Landscaping ideas - Houston Texas

sands74

Member
Mar 16, 2012
24
Baytown, TX
A big Hello to everyone here from a native Texan. I know many of us have been hit hard with the horrible weather we just experienced here in Texas a couple weeks ago, myself included. Fortunately no damage from the frozen pipes, I was very lucky on that aspect of it. Many others were not so lucky and my prayers go out to each of those who are still dealing with the mess of it all.
Moving forward, I wanted to get some input and ideas with some landscaping around my newly built pool from last year. It was not in my budget when I had the pool install last year, as all of the build was paid out of pocket. But now I'm in the process of adding the landscaping this year around pool and would like some input and/or ideas from those here familiar with our Houston climate. My thought process is to give it a Tropical look.
It would be great if those here can give me some suggestions. Can someone take a look at my Pool area and give me suggestions and/or ideas. I have no idea where to start. The majority of the project will be done by myself, as landscapers can charge a pretty good amount of money.
Doing some myself will cut down on the cost and the fact that I love to do that kind of work as well.
 

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ajw22

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I am asking the mods to add Houston TX to the subject line to get attention of your local members.
 

Stoopalini

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We're doing the same thing, and contracted a local landscape designer to do the master plan for us. She charged us $500 for the complete plan, which included meeting with us several times to discuss our preferences, looking through books of plants which do well in our area (central Texas), walking the space, checking sun/shade, etc ... Then she recreated our bakyard in a 3D modeling program, and drafted a plan for us to virtually walk through. It was a really great experience, and seeing the 3D model was very helpful for choosing which plants go where.
 
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YippeeSkippy

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Stoopalini, I think that was money well spent. Having a pro plot out the plants and locations allow you to proceed at your own budgeted pace. Perhaps some now, some later....but all within the "plan."

Maddie :flower:
 
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sands74

Member
Mar 16, 2012
24
Baytown, TX
Great Idea, I will have to see about looking around for a Designer to come give me an idea on what I do with it.
Thanks a bunch!
I can do most the work myself, I just need an idea what I can and cannot use out there.
 

Stoopalini

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Definitely better than us trying to sort it out :)

She said she would even go with us to the wholesale nursery, so we can get the plants at decent prices, and would come to the house to assist in placement when we plant. And of course, she also has contractors she works with who can bid out implementing the entire plan, or just parts of it. We will probably use one of her contractors to do the heavy stuff (irrigation trenching, grading, river rock spreading, etc ...) while we can then do the planting ourselves.

1615037355133.png

1615037391876.png
 
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737mech

Well-known member
Jun 15, 2013
174
Corinth,TX
That looks very nice. If it we me, I would not have any crape myrtles near a pool. They are pretty, but those petals will find their way into the pool.
 
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Stoopalini

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That looks very nice. If it we me, I would not have any crape myrtles near a pool. They are pretty, but those petals will find their way into the pool.
Completely agree! They make a huge mess. We asked for one or two to be set back in the property, but she drew it in too close. We'll end up putting one or two behind the peach trees.
 

YippeeSkippy

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One of my fondest memories is swimming in a pool while growing up in Dallas, and just reaching up from the float and grabbing a big warm sweet peach off the tree next to the pool. Fabulous. It wasn't our house so I have no idea what kind of nuisance that tree overhanging the pool was, but it provided wonderful snacks!

Maddie :flower:
 

colleenbevans

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2021
49
Texas
Definitely better than us trying to sort it out :)

She said she would even go with us to the wholesale nursery, so we can get the plants at decent prices, and would come to the house to assist in placement when we plant. And of course, she also has contractors she works with who can bid out implementing the entire plan, or just parts of it. We will probably use one of her contractors to do the heavy stuff (irrigation trenching, grading, river rock spreading, etc ...) while we can then do the planting ourselves.

View attachment 294160

View attachment 294161
GORGEOUS!!!
 

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JJ_Tex

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Looks good, but I would not go with the knockout roses as they are very susceptible to disease. I just had to pull all of mine out last year and most of the others in our neighborhood have been hit by disease:

 

Stoopalini

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Looks good, but I would not go with the knockout roses as they are very susceptible to disease. I just had to pull all of mine out last year and most of the others in our neighborhood have been hit by disease:


Thanks for the tip! We'll definitely ask our designer about this.
 

Sollace

Gold Supporter
Aug 16, 2020
505
Bryan TX
Do your own research, too. Texas sage is a great plant, evergreen, and small purple flowers come out after it rains. It does shed those flowers. It does well in the cold temps and in the heat, doesn't require a lot of water. I've had TX sage for years while in Katy.
Personally I wouldn't put crape myrtles anywhere near a pool or even in the backyard. They shed flowers that drift on the wind. We had crape myrtles in Victoria with our first pool and never ever again. They take a lot of maintenance. Same with magnolias - Never ever would have one of those, either.

We have had Pink Indian Hawthorne around our old pool. Evergreen, slow growing, easy care. Not sure about attracting bees. The problem we had is the branches are easy to break, so I wouldn't put them in a busy traffic area where kids stomp.

Ferns are best in the shade, especially in TX heat. Some ferns are more spikey, like asparagus ferns (the spindly type not the foxtail. Now I do have the foxtail in my front yard, the builder planted it, and it didn't survive the TX freeze and snow.

Phlox comes in a lot of forms. I currently bought a few creeping phlox to see how it does. Lantana is another good creeper with bright flowers but they do attract bees and do shed. The dead branches get to be a chore. . . But it looks like my plants survived this last winter. Lantana comes in white, purple, and yellow. I had lantana in my old garden, planted along with Mexican heather and it looked amazing.

One plant that does amazing in Katy and also in Central TX is rosemary. Yes it is a spice but it grows to 3' tall, branches out, and survives the TX heat, full sun, and survived the six days of hard freezing weather in February. It can be cut back and will regrow.

You could look into native TX plants, hardy evergreen ones that do well in your climate zone.

I'm really excited about this Sea Green Juniper I planted around our pool. It grows 6' by 6' wide so it'll be a privacy hedge. It is drought tolerant. Another that I found out about last year is a Carolina Sapphire Arizona Cypress. We found two at Lowe's, planted them a year ago. They survived our 100 degree days last summer and our freezing cold of last month. Learned about those on Jim Putnam's channel on Youtube -- He focuses on plants and trees in Raleigh, NC which is also the growing zone for me. I find his videos easy to follow and very informative.

I'd also say a big no on the knock out roses. They shed like you wouldn't believe. Think rose petals everywhere -- Maybe not in the pool, but then you need to get out and fertilize them, prune.

The problem with my area over yours is ours has a lot of wind. I have to think of that when placing plants. The butterfly bushes can't be anywhere near the pool. Currently I have some hollies to plant around the pool.
---------------
Decided to add some pictures.
The first was our brief *thankfully* January 2021 snow. Those are our neighbor's crape myrtles draped over the fence and our Carolina Sapphire Arizona Cypress holding up.
Second photo is planting low plants near our pool equipment pad. Liriope and that mini monkey grass. Yes that date is wrong. !!!
Third picture of our front from October 2019. Ferns in the foreground -- Those died in the freeze. Strong tubular roots - They may come back.
Fourth picture is October 2019 of our TX sage with a butterfly bush planted between them. Sage can be cut back and it grows rather slowly. The purple plants behind didn't live thru the 2019 winter. The sage and butterfly bushes did.
 

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BowserB

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Jul 29, 2018
393
Katy, Texas
In 2017 I had a landscape plan done with a future pool in mind. Eagleston Holly trees are perfect. Hardly ever drop leaves. Evergreen. Slow growing and can be near the pool. OTOH another "evergreen" put in was Wax Myrtle. Four of them, including two within about 8 feet of the pool. That is one to avoid. In the case of wax myrtle, evergreen just means it will shed little skinny leaves all year. Major nuisance. They can even squeeze through a skimmer basket if you don't use skimmer socks. In the big freeze last month, the Wax Myrtles all turned brown and started dropping their leaves by the thousands.
 
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Sollace

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Aug 16, 2020
505
Bryan TX
dropping their leaves by the thousands.

Thousands! !!!

I just planted two star jasmine plants near the pool decking. We've had Jasmine before so I'm a bit leery. I'm planning to put in two posts and string netting between them, have something for the vines to climb up on. It may be a failed project -- All those little small flowers! But it mainly blooms in May and grows fast. Does well in this area and smells so good.
 

rebll

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May 28, 2020
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Personally I wouldn't put crape myrtles anywhere near a pool or even in the backyard. They shed flowers that drift on the wind. We had crape myrtles in Victoria with our first pool and never ever again. They take a lot of maintenance.
OTOH another "evergreen" put in was Wax Myrtle. Four of them, including two within about 8 feet of the pool. That is one to avoid. In the case of wax myrtle, evergreen just means it will shed little skinny leaves all year. Major nuisance. They can even squeeze through a skimmer basket if you don't use skimmer socks. In the big freeze last month, the Wax Myrtles all turned brown and started dropping their leaves by the thousands.
I would not go with the knockout roses as they are very susceptible to disease. I just had to pull all of mine out last year and most of the others in our neighborhood have been hit by disease:

Oh my. We just signed a new pool contract with an anticipated start date of mid-April. Unfortunately, we have mature landscaping that did not anticipate a pool when originally planted years ago. It consists of a crape myrtle, a wall of wax myrtles which provides privacy along an iron rod fence that separates us from the adjacent neighbor, and also knockout roses among other plants. So pretty much all the plants not recommended. 😫

Based on each of your experiences, would you get rid of them all now to save the headache later? Ironically, these are the plants that so far appear to be coming back from the recent freeze in TX. 😔
 
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Sollace

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Aug 16, 2020
505
Bryan TX
would you get rid of them all now to save the headache later? 😔

You already have your yard landscaped and your plants are mature. Up to this point you haven't changed them so you must love/enjoy them! Since they're already there, keep them and see how your view changes as the pool matures. They may impact your pool or may not.

A lot of my comments are towards someone with a new pool and zero landscaping. There's many choices out there. Some have a green thumb and some don't. My mistakes or observations may not be what someone else goes thru. I mistakenly thought plants I loved and grew up with in Southern CA would exist in South Texas. Nope. It took a lot of money and a few years to figure that out.

Our neighbor has crape myrtles around their pool and the previous owner said there's so much debris in the pool. He moved and the new owner said the pool is crystal clear. Maybe it's seasonal. Two different owners, the same yard and pool and two different viewpoints.

Our first pool was established when we moved in . .. Had a 30' Chinese tallow about 3' from the pool decking. The previous owner said it was a chore to clean up after but his wife loved the fall foliage. (Anything to keep the wife happy) We couldn't tolerate that tree or that it grew into the gas meter, which was at it's base, so we had it removed. Best decision we ever made.

I guess it's all about tolerance, what you want and what you have time to deal with.

Note: Chinese Tallows are trash trees.
 
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JJ_Tex

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Based on each of your experiences, would you get rid of them all now to save the headache later?
Same comments from me, I was assuming a new build. Since you already have the knockout roses I would leave them, just keep an eye on them for the Rose disease and be prepared to yank them out if needed.
 
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bmoreswim

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I had both Knockout roses and the lower growing but related Drift roses. The drift roses all succumbed to RRD within a few short years (very badly). But less than half of the knockouts have. But the ones that have stuck around continue to do well with a judicious pruning each fall. They aren't close to the pool though for blooms to go for a swim. Of course our climate is different which can accentuate or mask issues.

A crape myrtle at least a certain distance away and not in the line of prevailing winds towards the pool can be fine. Our massive crape myrtle planted before pool thoughts is fine about 20' away at its closest but the pool is fortuitously not downwind from the prevailing direction.
 
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rebll

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The Woodlands, TX
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You already have your yard landscaped and your plants are mature. Up to this point you haven't changed them so you must love/enjoy them! Since they're already there, keep them and see how your view changes as the pool matures. They may impact your pool or may not.

We like the crape myrtle and it isn’t huge (yet), but mostly because the foliage falling down isn’t currently a concern. We may wait and see on that one. The wax myrtles, on the other hand, were from the builder and they work as privacy hedges to fill a large space. We would be okay with them gone, but we’d have to find some fast growing plants or already mature plants to fill its place. Otherwise, our neighbors will see straight through the iron fence into our backyard.

Same comments from me, I was assuming a new build. Since you already have the knockout roses I would leave them, just keep an eye on them for the Rose disease and be prepared to yank them out if needed.

Hmmm, our rose bushes I wouldn’t say are thriving. I have some huge blueberry junipers planted behind them and this past year they have become susceptible to something. I wonder if the roses could have spread their disease to them? We’ve been trying to revive them and then the freeze happened. Crossing our fingers the junipers come back as we do want to keep those. We’ll probably pull out the roses based on what I now know.

I’ll have to say, this forum is a plethora of knowledge. All things pools and now landscaping too. I’m amazed! Thank you so much @Sollace and @JJ_Tex!!
 
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