Houston landscaping for the minimalist lifestyle expresses the dynamic energy of urban professionals. Through its clean presentation of form, it represents the busy lifestyle of the up and coming. Space is the defining feature of minimalism. Geometry is used to create perspectives. Lines and angles suggest a preference for pragmatism over decorative ornamentation. Softscapes are defined by the principle of less-is-more.
With many contemporary homes being built around the city, minimalist Houston landscaping offers busy young homeowners a low-maintenance design that reflects the dynamic lifestyles they lead. Hardscapes create patterns whose open spaces establish the order of outdoor living. The geometric patterns they create establish zones of interest within the yard. Within these zones of interests, homeowners can showcase outdoor art, host cocktail parties, and enjoy afternoons near reflecting ponds or linear pools.
Vegetation is planted discriminately in order to avoid filling the yard with too much color. Darker colored trees, shrubs, and grasses are the preferred softscape elements for the minimalist lifestyle. These dark greens provide a ready compliment to the patios and courtyards that provide seating areas for guests. Vegetation can also lend a subtle sense of vertical impact to walkways that connect different zones of interest.
Additional vertical impact can be added to the yard by building decorative walls made of stone or decorative concrete. A wall lends an immediate sense of importance to a specific zone of interest. Walls do not have to enclose courtyards as they do in strictly traditional Houston landscaping plans. Some walls are simply linear runs of stone that set aside a portion of the yard for a special purpose. This is often done when building a special water feature such as an infinity pool. The wall creates drama and interest which adds to the mystique of the water’s vanishing edge.
Gravel beds are another important element in Houston landscaping for the minimalist lifestyle. Gravel beds create geometry and stark shades of black, white, or gray. This lends a powerful sense of absolutes to the yard that helps anchor the entire landscaping design. Since it is common for Houstonians who prefer the contemporary landscaping style to showcase artwork in their yards, gravel beds provide convenient frames in which to stand contemporary abstract sculpture.
Gravel also plays a very big role in the creation of contemporary gardens. The minimalist lifestyle is far too busy for daily garden maintenance. The garden must be as self-sufficient as possible in order to successfully contribute to the Houston landscaping plan. Slow growing plants are preferred here because they require only infrequent trimming. Sometimes desert species such as aloe are planted in gravel beds because they thrive in conditions with minimal water.
However, plants are secondary to hardscapes when it comes to modern style gardens. Inorganic elements such as steel, glass, and decorative mirrors are the primary element in contemporary gardens. These industrial elements symbolize the minimalist mindset. When used as the foundational elements around which organic forms are then added, they reinforce the uniquely human focus that the minimalist lifestyle embodies.
Nature is still present, but only as a force of life behind the scenes of busy human endeavor, creation of form, and the relentless pursuit of perfection.