I adore planning landscapes and remodeling. This landscape featured above was all grass. It is an expansive corner lot, on a slope, which flanks two driveways which form a circle under the original car port of this Mid Century modern home. The home was well sited, it just needed some pizzazz and the owner wished to reduce their $300.00/mo water bill during the hot Dallas months.
We played up the angles by doing a mix of stone in angle patterns to accent the driveways and add interest in the hill top landscapes which went from grass to a Desert Palm Springs vibe with succulents, agave, A Spanish Dagger and several palms. We retained one wild flower area for wildlife and butterflies that reside under some old growth trees.
Xeriscaping is both popular and gorgeous in its simplicity. And you have gotta love the ease of maintenance! While your neighbors are out mowing and watering, you can smile and walk back into the house after getting your mail.
If you are daunted by your landscape, not sure how to make it more modern, I suggest beginning with your Curbside or Parkway. This is usually easiest, least expensive and can set the tone for what you do next. Step 2 would be to take on the plantings and elements directly in front of your house, all flower beds and shrub areas.
We chose gravel, in Tejas Black & pink Granite, for its longevity and colour contrast to pick up the pinky tones in the brickwork and the slate painted wood of the house. Mulch can also be used with mixed colours as well and provides a softer look.
Whatever you choose, you will definitely want to till everything up and lay a barrier down or you will end up with a mess of weeds and grass growing through your newly elegant space in no time flat.
Here are some resource books that will help you on your Xeriscaping path. As I live in Texas, I am featuring Xeriscape for Central Texas By Gerre Boardman . The Professional Designers Guide To Garden Furnishings, by Vanessa Gardner Nagel is a fantastic reference tool. When we do our gardens, it isnt just about the plants but also about the furnishings of our outdoor spaces to bring it all together. This book is very helpful for that.