For many years, the standard for neighborhoods in the United States has been the big, green lawn. Recently, though, there’s been an interest in getting rid of these large expanses of grass in favor of native plants. Why? There are many benefits to going native. Plants that are native to the area are better for the natural ecosystem, promote biodiversity, and are often significantly more water-wise than other species. They also require less maintenance, so they’re easier on the homeowner. In Texas, replacing your lawn with water-wise native groundcover will make your yard beautiful and help prevent erosion. Texas is large, but much of the state is warm and prone to drought conditions. Choosing native plants will mean less maintenance and a beautiful yard, even when the weather is hot and dry.
- Native ground cover is the perfect alternative to grass. Consider a carpet of Woolly Stemodia, with its thick green foliage and white flowers in spring, instead of a boring stretch of grass. Another beautiful native plant is trailing rosemary, which is drought-tolerant and extremely versatile. It can be cut short and used as a ground cover, allowed to grow thigh-high, or planted in containers where it will trail winningly down the sides. For interest, consider a native sedum plant at the edges of your beds, or plant Blue Fingers, a stunning succulent that can be planted next to other plants to add color or allowed to stay low and spread out.
- Add in some native shrubs and flowers for interest. Plant lantana for a riot of color that will take over an entire bed if allowed to grow freely, or work in more subdued tones, planting Texas sage. Its lavender-blue flowers pair beautifully with its soft grey foliage from the spring to the fall. The Texas Mountain Laurel is another native beauty, a low maintenance plant with aromatic, blue-violet flowers that will invite hummingbirds and butterflies into your yard.
- Anchor your yard with water-wise trees. The Live Oak is a popular tree in Texas, a sturdy evergreen that tolerates drought and high winds. If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, the Willow Acacia is unique and beautiful. The Eastern Redbud requires little water yet produces beautiful pink blossoms that attract hummingbirds.
- Take the time to plan carefully. Notice the sunlight on your lawn so that you can plant things that will thrive in the location where you’ve put them. Check out the soil, so you’ll know what kind of alkalinity it has and what you need to do to prepare it to be a hospitable home for new plants. Consider enlisting the help of a professional in creating your landscape plan; you’ll benefit from expert design. Good landscaping requires more than just installing some drought-resistant native plants. You’ll need to consider landscape design principles like balance, focalization, and proportion, and it’s good to create a landscape with year-round interest so that your yard will be attractive in every season.
Whenever you’re looking for expert advice on plants and landscaping, head to Moon Valley Nurseries. Moon Valley Nurseries started as a small neighborhood nursery garden center and now has locations all across the West. We deliver and plant anything in our massive inventory, and because we grow our plants ourselves, we can guarantee our customers the lowest prices in town. Whether you need ground cover, a tree or two, or an entire landscape, our friendly staff members will go the extra mile to make you happy. Contact us through our website or stop by one of our locations to check out all we have to offer, from the best trees and plants to professional crews and planters to certified designers ready to make your yard the best in the neighborhood.