Protect Your Home and Yard With These 8 Landscaping Tips

Protect Your Home and Yard With These Storm Resistant Landscaping Tips:

 

 

Just a few days ago, Houston experienced yet another powerful storm, reminding us of the city’s vulnerability to extreme weather. With hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe thunderstorms frequently impacting our region, taking proactive steps to protect your home has never been more crucial. One effective way to safeguard your property is through storm-resistant landscaping.

Let’s be clear—there is no way to completely storm-proof your landscape. Storms can be unpredictable, leaving some areas untouched while completely destroying others nearby. Plus, unexpected hazards like a rogue trampoline can always come into play. However, by following these tips and tricks, you can minimize damage and enhance the resilience of your landscape.

Here are eight practical tips to help you create a storm-resistant landscape that can better withstand Houston’s unpredictable weather:

1. Inspect Your Trees At Least Twice a Year

Regular inspection of your trees is essential for identifying and addressing potential hazards. We recommend at least twice annually, ideally in the spring and fall. Look for signs of disease, dead branches, and structural weaknesses that could lead to falling limbs during a storm.

Additionally, it is important to check trees after major storms like the one we saw last week, or after any extreme weather event. Hiring a professional arborist for an annual inspection can provide peace of mind and ensure that your trees are healthy and storm-ready.

2. Prune and Trim Trees Regularly

Regular pruning and trimming are crucial activities for maintaining the health and structure of your trees. Remove dead or weak branches that could become projectiles during a storm. Thinning the canopy can also reduce wind resistance and prevent trees from becoming top-heavy. If you are adding new trees to your landscape, be sure to ask your landscape designer what kind of maintenance they require.

3. Tree Placement is Key

When planting new trees, consider their mature size and keep them at a safe distance from your home. This reduces the risk of trees falling onto your house during severe storms. A good rule of thumb is to plant trees at least 30 feet away from structures and utility lines.

Pro Tip: Group trees together when possible. Planting trees in clusters or groups can help them support each other during high winds. This collective strength can reduce the likelihood of individual trees being uprooted or snapped. Additionally, grouped trees create natural windbreaks that can protect other parts of your landscape.

4. Some Trees Weather the Storm Better than Others

Certain tree species are better suited to withstand high winds. Opt for wind-resistant trees such as live oaks, crape myrtles, and bald cypresses. These trees have strong root systems and flexible branches that are less likely to break during a storm.

 

 

5. Remove Storm Hazards

Identify and remove potential storm hazards from your yard, such as loose garden ornaments, lawn furniture, and other unsecured items. YES, YOU WITH THE TRAMPOLINE- lock that baby down! These objects can become dangerous projectiles during high winds, causing damage to your home and landscape.

6. Permeable Pavers and Proper Drainage

Proper drainage is essential for preventing flooding and water damage during heavy rains. Ensure that your yard has adequate drainage systems, such as French drains or swales, to direct water away from your home’s foundation. Incorporating permeable paving materials, like gravel and pavers to help with water absorption and reduce runoff.

7. Use Mulch to Protect Plant Roots

Applying a layer of mulch around your plants and trees can help protect their roots from extreme weather conditions. Mulch aids in retaining moisture, stabilizing soil temperatures, and reducing erosion caused by heavy rains. It also adds an extra layer of insulation against cold snaps.

 

 

8. Invest in Wind-Resistant Shrubs and Ground Cover

In addition to trees, consider incorporating wind-resistant shrubs and ground cover into your landscape design. Plants like yaupon holly, Texas sage, and liriope can withstand strong winds and provide additional stability to your yard. These hardy plants can help reduce soil erosion and offer a low-maintenance solution for storm-resistant landscaping.

By implementing these storm-resistant landscaping tips, you can significantly enhance the resilience of your yard and protect your home from the damaging effects of Houston’s extreme weather. From choosing wind-resistant trees to creating proper drainage, taking proactive measures now can save you from costly repairs and ensure your landscape thrives despite the challenges of storm season.

Thinking about revamping your landscape? At FiveSTAR Landscape, we specialize in creating beautiful, durable landscapes tailored to your needs. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you weatherproof your property with expert design and installation services.

 

More Info:

Ready.gov/hurricanes 

fema.gov

weather.gov

Lighting: The Secret Ingredient of Landscape Design

Lighting: The Secret Ingredient of Landscape Design

In the vibrant city of Houston, Texas, outdoor living is a cherished part of life, and it is easy to see why. Blessed with mild winters and over 200 sunny days annually, it is no surprise that landscape design carries such a weight in our city. For many, our outdoor areas function as extensions of our indoor living spaces, serving as second kitchens, living rooms, family rooms or entertainment areas for much of the year. Us Houstonians are truly fortunate to make the most of our landscape throughout the seasons. While plants, hardscaping, and other elements usually grab the spotlight, there is a hidden star in the landscape design show that often gets overlooked- landscape lighting. In this post, we dive deep into the world of landscape lighting, shedding light (pun intended) on why it should never be an afterthought but a vital player in creating an enchanting outdoor ambiance.

 

Subtle, ambient outdoor lighting designed and installed by FiveSTAR Landscape in Houston, TX.

 

First, lets take a moment to think about the role that lighting plays in our lives…

Lighting is like a magic wand that can transform any space from something ordinary to something spectacular (or, when done poorly, visa versa). It plays a critical role in setting the tone and eliciting emotional responses in various settings, dramatically influencing how we perceive and feel in those spaces. For instance, the bright, fluorescent lights of an office environment evoke a sense of alertness and productivity, while the dimly lit ambiance of a restaurant suggests intimacy and relaxation. Despite its powerful impact, lighting’s subtlety often leads to its oversight in areas like landscape design. Lighting is something that we often feel as opposed to outright notice- and that is exactly why it is so important!

 

Landscape uplighting enhances the atmosphere of this Houston backyard.

 

Want to Unlock your Landscape’s Full Potential?

Landscape lighting is not just about illuminating our outdoor spaces; it is about unlocking their full potential. It enables us to extend the usability of our homes beyond their walls, transforming our outdoor areas into versatile hubs of activity day and night. Picture this: a kids’ playground by day, effortlessly transitions into a serene relaxation station for mom and dad come evening. With strategic lighting placement, we can delineate and define various zones within our yard, creating distinct areas for dining, games, or quiet retreats. Moreover, lighting serves as a tool for accentuating the natural beauty of our landscapes, drawing attention to favorite features like majestic oak trees, our favorite plants, or a spa, and enhancing the overall ambiance of our outdoor sanctuary.

By integrating landscape lighting into our outdoor design, we not only expand the usable space of our homes but also have the power to totally transform our landscapes. Whether it’s creating a cozy nook for stargazing, highlighting architectural features, or setting the mood for a lively outdoor gathering, lighting adds depth, character, and functionality to our outdoor spaces. It is the subtle yet impactful detail that elevates our landscapes from ordinary to extraordinary, inviting us to embrace the beauty of outdoor living under the Texas sky. Not to mention, landscape lighting is one of the more affordable things you can do to make a BIG impact without completing overhauling your yard.

 

Pathway lighting softly brightens the way.

 

Popular Picks for Lighting Up Your Landscape

When it comes to landscape lighting, there is a wide array of options available to suit every taste, style, and outdoor setting. One popular option is path lighting and area, which illuminates walkways, pathways, contrasting plants and hardscape features, providing both safety and aesthetic appeal.

For highlighting key features such as trees, statues, or architectural elements, spotlights and up lights are commonly used to create dramatic effects. For a softer, more ambient glow, consider incorporating lanterns, string lights, or bollard lights to add warmth and charm to your outdoor space. Deck and step lighting can enhance the usability of outdoor living areas, providing visibility and safety while adding a touch of elegance.

Additionally, underwater lighting can be used to illuminate ponds, fountains, or other water features, creating mesmerizing reflections and adding a magical touch to your landscape design. By combining these different types of landscape lighting, you can create a customized lighting scheme that enhances the beauty and functionality of your outdoor sanctuary.

 

LED outdoor light

 

Questions to Ask your Landscape Designer/ Architect

When engaging with a landscape designer, it is essential to inquire about their approach to lighting design and discuss specific questions and considerations to ensure your outdoor space is illuminated to perfection. Start by asking about their experience with landscape lighting projects and request examples of past work to gauge their expertise and style. Considerations such as the type of lighting fixtures, placement, and energy efficiency should be discussed to align with your preferences and budget. Additionally, inquire about how the lighting design will complement the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space and enhance its functionality during both daytime and nighttime hours.

It is crucial to consider the practical elements that lay the foundation for a successful installation, such as infrastructure and wiring placement. Before the final touches of beds, plants, mulch, and rocks are put in place, it is essential to ensure that the necessary wiring is laid out strategically to accommodate your lighting selection. By considering lighting early on, you can avoid headaches and ensure that everything unfolds smoothly.

Another important aspect that your landscape designer should consider is the position of fixtures in relation to existing and future landscaping plans. Will trees grow to obscure lighting effects? Will the placement of light fixtures interfere with plants or obstruct desired views? These are examples of important questions to ask during the planning phase to avoid costly adjustments down the line.

Don’t forget to discuss this…

Ultimately, the most crucial consideration revolves around how you intend to utilize your outdoor space. Understanding your lifestyle, preferences, and specific needs ensures that the lighting design aligns perfectly with your vision. Are you planning to host frequent outdoor gatherings, intimate dinners, or quiet evenings under the stars? Do you have children who will be playing in the yard, or do you prefer a tranquil retreat for relaxation? By clarifying how you’ll use the space, the landscape designer can tailor the lighting design to suit your activities and preferences, ensuring that it meets your practical needs and enhances your outdoor experience. Whether it’s creating a well-lit dining area, highlighting architectural features, or illuminating pathways for safety, prioritizing functionality and usability ensures that the lighting design seamlessly integrates with your lifestyle, transforming your outdoor space into a haven of comfort, beauty, and enjoyment.

 

Water feature aglow with landscape lighting.

 

Our Unique Approach to Landscape Lighting at FiveSTAR Landscape

When it comes to landscape design, every designer brings a unique style and approach to the table. At FiveSTAR Landscape, we pride ourselves on our passion for creating outdoor spaces that truly captivate the senses. Our philosophy revolves around crafting environments that feel like your own personal oasis, where every element, including lighting, plays a role in setting the mood and ambiance. We understand that the tone of lighting is paramount in creating the desired atmosphere; whether it’s a cozy, intimate setting for a romantic dinner or a vibrant, lively ambiance for entertaining guests. By carefully selecting fixtures, adjusting angles, and playing with shadows, we curate an enchanting landscape that invites you to escape and unwind.

 

Ready to transform your outdoor space into a mesmerizing sanctuary? Book a free consultation with FiveSTAR Landscape today and let us bring your vision to life, because your outdoor space should be your favorite place! 

Best Themed Landscape Designs for Houston Homeowners

Best Themed Landscape Designs for Houston Homeowners

Buckle up folks, or better yet, grab your passport. Today we are going to be talking about one of our favorite landscape design topics- themed landscapes! From Japanese style Zen gardens and Tuscan terraces to English tea gardens and tropical sanctuaries- if you are looking for out of the box inspiration- we have got you covered.

At FiveSTAR Landscape, we believe that your outdoor space should reflect your unique taste and lifestyle. That is why, when we embark on a new project, we don’t just dive into design plans—we start with a conversation. We ask our clients questions that delve deep into their preferences, passions, and inspirations. Something we always touch upon: Where do you love to vacation, and what about those destinations brings you the most joy and relaxation.

The answer to this question can be as specific as the poolside at your favorite resort, or as vague as an entire country or region. Themed landscapes are not everyone’s cup of tea, but chances are- incorporating elements from your favorite places will enhance your outdoor space in ways that you might have never imagined. So whether you want to go all in on a country French vibe, or simply incorporate some bird of paradise plants and palms that channel your favorite tropical destination, we are here to make it happen.

TOP TEN LANDSCAPING THEMES

 

Japanese Zen Gardens

In the realm of themed landscapes, few styles evoke tranquility and inner peace quite like Zen gardens. Originating in Japan, these minimalist landscapes, also known as “karesansui,” symbolize serenity, mindfulness, and harmony with nature. Traditionally featuring meticulously raked gravel or sand representing flowing water and carefully placed rocks symbolizing islands or mountains, Zen gardens create an atmosphere conducive to meditation and contemplation. Even if not aiming for a full-blown Zen Garden, incorporating elements like gravel pathways, strategically placed rocks, and bamboo features can infuse a touch of tranquility into any outdoor space. Remarkably versatile, Zen gardens can complement a wide range of architectural styles, from traditional Japanese designs to minimalist modern homes or Spanish-style courtyards, offering a harmonious blend of simplicity and sophistication.

 

 

English Gardens

English gardens are a popular and beloved theme in landscape design- and with good reason. Rooted in centuries of tradition, English gardens are characterized by lush greenery, colorful blooms, and structured layouts that evoke a sense of romance. These meticulously planned landscapes often feature manicured lawns, neatly trimmed hedges, and borders overflowing with a profusion of flowers, including roses, peonies, and lavender. Pathways lined with gravel or stepping stones lead visitors through the garden, while focal points such as arbors, pergolas, and garden benches provide inviting spots for contemplation and relaxation. We love to incorporate outdoor chandeliers and dining areas for a polished finish that beckons a lazy Sunday breakfast or an afternoon tea.

 

 

Tuscan Themed Landscapes

These designs epitomize the warmth, simplicity, and timeless beauty of the iconic Italian region, making them a sought-after choice for outdoor transformations. Tuscan landscapes boast earthy tones, aged stone accents, and lush greenery, often complemented by bursts of vibrant flowers and aromatic herbs. If you want to go all in and don’t mind the extra maintenance, native Texas olive trees and grapevines do just fine in Houston’s climate, but they do require quite a bit of maintenance. For a more laid-back Tuscan vibe, we recommend pruned Yaupon, Taylor Juniper, Sabal Palm, Dwarf Palmetto, and aromatics like lavender, sage and rosemary.

 

 

Chinese Zen Gardens

Not to be confused with their Japanese counterparts, Chinese Zen Gardens offer a unique perspective on the art of landscape design. Drawing inspiration from Taoist and Buddhist philosophies, Chinese Zen gardens often feature a more naturalistic aesthetic, with meandering paths, flowing water features and lush vegetation. Rocks are arranged to symbolize mountains, islands, or other natural formations. Like Japanese gardens, Bamboo, a symbol of strength and resilience, is also often incorporated, adding vertical interest and movement.  If you are all in on Chinese Zen Garden design- bridges, pavilions and traditional Chinese architecture can provide focal points.

 

 

Tropical Landscape Design

Tropical landscapes are all about vibrant colors, exotic foliage, and serene tranquility. Lush greenery, towering palms and bold foliage like banana trees, Bird of Paradise and philodendrons couple with colorful blooms such as hibiscus, bougainvillea, and heliconias to create a little slice of paradise in your very own backyard. Houston’s climate is particularly suited to a tropical themed landscape because of it’s long summer, high humidity and ample rainfall, which provides an ideal environment for a wide variety of tropical plants to thrive. Additionally, Houston’s long growing season allows for continuous growth and blooming of tropical plants, creating a vibrant and lush landscape throughout much of the year. However, frosts in recent years have posed challenges for maintaining tropical landscapes in Houston. Therefore, we recommend integrating native and adapted plants into your design to enhance resilience against unexpected weather events while celebrating the region’s unique beauty.

 

 

Country French Backyard

Country French gardens offer a captivating blend of old-world charm, romance, and elegance that never goes out of style. A country French landscape is characterized by symmetrical layouts, gravel pathways and neatly trimmed hedges that define various garden “rooms.” Rustic elements such as weathered stone walls, antique urns and wrought iron accents add to the appeal. We love a country French garden because of their versatility and adaptability to different settings and architectural styles, from a cottage to an estate, even a modern home can seamlessly incorporate country French garden features for a landscape that is sure to charm.

 

 

Spanish or Mediterranean Revival Gardens

A Spanish landscape theme captures the essence of Old-World romance and elegance, with a touch of Moorish influence. Lush, tropical plants like bougainvillea, citrus trees, and palms thrive in the both the warm, Mediterranean climate, and Houston’s subtropical climate, creating a vibrant tapestry of color and texture. Incorporating pergolas, fountains, colorful tiles and terracotta accents, these landscapes create an enchanting outdoor retreat reminiscent of the charming villa and courtyards found along the sun-kissed coastlines of the Mediterranean.

 

Universal Modern Landscaping

Clean lines, minimalist aesthetics and cutting-edge features offer a fresh departure from traditional styles. Modern landscapes focus on simplicity, functionality, and sustainability. Geometric shapes, sleek outdoor furniture and features like fire pits, outdoor lighting and steel planters define a modern outdoor space. Modern landscape designs are often best paired with contemporary homes; however, they can serve as a striking contrast to traditional or eclectic architectural styles, refreshing the exterior and adding a touch of contemporary flair. These landscapes are particularly well-suited for Houston’s abundance of mid- century homes, seamlessly blending the clean lines, large windows, and minimalist architecture of this era.

 

 

Desert or Xeriscape Landscape Theme

Xeriscape gardens are characterized by their use of native plants adapted to dry conditions, such as succulents, cacti, agave, yucca, and desert wildflowers. These plants often feature thick, fleshy leaves or specialized adaptations like water-storing tissues to survive in harsh environments. Mulch, gravel, or rocks are used to cover soil surfaces, reducing water evaporation, and suppressing weed growth. Design elements like boulders, driftwood, and decorative stones add texture and visual interest to the landscape, while preserving its natural aesthetic.

 

Texas Themed Landscape Design

Speaking of native plants, one of our favorite landscape themes pays homage to our very own state- Texas. Incorporating a Texas themed landscape design entails integrating native plants that are well-adapted to the region’s climate and soil conditions. These may include native wildflowers like bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, and black eyed Susans, as well as drought tolerant shrubs like Texas sage, Yaupon Holly, and dwarf Palmetto. By incorporating native plants into your landscape, you can create habitats for local wildlife, conserve water, and reduce maintenance.

A Texas themed landscape also reflects the cultural influences that have shaped Houston’s identity, from its cowboy roots to its rich multicultural heritage. Elements like rustic wooden fences, wrought iron accents, and traditional Texas-style landscape architecture add a touch of Southern charm, while nods to the city’s diverse cultural heritage can be seen in the use of vibrant colors, eclectic artwork, and outdoor cooking and entertainment spaces.

 

Exploring Versatility: Matching Landscape Design with Home Styles

 

While it’s common to align landscape design with the architectural style of your home, it’s not a strict rule—mixing styles can yield captivating results. For instance, a contemporary landscape can add a touch of modern elegance to a traditional Victorian home, creating a striking contrast that enhances both elements. Conversely, a Spanish or Mediterranean Revival landscape can complement the warm, earthy tones of a Southwestern-style home, tying together the overall aesthetic. Similarly, English cottage gardens can bring a sense of whimsy and charm to a minimalist, modernist residence. Ultimately, the key is to strike a balance between cohesion and contrast, allowing your landscape to reflect your personal taste and complement the character of your home while also expressing creativity and individuality.

Transforming Themed Landscape Design Dreams into Reality: Experience the FiveSTAR Landscape Difference

 

At FiveSTAR Landscape, we specialize in bringing themed landscapes to life, offering a unique approach that combines creativity, expertise, and a deep appreciation for nature. Whether you’re dreaming of a tranquil Zen garden, a vibrant tropical oasis, or a charming English cottage garden, our team is dedicated to designing outdoor spaces that reflect your vision, enhance your property, and enrich your lifestyle. With our commitment to quality craftsmanship, sustainable practices, and client satisfaction, we strive to exceed your expectations at every step of the journey. Let us transform your outdoor space into a masterpiece that you’ll love for years to come. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and start your journey towards the landscape of your dreams because “Your Outdoor Space Should be Your Favorite Place.”

The Beauty of Low Maintenance Landscaping

The Beauty of Low Maintenance Landscaping

Recently, we were contacted by clients who had purchased a home in the Tanglewood area of Houston, TX and were interested in a backyard redesign. During our initial conversation, they told us that they loved their existing landscape and they were not really sure what they wanted to change. The backyard was the whole reason they had purchased the home, but now they felt it was missing something that they couldn’t quite put their finger on.

The previous owner was a retired garden enthusiast who had spent years designing and caring for the landscape. The pictures they sent us of the existing backyard prior to our consultation were nothing short of whimsical. Flagstone pathways meandered through raised garden beds to a separate flourishing herb garden. Healthy potted plants that had grown to be 5 feet tall served as privacy screens, obscuring a custom spa. A deck was tucked away in the corner of the yard, nestled behind urns that were spilling over with healthy annuals, lilies and English Ivy, and vines grew along a wooden fence around the property, channeling a “secret garden” essence.

When the couple purchased the home, they envisioned Saturdays in the garden, the French doors that led into the living room wide open, music playing in the background while they pruned, mulched and repotted plants. They envisioned plucking homegrown tomatoes right off the vine and basil from the herb garden to make a fresh Caprese salad.

…Well, three months had passed since they purchased the home. Between moving, having their grown children visit and an unexpected leak in the kitchen ceiling…Saturdays in the garden were not happening. In fact, as we talked with them further, Saturdays in the garden had never happened. They both worked upwards of 50 hours a week and often traveled for work. On the weekends, the last thing they wanted was more work. The husband did not want to deal with mulching and moving potted plants in and out whenever there was a frost. The wife loved the idea of an herb garden, but she had not had time to cook in months. What they really wanted to do on the weekends was have a late breakfast, followed by a spa session in their beautiful backyard. They wanted a backyard that they could entertain in and a place to play corn-hole when their children visited. The husband was a grill enthusiast and professed that the only “work” he wanted to do in the yard, was smoking salmon or grilling steak on his beloved grill.

The truth is, they never really loved the backyard of the home. They loved the idea of the backyard. At the end of the day, your landscape needs to fit your lifestyle. For many of us, that is where the beauty of a low maintenance landscape enters the picture.

If any of this sounds familiar, read on to learn how incorporating the right elements, features, and plants can turn your backyard into a weekend dream, not a weekend war.

Our Top 5 Techniques and Features for Low Maintenance Landscaping:

  1. Xeriscaping: Xeriscaping might sound like something off a sci-fi movie script, but it’s the superhero of the low maintenance landscape. Rock gardens and native plants team up to reduce water usage without sacrificing the scenic appeal. A garden that thrives on being neglected? It’s like a self-watering pot you can walk through.
  2. Synthetic Turf: Synthetic turf may raise eyebrows to some garden purists, but it’s a game-changer. Infinitely versatile, always ready to perform, and entirely content lingering quietly in the background. No mowing, no chemicals, no fuss. What’s not to love? It provides softness for bare feet, permanence for peace of mind, and a luscious green backdrop that looks just as fresh as if you’d fussed over it for hours.
  3. Drip Irrigation: If you are not into the idea of xeriscaping or rock gardens, drip irrigation systems can keep your garden in check without a second thought from you. They deliver a precisely measured drink to each plant’s root, conserving water and making sure your garden gets the exact refueling it needs, no more, no less.
  4. Ground Cover Plants: Ground cover plants are the unsung heroes of the no-nonsense landscape. They are there to… well, cover ground. Protecting against erosion, choking out weeds, and adding a touch of color. Pair them with river rocks, and you’ve got a double act that is both beautiful and utterly undemanding.
  5. Native and Drought-Tolerant Plants: Houston is a melting pot, and your garden can be a celebration of all things Texan with native flora. They’re not called ‘low maintenance’ for lingo rights. These plants are in their element in Houston’s weather whims—whether it’s the summer sun or the occasional winter shiver. They’re a proud emblem of sustainability, needing little more than a nod of appreciation and a rain shower.

Best Low Maintenance Plant Choices for Houston Landscaping:

Nandina: Nandina, or heavenly bamboo, is a drama-free diva. It shines bright in the sun, paints autumn with its red hues, and doesn’t demand center stage in your gardening routine.

Loripe: The loripe is the all-rounder of the green world. It tolerates sun or shade, wet or dry, and even if you forget its name, it won’t hold a grudge.

Dwarf Yaupon Holly: This compact, hardy holly is a low maintenance feature that’s not afraid to stand tall against Texas heat and winter chill.

Gulf Coast Muhly Grass: For those who picture waves at their feet as they sip tea on the porch, Gulf Coast Muhly Grass is for you. Wave off any weekend streaming concerns—it’s fine without extra water.

Knock Out Roses: It’s right there in the name—they’re the knockout punch to the stereotype of high-maintenance roses. Durable, handsome, and ready to bloom.

Lantana: These colorful charmers are like the confetti of the plant world, sprinkling bursts of joy everywhere without demanding much in return. Talk about low effort, high impact.

Agave: Its architectural silhouette adds an instant touch of sophistication to any space, proving that in the garden, as in life, sometimes less really is more.

Texas Sage: This plant is like the reliable friend who’s always there for you, rain or shine. It thrives in full sun, asking so little but giving so much, with its delightful silver foliage and pretty purple flowers.

From Weekend Warriors to Weekend Unwinders

Wondering about the outcome of our clients in the Tanglewood neighborhood? They are absolutely thrilled with the transformation. We installed synthetic turf throughout the backyard, a designated dining area with an elegant outdoor chandelier and durable concrete pavers, a flex-space for cornhole, ladder ball, cricket or any number of yard games, Holly trees for privacy, an outdoor kitchen and lighting solutions that allowed them to maximize their time in the yard. What do their weekends look like now? Well, in their own words they have “never spent so much time in our backyard. We almost spend more time out there than we do in the house. The kids love coming home and we couldn’t be happier.”

Low Maintenance Landscape Design for the Win

At the end of the day, a low maintenance landscape is not just about minimizing the time and effort spent on upkeep—it is about maximizing the moments of enjoyment and relaxation in your outdoor space. By embracing a design that requires less maintenance, you are not only reclaiming your weekends but also creating more opportunities to savor the beauty of nature and connect with your loved ones.

At FiveSTAR Landscape, we understand the value of creating outdoor environments that enhance your lifestyle and provide a sanctuary for unwinding and making memories. Our team is dedicated to helping you design a low maintenance landscape that reflects your vision and meets your needs, allowing you to fully enjoy all that your outdoor space has to offer.

So if you’re ready to transform your backyard into a low maintenance oasis that is custom designed to meet your needs, contact us today to schedule a free consultation- Your outdoor space should be your favorite place!

The Ultimate Guide to 2024 Houston Landscape Design Trends

Top Ten Landscape Design Trends of 2024

The last few years have been a whirlwind of change, prompting a shift in how we perceive and interact with our outdoor spaces. During the pandemic, our homes became more than just shelters—they became our havens, our offices, and our entertainment venues—blurring the lines between work and leisure. For many of us Houstonians, unable to take our usual weekend trips to the hill country and beyond, our yards emerged as a refuge, offering a slice of the great outdoors within arm’s reach. Some of us picked up new hobbies like gardening, meditating, or grilling and others found ourselves hosting or attending socially distanced get togethers with neighbors in the open air of our backyards or driveways. Gardening surged in popularity, and eco-conscious practices and water-wise became big buzzwords in the landscape design world. We were all using our outdoor spaces differently than we had in the past. 2020-2023 landscape design trends were ambitious, green and garden forward.

Fast forward to 2024, a lot of us have found ourselves back at the office, returning to our pre-pandemic fast paced lifestyles and commutes. Most of us aren’t baking as much bread, and for some of us- ambitious and time consuming landscapes are just not as sustainable as they were a few years ago. We still want to entertain, garden and enjoy our landscapes, we still want the fruit- but without so much of the labor. It is no surprise that 2024’s landscape design trends are all about low maintenance, high reward. Effortless outdoor entertainment areas, sustainability and easy upkeep gardens are all the rave this year and we are here for it! From vertical gardens to outdoor kitchens and even “smartscapes”- 2024’s landscape design trends have a little something for everyone.

So, without further ado, here are the top ten landscape design trends to look out for in 2024:

  1. Xeriscaping and Water Wise Landscaping
  2. Low Maintenance Landscape Designs
  3. Maximizing Entertainment Areas
  4. Outdoor Kitchens
  5. Edible Gardens and Vertical Gardens
  6. Minimalism: Less is Greener
  7. Smart Landscapes
  8. Native Plants
  9. The Dark side of Gardening
  10. Lighting, Lighting, Lighting

 

Xeriscaping and Water-Wise Landscaping:

Xeriscaping and water-wise landscapes are without a doubt the hottest trend of 2024, and for good reason. Less water in our landscapes is not only good for the planet, but good for your wallet. By utilizing drought-tolerant plants and efficient irrigation systems, homeowners can create vibrant, eco-friendly landscapes that thrive in our Texas climate.

Low maintenance landscape designs:

Unfortunately, most of us just don’t have the time for those high maintenance gardens anymore. That’s where low maintenance landscape designs come in. By incorporating durable materials, strategic plant selections, and easy-to-maintain features, we can create outdoor spaces that look pristine year-round with minimal effort. Say goodbye to endless hours of pruning and watering, and hello to a garden that practically takes care of itself. With the right landscape design, you will have anyone fooled into thinking you are a master gardener- without ever having to lift a finger.

Maximizing entertainment areas:

In 2024, outdoor living is all about creating inviting spaces where friends and family can gather and make memories. From cozy fire pits to spacious lounges, maximizing entertainment areas is a top priority for homeowners. Whether you are hosting a summer barbecue, catching a game on an outdoor entertainment system, or enjoying a quiet evening under the stars, 2024 is the year to transform your backyard into the ultimate entertainment destination.

Outdoor Kitchens:

Why limit culinary adventures to the confines of the indoors? Outdoor kitchens are taking center stage in 2024, offering a seamless blend of cooking and entertainment in the great outdoors. With state-of-the-art appliances, stylish countertops, and ample seating, your backyard can become the ultimate culinary hotspot.

Edible Gardens and Vertical Gardens:

The farm-to-table movement meets modern design in 2024 with the rise of edible gardens and vertical gardens. From fresh herbs to juicy tomatoes, and citrus trees (a Houston garden staple) homeowners are embracing the idea of growing their own food right in their backyard. Vertical gardens offer a space-saving solution for urban environments, allowing you to cultivate a lush oasis even in the tightest of spaces.

Minimalism, Less is Greener:

In a world filled with clutter and chaos, the minimalist approach to gardening offers a breath of fresh air. By focusing on clean lines, simple shapes, and a curated selection of plants, minimalist gardens create a sense of calm and tranquility.

Smart Landscapes:

Technology meets nature in 2024 with the advent of smart landscapes. From automated irrigation systems to app-controlled lighting, homeowners can now control every aspect of their outdoor space with the touch of a button. Smart landscapes not only enhance convenience but also promote efficiency and sustainability, allowing you to enjoy a beautiful garden while conserving resources.

Native Plants:

This is one of our favorites! Embracing the natural beauty of Texas is a top trend in 2024, with homeowners opting for native plants that thrive in our unique climate. From colorful wildflowers to majestic oak trees, native plants add depth and character to any landscape while requiring minimal maintenance.

The Dark Side of Gardening:

Bold and dramatic, a dark garden color palette gardening is making waves in 2024. From deep purples to rich blues, dark-colored plants create a sense of mystery and allure, transforming any garden into a captivating sanctuary.

Landscape Lighting:

Don’t let the beauty of your garden fade when the sun goes down. Landscape lighting is a must-have trend in 2024, illuminating pathways, accentuating features, and creating a magical ambiance after dark. Whether you prefer soft, subtle lighting or bold, statement fixtures, a good lighting scheme enhances the beauty of your outdoor space and extends your enjoyment well into the evening.

At FiveSTAR Landscape Design, we pride ourselves on creating custom landscapes that perfectly complement our clients’ lifestyles. Your outdoor space should reflect your personality—a true oasis where you can unwind and connect with nature. We are not a one size fits all design firm and we are not ones to incorporate trends for trends sake but—the landscape design trends of 2024 are ones that can get behind! Whether you are dreaming of a concrete paver garden walkway, a sustainable oasis, an outdoor entertainment area for the whole family, or coming home to a perfectly lit backyard at the end of a long day, we are here to bring your vision to life.

 

We hope these trends have sparked some landscape design inspiration for your outdoor space. If you are ready to transform your outdoor space into your favorite place, contact us and schedule a free consultation today!

To Turf or Not to Turf

As Houstonians, we are no strangers to the challenges of maintaining a lush, green lawn throughout the seasons in our city’s unique climate. The scorching summer heat, sporadic rainfall and occasional winter freeze is enough to leave any landscape looking lackluster, not to mention the toll it takes on our water bills and the amount […]

Surviving Houston’s Frost: Tips for Winterizing Your Landscape

Hello, Houston Homeowners!

BRRRRRRRRRRR. It is that time of year again! We are lucky to have such temperate winters here in Houston- but there is always that one week that reminds us just how lucky we are. With the recent freeze warning, we wanted to provide some tips on how you can keep your plants and garden alive during these frosty times. From winterizing irrigation lines and fountains to how to cover shrubs and protect your plants, we got you covered.

Protect Your Plants:

When a freeze is imminent, it’s essential to cover your shrubs and other tender plants to prevent damage. Surprisingly, the key here is not as much about keeping out the cold as it is about retaining the warmth from the soil. Tarps and moving blankets are great choices. The harder the freeze, the thicker the material should be. One caveat to this- if you are using a non-porous material- make sure to remove during the daytime if temperatures rise above 32 degrees and replace during the evenings when the temperature dips back down below freezing. Non-porous materials can suffocate the plants, so this is important.

If high winds are expected, cover evergreen plants as well. Be sure to secure the coverings with stakes or heavy rocks to prevent them from blowing away. If you have a large garden, you can use a commercial blanket or tarp designed specifically for protecting plants during frosty weather. Make sure to cover your plants before sunset to trap as much warmth as possible.

Irrigation:

During a freeze, avoid watering your plants as this will only make things worse. Instead, ensure your irrigation system is turned off during the freezing weather to avoid any potential damage. Make sure the water supply is shut off, open the pipes and pumps to drain, and wrap any exposed pipes with insulation. Remember to avoid turning on your irrigation system until the temperature reaches above freezing. These simple precautions will help safeguard your sprinkler system during the occasional chilly week in Houston.

Artificial Water Features:

If you have a fountain or any other artificial water feature in your garden, the best practice is to switch off all pumps and lights connected to the fountain before the temperature drops. This is very important to avoid any damage to the fountain or water feature. If you skip this step, the water can freeze and cause damage to the fountain’s internal structure.

Mulch is Your Friend:

Mulch can be a valuable ally in protecting your plants during frosty weather. When the temperatures drop, a layer of mulch acts as a cozy blanket for the soil, providing insulation and helping to retain heat. This is particularly beneficial for the roots of plants, as they are more sensitive to temperature changes than above-ground parts. Mulch also acts as a barrier, preventing rapid temperature fluctuations in the soil. It helps to conserve moisture, which is crucial during frosty conditions when plants may struggle with water uptake. By spreading a layer of mulch around your plants before the frost hits, you create a protective shield that contributes to the overall health and resilience of your landscape. It’s a simple and effective way to support your garden through the chilly times.

Choosing the Right Plants:

In Houston, choosing the right plants for your garden is vital. Opt for plants that are cold-tolerant and can withstand the freezing weather without getting damaged. Consider talking to a landscape design company to help select the right plants for your garden.

Inspect Your Garden Regularly:

Lastly, it’s essential to inspect your garden regularly to spot any signs of frost damage. Check for any damaged leaves, wilted stems, and discolored foliage. If you spot any of these signs, trim the affected parts immediately to prevent any further damage. Additionally, if the soil around your plants is too wet, it may cause root rot, so keep an eye out for this as well.

At the end of the day, when it comes to safeguarding your landscape from the effects of frost, proactive consideration of temperature fluctuations during the design and planning phase is always going to be the most impactful strategy. By factoring in the diverse conditions your landscape may face, you lay the foundations for resilience. Weatherproofing your landscape is not just about responding to winter’s chilly arrival- it is about preemptively integrating features and choices that can withstand all the Texas seasons.

At FiveSTAR Landscape, we specialize in creating resilient and visually captivating landscapes that can stand the test of all seasons. Connect with us today if you are interested in creating a landscape that not only weathers the frost but emerges with renewed vibrancy in every season. Your outdoor oasis awaits!

Stay warm out there, Houston!

Do You Need a Landscape Design Plan?

If you are a homeowner in Houston, you know the importance of having a beautiful and inviting landscape. We can all agree that a well-designed landscape not only enhances the visual appeal of your home but also adds value to it. However, most homeowners overlook the importance of working with a landscape designer or architect to create a master design plan for their outdoor space. While it is tempting to jump into landscaping projects with enthusiasm, a master design plan serves as the guiding blueprint for turning your visions into reality.

In this blog post we will discuss the critical role that a master design plan and the expertise of a designer or architect play in transforming your outdoor space from ordinary to extraordinary. We’ll explore how a well-crafted landscape design not only elevates your immediate living experience but also contributes to the resale value and marketability of your Houston home and discuss some specific challenges that a master plan addresses for homeowners.

Landscaping/ Maintenance Vs. Landscape Design

First things first, let’s discuss the difference between working with a landscaping company vs. with a landscape design or architecture company. It all starts with a plan. While a landscaping company may come in to add vegetation and maintain it, a landscape designer takes a more holistic approach that involves studying the property, environment, and the owner’s needs and desires. Designers are artists who create a plan with a vision, a sense of place, and a purpose, while a landscaping company mostly provides maintenance services. Hiring a landscape designer ensures that your outdoor space is not only aesthetically pleasing but also functional and customized to your needs and lifestyle.

When weighing the pros and cons of working with a landscape designer to develop a landscape design plan, it is important to evaluate the outcome you are looking for. If you are overall happy with your outdoor space and you just want to add some new plants in your garden bed, need a turf overhaul, or want to replace existing flagstone- working with a landscape designer may not be necessary. However, if you are seeking to change the functionality of your existing landscape we strongly recommend collaborating with a designer or architect to develop a cohesive master plan that will add value to your property.

Benefits of Working with a Landscape Designer

Designing for your Space

While some landscaping companies may adopt a standardized, one-size-fits-all approach, landscape designers and architects offer personalized solutions that take into account the unique characteristics of your property, your home, your lifestyle and needs. A landscape designer focuses on creating a cohesive plan that works together, whereas a landscaping company may pick plants and hardscape without regard to whether they fit together, or what role they play in an overall design.

A Design Plan Saves You Money in the Long Run

At the end of the day, good design pays for itself. If you are planning on making more than just a few adjustments to your landscape and the initial cost of engaging a landscape designer is something you are debating then consider this: if you work with the right people, the long-term benefits far outweigh the expenses.

Landscape designers use their knowledge and expertise to ensure that your project is completed to the highest standard. They understand what plants grow best in your specific environment, what materials should be used and are able to customize designs to their client’s lifestyle. While the upfront investment in a master design plan may be higher, the long-term value of a cohesive landscape tailored to your home outweighs the expenses. If you work with the right design team, a master plan translates to long-term savings on maintenance, water usage and repairs, as well as adding value to your property for years to come.

So, do you need a design plan…

Ultimately, it is important to weigh and pros and cons while carefully considering your family’s specific needs. If your goal is to enhance functionality or introduce a new element that transforms how you interact with your space—whether its an outdoor kitchen, a pool, a deck, or the like—and you desire a seamless integration of all components, then the answer is a resounding yes. The significance of possessing a well- crafted master plan becomes invaluable.

 

Interested in talking to a landscape designer?

Contact us today for a free consultation- because turning your outdoor dreams into a reality is what we do best!

FiveSTAR Landscape Design Blog

Howdy and Welcome to the FiveSTAR Landscape Design Blog!

We just want to take a moment to introduce ourselves and say how thrilled we are to have the opportunity to connect with all of you landscape design enthusiasts, homeowners, gardeners, green thumbs, and anyone else who has stumbled upon the FiveSTAR Landscape Design Blog.

We are FiveSTAR Landscape, a locally owned, award-winning landscape design and build company in Houston, TX. Our passion for creating sustainable, enduring outdoor spaces is what drives us, and we are thrilled to begin this blogging journey with you.

 

 

As a forward-thinking company, we pride ourselves on staying up-to-date with contemporary design trends and ensuring our landscapes are as smart and sustainable as possible. Our years of industry experience have equipped us with a wealth of knowledge- and we are not ones to keep things to ourselves. We are here to share, inspire, and bring a touch of Texas charm to your outdoor haven.

We hope this blog will serve as your one stop shop, and go-to resource for the latest industry trends, weatherproofing tips for your Texas garden, insights into our favorite Zone 9 native plants, eco-friendly designs, drought resistant landscaping and so much more! Whether you are planning to re-design your outdoor living space or looking to enhance your current garden, our blog will provide you with unique and innovative ideas.

Thank you for joining us on this journey! We look forward to seeing you back here for all things Texas, Houston and landscape design.

Interestedin talking to a landscape designer?

Contact us today for a free consultation- because turning your outdoor dreams into a reality is what we do best!