Exterior Worlds
Houston Landscape
Request a consultation

Houston Landscape

The Houston landscape today is very different from the landscape that European settlers found when they first arrived in Texas. At that time, the areas around Buffalo Bayou and its many tributaries was a dark swamp populated by cypress and magnolia trees. In many places, the forest was so impenetrable (and filled with mosquitoes) that even the Karankaway Indians would not venture too far in. Over the years, the Houston landscape gave way to industrialization and residential development. It has never lost its greenery or its waterways, however, and today is still home to a wide variety of oak and pine tree species that line the bayous and scenic roadways that connect the outer rims of the city to downtown.

Houston’s climate is hot and humid in the summer and temperate and humid during the winter. This makes it very amenable to growing a plethora of both exotic and indigenous plants. Because of this, it also makes it possible for the professional landscaper to provide the homeowner with an eclectic range of options when it comes to styles and types of gardens. Because of our mild winters, we seldom see much freeze damage to plants, shrubs, and trees. In fact, Houston landscapes are known throughout the South for having flowers of some sort or the other throughout the year. There are a number of species, such as pansies and cyclamen, which routinely bloom in the winter.

The downside of the Houston landscape is the heavy rainfall which we can receive at virtually any time of year. If the temperature is warm or hot, heavy rainfall will produce outbreaks of mold and fungus within a matter of 24 hours. This is not only bad for human allergies, but for garden plants as well. Steps have to be taken to minimize the impact of mold and fungus on gardens by proactively managing irrigation and at times chemically treating gardens with anti-mold and fungal agents. This type of work should never be done by anyone other than an expert botanist who knows the effects of such treatment on each species of plant within the garden, and who understands the impact that irrigation changes may have on the garden as a whole.

Throughout almost every corner of the Houston landscape, we find heavy clay soils that pose a number of challenges to gardeners and landscapers. Houston soil tends to hold a great deal of water when it rains. Drainage systems have to be built into gardens to prevent standing water from accumulating around sensitive plants that can die if exposed to excessive water. One method of doing this is to aerate the soil so that water percolates in far enough that it can be absorbed by plant roots and filter down below the harder layers of clay near to the surface. At times, it is necessary to take the clay out to some degree and replace it with bedding soil. Larger gardens or more elaborate Houston landscape projects may require concealed drains that route the water to retention ponds and curbs.

Because water cannot always easily filter through the clay soils, they can sometimes be poor in nutrients. Amending the soil may be necessary to enable it to better host a diversity of plant life, or specific exotic plants that require nutrients that do not occur naturally in Houston landscapes. The inconsistent moisture content of the earth here can also cause other problems for landscapers. The expanding and contracting of the earth can actually cause the ground to shift and move. During the summer, the soil dehydrates to the point that cracks often appear in the ground. When sudden rains roll in from the Gulf, the water fills the cracks and causes earth displacement. Structural foundations will be strained as a result, even in the largest of buildings. (This is why foundation repair is such a successful industry here on the Gulf Coast).

To compensate for the instability of theHouston landscape, professional designers have to use creative methods to ensure that the outdoor structures they build will remain in place and intact. Patios and pool decks are often built on piers and beams concealed underground. Pools are made with thicker concrete and thicker rebar. While these preventative measures cannot overcome the forces of Nature, they can provide enough of a sturdy framework to maintain the stability and cosmetics of exterior forms.

How Exterior Worlds Updates Houston Landscape Elements

Both softscape and hardscape elements of the Houston landscape will need updating from time to time. The cycles of updating, of course, differ significantly. Sometimes there is an obvious need to make changes in a landscape that no longer seems to fit the times. On other occasions, a major change in lifestyle or new direction in life generates an interest in new forms and outdoor environments. A landscape is normally

Concealed Custom Drainage Systems that Protect the Houston Lands

Custom, concealed drainage systems are some of the most important elements of a quality Houston landscape design. While unseen, they play a critical role not only in the health and welfare of your plant life, but also to the health and welfare of human beings, as we will see in a moment. By definition, a concealed, custom drainage system is one engineered to address all the drainage needs of a

Outdoor Garden Seating

Exterior Worlds does much more than design gardens that beautify the Houston landscape. We actually create garden accommodations that can work as focal points for outdoor events and family entertainment. The intention is to integrate human activity into carefully cultivated organic forms that are decoratively enhanced with selective ornamentation, patio design, and outdoor lighting. Outdoor garden seating then becomes the main point of attraction to your next outdoor event. It

Outdoor Dining Room

When we talk about adding an outdoor dining room to a Houston landscape, we are talking about adding something that is more than a room. What we end up creating is more of an outdoor environment dedicated to special occasions of specific moods and atmospheres. This does not always involve creating enclosure in an obvious way. Often we only have to create a unique space whose prominent visibility draws the

Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the sense of grand perspective that comes into view when one approaches a home from the front curb. It is essential to both architectural aesthetic and real estate value because it is the first impression one gains of the personality of the homeowner. Such a portrait of personal lifestyle, rising up from the Houston landscape, is indeed worth a thousand words. Curb appeal ties directly into the

How Exterior Worlds will unify Your House and Garden Design

To unify your house and garden design, we have to treat these two different elements as components of a greater aesthetic unity. The key to doing this is to capture the feeling that your home architecture emanates and then extend that feeling into the gardens that surround it. We take a great deal of time looking at your home, and we ask you questions as well to gain an understanding

Houston Landscaping with Boulders Walls

Boulder walls can be used as retaining walls in Houston landscaping projects where a steep slope is present in the back yard. We see this in many homes that border the city’s bayous. Often, sloped areas in the yard are subject to such erosion that they are practically unusable until a retaining wall is constructed. A wall that is made out of boulders is the least expensive form of

Memorial Landscaping

In large city like Houston it can be challenging to find landscape companies that deliver all-inclusive landscape solutions. Since 1987 we have been serving the Memorial Villages, installing landscape projects and providing landscape maintenance in Bunker Hill Village, Hedwig Village, Piney Point Village, Hunters Creek Village were discriminating clients have impeccable taste. Our solution has been a 20 year customer service commitment, delivering creative quality work with experienced landscape contractors that have

Memorial Villages Yard Maintenance

Memorial Villages yard maintenance is special…because the Memorial Villages are special. Conceived as estate-like living at a close proximity to downtown Houston and all the city’s amenities, the Memorial Villages offer exclusive neighborhoods, beautiful green spaces and gracious living. In like manner, Exterior Worlds offers customized Memorial Villages yard maintenance to its many customers in the area. The Memorial Villages of Hillshire Village, Spring Valley Village, Piney Point

Bunker Hill Village Landscaping

Sitting in the thick of an southeast Texas forest and at an desirable distance from downtown Houston, Bunker Hill Village balances the best of city and country living. Its approximately 1,300 homes are noted for their upscale quality. Bunker Hill Village landscaping lives up to that description, too. Besides good taste and style, Sitting in the thick of an southeast Texas forest and at an desirable distance from downtown Houston, Bunker