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.

How To Estimate Your Landscaping Cost

Learning how to estimate your landscaping investment before you contact a professional will go a long way toward improving the quality of life and the investment in property you have made. Generally speaking, a reasonable investment in landscape design represents 10-20 percent of the total home value. While this may seem like a great deal of money, keep in mind that home value is often maintained or improved by landscaping

Custom Landscaping

Custom landscaping involves designing and building a landscape that is specifically tailored to the lifestyle of the homeowner. The property itself is literally shaped around the design of home architecture and the interests and activities of the residents. Custom landscaping requires more than a basic knowledge of botany and hardscape design to truly be done effectively. It requires systematic consultation, advanced planning and design skills, and the ability to manage

Backyard Landscaping

The intention of backyard landscaping is to create an outdoor living experience that can rival the stimulation and comforts of interior space. In order to accomplish this end, we have to do much more than work with the organic aspects of the yard itself. As important as trees, shrubs, and garden designs are, structural elements are equally important. Constructing swimming pools, patios, arbors, shade structures, and outdoor rooms in the

Front Yard Landscaping

Lots of all sizes look much better when portions of the front yard are differentiated with a number of individual landscaping design methods. Entrances, transit areas, gardens, and seating areas all represent highly individualized elements that a professional landscaper will create and unify with linear progression and repeated aesthetic themes. This is more than simple gardening and lawn care. Professional front yard landscaping sets itself apart by making it a


Xeriscaping is form of landscaping intended to reduce water and fertilizer consumption. Slow-growing, drought tolerant species are introduced alongside of indigenous vegetation already accustomed to the annual rainfall levels of a particular area. This eliminates the need to water the landscape daily, and it saves on water resources and the costs of water usage. Fertilizer use is also eliminated by the slow-growth of flora that are used to thriving in

Ranch Landscape

The Ranch landscape appeals to our senses of rural beauty, nature and living in a slower time. Ranch properties usually have vast acreage, old buildings that might have been built at different times and land uses that have changed considerably over time. Often times, the sheer scale of the rural landscape can be overwhelming for the average landscape contractor, landscape designer as well as the owner who no longer works

Tree Preservation

Humans have an innate love for trees. We love them for their beauty. Their structural nature—upright, spreading, weeping, columnar, contorted. Their colors—flowering, fruit-bearing, the changing of leaf color, the varieties of bark. We love them because of the way they make us feel. In fact, studies have shown that surgical patients recover more quickly when their windows provide a view of trees. We love trees for the shade

Landscape Pathways

Pathways are both object and metaphor within a landscape design. Functionally, they are the way in—into the landscape, the house, the property. Visually, they lead the eye in, through, across and around the space. There’s no way around it: pathways make a statement. “Pathways can have a big impact on the landscape and the experience one perceives as they transition through the garden and landscape or from the

Luxury Landscaping

A luxury landscaping includes everything people typically associate with an upscale home. Both organic and inorganic elements work together to create a sense of refinement, and functionality is designed with maximum creature comforts in mind. Home entertainment and private events also play a major role in luxury landscaping, because most clients who invest the large sums of money required for this high-end service are looking to share the experience of

Winter Landscape

Now is the time to invest in a winter landscape that can be the start of a luxury outdoor living experience that will last for decades to come. Contrary to what many believe, landscaping in winter does not have to be a fill-in-the-gap, hit or miss project between fall and spring. There are ways to make your yard come to life even in the coldest months of the year. This