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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:54 pm
Location: Dallas-Texas

Making my small front yard better - Texas

My front yard was planted by the builder and I would like to improve it around a bit.. I am very bad at plant terminology so if anyone can guide me in the right direction, I will appreciate it..

I know I want a couple of rose plants (where should I put those)
I want some color
Any new plants that I plant, I would like it to be a perennial.
I could also plant a small tree that is 'evergreen' - no falling leaves.

If you look at the pictures a little closer... you will notice that the 'porcupine' looking plant is in the stairs and pokes people as they walk on the stairs. I don't mind taking this out and also anything else out..
Couple of plants have also died that were taken out (one on the front right and one in the back , by the window).

https://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y43 ... 92da80.png
https://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y43 ... eca817.png
https://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y43 ... e50ea1.png
https://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y43 ... 385988.png

I will appreciate any and all suggestion to help me make the front better

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

It would really help to know what direction those windows face, so what the sun exposure is.

In the meantime, just a couple of starting places. You are in Texas, a difficult climate. Think about growing native plants that are adapted to your conditions.


has a native plant data base (it is actually done by the LadyBird Johnson Wildflower Center at UT).

Put TX in and your conditions (sun/shade wet/dry etc) and what kind of plant you are looking for (tree/shrub/forb/vine) in to the search boxes in the data base and it will give a whole list of examples. You can click on each one to learn more about it.

Also look up xeriscaping (assuming you are in a dry part of Texas, not coastal) for suggestions about dry land gardening.

Especially if those are west facing windows, I would definitely want a good sized shrub or small tree to provide some summer shade.

A few suggestions might be serviceberry, acacia, purple sage, Texas mountain laurel, maple leaf viburnum.

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Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:54 pm
Location: Dallas-Texas

Forgot to mention, that window is SOUTH facing and I get PLENTY of sun all year round. I.e. I was facing north when taking the picture

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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2105
Joined: Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:53 am
Location: Lafayette, LA

Re: Making my small front yard better - Texas

aamert - Congratulations on your new home. It is lovely. It is also Tall and needs some balence. I realy hate contractor landscaping. They just throw in the cheapest thing they can find. The pictures are a little fuzzy and I could not get a close enough look at the foliage to make positive identification of the plants. Yes - remove anything that obstructs access to your front door. The bare tree on the left side looks like it might be a crepe myrtle that has been pruned incorectly. If it is a crepe myrtle then it is too close to the house. Even the smaller varieties need to be farther from your home. Rainbow's suggestion of xeriscaping is an excellent one and very well suited to Texas.

You do need some height to balance the height of your home but you have to keep in mind that what grows tall also grows wide.

My best advice to you is to do a lot of research and PLAN. Do scale drawings of your yard (airial view). Get a landscaping template. You may be able to find it at an office supply store but I had to go to the university book store the last time I purchased one. When you draw in your plants draw them in at mature size - not the new plant size. With the exception of feature plants - plant in odd numbers and stagger. Mother nature does not do straight lines. If you live in east Texas I would seriously consider installing a gravel barrier from the house to 6" outside of the drip line. I know that sounds drastic but so are termites and in east Texas you have Formosa termites like we do in Louisiana. Seriously nasty beast.

I go back to Rainbow's suggestion. An excellent idea - very drought tolerant, low maintenance and looks great. Also makes your yard unique.

Best of luck

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