Top Tips on Improving Your Yard Using Austin Native PlantsPublished: 05/10/2022 | Updated: 29/03/2023
We all know how much of a headache the weather in Austin can be, from scorching hot summers and flash floods during the spring to mild winters with even occasional deep freeze - is there any escape from the harsh climate?
Other than traditional and historic weather patterns, climate change has also been a great contributor to the increasingly harsh climate of Texas which has led to various problems: dry spells, flooding, and sudden rises and falls of temperatures. Extended periods of drought have caused the government to enforce water restrictions on Austin that have affected how we tackle local landscaping.
Figuring out how to design a sustainable yard capable of withstanding Austin's harsh climate can be very difficult especially when you factor in the costs, however, with a little planning you can transform your yard into a beautiful, lush, and drought tolerant landscape that is perfect for you and your family to enjoy year-round.
With these tips and tricks, we can help you design your vibrant and colorful Austin garden tough enough to endure the Texas climate year-round in a way that is cost-efficient and easy to maintain!
Grow Texas Best Native Plants
Native gardening is increasing in popularity due to its relatively low maintenance upkeep. By choosing the best plants that are native to Texas, you will not only save time and effort growing them as they have already evolved and acclimatized to the weather conditions in Austin, but you will also be aiding in the development of a healthy ecosystem that is a crucial benefit due to the damage done to the current ecosystem in the Austin area.
Another benefit of native gardening is water conservation due to the lower amount of water needed by some of these plants and will also keep your soil healthy by aiding in drainage.
Texas is home to some of the most beautiful and brightly colored native plants, below is a list of some of our favorites that we think will elevate your yard!
This spreading shrub requires slight shade and can be exposed to full sunlight, it is among the perfect native shrubs suitable for the harsh Austin summers due to its drought-resistant qualities. This shrub produces very striking flowers that change color depending on their maturity stage, they begin as yellow flowers and then become orange until they are fully mature to red.
These gorgeous brightly-colored yellow flowers require direct sunlight and bloom all throughout April to November, it's also a great native plant to begin your garden with as it is readily available at most big box nurseries.
The Cenzio, more commonly known as the Texas Sage is a perfect addition to your native garden. To burst into an exquisite bloom, offer it full sun and well-drained soil. Not only can it survive extreme heat, but it is also at its most beautiful during the summer when the plant fully blooms into small clusters of purple flowers that contrast extremely well with the rest of your green yard. Once the growing season begins, give your yard some character with these light pink and lavender shrubs.
Another amazing addition to your native garden is the Flame Acanthus which is a bright red flower that can withstand the dry conditions of the scorching hot summers but also requires very little water to survive which is perfect for when the dry spouts hit Austin!
Invest in Hardscaping and Rockscaping
Having a beautiful yard doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be entirely green. There are non-living elements that can be added to your yard that require very little maintenance yet can have a very impactful effect on the design of your yard! With hardscaping you can let your imagination run wild and get as creative as possible, the ideas are limitless and if implemented correctly can be as cost-efficient as you want!
You can build a beautiful wooden patio for you and your loved ones to share drinks and have a barbeque, you can add stone walkways or even a pergola. Water features are also a beautiful way to elevate your yard, fountains, fishponds, and bird baths that attract gorgeous local Blue Jays. You can even go as far as building a pool or above-ground jacuzzi for you and your loved ones to enjoy!
Use Low-Maintenance Plants
The trendy hipsters were onto something when they decided to make succulents their go-to for an easy low-maintenance yet beautiful houseplant. But did you know that succulents not only make a great easy-to-care-for houseplant but also have the power to transform your yard into a desert paradise?
Not only are succulents perfect for those of us with brown thumbs who are terrible at remembering when to water plants, but they are also able to thrive under the extremely hot Central Texas summer conditions with minimal upkeep required. Here is a list of some of our favorite succulents that will withstand that brutal Austin summer heat and keep your yard vibrant and full of life and pricks so watch out!
This succulent species is perfect for water conservation as it can go for very long periods without being watered needing only to be watered occasionally during extremely hot days in the summer. It is a very interesting-looking plant, it has bluish-green leaves that can grow up to 18 inches tall and 24 inches wide when fully mature.
The sedum or stonecrop is one of the prettiest-looking succulents, it consists of thick fleshy stems that form star-like clusters. Not only are these plants extremely low maintenance and require very little watering but they are also extremely versatile and can grow on almost any surface. They are perfect for ground covering, and wall covering, hanging from baskets, or even in rock gardens.
This cactus is perfect for those of you going for a rustic desert vibe for your garden, it can grow to extreme heights of 49ft depending on the species of the plant. A fascinating species of the Cereus family is the Night-Blooming Cereus, it can bloom gorgeous white flowers for just one night and open to their fullest at midnight perfect for a beautiful celebration in your garden. The Cereus also requires minimal watering and plenty of sunlight to thrive.
This succulent is rather small compared to other species which is why for decorative purposes it looks best planted in containers in your yard which can really elevate your design. This succulent has sharp short spines and blooms beautiful multi-colored flowers, like its counterparts it also requires direct sun and can be watered very infrequently.
Invest in an automatic irrigation system
One way to ensure you are managing your landscaping budget well is by initially investing in a good automatic irrigation system that will save you the hassle and money down the road. You can program your system to run at certain times during the day such as early in the morning or late at night as well as set different schedules for different plants.
All you need to do is angle your sprinkler heads on your plants and sit back and relax, no need to drag around a heavy hose! Not only is this system highly convenient but it is also a great way to track your water consumption and can be programmed to conserve water!
It doesn’t matter if you want to give your Austin yard a unique edge by planting a Desert Willow or adding a Texas Wisteria for a spellbinding cascade of purple flowers; ShrubHub has all the answers for you!
Our experts at ShrubHub have years of experience in the landscaping business and have transformed the most challenging yards into beautiful havens. With clients all over the country, no challenge is too big or too small; we have seen it all and done it all!
We know how tough the summertime can be on Austin landscaping so for a limited amount of time you can get a summer discount for your yard design with design ideas starting from just $100! Hurry up and with the help of our experts, you can have the yard of your dreams!
Just visit ShrubHub.com for more information on Austin yard designs.