Show Off Your Style
From sleek to shabby chic, there’s no wrong way to show off your design aesthetic.
San Antonio Style
Choosing a particular style can help you make more specific choices such as color themes, textures, massing of plants, patio materials and even garden furniture.
In San Antonio, some dominant styles you may see are cottage, mid-century, traditional, Texas Hill Country and Spanish courtyards. Remember the site conditions of your lot; sun, shade, soil, cannot be easily changed. The style you pick will need to be built within the constraints of the site conditions.
Landscape Style Elements
- Abundant variety of blooming plants in an informal setting
- Herbs and vegetables planted with the flowers rather than in a separate plot.
- Minimal or no turf
- Pathways and patios of flagstone or old brick
- Picket or wrought iron fences, trellises, birdbaths, gazing balls, garden benches or other decorative items.
- Straight lines for beds, patios and walkways
- Limited plant palette
- Mass plantings in a repetitive pattern
- Plants often selected for their architectural qualities.
- Generally dominated by grass, low hedges under windows and possibly a tree or two.
- Can be converted to a WaterSaver landscape by reducing grass in favor of a low-growing ground cover while maintaining the traditional look.
Texas Hill Country
- Use of existing limestone outcroppings
- Minimum use of turf
- A space for wildflowers
- Use of plants native to the Hill Country
- Areas of the property left in its natural condition
- Designed as an extension of the living space.
- Significant paved patios often made of tile, brick or stone set in decorative patterns.
- Fountain, bird bath or simple basin of water.
- Container plants.
- Bed areas often limited requiring careful selection of plants for the limited planting area.
- Any design style can do double duty as a wildscape.
- As you design, keep these elements in mind:
- Food: Include food sources by selecting plants that provide nectar, pollen, leaves, nuts, berries and seeds all year.
- Water: Provide a clean, reliable source of water, such as a bird bath.
- Shelter: For wildlife to hide, rest and nest in your garden. Use vertical layers with flowers, grasses, shrubs and trees.
SITE CONDITION CONSIDERATIONS
Cottage: Best in sunny landscapes with decent soil.
Mid-Century: Can be adapted to either sun or shade. Soil conditions depend on the plant selection.
Traditional: Generally a mixed sun and shade landscape. Deeper soils are best.
Texas Hill Country: Can be adapted to sun or shade. Choose thin soil plants and keep the native soil undisturbed by construction equipment if you can.
Spanish Courtyards: Sun or shade. There will be significant patio areas so the beds can be augmented with soil if needed. If taking elements from a Spanish theme, deeper soil is best.
Final Note: If you are a determined gardener, you can make all these styles work regardless of your site conditions – it’s just harder. And all can be wildlife friendly.