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21+ Texas Landscaping Ideas for a Thriving Texan Garden

While the landscape varies considerably across the state, the one constant thing is the pride and bold personality of everything Texan. The state is immense and timeless, but it has a variety of climatic regions.

You should plan carefully to ensure that your landscape is suitable for the conditions in your area.  If you are new in Texas or have a landscaping project, there are some landscaping considerations to keep in mind while planning

When planning a landscape in Texas, it is important to work together with the natural environment. Here are some things you should consider:

  1. The climate of your specific region
  2. Severe weather
  3. Rainfall
  4. Setting
  5. Style of the area
  6. Natural materials available
  7. Plants to use
  8. Color scheme

The look and feel of your Texan landscape should be both attractive and easy to maintain. It will help a lot if, when planning your Texas landscape ideas, you work with nature and don’t try to create a landscape that is not suitable and only lasts a season. 

These are some elements you should consider while thinking of ideas for your slice of Texas land.

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10/01/2022 04:18 am GMT

Texas Landscaping Ideas – What to Consider

texas landscape flag gate
Texas has a widely varying climate, from arid in the west and subtropics in the east. These climates require different landscaping ideas.

It would be a mistake to consider Texas as a one-size-fits-all when it comes to designing a landscape.

The weather varies widely from the arid western parts to more humid, subtropical regions in the east. There are several distinct and often dramatically different climatic regions.

Knowing what to plant in your region and being guided by prevailing conditions will save you a ton of work in maintenance later.

Climate Regions in Texas

texas map

The great state of Texas is bigger than some countries, and the climate varies across areas. When researching ideas to suit your Texas landscape, you should first identify what climatic zone you live in.

By understanding your region’s climate, you will be able to select plants that will thrive in your area. Texas is divided into five main weather regions.

Texas’ Five Weather Regions

RegionSummary of the Climate

Northern Plains

This area is semi-arid and prone to drought.  The average annual rainfall is only between 16 and 32 inches and the wettest months are April and May. Average snowfall is between 15 and 30 inches, and during winter, the temperatures frequently fall below freezing. This is the coldest area in Texas.

The area is frequently windy, and during late spring, the region forms part of the area commonly referred to as Tornado Alley.

Northern Plains includes the cities of Abilene, Lubbock, Amarillo, Midland, San Angelo, and Wichita Falls

Trans-Pecos Region

This is the most mountainous and arid region of Texas.

The climate varies between cold and hot desert conditions. Summers are hot, with only about 9.7inches of rain between July and September. Although infrequent, snow has been recorded in this region, and night-time temperatures in winter can often plunge well below freezing.

Because it is so dry, winds can pick up the dry sand and cause dust storms, particularly in spring.

It is a huge area but is sparsely populated. Most residents of this region live around El Paso.

Texas Hill Country

(Also known as Central Texas)

The climate in this scenic region is semi-arid. Winters are cool, and summers are hot. The area can receive up to 48 inches of rainfall per annum. The wettest months are April and May.

This area presents a harsh landscape as the topsoil is usually thin, and the ground is rocky. As a result, flash flooding can occur.

Includes the cities of Waco, Austin, and San Antonio

Piney Woods

Piney Woods refers to the eastern region of Texas. The climate is humid and subtropical. Some places within this area receive more than 60 inches of rainfall per annum. The high humidity levels of the region often make it feel hotter than it actually is during summer.

The wettest months are April and May, and the region may experience severe thunderstorms during spring.

Includes the cities of Galveston, Dallas, Fort Worth, Port Arthur, and Houston

South Texas

Although South Texas is generally semi-arid, it does get cold during the winter months.

Summers are hot and humid. Rainfall varies across the region, with more falling in the coastal areas, which are generally subtropical.  The wettest months are April and May.

The inland areas are dry and characterized by stark spiny vegetation. The inland area rarely receives snow despite the cold winter temperatures because of the low humidity.

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10/01/2022 08:43 am GMT

Severe Weather in Texas

Shot after a T-Storm near Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas.
Amazing skies after a T-Storm near Hueco Tanks State Park, Texas.

When thinking of landscaping ideas, keep in mind that thunderstorms are extremely common in Texas.

In addition, it is the state that experiences the most tornadoes each year. These storms can be very frightening, and more so if you have tall vegetation growing around your house that could topple over during one of these storms.

Landscaping should ideally be kept low to the ground, especially in the Tornado Alley section of the state. Severe weather, which can include tornadoes, usually occurs during spring.

Seasonal high winds will kick up dust from the dry ground, so avoid having open patches of soil anywhere near your home.

Rainfall in Texas

We often think Texas is an arid area with tough cacti and spikey yucca plants jutting out of a sparse landscape.

But spring rains and thunderstorms come on suddenly and can wreak havoc on carefully laid out yards, and months of work can be washed away in a matter of minutes.

Annual average rainfall in Texas may be low, but heavy showers, especially during spring, are intense.

Your landscape must be able to withstand arid conditions but should have sufficient runoff areas. The yard should be landscaped so that drainage from flash rains runs away from the house to prevent flooding.

Setting

Where you live will greatly influence how you landscape your property. Properties in Texas range from sprawling ranches to compact backyard spaces in densely populated cities. 

Small Yards and Residential Settings

For small yards, keep everything compact and neat.

You can create a more spacious feeling by dividing the lawn and garden beds using natural or painted rocks. Stones that have been painted white will create lovely color contrast between the plant beds and the lawn or pathways.

Pathways are usually covered in pebbles so that exposed soil is minimized. This is not only to prevent dust during the windy months but also to prevent evaporation of moisture from the ground. 

By cleverly using colorful low growing indigenous plants like Texas bluebonnet and Texas purple sage, you will not only quickly establish a beautiful weather-resistant garden, but your yard will be a magnet for butterflies and birds. 

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10/01/2022 01:13 am GMT

Landscaping Ideas for Rural Properties

If you have more space, you can include some trees.  If possible, try to plant tall-growing trees some distance away from the house in case of sudden storms with high winds that could uproot them.

The subtropical areas of Texas and some areas around Houston are known for the abundance of palm trees that thrive in humid conditions.

The variety of palm trees that you select should be able to withstand extreme cold, so before you rush off to plant, check that the variety you plant during summer will make it through January.

There are several varieties of palm plants that you can choose from that are suitable for conditions in Texas.

Besides just palm trees, pecan trees and prickly pear cactus thrive in parts of Texas.

These can provide a lovely harvest and provide height in how gardens that you can plant around. Pecan trees will also provide lovely shaded areas during the summer months.

Style of the Area

The way you decide to landscape your garden is up to you, but while planning, one should drive around the area and get ideas from established properties with thriving gardens.

Besides taking note of ideas or plants that you would like to include in your landscape, it is equally important to specifically take note of landscape features that do not appeal to you.

For example, if you have dogs or small children, you may prefer not to include spikey plants in your landscape setting.

Be a tourist in your neighborhood and list specific likes and dislikes from your observations. These observations will help to guide you when narrowing down landscaping ideas for your yard.

Try to maintain a distinct look and feel that is in tune with the climate of your region. Select cacti, succulents, and hardy natural grasses if you live in a hot, arid region. Palm trees can add to a vacation feel in the subtropical, humid areas.

Create protected shaded outside spaces where you can enjoy the warm days and spend more time outside by adding an outside pavilion. 

If you live in a region where night-time temperatures plummet, you could consider adding an outside stone fire pit where family and friends can nestle together around a crackling fire under the clear Texan night sky.

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Natural Materials Available

An excellent idea for landscaping in Texas is to use natural rocks. There are boulders, rocks, stones, and gorgeous pebbles available in abundance.

Your landscape can make use of huge feature boulders surrounded by low-growing plants, or you can even build feature walls from the beautiful natural rock available in your area.

Natural rock will not only blend well in any Texas landscape, but by adding a layer of rock as a ground cover, you will save water by retaining moisture in the soil around your plants.

In addition, rainwater will pass through easily and drain away below the surface.  During the dry months, the amount of dust kicked up by the wind will be reduced if beds are completely covered.

For more formal garden settings in Texas, rocks are frequently painted white to demarcate garden areas, pathways, and special features like birdbaths within a landscape setting.

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The color contrasts starkly against the soil and desert plants’ muted earth tones and gives a fresh feeling to any garden setting.

backyard-landscape-with-stone-and-plants
This gorgeous backyard makes use of stone to create a raised garden and lounging area in one.

Add some large stone pots for height and contrast, topped with a colorful flowering plant.

The emphasis in Texas is on incorporating natural elements into the environment and working in harmony with nature.

Types of Plants to Use In a Texas Landscape

Succulents love the Texas sun and are drought tolerant. They come in various interesting shapes, so they are perfect to use as part of formal and informal landscape settings.

Adding succulents to your garden will ensure that there are always some low-maintenance, visually appealing plant features, even during the occasional icy snaps.

Team up the severe spikey look of a tall cactus with contrasting ornamental grass like Mexican feather grass with its long soft-looking fronds or surround it by some cheerful Black-eyed Susans.

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Alternatively, clump a group of different varieties of cacti in areas that are highly exposed to harsh weather.

By surrounding groups of cacti with rocks of varying sizes, you can create an interesting landscape feature that will be uniquely Texan in appearance.

If you have a second-hand or thrift store nearby, you can even add a fun, uniquely western touch to the feature, for example, an old wagon wheel or animal skull that can be seasonally decorated.

Colors to Use In a Texas Landscape

Your Texas landscape’s spacing, layout, and color scheme probably matters more than any other element.

What you may not have in terms of huge deciduous trees and lush forest-like vegetation like your northern neighbors, you can make up for with colors of every shade.

The Texan color palette is immense.

If you want to include flowers in your landscape, plant them to grow in layers around a central feature or against a stone wall. They will provide a burst of showy color, and a wall or feature tree will protect them from the prevailing wind.

Remember to provide a layer of mulch over beds when planting flowers to keep moisture around the plants’ roots.

If you want a landscape that will require minimal maintenance, there are a large variety of indigenous flowering plants that you could choose from.

These plants are colorful and hardy. Best of all, they come in various sizes, colors, and textures so you can mix and match and easily create a sunshine landscape.

Top Native Texas Flowering Plants

Some types of native Texas flowering plants you can choose are:

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10/01/2022 02:09 am GMT

Top Texas Plants for a Shaded Garden

If you have a shaded garden area in Texas, you may prefer white or light-colored flowers.

Doing this will add a feeling of fresh coolness. You can select plants like:

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Landscaping in Texas – Final Thoughts

Texas is a massive state that has five distinctly different climatic regions. It is important when planning a landscape to plant according to the zone and work in harmony with the area’s conditions.

By using native plants and natural materials, you can create an attractive, easy-to-maintain landscape that is unmistakably Texan.

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Author

  • Immensely introverted and more comfortable with animals than people, writing is the perfect job for Skye! She's spent years studying natural treatments and herbal remedies for animals, animal behavioral science, and building a self-sufficient animal-friendly homestead. Her favorite animals are dogs, the bigger the better. Raises dogs, horses, chickens, geese, ducks, a goat, cattle, and a truckload of vegetables. Never says no to an animal in need, grows her own animal feed, and adores being immersed in nature surrounded by anything that doesn't talk.