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Courtesy of RMP Photography

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Creating a Sacred Outdoor Space for Texas Summers

A Conversation with Jack Williams, Owner of Austin Living Landscapes

Step into the world of outdoor beauty with Jack Williams, the owner of Austin Living Landscapes. With a passion for creating personalized havens, Jack and his team have gained recognition for transforming landscapes into sacred spaces tailored to fit each individual's lifestyle. In this interview, we delve into his wealth of knowledge, exploring the artistry behind meaningful landscapes. Uncover the secrets behind Austin Living Landscapes' success and gain invaluable insights into designing spaces that invite serenity and joy into lives.

MW: Before we discuss summer landscape design ideas and tips, could you briefly share the history and vision of Austin Living Landscapes?
JW: Austin Living Landscapes is a design-build company for residential clients in southwest Austin. The company is 7 years old and have over 20+ years in the Austin market creating custom landscape installations.

MW: What key considerations should homeowners keep in mind when planning a summer landscape design in Austin's climate?
 When planning a summer landscape design in our climate, homeowners should consider the following important factors: prioritizing heat-tolerant plants that can withstand high temperatures and prolonged sun exposure, selecting drought-resistant species to conserve water, and incorporating efficient irrigation systems like drip irrigation. It is also crucial to choose native and adapted plants for better adaptability and lower maintenance, create shade with structures such as pergolas and shade trees for added comfort, apply mulch to conserve moisture and regulate soil temperature, and utilize smart irrigation systems based on real-time weather conditions. Preparing the soil with organic matter and fertilizers is essential, and proper plant placement based on micro-climates in your landscape should be ensured. By considering these elements, homeowners can create a beautiful and sustainable summer landscape in West Austin.

MW: How do you incorporate water-efficient practices and sustainable design elements into your summer landscape designs?
We've replaced lawns or large areas with native and adaptive sedge grasses. Our landscape designers are trending towards an all-native planting palette due to the extreme weather experienced over the past few years.

MW: Are there any specific features or elements that you recommend including in a summer landscape design to maximize outdoor enjoyment during the hotter months?JW: Consider sun orientation and how you would use the space. If your backyard faces west, it is a good idea to design shade into your space; whether that is with a covered structure like a pergola, sail cloths or tall trees such as Live Oak or Sycamore. Providing shade is crucial in the dog days of summer! One should also consider cool colors and the sound of water. It’s amazing how providing splashes of color and the trickle of a fountain can transform a backyard into a private oasis.

MW: Are there any exciting plans, community initiatives, or upcoming projects that Austin Living Landscapes is currently working on?
JW: We are currently working with a daycare to build a playground featuring a mud kitchen, log tunnels, a performance deck, and a sensory station. It has been fun to watch the children's reactions to the dump trucks and earth moving equipment. I am confident that they will thoroughly enjoy their new playground once it is completed. Additionally, we recently completed a pool and landscape renovation in Steiner Ranch. The design involved updating the pool and pavilion features. In the landscape, we created trails that meander around the property, leading through an orchard to a fire pit area surrounded by drought-tolerant perennials and ornamental grasses. We are excited to see how the garden develops through the year!

MW: How can interested individuals and businesses get in touch with Austin Living Landscapes to learn more about your services?
JW: We encourage you to visit our website at to learn more and to schedule a consultation.

Austin Living Landscapes has spent years proudly serving the Austin community and its surrounding towns and neighborhoods, including Spicewood, Bee Cave, Lakeway, Barton Creek, Spanish Oaks, Rough Hollow, and Steiner Ranch. Their team is passionate about creating meaningful outdoor spaces tailored to fit each individual's lifestyle.

"Austin Living Landscapes is a design-build company for residential clients in southwest Austin."

  • Courtesy of RMP Photography
  • Courtesy of RMP Photography
  • Courtesy of Reagen Taylor Photography
  • Courtesy of Reagen Taylor Photography
  • Courtesy of Reagen Taylor Photography

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