Backyard landscape design, landscaping, fire pits, water gardens, Austin, TX.

After landscaping for 21 years in Austin, TX I thought I would write a little about what landscaping means to me. This is an interesting blog because for years and years I fought myself on landscaping, always wanting out of the business while all the time growing my business and more importantly my portfolio and client relationships.

Now I am wondering why in the world I ever wanted out of this business because in the end I have come to this conclusion about myself. I absolutely love working outside with my hands. I have sat in cubicles before and worked from a computer and have been a part of the hospitality industry for many years holding a number of different positions.

For reasons beyond explanation I always gravitate toward dirt, rocks and plants. I think it is because almost everything I work with is alive on some level from the microbes in the dirt to the life-giving nature of plants and flowers and the energy that comes from rocks.

I put all that together and formed an idea or philosophy – custom living design where all landscapes and gardens grow organically from a precision line of sight. All I have to do is place everything correctly for the maximum amount of energy to be released. That is why many times people will visit my landscapes and remark that it breathes well or that it has a positive energy. That is because I take a great amount of time in the design process.

It is one of those things that is hard to explain with words on paper but easy to explain with words as we walk throughout the property at every stage of the landscaping from initial consultation to design and then on to the tweaking of that design to the implementation and execution of the entire build process.

It all begins with precision line of sight. What our eyes focus on at every part of the landscape is so important. Because with our eyes our mind perceives and our hearts feel. So when the landscape installation is done poorly our mind perceives that something is off but doesn’t know what and that causes hesitation and confusion in our hearts.

When the landscape installation is done with precision line of sight throughout its space then our mind perceives an openness and our hearts feel peaceful and calm thus enhancing the entire experience in a properly landscaped property. This results in great conversations, meditations and a greater connection to our outdoor surroundings.

Below is a small space that was designed poorly with only one thing in mind. Make a little money so the homeowner can be happy. There is absolutely no thought into what this space can be. As a result the backyard is hot and uncomfortable and only worth avoiding. And this is only 7 feet wide by twenty feet long. Think of this poorly designed landscape over the space of 70 feet by 40 feet. It would be completely uninhabitable.

Before zen garden, austin, tx xeriscape

Now look at what just a little thought and intention does. In this design I use stone, plants, grasses and water to complete the landscape. What a difference. You can now relax and talk to a friend or read a book or even take a nap. I love this backyard because it feels like an outdoor room.

after zen garden austin tx xeriscape

So the line of sight is off center right to the colorful pot as you walk out the back door which lends itself to all the landscaping being done on that side. Then when you look to the right you see the anchor Bamboo in the corner which balances everything to the right and left. Then you look down and see the beautiful small round boulders that separate the garden area from the walking area. And in between the two seats is a small water feature for the added sound effect. Simple but powerful. I just increased her living space by 140 square feet and because this is in a small garden home community it really does feel like an outdoor room.

So now when you build something in the arena of 70 feet by 30 feet it could look and feel something like this…

landscape design landscaping dry creek beds austin 4


With this design everything breathes and flows from one thing to another.

And I suppose that is why I keep landscaping because as I install things that are alive and living I feel alive and I feel like I am living. The goal then is to go from death to life through custom living design founded on the philosophy of precision line of sight.