ABC Blog

Backyard Beauty – Landscaping Ideas for Austinites


Here at ABC Austin, we love the summer time. We’re suckers for a good backyard BBQ, weekend swims at Barton Springs, and of course, spotting the weird bugs that make their presence known around the city when the mercury is high.

But with the kids heading back to school and cooler temperatures (and evidently this year, lots of rain?) around the corner now is the perfect time to focus on a backyard redesign.

We’re ready to roll up our sleeves, be creative, and—finally—start working on a new backyard we’ve been dreaming of all summer long.

So whether you have a large yard or just a small space to work with, we have a list of ideas that are sure to get your green thumb moving. Here are a few of our favorites ideas.

Plant Local Varieties

Shopping local has become quite the fad in recent years—and why shouldn’t it be? Choosing local products is an excellent way to support your state, whether it’s buying fresh vegetables from the farmers market or coffee from a new coffee roaster.

So when it comes time to selecting new plants for your backyard, consider choosing a few Texas natives. They’re the perfect addition to any backyard—no matter its size. Some of these include the ‘Mystic Spires Blue’ Salvia, ‘Lowery’s Legacy’ Cenizo, and ‘Grandma’s Yellow’ Rose.

And if you’re hoping to attract a few backyard buddies, like butterflies and hummingbirds, plant some Henry Duelberg plants. Their beautiful dark, purplish-blue flowers will attract some visitors and add a pop of color to your backyard landscape.

Bonus: Texas horticultural experts recommend buying local! The plant’s ability to endure extreme heat typical of the state makes them perfect for Austin’s climate.

Carve Your Own Path

Maintaining a garden in tip-top shape is hard work, and often more time consuming than people think. That’s why a simple design—like a pathway—is sometimes the best option, especially for those who can only dedicate just a little bit of their time. Furthermore, it offers a sense of structure to an otherwise unmanaged space.

When designing a simple pathway or walkway, decompressed granite is a low-maintenance, easy material to use. It’s simple to install, will usually last longer than other mulch materials, and won’t attract pests.

To give your walkway a little color, line it with some perennials. They are easily propagated by division, seed, or cuttings, and have a variety of types to choose from within the family. There are even some Texas natives that include the Hinckley’s Columbine and the Hardy Ageratum.

Take A Seat

There’s nothing better than spending time outdoors—especially when it’s in the comfort of your backyard. To maximize time spent outdoors, consider installing a sitting area. Even with a small backyard, you can create a welcoming sitting area with just one or two chairs, or maybe even a bench.

To create a truly relaxing space, select an area away from other activities to minimize interruptions. Remove mulch, leaves, or other ground clutter, and throw away any additional debris. You can always place smaller materials in your compost pile if you’d rather not have them hauled away.

Prep the space by leveling out the area and rolling landscape fabric to cover the designated space. Next, you’ll want to cover the fabric with gravel. It’s more durable than mulch and adds a contrasting look with other areas of the landscape.

Finally, make it yours. Add an assortment of plants and flowers that reflect your personality, or include a bit of festive landscape lighting to increase your time outside even more.

Build a Treehouse

If you have a little extra room to spare, one of our favorite additions to a backyard is a treehouse. Not only does it play on our nostalgia, but it’s also a great way to get your children outdoors, use their imagination, and create lasting memories of their own.

But before you start building, choose a tree that’s mature, sturdy, and healthy. Be sure to check for any height restrictions, building permits, or overhead utility lines. You’ll also want to design the entire layout before any construction begins.

Although a traditional treehouse rests above ground, there are alternatives for those who don’t have the landscape to support it. A modular play set with a slide and swing attachment can also encourage your children to get outside and play.

We Can Help!

It’s been a ton of fun sharing our ideas for your backyard landscaping plans. We know we can sometimes get a little carried away, but it’s because we’re excited to see what our fellow Austin residents can create. We hope our suggestions inspire you to start (or finish!) a project of your own.

And remember: from landscaping services and design to pool repairs and landscape lighting, our team at ABC Austin can help you turn your ideas into a real-life backyard retreat.

Learn More


  1. Charles Martin Commented ()

    Laying mulch around your plants, and on top of the dirt that covers their underlying foundations, keeps out weeds, helps them hold dampness, and adds to the natural nutrients they get. Mulch can likewise be utilized as an decorative border.

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