Give Your Yard Some Texas Backbone, Y’all!

Take a look around your landscape. Is it looking limp? Lacking structure? Give it some backbone — of Texas-style evergreens, that is.

Believe it or not, having an attractive, low-maintenance, water-efficient landscape year-round is possible. The key: a backbone – of Texas-style evergreens, that is. And you know what? …that includes structural natives like red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora), century agave (Agave americana), and spineless prickly pear (Opuntia Ellisiana).

These garden workhorses are able to withstand extreme weather conditions and, in most cases, sail through these extremes where other plants may struggle or go dormant. San Antonio experiences weather extremes – from a dry, scorching summer to a frigid winter, which often takes its toll on local landscapes. But the landscapes that fare the best, by far, are those with a good backbone that’s heavy on the native plants.


Now is the time to contemplate and plan on establishing your garden’s grit. Look around your yard…where could you use evergreen structure and bones to carry your garden through every season? Backbone plants make for an attractive landscape and provide depth and texture year-round, setting up other plants to look their best when it is their season to shine.

Picture of Juan Soulas
Juan Soulas
Juan Soulas is a conservation planner for San Antonio Water System. Since joining SAWS in 2007 his duties have focused on residential water use. He works with his Conservation colleagues to help customers find ways to reduce outdoor usage without compromising the health and aesthetic quality of their landscapes. Juan also coordinates engaging outreach efforts with SAWS’ conservation partners -- Bexar County Master Gardeners, Gardening Volunteers of South Texas, San Antonio Botanical Garden and Mitchell Lake Audubon Center – to increase community access to vital conservation information.
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