Smartscape Design Tools

We have created a set of design tools to help in creating your SmartScape garden.


Design Layout

Typically, many homeowners purchase a plant then try to find a place to plant it. This often results in a haphazard landscape that ultimately becomes a burden on the homeowner's time and pocketbook. To avoid this, you should develop a plan to conceptually guide you through the landscaping process. By working out a plan before you ever pick up a shovel, you will discover potential problems and fix them before any money is spent. Developing a plan is easier than you might think. By following the step-by-step procedure outlined in this section, you will create a successful landscape to meet your needs and protect the environment.

Note: Even if you are going to hire a professional to design your native and adapted plant landscape, you will want to scan this section for general information. If you are going to "do it yourself," this section is just what you need. This section will walk you through the process of designing a landscape that functions well for you as well as the environment.


Drainage and Downspouts

Whenever practical, direct roof drains to lawns and gardens instead of concrete driveways or sidewalks. There are two benefits to directing roof drains to lawns and gardens. One benefit is water conservation, since some of the runoff soaks into the lawn and garden instead of flowing to the street. Another benefit is reducing or eliminating pollution in urban runoff. When roof runoff soaks into the ground, materials (sediments, nitrogen, etc.) are trapped in the soil instead of ending up in a lake or river.


Soil and Mulch

There are many different soil types in our region. Predominantly clay, sand or loam soil mixtures are scattered throughout the North Texas area, with clay being the most common. It is important for you to know your predominant soil type since it will determine which plants to select, watering techniques to use, and to what extent fertilizers will be needed.

Mulch reduces water loss from the soil, reduces weeds, moderates soil temperatures and prevents soil erosion.


Sun and Shade

Different plants require different amounts of sunlight to grow and maintain their ornamental value. This important consideration is sometimes overlooked when selecting plants.


Water Conservation

As the North Central Texas region continues to grow, having enough water to meet our demands will become a major issue. Many local governments have imposed voluntary or mandatory restrictions on outdoor water use to encourage water conservation throughout the region. One of the principles of SmartScape is to promote native and adapted plants for this region that require less water. Native and adapted plants use 80% less water and tolerate our heat!

While it is important for you to select plants, trees and grasses that have lower water requirements, you also need to know how to water the landscape for conservation purposes. Here are some simple tips that can help you conserve water this season while maintaining healthy, vibrant plants. Watering Methods