We presented three of the top local landscape architects with a challenge: help our art director, Jamie Laubhan-Oliver, create a gorgeous front yard for her Oak Cliff abode. As always, we had a catch. With our Dallas summers becoming more and more unbearable, we wanted something that would cut down on usage of natural resources. We asked for water-conscious designs using semi-native plants, vegetation that will stay alive throughout the year and will look lovely all the while.
Here are their simply sensational solutions.
THE SUBJECT: A 100-year-old Foursquare in historic Winnetka Heights
WHY WE CHOSE IT: The Winnetka Heights Historic District is lovely and perhaps not a place where you might think to find water-conscious landscaping.
LET IT RAIN
THE LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT: BONICK LANDSCAPING
Architecture is key here. Glenn Bonick considered the simplicity of the 1920s home when designing the 39-by- 50-foot site. “To help simplify the space, we’re proposing to take out all of the existing trees,” Bonick says. “The sycamore and magnolia are poorly placed on the site and demand a lot of water to sustain healthy growth.” Bonick instead proposes replacing them with two cedar elms, which will require less water and will provide shade— as well as a vertical element—to the landscaping. He says this will help provide scale to the house. He also notes that the hackberry is currently poorly placed and should be removed because it’s a tree that is prone to drop debris and is susceptible to disease.