Modern Home Design
Houston landscaping team was recently honored to collaborate
with renowned architectural firm Murphy Mears. Murphy Mears
builds superb custom homes throughout the country. A recent
project for a Houston resident by the name of Borow involved a
custom home that featured an efficient, elegant, and eclectic
modern architectural design. Ms. Borow is very environmentally
conscious and asked that we follow some very strict principles
of conservation when developing her landscaping design plan.
In many ways you could say this
Houston landscaping project was green on both an aesthetic
level and a functional level. We selected affordable ground
cover that spread very quickly to provide a year round green
color scheme that reflected much of the contemporary artwork
within the interior of the home. Environmentally speaking, our
project was also green in the sense that it focused on very
primitive drought resistant plant species and tree preservation
strategies. The resulting yard design ultimately functioned as
an aesthetic mirror to the abstract forms that the owner prefers
in wall art.
One of the more notable things we did in this
Houston landscaping project was to build the homeowner a
gravel patio near the front entrance to the home. The homeowner
specifically requested that we disconnect the irrigation system
that we had installed in the yard because she wanted natural
irrigation and drainage only. The gravel served this wish
superbly. Being a natural drain in its own respect, it provided
a permeable surface that allowed rainwater to soak through
without collecting on the surface.
More importantly, the gravel was the only material that could be
laid down near the roots of the magnificent trees in Ms. Borow’s
yard. Any type of stone, concrete, or brick that is used in more
typical Houston landscaping plans would have been out of the
question. A patio made from these materials would have either
required cutting into tree roots, or it would have impeded their
The specific species chosen for ground cover also bear noting.
The two primary plants used were jasmine and iris. Monkey grass
was also used to a small extent as a border around the edge of
the house. Irises were planted in front of the house, and the
jasmine was planted beneath the trees. Both are very fast
growing, drought resistant species that require very little
watering. However, they do require routine pruning, which Ms.
Borow said she had no problem investing in.
Such lawn alternatives are
frequently used in
Houston landscaping projects that for one reason or the
other require something other than a standard planting of carpet
grass. In this case, the motivation had nothing to do with
finances, but rather a conscientious effort on Ms. Borow’s part
to practice water conservation and tree preservation.
hardscapes were then introduced into this green design to
better support the home architecture. A stepping stone walkway
was built using plain concrete pads that are very simple and
modern in their aesthetic. These lead up to the front stair case
with four inch steps that Murphy Mears designed for maximum
ergonomics and comfort.
There were a few softscape elements that we added to complete
the Houston landscaping design. A planting of River Birch trees
was introduced near the side of the home. River Birch trees are
very attractive, light green trees that do not grow that tall.
This eliminates any possible conflict between the tree roots and
the home foundation.
Murphy Mears also built a very elegant fence that
transitioned the geometry of the house down to the city
sidewalk. The fence sharply parallels the linear movement of the
house. We introduced some climbing vines to help soften the
fence and to harmonize its aesthetic with that of the trees,
ground cover, and grass along the sidewalk.
For more the 20 years
Exterior Worlds has specialized in servicing many of Houston's