In the first article of this series, we gave you an overview of xeriscaping and showed how it can save water while also saving you time and money. In the second article, we helped you understand how to select a grass that is well-suited to the East Texas climate and gave you ways to keep your lawn looking its best with minimal effort and expense. In this article, we will tell you the benefits of a well-designed xeriscaped yard and give you both things to consider and practical tips for creating it.
Start by Knowing Your Yard
Before you start transforming your yard, you need to know what you really have. This is a case where the more information you have, the more effectively you can plan and the greater your long-term success will be.
You want to have or know the following:
- Diagrams / 360° pictures (printed on markable paper) of your yard
- A soil analysis
- Legal restrictions / Home-Owners Association rules (what you cannot add, remove, etc.)
- Locations of underground wires, pipes, etc. (to avoid damaging them should you need to dig)
- The drainage flow of your yard (where it runs off quickly, where it goes, where it tends to pool, etc.)
- A list of xeriscape plants suitable for your climate and soil type
With that information at the ready, you can confidently move into the imagining stage.
Imagine Your Ideal Yard
How do you want to use your outdoor space? Create a list of things you want to do in your yard. For example, do you want an outdoor cooking and dining area? If so, do you want it open to the sun, shaded, or do you want to be able to change it? Do you want it on grass or some inorganic material such as gravel or concrete? Do you need a playscape? Do you want a garden with a sitting area and a reflecting globe? Do you want a water fountain? Do you want bushes under the windows or flower beds? What do you want people to see when they walk up to your front door?
Form follows function and once you know how you want to use your yard and what your yard can accommodate, then you can strike a sustainable harmony.
Lay out the diagram / image of your yard. Make a note of what plants and trees you have that are doing well and which are struggling. Decide what should be removed and mark that space so that it is “cleared”.
Next, look at your list of features that you want in it. Use cutouts or markers to represent those features and place them on the diagram. As you do this, consult your other information to see if the placement is allowable and practical. For example, a shady area may seem like an appealing spot for an outdoor sitting area, but if it has poor drainage and tends to pool water then it may be unsuitable. Or you may want to plant a tree in a spot only to see that the soil cannot support it.
Keep doing this until you have a diagram that matches your vision. After that, it is simply a matter of calculating costs, getting what you need, and transforming your vision into your personal paradise.
Do you need help with transforming your outdoor space into your what you dream it can be? You can find service providers for Cypress by visiting our Service Providers page.