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A while back I did a Blog “What to do in a shady Right-of-Way”.  This home is in the Montrose area of Houston. We did a design and installed the landscaping on the entire property. Today I will focus on the west garden. It is the most free flowing of all the spaces we did. This house has no back garden as such, but on each side of the house there is a deck and garden spaces. I will start with the before shots : )


Before view from deck.

The homeowners renovated the inside and the feel is light and airy. Each room down stairs has lots of windows that look out on to the garden. The landscaping on this side was tired with over grown boxwoods, red brick path, mud and weeds. Before we started the project the homeowners had all new fencing put in and trimmed up the tree canopy to let in more light. Also drainage was an issue that needed addressing on this side of the house.

New fence and area stripped for a fresh start.

New fence and area stripped for a fresh start.

Plants lined up and ready to go.

Plants lined up and ready to go.

The clients had 3 ceramic fountains that they brought from another home. They wanted to work them in to the design. This deck is the smaller of the two and a great place to have your morning coffee and enjoy nature. I wanted it to feel peaceful and serene. Unfortunately this is also where the A/C units are located. Blocking them visually was important. The sound of running water and the breeze in the tress helps mask the sound and we built a cedar slate inclosure so they would not be seen from the deck.


After shot taken when we came back to install the front lawn.

Here is the plan so you can see the plants we used and how the house sits on the lot.

IMG_0181Now for some more views and perspectives.


Three fountains sitting on a 4’x4′ basin buried beneath them.

On this job we also installed FX Low Voltage lighting with LED bulbs and flat black shades which help them disappear visually while still giving you lovey light in the evening. There are up lights on the fountains and path lights along the path. The fountain is away from the house so you can look out on to it from inside.

Inside gate next to house.

Inside gate next to house.

We used 10 gauge black steel edging to keep the rainbow gravel in the path. A nice selection of small mossy boulders are placed in the beds to give the feel that the path is also a meandering stream bed.

IMG_0492IMG_0510Autumn fern, Creeping Jenny and Shooting Star Lilies are tucked in to soften the rocks and make them look more nested into the hardscape. This photo on the right has Variegated Shooting Star Lily, Anthericum saundersiae (‘Variegata’). It flowers on long stems with little 5 petal flowers (stars) that wave in the breeze and catch the light in the early evening. They are very hardy and will spread but ever so slowly.

IMG_0853As you get closer to the deck there is a Meyer lemon tree on the right and a Mexican Lime not shown in this shot on the left. Originally I planned on a Gingko tree where the lemon is now. We changed it because the home owners really wanted fresh lemons and limes. On the plan I had shrimp plants where the lime is now because I knew they would fill in the space and help block the A/C.

IMG_0493Blue gray flagstone and rainbow gravel path. We used cool blue gray flagstone to mimic the color of water and to complement the rust orange color of the ceramic fountains. The rainbow gravel ties it all together. We use 3′ thick flagstone when we are cutting it into the native soil.  The stones stay in place better as they have more weight to them and the gravel helps lock them in too. You see in the photo above we are directing water from the downspout to the gravel path. So besides a functional path for walking it is also able to help direct the water from the area. Plants in this area need to be shade tolerant and handle wet feet on a regular basis. We recommend the use of organic fertilizer not only for the plants but also to feed the microorganisms which help break down the clay and aerate the soil as they go deeper.

Looking towards the gate.

Looking towards the gate.

View from the deck.

View from the deck now you can see the little Mexican Lime.

Quite a difference! What do you think of how we used this side yard space? For more pictures of the whole project you can check it out on our Houzz board.

Happy Gardening!