Last Updated on September 16, 2022 by Kristi Linauer
I received our landscape design plan from the landscape designer yesterday! We met yesterday afternoon and went over the plan that he came up with for our one-acre lot (we’re in central Texas, which is Zone 8), and I couldn’t be more thrilled. He included a ton of color (at my request, obviously 😀 ), evergreens, drought-resistant plants, and native plants. I never knew that there were so many colorful grasses!
Here’s an overview of the whole landscape design plan that I received, which includes a layout showing our lot and where he suggests putting everything, a legend that lists what all of those plants on the drawing actually are, and pictures of most of the plants.
The whole goal with this was to give me a visual of something to work towards over the span of a few years. In other words, we’re not going to sign off on a landscape design plan and then have them come in and totally transform our whole property. This is going to be a very slow process that will evolve over the course of many years, and a lot of it will have to wait until we have our driveway in, the addition built on the back of the house, and my workshop built in the back yard.
But I can certainly start implementing some of the ideas for the front yard very soon. And this plan is so pretty that I just might have it framed and hang it on the wall of my studio just so that I can be motivated and inspired by it often. Here’s a view of just the lot layout without the legend and the photos of the plants.
There’s a whole lot to take in! I think I spent about two hours last night just pouring over the andscape design plan, looking at all of the little symbols, finding the symbols on the legend, finding the actual photos of those plants, and trying to envision everything in place.
Here’s a closer view of the legend, which is divided into annuals/perennials, ground cover, shrubs, and trees. He said that he generally doesn’t add annuals to a landscape design because those can always be added throughout the year as I see things in the stores/nurseries that I’d like to plant. So he just focuses on more permanent plants and features.
I spent a while last night looking up pictures of all of those things, some of which I had never even heard of (whirling butterflies? 😀 ), so here’s a glimpse of all of those things, in all of their colorful beauty…
I can’t even tell you how much I love all of that color!! He did such a good job at listening to what I said I wanted, and bringing together a beautiful mix of plants and trees to bring my vision to life. It makes me what to go out today and start digging in some dirt and making planting beds. 😀
Here are a few close-up details, beginning with the front yard.
There were a couple of things that I was very excited about. First, he said that he got some preliminary estimates for a concrete driveway, and he thinks that we can get it done for much less than what we were expecting since we don’t have a current driveway that needs to be broken up and hauled off. Since it’s just dirt and a bit of leftover gravel right now, that brings the cost down. I was thrilled to hear that!! And then he did tie in some walkways (my walking track that will go around the whole property) using gravel and probably those plastic grids for gravel that I shared a couple of weeks ago.
In the picture above, you can see that he added planting beds all along the front of the property at the street, and he suggested (*drum roll please*)…a white picket fence with an arbor across the sidewalk.
YES!! I think I wrote a post a while back (maybe a couple of years ago now) about wanting a white picket fence, but I was talked out of it. But he said that when he saw our house, he thought the style of it would be perfect with a white picket fence with planting beds all along the front, as well as some plants behind the fence, all across the front of our property.
And then lining the sidewalk, all the way down on either side, he put Purple Heart (also called Wandering Jew), which is one of my absolute favorite plants.
It’s a gorgeous deep purple color, and there’s a house in town that I drive by several times a week that has it lining their sidewalk and the front edge of their property along the street, and I absolutely LOVE it. Every time I pass, I slow down to admire it as I drive by.
For our front yard, he recommended Zoysia grass, which I had never heard of before. Evidently, it’s more drought-tolerant than St. Augustine (which is the favorite around here, but requires quite a bit of water), so it’s lower maintenance.
He included so much detail, including my water feature that I wanted in front of the breakfast room windows, planting pots in the flower beds, large decorative rocks, etc.
And then here are some details of the back yard, starting with the area at the back of the house…
Off the back of the house (or what will eventually be the back of the house once we build the addition), he added a curvy deck, and then a path that leads to a firepit area. There are also walkways that go to the area between the carport and my future workshop, as well as one that goes to the front door of the workshop. Outside the workshop, there’s a little seating area, and flower beds all along the walkways and the front of the workshop. He also suggested a water feature to the right of the deck (the red circle with the blue in the middle is a water feature, so you can search for that “Where’s Waldo” style).
And then on the far side of the workshop, he made an area for planting beds for veggies, and then added some fruit trees at Matt’s request.
And then here’s the very back of the property…
On the bottom left area, you can see an area for a large daybed swing hung underneath a pergola. And then towards the top left area, there’s a seating area off of the walking track. That shaded gray area that you see coming from the top left corner is where he suggested creating what looks like a dry river bed with planting beds around it.
And then on the top right area, he put another little bench along the walking track, with a reflecting pool opposite the bench on the other side of the walking track.
As far as all of the green in the back yard that looks like grass, he basically suggested just keeping whatever is there right now. Our back yard stays green throughout the summer, and I’ve never once watered it. It’s a mixture of grass, probably some green weeds, and it’s all very natural, drought-tolerant, and low maintenance. I was happy to hear that because the idea of planting grass in that huge area, and then having to water it enough to keep it alive during our scorching hot summers, did not appeal to me in the least.
Here’s a closer look of the left half of that image above…
And here’s a closer look at the right half…
So that’s the landscape design plan! I love it so much that I don’t even think I have any changes to suggest. At least not yet. I just want to take a while and take it all in, and probably make a trip (or several) to some local nurseries and see these plants and trees in person, with my landscape plan in hand, to really get a visual of what I’ll be working with and working towards.
And because I know some of you are wondering, the cost to have a local landscape designer do this plan for me was $1550.00. He charges $100/hour, and he spent 15.5 hours meeting with me, taking all of the measurements, taking pictures, and putting together the entire plan. So that will give you an idea of what to expect if you’re wanting your own landscape design plan. Of course, the $100/hour is a general idea of the cost, and could be far less or far more than that depending on where you live. And then on top of that, the actual time that a designer would put into your design would be dependent on the size of your lot and the features you want to add. If they have to include things like a pool and all of the hardscaping and other features that goes into a pool area, that could take a lot longer.
But I definitely think a landscape designer (and especially one who’s local to you and who knows the local climate and what plants work well in that climate) is well worth the cost. I felt completely paralyzed with indecision before because I simply don’t know plants, and I don’t even know the first think about designing a landscape. But now, I have a “roadmap” in hand, and I feel like I could confidently go to a nursery today, pick up some plants, and know exactly where they need to go. That “roadmap” is going to save me a lot of time and money in the long run, so I feel like the upfront cost is well worth it.
If you want to see more posts about the exterior of our house, you can find all of those at the following links:
- Front Porch & Exterior Makeover — From Start To Present (Still In Progress)
- Back Exterior & Back Yard – From Start To Present (Still In Progress)
Addicted 2 Decorating is where I share my DIY and decorating journey as I remodel and decorate the 1948 fixer upper that my husband, Matt, and I bought in 2013. Matt has M.S. and is unable to do physical work, so I do the majority of the work on the house by myself. You can learn more about me here.
I hope you’ll join me on my DIY and decorating journey! If you want to follow my projects and progress, you can subscribe below and have each new post delivered to your email inbox. That way you’ll never miss a thing!
MaryJuly 15, 2022 at 11:44 am
That looks absolutely fabulous, especially the choice of plants which suit your site type and location. Will save lots of money on buying/planting which are unsuitable and turn up their roots at the first opportunity! I wish you well in your landscaping endeavour.
DianeJuly 15, 2022 at 11:56 am
The plan looks great. I do suggest adding stepping stones to get from the front walk to the area in front of the breakfast room. You talked about having bird feeders & they need to be filled frequently.
ChristineJuly 15, 2022 at 1:28 pm
The plan is fabulous and you were smart to hire a professional
I hope you get to do something for the front this summer if it’s just your water feature outside of breakfast room.
stephJuly 15, 2022 at 12:27 pm
If you are open to it and know where certain trees are going to go, I would try to buy them small, plant them and let grow. Since it is going to take years anyway, save some money! I planted some crepe myrtles a few years ago that I bought on clearance from Home Depot for $15. It would be at least 500.00 for those trees now for the size they are.
MJuly 16, 2022 at 4:07 am
I second this – get trees in as early as you can, as they take a long time to get established/grow to any appreciable size. It’s a great plan and will look amazing!
PeggyJuly 15, 2022 at 12:57 pm
The plan looks amazing! One question. Is it going to require much maintenance? Will they be putting down barrier paper with some sort of mulch to keep weeds down? Or maybe that isn’t as much of an issue as it is in the northeast. Or maybe it’s just me who likes the flower beds we have, but require barrier paper so I don’t need to be constantly attending to the beds.
BarbaraJuly 16, 2022 at 3:31 am
This garden will require a huge amount of maintenance. Pretty much a half day, every day gardener, for most months of the year. Weeding is the least of duties.
Christine CzarneckiJuly 16, 2022 at 1:01 pm
An alternate suggestion that was made to me was to put down a pre-emergent herbicide, just before installing drip line with built-in emitters. The drip line is then covered by about 3 inches of mulch. The mulch allows the water to be absorbed by the plant roots and the mulch keeps weed seeds from sprouting. This way you do not need to put down weed cloth,
LisaJuly 27, 2022 at 2:46 pm
I like this a lot. I was surprised to see Mexican feather grass on there as I removed mine because it was considered invasive
Marianne in Mo.July 15, 2022 at 12:59 pm
My first thought is – take that drawing to a copy store and make several copies of different sizes, in color, and keep one of each size tucked away. Then you will have them if/when you want to frame them (or as I did, pass them on to the next owner so they know what all the plants/trees are!) Second, he did an amazing job! If you get all of this completed, it will be a mini-botanical garden! I love everything he did, and there are several plants/trees that I love and have or have had in my past. I once worked at a nursery and learned and bought tons of living things over the years. Did he also suggest a sprinkler system? I would think you could use one with all this to water! So pretty!!!
BarbaraJuly 16, 2022 at 3:33 am
Does it rain a lot in Waco? Reliably? Otherwise yes a sprinkler system is required. For example, I didn’t plant a Japanese Maple because they required too much water for my climate in Canada (dry). I have underground sprinklers but even with these certain areas need topping up once a week.
BreannaJuly 15, 2022 at 1:15 pm
I love it. I would recommend looking at other varieties of roses as well as the knockouts. Antique Rose Emporium is in Texas and they carry a number of Earthkind varieties (those ones have been tested in our climate and are easy to grow here).
KathyJuly 15, 2022 at 1:19 pm
I’m so excited for you. I love the detail of the plan. I paid for a plan once, but this is so much more than I got. I did like having the plan to start and do on my timeline in my budget. This will be so fabulous for yall. Congratulations!
Patty BrennerJuly 15, 2022 at 1:19 pm
How gorgeous! I have a number of those perennials at my place in the hill country (between Wimberley and Blanco) and they do very well. If you like scented plants, I highly suggest Almond Verbena – it is also drought tolerant, and has the most delicious sweet almond smell when you are near it! It will be so fun watching you make this turn into reality over the next years – and thanks for sharing your cost for the plan. We also have a house on acreage in southern Arizona, and it desperately needs landscaping around the house (not the entire acreage, lol). I told my husband I wanted something professional drawn up, and now I can give him a ballpark amount for it.
BevJuly 15, 2022 at 1:21 pm
Will you be installing a watering system?
Michelle CJuly 15, 2022 at 1:25 pm
For the most part, I love the selections. Just take some time to read up on rose rosette disease before committing to knock-outs and drift roses. The Ft. Worth Botanical Gardens lost most of their roses to rose rosette several years back, as did our community north of there. They are also somewhat of a maintenance pain – you really need to cut them way back (down to about 1/3 size) every February. That’s a lot of thorny brush to get rid of.
We had El Toro zoysia just north of Austin. Definitely much lower water usage than St. Augustine. Be aware it sends out lots and lots of runners. Chokes out the weeds fabulously but it will want to take over your flower beds. Be sure to use some sort of edging that forms a root barrier several inches down and stay on top of it.
Nikki HJuly 15, 2022 at 2:59 pm
I came here to say this. We lost all our Knock-Out Roses in north FW due to this disease. Once one rose bush gets it, it spreads like wildfire. And you can not dispose of the diseased bushes in your yard trash. They have to be wrapped up in trash bags and placed in the regular trash bins so the lawn clippings aren’t exposed to it. It was rampant in our neighborhood.
JeanneJuly 15, 2022 at 11:48 pm
Knock out roses became very popular in Cincinnati a few years back. Garden stores really pushed them. I was very disappointed in my knock outs. The rose flower is not as pretty as other varieties, more like wild roses. Flatter, fewer petals. Also they were supposed to bloom all summer. They did not. I had to constantly trim back the spent blossoms but new roses took some time to develop. They attracted just as many insects and diseases as my hybrid tea roses. Cincinnati is very hot and humid during the summer. Winters can be cold. Is Waco similar?
I also wonder if there are too many plants. I followed a plan once and ended up removing plants over the years as it became very crowded. Perhaps fill in with annuals in the early years. Do get irrigation,
I used to get compliments on my garden but old age limits me now. I will enjoy watching your garden grow.
Barbara PilcherJuly 15, 2022 at 1:34 pm
That plan looks gorgeous, both as a rendering and as something easy to envision in 3-D. He’s included so much variety and so many plants I love. I expect it will test your patience to have it all come together. But the results are going to be something people will want to tour! I hope your designer will hook you up with a wholesale nursery and people who can help with the grunt work.
Carla from KansasJuly 15, 2022 at 1:39 pm
Did he give you an idea about pricing of 1) just the plants 2) installation. I realize that doing it over several years prices will change but plants are so expensive. For example, 69 dwarf, yaupon holly 3 gallon size 79.98 from Brighter Blooms would be $5520. The larger the size of the plant the higher the price.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is planting items too close to buildings and fences. You want to be able to get behind the plants to appropriately prune them.
I’m not being a Debbie Downer. I love to garden and spend a lot time doing it. However, as I get older it gets more difficult. There are a lot of things to consider and you’ve stated this is all new to you so you may not even know some of the things you need to consider. You might want to check out Horttube by Jim Putnam on youtube. He has a series of videos starting a couple of years ago when he moved into a new to him home. He shows how he first amended the soil and he has drone shots so you can see the area from above. It’s a small lot he’s on but preparing soil and beds is the same regardless of the size.
Your plan is beautiful and your yard will be too. He’s suggested plants that aren’t fussy. Kudos to him listening to you.
YvonneJuly 15, 2022 at 2:05 pm
Carla is so right! Plants are crazy expensive, especially when you need many at retail prices. Online prices will be higher than your local nurseries, but wholesale always gets the best pricing so perhaps your landscape designer can order them for you when you are ready. I wanted a Snow Fountain Weeping cherry tree for a small bed next to our driveway. A 15 gallon tree online was $665, but my sweet husband found the exact same size at our local Southern States for $150.
I need (want) about 22 Phenomenal Lavender to create a hedge next to my sidewalk at a cost of $300 for 1 gallon pots – so I have to wait. 🙁 If I could buy them wholesale I would get a much better deal.
Size does matter as Carla has stated in her comment -bigger plant, bigger price tag, bigger hole you have to dig. Smaller plants will take longer to mature and fill in but the cost differential and ease of planting can be worth going with a smaller size. You can sometimes find Liriope as ‘plugs’ in a flat of 18 cells for about the same price as two of the 3 gallon size.
Katie HJuly 15, 2022 at 3:33 pm
For sure. I am poor and patient, so I’ve started a lot even from seed. As a hobby, it grows on you…I am very invested in my baby plants.
My MIL would like to see results in her lifetime, so for the garden at her house we’ve put in much larger plants. It IS pretty fabulous to get blueberries the first year! 😀
BarbaraJuly 16, 2022 at 3:45 am
I wish I could give you lavender. It grows as a weed where I live, I started with one plant. It self seeds in the hundreds and it is horrendous to pull them all out. I did give my neighbour enough for her to have a huge plot of it alongside her driveway.
It will not grow well anywhere with a lot of moisture. It grows in gravel that gets no watering in my very dry climate. Right now in full bloom it is very beautiful. You have to prune heavily otherwise it gets very woody.
Christine CzarneckiJuly 16, 2022 at 1:08 pm
There are so many different species of lavender. Can you tell us exactly which kind you have that is creating such a problem? You will be doing all of us a favor!
YvonneJuly 18, 2022 at 6:27 am
Barbara – I wish you could give me lavender too! The species I intend to get is Lavandula x Phenomenal which I can only find at one nursery here. I did see a lot of Hidcote Blue lavender when plant shopping this weekend. What kind do you have? The area next to my sidewalk stays pretty dry and is in full sun so I believe it will do well there and make a nice hedge. My biggest gardening issue in this new house is deer and rabbits so I’m trying out some Liquid Fence granules (terrible smell) and crossing my fingers.
TracyJuly 15, 2022 at 4:20 pm
After our landscape was installed, I thought “oh I need to go buy more plants” glad I did not! Everything just exploded in size in just just a couple of months! I am amazed!
YvonneJuly 15, 2022 at 1:51 pm
Your landscaping plan is gorgeous!!! Kudos to you for your patience that you can wait several years – I would want that NOW!! I love gardening and landscape design. I’m constantly coming up with ‘visions’ for my yard and plans to implement.
What did Matt think of the plan? I hope he is blown away and excited to get it done!
I did notice in the list of plants Nandina – please note that this plant/shrub is very hard to get rid of and will put up shoots. Nandina is listed as a Dirty Dozen plant and is also toxic to dogs. See this link for more information: https://www.lewisginter.org/nandina/
Though the two specimens he chose are sterile and will not spread by seed, they will spread by rhizomes in the ground. I would ask the landscape designer for an alternative shrub, perhaps a Baby Kim Lilac, which is hardy in Zone 8.
I actually first found your site while looking for landscape ideas around the porch – porch was apparently a keyword for your 2018 post on superimposing wood over concrete for your porch. 🙂 I’m very much looking forward to seeing how you implement this plan and the transformation to come. It will be amazing and the plant choices are great overall. Lots of easy care shrubs and perennials.
CynthiaJuly 18, 2022 at 5:36 pm
Agreed. Please research the potential cons of the plants in this list before committing to them. In my area, asparagus fern and lantana are invasive; even if you don’t care about that, both have annoying thorns that make them a pain to prune or remove.
MaggieJuly 15, 2022 at 2:01 pm
I love this so much! We will be doing the same soon I hope! The person we plan to use designs with all native plants to our area. I want a wild and crazy, pollinator haven!
I can’t wait to see your property come together. So much fun!
Nancy BaldwinJuly 15, 2022 at 2:10 pm
Love that you get to start basically from scratch. We had to do that too in our current house. That means your options are wide open. If I may offer some advice. Plant your trees as soon as you can. They take a long time to reach maturity They are almost like infrastructure. Good luck on this new venture.
PMLJuly 15, 2022 at 2:16 pm
Thank you for sharing this! I love the plan and it seems so dreamy for you to have that yard!! Also thank you for sharing the cost. I paid $400 about ten years ago for a design on my small lot, front and back yard. I recently got a quote for just my front yard (new home). I was quoted $1,500 for a 1,500 sq ft yard. I think I need to look around some more 😂 This landscape designer you had did such an excellent job for a great price.
Roxie DimpelJuly 15, 2022 at 9:17 pm
When I lived in Rock Hill, SC we found a Nursery that provided us with the same kind of plan for FREE…hoping we would purchase from them. We told them up front we would do the planting in stages. We had just put a huge deck across the whole back of our house and wanted some privacy as we were on a corner lot. We did splurge on pretty large Crepe Myrtles and it was instantly what we wanted. The hedges we planted on the side were alley land Cypress and they were about 3’ tall…..in about 8 years they were mammoth size! Lol we also found neighbors who had lots of Stella Dora lilies and they needed to be divided so we helped her the next Spring and ended up with about 40 plants. The next year they were full and beautiful. You don’t have to buy BIG pots….smaller will do and they will grow in a couple of years. I’m 73 now and the heat in Coastal Carolina is slowing me down. I’m for gardens that are LESS maintenance as the years go by.
Beautiful plans Christi and can’t wait to follow along on your journey!
DWFJuly 15, 2022 at 2:16 pm
Looks great. Very ambitious. I was curious if you have any tree or pollen allergies. We live in West Texas and many of those trees and grasses make us miserable. Just something to think about before you invest.
YvonneJuly 15, 2022 at 3:13 pm
In addition to the good point on plant allergies, consider bee allergies as well. I’ve had Vitex in my yard for the last 15 years and the bees LOVE it. Usually bumblebees which are completely non-aggressive but something to consider.
BarbaraJuly 16, 2022 at 3:50 am
One of the suggested plants is Russian Sage. Do not have this anywhere near where people will sit, as it attracts tons of wasps. I quite dislike it, but many comment on how nice it looks. It is beside my front step and hubby is allergic to wasp stings, so I keep cutting it back heavily.
Christine CzarneckiJuly 16, 2022 at 1:16 pm
DWF, this is off topic, but important to me to tell you. I really suffered for decades with allergies and hay fever, daily, all year long.
Get an appointment with a board certified allergist and get the battery of allergy tests. Then get the immunotherapy shots. These transformed my life ,and I no longer have any hay fever, ever, because they put everything I was allergic to in my allergy shot mixture.
MonWJuly 15, 2022 at 3:45 pm
The plan looks fabulous!
I agree with others on the Nandina. The ones in our beds are not dying and my parents had some that heavily spread. Some folks call it “Heavenly Bamboo”.
The allergen comments are also valid. I am sensitive/allergic to the trees in my neighborhood and yard. You become sensitized with exposure.
Did he cover irrigation options?
You will need more water to establish new plants.
We have a smart system that uses our local weather station, or a nearby weather station to adjust watering schedules by season and need. It won’t water when we do have rain or a freeze, and will add water as needed. You program in your community-allowed watering days. Ours allows a photo of each station and your own names for each one for easier recognition later.
You each can have the app on your phone to watch/control, etc. My husband enjoys the personal weather station we have and the sprinkler system details.
Bonus is we can add more areas to the system and we use the phone app over wifi to check on the system, program it, etc.
You could run a section to soften the ground before you dig a new area, or pause the section for whatever big construction work will happen, easily.
That might be a good option for you as you slowly add the beds over the years, and I’m sure it would be much easier for the food areas.
Our sprinkler guy can even access the system and test/repair without needing inside our garage.
The other option would be adding water barrels to your roof gutters. I am considering it up here in the DFW area. Locally, you check the library for the seminar and the ability to purchase the barrels.
Our watering system has the concrete foundation as a zone, the flower beds, the grass, etc as separate zones. We currently are allowed to water the yard 2 times a week and not during peak heat times. We water after the sun has set, unless we are testing the system. The foundation can be watered more often, but not during peak heat times.
Elaine NessJuly 15, 2022 at 4:02 pm
As always, your faithful followers are offering great feedback, which will help a lot, I’m sure. It will be fun to see the transformation, little by little.
I am curious, what will be the actual distance of your walking path?
TracyJuly 15, 2022 at 4:15 pm
Looks beautiful! A landscape designer was the best money I ever spent($2000) she did a great job of choosing color so we have things in constant bloom. It would have taken me months of research to pull that off! The next best was having someone install it all! It’s A LOT more work than it looks like Kristi. You want to have done things in a correct order. You would be smart to have someone come in and do the foundational parts, grub, mounds/soil, water system etc. (at least for the front yard)I’m afraid you might waste time and money if you don’t do in proper order. It took five guys with proper equipment and know-how, more than a week, and our front yard is maybe the size of yours, slightly bigger. Best of luck!
MelanieJuly 15, 2022 at 4:21 pm
Gorgeous! If you could get the big trees planted soon that would be a great help. They take time to reach a sizable height .
CindyJuly 15, 2022 at 4:42 pm
Wow! Love it!! Can’t wait to watch your progress!
JANICE J DINSEJuly 15, 2022 at 4:44 pm
Did he give you an idea of how much it would cost to make it exactly as he drew it up? I can only imagine an arm and a leg and your firstborn. It is more beautiful than a park.
MaureenJuly 15, 2022 at 4:57 pm
This is really pretty. But ambitious is a wallopping understatement. I have gardened for 35+ years at each of my 7 homes. The maintenance on that plan is more than a full time job. Gardens are not plant them and forget them. There is constant deadheading, weeding, cutting back and monitoring. And the first year of rust or powdery mildew or whatever feels so overwhelming. Best of luck. I highly recommend a DRIP irrigation system for your climate. Fewer weeds and low water usage.
BarbaraJuly 16, 2022 at 4:01 am
Maureen, agree with you. I as well have over 35 years outdoor gardening experience. At our 3 owned homes in different regions, as well as rental homes for a few years.
I am in the process of reducing my garden plants as the work is overwhelming. Even the tall grasses that grow so well here, were just too much work. Cutting them all back every fall and disposing of all of it, then the little bits left over were so messy they drove me crazy. And cutting back all the perennials, etc. Roses–well they look fantastic for the first flush of bloom, but after that they are always messy as so many dead ones interspersed with the fresh blooms.
I have drip irrigation as well as underground sprinklers on a timer. But still some areas don’t get enough water for their needs so I need to do the hose once a week. And the powdery mildew, the worst! Then there are the voles that appeared 2 years ago after 16 years without any. And the deer eating away my established Yews…..
JaylaJuly 15, 2022 at 5:03 pm
Wow Kristi, that is one gorgeous landscape plan. I agree it’s money well spent, as it will prevent mistakes and of course look professional as you install beds. Just be aware of how much work tending such extensive gardens will be…weeding, deadheading, pruning schedules, etc. It keeps me busier than I sometimes like just keeping up with my few beds -particularly when temps are absurd.
Lynn R MartinJuly 15, 2022 at 5:06 pm
Beautiful plan. One thing to keep in mind is landscapers tend to go overboard with the amount of plants they suggest. When they are small it is ok, but in a year or two you will have so much crowding it won’t be pleasant to the eye. Look also at what others have said about some of those plants. The upkeep on some won’t be something you will want to deal with. Knock out roses are beautiful for about 4 years and then don’t bloom as much and get thick trunks and spindly looking and are a pain to dig out. I know from experience. Some of the other things grow rapidly even when they say they are drawft. Just be sure you are comfortable with the upkeep and growth of some of these plants. I think you could do with far less plants and be much happier in the long run, plus, it would be cheaper! Always keep in mind the maintenance.
Connie BrowneJuly 15, 2022 at 6:08 pm
I am a self taught gardener who just finished @ age 75 a 3 year complete design and planting project for my 1/4 acre Florida home. It’s stunning. Of course, it’s on a smaller scale but my previous house and gardening efforts were on a 2 1/2 acre Tennessee home so I know big lots too. My first point is I hope you ask for a rough estimate of the out of pocket costs if you follow this plan. We are talking many many thousands of dollars and like everything I see plant costs going up. Point two, since you’re new to gardening, start with a favorite area and get your feet wet. Point three, I do strongly recommend you check into laying pvc piping for water spigots in a number of key areas in the back so you can have multiple hoses convenient for watering the new plants the first year for sure. (And once pipes are there you could some day install drip irrigation.) You will never regret laying the pipes before planting and pathways are in. You can do this yourself of course.
Check out YouTube’s Garden Addictz she’s a whizz at finding plant bargains at Lowes and has created a lovely yard over time with her plant bargains. As mentioned Jim Putnam is super for learning how to create a beautiful landscape using small plants and letting them mature in place. Laura of Garden Answer is a must follow also. You will absolutely love her place and will be totally hooked after seeing her videos.
Julie SJuly 15, 2022 at 6:40 pm
That’s awesome! I live in a dry, hot area and recognize most of these plants. They do and will need water, but with irrigation they will be happy in the weather and once they’re established a few years in, just need a good deep drink every so often. Remember two things – first, they won’t all be in bloom at the same time! Second, you may not find everything at your local nurseries so see if he has recommendations for sourcing, or if your nursery can special order stuff they don’t normally stock.
PhoebeJuly 15, 2022 at 7:17 pm
Definitely hang the plan, it’s so pretty and inspiring! And maybe you can use it to create little hotspots of plants (like your pretty-water-something outside your window) whenever you feel like it?
What I’m curious about, is did he give you a cost of the plants? It seems like there’s several hundreds of different plants you’ll need to buy! If you are sure about the plan, maybe buy some trees now, so that you can get them smaller (and cheaper) and give them those extra couple of years to grow?
MichaelJuly 15, 2022 at 7:28 pm
I suggest pulling your car in/out of the carport to see if it is feasible to park like what is proposed in the design. Those are some really tight corners to maneuver in a vehicle as it is. To me, it doesn’t feel like you’ll have enough clearance to back up your vehicle with the proposed location of your workshop. It may be easier to pull into your carport from the side of your home versus having to u-turn and come in from the rear.
Mason LeskowitzJuly 17, 2022 at 10:49 am
Good suggestion. I was wondering the same thing.
Michelle CJuly 18, 2022 at 12:46 pm
Excellent catch! It looks like the width of the drive to get into the garage is no more than a car-length, possibly less. It would take a multi-point turn with the garage door open (and a 16′ wide single door) to get the vehicle into the garage and back out, and one likely could not have 2 vehicles (or a vehicle and a bunch of stuff) in the garage at the same time.
CathyJuly 15, 2022 at 9:13 pm
Your landscape plan is amazing!!! It will be fun to work on over the years. When I moved into a new-to-me house 6 years ago, I started with clearing the yard, getting a layout on the dirt and the hardscape in place. The 1st things I planted were the trees and like other have said I bought small to save money but now they’re filling in nicely. Then came the shrubs – buying them slowly over time. Next spring I plan to fill in with the perennials and then I can enjoy just maintaining the yard for the rest of my time here. No more installing work!
JanetJuly 15, 2022 at 9:50 pm
Well worth the initial investment to have him make your plan. Looks like he’s considered things well. Here’s to many years of pleasure installing and enjoying it.
JimmyJuly 15, 2022 at 10:25 pm
Not being an accomplished DIY type, and generally anathema to plants, your plan looks gorgeous … and exhausting. However, you obviously are young and strong and talented …
One cost-saving option is planting bare-root trees. Properly planted and tended, they are reputed to grow faster than burlap-ball trees. Also a lot easier to plant in the first place. Someone has already suggested an irrigation system … whether you go that way or water by hand, water is absolutely essential in the first years for bare-roots. Your county extension agent and nursery may have advice on them.
Julie B.July 16, 2022 at 12:42 am
So exciting! I love looking at landscape plans.
I recommend HortTube with Jim Putnam as another gardening YouTuber to add to your list. He is out of Raleigh, and so many of the plants on your list are one that he grows.
LauraJuly 16, 2022 at 7:39 am
It is well worth the money to hire a professional landscaper. They know which plants will grow well in which areas of your lot. They create designs that are artistically pleasing – not just a row of evergreens along the lot lines. This plan is absolutely gorgeous! Now you just need win the lottery to pay for all the plants! : )
SylviaJuly 16, 2022 at 11:19 am
Kristi, if you still have a cat or plan to have one, skip all lilies. They are TOXIC, even deadly, to cats. Even accidentally rubbing against the pollen and bringing it in with you can be a death sentence. Totally ticks me off, I LOVE lilies, but I love my cat more.
Sorry, not trying to be a downer here. The plan is gorgeous, and everything except the lilies is exactly right.
Mason LeskowitzJuly 17, 2022 at 10:47 am
Good to know!
HallieJuly 16, 2022 at 12:21 pm
So thoughtful, beautiful, inspirational!!!!!!
I loooooerrrrvve it!!!!!!!!!!
amy graceJuly 16, 2022 at 4:43 pm
Th plan looks great! Just a caution about Nandina. The berries are very toxic to birds who are desperate enough to eat them when other foods may be scarce in late winter. It has cyanide and it’s a terrible death. As you live in Texas, I imagine your yard might see many hungry birds who are looking for some food after a long journey and that red is pretty easy to spot! I live in Kentucky and my dwarf nandina never berry, but the taller ones always did, so I ended up cutting all the berry producing plants down.
Barbara PilcherJuly 16, 2022 at 6:00 pm
What Julie S. said. Also, the photos in horticulture books, nursery catalogs, and online always show plants at their peak, when they are free from any problems, and covered with flowers if they bloom. If plants look exactly like that, it’s usually fleeting. Every plant has a cycle. Try not to be seduced by photos.
bobbieJuly 16, 2022 at 6:20 pm
And who is going to do all the tremendous amount of maintenance that all would require?
Mason LeskowitzJuly 17, 2022 at 10:44 am
What an absolutely wonderful plan and experience!! I want this!! (Even though my garden is in and the plants are in and the path is in and the patio is in!!!) I’m so excited to see this develop over the years!! Kristi, I’m so happy for you and Matt!!
Just everything you get – low maintenance!!!
Also, that seeing what is flourishing in the neighbors’ yards – really good idea!
Great value for money as well. You save so much in all you do, hiring out for such expertise is WELL worth it!
How do I get the same chart for my already established yard I wonder . . . ? any computer program you could recommend?
Mason LeskowitzJuly 17, 2022 at 11:11 am
Another idea – we have a botanical garden (Reader Rock Garden) here in Calgary, that has an exceptional annual plant sale. I’m guessing in your area there will be a great variety of garden clubs, horticultural clubs. There are a lot of plant swap events here where even if you don’t swap, you can purchase plants for a good price, so I’m guessing in your area as well. Also check your local Facebook groups for gardening/plant groups.
For labor, I have the son of a girlfriend who comes 2 to 3 time a week to help me for an hourly amount. He has the muscle and the willingness, I have all the ideas and ambition!! Probably you’ll be able to find some kids who need steady, year round part time jobs – they are the ones who will be helpful in planting and weeding, watering, etc.
You’re a smart cookie – you’ll get it done!
BetsyJuly 17, 2022 at 2:42 pm
When this is all done you’ll be able to sell tickets to see your yard! 😀 If you and Matt are serious about fruit trees, I’d suggest getting those in on the early side of your project, since they take several years normally, to bear fruit.
BeckyJuly 17, 2022 at 4:20 pm
Holy cow, is that beautiful!
Has anyone else suggested planting some of those plants that there are lots of in your plan NOW, and then when they need dividing every year or two, bingo! More plants! Spread the color on down the line! I love my perennials just for that.
BJuly 17, 2022 at 7:12 pm
Love the plan! Turk’s Cap spreads like crazy, and if you buy one plant, in a year or 2, you’ll have enough to split up into 19 areas, easily. It does need to be cut down to the ground after freeze each winter. Comes back strong. Pollinators love it. I’m east Texas, zone 8B.
PatJuly 17, 2022 at 8:27 pm
Bridal Wreath Spirea looks blooms for about 1 week and then is a green mass for the rest of the year. I finally pulled them out because the birds were depositing mulberry seeds in them and then I had those to deal with too.
And zoysia grass goes dormant, in the midwest anyhow, So if you like a very brown lawn in the winter, go for it,
Crystal RNJuly 17, 2022 at 8:42 pm
I used to have a gazillion potted plants when I lived in the Keys. Being on a tight budget, I propagated many of my plants. The Wandering Jew you love is VERY easy to propagate. Cut off a sprig and stick it in the dirt! If you bought one plant now, in a few years you could have the place covered with it just by making new pots of it. Alot of the other smaller plants can be grown from seed or cuttings as well. Good luck with the yard.
Kathy GrayJuly 18, 2022 at 8:02 am
As usual your followers have many tree-mendous suggestions and here is mine. Join a gardening group. You will find generous people who will give you seeds and cuttings and lots of good advice. This plan is beautiful but you will spend a lot of money on plants if you don’t get them for free. Also facebook marketplace and craigs list are good sources. This is going to be a really fun adventure for you and your hubby. Hope your pup doesn’t like to dig though!
JudyJuly 17, 2022 at 9:07 pm
This is definitely a beautiful, frame-worthy landscape design! But this also is not a simple low cost, easy to install, low maintenance type of design either. Just looking at the trees suggested boggles my mind and I’m a gardener/landscaper – you would need a landscape company to install the 30 gallon container size, definitely not DIY. What to do?! Start out relatively soon with, instead of 30 gallon or even 15 gallon, a few smaller say 5 gallon trees. The smaller ones can be planted easily by you and your family and 5 gallon size will grow fast in your climate. They will also need lots of watering to keep growing though, no slacking on that (agree with someone’s suggestion of drip irrigation – not hard to install). You can also buy whips or bare roots of fruit trees – those will grow fast and produce soon enough. And see if you can put up the picket fence – what a super idea that is! Even if you don’t do the planting beds behind right away, it will be pretty and motivating to do more.
AdeleJuly 18, 2022 at 12:02 pm
I didn’t read all the comments, so my apologies if this suggestion has already been made: add walkway from the left side path back to the patio so you can make a shorter circuit of the yard, front or back, if time and energy do not allow more.
JillJuly 19, 2022 at 5:22 pm
Hi Kristi, This plan is amazing, and very similar to my dream garden, too. However, unless you win the lottery and can afford a full time gardener, it’s not gonna happen easily or quickly. Even with all your energy and enthusiasm for DIY, this is a lot to take on.
I would like to suggest that you start with infrastructure and hardscape. Get the water to where you will need it first. Get your paths, patio, and drive laid out. You should get your house addition finished before you plant close in. Construction workers are hard on gardens. Then you can start to think about preparing your soil for plants. Remove weeds, improve the soil if needed and mulch, mulch, mulch. You can start with much smaller plants than what your landscaper recommended. Just be sure to space them according to their eventual full size. I have been lucky to find free plants on neighborhood websites and facebook, and local garden groups often have sales. Many plants will multiply quickly. With perennials to divide and reseeders you will soon have all the plants you need. You should designate a place for a compost pile, it will become invaluable. I have found that a small concrete slab is very easy to work on – no roots coming up thru your Black gold. You will probably want to start your plantings in the front of the house. Then do the back in sections – a bed by the patio, one at the very back (to give you something to walk towards), maybe the corners. As time, money, and energy permit you can fill in until eventually everything joins together.
Start as soon as you can with the trees. Small bare root or potted trees will establish easier will and grow faster than large balled trees. Even slow growing hardwoods grow quckly when young. Before you plant around them, remember to leave room for a large full grown trunk.
Congratulations for starting in the right way. I hope your landscaping endeavors bring you many years of joy!
celestialJuly 23, 2022 at 11:12 am
Oh, Kristi, this isn’t a yard, it is a botanical garden, truly. And botanical gardens require LOTS of volunteer labor to exist. I know you are a DIYer beyond belief, but this plan requires SO MUCH of everything. I think of the time you spend taking care of your husband and dog and the other construction projects…are you willing to spend that on gardening? The trees and shrubs alone will probably cost 10K, if not more.
I live in Minnesota and our summers have been reaching heat waves that were previously unheard of. We do not have a watering system (outside of me and a hose) and it is so much work to keep things watered that I think we should have considered a xeriscape. I can only imagine that the climate in Texas is hotter with a longer growing season than we have.
If I have any advice to give, it would be to buy the smallest shrubs and trees available. A gardening guru once told me “Buy a $10 tree, dig a $50 hole with good soil and treat it like a $1000 treasure; it will be bigger and healthier in a shorter time than the bigger stuff.” He was right. I would also suggest that you tackle different areas at different times and not everything right away. Maybe start with the front of the house as a five year plan and then expand to the back when that is done.
We have lived in our house for 40 years; it was originally the worst house on the street. Now it is touted as one of the best, largely due to landscaping. I have to admit that splitting perennials is much harder work than it was 20 or even 10 years ago. Take stock of your time, obligations, and finances. Gardening is amazing and will always be so.