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A recent project, this Texas Hill Country landscape rests upon a sloping limestone hillside. Soils are very thin, and grading and drainage is a critical issue in that occasional torrential rain can bring massive amounts of water down the hill toward the house.

The clients have been gardening here for more than 20 years, and the existing garden in the backyard was lush and well grown. Areas in the front had not been developed to the same extent, and we worked together to develop a plan that would bring more interest, better connectivity, and additional plantings to that space.

A sloping street dead-ends at the property, so a large bed of screening shrubs was a necessity. We introduced more repetition of plants into that area, with an emphasis on evergreen varieties. Behind the plantings, a semi-circular driveway met with a drive directly into the garage. New and higher rock walls were built along the existing walk down to the gated patio at the front entry to the house.

An additional walkway was laid out to connect with the neighbor’s property (good friends of the clients), and a path down from that created access to a gate into the side yard. In order to make the paths parallel to the house level for walking, additional rock walls were added forming terraces along the slope.

To accentuate that new intersection of paths, two informal limestone “bollards” were placed, along with a watering dish for butterflies. Shade loving shrubs were planted under the existing Live Oaks, and perennials with cascading foliage lined the newly terraced areas.

Additional plantings were made to soften the front of the house, and vines were planted to adorn the newly constructed cedar fence and gate into the side-yard. Existing decomposed granite walkways were already self-seeded with long term wildflowers such as bluebonnets and other Central Texas natives, and hopefully those seeds will spread to enhance the new paths. Several large Evergreen Sumac shrubs/trees were planted at either side of the driveway as it entered and exited the property.

The entire project needed to be as deer-tolerant as possible, so shrubs such as Agarita, Beautyberry, Dwarf Palmetto, Rosemary, and Gregg’s Salvia were used. Additional plantings of perennials including native Frogfruit, Columbine, Fall Aster, Lantana, various native grasses, and Skullcap were placed in front of the taller shrubs to create a tiered effect as it met with the edge of the walls and pathways.

We are now waiting for the few seasons needed to mature the new plantings, and new photos will be added when the new landscape is well grown.

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