For those living in Texas or the Southwest, you can create a beautiful, layered native landscape flanking your front steps - all in a weekend! Design your space thoughtfully, choosing Texas natives and adding boulders for interest and a timeless look. Prepare, plant, mulch, and water.
What You'll Need:
- Native plants like Frogfruit, Prairie Verbena, Texas Sage, Turk’s Cap, Flame Acanthus, Texas Red Road and Mexican Plum
- Garden tools (spade, rake, tiller, watering can or hose)
Day 1 is all about planning and prep.
Start by designing your yard with the layered look in mind. This involves positioning taller plants at the back and shorter ones towards the front. Incorporate the placement of two-man boulders into your design to serve as focal points, thereby creating a sense of depth and interest. Once your design is ready, visit your local nursery to purchase the native Texas plants, soil amendments, and the two-man boulders. Once everything is purchased, prepare your yard by removing the existing grass and weeds and amending the soil with compost to improve its quality and nutrient content.
On Day 2, you'll be planting and mulching.
Start by positioning the plants and boulders according to your design, adjusting as needed to achieve the best visual balance. Once you're satisfied with the layout, start planting. Dig holes twice as wide as the pots each plant came in, place the plants into these holes and make sure they are level with the surrounding soil. Backfill the hole and firm the soil gently. Once everything is planted, apply mulch around the plants, leaving some space around their bases. I like Scotts® Nature Scapes® Color Enhanced Mulch as you can choose which color matches your landscape and it helps prevent weeds and retains moisture in the soil. Finish the day by watering the landscape deeply to help the plants settle into their new environment.
On Day 3, you'll finalize.
Start the day by taking many steps back and evaluate your new landscape from a vantage point. If anything looks off, don't hesitate to make the necessary adjustments to any plants - hopefully boulders will not need adjustments. Then clean up! Store leftovers and tools.
I’ve suggested plants like Frogfruit, Prairie Verbena, Texas Sage, Turk’s Cap, Flame Acanthus, Texas Red Oak, and Mexican Plum to create a vibrant and regionally authentic Texan landscape. However, it's always wise for homeowners to have a chat with their local nursery before getting started. They will provide valuable advice about the suitability of these species for specific garden conditions and local