Bringing the inside, out.
A current, growing trend in the design and function of residential landscapes is to divide the backyard space into outdoor rooms, which serve as extensions to the home and its interior. At Bushmaster Landscapes, one of our primary philosophies is that a landscape is something that is meant to be used and experienced, rather than just looked at through a window. That way, people get to enjoy the space around them and to utilize more areas for living, thereby getting the most for their landscape investment. One of the simplest and most functional ways to achieve this outdoor living space on your property is through the design and installation of an outdoor kitchen.
The concept of an outdoor kitchen has been around for a while, but it has only recently grown into such popularity and sophistication. In the last few years, outdoor kitchens have developed into more elaborate extensions of their indoor counterparts, and have started to become one of the main focal points of the backyard. That is not to say that only the wealthy or people with lots of space can afford an outdoor kitchen, the fact is completely the opposite. Even if your yard is small, you still can enjoy an outdoor kitchen for grilling, family meals and entertaining guests by making the most out of the space available. The design for an outdoor kitchen can be appropriately sized for location while still meeting the personal needs of the homeowner.
Aerate – The lush lawn “secret weapon”!
Why Aerate? In nature grass will grow to at least several feet high during the spring. As the grass grows higher, the root system will grow deeper which breaks up the soil and allows good drainage. Grass is better able to absorb water with a deeper root system enabling it to survive when the weather turns hot and dry.
Most home owners associations frown on letting grass grow to several feet high, and the result of mowing is diminished root systems in our lawns. We do our best to keep our lawn alive by watering it when hot weather arrives but grass grows more slowly the hotter it gets. Since the roots are also growing slower they absorb less water causing the soil to absorb most of the water we apply. This causes it to compress, which in turn stops root growth and eventually causes your lawn's root system to shrink even more. The cycle repeats itself over and over until you're left with little but brown grass and rock-hard soil.
Texas winter doesn't mean the landscape has to be drab! If you are thinking of adding to your landscape now is the ideal time. Almost all trees and shrubs planted at this time of year establish themselves better than those planted in late spring and summer. Plants and flowers pop out and provide a burst of much-needed color for a vibrant winter landscape that lends year-round interest to your home.
Great sources for winter color are:
Available in white or shades of rose and lavender, Alyssum is a great cool-season annual ground cover which can form a fragrant border in sun or partial shade. Cut back when it gets leggy and fertilize for more blooms.
In normal Houston winters the combination of cool temps, periodic rainfall, and the turf being basically shut down due to cold weather plants use very little water. However, this year is an exception because it has been very dry for a very long time.
Warm-weather tolerant lawns of St. Augustine, Bermuda, Centipede, Kikuyu, and Zoysia grasses can be vulnerable to heavy weed infestations if they don't get enough water in the cold months. If weeds get a foothold now in warm-weather grasses, they can suck up all the moisture you've put down on the lawn. The result: your turf grass goes brown and in the spring you have a lawn of nothing but weeds.
Our mild Texas winters allow us to enjoy outstanding displays of color all year long. As the weather begins to cool and our summer flowers start to fade away, without a doubt, Pansies are the best flower for Houston winter landscapes in our area. They perform beautifully in locations with well-drained moderately rich soil and full sun to partial shade (six hours or more of sunlight). They grow best when evening temperatures remain between 40 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and daytime highs do not exceed 75 degrees. They are capable of surviving temperatures down to the single digits; They will freeze solid, thaw out when the sunlight hits them, and continue to bloom all winter. Pansies will often last until the end of March.