Dallas weather and soil provide many challenges for area gardeners. The soil tends to be a heavy clay, and strong winds blow away much of the top soil that holds valuable nutrients. The weather is varied, subjecting gardeners to drought and floods, freezing temperatures and blistering heat waves. The reward for attempting to work on the landscape is that you can carve out something unique and valuable in terms of showing pride in your home as well as increasing your property values.
Native Plant Garden
Add native plants to the landscape to reduce the amount of water and time you need to tend to the garden. Plants that are native to the Dallas area have adapted to the weather patterns and soil conditions. According to the article, "Using Native Plants Can Help Attract Birds" in the Star-Telegram newspaper, "Native plants are adapted to the climate and so don't need as much care as exotics in order to flourish. They've been living with the local bugs for centuries, so they require less in the way of chemicals." Native plants attract native wildlife, including birds, butterflies and bees. Find native plants for your landscape at Native Plant Society of Texas Chapter plant sales, according to the Native Plant Society of Texas. The society also recommends arboretums and botanical gardens, native plant nurseries and Master Gardener chapter sales as sources for Dallas native plants.
Invite friends, family and wildlife into your garden by including a water garden into your landscape. Create the size and style of the water feature based on the size and style of your home. Choose a pond and waterfall style if your home is rustic and a formal fountain if your home's architecture is formal. Dig along the sides of the pond to add plants, and also add plants directly into the pond. Pave paths lined with small evergreen hedges in geometrical shapes to surround a formal fountain.
Focus on Trees
Add trees to your landscape and add beauty, windbreaks, wildlife habitats, privacy, shade and soil erosion control. The Texas Forest Service says that homeowners who place trees in the proper spots reduce or redirect wind to protect areas of their property. In addition, "windbreaks enhance aesthetics, increase land value reduce soil erosion, protect buildings and/or equipment and establish wildlife habitat." The Urban Forest Advisory Committee in Dallas recommends that before planting any trees, homeowners take each tree into consideration with respect to its species, proposed location, height and canopy spread. Take into account the tree's growth rate, shape, soil and sun requirements. Know the tree's source and preferred USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. All of these factors will help improve the chance of the trees prospering in the landscape.