Windswept Landscape Studios  
 
Spring 2005
Landscaping can affect the look an otherwise drab looking home or town home. With space at a premium in Houston, proper planning and execution of an outdoor living space is the key to creating
a landscape design tailored to suite the individual homeowner’s uses within the landscape. Whether it is to create a visual impact for an architectural entry or a courtyard hideaway to relax in after a laborious day, landscapes can comprise several of these elements including, patios, water features, arbors, lighting, and plantings depending the homeowner’s individual desires.

Patios act as a transitional element for homeowners to interact with their landscape. These hardscape surfaces allow furnishings, grills, and planters to become a part of a landscape. Materials can range, depending on the architecture of the home or the size of the patio. Something as simple as an irregular flagstone or as detailed as a marble or pebble mosaic finish can be used for a patio surface.

Water Features bring movement and audio of nature to a space, in addition to creating a sculptural statement for a small space. Small to large water features can become a life-giving force to a variety of wildlife within an outdoor space. Items such as a simple Greek urn bubbling water on to smooth accent rock can become the perfect accent adding soothing tranquility to an outdoor retreat. Fountains constructed out of stone in a more structured style can still capture the essence of nature, yet integrating itself with its architectural surroundings.

Arbors provide shade and relief to a landscape space, especially during the hot summer months in Houston. These structures can be covered or semi-covered. Materials such as canvass can provide a water proof covered space that can be enjoyed when it is either sunny or raining. Open beamed pergolas provide support for vines to create a filtered screen from the intense rays of the sun.

Outdoor Lightingcarries the enjoyment of a landscape into the late evening. This element is especially important for homeowners who long to take advantage of the bearable summer evenings in their landscape. Focal elements such as a water features, sculptures, or accent trees/shrubs become illuminated within the outdoor space by using lighting. Outdoor fire pits provide warmth in addition to natural illumination during the cool crisp evenings of fall and winter.

Planting materials are the “icing on the cake” element used in landscape design. Planting schemes can comprise a simple or complex array of forms, colors, and rich textures. We are lucky, since Houston’s mild climate offers a diverse variety of trees and shrubs. Soil and sunlight conditions are just two items to consider when choosing a plant palette for the landscape. In addition to providing visual impact, planting elements also bring life to a landscape. The elements mentioned above are just a few options when planning an outdoor living space. Contacting a professional landscape designer can help you plan and determine what elements best suite an individual’s landscape needs.

Tim Turner of Windswept Landscape Studios is a landscape designer with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University.
He currently designs residential landscape gardens for the Heights and surrounding Houston area.
Please call to schedule your consultation about planning your outdoor space.