Garden Design

Garden design should always be done to scale by a professional with a sound understanding of geometry and experience in hardscape plans. This is because so many plantings are installed around horizontal surfaces areas such as patios and pools, and because vegetation in general seems to go hand in hand with the decorative aspects of custom fountains and outdoor buildings. A good working knowledge of plant science helps as well—although a formal degree in botany is not required. What is required is an understanding on the part of the residential landscaper that true garden design calls for a great deal more than colorful flowers to add experience and value to Houston outdoor living.

This is due to the simple fact that, without exception, greenery is the foundational color to every style of garden design. A professionally installed planting will feature multiple shades of green arranged in layers. This prevents the form from looking flat and two dimensional and helps it stand out more prominently on the landscape proper. A number of plant species are used to create this range of green hue, including hedges, special grasses, ground cover plants, and even small trees.

Once a foundation of varied greenery is laid, color is then introduced in two ways. Annual color is established with certain ground species with colored leaves. Plants such as begonias, impatiens, salvias, pansies, petunias, and cyclamen add depth and variety when intermingled with grasses, shrubs, and clipped hedges. Next, seasonal colors are introduced through flowering plants. White is something of a foundational color that is common to all garden design styles. The amount of white present depends on the style chosen, as does the degree to which other colors are added as well.

The style of the garden, as well as its size, determines its location in the yard. Larger plantings almost always occupy a centrist position either in the middle of the yard or in the middle of an entire quadrant of the yard. Such styles include traditional parterre gardens (though not necessarily their derivatives), French gardens, Japanese water gardens, and English gardens.

Other garden designs work better as linear support elements. We install them alongside of homes, architectural walls, fences, and custom walkways. Italian and Mediterranean styles are two of the more popular types that typically adorn the exteriors of homes. Contemporary and modern gardens are also used extensively to add a touch of the organic to residential architecture, although these types also can be used anywhere in a contemporary landscape or courtyard due to the highly eclectic and abstract nature of modern landscaping design.

Still other garden designs are deliberately removed from the surrounding landscape in order to create the feeling of a separate realm of experience. This is often done for residents who entertain a great deal at home, but who also want to create their own private space just for themselves as a couple. These areas are typically dedicated to reading, meditation, or quiet conversation in a quiet corner of the yard. Zen gardens and water gardens are very popular in these places because they contribute to the sense of Being that residents are looking to experience when they go to their own special place in the back yard.

Other areas where gardens may be liberally planted at will include outdoor rooms, hide spaces, tree houses, and garden overlooks that are separate from the home. Many of these garden designs are not based on any particular cultural theme or aesthetic form, but are rather the custom creation of the landscape designer. Again, this is where a good working knowledge of geometry comes into play. Custom gardens around places like private patios and morning fountains are based on correlative forms that work to extrapolate architectural keynotes into open space, transforming them into organic sense in the process.

The choice of a specific garden design is always based on relationship. When we say relationship we mean reflection and counterpoint to corresponding landscape elements whose significance and size constitute the essence of the landscaping theme. The home is the most preeminent of these, occupying a central position on the property and functioning as an emblematic symbol of lifestyle and resident character. Trees are also very important elements to factor into a landscape master plan because they literally form the pillars of the landscape. Gardens planted in proper relationship to trees help balance the vertical and horizontal perspectives of the yard and create an aesthetic of multidimensional organic vibrancy.

Whenever water features of any kind are developed on a property, garden design should also intentionally compliment them. Swimming pools, natural ponds, ornamental waterfalls, and custom water fountains all benefit tremendously by the addition of a garden to their outlying boundaries. After all, water and vegetation occur side by side in virtually every environment in the world. Cultivating an innately natural relationship with deliberate planning and design techniques helps magnify the presence of life and vitality that Exterior Worlds works to create for each and every client.

In addition to magnifying the living elements of the landscape, vegetation and flowers help magnify hardscapes as well. Hardscapes can cover up to 70 percent of the surface area in a yard, so they represent a grouping of elements that demand attention for the sake of aesthetic magnification. Most hardscapes are either stone or concrete and basically horizontal in form. However, iron and wood structures—such as trellises, arbors, and fences—are also technically classified as arbors. Vegetation is needed around each of these forms in order to create a sense of unity between the natural and the manmade.

In the case of wood and stone, vegetation is also reminiscent of corresponding relationships between plants, rocks, and trees in the natural world. In the case of concrete and iron work, vegetation softens the appearance of what may otherwise look like a harsh protuberance in an otherwise pristine scene. Additionally, some hardscapes like walkways and driveways can even be given a sense of movement by garden design. Plantings along the sides of these surfaces can be used to signify traffic patterns for both pedestrians and vehicles. This is particularly beneficial along any surface traveled at night, where landscape lighting illuminates garden elements as living signposts pointing the way to the many points of interest found throughout the landscape.

There is also an unseen, but equally important, aspect to garden design, and that is irrigation and drainage. Although Houston enjoys a very humid climate, rains are very sporadic and not to be depended on for the watering of plants. A professionally designed and automated irrigation system has to be built in the yard in order to ensure the viability of organic forms. This system must be both workable and concealed, because the visible presence of pipes and sprinklers will quickly diminish the aesthetic.

A concealed drainage system is also needed to remove the excess water produced by irrigation pipes, and to protect the yard from flooding during those times when it does rain. Although Houston has a very effective storm sewer system that does a good job of draining flood waters remarkably quickly (considering our near-sea level elevation and absolutely flat terrain), getting the water out of the garden and into the storm sewer to begin with is another matter. Again, only professionals trained in advanced landscape architecture methods can create such a system without giving away its presence to the naked eye.

Small Courtyard Design

Details are everything in small courtyard design. The scaling down of size increases the importance of every single individual element. Since the ultimate intention of small courtyard design is to make a small yard appear larger than it is, professional landscapers must take great care in the creation of every form in order to create a diminutive environment that will so captivate the eyes that it creates an optical illusions

Gardening in Houston

One of the things that really work well for gardening in Houston is Gulf Coast humidity. The high humidity is truly great for growing a wide variety of plant species, many of whom are non-native. A significant number of Houston gardens are comprised of some very exotic foreign species mingled with luxuriant tropical kinds that normally grown in very wet parts of the world. Moving such a plant to Houston

Houston Garden Design

Exterior Worlds customizes Houston garden design to the neighborhood of the residence, the architecture of the home, and the lifestyle of the client. With us, you get far more than a garden planted in front of or behind your home. You get an organic expression of your own personal lifestyle integrated into the fabric of your property. In the Memorial area of Houston, garden design works to compliment ranch style

Houston Patios & Gardens

Houston patios and gardens go hand in hand. A patio provides a surface for sitting or standing (people often like to do both), and a garden provides an organic framework around the hardscape that encloses its inorganic surface with elements of vitality and life. This sense of living enclosure makes patio space feel warm, inviting, and intimate, regardless of the size of the patio we are talking about. Most Houston

Houston Home and Garden

Houston home garden design constitutes the very life force of a landscape. The presence of living, growing plants and flowers adds a dynamic element to one’s lifestyle in a way that distinguishes outdoor living from indoor living. Perhaps the greatest benefit it offers is a link between the home and the natural environment that preserves the integrity and the uniqueness of the natural realm. Gardens support the architecture of

Home Garden Landscaping

Home garden landscaping will add curb appeal to your property. It will also provide you with an island of tranquility to which you can retreat from the stress factors of daily life. When a professional landscaping company designs and installs such a garden, it transforms an ordinary yard into a vast and beautiful realm of outdoor living. Ideas for home garden landscaping are most often inspired by seeing a garden

Water Garden Landscaping

Water garden landscaping is a specific type of professional landscape design that involves using any number of water elements to create focal points and to define areas of interest. These water features can be very simple, such as a natural pond, or they can be very complex, as in the case of a high-end infinity pool. The many different uses of water in garden design have no particular limits save

Knot Gardens for Houston Townhomes

A knot garden features a formal boundary and an interior composed of any number of plant types. Vegetation may take the form of herbs, or it may consist of a variety of ground cover shrubs. Occasionally, very small trees are planted in the larger gardens. Flowering plants are not commonly used because different shades of green are used to create the many layers of color within the garden’s interior.

Houston Garden Design with Water Loving Plants

Garden ponds and natural ponds add dimension, reflectivity, and a sense of repose wherever they are built. Water catches the light and adds a sparkle to the greenery of water loving plants and the color of their flowers. Its fluidity also adds a unique sense of formlessness that helps relax the mind. We see this in garden ponds especially, where plant colors are both reflected and refracted by the water.

Landscape Garden Designer

Landscape garden designers from Exterior Worlds integrate advanced knowledge of botany, horticulture, and landscape architecture to develop designs that unite home architecture with Houston landscapes. Designers engineer drainage and irrigation systems that maintain appropriate water levels at all times, regardless of seasonal rainfall. Landscape maintenance contractors ensure that proper fertilization and pruning are done at the right times for the many plants that grow in the garden. Designers begin with