8 Organic Landscaping Design Ideas to Keep You Busy This Summer

Considering an update to the design of your home’s landscaping this year? A great landscape design can mean the difference between a yard you’re proud of and want to spend time enjoying outside and disappointment. If you’re thinking about a shake up to the look and feel of your outdoor space, we have eight organic landscaping design ideas to suit your home and lifestyle.

Organic landscaping goes beyond simple gardening; it integrates the health of the ecosystem into your garden design, promoting biodiversity and sustainability. This approach enhances the aesthetic appeal of your home while maintaining its ecological balance. 

What Homeowners Need to Know About Organic Landscaping Design

Organic landscaping design is an environmentally friendly approach to landscaping that emphasizes the minimization of pollution and the enhancement of the local ecosystem. Organic landscaping creates a safer space for family and pets by not using harmful chemical sprays, which has the added benefit of supporting beneficial wildlife and reducing chemical runoff into the water table.

A new organic landscaping design can modernize your home’s curb appeal, increasing its values. And, unlike organic groceries, organic landscaping isn’t prohibitively expensive. In fact, implemented correctly, organic landscaping design ideas can be more economical to maintain.

Interested? Let’s dig into The Plant Concierge’s 8 Organic Landscaping Ideas.

#1 Seasonal Color Organic Landscape Design Ideas

The easiest organic landscape design upgrade on the list. Integrating perennials into your landscape is a strategic approach to maintaining vibrant color all year long. When planning an organic landscape, it’s crucial to consider how your plant choices will change in appearance across the seasons.

Smart planting of seasonal perennials is a great way to enhance the aesthetic of your garden without relying on synthetic enhancements. This landscape design not only elevates the visual appeal of your outdoor space but also supports biodiversity and the ecological health of your flower beds. Selecting perennial species that bloom at different times of the year ensures your outdoor space will display a lively array of colors and textures across the seasons, from the first burst of growth in early spring through the stark beauty of winter.

Selecting the Right Perennials for Your Organic Landscape Design Idea

In organic landscaping design ideas, your perennial choices are critical because these plants can thrive without harsh chemical treatments and contribute to a self-sustaining ecosystem. By choosing plants adapted to local climate conditions, particularly native species, you can create a garden that’s resilient and less demanding in terms of maintenance. 

This careful selection process is essential for the success and sustainability of an organic landscape.

DFW Perennial Varieties for Organic Landscaping Design

For DFW homeowners, or similar climates, incorporating local perennials that flourish in different seasons can dramatically enhance your garden’s year-round appeal. Here are some examples of perennials that can bring continuous color to your organic landscape:

Spring Perennials for Seasonal Color

Kick off the growing swanson with vibrant hues of blue and red.

  • Texas Bluebonnet
  • Indian Paintbrush

Summer Perennials for Seasonal Color 

Heat tolerant perennials in yellow and purple to handle the Texas summer.

  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Purple Coneflower

Fall Perennials for Seasonal Color

Warm reds and purples perfect to complement fall foliage.

  • Autumn Sage
  • Mexican Bush Sage

Winter Perennials for Seasonal Color

Festive red, green and soft purple for mild winters., 

  • Evergreen Sumac
  • Texas Mountain Laurel

By incorporating these perennials into your organic landscaping design, you can enjoy a dynamic outdoor space that looks great year-round and promotes local wildlife and ecological balance. Well-adapted seasonal perennials are a cornerstone of successful organic landscaping design ideas, offering a sustainable way to beautify your home environment without sacrificing environmental ethics.

#2 Organic Landscaping Design with Native Plants

Take the idea of organic seasonal color to its natural conclusion and you have native plant gardens. You can block out portions of your outdoor space with an organic landscape design that focuses on using indigenous plants. A practice often referred to as xeriscaping.

Xeriscaping is an organic landscaping philosophy that focuses on creating a landscape design that requires fewer resources to cultivate and maintain. Xeriscape designs also favor design approaches that minimize waste production. Essentially, it’s a fancy term for filling your outdoor space with native plant garden full of efficient plants that look great and are easy to maintain

Xeriscaping fits seamlessly into most organic landscaping design ideas, as it emphasizes sustainability and the conservation of resources, aligning with the principles of reducing chemical inputs and enhancing the natural landscape.

Advantages of Using Native Plants in Your Landscape Design

Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. They require less water, fertilizer, and pest interventions to thrive. These plants support local wildlife, including birds and pollinators (bees, butterflies, etc.), and help maintain regional ecological balance, crucial for sustainable organic landscapes.

How to Select the Right Plants for Your Organic Landscaping Design

Selecting the right native plants involves understanding the local climate and soil conditions. Research plants native to your area with special consideration for the sunlight exposure, soil pH, and water availability of different areas of your property. 

For the DIY crowd, consult with your local nursery or agricultural extension service for experienced insight and recommendations on the best plants for your landscape needs. 

And for those who aren’t looking to dive headfirst into a new hobby, give us a call. The Plant Concierge offers landscape design and landscape maintenance service to take all the guesswork out of creating a beautiful, healthy, and organic landscaping design for your home.

Organic Plant Landscaping Species for DFW

Blue Grama Grass Organic Landscaping Design Ideas The Plant Concierge
8 Organic Landscaping Design Ideas to Keep You Busy This Summer 3
  • Texas Sage
  • Blue Grama Grass
  • Abelia
  • Liriope
  • Lantana
  • Dwarf Yaupon Holly
  • Barberry
  • Texas Redbud
  • And More

Native Plant Meadow Garden for Organic Landscaping Design

Rising in popularity is an organic meadow garden. Bring the pristine beauty of the Texas prairie to your home with a wildflower meadow garden. A native plant garden shows off multicolored pops of bright flowers and ornamental grasses that look and feel natural, because they are! 

The native plants in a meadow garden design enhance local biodiversity by providing food and shelter to beneficial wildlife and bugs, who in return will help to keep your plants clear of pernicious pests without harmful pesticides and other chemical interventions. And, because it incorporates native plants, a meadow garden requires less water, fertilizer, and human care to stay looking great and healthy.

How to Establish and Maintain a Wildflower Meadow

Start by choosing a sunny location with well-draining soil. Prepare the ground by removing existing vegetation and adding organic matter, if necessary. Select a mix of native wildflower seeds that bloom at different times to ensure continuous color and interest through all seasons. Sow the seeds in late fall or early spring for best results and water gently until they are established.

Organic Landscaping Mistakes to Avoid with Native Plants

It can feel counterintuitive to most landscaping, but you have to avoid overwatering wildflowers and other plants native to the region. Remember that native plants are adapted to grow with the normal rainfall amount of the area. They require very little supplementary watering.

Over-fertilizing is another concern. Fertilizers can alter the nutrient and salt composition of your soil, and kill off soil microorganisms beneficial to your plants. Over-fertilizing can move your soil away from the natural conditions where your plants are adapted to thrive.

The last big organic landscaping mistake to avoid with natural plants is invasive species. Non-native plants can act as a ringer, outcompeting native plants who are unused to competing for space and resources with such plants. Keep this warning in mind if you plan to mix native and non-native plants. Though they may be acclimated to the same climate zone, they may not play nice with each other.

#3 Edible Garden Organic Landscaping Design

If you’re concerned with an organic lifestyle, it’s safe to assume you’re critical of what you and your family put into your bodies. A vegetable patch, or herb garden, can be considered the pinnacle of organic landscaping design, as it blurs the line between form and function in your outdoor space.

As organic landscaping design ideas, edible gardens are practical and sustainable. They allow you to better control exactly what goes into your family’s bodies by providing a fresh, organic food source right in your backyard. This method of gardening is not only health-conscious but also cost-effective, offsetting grocery costs while improving food quality, and ensuring your family enjoys the freshest produce.

Outsource Backyard Farming with The Plant Concierge

Unlike other landscapers, The Plant Concierge routinely designs, installs, and maintains food and herb gardens for our clients. We think it’s the perfect way to keep your landscape looking great and table full of healthy, seasonal foods

Contact Us to Learn More About Organic Fruit and Vegetable Gardening

Next to colorful flowers and autumn leaves, nothing looks quite as good as juicy fruit on the tree and plump vegetables on the vine. Luckily the North Texas climate means we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to growing food. Here are a few of our favorites:

Ideal Fruit & Vegetable Varieties for DFW Gardens

  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Figs
  • Okra
  • Peppers
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Beans
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes
  • Squash 
  • Pumpkins
  • And Many More

You can even indulge in a little experimental archaeology by growing the Three Sisters, a form of companion planting that has fed the peoples of Northern and Central America for thousands of years!

Organic Landscaping Design Ideas for Herb Gardens

Growing fruits and vegetables are the go-to option for edible gardens, but they require a fair amount of landscaping footprint to employ. If you’re seeking an organic landscaping design idea for a smaller space, consider an herb garden. 

Your herb garden can be used in cooking but also for organic and natural medicine through home remedies. Whether you’re tight on space for your landscaping design ideas or want to include more verticality and interest to your yard, consider installing an herb spiral.

Integrating Herb Spirals and Medicinal Plants

An herb spiral is a compact vertical garden built to maximize growing space and accommodate growing a variety of herbs in a small footprint. Its rising nature provides different growing conditions, or micro-climates, that is ideal for growing different herbs that otherwise couldn’t be grown together. 

You can continue your ongoing organic landscaping design theme by using native rock types to incorporate a natural feel to your herb spiral. For the best results, place low-water, heat-tolerant herbs at the zenith and descend planting herbs with moisture-loving, shady herbs at the base where they can soak up the spiral’s runoff and hide from the sun behind spiral’s central pillar.

Here are a few of our favorite herbs to include in organic landscaping designs:

DFW Herb Varieties for Organic Gardens

  • Basil
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Aloe Vera (Abrasions, Burns)
  • Chamomile (Relaxation, Stress)
  • Echinacea (Immune Boosting)
  • Peppermint (Upset Stomach)
  • Lavender (Relaxation, Stress)
  • Plus Many More

Incorporating these elements into your organic landscaping design idea maximizes the productivity of your garden and turns it into a font of health and wellness. They look great and provide added depth to the enjoyment of your outdoor space by adding delightful and calming scents

#4 Organic Landscaping Design Ideas for Wildlife Habitats

Creating spaces within your landscaping to support local wildlife improves your space‘s natural beauty and symbiosis. Incorporating wildlife habitats into your organic landscaping design ideas encourages the presence of beneficial creatures that aid in pollination and organic pest control to enrich the health and vibrancy of your landscaping.

Why Create Spaces to Support Local Wildlife in Your Landscaping

By supporting local wildlife, you contribute to the conservation of your local environment’s heritage. This practice helps to sustain a balanced ecosystem, which manages pests and diseases while fostering biodiversity, an essential element in resilient organic landscapes.

Wildlife Habitat Ideas for Your Landscaping Design

Here are a few of the most common landscaping design ideas to attract and support indigenous wildlife in your outdoor space. 

Birdhouses and Birdbaths

Providing shelter and a source of clean available water for birds is a great way to invite many colorful and lyrical birds into your outdoor space to increase its aesthetic. In addition to sights and sounds, local bird varieties are great at controlling insect populations and pollinating your garden’s plants. 

Many bird species are protective of their homes and will ward your lawn against landscaping enemies like squirrels and wandering cats known for destroying plants.

Natural Shelters

Rock piles, wood logs, ponds, and shrubbery can serve as shelters for beneficial small mammals, reptiles, insects, and more. These shelters mimic the wild environment and look great when incorporated in organic landscaping designs. They provide nesting resources close to available food sources, which just so happen to be the insects, weeds, and small vermin trying to munch on your landscaping.

Landscaping Design Ideas for a Pollinator-Friendly Outdoor Space

The 3B’s (bees, birds, and butterflies) play an essential role in pollinating your landscaping plants and keeping them healthy. They are especially important for pollinating food crops for your organic home garden full of fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Focus on native plants to attract native pollinators to your yard. We have already covered a number of native plants, but here are some standouts. The bright red blooms of Texas Sage attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Black-eyed Susans are favorites of North Texas bees and butterflies, as is Purple Coneflower. 

Here are the four things to keep in mind when designing your organic landscaping to attract and maintain pollinator populations.

  • Available food sources through seasonal plant diversity
  • Plant in clusters to increase pollination efficiency
  • Available water sources through birdbaths, ponds, and shallow water dishes
  • Protect pollinators by including wind breaks and reducing pesticide use

How to Protect Your Organic Landscape’s Pollinators

Protecting pollinators from common threats is crucial for maintaining their populations and, by extension, the health of your garden. As noted above, avoid pesticide interventions when possible. If necessary, focus on small, specific areas, and apply pesticide around dusk, when pollinators are least active.

In addition to natural shelters, you can supplement butterfly boxes, bee hotels, and other artificial habitats that can keep pollinators safe from natural predators. And, of course, regular maintenance helps keep your plants clean and well-maintained, reducing potential disease vectors to pollinators.

By integrating these practices into your organic landscaping design ideas, you can create a vital refuge for the local wildlife that plays a crucial role in the ecological well-being of your area and beauty of your outdoor space.

#5 Living Landscape Features as Organic Landscaping Design Ideas

Living landscape features such as green roofs, living walls, shade gardening, and water features, are dynamic and sustainable organic landscaping design ideas. These features can enhance the aesthetics of your outdoor space and provide health benefits for your organic landscaping. Let’s start by looking at living surfaces.

Green Roofs & Living Walls

Green roofs and living walls are innovative gardening solutions that incorporate vegetation into the structural elements of building or freestanding hardscape elements. A green roof is a specially prepared roof that incorporates a living vegetation layer on top of a waterproof barrier on flat and pitched gable roofs. 

As you may have anticipated, living walls are similar but along vertical and near-vertical surfaces. They are also sometimes referred to as vertical gardens. Both green roofs and living walls present tangible benefits for DFW homeowners. 

Green Roof & Living Wall Benefits

While you may not be inclined to turn your home into a torfbæir (Icelandic turf house) on a whim, there are serious practical benefits to incorporating living organic matter into your home’s exterior. They disperse direct sunlight, making the outdoors less blinding and leading to temperature insulation and regulation, cutting your AC bill.

Hard to believe? Use this Arizona State University energy savings calculator to estimate your potential savings. Green roofs also naturally improve the air and water quality of your outdoor space. The latter is of import if you’re including a rain catchment irrigation system as one of your organic landscaping design ideas.

Another big feather in the cap of green roofs is durability. Hail damage is a major concern in North Texas, and it can do a number on roofs. But, when was the last time you needed to repair hail damage to your lawn? Any damage just grows back! That’s part of the reason the United States General Services Administration estimates a green roof lasts twice as long as standard roofing materials.

And, the last major benefit is the reduction of noise pollution. Green matter is particularly adept at soaking up sound to keep your outdoor space a private space, saved from the noise beyond your fence line. 

Organic Wall & Roof Installation Considerations

Now, converting your home for a green roof is a major construction. You need to consider structural support for the heavier roof, waterproofing, runoff drainage, and sod selection. The benefits are substantial, but can be difficult to bite the bullet on a large, untested construction. 

We recommend starting small on a different surface. Pool retaining walls, the interior of your backyard fence, shed, pool pump house, or even a free standing shade structure. After all, a pergola is itself a type of organic wall/roof. These smaller installations can be a perfect test bed for making alterations to your home’s exterior while still providing a measure of the same temperature, air, and noise-dampening benefits to your backyard

Potential Design and Maintenance Issues to Avoid

Nice as they are, organic walls and roofs have their particular issues you will want to avoid as part of your organic landscaping design. First, you need to be able to water your living structural surfaces. Similarly you need to inspect for perforation of the waterproofing layer by root penetration. And of course, you need to care for the organic matter in the same way you care for the rest of your lawn and landscaping. 

If that sounds a little too involved, we have more organic landscaping design ideas with living features.

Shade Gardening

Perhaps the one thing that’s more difficult for gardeners in DFW than the broiling summer sun is gardening in the shade. A shade garden approaches this problem from a design perspective. It looks to build vertical layers of plants with different heights and sun tolerance. Shade gardening is an incredibly organic strategy that looks to imitate the layers of a natural forest.

It’s the perfect way to make use of sunlight limited space under trees and along the north side of your home, which traditionally struggle under partial/full shade and waterlogged soil. The top-most layer (canopy) consists of shade-casting trees, fences, and buildings. The second layer (understory) often consists of dwarf trees and ephemerals

Ephemerals, as the name indicates, only bloom in the small window of time at the end of winter and start of spring, when deciduous trees are dormant. They can be a great way to add color, but will struggle in permanent shade areas (next to buildings and fences).

After the understory is the aptly named shrub layer. We’ll leave you to intuit what thrives here. Under that is the herbaceous layer, comprising flowering annuals, perennials, and other stemmed plants. At the bottom of the pile we have the groundcover layer filled with vines, clover, etc.

Aesthetic Tips for Shade Garden Designs

With five distinct layers of plant material the potential for organic landscaping design ideas is nearly endless. Incorporating shade gardens around the perimeter of your outdoor space will give it a secluded and cozy feel. Or, creating a section around a prominent tree in your yard can turn it into a central focus of your landscaping. 

Shade gardens are great spots to add seating areas to help you and your family escape the hot Texas sun while still enjoying a diverse and colorful landscape background.

Choose varying shades of green and different textures to add depth and visual interest to your shade garden design. Accent your greens with pops of color using ephemerals, flowering shrubs, and seasonal color perennials and annuals for all-year beauty.

Top Shade-Loving Plants for DFW Shade Gardens 

Here are a few of our favorite plants that help to add depth and interest to your organic shade garden:

  • Japanese Maples
  • Hostas
  • Ferns
  • Astilbe
  • Begonias
  • Columbine
  • Colias
  • Leopard Plants

One place where shade gardens really stand out is in their depth. You can make the most of this by incorporating traditional or solar-powered landscape lighting to shine through your shade garden’s texture even after the sun goes down. 

Ask us about adding landscape lighting to highlight your outdoor space.

Water Feature Landscape Design Ideas

A swimming pool isn’t the only water feature to consider adding to your list of organic landscaping design ideas. Water is naturally better at thermoregulation than topsoil. You’ve probably witnessed this phenomenon where the ocean, or a pool, is cool in the afternoon but warm at night. 

Installing a water feature is one way to help reduce the heat island effect of the DFW Metroplex. Besides, a calming pool or fountain can add a serene and relaxing effect to your outdoor space. The sound of moving water is naturally soothing and a clean freshwater source is great for attracting natural pollinators to your outdoor space. 

Some water feature building materials and liners can slowly wick moisture or “sweat” water into the ground around the feature. This sweat can be a boon in the summer heat allowing a persistent ability to add moisture to the root layer where traditional top-down watering practices don’t penetrate before running off or evaporating.

Water Feature Flora & Fauna

While water features are beautiful, they’re even better with some organic gilding. Surround your water feature with aquatic plants like water lilies, lotus, and water hyacinth. More than pretty faces, these plants have the added benefit of naturally improving your feature’s water quality.

Water features can host more than plants. They can invite Texas fauna like toads, turtles, lizards, and other bug eaters to make your backyard their home. Along with birds, these garden allies are great at controlling insect populations that eat your plants and mosquitoes, who want to eat you! 

Depending on the water feature, you can also introduce fish to help control bug populations, algae, and level up the aesthetics of your landscape design. Waterlogged debris is a major cause of algae growth. In addition to aquatic plants and fish, you can keep things looking pristine by regularly skimming your water feature for debris. 

#6 Organic Landscaping Feeding, Watering, and Maintenance

When it comes to going organic, design is easy but adherence is more difficult. Don’t let your organic landscaping design ideas fail to launch because you didn’t account for upkeep. Luckily, there are a growing number of organic options for feeding, watering, and maintaining the beauty of your lawn and landscaping. These practices not only support your landscaping design but also conserve resources and reduce your landscaping’s ecological impact.

Let’s start by looking at the most well-known sustainability issue, watering.

Water Conservation Techniques

Water waster due to sprinkler runoff and evaporation is rampant. Here are a few landscaping design ideas to help you conserve water and lower landscaping maintenance costs.

Rainwater Collection

Integrating a rainwater harvesting system collects the clean, natural water that falls from the sky and stores it to be used in your home’s irrigation system. These systems collect rainwater from roofs and store it in tanks for use in irrigation and sprinklers, providing an eco-friendly watering solution

A rainfall collection system can significantly reduce your dependence on municipal water and lower your water bills. It’s a perfect solution as the potable benefits of city water is lost on landscaping. Even better, rainwater collection systems can help reduce the occurrence of muddy, waterlogged areas in your yard and flooding that can carry away the nutrient dense topsoil and mulch applications you worked so hard to lay. 

Sustainable Low-Waste Watering Methods

There are a number of ways to reduce overwatering. You can install moisture sensors to better understand when your plants need watering, and more importantly, when they don’t. Another way to avoid waste is by watering overnight to avoid evaporation stealing away as much of your watering as possible. But, for the best reduction of waste, look at alternatives to the standard top-spray sprinkler system

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation delivers low amounts of water consistently at soil level through emitters to minimize evaporation and waste. This method is particularly effective for water-intensive gardens. The one downside to drip irrigation is it can be high maintenance to ensure the correct moisture level and cleaning clogged emitters.

Soaker Hoses

These porous hoses are similar to drip irrigation and you don’t have to worry about obstructed emitters. Due to their porous nature they are less durable than drip irrigation lines and can lead to uneven watering when used in long lengths or inclines. These are best used for row-like gardens, flower beds, and along the base of shrub rows.

Subsurface Landscape Watering Options

Texas heat is brutal and so is its ability to steal away water through evaporation before it can soak into the soil. Subsurface watering is highly resistant to evaporation and delivers moisture at the root level for improved watering efficiency so you can use less for the same result.

While there are a number of subsurface options, they can be boiled down to three subtypes: lines, spikes, and ollas. Subsurface lines are either drip irrigation lines or soaker hoses that are buried under a few inches of soil. They are a great irrigation option and generally low cost in materials to implement on a large scale. Just remember to check them regularly as they are still susceptible to the clogging and damage of their aboveground counterparts.

Subsurface irrigation spikes are, well, spikes that are driven into the ground and topped with a water reservoir. They function similar to a hamster water dispenser, slowly meting out water to keep soil moist near the roots. Irrigation spikes can be higher in maintenance as you need to routinely check the water reservoirs and refill them to ensure consistent watering.

The last major variant is the olla. The forebear of the irrigation spike, they have been in use since antiquity as a clever, sustainable way to easily water plants while battling evaporation of hot climates. The traditional olla is a ceramic unglazed pot with a narrow neck and bulbous body but any terra cotta or similar garden pot will work. 

Simply take your pot and bury it up to the lip in your garden. The olla operates using passive and low-tech osmosis. When the soil around it is dry, water is pulled through the pot’s clay into the dry soil. When the soil around the olla is as damp as the pot’s clay, the osmosis process pauses. It’s a nifty bit of built-in autoregulation Mediterranean civilizations have been using to irrigate olive trees and other plants for thousands of years.

One addition we recommend is adding a lid or cap to stop evaporation, debris inclusion, and mosquito breeding.

Composting Systems

There are few things more organic than turning your family’s trash into fuel for your landscaping. And, it’s easy to start and maintain. Organic compost improves soil structure, enhances moisture retention, provides essential nutrients, and supports healthy microbial activity. These benefits lead to stronger plant growth and reduced need for chemical fertilizers.

Set up a composting system starts by blocking out a small section of your outdoor space as part of your organic landscaping design ideas. They can be a little smelly, especially in wet weather, so away from entertaining areas works best. 

Select your preferred type of compost bin and begin filling it with nitrogen-rich (green) and carbon-rich (brown) materials. Below are a list of common compostable trash, just be sure to remove any plastic, metal, and other inorganic pieces before adding.

An easy way to kickstart your compost is buying a bag of manure and sweeping your refrigerator for not-so-fresh produce and leftovers.

Common Green (Nitrogen-Rich) Compost
  • Grass & Plant Clippings
  • Fruit & Vegetable Waste
  • Tea & Coffee Grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Flower Bouquets
Common Brown (Carbon-Rich) Compost
  • Dead Leaves
  • Wood Chips
  • Cardboard
  • Dryer Lint & Cotton Fabric
  • Paper (Including Newspaper)

Organic Compost Application Tips

Time is one of the most important factors for successfully applying your organic compost. You want to apply compost right at the start of the planting season in spring or in the late fall to replenish nutrients while you’re preparing garden beds for next year.

You also want to incorporate your compost. Turn the top 2-3 inches of soil and mix in your organic compost for the best results. After you’ve mixed soil and compost, apply an organic mulch layer over it to keep all those nutrients and beneficial microbes locked into the soil for your planting.

Organic Mulches for Healthy Soils

Organic mulches, including bark chips, straw, and leaf mold, not only suppress weeds and conserve moisture but also break down over time to improve soil health. Together with organic compost, the two act as a dynamic duo to exponentially increase the health and beauty of your organic landscape design.

Application Tips for Weed Control and Soil Health

Mulching your outdoor space is a simple process. Apply an even 2-3” layer across any exposed soil making sure to cover any soaker hoses and drip lines. You also want to provide a small well around plant stems to avoid direct contact, which can produce plant rot.

By its nature, mulch either dries out or decomposes. Often in DFW lawns the former is the issue more than the latter. As mulch dries and decomposes it will shrink in size. Make it a routine to check your organic mulch applications. Clear away any mulch that’s come in contact with plant stems and add more mulch as necessary to ensure that ideal 2-3” layer of coverage for your beds.

Just be careful not to over-mulch. More isn’t always better and over-mulching can make more of a negative impact than a positive one for your landscaping. Too much mulch can suffocate plant roots. It can also dehydrate your plants by soaking up water before it penetrates the soil, and can turn into a breeding ground for garden pests.

By integrating these organic techniques into your landscaping practices, you can create a more sustainable, beautiful, and healthy garden that aligns with your eco-friendly principles and organic landscaping design ideas. But sometimes, all the organic compost, mulch, and clever designs can’t get your landscaping design where you want it to be without more direct intervention.

Organic Lawn & Landscape Care

If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume you care about living a more sustainable, conscientious, and clean lifestyle, and that includes your home and yard. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a mediocre landscape design. You can improve your soil, plant health, and deal with pests without the use of harsh artificial chemicals

Natural Alternatives to Artificial Chemical Fertilizers and Pesticides

You can always opt for organic fertilizer/herbicide/pesticide options and alternatives. They can create a boost to your yard but they will never be a replacement for long-term organic landscaping practices that pay dividends for years in improving your yard’s health. 

At The Plant Concierge, we offer an entire Organic Landscape Program. Click the link to learn more about the specific organic fertilizer interventions we use.

For DIY options, here is a list of homemade chemical intervention alternatives you can use to take care of your lawn organically.

Organic Alternatives to Chemical Fertilizers
  • Animal Manure
  • Green Manure (Tilled Ground Cover Plants)
  • Fish Emulsion
  • Liquid & Powdered Seaweed
  • Blood & Bone Meal
Organic Alternatives to Chemical Weed Killer
  • Hand Weeding
  • Vinegar Solution Spray
  • Boiling Water
  • Flame Weeding (Propane Torch)
  • Corn Gluten Meal
Organic Alternatives to Chemical Pesticides
  • Neem & Essential Oils
  • Lady Bugs & Beneficial Insects
  • Insecticidal Soap
  • Borax & Diatomaceous Earth
  • Garlic & Chili Pepper Spray

Low-Maintenance Grass Options and Lawn Alternatives

Have you ever noticed that a great-looking lawn is very difficult to achieve? That’s because they’re unnatural. Meadows and prairies sure, but fields of grass don’t occur naturally in the world, and most lawn grasses aren’t native to the soil or climate of our homes. It’s no wonder why it’s so difficult to produce a beautiful lawn year after year.

It’s not something you would call natural or sustainable. Whether you’re looking for a more organic landscaping design idea, or you’re tired of throwing money at grass year after year, there are alternatives.

For DFW homeowners, choosing grass species that are native to the area can significantly enhance the sustainability and ease of lawn maintenance. Native grasses are well-adapted to the local climate and soil conditions, which means they require less water, fertilizing, and nurturing compared to non-native species. In fact, it’s more likely that most of your lawn maintenance will be mowing because it grows so well!

Here are a few native prairie alternatives to consider for your lawn:

  • Buffalo Grass
  • Sideoats Grama
  • Switchgrass
  • Indian Grass
  • Little Bluestem

Those looking for something new and different are binning grass completely. Especially with water conservation at an all-time high, we’re seeing many homeowners opt for non-traditional lawn substitutes with low-lying ground cover that requires less water and no mowing. 

Many organic landscaping ideas mix gravel, rock, flower bed islands, and ground cover swaths for visually diverse and low-maintenance alternatives to grass lawns. Here are some ground cover alternatives that work well in full sun:

  • Stonecrop
  • Creeping Thyme
  • Mondo Grass
  • Woolly Stemodia
  • Beach Sunflower
Synthetic Grass Lawns

Synthetic grass, or artificial turf, is an almost maintenance-free alternative to lawns. And, synthetic grass has come a long way in 60 years, requiring real scrutiny to tell the difference from real grass. 

Some benefits of artificial lawns are they look great all year, don’t provide food or shelter to common lawn pests, and they’re great for pets (no more muddy paw prints). Granted, synthetic lawns are not organic, but can often be better for the environment in the long run than a natural lawn. 

They require no watering, fertilizer, herbicide, or pesticide to maintain. Once installed, there’s no additional fossil fuel consumption, air pollution, or noise pollution to maintain then. Synthetic lawns are increasingly being made from recycled materials, they’re hypoallergenic for people and pets, they’re better at erosion control, significantly more durable, and not subject to the weather.

It may seem counterintuitive as someone looking for organic solutions, but the reality is it’s near-impossible to escape plastics in and around our homes, much less in everyday living. Often it’s about making a conscientious choice when, why, and how we employ plastics. And, depending on your family’s circumstances, it’s simply hard to argue for the installation and upkeep of a traditional grass lawn in comparison.

As much as we love all-natural, organic landscaping and lawns, we recognize there’s a time and a place for artificial solutions. Whether it’s replacing a part of your lawn that just cannot seem to keep grass alive, or you want a hypo-allergenic lawn alternative your family and pets can comfortably enjoy, synthetic grass may be right for you.

Learn More About The Plant Concierge’s Artificial Turf Installations

#7 Sustainable Hardscaping for Organic Landscaping Designs

Hardscaping is any non-living element of your outdoor space’s design. This includes pathing, patios, retaining walls, arbors, water features, etc. In terms of organic landscaping design ideas, we seek to integrate eco-friendly materials and thoughtful design choices to create an outdoor space that’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye and environmentally responsible. 

When adding a hardscaping element to your landscape design, consider its building material. 

Eco-Friendly Hardscaping Materials

Natural and recycled materials are top choices. Look for materials that use low-energy production methods. Natural materials like wood, stone, bamboo, clay, and rammed earth blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings of your outdoor space and are better at not diverting focus away from your organic landscaping than materials like concrete.

Upcycled glass and metal, recycled stone, and salvaged wood are sustainable, eco-friendly choices to consider incorporating into your organic landscaping design ideas. Also consider the impact of transportation on these materials. While it may be easier to find recycled and sustainable building materials across the country, that eco-friendliness can be greatly diminished by the carbon footprint of cross-country trucking. It’s always best to source locally when possible.

Permeable Paving

A constant throughline in these examples of organic landscaping design ideas is the conservation of water. Many hardscaping elements, especially paving and pathing, inhibit water absorption and increase wasted runoff. Permeable paving is an eco-friendly hardscaping idea that seeks to mitigate these issues. 

Unlike traditional impervious surfaces, permeable paving allows water to infiltrate into the ground, replenishing groundwater and reducing stormwater issues. These can be implemented through interlocking or staggered pavers, which provide soil exposure to absorb water. Options for non-segmented hardscaping include pervious asphalt and porous concrete

These standard building materials are slightly altered in their creation to allow space for water to move through the surface, much like porous pumice stone. These surfaces are great alternatives to gravel pathing because of their even surface, and safer for those with impaired mobility and balance issues.

Natural Rock and Stone Features

Local stone and rock are key sustainable materials that help to keep your outdoor space eco-friendly while providing a clear landscape design statement. Using local sources reduces the environmental impact of the rock’s transportation and blends naturally into the surrounding environment. 

Applications for natural rock and stone are limited to your imagination. It is most commonly used as a central focus or supplementary feature for landscaping. A large boulder surrounded by plants, or as a way to add visual interest to a groundcover bed. Additionally, it can be used to create pathways, edging, retaining walls, aggregate flooring, even gabion fencing. Local rock and stone are durable materials that reflect the local geology to add an aesthetically pleasing and authentic appeal to your outdoor spaces.

Alternative Inorganic Landscaping Design Ideas

It’s likely there are problem areas in your yard when it comes to landscaping. Areas where lawn and landscaping consistently fail to flourish. While artificial turf is one option to cover up problem spots, you can also try an inorganic design idea. 

Have you considered transforming these problem areas into rock or sand gardens? They can make a major difference in hard-to-grow areas due to too much or too little sun and water. They require minimal maintenance once installed and continuously look great in even the toughest corners of your outdoor space.

By arranging local rocks and stones aesthetically amidst sand or fine gravel, you can create a serene and contemplative space that mimics nature. And, this area doesn’t have to be lifeless. Used as a foundation, you can pepper the area with raised planter boxes and pots to create a planter garden to bring in vibrant color while skirting most of the problems comprising your yard’s trouble spots.

Planter gardens using drought-tolerant plants can add bursts of life and color to these rocky scenes, increasing biodiversity while keeping water use to a minimum.

Our favorite aspect of sustainable hardscaping is it doesn’t limit organic landscaping design ideas in any potent way. Nearly anything you want to accomplish with hardscaping in your design can be accomplished with appropriate, eco-friendly materials to keep your outdoor spaces looking great.

#8 Eco-Friendly Landscape Lighting Design Ideas

Integrating eco-friendly outdoor lighting into your organic landscaping design enhances the beauty and safety of your outdoor spaces once the sun goes down, and does so with minimal environmental impact. By choosing the right lighting solutions, you can illuminate your garden paths, accentuate landscaping features, and increase security without significantly increasing your home’s carbon footprint. 

Keep reading for lighting options that can align well with your organic landscaping design ideas.

8 Organic Landscaping Design Ideas to Keep You Busy This Summer 4

Designing for Beauty and Safety with Minimal Impact

The key to eco-friendly outdoor lighting is to design with both aesthetics and efficiency in mind. It is very easy for a DIY homeowner to over or under illuminate their outdoor spaces. Underlighting an outdoor area can lead to safety and security issues. Over-lighting can lead to garish, washed out visuals and make your outdoor space resemble an airplane runway.

Use lights strategically to highlight landscape features while minimizing light pollution. In the dark, a little light goes a long way. Use the minimal wattage bulbs necessary to create the specific effect you want. Its ambient dispersion helps to deepen shadows and create texture even at night.

Opt for fixtures that point downward to illuminate walkways and garden beds, reducing unnecessary glare and focusing light only where necessary. Use uplighting to highlight specific focal pinpoints. Uplighting is primarily used to highlight statues, trees, walls, and other vertical elements of the space that block the light from spilling out across other areas.

This approach not only conserves energy but also protects nocturnal wildlife and maintains the natural ambiance of your outdoor areas.

Solar-Powered & Energy-Efficient Lighting Options

Solar-powered lights are a cornerstone of eco-friendly outdoor illumination. They require little initial setup and maintenance, don’t require wiring, and most solar cells double as automatic timers for your lights.

Solar path lights are perfect for providing the right amount of light to navigate your outdoor space at night while blending seamlessly into your landscape ideas. The solar versions of spotlights provide additional placement options for highlighting vertical elements without running electrical wire into hard-to-reach or through dangerous areas. And, small, solar LED strip lights and other deck lighting options make it easy to integrate into the railings and steps of your outdoor space.

Major perks of solar LED landscape lighting are they’re rugged, self-contained, and last for a long time while still being extremely energy efficient compared to traditional wired incandescent landscape lighting. As a bonus, many LED lights are now RGB-ready, which provides landscape lighting design ideas in a full rainbow of lighting colors to get your outdoor space’s ambiance just right.

Solar LEDs, nice as they are, might not meet your specific standards for lighting as part of your organic landscaping design. Here are a few more landscape lighting alternatives you might consider:

Alternative Landscape Lighting Solutions

  • Citronella Torch Lights
  • Natural Gas Lanterns
  • Glow Stones
  • Beeswax Candles
  • Herbal Oil Lanterns

All these example lighting solutions reduce energy consumption, lower carbon emissions, and offer natural benefits, making them a perfect match for your organic landscaping design ideas.

Final Words on Organic Landscaping Design Ideas

Embracing organic landscaping design ideas not only transforms your outdoor space aesthetically but also enhances its ecological health and sustainability. From the vibrant array of perennials that provide year-round color to innovative practices like xeriscaping and edible gardens, each element is designed to turn your home into a vibrant, sustainable ecosystem

Clever organic landscaping design incorporating native plants conserves water, supports native wildlife and biodiversity while minimizing the need for chemical interventions that could harm your family and pets.

Whether it’s through water-conserving fixtures, solar-powered lights, or the strategic use of local stone, each choice is a step towards reducing your environmental footprint. By adopting these organic landscaping design strategies, you not only invest in the beauty and value of your property but contribute to a healthier planet

Remember, every plant, material, and design decision can lead to  a harmonious balance between nature and lifestyle. Embrace these organic landscaping design ideas to make your garden a testament to sustainability and style.

Looking for help with your organic landscaping design ideas? The Plant Concierge offers everything from synthetic lawn and ecological hardscaping to organic fertilizers and all-year landscaping maintenance. 

Give Us a Call or Request a Free Quote to get started on turning your dream organic landscaping ideas into reality!