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Essential Elements to Enhance Houston Landscaping Outdoor Living

HARDSCAPESEnhance your Property’s Aesthetic by Modern Houston Landscaping

Today, landscaping in Houston is very much different from the ancient landscape Europeans found when they arrived in Texas hundreds of years ago. During that time, areas in Buffalo Bayour was a dark and moist swamp with magnolia trees and cypress. In other areas, forests are so thick and filled with insects such as mosquitoes that Karankaway Indians would not go in.

At present, Houston has focused industrialization and landscaping developments. However it did not lose its lush forest and waterways and it is still the home of a variety of wide pine and oak trees that outline the coastal area and roadways which connect the top edge of the city and the urban area.

The climate in Houston is humid and hot during summer, and still humid and temperate during winter days. This makes the place a very suitable to plant different types of indigenous and exotic plants. It also provides a wide range of options of types and styles of garden to homeowners.

Due to gentle winter, there are just a few cases that plants, trees and shrubs died because of extreme low temperature. Houston landscape is famous in the South for having different flowers all year round.  In fact there are several species such as cyclamen and pansies that blooms during winter.

However, the downside of the Houston landscape is the heavy downpour which this area receives anytime of the year. During summer and hot days, rain fall will start a mold and fungus outbreak in just one day. This is a great threat to the human health and for the welfare of the plants.

In order to minimize the impact of this outbreak on gardens, irrigation management and chemical treatment are implemented to fight mold and fungal. It would be better if you ask the help of a botanist who knows the right treatment for each plant and has an understanding of the impact of irrigation on your garden.

But still it did not stop some landscape designers and homeowners to improve the backyard. Landscape design can be done by a homeowner or professional. A full understanding of the use of hardscapes and geometry is what is needed for a beautiful and functional landscape.

This is to ensure the placement of your plant in patios and pools and to improve water fountain and outdoor buildings. Also knowledge about plants is essential to utilize the beauty of your landscape project. What is important is someone who fully understands what landscape design is all about and knows a great deal about improving value and experience of outdoor living in Houston.

Green should be the outstanding color for many landscaping designs. Plants should be placed or arranged in layers and in different shades. Hedges, ground cover plants, special grasses and even small tress are used in order to achieve the greenery that will make your garden stand out among others.

Aside for your plant, garden and flower beds that make significant impact on the overall appearance of your garden, hardscapes should be considered. This is to complete the garden experience for your family and your friends.

Hardscapes bring out the beauty of your garden design.

Hardscapes are inorganic element in your landscape design but plays a very crucial role in order to complete your landscape project. With the combination of these man-made structures and your lush and growing plants then definitely you create an outdoor space that has that warm and inviting ambiance which your family and friends would love to experience.

Different Types of Hardscapes

  • Outdoor fireplace – It is used for both aesthetic and function purposes and provides warmth during winter and fall. The design range from simple to grand and whichever you choose, it has a significant impact to the ambiance of your yard.
  • Garden pathways – People love these unique hardscapes and are a great way to explore the garden. They can be dressed according to the materials used.
  • Pool decking – This hardscape connect two essential areas – the house and the swimming pool. You can choose from brick, wood and flagstone which are popular choices. You have to use non-slippery surfaces since you are in a wet area to avoid accidents in the pool.
  • Wooden deck and arbor – Most people attach this hardscape to the house but they can also be freestanding. Other wooden hardscape structures include loggias, pergolas, arbors and gazebos. It is beautiful way to enhance the aesthetic of the house and to see what is happening on the other side of the fence.
  • Seat walls – These hardscape serves a double purpose. They can be used to define a space and serves as seats during large gathering.
  • Retaining walls – They are usually short in length and are used to hold the soil in place. Most landscape designers put them on your garden in such a way that they enhance the beauty of your landscape design.
  • Driveways and motor courts – Typically wide open area of concrete for vehicles or motors which are constructed to complement your house and the garden design.
  • Stone – Sandstone, slate, limestone and quartzite are typically the types of stone used for hardscape construction. They are usually into squares, rectangular or irregular shapes. They are usually used in concrete piece and to bond together joints.

Different materials you can use for hardscape construction:

  • Pavers – This is a man-made brick to make intricate patterns. They can be laid on sand or on a solid base and are also eco-friendly.
  • Concrete – They are inexpensive and durable and you can make it into different shapes which make them a popular choice for hardscapes. It can be colored or textured, according to what you want to achieve in your landscape design.
  • Cast stone – A masonry product the looks like any natural stone such as granite, travertine, granite or marble. It is made from Portland cement, chemical admixtures, water, mineral oxide color pigments and aggregates. It can be formed into shapes used as columns, door surrounds, and planters, also they come in different colors.
  • Drainage system – This is an essential landscape project since Houston is infamous for abundant downpours. It would really be headache to deal with swaps or small lakes in your garden which will really affects its beauty.

Other Hardscapes Projects

It will also preserve your hard structures from cracks or damage. Landscape designers usually create driveway drains and patio that pretty much blend in with the garden makes them almost discrete.

  • Lighting and water – Outdoor fountain or luxury swimming pool will breathe life to your hardscapes. Although you will have a lot of maintenance to do and requires electricity, it is all worth it.

Lighting will keep your garden as beautiful even at night and water will create some visual delights to the visitors. Light and water are two elements that will definitely make your guests WOW.

Before you put and do anything else to your garden, it is very essential to ponder about the specific landscape design you want for your garden. Mediterranean and Italian styles are just two of the most famous styles of landscape that will definitely complement any home style. So homeowners can select varying garden designs such as French gardens, English garden, Japanese water garden and parterre gardens.

Others prefer to separate a garden to the overall landscape in order to create a separate realm where they can read, meditate and have a quiet time for their families. Zen garden and water gardens are popular choices in Houston since residents want to have their own special place in the yard.

In selecting the design, it is essential to base it upon relationship. It is the relationship of the landscape elements in which size and significance must coordinate with the theme of the landscape. Home is the most essential element which occupies the center position of the whole property and functions as the symbol of the lifestyle and personality of the residents.

Trees should also be considered because they are the pillars of the whole garden. Also the plants should be in proper balance with the trees for horizontal and vertical view of the landscape, and also to improve the overall aesthetic of the property.

Vegetation gives focus to hardscapes which make up almost two-thirds of the yard. As mentioned, they magnify the beauty of the landscape design by simply being on the right place.

As water features like natural ponds, custom fountain, swimming pools and ornamental waterfalls were developed, it is essential that the landscape design should complement them. It is natural that plants and water are hand in hand in almost any environment. Cultivating this natural relationship among the elements of your landscape will definitely impress your guests with your Houston landscaping design.

Designing your garden is easy and practical these days, all thanks to modern techniques and tools that can be utilized to achieve the landscape design that will not only enhance the architecture of the house but also improve your Houston outdoor living.

Herb Garden – Maintainance Rules


A garden with herbs is always welcome around the house. Often easy to maintain, such a garden can provide you with fresh herbs for food, but also with quick fixes to the most common health problems.

So, after sowing the herb seeds, discover the secrets of caring for your aromatic garden!

Watering the Plants

Whatever the herbs you plan to cultivate around the house, a basic rule is to regularly water the plants. Fragrant herbs can be grown directly in the ground or in pots and placed in different areas of the garden, so you need to assure moisture and light.

Found Some Seeds On Amazon

During hot weather, do not forget to water the herbs twice daily, morning and evening, counteracting thus the phenomenon of excessive evaporation, specific to heat periods.


Another important rule for maintaining a garden of herbs refers to weeding the plants. Thus, although not very pleasant regular weeding is recommended, so weeds do not grow to capture soil nutrients intended for herbs nor endanger their proper development. Note that a variety of weeds will absorb the vital moisture for herbs, attracting many insects, often harmful all this time.

A visit once a week in the herb garden should be enough, to check and snatch if any weeds developed.


Usually, herbs unravel in the absence of fertilizer if they are planted in nourishing soil. But to make sure they develop optimally you can add fertilizer once or twice during the growing period. A natural liquid fertilizer should be more than enough for the herbs to develop harmoniously.


About once a month, you will need to perform a few adjustments in the herb garden. More specifically, to enhance its aesthetic effect, but also to help your plants grow vigorously, we recommend cutting wilted or dead parts of herbs and flowers.

If you want your herbs to spread their seeds and thus to grow others, do not hesitate to keep a few flowers. In this way, you make sure that plants will dim your garden next year too.

Plant Harvesting

At the end of the growing season, as the cold season approaches, some herbs will be moved inside the house. For the remaining plants, harvest their stems and leaves, making sure to leave a few inches into the soil, so the perennial herbs can develop the following year too. Gathered stems and leaves will then be stored to be used around the winter.

Bring Your Las Vegas Pool to Life with Landscaping

Adding landscaping to your outdoor pool can have a dramatic affect. In fact, it can in many ways change the complete look of your pool and your back yard. With some landscape planning and a little time, you can quickly bring life to your pool.

Choosing Your landscape Borders

pool-border-landscapingWhen adding landscaping to an existing pool, you need to begin by choosing the type of landscaping borders you want.

Simple bordering can be done along your fence line or you may want to add a few standalone centerpieces of lush foliage.

Often, a combination is chosen, thereby providing plenty of greenery that can accent your backyard pool.

When creating a fence border of landscaping, begin by determining the preferred width of your border. Ideally, you should consider the distance from your fence to your pool. With this distance in mind, consider the amount of space than you are willing to give up for landscaping.

You should also consider comfort level requirements. Even though some added greenery can improve the overall look and experience at the pool, having your landscaping expand too far into the pool area can cause discomfort for you and your pool guest.

If you plan on adding a few standalone centerpieces, evaluate the design of your pool. If you have a standard rectangular pool, you may want to consider a landscaped section just beyond each corner. However, placing landscaping in just one corner section is also fine, especially when the available pool space is primarily filled with loungers.

Choosing the Right Poolside Plants

When selecting plants that will be displayed along your poolside, choose plants that will highlight the environment of your pool. For instance, you will want to choose clean simplistic plants that can add beauty without becoming a center of attention. You should also consider your fencing. If you have a decorative fence, then you will want to stick to shorter plants that can be placed to allow a view of your fence. The ideal is to add foliage without taking away from the current poolside views.

Preparing Your Fence Border Landscaping

Prior to placing the plants that you have chosen, You’ll want to place edging along your outer border. This will add to the decor of your landscaping while also creating a crisp point of separation. Additionally, an edging border will provide the added height needed to separate gardening material from the rest of your pool area, thereby keeping your pool clean.

Sticking with simplicity, provide plants with a 3 foot distance between each other. This will create a splash of greenery, while retaining the solid crispness of a sparkling pool. If you happen to be dying for added color, consider tossing colored rocks within the edging. Using rocks as part of your landscaping is an expensive way to coat your ground cover.

How to Create Unique Landscaped Centerpieces Surrounding the Pool

To create standalone landscaped centerpieces, you have a few choices depending on what currently surrounds your pool. If you have decking built as the platform for your pool, you can cut back the decking and plant directly into the below ground. If you choose this route, be sure to reinforce the existing deck.

Using plant boxes is perfect for concrete slabs that surround the pool, though plant boxes can also be placed on decking. By using plant boxes on decking, you’ll be preventing the need to cut through any deck style structures. Plant boxes can be constructed to any size and they can also be designed to serve dual purposes.

Building Standard Plant Boxes

Standard plant boxes can be built according to your preferred measurements by using 1 X 6 boards. When selecting the type of wood used, try locating a hardy wood type, such as redwood. The advantage of building plant boxes, is that you can create a large box, providing enough room to house several plants or you can create several plant boxes that can be connected, so that they can encircle a single plant box. Connecting a few that surround another box will allow you to place a small palm in the center plant box, with several small foliage within the others.

Building Plant Boxes with Added Storage

If you have ever wished for added storage around the pool, building plant boxes may provide the solution that you have been searching for. By building a plant box that sits above a lower shelving unit, you can hide your stored items within an enclosed wooden box that’s toped with lush greenery. This type of box is built with the same type of wood as regular plant boxes.

The only difference in storage style plant boxes is that you’ll be building a double box that can be attached. You can then choose whether to leave them open on the bottom or to connect hinged doors. One consideration, is that you’ll want to add a liner to protect the wood. It’s actually advisable to add a liner to all plant boxes, regardless of the style chosen.

Completing Your Pool Landscaping by Adding Some Lighting

pool-landscape-lightingAfter you have completed all planting, be sure to add some accent lighting so that your landscaping can be seen in the evening and night hours.

Placing some lights along the fence border approximately 4 to 5 feet apart will provide the perfect amount of light. You may also want to include a light within each of your standalone plant boxes, providing added beauty and illumination.

Landscape Ideas for Beginners

landscapeIf you just got a new property and haven’t done landscaping in the past, then it might be a serious concern. This article will tackle the different simple ways that you can actually do to surprise your family and guests. Though landscaping can somehow be tricky if you are not familiar with it, all it really takes is ingenuity with a tinge of patience.

Designing either your front or backyard, needs proper planning. Even a beginner like you can actually create a lovely garden without any hassle. Once you are on the right track – you will be able to master it over time.


Before deciding on what to recreate in your garden, make sure that you have a concrete plan. Make a list of all the things that you want your garden to have, the plants that you want to grow and the theme you want to portray. An absolute layout is very important as this will give you a glimpse of how the result would look like.

Take it as it is

Don’t be in haste – take your time to decide before starting your landscape venture. Don’t come up with a sudden decision; take its barren look for a while so you will know what you want to do with it.

Start Small

It is given that since you are just starting with landscaping, it is best to start in small areas. Begin with your flower beds and then decide how big it will be and what foliage to plant. Take your time as nobody is asking you to be fast and clumsy. Enjoy every moment that you spend outdoor doing your landscape routines. Don’t be ambitious to work directly on big projects, start small and you will be fine.  Also, don’t take short cuts as it won’t lead you anywhere.

Decide Your Focal Point

A successful landscape design has a focal point, as this will show how creative you can be. You have to choose whether you want a simple stand, concrete characters or anything else you might have in mind. This will be considered as the heart of your garden so think hard.

Be Open for Changes

Yes, it is possible that you have made your plans but there are possible things that might happen while you are finalizing your landscape. Be open to change because it is possible. Change if you must so you won’t end up having regrets because you didn’t do exactly what you wanted to.

Choose the Right Materials

You have the design and plan, now all you need is quality materials to start with your landscape project. Incorporate the materials with your personality, style and budget. Some materials for pavements and other landscape fringes are colored, so this way you get to choose the shade, texture and height. Also, don’t overdo it because you will end up buying something you don’t need.

Beginners in landscape gardening may find it challenging at first but eventually the entire venture is going to be fun and exciting. Once you have started being engrossed with the project, you won’t stop until it’s done. If you are still confused of what plants to use, plant annuals as they can easily be removed, or use perennials and shrubs which can easily be transplanted. As much as possible, don’t plant trees if you not yet fully decided on the setting, these trees grow fast and can’t be moved at all.

21st Century Landscaping Dos and Don’ts

The world where we live has a lot of demands that extract all our creative juices. In landscaping, you must always keep up. Upgrading resources without damaging the environment is a challenge. You don’t want to be left behind and certainly, you don’t want to destroy your only home called Earth.

Landscaping is not just about beautification. Most landscape architects also believe that it should be environment friendly as well. There are certain components that you can’t overdo or else, you’ll threaten the sustainability of natural resources.


Strive for landscape designs that have efficient water system. Most gardens have their Zen areas. Modern day families love the idea of serenity at their backyard or lawns. You can create a mini wishing well, a fountain or any outdoor design that makes use of water. Just make sure that you regulate the flow and control the amount of use.

Remember, water is non-renewable. You don’t have the luxury to waste it. Using it appropriately is essential in making your landscape topnotch. You can’t afford to have water shortage because of your garden. Also, before buying garden accessories, try to look into details.

It’s really important to check the quality and performance before installation to secure your landscape and resources. Flooding should be avoided to save water and keep your plants and other decorations in tacked.

Choose the right sprinklers, hoses and other equipment that maximize water usage and saving it at the same time. Most of the problems start from poor water management and substandard tools. Although there can have difference in prices, always go for the better quality than your usual choice.

You may try to check out landscaping companies that are pro-environment. Most of them are advocates of beauty and preservation. For instance, Amarillo Landscaping uses state of the art sprinklers for their projects. Their products are of high quality and are proven to be reliable in maintaining your garden’s water system.


Go for landscape designs that are plant and people friendly. Nowadays, people are caught up on the virtual world. We need nature to remind us of the reality. It’ll be ideal if your landscape includes plants that are not delicate with human contact. Gardens are best place to have picnics, intimate conversations and family activities. They are not just for shows. You don’t want to put a “keep off the grass” sign inside your home, do you?

A garden won’t be one if there are no plants. Choose the types of plants that can harmonize both with people and surroundings. There are attractive plants that can be reactive when mixed with others. There are also plants that can easily grow bigger and massive. Don’t pick something just because it’s beautiful; make sure that it also serves a purpose.

Planning the kinds of trees or plants to set will help you understand their roles in balancing the ecosystem. You’ll be able to classify them through their characteristics and properties.

If you’re not sure on what kinds of trees or plants to utilize, you can always ask the experts. Amarillo Landscaping specializes in tree planting and sod management. They can help you organize your gardens without making it look like a forest with misplaced ornaments. They have been serving Amarillo for more than 15 years, thus you’re assured that your satisfaction is guaranteed. They are experts on the field of tree planting, so you don’t have to worry.

Weed Control

Consider landscape designs that use organic ways in preventing and eliminating weeds. Garden problems are inevitable. There will always be unwanted life forms sprouting around. Eliminating or lessening their occurrence can be handful. Most owners use chemicals or pesticides to eradicate pests instantly. However, with the growing environmental concerns, you have to make a difference.

You’re surely not going to risk your whole garden by using chemicals. Although they are effective, they can damage your plants. Plus, it also destroys the natural richness of the soil. It’s always a bargain. It would be best if you can control weeds efficiently and safely. You can stick with using organic fertilizers or weed control essentials.

These are eco-friendly, affordable and safe. They are usually prepared before a design is materialized. Some landscape architects also advise to set up the landscape site beforehand in order to estimate the potentials of a project.

Landscaping is not an easy task. Weather and climate can be influential factors.  The kind of soil and presence of unwanted chemicals are also assessed before the project progresses. There are many considerations that you have to keep in mind.

You can always tap experts to help you out. They have ample background about landscaping so you’ll be at ease while they are doing the work for you.

In addition, there are various ways to control weed growth and other unwanted garden accessories. Amarillo Landscaping has been known for solving garden problems before they occur. They can help you by choosing the best method in maintaining the abundance of life in your garden. They also offer free assessment in Amarillo and Canyons. Getting their initial evaluation would be helpful in planning out an entire pest-free landscape design.

Thrifty Decors

Aim for landscape designs that are not only eco-friendly, but are also budget wise. You want to have an artistic landscape. But, financial constraints can hit you hard back to reality. Despite this, you can always do recycling, thrift shopping and scavenger hunt. There are a lot of ways to make your resources as innovations.

Recycling helps you lessen non-biodegradable waste materials. You can always turn them into cute and catchy accessories for your garden. Instead of getting rid of them, make use of their maximum potential. Also, thrift shopping and scavenger hunt make you scout for the cheapest yet high quality decorations. You can go to flea markets, wholesale centers and other places that are economical.

There are also many DIY video tutorials and webpages that you can follow. You save money and the environment at the same time. You also become more skilled and artistic. Remember, today’s generations are best known for creativity, innovation and skills. Prove that you’re one of them through personalizing your own garden. Also keep in mind to consult an expert like Amarillo Landscaping for guidance and direction. A little help certainly goes a long way.

How to Eliminate the Intimidating Weeds on Your Garden

In a garden setting, the war between weeds and plants is agonizing for any gardener. These weeds are invasive and tend to multiply faster than the plants in the beds. They are overwhelming and a hassle to the gardeners if not eliminated properly. To be a great gardener, you need not only master the art of growing plants but also how to inhibit these pesky weeds.

Pulling weeds on your garden can be a tedious job that nobody really wants to do. These weeds stick on the ground firmly by producing strong and massive roots. Edging can actually help in inhibiting them from intruding your plants, however this doesn’t apply to all gardens which gives you the last resort – to manually pull them.

Use Home Basics

Believe it or not, there are some home basic essentials that can solve your weed concerns. These make your weeding experience fast and easy.

  • Salt – tiny weeds popping up on cracks of your hallway are irritating but they are tough and time consuming. The best way to eradicate them is to simply create a solution of hot water and salt then pour them directly on the weeds. Try it and witness how it does the job for you.
  • Bleach – another great option to remove weeds on your pathways is to use undiluted bleach. Pour it directly on weeds and pull them out after a few days, bleach will also keep them away from growing back.
  • Boiling Water – yes, a simple boiling water can eliminate these weeds. It can quickly turn weeds into brown which makes pulling easier.
  • Vodka – you heard it right, your favorite vodka can be the solution to your weed problems. Create a mixture of 1 ounce vodka, a few drops of liquid dish soap and 2 cups of water. Spray it on those weeds during midday as alcohol breaks the cuticle on leaves, this won’t work on shady areas.

Right Ways to Pull Them Out

Weeding is more than just pulling them out, you really need to know the basics on when the right time to remove it is.

  • Timing – extra effort is needed to remove these weeds, however with proper timing you can actually eliminate them trouble-free. The right time to pull them out is when the soil is still damp. Also, when the weeds are still young they are easy to pull out.
  • Mulches – create a thick layer of mulch on your garden beds, include some leaves, wood chips and shredded bark to resist light from passing through the soil. This way, you eliminate weeds to germinate and grow.
  • Tools – turning over the soil every now and then will keep the weeds from growing near your plants. Also, have the right tools with you like taproot weeders and rototillers to help you on your weeding venture.

Weeds compete with your plants in the garden from water, sun and soil nutrients. It is important that your garden is free from these weeds or else they will cover almost all areas which makes it even harder to eliminate them. Don’t underestimate them because they multiply fast so better to exterminate these unwanted weeds while they are young. Don’t stress out yourself, try those tips mentioned above and enjoy your weed-free garden!

Stones and Rocks for Your Next Landscape Project

simple rock gardenStones can be found anywhere since this is one of the most common materials that anyone can use in making amazing landscape designs. When planning to modify the look of your garden, these stones can do so much. It can add texture and feel to any garden. This is a very practical material to use for your outdoor space like your pathways, benches, stairs and garage.

Landscaping is always associated with gardening plants but with these stones and rocks your landscaping project will be more appealing and distinct. Moreover, stones and rocks are totally different which are sometime interchanged. Rocks are quarried below the earth’s surface while stones are those that you can possibly see everywhere, which are exposed to the change of the weather.

There are different ways to use rocks and stones in your garden or outdoor structures.

  • Stairs – this is very important when creating a landscape most especially if your garden is a gentle slope. Striking stairs can give an elevation while giving you a normal gait. Uniform stones are perfect material that can be combined with endearing plants alongside for a softer texture.

  • Stone on Planters – in creating a good stone structure, a garden doesn’t have to be wide and big. Planters and containers combined with attractive stones can always create a unique result. Add some lovely succulents and see how wonderful your creation was.

  • Stripes Appealing Curb – if your pathways seem to be barren and boring, stones and rocks can change it. Use uniform stone slabs and arrange them in your choice of pattern combined with low grasses to fill in the gaps.

  • Stone as pavement – these little stones can be scattered all over your entrance leading to your main door. These tiny stones create a crisp and crunchy sound when walking on them – classic pavement style.

  • Fairytale Garden – do you love the gardens described on children’s books? You can setup an almost the same garden setting in your garden. A fairytale garden is usually a sea of flowers with informal stepping stones. You can plant trees and shrubs on both sides to add dimension and texture.

  • Sleek Style Pathway – large uniform cut stones can create a sleek pathway on your garden. These stones can be arranged without gaps for a polished look.

  • Edgy Stones – a garden will look organized with great edging. These stones can be a good material to divide your garden into different sections. You can choose rugged stones and align them side by side along your garden.

mini rock gardenThese stones and rocks are not merely for edging and pathway purposes, they are also perfect for outdoor benches and tables which can be placed in your garden. Simply stack these stones in creating the structure that you want, but be careful in using them. They are heavy and sharp so asking for some help is essential. Installers are helpful – you do the planning and they make it happen for you.

There are limitless ways to use rocks and stones in your garden, so think and be creative. For some who want to add water feature in their garden, these rocks are perfect. It can provide the solid texture and a bit of drama on the side. With rocks and stones as materials, garden size is never an issue – it can still make your garden look breathtakingly amazing.

Why Texas loves Native Plants for Landscaping

Horticulturists and Landscaping Experts are pushing through their campaign of using native plants for landscapes and gardens in Texas. Nonprofit organizations and environmentalist groups head the dissemination of information for Texas landscape experts and enthusiasts. Members and other partnering organizations believe that native plants should be taken into the spotlight in line with the gardening and landscaping industry. Through this movement, native plants are introduced in a different perspective to residents of Texas.

Value of Native Plants

Native plants are region specific. They have various adaptation characteristics that can be advantageous in landscaping and gardening. There are a lot of diverse species of native plants that are recorded to flourish around Texas and within Amarillo. They are abundant, yet locals don’t have the know-how or proper understanding on utilizing them as garden accessories. Instead, they are not protected from land conversion and other move for urbanization by the state.

Native plants thrive and promulgate all over Texas with or without human care. Researches and studies prove the efficiency of these plants not only when it comes to the beautification of the place, but also to the equilibrium of the ecosystem. Botany and landscape authorities work together in promoting and conceptualizing designs for landscaping for all these plants. Although they are exotic and wild, they are part of the natural wonders of Texas.

Benefits of using Native Plants

Native plants are delicate yet they have survival tendencies better than other plants used for gardening and landscaping. Experts like director of horticulture departments and licensed professionals have looked into the advantages of choosing native plants over delicate ones.

In accordance to this, organizations in Texas, that are actively campaigning the use of native plants, suggest that these plants are a win-win choice for landscapers and gardeners.

They have compiled evidence why Texas landscapers and gardeners should love native plants.

The following are examples of the benefits that native plants can bring to your home, to your state and your environment:

Beautification and Aesthetics

Native plants have different striking appearance. Each species has its own characteristic and adaptation strategy towards its environment. They can vary in terms of color, size, and types of flowers produced. There is a lot of variety to choose from depending on your taste and theme.

You can also make your garden as harmonized as you want. You can combine them in one garden or landscape plot since native plants are less likely to be invasive. They don’t act as pests to other plants. They are more inclined in developing a mutual relationship among other kinds of native plants.

You just have to be careful with your selection especially if you’re going to introduce non-native plants along with the native ones. It’s best to consult an expert regarding the choice of nonnative and native plants before starting in order to prevent unlikely reactions from them.

Water Conservation

Native plants help in conserving water. They don’t consume much water compared to other variety of plants. They are accustomed to live with minimal water resources. You don’t need to spend or pay a large amount for having sophisticated water systems and equipment especially during hot season.

You just have to make sure that you provide the right amount of water. It doesn’t mean that you have to monitor thoroughly since they can definitely live without much human intervention. You are still entitled of your role as caretaker, yet with minimal work and problems to worry.

Low Maintenance Cost

Native plants are not expensive to take good care with. Since they are originally from the wild, they can survive with lesser attention from caretakers unlike other non-native plants. Also, they don’t need tedious attention since they can be grown easily at home. Having native plants in your garden will make you exert less effort, time and money for protection and preservation.

You don’t have to worry about using a lot of fertilizers to promote its growth. They can thrive abundantly with natural additives. Also, the extensive use of pesticides won’t be necessary among native plants. They have well-developed resistance against diseases. They can also withstand pest invasion due to their natural composition.

As a landscape owner, you can sit back and relax without worrying too much about your plants.

Ecological Function

Native plants are not for your eyes only to marvel. They can beautify your lawn and serve as sanctuary for other organisms and life-forms. Since they are part of the wildlife, they can attract birds, insects and other corresponding agents of the environment.

Your garden will not only be filled with beautiful and interesting plants, but also with other colorful creatures. Having native plants in your landscape and garden makes you feel more at par with nature than just plainly having commercialized species.

Climate/Weather Tolerance

Native plants are known to be resilient towards weather and climate. They are best for dry landscaping because of their well-adaptive characteristics. Their natural makeup makes them resistant to hot and cold setting. They can survive even during the drought season or within arid environments

Having native plants in your garden can make you save money. You don’t have to spend much on providing elaborate water irrigation for them.  There’s no need to double the use of your water supply on summer or dry season. Your native plants are more likely to survive than nonnative ones.


Native plants are decreasing in number because of various factors. The continuing move for urbanization has empowered companies and states to convert lands and other fields into commercial plots and establishments.

Horticulturists and other non-profit organizations have made a move in preserving native plants through gardening and landscaping. The introduction of these plants in the industry can help in promulgating their species rather than eliminating them.

By choosing native plants, you can contribute in this cause. You can also gain knowledge in having cost-saving and efficient landscapes and gardens from experts. Also, you are promoting your Texas heritage by keeping these native plants alive and thriving at your lawns, backyard and other areas of your house.

Garden Benches for Lasting Curb Appeal

You can do anything to your garden. You can change your crops for vegetation, change your flowers once they died out, incorporate trees for better shade or put up the fences to define the borders. However one must not forget about structures that must be installed in your garden.

Just by placing these structures on the focal points of your garden instantly improves your overall landscape. It can be a gorgeous gazebo at the center of your garden or garden pathways to guide your visitors.

All these sculptures bring beauty and appeal to your landscape and garden benches are no exception. These garden benches have been popular choices of many homeowners because of their simplicity and functional purposes. In fact, there are different garden bench styles being used today in many landscaping projects.

Different Styles of Garden Benches

  • Stone benches – These benches are great ornamental structures and they really last for a long time as long as you own your house. Stone benches are not comfortable to sit upon so if you are not planning to sit on them for long period time, then they are great choice.

One great thing about these benches is you can paint them according to your preference so you can easily incorporate them in your garden. They are different stones these benches are made of and they will determine the price of your bench.

  • Wrought iron and Metal Benches – Wrought iron is now the common choice of many homeowners for their benches. They bring beautiful appearance and comfort to whomever will sit on the bench. However, they might be a bit expensive than any other benches.

The cheaper alternative is metal benches made of aluminum. However with these benches, you lose the appeal of the wrought iron.

  • Wood benches – These benches are comfortable and bring unique beauty to your landscape. They are not expensive but a high quality type of wood maybe a bit out of your budget.

However, wood easily break especially when exposed to harsh environment so the durability of the bench is still in question. Another is they easily attract pests which could affect your garden.

  • Japanese Garden Benches – They are designed to bring comfort to the person and styled to fit any surroundings. They can be made from any material.

Remember, they are designed to suit the environment, not to define it. You can make use of ornamental grasses and lanterns to accessorize the benches.

You can try to incorporate your bench with any garden sculpture and bring appeal to your garden. You can visit a hardware store or check online for available garden sculptures that you think look perfect for your bench.

It can be a figure of an angel, lantern, metal balls and more. There are endless choices so you must bring out your creativity. The perfect pair of a garden sculpture and your bench will enhance your outdoor space.

You can make use of pathways to lead your visitors to your bench. So they can sit and relax to fully enjoy your garden and landscape. One should be make use of the space available in their garden but make sure not to overcrowd it.

Make your plants and sculptures work together in harmony to give your landscape the wow factor. Choose the appropriate and start decorating you landscape for the better.

Tips and Ideas for Your Contemporary Cactus Garden

If you think cactus is not worthy of a space in the garden, then think again. Today, cactus and succulents are the trendiest plants in the garden. Its unique look makes it more attractive than usual blooming foliage. It is interesting to have these appealing cacti and succulents growing in your garden.

How to Cultivate Cacti and Succulents

Cacti can be propagated by seeds or you can directly purchase a healthy plant from the local nursery. Seeds usually take a year to germinate and a few more years to flower, which means the waiting period takes long – delaying your cactus garden venture.

  • Propagate through seeds – though this process takes a really long time, it will be fulfilling to successfully grow cactus on your own. To plant, moist the soil, place the seed and cover them with enough sand which is not too deep or else it won’t germinate.
  • Cuttings – cactus can easily grow through offshoot which is taken from the mother plant.  Allow a few days for the cut edge to dry and heal before planting them, then cut the edge up.

Soil Mixture

Just like any other plant, good soil mixture will make them grow them healthy. There is an available cacti mix for hassle-free planting. However, if you want to make your own well-draining soil mixture, make sure that the sand comprises ¼ of it. Add some gravel for aesthetic purposes.


Cacti and succulents grow well in containers. Choose small to medium-sized containers – not tall or deep ones as they hold waters. Too much water will get the roots rotten so better not to water it on a regular basis. It is important that the soil combination is perfect and drainage holes should be enough.


Watering these cacti is far different from typical plants on garden beds. Usually, plants need to drink water regularly but these succulents only need water once a week if kept in sunny areas. However, containers kept indoors must be watered probably once every two weeks and during winter once every 6 weeks.


Fertilizers are not necessary for these succulents. They can grow normally without any aid of fertilizers. This is one of the advantages of having this kind of plant. But if you really want to use one, a general purpose fertilizer will do.

Texture, Style and Appeal

No other plants have the same qualities as these cacti and succulents. They are one-of-a-kind, complete combination of texture, style and texture. More often than not in a garden setting, gardeners will add other elements to cater texture. With cactus however, no extra fringes are needed. It can work magic on its own.


Plants need sunlight to grow well, but cactus need more compared to other plants. They need 6 hours of sunlight every day to thrive. Therefore, it is necessary that bright light is maintained whether indoors or outdoors.

Interesting Way for Flowers to Bloom

Obviously this plant needs enough sunlight to grow well but if you want it to have fresh lovely flowers, keep them in darkness for about 12 to 14 hours daily. Stop watering them while it’s kept away. After approximately 8 weeks, it will start to show buds, keep still in darkness and wait until it’s about to bloom.

Though this trick may sound weird, but it is effective. Ignoring them completely works, this might be their response when seeking attention. Their lovely flowers will entice you.

Cactus is a tough plant – it can tolerate drought and hot temperature. This is a perfect plant for any garden, hassle-free as they don’t need to be checked regularly. No doubt that this plant is a good addition to your garden. However, you have to be careful in dealing with them or else you’ll be pricked!

Smart Ways to Keep Your Garden Looking Great While You are Out of Town

It is always a problem to leave the plants unattended while you are out for a vacation. If you will be out for a couple of days then there is nothing to worry, but if you will be gone for a few weeks then there should be some preparations to do. A true gardener won’t allow all his efforts and hard work in maintaining the garden be put to waste.

Though there might be some helpful neighbors that could help you out in watering your plants, it really matters if the garden is ready when it’s time for you to leave.

Keep the Soil Moist

A great gardener ensures that plants get good watering before he travels. As much as possible, water the plants deeply and remove unnecessary weeds on your garden beds as they compete for water with the plant.

  • Move potted plants to shady areas in the garden to lessen direct heat from the sun to keep the soil moist.
  • If there is available compost, mulch or clippings to cover the exposed soil on your garden, then you should consider doing it. This will help in minimizing the fast evaporation and keep the soil damp for longer days.

Check the Entire Garden

It is very important that you inspect the entire garden most especially for plants that are going to seed. This way, you can decide whether to keep the seeds for future use or trim them up so they won’t bear seeds for the time being.

Clean Up

Take some time to clean up, this will ensure that no waste clutters around the garden. Eliminate weeds that can choke your precious plants. You don’t want your garden to look like a jungle, don’t you? In addition, trim up poorly grown stalks and spotted leaves to avoid pathogens to attack your plants.

  • Trim up – get rid of the possibility that your plants will get sick while you are away. One way to minimize the risk is to trim up all the unhealthy parts of the plant.

Take Advantage of Free House Sitters

Having someone to take care of your garden is the best option. In this way, you are assured that your plants will still be healthy just the way you left them.

  • TrustedHousesitters.com – this is just one of the websites that offer free house sitters. There are lots of willing gardeners eager to look out for your plants in return for an accommodation.

Training is all the Plants Need

If you are planning to take a long vacation, early preparation for your plants can do the trick. Start to water them deeply but not often as you usually do, this will help them adjust and grow deeper roots. This way, they will get used to the idea of taking enough water for longer days.

Vulnerable Plants in Pots

More often than not, potted plants are the most vulnerable. Before hitting the road for your getaway, it is important that these potted plants are removed from the direct heat of the sun.

  • Watering technique – creating your own water globes at home for these pots as a watering device will make your life easier. You can have a water-filled bottle with its neck plunged deep into the soil. This will allow the soil to get the water it needed to maintain its moisture.

Taking a vacation should be stress free, so don’t bother yourself thinking about the plants in your garden. If you did the tips mentioned above, though not perfect, your plants will still look great and healthy when you get back.