When sweater weather arrives, patios and backyards come to life. There’s nothing like throwing the doors open in the morning and taking a big breath of crisp, cool air. Happy hours on the deck chairs seem even more appealing, and chilly nights promise festive times to come.
Wildlife experiences this renewal, too. Fall is a second growing season in Texas, when native plants burst into action after semi-dormant summers. Native pollinators like ruby-throated hummingbirds, luna moths, and hardworking honey bees flock to them, invigorated just like us.
Other changes in our natural surroundings can stimulate creativity. What do you envision in your landscape when you look outside? Maybe it’s more color, maybe it’s better function, maybe it’s a total overhaul with a wide array of natural and built structures.
It’s only natural to picture ourselves flourishing outdoors. And we all want to improve our landscapes without breaking the bank.
So as you search for the best bang for your buck, check out these five simple landscape ideas for fall.
1. Build a Patio Extension
Give yourself some room to kick your feet up and enjoy the breeze! A patio extension can be a great way to reclaim under-utilized yard space or create easier access.
Install challenges vary with design and surface conditions, but many patio extensions are quick and easy.
Maas Verde can tailor your patio design to match existing or new landscape elements. We can also advise on drainage structures and impervious cover requirements.
2. Update Your Outdoor Lighting
The days are getting shorter, and that means more after-dark activities for us all. How’s your outdoor lighting situation? Low, nonfunctional light can make nocturnal hangouts just as frustrating or dangerous as overbright spaces with glary areas.
Maas Verde installs lighting systems based on specific site needs. We use function-forward lighting equipment that complies with Dark Sky International regulations. And our low voltage models can cut down on your electricity bill.
3. Plant a Pocket Prairie
Did we mention native Texas plants “spring” to life in fall? They do, and this second growing season is an excellent time for a new plant community to begin life.
What is a pocket prairie? Simply put, it’s a garden with native plants only that supports local wildlife. Maas Verde can select species to meet aesthetic, color, maintenance, and desired pollinator goals.
A pocket prairie is also a great way to take advantage of Maas Verde’s value-added planting programs. We add soil amendments to the root zone of each plant we install, to keep the area healthy long-term. We also include plant warranties to further support ongoing success.
4. Create a Dry Creek
Dry creeks add multiple functional and aesthetic facets to a landscape. These graded, pebble-lined channels act as points of visual interest, drainage solutions, and functional structures for wildlife.
Here’s the coolest part (from Maas Verde’s point of view): Dry creeks mimic natural riparian systems. Deep-rooting, hearty plants line the banks for retention. A stone bed channels rainwater downstream and allows partial absorption.
Dry creeks can be simple, light-duty work for an experienced crew. Try one if you’ve got puddling issues — or just want to add some natural depth and color to your space!
5. Install a Pergola
A pergola can put an exclamation point on any landscape, with partial shade functionality and added texture.
Pergolas can take almost any shape or form, adapting materials to meet a range of needs. A timber pergola can create a vibe from rustic to sophisticated, and depth of shade is fully custom. Another option is a retractable design, which combines the frame of a pergola with a removable shade sail.
Why give yourself a ceiling? Maas Verde recommends letting the sun shine through!
Featured image: Creative Commons