Native gardens offer a number of definitive advantages. Some of these benefits are purely environmental. Others have a direct, positive impact on the homes, yards, and property curb appeal of Houston landscaping clients. As our city becomes increasingly aware of the importance of environmental sensitivity, indigenous plant material is becoming more popular as the primary ingredient to all manner of Houston garden designs.
There are so many different varieties of native plants, shrubs, ornamental trees, and ornamental grasses that almost any Houston landscaping plan can be implemented with native materials. Most people who have a passion for native vegetation typically have a strong tendency toward more naturalistic Houston landscaping elements.
This can increase curb appeal in Houston neighborhoods where large trees predominate. Texas plants around a home will make it appear harmoniously blended with the natural landscape. It is also possible to use indigenous plants to create more formal garden designs as well. Texas has so many species that thrive in our climate that a native garden can be used to compliment any type of home, anywhere in the city.
The obvious benefit to curb appeal also has a considerable benefit to the surrounding ecosystem. One of the advantages that indigenous plants have over other vegetation is that they are already adapted to the environment of the Gulf Coast. They are more resistant to droughts, cold fronts, and insect predation than other species that are introduced to our area.
Less water can be used to maintain a native garden. After last summer’s water shortage, it is quite obvious what positive impact this can have on our city as a whole. With insect resistant plant life, there is also a drastically reduced need for pesticides. Storm water runoff from these garden plans is far less polluted, and therefore much better for our surrounding ecosystems, than equivalent gardens that have to be chemically treated to withstand local pests.
One of the most important things to also remember about Texas Gulf Coast plant species is that they evolved over millions of years to thrive in our heavy, clay-like soil. This soil is very different from soil in other parts of the country. Native gardens, however, take to it quite readily. They need less fertilizer, and typically little if any soil amendment to get started.
The only real maintenance that Houston landscaping clients occasionally need is pruning. Because these species do so well in our area, very warm, wet weather may trigger a growth spurt that may call for some aesthetic fine adjustments to the garden’s overall appearance. Other than that, properly spaced native plants will typically dominate their immediate surroundings and keep weed growth to a minimum if they are given the right start by a professional Houston landscaping designer.
As more development expands Houston’s growing urban sprawl into surrounding suburbs, it is important to maintain the regional look of the Gulf Coast. We do not have to sacrifice natural habitat for human habitat completely if we focus on consciously blending the two. Native garden design is one way we can do exactly that. As new homes rise, and landscape master plans emerge to support those homes, native vegetation that has always been here can maintain its presence in relationship to increasing human activity.