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!
Corten Steel can give your space a rustic yet modern feel while lasting for years.
Living in Austin, you’re bound to see Corten Steel incorporated into landscaping. Not only does it look nice, it lasts longer than any other material you could use for raised planters. Let’s take a look at all the benefits, as well as view some examples where Corten steel has helped elevate a space.
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.
This mid-century ranch makeover was designed to create an exciting outdoor living space to compliment the homeowners’ in-ground pool and outdoor movie theatre. We wanted the unique style of the home to extend into their outdoor space. Architectural plants paired with the movement of softer flowers and grasses blend into a visually striking and relaxing space for this young family to entertain and enjoy! Texture was a big influence in this landscape with a mix of hardscape and foliage to fuse the space into a modern rustic charm. Windmill palms, cacti, and yuccas were paired with flowering perennials and ornamental grasses to provide seasonal bursts of color and amplify the southwestern ambiance.
Cafe lights and hitching-post towel racks were selected for a cozy and eccentric Austin flare. Artificial Turf was installed to replace the pre-existing pea gravel to soften the landscape and create a more pet-friendly backyard for their dog to play in. An outdoor kitchen with a raised countertop for extra seating was built within access of two doors for hosting and cleaning convenience. With this backyard makeover, the hosting possibilities are endless!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.