A Pool in the Country

One of the projects for this week included a swimming pool in rural Lucas. These properties usually are larger and more open than typical suburban lots and provide their own set of unique challenges. This homeowner wanted more privacy without having a hedge or "shrub wall". Ease of maintenance, durability and drought tolerance were also important considerations.

We utilized Pampas Grass in the corners and Wax Myrtle in the middle as vertical forms. 'Knock Out' Rose, Indian Hawthorn and Autumn Sage provide some flowering while 'Breeze' Grass and Dwarf Burford Holly provides evergreen texture.

Plano Backyard

Here we have a typical 30 ft. by 40 ft. suburban Plano backyard. This homeowner need additional patio space for seating and as a children's play area. They also wanted to keep an open grass area for a multi-use space, and a perimeter planting that was attractive but easy to maintain.

The open space occupied by the grass was created by using a circular form for the planting beds. The Pavestone patio shape continues the theme using large arcs and circles.

Some of the plant selections for this project include Knock Out roses, Wax Myrtle, Anthony Waterer Spirea, Compact Nandina, Variegated Pittosporum, and Indian Hawthorn. In the shaded side area I used a Crimson Queen Japanese Maple, Gold Dust Aucuba, Cast Iron Plant, Supergreen Liriope, and some perennials like Southern Wood Fern and Hosta.

Another Zero Lot Line Home

This week we have another zero lot line yard with its own unique set of challenges. There is about 5 feet that separate this home from its neighbor. This will limit light as well as the type and sizes of plant material that can be used.

In the back yard, the homeowner wanted an all weather path from the patio to the back gate, something interesting to look at from her breakfast area window, and she wanted the a/c compressor moved away from the grill. The front yard faced North, so there will be some light issues to address, and the Asian Jasmine ground cover had to go. Again, we were looking for some visual interest in the walk-up to the front door.

To enhance the front we planted some 'Autumn Rouge' Encore Azaleas, Moon Bay Nandina, Dwarf Japanese Maple, and Spreading Plum Yew. With the back yard, PaveStone was used to construct the patio and walkway and we selected a Windmill Palm in front of the breakfast area window with Spreading Plum Yew underneath. Along the path, Supergreen Liriope, Nana Nandina, and Cross Vine help to soften the neighbors wall. A Savanna Holly tree form in the back will soften the view of the alley.

Landscape Renovation

This landscape renovation project began after a major deck remodel. The construction process severely damaged the existing landscape and irrigation system, and without water, last years drought finished what was left. We set out to keep the groundcover and original bed shape. The beds were extended on the east side, but the remaining landscape beds were left in their original form.

The idea was to keep the existing Asian Jasmine and plant widely spaced shrub groups along the deck. The central bed was larger and more open, so we created patterned shrub groups to fill the space. Once spring arrives, the thin patches in the ground cover will fill in.

We selected low maintenance shrubs for partial sun like Variegated Pittosporum, Holly Fern, Japanese Cleyera, Dwarf Yaupon Holly and Red Japanese Maple.