Landscaping, like painting or interior design or knitting, is a visual art form. And just like other art forms, landscaping involves the principles of smart design for an interesting and visual feast for the eyes. Whether you’re going for a rustic farmhouse look, a trendy and modern Austin xeriscaping approach, or an edgy and architectural design, we’ve got some helpful tips to make your landscaping look its very best, no matter what time of year.
Plant for Year-Round Appeal
One of the cardinal rules for achieving a stunning yard is to plant for all four seasons, so that there’s always visual interest in bloom. Simply create a well-researched garden plan to identify which plants will bloom each season in your garden based on the hardiness zone for your region. This regional zoning relies on the average annual minimum winter temperature to signify which plants will thrive. Austin is located in Zone 8b, which means that when you purchase a plant described as “hardy to zone 8,” the plant will be able to withstand a range of minimum temperatures here.
Try these ideal plants that will thrive in Austin during our coolest autumns and even our steamiest summers. Enjoy flowering shrubs or trees throughout the warm months and fall foliage in the cooler months, without extreme heat or cold wilting your hard work.
Create Layers of Flower Beds
Think of your flower bed arranging like the composition of a photo. Keep the tallest flower borders in the back (preferably facing north), add a middle row of flowers in the middle, and reserve the front row for your shortest plants. This way you’ll have a full and organized flower bed, and flowers will be visible from any angle. Repeat this method both in your planting beds and throughout your yard for continuity.
The yards with the most curb appeal don’t limit themselves to flower beds. Hardscaping, known as the non-living elements of landscaping, incorporates materials such as brick, concrete, stone, metal, and wood. Consider a stone retaining wall or landscape steps, a brick walkway to bridge areas of interest, or even a smattering of tile or sea glass to add sparkle and pattern to flower beds.
Adding these elements to your yard provides visual interest as well as seamless transitions from indoors to outdoors, or to specific areas of the garden you’d like to highlight. When contrasted with your flowering plants, hardscaping creates a polished look that really pulls together the whole look of your landscaping.
Incorporate Water Features
No matter the size, a water feature adds a focal point and soothing sound to your yard. Here are some of our favorites to consider:
- Ponds. Use landscaping stones for a border and fill with koi fish or lily pads — or simply leave the water empty so you can dip your toes at the end of the day.
- Birdbaths. Invite some Northern Mockingbirds and, yes, even those curiously intriguing grackles to take a dip and share in the utopia of your garden (while you watch them with your binoculars).
- Fountains. These are a staple of any backyard haven, and the good news is that recycled-water fountains don’t waste water.
- A waterfall. Re-create your own version of paradise in your backyard with a waterfall big enough to jump into or small enough to simply enjoy for its soothing sounds.
Ditch the Straight Lines
There’s a reason why “square” is an adjective for “boring.” Straight lines, especially in gardening and landscaping, can feel formal and rigid, just the opposite of flowering plants and trees in wild bloom. To add character and visual appeal to your landscaping, design your edging in long, serpentine curves that wind around your yard like a stream.
The best thing about landscaping your yard is that it can be customized to your needs and preferred style, just as your home can. If you’re still in the dreaming and planning phase of a new home to call your own, we’re here to help bring your unique vision to life. At Paradisa Homes, we’re Austin home builders who will guide you through every step of the building process to create a home that looks and feels uniquely you.