Dallas Gardens and Native Plants

Dallas takes its native plants direction from Austin.  Energetic, industrious and creative gardeners are quick to embrace the sun loving native perennials of Austin.
Today Dallas combines perennial shade gardening with perennial sun gardening.  Native plants take center stage in many landscapes when it comes to full sun landscaping design.
In most areas DFW areas homeowners planted solid and serious trees, though there are some neighborhoods where that did not occur twenty and twenty-five years ago.  Today the neighborhoods are worse for it.
Where home owners planted trees – the neighborhoods are cool and inviting.  The home’s value increased as well! This home not only has NO trees but it has small crapes.  Not sure why?  It just looks hot and bare (sorry homeowner someone had to be the example).
Dallas Trees Live Oak
The greatest distinction to be made between native plants in the DFW metroplex and homeowner’s gardening is the fact that in most cases, ultimately, sun gardening became shade gardening.
  Lambs Ear in Perennial Garden
In these neighborhoods, where the trees matured, you will find the most beautiful Japanese Maples in Dallas because they thrive in shade.  There are also bright spots in shaded neighborhoods were pocket perennial gardens thrive!
  Texas Trees Trees_Texas_Lee_Ann_Torrans_Dallas_Gardening-2

Japanese Maples - Dallas Landscaping and Gardening Lee Ann Torrans

Japanese Maples

  Loropetalum - and Japanese Maple Combination
Japanese Maple and Barberry
Read more on Japanese Maples here.
Much of north Dallas (which includes Plano, Farmers Branch, Addison, Frisco, McKinney, Grapevine and points westward) was built upon reclaimed cotton fields and ranch lands.  There were not many trees in these areas when the neighborhoods were platted and built – and unfortunately, the few trees that did exist were removed to accommodate builder’s cost scenario.  The housing boom was on, and builders needed to produce massive numbers of homes as quickly as possible.
Tuskegee Watermelon Red Crape Myrtle
 Many DFW neighborhoods have circular drives and the narrow and elongated median. Rather than plant full size trees on this small patch of land homeowners often elected to plant the ubiquitous Crape Myrtle.  Today these neighborhoods have the most beautiful Crape Myrtles in Dallas because they thrive in sun!
Read more on Top Ten Texas Crape Myrtles here.
  Weeping Crape Myrtle
 The influence has been complete and you find native plants incorporated into many Dallas gardens.  The once common azalea is now becoming more uncommon along with the dogwood.  Plants more suitable for Dallas soils have taken their place.  The Texas Lavender Vitex tree is the queen of the Texas native garden.
  Texas Lilac Vitex Tree
  Texas Lilac Vitex Tree
 However, like other native plants the Vitex Tree has become common in traditional gardening as well.
  Lantana with Nandina
  Texas Lavendar Vitex Tree Superstar
 Many homeowners have opted to go completely native, particularly with both modern and Texas style architecture.
Read more on the Texas Lilac Vitex Tree Here.
  June Perennial Gardening Texas
  Native Plants in Dallas
 But you know native plants have arrived in Dallas when see them peeking over walled estates.
Read more on Top Ten Texas Sun Perennials here.
  Garden Walls in Dallas Texas
 Dallas has embraced both pure native plantings and combined plantings.
  June Blooming Perennials in Texas
  Texas June Perennials in Bloom
  Cotoneaster - Gray spikey shrub for Texas
  Cottoneaster at Garden Gate
 Incorporating native plants into traditional landscaping has enhanced the vitality of the garden.  Cotonester is becoming more common in Dallas.
  Loropetalum in perennial bed.
Yarrow, orange lantana, magenta salvia Gregii, loropetalum and D.D. Blanchard Magnolia thrive together.
Rosemary in Landscaping in Dallas
However, the influence of the Lambert Brothers, who opened their business in 1935 and sold it in 1980 survives.  Azaleas, boxwoods, live oaks, Japanese maples, dogwoods, and camellias, were their tools and romantic landscaping their legacy.  This will most likely never change.  Whether Lambert’s actually did the landscaping the Lambert’s look is still quintessential Dallas.

Dallas Container Gardening

Container Gardening Dallas: Variegated Ivy and Geraniums

As the sun garden becomes the shade garden native plants are abandoned and gardens become more attuned to the romantic visions of Naud Burnette and the Lambert Brothers, the influential pioneers of Dallas landscaping.
See a slide show on the quintessential Texas Shade garden here.
Perennial Shade Garden Texas