is the purpose of this space? Is it a garden, a play space, a dog run? How much heat, sunlight and foot traffic will it need to withstand? How much water does it need? All of these elements play into the final design and help you as a homeowner keep your teammates happy. Turf grass, the tried and true backbone of a lawn is a pivotal part of planning a design. Ground cover, however is a specialized player that can perform in unique conditions; providing an additional flare to amplify the feeling, color, texture, or even the scent of a space.
Take here for example, our designer Jill used Berkeley Sedge – a shade tolerant Texas native with a strong root structure and low watering needs to fill in a level of this terraced lawn. Draped in shade from a hearty oak tree, the visual texture and color of the sedge adds a detail of transition between the layers. The homeowner will get relief from heavier watering responsibilities and the added benefit of getting to see these delightful grasses fluff up into graceful mounds around the base of their beloved Live Oak. Not only did the ground cover meet the needs of the homeowner and the environment, but it also highlighted the design by amplifying an existing focal point. Ground cover – in addition to grass.
In contrast, here Jill chose Woolly Stemodia – a heat and drought tolerant perennial that creeps across this borderless xeriscape. This Texas Native’s velvet foliage spreads rapidly, needs very little water and creates a suede ‘green-carpet effect’. These homeowners get to enjoy a soft expanding ground cover, the weed suppression it provides and the seasonal surprise of little lilac blooms popping up for pollinators in the late spring. Ground cover – instead of grass.
As we move into Spring and our plans begin to expand further outdoors, have another look at all your hard workers creating the perfect picnic spot. Have fun with transitions and borders and designated spaces for soccer dribble practice. Grass or ground cover? Either. Or both. Whatever you decide, whether you go with grass, ground cover, or all things between – enjoy your lawn and all its counterparts. Happy Springtime everyone, thanks for reading!Read more
Hello Everyone! We are so excited to share that Native Edge Landscape won Best of Houzz 2020 for Design!
Thank you to all our customers for inviting us into your homes and letting us share in your story. You are all so unique and our designers love working with each of you to create a space that expresses who you are and matches your expanding lifestyles. We continue to look forward to new design adventures and hanging out in your new yards!
We could not have done this without you!Read more
Designing a landscape is more than just being outside, it’s creating a view and a feeling that carries into your house. As the season brings us warmer weather, invite us to come join you and create a space that can transform your home for years to come.
Are you ready to extend your home? Contact us to begin creating a new room that brings the inside – out!Read more
I truly love the art of gift giving, whether it’s a celebration, a random day of the week, a passing thought turned into a trinket – or an even a bashful apology wrapped in satin ribbon. Gifts spread joy. When it comes to floral surprises (because let’s be honest – even when customary, flowers are always a surprise) here are a couple of my favorite tips:
Table arrangements are perfect for a family home, a filled vase can spark curiosity, imagination and creativity. The perfect antidote to a chilly winter, a floral arrangement can spread seasonal cheer. Allow yourself creative freedom, loose expressive designs are just as fun as organized ones. To your left, we have soft cream-colored hydrangeas, which mean “perseverance, understanding, and interconnectedness”, a wonderful theme for a martini-mixer we were invited to garnish with plant decor. Remind others of joy with festive exuberance!
Include a ‘Meaning Card’. Not everyone speaks the language of flowers, and certainly no one knows them all. Here for example, to your right we see Anthuriums – which mean “hardworking, hospitality, ‘think of me’, and welcome”. A wonderful display for our event with Equality Texas. A quick note about what the flower is, and the meaning you’ve placed behind it for that particular occasion, turns a temporary gift into an immediate, intimate experience. You thought of them, show them how.
In celebration of love, friendship and Valentine’s Day, what does a bouquet mean to you?
References: Potter, Anna. The Flower Fix. (White Lion 2019); Darcey, Cheralyn. Flowerpaedia. (Rockpool 2017)Read more
These modest homeowners were looking for drainage solutions, low maintenance plantings, and an entertainment space they could enjoy outside. Mowing the grass had been a pain in the past, so with this design we decided to remove it entirely. Instead, more native grasses were utilized to take in water and reduce erosion. A new fence modernized and updated the space and allowed the interior of the backyard to be leveled providing more opportunities for design elements like a floating bench and custom built fire pit.
With rapid development continuing to take effect in Austin, it’s not often we get to work with a gem like this four-unit complex built in the 1930’s. That’s back when the Mueller Airport just opened their doors, Austin mainly composed of downtown, East Austin, and the UT campus, and Hyde Park was considered the suburbs.
For our client it was important to create a garden that included areas for gathering and entertaining in a style that harmonized with the existing architecture. He not only wanted to create a cohesive scheme for the entire complex, but create a space for him and his residents to enjoy, as he also lived on the property.
The design took on a Mediterranean feel with xeric plantings like rosemary and olive, decomposed granite, and numerous terra cotta pots. A new outdoor kitchen with deck and storage solutions, as well as a water feature that tied in with the existing rock work, helped create that tuscan-feel with added style and warmth. We finished it off with a compact zoysia lawn, so passersby can sit and relax under a lacebark elm.