Apr 9

Continued Closure Statement – Updated April 2020

:: This is an update of the previous statement. Please see NativeEdgeLandscape.com/Shelter for the most current Native Edge status ::

Good Afternoon,

First, we hope that you and your family have been doing well during this tough time.

As we know well at this point, the City of Austin and Travis County have been placed under a Shelter in Place Order since Wednesday March 25, 2020. 

At Native Edge, we have taken this very seriously, and although we had been using extreme precautions before the Order, we have continued these precautions by working from home, limiting crew interactions, having only one crew member in the vehicle at all times, and postponed all of our consults and any customer meetings.

This has allowed our employees and their families to stay as safe as possible during this tough time.

As of today, Thursday April 9th, 2020, the City of Austin has not announced continuing or extending the Shelter in Place Order past Monday April 13th, 2020. However, at Native Edge, we feel it is necessary to continue to practice social distancing and keeping our employees and their families as safe as possible for as long as we can.

Native Edge will continue to practice the directions of the Shelter in Place Order through Thursday April 30th, 2020. Our office staff will continue to work from home, crew interactions will continue to be limited, max crew members per vehicle, etc.

During this time, Native Edge will begin to phase back into conducting certain aspects of business we previously put on hold.


Previously, Native Edge postponed all onsite meetings, consultations, presentations and site visits.

As of Tuesday April 14th, 2020, Native Edge will resume all meetings with strict stipulations. The stipulations will require all customer face to face consultations and site visits be conducted in such a way that we keep our employees and their families safe, as well as you and yours. We ask that there be no physical contact, such as hand shake greetings, passing of business cards or hard copy documents. We ask that you wear a face mask or shield, or bandana of sorts, as well as gloves when necessary, and our staff will be doing the same.

We imagine that our consultations will happen in a fashion of greeting at the entry way per usual, with a safe 6ft distance of course, and our team be allowed to roam the property as needed. We ask that for your safety and ours, you comfortably remain near your door during the duration of the meeting – or wherever else may be practical for safe distancing. This will allow our staff to get the photos and measurements they need in order to create a successful landscape for you!

Design Presentations will be allowed at this time. However, we will ask that you follow the CDC’s recommendations of face coverings or masks, as well as gloves through the duration of this meeting. Though this does not lend itself to the standard warm and welcoming presentations we have become accustomed to, we strongly feel it is better to be safe at this time. These stipulations will also include no beverages being offered, and limited hard copy documents being brought to the presentation. We will be prepared to email all small detailed documents prior to the presentation, and only bring with us the physical copy of the design. Though design samples may be brought with us, we ask that there is limited physical contact with each sample.

After each presentation, our design team will be sanitizing all materials and samples brought to the presentation to do our part in ensuring the safety of our community.

During this time, we will continue to offer our virtual presentations as previously announced.


Our installation and maintenance teams will continue to practice the cleanliness and distancing we have put in place for the last two weeks. If any interaction onsite is absolutely necessary, we ask that we maintain safe social distancing, as well as wear face masks or covers as noted before. We will unfortunately continue to have a few extra vehicles onsite during the duration of April as we will also continue to have a minimum of team members per vehicle for safety and precaution. 

If you are in the process of scheduling an installation or new maintenance contract with us currently, we encourage you to continue communication via email and all new schedule emails will be sent out upon our return to business as usual.

This continued communication will allow us to continue securing dates on our calendar with no additional delays for the year of 2020.

As we have previously stated, if you would like to move any meetings, installations or pause your maintenance services for additional time we are happy to plan accordingly as best we can to accommodate everyone in a timely fashion.

At this time, Native Edge will not be offering any refunds as we will continue business as normal as soon as we are fully back running. Please advise us of any medical emergencies for you or your family and our owner will reach out directly.

Our team will begin making contact the week of April 13th to resume any postponed previously scheduled meetings. We ask for your patience during this time as our team becomes adjusted and makes the shift to create a safe meeting space.

We encourage you as a valued customer to reach out to us and let us know if you have any questions or concerns as we will be happy to address them.

We all look forward to a safe return to our lives as soon as possible, and hope to have your support in upholding these safe practices until then!

Please stay tuned to our newsletter, social media and direct correspondence for updates regarding a firm reopening date! You can also check out our website for additional details at: NativeEdgeLandscape.com/shelter

Thank you for your dedication and support during this time!

Rodney Stoutenger

Owner

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Apr 6

Standing water can create a breeding ground for pests, and a lack of solutions for draining excess water can encourage gullies and erosion. So how do we create a remedy for both?

Enter: The Rain Garden

Living in the Greater Austin area can provide homeowners and landscape professionals with interesting challenges concerning large amounts of both sun and water. On one hand, our lovely city is drenched in heat and light for months on end; then twice a year almost like endcaps, we get waves of rainstorms that give us our much needed water – just all at once. These rhythms make drainage and grading even more pivotal in your landscape. 

Usually designed with a berm, an inlet and an outlet, the rain garden can take advantage of rain water in your yard and simultaneously prepare ways to disperse any overflow. A wonderful way to serve visual and practical purposes, rain gardens help drain water from places it naturally gathers and provides an unconventional focal point for viewers. On the design side, rain gardens grant additional opportunities within the layout of a space and ways to create even more diversity in the planting plan. For example, our designer Dillon mentions Little Bluestem: native to Texas and beyond, is often under utilized in our area despite it’s attributes. A great feature of Little Bluestem is that it changes color throughout the seasons and has upright stalks that remain visually interesting after many other grasses have begun to die back. Being seasonally versatile, Little Bluestem has drought and flood tolerance, so it can handle a rain garden placement in full or partial sun.


Another drainage solution is the dry creek. For instance, the homeowners at the top were backed up against the greenbelt and as geologists wanted a functional design that mirrored the natural processes of this slope with native plants and rockscape. This design not only gave the homeowners something interesting to look at, but also mitigated issues with runoff and washout. A smaller example is the image above, where the main concern was placing a water route from the storm gutters out of the recreational common areas. So you see, there are plenty of options that can be customized to each space and your needs as the homeowner.

If you have drainage issues, reach out! We would love to turn a problem into a project!

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Apr 6

This month I had the pleasure of chatting with one of our designers Dillon Tuttle about his take on using ornamental grasses in a native planting design. I would like to share a summarized version of some of what we discussed.


In design, native ornamental grasses are one of the most versatile plantings in a landscape. They vary in structure making them primed for visual and spatial impact. While ornamental grasses may be comparatively understated next to showier floral displays, they have an effortless quality to them – long elegant blades swishing with every gentle breeze. Ornamental grasses are ideally suited to give you a palpable representation of wind in a landscape, like the Firecracker Fountain Grass shown below. Lush spaces that are designed not only to stand, but to move. Seas of grasses swaying calmly in the wind…it can be transportive. And after a long day at work, or gritting your teeth through daily hassles, fantasy may be exactly what the doctor ordered.



Mexican Feathergrass is a good example of movement with its flowing tresses sweeping back and forth, but its gentler structure can almost melt into the ground during winter. Rigid grasses like our native Little Bluestem, hold their vertical position much longer and it changes color throughout the seasons. Another added benefit of grass is it’s multifunctional nature; it can be grown for the color, the cushion, the texture, and even as a wind break, giving you the added benefit of a soundtrack to the space around you. For this, Dillon recommends another lovely local grass: Big Muhly. A large perennial bunchgrass that spouts up and spills over like a fountain with feathered silvery seed heads waving at the top. Not only is it local to Texas, it’s originally from this area; and “it doesn’t get more native than that”. Big Muhly is tall enough for privacy screening and is soft textured unlike other non-native grasses such as Pampas which has serrated blades.

The beauty of designing with natives is you don’t have to look far or change much to accommodate stunning diversity in size, shape, and stature. Sedges make great teammates in a bed: they play well with others, can handle shade, and are evergreen – making them a perfect tufted spine throughout the seasons. Creating a meadow-like installation with multiple grasses and perennials weaving between each other can bring a textural diversity to your space and a sense of reverence for the resilience of nature. A community, sharing space and thriving together even in difficult circumstances.

When you’re ready to start your next outdoor project, reach out to us about incorporating native ornamental grasses into your landscape!

Additional References: Skip Richter, Texas Gardener Magazine, https://www.texasgardener.com/pastissues/julaug08/Grasses.html; Potter, Anna. The Flower Fix. (White Lion 2019)

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Mar 23

:: There is an updated statement here. Please see NativeEdgeLandscape.com/Shelter for the most current Native Edge status ::

Good Afternoon,

First, we hope that you and your family are doing well during this tough time.

As the City of Austin, Travis and Williamson County have moved into the Shelter in Place order as of midnight, Tuesday March 24th we have a few changes we will be making around Native Edge to adapt accordingly.

For the health and safety of our employees, our customers and the Austin community, we have made the decision to temporarily close our offices and work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic (Coronavirus). 

This temporary closure will last for the duration based on health and medical recommendations by the CDC and City of Austin, currently through April 13th, 2020. Although we were already taking extreme precautionary measures, we must do the right thing as a community to stop the spread of this virus as swiftly as possible. We hope you join us for the sake of our communities’ health in staying home for this time, if not longer.

As a local business, this decision did not come lightly, as our work is our livelihood. As a company, we have offered our employees additional paid time off in hopes to continue supporting our family here at Native Edge and we are working non-stop to continue supporting our team through this – financially and otherwise.


Our Design Team will continue to create and produce award winning designs during this closure, and will be available via email for any questions or new ideas for your space. We ask that phone calls be scheduled via email to ensure our Design Team is not overwhelmed during this time. Your Designer will reach out to you directly to reschedule any currently scheduled meetings on the calendar. If you are interested in continuing with your currently scheduled presentation, we are offering virtual presentations via video conference, all documents will be shared via email in PDF format, and final payments will be due as scheduled at time of presentation. Your Designer can schedule the details with you accordingly. Otherwise, all presentations will be rescheduled when face to face meetings are able to resume again.

Our Installation Foremen and Maintenance Account Managers will reach out accordingly to let you know of new dates, and projected rescheduled start dates. 

If you are in the process of scheduling an installation or new maintenance contract with us currently, we encourage you to continue communication via email and all new schedule emails will be sent out upon our return to business as usual. However, the queue will remain the same in scheduling on a “first come, first serve” basis.

This continued communication will allow us to continue securing dates on our calendar for no additional delays for the year of 2020.


If you have a current installation and construction or maintenance contract with us, Paragraph 6, Section F, ix states that safety and sanitation are important to keep maintained.

In our industry – keeping walkways and properties clear of debris falls under safety, and keeping lawn and weeds at bay falls under sanitation to keep pests and rodents out of the yard. Regularly scheduled maintenance contracts will continue as scheduled until otherwise advised by City officials or requested by our customers per Code Enforcement.

Current properties that are under construction will be completed to the point of being safe to enjoy during the Shelter In Place order; this does not necessarily mean the project will be fully completed at this time unfortunately. 


During this time, all meetings, presentations and new contracts that are not in-progress will be temporarily suspended for the time period of being on the Shelter In Place order. Our calendar will shift accordingly; meaning – if your project or meeting was scheduled for the 26th of March, your new date would move back by a little over two weeks, on the 14th of April; all scheduled in chronological order as they were. Should the closure need to continue beyond two weeks, we will just continue to adjust our calendars accordingly; however updated firm dates may not be available to us until a reopening is scheduled. We greatly appreciate your patience with the situation during this time.

As we have previously stated, if you would like to move any meetings, installations or pause your maintenance services for additional time beyond the Shelter In Place order, we are happy to plan accordingly as best we can to accommodate everyone in a timely fashion. Please allow our team a little additional time as we settle in with our families to coordinate with you for scheduling new dates for all meetings, installations and maintenance services while we all adjust to this major life event.

At this time, Native Edge will not be offering any refunds as we will continue business as normal as soon as we are back running. Please advise us of any medical emergencies for you or your family and our owner will reach out directly.

Please stay tuned to our newsletter, social media and direct correspondence for updates regarding a firm reopening date!

In the meantime, stay safe, stay sanitized, and enjoy this time in your own space with your family! And be creative – get gardening! 

Rodney Stoutenger, Owner

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Mar 13

Native Edge Landscape is monitoring the reports and continuous updates about the concerns with Covid-19 very closely. We take pride in making the health and safety of our employees and their families our number one priority.

With the concerns of increasing reports of cases in our area, we will continue to monitor recommendations of health officials and operate business as normal unless otherwise instructed.

During these times, we appreciate your support in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for our employees. Due to this, we will be greeting each of our customers with an enthusiastic “hello” instead of the traditional handshake.

We want to be sure the health and safety of your own family is a priority as well, with thorough hand-washing and using hand sanitizer on a regular basis. We offer our support by allowing our customers to reschedule any appointments, meetings and work to a later date as needed.

Thank you all for your time and consideration, we will continue to work together through this event.


       
 Rodney Stoutenger

President, Native Edge Landscape

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Mar 2

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.

 


Check out the full portfolio entries for these example shots here: Modern Family Entertainment Space, Brentwood Family Escape,  South Austin Backyard Social Club

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.2018-2058

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Mar 2

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!

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Feb 24


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!

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Feb 3

– – –

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!

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Feb 3

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:


Inspire Playfulness:

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!

Meaningful Color:

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)

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