Liven up your Lawn with Complete Landsculpture!  
April 2013

In This Issue
Hummingbirds in your Garden

Summer Seasonal Color

Is your Soil Healthy?

Save Water Inside and Out

Gene Freeman Presents!
PRIME! A Top Texas Chef Cookout

Thank you to all of the amazing sponsors, guests, chefs and restaurants for coming out to this year's PRIME! A Top Texas Chef Cookout and supporting New Horizons Ranch and Center, Inc.  


Despite the unpredictable weather, the clouds broke and we were bathed in sunlight as the event opened up. The cold weather could not dampen the warm hearts of our great community!  


New Horizons is a nonprofit organization which serves children which have suffered emotional and physical trauma as a result. 

Our New Blog!
We're proud to announce that our new blog has gone live! We help you stay connected to the latest landscaping trends and tips so you have a healthy and beautiful landscape.

 Visit our blog
Biophilia: How Your Landscape Keeps You Healthy 

Do you feel better at your home or office? Well, that's a rather easy question. Now for the harder one: Why?


You're free to do what you want? Good answer. You can sleep? That would probably be my response. But what about this: Because you're more in tune with nature?


Biophilia is a hypothesis gaining traction within the landscaping community. The theory of biophilia rests on the belief that human beings are inextricably tied to nature, thus the more nature we have in our lives, the better we feel.   


Considering it has only been within the last 200 years that we shifted our environments from nature to concrete jungles, some scientists believe that such a rapid change could actually be bad for our health. A study conducted by Robert Ulrich in the 1980's found patients recovering from gall bladder surgery whom were in recovery rooms with a view of nature tended to recover 8 percent faster than individuals with a view of a brick wall. Another study in 2009 found that children with ADD or ADHD whom took a 20 minute walk in nature had a significantly higher ability to focus on tasks at hand.


So what does this mean for all of our landscape-savvy customers? You're already on the right track! Adding shade trees to your property doesn't only decrease your cooling bills and increase property values, they can also increase your overall well-being. And it doesn't even have to be something as big as a tree. Additions as simple as some new annual flowers, or maybe an updated perennial flower bed, can have you feeling better about your lawn, yourself and possibly even your life!


Before the summer heat gets you down, give Complete Landsculpture a call and let us create a lush outdoor experience to keep your spirits high!


"Biophilia is the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms. Innate means hereditary and hence part of ultimate human nature." - Edward O. Wilson



~ The Complete Landsculpture Team


DontSweatHave Your Garden Humming this Summer
Autumn Sage
Spring is here and so are the hummingbirds! If you get started now, you can have your yard prepped just in time for the North Texas hummingbird season. There are two types of hummingbirds that can be seen starting at the end of March and beginning of April. If you live north of Dallas County, expect to see some Ruby-throated hummingbirds. People in Tarrant County and counties farther south can expect to see a few Black-chinned hummingbirds.   


If you want to strengthen your chances of seeing some of these little guys in your backyard this spring and summer, try some of these tips from Wild Birds Unlimited: 


SaltwaterAccenting Your Yard with Seasonal Color

With any luck, we have all survived the last wintery blast of the year. Now, if memory serves, it's time for a week of nice weather followed by another 18-month-long Texas summer.


I mentioned earlier that through the theory of biophilia, summer woes are a thing of the past as long as you reconnect with nature. That's definitely easy to read, but how hard is it to enact? Luckily, we're sitting right at the perfect time to start planting some spring and summer color.


One of the easiest ways to bring a little color into your yard is through the addition of some annual and perennial flowers. Generally, you'll want to have a more perennially packed landscape as perennials last for a few years. The downside here is that you will want to prepare your perennial flower beds in the fall in order to give the soil some time to settle.

A white gaura flower. 

If you already have an area prepared to take on some perennials, adding both a butterfly bush and a  white gaura can create a beautiful scene. With the real butterflies drawn in by the butterfly bush and the butterfly-shaped flowers of the gaura, all of your worries will be lifted away upon delicate wings.


Annuals are your best bet for bringing some excitement and variability into your landscape. Given that annuals tend to only last for a season or year, they offer you the best opportunity at achieving a little creativity each season. Annuals can be a great way to draw attention to an aspect of your yard that you would like to emphasize. Try silhouetting your fire pit against a backdrop of impatiens. Not only will this make your fire pit pop, but you'll have some interesting visuals as the flame's light dances on the purple-hewed flowers. Choose from any number of our spring and summer annuals and fire up some of that neighborly envy.


And the best part about all of this? You don't even need to get your hands dirty! Just give Complete Landsculpture a call and let our talented group of designers, consultants and our maintenance teams help create your Complete Outdoor Experience.

SpringColorHow Healthy is Your Soil?

Before we can determine whether or not our soil is sickly, a basic understanding of exactly what is going on down there might be handy! Soil is comprised of mineral and organic material, along with water and air. Soil is formed when rock is broken down into smaller fragments. There are three types of rock fragments that compose most soil: sand, silt and clay.


Sandy soil drains quickly without retaining water whereas soil comprised primarily of clay can store a lot of water, however it is more densely packed without much room for air. Much like human beings, plant roots are in constant need of both air and water. Therefore, ideal soil has a balance between the water-holding capabilities of clay and the aerating qualities of sand, much like a sponge.


Soil organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, insects and mites, play a huge part in shaping the soil's structure. These organisms help to move the soil around, creating channels through which water and air can travel. Keeping these little guys happy is the key to making sure your soil is healthy.


So how do you tell whether your soil's mites and worms are happy and healthy? The best way, according to Oregon State University, is to take a handful of dirt and look for three things. First, healthy soil should appear dark in color due to it being higher in organic matter and holding more water. Second, the soil should smell richly of earth without a sour odor. Finally, rub some of the soil between your fingers. Healthy soil will seem to contain crumbs which are created from the sticky materials secreted by healthy soil bacteria.

Is your soil less than happy? Let our talented landscape team and consultants come whip your soil organisms into shape before the summer hits!

OutdoorLiving Saving Water Inside and Out

Although spring just started, we know it's time to get ready for those summer water restrictions. The City of Dallas has already begun enforcing a ban on watering your lawn between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. until October 31st. You can still hand water or use a soaker hose during that time, but don't run your irrigation system unless you enjoy flirting with a $250 to $2,000 fine.


Water restrictions aren't put into effect just to cause grief, although it may seem like it at times. With average lake levels approaching five feet below recommended levels before summer even starts, we need to begin thinking about the demands we place on our water supply. This fact is even further amplified when you consider that Texas will see a 22 percent increase in water demand in the next 50 years; a figure we currently are unable to meet.


In order to help ease the burden on our water supply while also saving you a little money, here are some tips from the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension on conserving water at home:


Stop Leaks - This can be done by checking all of your faucets for even the smallest leaks. Toilet tank leaks tend to be one of the largest sources of wasted water in a home. You can easily check for a leak by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank of your toilet. If you notice the water in the bowl changing colors, you have a leak. Make sure you flush to avoid staining the bowl! Leaks may have developed in your irrigation or drip systems from freezing temperatures during the winter. If your water bill is higher than normal and you can't seem to locate a leak in your house, it could very well be your sprinkler system.


Change Behavior - You can make a few simple changes in your behavior and have a great impact on your water usage. Start keeping drinking water chilled in your refrigerator rather than running water until the tap is cool. Try scraping your dishes rather than spraying them clean. And start a compost pile so that you can avoid using your garbage disposal. This will even help you later on when we discuss keeping your soil happy! Consider adding some native plants or Texas Superstar® Plants into your garden as they require far less water than non-native plants.


Replace your equipment with water-efficient equipment - We touched on some of the more energy efficient equipment you could use for your pool, such as pumps and heaters, but what about your house? Texas A&M suggests replacing the top two water users in your home: the toilet and washing machine. Make sure you have a 1.6-gallon-per-flush toilet and an Energy Star™ rated washer. Also think about upgrading your irrigation system to include a soil moisture monitoring shutoff system, such as those offered by UgMO, to ensure that you're never over watering your lawn.

Reduce water use in the landscape - Make sure to have your irrigation system checked for leaks by a Certified Irrigation Specialist, such as the Complete Landsculpture Team. While we're out inspecting your system, ask about other water-saving tools such as an irrigation controller with a rain shutoff device.

TreeTrimmingDon't Forget About Your Trees
The Sneaky Red "Yucca"

Gene Freeman, Vice President and co-owner of Complete Landsculpture, brings an immense amount of experience to our organization. With 28 years of experience in the landscaping industry along with being as a Texas Certified Nurseryman, Gene knows exactly what he's talking about when it comes to what plants work best in our area.


So what plants does Gene recommend? Here are just a few of Gene's top picks:


Texas Sage - This popular water-saving ornamental brings a lot of color to your landscape without placing a strain on your water bill. With its silvery-gray leaves and bright pink-lavender flowers, the Texas sage fits great in any southwestern landscape. This perennial shrub flowers periodically for several months, generally following a summer rain. This has earned it the nickname "the barometer bush." It prefers part shade and dry soil.


Russian Sage - This sun-loving sage thrives in drier climates and puts on a beautiful lavender show starting in midsummer and continuing through the fall. Adding a Russian sage to your landscape can help draw in butterflies with its tall lavender stocks.


Abelia "Edward Goucher" - This abelia hybrid is within the honeysuckle family and is another great option for adding some lavender/pink tones to your landscape. It is considered an evergreen in areas where the temperature stays above zero degrees Fahrenheit. This colorful shrub thrives in full sun to part shade and requires a medium amount of water. The "Edward Goucher" prefers moist soil which drains easily. 


Red Yucca - This deceptively named yucca isn't even a yucca! It's actually a member of the Century-Plant family and produces yucca-like evergreen leaves with a five-foot-tall, coral-colored flower stalk. It is drought resistant, as you would imagine, and adapts to most soils. As mentioned earlier, the red yucca is great for attracting hummingbirds to your property. It prefers full sun and blooms through much of the spring/summer.


Texas Yucca - Whereas the red yucca pulls the old bait-and-switch, the Texas yucca isn't trying to fool anyone. Also known as the twisted-leaf yucca, this perennial produces flowering stalks reaching five feet high with white blooms. Beginning as a solitary straight leaf head, the Texas yucca quickly opens into a clump of several leaves which produce white hairs and become twisted with age. This true yucca is another great water-saver, blooming in late spring to early summer.


Complete Landsculpture is an award-winning, full-service landscape architecture firm offering comprehensive, innovative and creative solutions for residential and commercial outdoor needs since 1985. Complete Landsculpture serves the Dallas/ Fort Worth and Oklahoma City metro areas and prides itself on the professional, dependable and exceptional services and expertise. Complete Landsculpture has a unique insight into creating and preserving resources essential to appreciating the luxuries of nature-
Creating a Complete Outdoor Experience.

Dallas: 214.358.5296      Oklahoma City: 405.789.3511

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The Complete Landsculpture Team