Sunday, April 11, 2010

Landscaper's Own Beautiful House & Garden

Within this post, Houston Landscaper David Morello shares 10 tips on what makes a beautiful garden and yard. Let's first take the tour of his house & garden....
David Morello's "secret garden." Miniature lights intertwined in his back yard trees transform this lovely place into a magical setting during the evenings . (photo by Kristada)

David says he wanted a lush park-like setting in both his front and back yards. At the time when he bought his 1930s bungalow, he also got a barren yard. A perfect canvas from which to begin, he thought. 
This is David's front yard -- a view from his driveway. (David's garden was a project of mine for Better Homes & Garden magazine, which ran this past January or February. Staff photographer Kristada Panichgul took these gorgeous photos.) Star jasmine covers the fence, viburnum suspensum comprises the evergreen hedge behind the bench, the tree to the left of bench is a southern magnolia, and left center of the photo is a native pomegranate, an orange flowering bush. Mona's lavender in the big Italian pot.

I snapped this photo from its valued place in his album.  Here's today:

I don't think David has a blade of grass in his yard. Love the consistency in color but diversity in textures. (photo by Kristada)

When I first scouted David's home, he had a wonderful jasmine-covered arbor at the front gate:
An easy fix to dressing up those not-so-pretty hurricane fences: Star jasmine. It was early in the season here in this photo so it wasn't in bloom yet. Unfortunately, tropical storm winds swept through Houston about a month before the photo shoot and took down the arbor.

“First and foremost, plants must be hard working," says David.  "In other-words, they must offer lots of redeeming qualities for little or no fuss.  I enjoy using plants that love it here, and I'm willing to try anything once.  If they don't perform, they get moved to a new location.  I'm not afraid to move a plant and try it somewhere else or pass it along to a client or friend.”  

In the beds for color: hearty geraniums, lobelia, petunias, lantana, and verbena. (photo by Krsitada)

Golden globe lysemachia, begonias and boxwood. (photo by Kristada)

Petunias, violas and lobelia along walkway border. (photo by Kristada)

David's 10 tips:
1.  There is no better way to reduce co2 emissions then to plant a tree, build a garden, or add to your existing garden, and your neighbors will love you for it. 
2.  Gardening is the hobby of a lifetime.  In mild climates, such as Houston’s, we are blessed with a mild winter, which means the best and biggest variety of cool season flowers are available, and it is the best time of the year to plant a garden in Houston.
3.  Hire a professional to plan and draw your space; install it in phases if budget is an issue. 
4.  Don't rush through the design phase.  This is when and where all of the thinking happens.  The more thought out your design is, the more your garden will appeal to future owners regardless of style.
5.  Don't be afraid to try anything. 
6.  If you like wildlife in your yards, create a habitat and they will come.
7.  Don't forget to have some plants in your garden that are fragrant. 
8. For interest, choose trees with leaves that offer many textures, sizes, and colors.
9.  If your garden is your canvas and the plant materials your oils, then paint in bold, dramatic swaths of color.
10.  Don't underestimate the importance of lighting to double the amount of useful time you can spend in or admiring your garden.  But remember, a little goes a long way with respect to landscape lighting.”

Now, let's take a quick look inside his home:
A cozy corner vignette in his living room.

He's turned a spare bedroom into a den. A place to hang, read, watch TV....

His bedroom. Love the large art in lieu of headboard....

The one and only bathroom.
Had to share a closeup view of the bath wallpaper. How appropriate for a landscaper, eh?

Beyond the dining room here is the kitchen, which I will show in my next post. 

Hope you enjoyed the tour!  Please come again, as we visit his kitchen in my next post. If you'd like to reach David or "stroll" through more of his gardens, his Web site is:

10 Responses to “Landscaper's Own Beautiful House & Garden”

What a beautiful job. Wish I had the talent of a landscape designer!

Stacey said...

What a gorgeous garden and home. Thanks for sharing. :)

O, so this is how the pros do it. It is magnificent and lush. Just how I like it. I will definitly use some of his plant material. And what is a gardener without his bugs... love the wallpaper

Janine Marshall said...

Hi Susan,

Enjoyed this post and seeing the garden of a Landscape Gardener. Haven't got a lot of time just now but will come back and look at the pictures a lot more closely. Can't wait to see the kitchen! Hope you and your family are well.
Take care
Tasmania, Australia

kim said...

That yard with its lush landscaping is just gorgeous. I adore a manicured yard with great curb appeal. Thanks for sharing his home.

That front yard photo shows an AMAZING transformation! I would love to do that with my front yard. Don't care for lawn myself. I'm all about outdoor rooms and whimsical features.

My dream man... I have alway wished my husband would take some interest in the garden, how I would love a friend to share the joy and the chores with. Love David's and great tips too. I wanted to add that your comment on my blog was correct. I added the last picture just to see who was

What a perfectly beautiful little place. I completely agree that plants should "work hard" without requiring too much from me. And if they can't deal with our extremes (hot, freezing, dry), they move on. The interior's great too. Love the buggy wallpaper.

I love seeing transformations like this. They are always so encouraging!

I pinned the photo of the path winding through the front yard. That's the look I am aiming for!

Thanks for a pretty and an informative post.

Lilly Forever! said...

Thanks for such an inspiring post. I aspire to have something this pretty in the spring!

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