Explore the Crème de la Crème of Local Landscapes

Explore the Crème de la Crème of Local Landscapes

If you’re in need of a few great ideas to take your yard to the next level, you’ll want to take the annual WaterSaver Landscape Tour this Saturday, April 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The self-guided tour is a partnership between San Antonio Water System and the Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, and this year features six beautiful yards on San Antonio’s North Side.

Docents from GVST will be stationed at each yard to answer questions, and hand out programs and educational materials. In most cases, homeowners also will be available.

Besides being a free tour, you also have the chance to win a prize for your own yard! Be among the first 200 guests to visit all six yards, and you’ll receive a $50 coupon to any Stone and Soil location or Milberger's Nursery, courtesy of the Trinity Glen Rose Groundwater Conservation District.

Obtain a card at any of the locations and have it punched at each site you visit. Turn in your completed card at any of the yards, and your coupon will be mailed to you.

The featured landscapes were selected for their substantial reduction of grass, beds appropriately mulched with leaves, chips, bark or stone, plants appropriate to soil and sunlight conditions, plants covering at least 50 percent of the site in beds or non-turf areas, and distinct separation between landscape beds, turf or hardscape.

This year’s yards are in the following neighborhoods:

Mission Ridge

15623 Mission Crest

  • Owner transformed the site’s biggest liability — a severe slope — into its biggest asset with landscaped terraces.
  • Eye-catching focal features including a pond, fireplace, statuary, benches and large containers.
  • Turf replaced with drought tolerant plants — native or adapted non-native — in beds that are walled or outlined with stone.

15626 Mission Crest

  • In the front yard, low, stone walls separate large beds of evergreen shrubs and colorful perennials.
  • Backyard turf replaced with flagstone patio, extensive perennial beds and a water garden with fountain, and distinct teak patio furniture.

Bluffview Estates

14123 Bluff Manor

  • Owners performed all the work themselves.
  • Large swathes of turf removed in both front and backyards.
  • Mulched beds in front and various features in the backyard are all connected by flagstone paths

619 Bluff Post

  • Front yard consists of beds of native and adapted non-native evergreen shrubs, surrounded by Asiatic jasmine, all connected by flagstone paths.
  • Backyard contains numerous small beds interconnected with flagstone and unique blue stones.
  • Extensive drip installation has reduced water usage.

Whispering Oaks

2727 Whispering Path

  • Successfully addresses the shady slope dilemma, a common San Antonio landscape problem.
  • Formal yet informal appearance with yuccas, agaves and rock pathways winding throughout beds of Asiatic jasmine
  • Entry features a bi-level composite deck with inset flower beds and benches.
  • A unique tile portrait set into the brick entrance.

Colonial Hills

9214 Bingham

  • Stately live oaks, native plants, adapted non-natives minimize water usage in the front and backyards.
  • Extensive deck with an enclosed section and meticulous maintenance provide stunning views
  • Curving flagstone paths meander past perennial beds, irrigated by drip irrigation.

Enjoy touring these San Antonio homes that incorporate water conserving landscapes with modern aesthetics. Be sure to chat with the GVST docents and discuss your plant and landscape issues.

Attached is the map and their webpage is https://gardeningvolunteers.org/upcoming-events/

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Mark Peterson

About our expert

Mark Peterson

Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.