The Green Scene:
Planning and Planting Your Houston Landscaping

Just as the right frame showcases your favorite work of art, a well-designed landscape shows off your house to its best effect.

The green, growing garden surrounding your home—sets the tone, creates an ambiance, invokes certain emotions. Its purpose is to provide continual pleasure for you, your family and your guests. To get to this point, the best landscapes begin with an overall plan that addresses your wants and desires, your financial outlay and the required ongoing maintenance.

Houston Landscaping – In the Beginning

Like the architect for your house, a Houston landscaping designer or architect develops an encompassing plan. They will design for and around natural features such as surface terrain and drainage systems, types of soil, and the amount of sunlight and shade your yard receives. They’ll take advantage of your view—and if you don’t have one, they can help create points of interest. All of which means you maximize your enjoyment, avoid long-term problems and minimize any naturally-occurring disadvantages.


“The importance of garden design is that it supports and enhances the architecture of the home,” says Jeff Halper with Exterior Worlds. “It creates an experience and evokes emotion as you come up to the house. You want it to address how you get in and out of the space. What do you walk through as you approach the front door, the pool, the garage? What emotion is elicited?”

Your Dream Garden

During the planning and prep work, you get to dream. What aesthetics do you want to bring to your garden? Do you prefer lots of color or the more subtle effect of different textures of green? If you like color, which ones—sunny yellows and happy pinks, rust and golds, white flowers and silver leaves? Perhaps you own an outdoor sculpture you want to feature or have a theme in mind, such as a baroque garden, specimen garden, or an English garden.

While you dream, you want to factor in how you and your family live in the space. Will your Houston landscaping fit your needs, whether that means lots of kids running around or sophisticated entertainment? Another consideration is making your garden fit the style of your home; for instance, an Asian style garden beautifully complements a contemporary house. Finally, you want to be realistic about the ongoing landscape maintenance. Some elements of a garden require continual care. Other landscape choices are low maintenance. Only you can decide what works for you.

Money Matters

A designer or architect also addresses your budget. During this phase, the scope of the work is defined, including phasing in the different garden elements. Cost factors include items like hardscapes (i.e. patios, decks or walkways); tree preservation, fences and gates, arbors; outdoor kitchens; luxury swimming pools and outdoor fountains; lighting; sprinkler systems; types of grass, shrubs, trees, perennials and seasonal color.

Since 1987, Exterior Worlds has been successfully installing projects in the Memorial, Piney Point Village, Bunker Hill Village, Hunter Creek Village, Tanglewood, River Oaks, West University, Bellaire and the greater Houston area. Call Exterior Worlds at 713-827-2255 to request an estimate.

For more the 20 years Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston's fine neighborhoods.

Moss Landscaping and Stepping Stones

Your entire yard can be superbly adorned with moss landscaping. Houston is home to all manner of properties that are distinguished by many different landscaping designs. By combiningmoss landscaping and stepping stone design, Exterior Worlds can build a network of trails throughout your property that take your guests on a wonder world of adventure any time you venture outdoors. Moss capped rocks can serve as landmarks along this trail. They

Moss Rocks Landscaping

One of the most important ingredients of successful moss landscaping in Houston is the use of moss rocks. Moss covered rocks add many unique aesthetics to a variety of landscape elements. Perhaps even more importantly, they add vertical impact to flat terrain. This helps to elevate everything within visual range regardless of whether or not the rocks are located near to other forms. Moss rocks landscaping under trees instantly adds

Moss Gardening in Houston

The Texas Gulf Coast is one of the hottest and most humid climates in America. It offers many opportunities for moss landscaping in Houston. Of the many different ways to landscape with moss, perhaps the most satisfying is moss gardening. In Houston, this can be done very easily because moss thrives in conditions that quickly kill other species. Most prefer the shade, but there are exceptional species that thrive in

Moss Gardens

Moss gardens are the easiest of gardens to grow and maintain. Moss is a primitive form of plant life that can thrive in conditions that kill other plants. The one thing that moss must have is a high level of moisture. Since we live in one of the most humid climates in America, we Houstonians have an ideal environment for the cultivation of aesthetically pleasing plantings of moss. One of

Moss Gardening

The simplest method of moss gardening is the creation of a moss carpet. Author Jeff HalperThis is an excellent way to beautify the earth under a heavy canopy of tree limbs. Many Houston homes have very large trees in the back yard. This is especially true for homes near Buffalo Bayou. Tall oaks, pines, and many non-indigenous transplants often shade a significant portion of the yard, making it difficult to

Ideas for a New Backyard Landscape Design

Adding a tree wall to your backyard landscape design will keep others from seeing into your yard. A wall of trees will look far less imposing than a tall brick wall which runs the risk of clashing with architecture and possibly making your neighbors feel rudely shut out. Trees create a natural barrier that is softer and more aesthetic. They also look superb when illuminated with up lights that add

Using Climbing Vines to Add Vertical Impact to Formal Garden

Formal gardens feature some of the most opulent design work in Houston landscaping. In many respects, they represent some of the most refined softscape elements in our city because they lend sophistication to home architecture. Climbing vines add vertical impact to gardens by organically enhancing the many vertical elements that are typically built as garden focal points. Such elements can be arches, pergolas, or outdoor courtyards. Because the Houston landscape

Landscaping Shade Plants

Landscaping shade plants are very important. They are very diverse in number and type, so you have many options to choose from. There are over 130 native East Texas plants alone that can be added to your Houston landscaping plan that will create different kinds of shade, and different degrees of shade, in your yard. Exterior Worlds also has botanical expertise and many years of design experience that will help you

Landscaping Ideas for Shade

We have to be clear on our definition of shade in order to come up with the right landscaping ideas for shade. Technically, any area of a yard that receives less than 6 hours of direct sunlight is considered shade. Much of the shade in a yard is created by shadows cast by trees, houses, and outdoor buildings. Other shade is deliberately created by Houston landscaping professionals. These shady spots are

Privacy Landscaping Ideas

There are many privacy landscaping ideas that can be integrated into Houston landscape designs that enable homeowners to relax in the outdoor without the worry of being seen by all the neighbors. This enhances one’s sense of retreat, and it also helps discourage neighbors from inviting themselves over whenever they see their friends outside. There are a number of landscape elements that can be constructed that will shield special