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.
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.
These homeowners came to us wanting to update their property with new plantings at the street, which matched the existing landscaping of the neighborhood, as well as update the various beds around their foundation. The existing beds throughout the property became overgrown and needed a bit of breathing room to allow space for the new plants to fill in. The old vegetation was ripped out and replaced with both native, and adapted plants.
The wooded area in the backyard was rid of debris, and a drainage system was added using the rocks that were in their previous landscape design. Not only were the materials able to be recycled, they are now used to help prevent continued erosion of the hillside by taking the water from the sloped driveway and giving it a path toward the woods. Limestone was the chosen replacement because it is cohesive with the neighbor’s landscaping and the pre-existing stairs in the backyard. Blocks of limestone were used to line the new beds and build a new fire pit to accessorize the beautiful view!
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.
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.
Happy Earth Day! Be sure to spend at least an hour outside today to celebrate our wonderful Earth and all her natural beauty! #earthday #happyearthday #earthday2018 #atx #atxlife #plants #earth #succulents #ghostplant #nativeedge #nativeedgelandscape