We understand what it takes to craft beautiful landscapes in East Texas and our experts are happy to share tips to keep your garden growing. Keep scrolling to find drainage tips, too!
SUN OR SHADE?
The amount of light determines which plants will thrive in your garden.
You have selected some beautiful plants and you want to put them where you can enjoy watching them grow. If you put a sun-loving plant in too much shade or a shade-tolerant plant directly in the afternoon light, you could end up watching them struggle and wither instead. Picking the right spot for your plant is all about understanding the microclimates in your garden. You have to consider how much sun an area gets during the day, as well as when that area gets sun. The morning sun is easier on shade-loving plants than the intense afternoon sun, which can scorch more delicate plants.
When a plant tags list light requirements, they often list two options. The first option is the best one for that plant, although it may tolerate the second option. If a tag reads “sun/ part shade,” that plant needs full sun but can tolerate some shade. A tag that reads “part shade/sun,” means the plant would prefer less sun, and preferably the less intense morning sun.
Full sun: Direct summer sun for six or more hours a day
In nature, plants that need full sun grow in meadows or open prairies. In our backyards, plants that need full sun will need a space that gets direct sun at least six hours or more each day.
* Full sun plants for East Texas: Muhly grass, lantana, black-eyed Susan
Part sun/light shade: Direct summer sun for three to six hours a day
Light shade locations are sunny enough for many sun-loving plants, while still offering enough relief for some shade-loving plants. Shade-tolerant plants will do better in the morning sun than in the intense afternoon sun, which can scorch more delicate plants.
* Part sun/light shade plants for East Texas: Turk’s cap, American beautyberry, purple coneflower
Part shade: Direct summer sun for less than four hours, but more than an hour
Once again, the difference between morning and afternoon sun is important. Plants that do well in partial shade will thrive with morning sun but struggle with intense afternoon sun. Consider planting part shade plants in an east-facing yard or garden bed. Areas under and around trees are often considered partial shade. They'll still get enough sun during the morning hours, but they'll spend afternoons in the shade.
* Part shade plants for East Texas: azaleas, hydrangeas
Full shade: Less than an hour of direct sunlight a day / dappled light for most of the day
Full shade usually results from a combination of factors, including the shadows of trees, shrubs, buildings and fences. Full-shade areas may have lots of tree roots, so competition for moisture can be high. If a shade-tolerant plant isn’t also drought-tolerant, additional watering may be necessary.
* Full shade plants for East Texas: Cast-iron plant, inland sea oats, oakleaf hydrangea
Pro Tip: How To Sun Map Your Landscape
It’s easy to map out which areas of your landscape are sunny and which are shady. It just requires you to spend a few moments over the course of a day observing the light patterns.
Make a quick sketch of your property, including your house, trees, fences and any sheds or decks. Make five copies of the sketch.
Pick a sunny day with limited cloud cover. Head out into the garden in the morning with one of your sketches and make note of which areas are getting direct sun and which are in shadow. Repeat this process every three hours.
You can then take your sketches and make final sun map for your property.
* If at least three maps show an area as sunny, mark it as sunny.
* If at least three maps show an area as shady, mark it as shady.
* An areas not marked sunny or shady can be marked as part shade.
Drainage and erosion issues can cause big problems in your yard. Uncontrolled water runoff can wash away your soil and damage your home’s foundation, and standing water can lead to mosquitoes and other unwanted pests. If a swampy yard is limiting your ability to enjoy your outdoor space, proper drainage and/or landscape grading can help you regain control of your landscape and protect the investment you’ve made in your home.
There are several factors that can lead to drainage problems. Settling soil around a home’s foundation is one of the most common, especially with new construction. Sometimes runoff from an adjacent property exacerbates the problem. Whatever your issue, it’s best to address it before it escalates.
Once we have a good grasp on the problem, we will design a solution. Sometimes the answer is as simple as rerouting your downspouts. For particularly troublesome spots, French drains, dry creek beds or retaining walls may be necessary. These solutions can be labor-intensive, but with proper planning they can be incorporated into your landscape in a way that is as attractive as it is effective.
QUESTIONS TO ASK OUR DRAINAGE SPECIALISTS
Correcting a drainage issue can be quite the undertaking. The solutions offered by Landworks Landscapes are customized to your needs, meaning no two jobs are ever the same. Because of that, there is no one-size-fits-all answer, but we do understand you will have questions throughout the process. Below we've included some common inquiries you may want to make during a drainage project.