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Worksite Wednesday: Mulching for Water Conservation

by Heather Day / August 23, 2023

Welcome to Worksite Wednesday, where we walk through the particulars of a project or project feature! Today, we are back at Meadow Modern discussing how mulch aids in plant health and water conservation. We’re also looking at the importance of using local materials whenever possible to conserve transportation resources.#NativeEdge #NativeEdgeLandscape #landscapedesign #waterconservation #austindrought #mulch #mulching #lawncare #xeriscape #xeriscapingRoyalty Free Music: License code: WAUQFQJBG33Q5W13

Lawns to Prairies and Meadows: A Path to Water Conservation, Biodiversity, and Savings

by Heather Day / August 18, 2023

In our pursuit of verdant landscapes, it's time to reconsider the traditional American lawn. The history of lawns, harkening back to European aristocrats of the 17th and 18th centuries, has given rise to expansive turf grass-covered spaces across the United States. But beneath the well-manicured surface lies a staggering environmental and economic cost. Enter the concept of converting these sprawling lawns into thriving meadows – a transformative shift that not only benefits your wallet but also the environment. In this piece, we delve into the journey from lawn to meadow, exploring the ecological advantages and aesthetic appeal that this transition brings, and how Native Edge Landscape can guide you through this exciting transformation.

A Glimpse into History

The American love affair with lawns was initially inspired by European elites who showcased their affluence by cultivating vast expanses of greenery. Today, the United States boasts lawns covering a mind-boggling 63,000 square miles – nearly the size of Texas. These lawns, dominated by non-native turf grass species, consume copious amounts of water, fertilizers, pesticides, and labor, creating an ecological imbalance.

Meadows, Prairies, and Grasslands: A Paradigm Shift

Converting portions of lawns into ecologically sound alternatives holds immense promise and offer a holistic solution to the environmental and economic challenges posed by traditional lawns.

The Marvels of Meadows

Water Absorption

Meadows outperform lawns in stormwater absorption. Unlike compacted lawn soils prone to runoff, meadows boast looser soil and extensive root systems, enabling effective rainwater infiltration. This natural process recharges groundwater and supports stream flow during dry spells.

Pollution Control

Meadows act as nature's water filter, intercepting pollutants that elude turf lawns. A buffer of native vegetation along streams proves more effective in preventing pollutants and sediment from entering water bodies compared to turf.

Reduced Irrigation Dependency

While lawns in arid climates guzzle water, meadows thrive without excessive irrigation. The native species in meadows are adapted to regional climates, reducing the need for synthetic irrigation.

Flourishing Wildlife Habitat

Meadows promote biodiversity by fostering a diverse array of plant species. This diversity invites insects, invertebrates, and subsequently, birds along the food chain. Avian species that often evade lawns find sanctuary in meadows, contributing to healthier ecosystems.

Pollinator Paradise

Meadows offer a safe haven for pollinators like bees and butterflies. These essential creatures aid in the pollination of crops and flowering plants, which sustains human food production and ecological balance.

Cost Savings and Efficiency

Meadows require significantly less maintenance compared to constant lawn mowing. The cost of labor, gasoline, and equipment needed for lawn maintenance can be curtailed, benefiting municipalities and individuals alike.

A Multi-Sensory Experience

Meadows provide a full sensory experience. The bustling ecosystem enchants with fluttering butterflies, songbirds, and the sway of wildflowers. The aesthetic appeal extends through the seasons, even during winter and the blazing Texas summer, when dried grasses add texture and beauty.

Native Edge Landscape: Your Partner in Transformation

As advocates of sustainable landscaping, Native Edge Landscape is your guiding light in transitioning from lawns to meadows. Our expertise in native plants, ecological balance, and responsible landscaping equips us to help you create areas that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also ecologically vital. Let us transform your outdoor space into a haven for biodiversity, water conservation, and cost savings.

The journey from lawn to a more diverse space is a transformative leap towards environmental stewardship and financial prudence. Native Edge Landscape stands by your side, turning expanses of non-native turf into vibrant swathes of sustainability. As we redefine our outdoor homes, we strive to make them a true testament to the harmonious coexistence of nature and human habitation.

Nurturing Nature Responsibly: Water Conservation Through Better Design

by Heather Day / August 5, 2023

Water conservation is a critical mission for our planet's sustainable future, and Native Edge Landscape has always been at the forefront of this eco-conscious movement. With our vision of responsible landscapes, we employ innovative techniques like xeriscaping, hardscaping, and water-wise plant selection to make a lasting impact on water conservation. Envision what your space could be while we explore our role in creating environmentally responsible landscapes.

Xeriscaping: A Texas-Friendly Landscape Approach

Xeriscaping is a landscape design philosophy that embraces water-efficient practices, reducing water usage without sacrificing beauty and functionality. Here's how Native Edge incorporates the principles of xeriscaping:

  • Drought-Tolerant Plants: Xeriscaping involves using native and drought-tolerant plants that thrive in the local climate with minimal water needs. These resilient species retain water more effectively, reducing irrigation demands significantly.
  • Soil Improvement: By enhancing the soil's ability to retain moisture, xeriscaping ensures that plants make the most of the water they receive.
  • Mulching: Mulching around plants reduces evaporation, keeps the soil cooler, and minimizes weed growth, further conserving water.
  • Grouping Plants by Water Needs: Strategic plant grouping based on water requirements helps ensure efficient irrigation practices.

Hardscape: Striking a Balance

Hardscape elements, such as patios, walkways, and retaining walls, are integral to any landscape. However, too much of the wrong kinds of hardscape can hinder water absorption and contribute to irresponsible runoff. Native Edge tackles this challenge by finding the right balance between hardscape and green space:

  • Permeable Materials: Using permeable materials and aggregates allows for rainwater to seep into the ground, preventing runoff and replenishing the water table.
  • Efficient Contouring and Drainage: Strategic contouring of hardscape elements, combined with efficient drainage solutions, directs rainwater to areas where it can be absorbed or reused effectively. This prevents wasteful runoff and improves water retention in the soil, promoting healthier landscapes.
  • Beauty and Functionality in Harmony: At Native Edge, we never compromise on aesthetics or functionality. Our hardscape designs seamlessly blend with the landscape, delivering visual appeal while conserving water.
  • Local. Sustainable.: We love to use local hardscape materials wherever we can, employing the aesthetic of our Texas landscape and reducing the environmental strain of transportation. Local mulch, Texas cedar, Brazos River rock, hill country limestone. We also employ materials excavated from your site wherever we can, including our local impressive limestone boulders.

Water-Wise Plant Selection: Flourishing Sustainably

Native Edge Landscape understands that striking landscapes can still be achieved without excessive water consumption. Our approach includes:

  • Native Plants: By incorporating native plants, we ensure the landscape is in harmony with the local ecosystem, reducing the need for additional watering and promoting biodiversity.
  • Drought-Tolerant Species: Carefully selecting drought-tolerant plants promises a vibrant, resilient landscape that thrives even in dry spells.
  • Smart Irrigation: Using advanced irrigation systems, Native Edge can help you deliver the right amount of water at the right time, minimizing waste while optimizing plant health.

Water Conservation is a collective responsibility, and we here at Native Edge lead by example, spearheading eco-friendly practices that prioritize xeriscaping, responsible hardscape, and water-wise plant selection. By embracing these principles, we can create stunning landscapes that prosper without straining precious water resources. Join us as we promote sustainability and choose to nurture nature responsibly, creating a greener world for generations to come. Together, we can ensure a thriving future for both our landscapes and our planet.

National Wildflower Week: Using Native Wildflowers in Landscaping

by Heather Day / May 1, 2023

Native Edge Landscape is committed to being a sustainable and environmentally conscious landscape design company that focuses on creating responsible outdoor living for a sustainable future. With National Wildflower Week taking place from May 1-7, we wanted to feature one of our projects that uses native wildflowers instead of grass, and discuss the benefits of doing so.

The property we're highlighting is also in an HG Magazine feature and showcases a beautiful and functional landscape that incorporates a variety of native wildflowers. By using native wildflowers, we were able to create a landscape that is not only visually stunning, but also supports local ecosystems and reduces the need for maintenance and watering.

One of the biggest benefits of using native wildflowers in landscaping is their ability to attract and support local wildlife. Many native wildflowers are specifically adapted to support local pollinators, such as bees and butterflies, which are essential to maintaining healthy ecosystems. By incorporating these plants into our landscapes, we can help support the local ecosystem and ensure that these essential pollinators have the resources they need to thrive.

Another benefit of using native wildflowers is that they require less maintenance and watering than traditional grass lawns. This is because native wildflowers are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, so they are better able to withstand drought and other environmental stressors. By reducing the amount of water and maintenance required, we can create landscapes that are more sustainable and environmentally responsible.

In addition to their environmental benefits, native wildflowers also add a unique and beautiful aesthetic to landscapes. By using a variety of colors and textures, we can create a landscape that is visually stunning and helps to create a sense of place that is unique to the local environment.

At Native Edge Landscape, we are passionate about creating responsible landscapes that support local ecosystems and reduce our impact on the environment. By using native wildflowers in our designs, we can help create landscapes that are not only beautiful but also sustainable and environmentally responsible.

As National Wildflower Week approaches, we encourage you to consider incorporating native wildflowers into your own landscaping designs. Not only will you be supporting local ecosystems and reducing your impact on the environment, but you'll also be creating a beautiful and unique landscape that is sure to impress. Contact us today to learn more about our sustainable and environmentally responsible landscape designs.

[click to view the Houzz Portfolio for this project]

[click to view the Native Edge Portfolio]

Helping Monarch Butterflies

by Rowan Marney / August 6, 2022

The Monarch Butterfly was recently added to the endangered species list which means helping them out is more important than ever! In this blog we will discuss plants and other items you can easily add into your landscaping to provide food, water, and shelter for these important little butterflies!Read More »Helping Monarch Butterflies

South Austin Suburban Sanctuary

by Erin Spencer / January 6, 2022

These homeowners came to us with the desire to turn their basic grass lawn into a fun hangout space. In the new design, they wanted a large patio, a gathering place for a fire pit, native plantings, outdoor lighting, and a grassy area to accommodate yard games and the family dog all while addressing some drainage concerns! A designated space was left to accommodate the future hot tub; Designer Erin included pre-built steps in her plans when designing the layout of the patio so that they would have easy access in the future.

A cut out was added to the deck to leave an area for a water feature to be installed, and to give the deck additional interest and sharp angles to mirror zig-zag bridges found in traditional Asian style landscapes. The Gabian wall was added to help define the space while also giving a variation of texture from patio to lawn. The water feature itself was inspired by the Japanese bamboo “deer-scarer”; Erin’s interpretation uses the corten metal instead of the traditional bamboo. The issues and concerns with drainage were addressed with a French Drain and dry creek bed with also gave interest and a sense of movement to the landscape. Our final task was to add a small planting area to the front of the home to dress up the entry and bring a cohesive feel to the entire home.

Read More »South Austin Suburban Sanctuary

Hilltop Haven

by Dillon Tuttle / December 11, 2021

These homeowners have a beautiful hill country property and were looking to match the aesthetic of the home with an updated landscape design. The primary goals for this project included completing the landscape left unfinished around the existing pool, replacing as much lawn as possible with native plants to attract pollinators and birds, and reimagining the front yard hillside. Custom entry stairs and a bridge were added with steel raised planters to give dimension to the sloping walkway to include a formal path to the front door for guest parking at the street. The bridge gives a clear path over a dry creek drainage system made with river rocks, giving excess water a clear path to follow that avoids important areas of the home and landscaping. We added a custom address marker as well as a few bubbling boulder water features in the front and back yard to provide interest and water source for wildlife.

Read More »Hilltop Haven

Mount Bonnell Native Oasis

by Dillon Tuttle / June 24, 2021

We have had the pleasure of working on multiple projects for this property over the past few years! It has been great to watch the property change and turn into the native oasis it is today! The most important aspect of this property that the owner wanted to maintain was that all the plantings were native to Central Texas. The back of the property was filled with native plantings around the pool, and the property owner wanted a cohesive look with her beds in the front yard that had become overgrown. We removed the old plants and added in some of the same native plantings that were found in her back yard. Yaupon Holly was added along the property line to provide extra privacy from the neighbors and flowering natives were clustered to make the property more pollinator friendly!

Another request from the owner was that we make the property more inviting during the evenings. We added in some outdoor lighting to highlight the trees, as well as lighting that illuminated the pathway up to the house and around the back of the property. This added a dreamy element to the space, making the property more inviting to guests.


Georgetown Wildflower Wonderland

by Erin Spencer / June 1, 2021

Located in downtown Georgetown, this family transformed their front yard into a wildflower wonderland! They envisioned a welcoming entrance with seating and native landscaping to host both guests and pollinators on their property. They wanted to ditch their grass yard in favor of colorful native plants that would create a charming scene for friends and neighbors alike. They dreamed of a gathering space in their front yard that looked out over their native plantings, so we added a seating area with cafe lights and raised steel planters so that the plantings could be enjoyed while seated. Black star gravel was added for furniture and plant contrast, making them pop against the home and landscaping. This family now has a relaxing area to gather, host friends, and watch the pollinators visit their beautiful wildflowers!=


Tarrytown Wraparound

by Rodney Stoutenger / January 30, 2021

This young family came to us looking to transform their yard into an area where they could easily entertain their guests. They were looking to add a seamless wraparound patio that meshed with the look of their existing home and garage. Concrete was chosen as the base of the patio, and was then topped with limestone slabs. A short retaining wall was added along the edge of the patio in the back to give the space more definition. Raised planters along the garage and a custom outdoor kitchen extend their living space to the outdoors. The designer chose to add lighting along the edge of the retaining wall giving the space a low, warm blanket of light. Bougainvillea was planted along the garage climbing upwards, providing a pop of color against the light coloring of the home. Holly trees were chosen to line the backyard fence, as well as the side yard along the street. This helped to provide a green wall of privacy and soften the stone facade.

[before_photos_toggle]Read More »Tarrytown Wraparound