Fall foliage and fun in central Texas, Best of Texas Landscapes blog

Fall Foliage and Fun in Texas

Every year fall in Texas brings with it somewhat cooler temperatures…at least in the early mornings. While Texas is not the first place you would think of to visit during the fall, we do have some lovely foliage and fun family-friendly fall Festivals. That’s why we have compiled a list of some of our favorite places to see Texas foliage, and our top 5 family-friendly festivals to get you outdoors to enjoy the beautiful Texas fall weather!

FALL FOLIAGE IN CENTRAL TEXAS

ENCHANTED ROCK STATE NATIONAL PARK

Encha Fall leaves in Texas at Enchanted Rock nted Rock is a must-see any time of year in Texas. Hiking up to the top of the granite rock gives you the most magical views while allowing you to sit back and soak them up when you get to the top.

While hiking Enchanted Rock is breathtaking all year round, there is something special about hiking to the top and looking out of the majestic fall colors ranging from reds to yellows and everything in between.

Fall colors at McKinney Falls State Park

MCKINNEY FALLS STATE PARK

With around nine miles of hiking trails, you can lose yourself in the rugged beauty that McKinney State Falls offers all year long, but the fall brings out a special kind of beauty. 

With giant Bald Cypress trees and Red Oaks lining Onion Creek they paint the creek with reflections of reds, oranges and yellows.

Texas capitol building with leaves changing colors

AUSTIN

Our beloved capital of Texas is home to an incredible amount of color, the catch is that it doesn’t last long!

For a few amazing weeks, Austin’s trails are lit up with the brilliant colors of fall. A couple of our favorites are Lady Bird Lake, Johnson Wildflower Center and the Zilker Botanical Garden.

Want to branch out and make it a day trip? Check out this guide for the best fall Foliage destinations in Texas!

5 FUN FALL FESTIVALS IN CENTRAL TEXAS

Pumpkin Patch at Fall Festival

Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, outdoor adventures and more! There is something for everyone to enjoy, we have our top 5 festive fall things to do in the Austin area.

  1. Sweet Berry Farms (Marble Falls)
  2. Texas Pumpkin Patch (Leander)
  3. Sweet Eats Farm (Austin)
  4. Barton Hills Farms (Bastrop)
  5. Round Rock Chalk Walk Art Festival (Round Rock)

Fall Flowers in Texas

What’s one thing Texas homeowners take pride in? Along with our homes, we take great satisfaction in the trees, garden beds and other landscaping that adds something special and beautiful to our property. Attractive landscaping adds curb appeal and increases property value, and it makes spending time outdoors that much more enjoyable.

If you’re a newcomer to the state, you might not realize gardening in Texas isn’t just for springtime. With a little know-how and planning, you can indeed, enjoy fresh, colorful blooms almost any time of year.

The start of school and fall activities usually bring with them cooler temperatures, which is a good excuse to work in your yard and garden. Take stock of your plants and see which ones may have withered in the Texas summer sun and will need to be replaced. Fall is also a good time to determine where you might want to start a new flower bed. Getting your flowers started early in the season can help them become established before winter weather arrives.

After you determine where you want your flowers to go and how many you’ll need, the next step is to decide which types of flowers would work best for your yard. Read on to learn more about flowers which are well-suited to Texas and under what conditions they will thrive.

 

CORNFLOWERS

Cornflowers, texas fall flowers Also known as blue-bottles and bachelor’s buttons, these plants can add a pretty pop of blue to your garden from autumn through winter and into spring. Cornflowers do well in full sun, spaced two or three feet apart in your garden bed or planter.

Late September is a good time for sowing cornflower seeds outdoors. You can also sow them indoors about a month before you plan to plant them outside, sowing a quarter-inch deep, three to four seeds per pot, and then snipping off all but the strongest plants. When your seedlings have reached between two and four inches tall, they’re ready to be transplanted to your outdoor garden.

FALL ASTERS

Fall Asters: landscaping flowers in Texas for Fall Asters make a wonderful border plant for a fall or winter Texas garden. These flowers, which look like pretty purple daisies, thrive in rocky or sandy soil, and they like full sun or partial shade best.

Plant asters in late summer for blooms in the fall, spacing them about one-and-a-half to two feet apart. Be careful not to overwater; if you see that they’re wilting, give them a spray, but let the soil dry out between waterings.

 

PETUNIA

Petunia: landscaping flowers in Texas for Fall These flowers are special because they do well in both hotter and cooler weather. You can start petunias from seeds in late winter, for outdoor planting in the spring, but you can also plant them outdoors in September for lovely autumn blooms.

While most petunias prefer full sun, not all varieties of petunias are the same. Certain varieties require sandy, well-drained soil, while others need to stay very moist; make sure you know which variety you’re planting in order to plan accordingly.

 

The Best Texas Garden Flowers For Your Yard

Perhaps you were planning to start a new garden in the spring and are ready to get started now. Maybe you want to add a small flower bed to your existing landscape. Below are some other plants you might want to consider adding to your outdoor spaces during the fall months. 

 

CHRYSANTHEMUMS

Chrysanthemum: Landscape flowers in Texas A flower you’ll see as the centerpiece of enormous Homecoming corsages here in Texas comes in all the typical fall colors. These can be planted in full sun in your flower bed to produce gorgeous flowers throughout the fall season. They produce their best flowers after their first year in the ground, so be patient with them. After planting chrysanthemums in the fall, keep them trimmed throughout the following year, pruning them to a rounded shape and snipping off any flower buds that form. Once the next August rolls around, stop trimming the flower buds. By October, you should have a garden full of gorgeous blooms.

 

 

CORAL VINE

Coral Vine: Central Texas landscaping flowers This perennial vine does well all over Texas, but especially in the central part of the state. Native to Mexico, coral vine is a hardy grower; plant seeds or transplant a root tuber from another location, and just a handful of months later, you’ll have a mass of vines and delicate flowers. Some consider the plant invasive since it can grow rapidly and if left unchecked crowds out native species. Coral vines display their lovely, lacy tendrils of flowers in early to mid-fall, and flowers can range from white to pink to a dark rose hue.

Coral vines grow best with a trellis, arbor or fence to climb; they can also send out their curly little shoots to climb a brick or stone wall. Don’t worry when this plant dies back with the first frost, and don’t be afraid to cut it back vigorously. Come spring, it will begin its new growth cycle quickly and heartily.

Drought tolerant, coral vines thrive in partial or full sun, which makes them a perfect choice for central and south Texas gardens.

 

 

MEXICAN BUSH SAGE

Mexican Bush Sage: landscape flowers in Texas This plant’s gorgeous, lavender-hued flowers are the perfect choice for a more natural-looking garden. Fans of xeriscaping often choose this perennial for their garden designs, and it’s a great plant to share with friends, as it’s easily grown from stem cuttings.

Mexican bush sage flowers from the end of summer until the first frost. If this plant experiences frost damage, you can cut it down to six inches tall and cover it with mulch, and it will return vigorously in the spring.

Since Mexican bush sage can grow to four or five feet across and in height, be sure to give it room in your garden. It often looks best placed at the back of a bed, as a gorgeous lavender backdrop to shorter plants in front. Be sure to prune in summer to keep it from getting too bushy by fall.

 

 

DIANTHUS

Dianthus: Landscaping flowers in Texas Also called Sweet William, dianthus is a wonderful option for gardeners who need flowers that grow well in cooler temperatures. Dianthus flowers come in many shades of red, pink and white, and are best planted in an area that is shady in the afternoons. Morning sun is fine, especially since this plant is prone to fungus; sunlight helps protect against this disease.

Dianthus needs to be watered regularly, but not overwatered. Deadheading—pinching or snipping off any dead flowers just above the first set of healthy leaves—can help to encourage the growth of new blooms.

 

 

PANSIES

Pansies: landscaping flowers in Texas These are a pretty and traditional addition to a winter garden, and they’re wonderfully easy to grow, at least in the cooler months. Since they don’t weather Texas heat well, pansies are better here as an annual than a perennial. Pansy seeds can be sown indoors in early fall in a soilless germination mixture, about an eighth of an inch deep. When kept dark and moistened regularly with a spray bottle or mister, germination should occur within two to three weeks.

Once the little shoots emerge, the plants can be moved to a cool, bright area to continue growing. When the seedlings have grown two sets of leaves, they’re ready to be transplanted to a sunny location outdoors, preferably in November. Space them about six to ten inches apart for best results.

 

 

Take The Next Step

Now that you have a better understanding of which flowers grow best in our Central Texas climate are you ready to get started? We are here to help design your landscape to enhance the look of your home. 

 

Xeriscaping 101 with Best of Texas Landscapes

Xeriscaping 101

Xeriscape landscapes need not be cactus and rock gardens. They can be green, cool landscapes full of beautiful plants maintained with water-efficient practices. The same green Texas-style landscape which we are accustomed to can be achieved and still conserve water. In urban areas of Texas, such as Austin and its surrounding cities, about 25 percent of the water supply is used for landscaping and gardening. With all of the local water restrictions and increasing drought seasons throughout Texas, xeriscaping is becoming more widespread. Even with all the rain, we have had these past few months, we know Texas weather can change on a dime. According to Drought.gov, the Williamson and Travis county areas are up 1 – 2 inches from our monthly average rainfall.

This type of landscaping is about introducing and using indigenous plant materials that will keep the water use low on properties. In addition to lowering water usage, xeriscaping is also about having a landscape with minimal maintenance. So, instead of having large areas of grass lawns around your home, you can incorporate plants that require little water and maintenance. It’s something we’ve seen clients in Central Texas want for the past few years. The sustainable trend is especially popular in Austin.

 

BENEFITS OF XERISCAPING YOUR YARD

  • Reduce water waste. Xeriscaping can reduce water waste up to 50 – 75%!
  • Reduce maintenance. If it rains a lot, like these past few months, you will need to mow more often. If it doesn’t rain, then you have to work harder to keep your grass alive. Maintenance is minimal with xeriscaping as you’re focusing on planting items that naturally thrive in the Central Texas area.
  • Reduce cost. Between cutting down on maintenance and water usage, you are going to save a ton of money in the long run with xeriscaping.
  • Reduce fertilizer usage. Another benefit of taking advantage of native plants is that you won’t have to use chemical supplements to help them stay healthy and grow. Simple organic soil is the only supplement needed to maintain a healthy xeriscape landscape.
  • Improve the overall look of your home. Dead grass and plants struggling to survive is an eyesore for any neighborhood. By planting native plants that thrive in our Central Texas environment you will never again have to deal with this dilemma. 

 

WHERE TO INCORPORATE XERISCAPE

Xeriscaping can work on pretty much any area of your landscaping, but there are certain spots that will be more efficient than others. Some prime real estate for xeriscaping include low-traffic areas, plant beds, around water features, surrounding patios or large grassy areas.

10 Popular Texas Xeriscape Plants

Pink Muhly for xeriscapes

Pink Muhly

Red Yucca for xeriscapes, recommended by Best of Texas Landscapes

Red Yucca

Texas Sage for xeriscapes

Texas Sage

We choose native or adaptable plants that fit your landscape’s conditions and style. Here are 10 popular plants used in xeriscaping:

  • Bat-Faced Cuphea: It’s red and purple flowers resemble the winged animal that this plant is named after. It needs full to partial sun and is heat tolerant. Bat-faced cuphea grows about 1 foot tall and wide.
  • Black-Eyed Susan: This perennial has large, yellow blooms and does well in Central Texas all the way to Houston. It needs to be cut back during the winter and has a height and spread of 1 to 2 feet.
  • Desert Willow: This tree grows quickly and has flowers through Spring and Summer.This tree grows 15 – 25 feet tall with a spread of 15 – 25 feet. The desert willow does best in full sun areas.
  • Pink Muhly: This ornamental grass has pink, feathery seed heads during the fall that add color. They can reach 2 – 2.5 feet high with a 2 – 3 foot span.
  • Purple Heart: With purple leaves and small, dark pink flowers, this plant will die back during the winter and return in spring. Purple Heart can grow 12 – 18 inches in height and spread.
  • Red Yucca: This Texas native plant has succulent leaves that resemble an ornamental grass. The Red Yucca grows best in full sun and will bring a pop of color to your landscape. They grow 6 feet high with a 4 foot spread.
  • Sedum: There are several different types of Sedum, including ones that work well with rock gardens. They can range in height from 2 inches to 2 feet – making the smaller ones a good ground cover option.
  • Texas Sage: This shrub provides plenty of purple flowers throughout the year, and it has a height and spread of 4 – 5 feet. 
  • Texas Redbud: This tree can grow 10 – 20 feet tall and blooms white, pink or purple. 
  • Trailing Lantana: Good for all Texas regions, it blooms summer to fall with red, orange and yellow flowers. It reaches 3 – 5 feet high with a 4 – 6 foot spread.


Now that you know what xeriscaping is and how to incorporate this sustainable practice into your landscape. Ready to save water and money on your property with xeriscaping? Contact us at (512)260-1430, or fill out our online form for a free consultation.

blog cover image with text and picture of pool with landscape design and fire pit

3 Ways to Transform Your Property With a Luxury Pool & Landscaping

Why should you have to travel to enjoy a luxury pool and spa when you can experience the same high-end outdoor entertaining space in your Central Texas backyard?  Home should be an oasis – a place where you can unwind after a long day, relax on weekends, entertain family and friends, and make memories with your kids. You can have the lifestyle you want and capture hours of “vacation” without boarding a plane.

Ready to transform your property into a luxury pool and outdoor entertainment space? Neighborhoods in the northern Austin area, like Travisso and Crystal Falls, often afford you larger backyards with space to get creative.

The good news is, you can get your pool and landscape projects completed without the hassle of juggling multiple contractors with an experienced full-service pool firm, such as Omnia Pool & Spas, and landscaping design firm, like ours at Best of Texas Landscapes. We’re here to guide you through the process from layout, design, build and installation. The end result: a customized, resort-like outdoor environment with a pool that’s tailored to suit your lifestyle – with complementary features like a patio, outdoor kitchen or bar – that make your backyard a fully functional living room with all the perks. 

Let’s get started!

#1 An Expertly Designed Pool For Your Central Texas Home

How do you like to spend your time in and around a swimming pool? Do you prefer to lounge on the perimeter and dip your toes in the water – or plunge into the water and take a swim? Who uses the pool and how they use it will determine the luxury pool features you’ll want to include in the design. Some popular pool features in the Central TX area include:

WATER FEATURES

Customizable jets can create arches of water — a peaceful sound and visually stunning show. Waterfalls and sheer descents are other ways to add sound, movement, and interest to your luxury pool. 

pool with waterfall water feature by Omnia Outdoors, partnered with Best of Texas Landscapes

SPA

A spa can be designed with an infinity edge that flows into your pool, or it can stand alone as a separate pool feature. The shape, size, and design of the spa can mesh with the other features in your Williamson or Travis County, TX outdoor living space. 

Spa by Omnia Outdoors, pool experts in the Central Texas area

#2 Outdoor Living Features

There’s more to the pool space than the pool itself. Consider how you like to spend your time at your home.

  • Do you enjoy cooking and dining outdoors? Plan on incorporating a barbeque area with an outdoor kitchen and bar so you can prep, cook, and serve meals outdoors. 
  • Do you entertain guests on weekends – visitors who need accommodations for the night? Then consider including a cabana or pool house that can double as a guest house.

Do you want to create a private environment, or do you need to prevent children from entering the pool area without supervision? Pool fencing and enclosures can screen views, provide security and give pool owners a peace of mind. If you live in a an area where there are some hills, as found in the northern Austin area, this might help keep your neighbors from seeing over the fence.

#3 Landscaping that Blends with Nature

The beauty of the Texas Hill Country is what draws many property owners to this area. We can introduce these elements to your pool and outdoor living space with native plants and landscaping that blends with the scenery. Our team of experienced landscape designers and installation crews create specific plans for every property based on the surroundings, style of the home and owners’ preference.

Start Planning Your Central TX Luxury Pool & Landscape

Check out some of the luxury pools from Omnia Outdoor Pools & Spa designs and builds. Best of Texas Landscapes happily serves the greater Austin areas including Leander, Liberty Hill, Cedar Park, Georgetown, Salado, Pflugerville, Lago Vista, Lakeway, Marble Falls, Burnet, and Round Rock, Texas. 

Live in the Central TX area and want to get started on your backyard paradise? Give us a call to schedule your FREE consultation at (512)260-1430 or fill out our contact form here.

blog cover image, Not Your Grandparent's Backyard, by Best of Texas Landscapes

Not Your Grandparents’ Outdoor Living Space

Fifty years ago in the Austin area, you would rarely see elaborate outdoor living spaces. True there were patios, terraces, statuaries and gardens, maybe a basketball goal – but definitely nothing on the same scale of what we see in today’s world. 

Outdoor living has become the favorite “room” for some households — the place where the family gathers to hang out in the evening; cook meals, dine, to share a drink, or engage in conversation. It is the first-choice place to relax, kick back and take a nap or read a book.

Outdoor Living Ideas in Central Texas

Outdoor rooms now offer more than just your BBQ grill and patio table. They now offer indoor amenities and comforts such as big screen TV’s or a gas fireplace. This is where we go when our families visit or friends come over to hang out. More and more central Texas families are  hiring musicians and bands to play at “house” parties, and no one has to run inside to grab ice or refill a glass. There’s a refrigerator, a wine cooler, and a beer tap or built in keg. 

Outdoor dinner parties are no longer limited to hotdogs and Jell-O salads.There are pizza ovens, built- in grills, ice cream machines and popcorn poppers. There are also outdoor fans and air conditioners to keep you cool in the heat of the day, letting you enjoy your outdoor living space even more. 

Remember the days when outdoor furniture was hard and uncomfortable? That is not necessarily the case anymore; seating is just as plush and lush on a patio as it is in a great room. Backyard and Patio Store is one of the most popular Austin area outdoor living stores.

The sweeping popularity of outdoor living has made it possible for nearly everyone to “move outside.” But the central Texas climate affords us the opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors all year long. So the question is, what are you doing sitting in your family room, breathing that stale air and missing out on all the fun to be had outdoors?