6 Amazing San Antonio Yards to Inspire

Six landscapes offer very different approaches in design, but share the common goal of saving water.

Every year the WaterSaver Landscape tour focuses on landscapes designed for low maintenance and low water use. Limited irrigation, native plants, colorful drought-tough perennials and reduced lawn spaces are features they all share. Each landscape offers simple ideas that can be incorporated into any South Texas yard and by homeowners themselves!

Below is inspiration from six San Antonio yards:

 Keep It Wild

Large areas of this corner lot were left in their native state. Native and adapted plants were added at entry points to the yard. A formal, enclosed courtyard is filled with plants that offer seasonal color in the backyard.

Plants as Art

Plants function as sculpture. Raised steel-frame beds elevate a large collection of cacti, agaves, palms and ornamental grasses. “Texas blend” rock covers the well-drained front and side yards. In the backyard, more specimens of succulents and cacti surround the pool, along with a small area of artificial turf.

Elegant front yard, secluded courtyard

Symmetrical plants create a formal landscape up front, and complement the home’s Italian style architecture. The back features a courtyard reminiscent of New Orleans with spaces for entertaining on two different levels joined by a staircase with an intricate wrought iron handrail.

Shady retreat

Owners chose to ditch turf grass in favor of low-growing Berkeley sedge grass that covers most of the yard in both sun and shade. In addition to showcasing some uncommon plants, the owners have tucked interesting metal sculptures into nooks and corners throughout the yard.

A way with whimsy

Art is centerpiece in this happy, lawn-free back yard. Mosaics and colorful blown glass are used throughout, with two fire-engine red pergolas taking center stage. A giant metal butterfly rests in a bed of Asiatic jasmine. A neon sculpture wraps around the trunk of an oak tree. Succulents are used in ingenious ways.

Zen-like simplicity

The front yard is at once both traditional in its plant material, and modern in its angular design. The yard has been elevated from street level with a short retaining wall of mortared rock that complements the house. Lawn has been replaced with a blanket of pea gravel, allowing the plants to take center stage.

From WaterSaver Tour Article By Anne Schiller and Karen Stamm, volunteers with Gardening Volunteers of South Texas
Picture of Dana Nichols
Dana Nichols
As conservation manager at SAWS, Dana spent her days promoting beautiful San Antonio landscapes that need little to no water while benefiting Texas wildlife. While she’s no longer whipping up new landscape programs, she’s still cooking up delicious dinners made with fresh herbs from her low-water-use garden or planning the next trip with her husband, Rick -- preferably to some exotic place that requires a passport.
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