Native Land Design Blog

How Much Water Does Your Texas Landscape Need In the Winter

Chris Rhodes, Director of Marketing and Development

We often hear the question; how often do I water during the winter?  Whether it is a board of directors putting together a performance scope or a homeowner just adjusting their irrigation clock, what is the answer?  There are several opinions ranging from not at all to 3 times a week. As you can imagine, several opinions can arise when asked this question so let’s dig a little deeper.    

Fall Landscaping "To-Do" List for Property Managers

Ben Collinsworth


Texas commercial properties have faced a good freeze already this fall, and the grass is finally dormant.


The landscape appears to finally be going to bed for the winter.  


But this doesn’t mean you should neglect your commercial landscape. There are some important tasks that are essential for you to keep at the top of your priority list to help prepare your Texas property for the coming year and active growing season.

Three 2018 Commercial Landscaping Trends Property Managers Should Take Note Of

Ben Collinsworth

Being a commercial property manager in a competitive market like Texas isn’t easy.

You have to market yourself and your skills to the owners of the buildings you manage, as well as the client tenants who rent, work or live in the properties you maintain, while making sure both are content and satisfied.

At the same time, if you work in a competitive market you need to stay on top of trends to ensure your property is appealing to current and prospective tenants. But since you’ve got a lot on your plate, how can you ensure you have fresh, new ideas to present to help contribute to the growth of your property?

That’s why Native Land Design is here: to help you by suggesting these top three commercial landscaping trends.

Erosion Control Options for Houston Commercial Properties

Ben Collinsworth

Understanding erosion control is critical to any Houston commercial property manager who has to deal with slopes on their properties, has a site located near waterways or must fight occasional extreme weather conditions. In fact, not following erosion control processes and procedures during commercial landscape construction can be very costly.

Many city and state municipalities have ordinances in place to minimize the level of sediment and other pollutants carried off by runoff into lakes, streams and wetlands. Erosion impacting storm sewers and right-of-ways can even cause inspectors to take notice of erosion control measures on your property.

First, let’s better define erosion. The word erosion means the detachment of soil, sediment or rock/stone fragments caused by water, wind, ice or plain gravity. When this soil is washed away, so are other things in the soil like pesticides and fertilizers. And this is where local municipalities take notice and can fine properties not following proper measures.

Water is the biggest culprit of erosion in Houston. In fact, Houston receives an average rainfall of nearly 53 inches each year—35 percent higher than the national average and 48 percent more than the average rainfall in Texas, says.

But what makes water even more damaging is when heavy rainfall follows extreme drought that makes the ground so hard and dry, lacking the absorption capabilities to properly and quickly soak up rain water before it can wash soil away.

Then when soil is carried away, it can cause uneven ground in the form of cracks, ridges and rises that can actually become safety and tripping hazards on busy commercial facilities.  

Protect your Houston commercial property with these four erosion control options.


The Top 6 Tree Traits to Avoid in Parking Lots and Paved Areas in Texas

Ben Collinsworth

Every Texas commercial property has one thing in common: parking lots.

Parking lots and paved areas are essential to office parks and HOAs and industrial facilities and all kinds of other commercial properties. Some sites even require a specific number of parking spots to accommodate the amount of people that come and go there.

Unfortunately, parking lots tend to be a bit unattractive as they are.

Landscaping with trees in and around parking lots and strips can greatly approve the appearance of these areas. Trees also provide other perks, such as preventing soil erosion and storm water draining problems, keeping wind and noise at bay, reducing carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and enhancing the comfort of property visitors by providing cooling shade.

While parking lots and paved areas need trees, they can also provide some challenging growing conditions for certain species.

But, you’re in luck, more trees can thrive in these areas than you think. In fact, the list is pretty vast of trees that can be nice additions to parking lots and paved areas, so we’d like to highlight the top tree characteristics you should avoid when selecting tree species for parking lots and paved areas to help you narrow your search.

Why We Use Plants Without Blooms

Ben Collinsworth

The perfect commercial landscape design takes quite a bit of planning and work to get just right … not to mention a little help from Mother Nature to thrive. 

With so many gorgeous and unique plants available for landscaping commercial properties in Texas, how do you decide which ones to use or what the right ones are for you?

While everyone pays special attention to beautiful blooms when it comes to plants, there are a lot more things to consider. This includes height, color, texture, and even whether the plant is evergreen or deciduous. While no one can deny the attraction of flowers, even plants that don’t produce flowers can provide an aesthetically pleasing element in a commercial landscape.

Commercial Landscape Design: What We've Learned Over the Years

Ben Collinsworth

To be a successful commercial landscape architect, one must possess three key qualities and traits.

  • First, they must have good ideas for the commercial landscape that are based on the client’s needs and wants.
  • But it’s not just enough to have good ideas. Next, a landscape architect must know how to present or sell these ideas to the commercial client.
  • Finally, a commercial landscape design must have the persistence to realize those ideas, transforming them into actual usable and beautiful outdoor spaces.

All of these things come together in the visuals a landscape designer creates. If a landscape design professional has wonderful ideas but doesn’t display them in an attractive way, he or she might be wasting effort, time and money. If another designer doesn’t have the best ideas, but is able to create mind-blowing illustrations of them, that may elevate those ideas to the next level in the client’s mind.

This pushes visuals and presentation to the top of the list for landscape designers and architects. This process has evolved over the years for landscape professionals, including for us at Native Land Design.

The 10 Best Plants For South Texas

Ben Collinsworth

Do the heat and humidity have your attention yet, commercial property managers?

If so, tropical blooms are probably also on your mind. Those spring and summertime brilliant color bombs that take your landscape to the next level.

With the intense heat, however, also comes challenges like drought. There are plenty of plants (some native to Texas) that are more drought tolerant and require less upkeep, but also deliver the same hit of daring drama and hues as their more high-maintenance counterparts.

Here is our list of the top 10 best plants for South Texas commercial landscapes.

5 Causes of Bare Areas in Your Landscape Beds and How to Fix Them

Ben Collinsworth

As you’re walking through your Texas commercial property passing some lush landscape beds and turf, a bare area stands out like a blemish on your skin or a giant patch of weeds in your lawn. It is a nasty splotch of paint mucking up the otherwise perfect painting of your commercial landscape.

Luckily, there are some options for addressing these blank beds.

6 Dependable Ornamental Grasses for Texas Commercial Landscapes

Ben Collinsworth

You need plants that can stand up to your site’s traffic, conditions and also make an impression. That’s a tall order.

One type of plant that fits the bill is ornamental grass. This foliage option will give your landscape texture, color and lively movement.

Plus, if you choose ornamental grasses that are native or adaptive to Texas, you can make your property more efficient (saving you money on utilities).

Not all grasses are created equal, though, so choose ones that are noninvasive and will benefit your landscape.

Here are six dependable ornamental grasses to consider for your commercial landscape design or installing on your commercial landscape.