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cedar-elm-221x300Whether your dream yard is filled with lush flowers and foliage, or you prefer a more manicured look with smaller flowerbeds to provide a bit of color, you can reap the benefits of incorporating native plants into your landscaping design.
 
Benefits of Landscaping with Native Plants
 
Adapted to Local Conditions. Anyone who has landscaped their yard with exotic or non-native plants that couldn’t handle the local climate or conditions knows the frustration of the lost time and money. Here in North Texas, the sweltering heat of long summers, followed by winters that often dip below freezing, mean that plants must be hearty enough to stand the extreme weather conditions. In addition, they also have to be able to tolerate long periods of drought. While many non-native plants would struggle or fail, native plants and flowers are built to thrive in these conditions.
 
May Need Less Upkeep. Because native plants are so well adapted to the local climate, they may require far less upkeep than other plants. This means maintaining a beautiful yard with less fertilizer, less pesticides, and yes, even less water – not only helping the environment, but something we all can appreciate!
 
Attract Native Wildlife. Butterfly lovers and birdwatchers alike might have some new visitors to look forward to seeing in their yards. Using the right native plants and flowers can help attract local wildlife, including birds, butterflies and other pollinators by providing them with easy access to their natural diets and habitats. Not only does this wildlife add to the natural beauty of a yard, but they can also help flowering plants thrive.
 
Suggestions for North Texas
 
Despite the stereotypes held by those who aren’t familiar with the beautiful and varied flora of our area, using North Texas native plants in your landscaping doesn’t mean a lawn full of cacti. Though the list of native plants is extensive, below are just a few popular landscaping selections.
 
Trees

  • Cedar Elm – Also known as the Scrub Elm or Texas Elm, these deciduous native trees can grow up to 90 feet tall. The Cedar Elm has a very high tolerance for both heat and drought, making it a perfect shade tree for North Texas yards.
  • Chinese Pistache – Another highly heat and drought tolerant deciduous tree, the Chinese Pistache grows to about 40 feet tall and turns a stunning red-orange color in the fall.
  • Southern Magnolia – This evergreen tree is a shade lover, and famous for its deep green leaves and large, sweetly fragrant white blossoms.

Shrubbery

  • Nellie R. Stevens Holly – This large evergreen shrub is a hardy specimen that thrives well in both sun and shade. Their dark green leaves and bright red berries make them a beautiful winter addition to a yard.
  • Liriope – Also known as “Lilyturf”, Liriope’s shorter 1.5 foot height makes it versatile as a small shrub or as groundcover, and an excellent choice for edging and in beds. This low maintenance and drought-tolerant plant will send up spikes of violet flowers in the summer.
  • Dwarf Yaupon Holly – While technically a “hybrid native”, the Dwarf Yaupon Holly is a hardy shrub that is perfectly adapted to North Texas conditions.
  • Rock Rose – The Rock Rose, also known as “Pavonia”, is a small perennial shrub that isn’t particularly picky about sun or partial shade, soil quality, or drought. Its beautiful dark pink flowers resemble small hibiscus, and bloom from early summer well into the fall.
  • Red Yucca – Some say the long, thin, dark green leaves of this sun-loving, heat tolerant shrub resemble a firework or a fountain. From May through October the Red Yucca sends up spikes of bell-shaped flowers, most commonly in red or pink though occasionally found in yellow.

 
Are you ready to go native? The landscaping design professionals at Scapes, Inc., can create a beautiful yard that highlights the stunning and hardy natural beauty of North Texas native plants – as well as your unique style and taste. Contact us today to discuss how we can transform your property into the outdoor area of your dreams.

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