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Xeriscaping blends drought-tolerant plants with efficient irrigation and a nod to native flora.

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Show Style Through Gardening

Texas-Terrific Tips About Extending Personal Style Outdoors

In North Texas, outdoor living spaces are just as much a part of a home as the kitchen or family room, especially during autumn. Patios and decks, fire pits, lush grasses and shade trees extend the home’s square footage, creating backyard retreats and outdoor escapes for entertainment and relaxation. 

Like personal style inside the home, attention to a home’s architecture and personality are important when designing these spaces. Frisco Garden Club representatives suggest a well-matched landscape complements the house, enhancing overall appeal and showcasing creativity and style.

Modern, contemporary homes, characterized by sleek lines and open spaces, often incorporate natural elements, such as wood and stone, and wide, open windows and doors, integrating indoors and outdoors seamlessly. Kathy Stone, membership chairman of Frisco Garden Club, says these homes pair well with minimalist landscaping and xeriscaping, featuring clean lines, native plants and architectural elements that mimic the home's emphasis on simplicity and functionality. Lighting, stone and steel seating with hardscaping and bubbling water features create clutter-free, serene retreats. 

Cottage-style and prairie-style homes are timeless, family-friendly designs that evoke comfort and nostalgia. These homes match well with the more informal cottage-style gardens. Mounds of color and blooms from plants such as lavender, daisies and verbena contrast with varying heights and textures of greenery from climbing vines and ornamental trees. Stone or brick pathways lead to pockets of comfort and visual interest, such as wooden benches, warm lighting and birdbaths.

Traditional homes, such as Victorian, Tudor and even Mediterranean style homes, feature balanced symmetry, ornate and detailed facades and classic, timeless elements that draw from historical inspiration. A local example of a traditional home is the Crozier-Sickles House, a two-story Victorian that showcases decorative millwork, a pitched gabled roof and fish-scale shingling at 6337 Page St.

Like the Crozier-Sickles House, gardens for traditional homes embrace symmetry, orderly flowerbeds and trimmed shrubbery and hedges. 

Even tight spaces, such as patios and balconies of apartments and condos, can create comfy, cozy outdoor havens and highlight personality and style. Frisco Garden Club ambassador, Donna Schmittler, says "the thriller, filler and spiller" technique creates visual interest with height, mass and draping drama, making the most use of a single container.

Popular plants for container gardens include succulents, herbs such as basil and thyme, dwarf fruit trees and vegetables. Creative consideration of sun exposure, access to water and water drainage, and seasonal color can maximize small spaces for comfortable outdoor retreats. 

But gardening and landscaping in North Texas’s tough climate, with extreme heat and sun and local watering concerns, can be daunting. "There's sun, and there's Texas sun," says Faye Lipham, Frisco’s Garden Club president. Texas gardeners blend traditional techniques and innovative and conservation-minded adaptations to cultivate gardens for a variety of gardening styles that match individual creativity and home personalities.

Faye says the club has resources to assist gardeners “Plant SMART:" Save Water; More Color; Attract Wildlife; Reduce Maintenance; Texas Tough.

Minimalist and xeriscaping styles already incorporate efficient irrigation and native plants, such as yucca, evergreen “Silverado” sage, native perennial calylophus, and dwarf yaupons, and other heat-tolerant “Texas Tough” specimens, as well as drought-tolerant ground cover like frog fruit that fits perfectly between pavers and pathways. Crushed stone, pebbles and pavers can replace water-hogging grass.

Cottage and traditional gardens also can benefit from SMART planting practices. Native and well-adapted flowering plants, such as Black-eyed Susans, flame acanthus, lantana, blue verbena and autumn sage do well in Texas’s intense summers with ease, their mixture of colors, heights and textures creating that cottage-style whimsy. Many of these plants attract butterflies and honey bees and contribute to the local ecosystem. Liriope grass makes for lush, evergreen borders, bright nandinas that often change color from season to season offer a more traditional shrubbery without much work, and Japanese pittosporum are low-maintenance, evergreen shrubs great for manicured hedges. 

  • Xeriscaping blends drought-tolerant plants with efficient irrigation and a nod to native flora.
  • Mounds of color and textures in cottage-style gardening complements traditional architecture.
  • Tight spaces like patios and balconies can also provide outdoor havens.
  • There is a variety of gardening options to meet just about any unique style.
  • Backyards and gardens extend living space and family style.