Windswept Landscape Studios  
Winter 2004
People always ask me, “When is the most ideal time for installing and planning my outdoor space?” Responding to this question has challenged many Houston landscape architects and designers since the winter,
although mild, can vary from year to year. Like the constant evolution of a landscape, Houston weather can have inconsistencies within each season. For instant, one summer might bring rains of biblical proportions, while in the preceding year we might be rationing the same resource when the rain has all but disappeared. The following guide is what I recommend to my clients and fellow garden enthusiasts regarding the planning and installing of a landscape that coincides with the seasons.

Winter and summer are the best time to plan your outdoor space by putting together a landscape design, while fall and spring are the most ideal times for actually commencing a landscape master plan. With reference to how Houston’s climate defines the seasons, a landscape project can sometimes overlap into one or more seasons depending on its size and scope. Winter time brings in the holiday spirit, even if you are wearing shorts while completing your holiday shopping during a 75 degree December day.

The last thing on most of our minds is taking on a landscape project. However, if you can find the time between wrapping gifts and holiday celebrations, this is an excellent time to start planning for your spring landscape project. Establishing the design parameters of the landscape project and moving forward with a master plan design will put you head and shoulders above the spring frenzy. This eliminates the stress of trying to not only putting together a design layout, but also installing it in the spring before the scorching summer arrives.

Once summer does indeed arrive, another window of opportunity for planning your landscape project arrives for fall installation. During August & September, very few brave the broiling temperatures to venture into their outdoor spaces, with the exception of late evenings or early mornings. The photos featured with this article are an example of a project that was designed during the month of August and installed in October. By installing in the fall, the tree and shrub selections will have an opportunity to establish an even stronger root system prior to the next summer. Whether taking on an entirely new landscape challenge or renovating an existing space, it is important to factor in good planning with the seasons of Houston’s climate to design and install your outdoor space.