Nichalson Residence

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Glenloch Farms Residence

The E.L.I. team installed the landscape on this home in September of 2013. The existing grade of the property presented a drainage challenge that required a precisely installed drainage system. Its great to see property performing exactly as intended 3 years after the initial installation. I love the sprawling Zorro Zoysia lawn and the water wise plant material.

Project Year: 2013

Project Cost: $100,001 - $150,000

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A Private Garden in The Woodlands

E.L.I. land design, LLC. provides clients in The Woodlands and the greater Houston area with professsional landscape architecture and landscape construction services.

I wanted to take a monement to share a project that was recently completed by the E.L.I. team. Our client found us onlne by searching for a landscape architect in The Woodlands. After our initial consultation our client quickly realized that the E.L.I. team is quite different from the average landscape company. We are different because we seamlessly blend the talents and vision of a professional Landscape Architect with the best landscaping practices and products that can be offered in The Woodlands and greater Houston area for a truly personalized approach to each project.

For this project we were asked to design a private backyard garden in which the landscape could be enjoyed through both passive and active interaction .Birds and butterflies were a must too!  After presentation of a design concept our client realized that their small backyard offered some amazing possibilties. Imagine a backyard with nothing but St. Augustine sod, a drainage problem, and a wood fence as a back drop and you will have the perfect mental image of what we started with. Here are a few pictures of the finished product.

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For the love of Crape Myrtles...

As I’m driving around Houston I’m noticing the horrible landscape practices towards the crape myrtles.  They are such hardy trees that can survive through drought conditions, heavy rains, and even the hot-hot heat of a Texas summer, so why are we mistreating them so bad?  Commercial businesses, entries to neighborhoods, and residences are all guilty of hacking away at these beautiful trees.  I ran across this article online and thought it was a great one to pass along: Grumpy Gardner's Step by Step to Crape Myrtle Pruning. February is the best month for pruning so, please, if you have a crape myrtle don’t get caught in "crape murder!"  If you know someone who is guilty of hat-racking pass along the article to help them revive their crape myrtle and bring happiness to it for the summer of 2012- the crape myrtle will thank you for it.

If you have been guilty in the past and your crape myrtle is showing scars from past abuse scroll to the bottom of the article for tips on ways to save your crape and help it revive from your torturous ways.  There is still hope.  Enjoy and happy pruning.

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Custom Homes

For the Houston homeowner a custom home is very common.  The suburbs such as The Woodlands, Katy, and Sugarland provide ample amounts of land available to build on even in some of the most elite neighborhoods within these areas.  In the West University areas stretched through Bellaire old homes with cracked slabs are being torn down and people are building new architectural icons for this region.  Overall Houston is a great place to accommodate the dream of building your own home in your desired location.

When a homeowner starts the process of building their own home they always picture their dream kitchen, bathroom, wall colors, and interior spaces, but what about the space around the home?  A pool might be a must but is it an afterthought and the land is now so sparse on the site that it becomes more of a spa instead?  And Curb Appeal? One thing we have noticed in our years of experience with homeowners is usually the landscape architect shows up to the party too late in the game to capitalize on the overall site plan. 

Communities such as Carlton Woods in The Woodlands are now requiring a licensed landscape architect to do the landscape plans before construction can commence.  As this is the norm for commercial properties we feel it should be the norm for large residential estates as well.  So many times we get the call from the homeowner who went with the “landscaping guy” and is unhappy with the final product.  Too bad they spent the bulk of their budget on plantings that have now died, layout that just doesn’t work for their home, and miscellaneous materials that should have never been used in the first place.  The worst is seeing a bad pool installation (see Pools Blog).  Sure we can come in and help clean up some of these problems but traditionally we have found that with what’s left of the landscape budget won’t be enough to get a home owner close to a “final product”. We understand when you’ve already spent so much on plant material it hurts to pay to replace.  So why replace?  Start with the landscape architect and make sure you are getting quality craftsmanship all the way from your front door to your mailbox.  Don’t overlook the importance of drainage, grading, and irrigation as these necessities can make or break your aesthetics.  (See ELI’s Construction) Get a guarantee on plant material and the comfort of knowing that ELI land design isn’t going to disappear, we could even be back for a seasonal replacement to ensure that the plant materials we specified are still thriving in your oasis.  Know that you are getting a quality design and installation from licensed professionals who work directly with the builder, interior decorator, architect, pool contractor or any of your other consultants to make sure the overall site is one cohesive home. 
Don’t be afraid to contact us and ask when timing is right for your project.  At ELI we love what we do and are happy to come out and take a look at the site you’ve picked.  We are always interested in meeting new people and designing new challenges.  Let’s meet with your builder to make sure your outdoor environment doesn’t get overlooked.

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Lap pools, swimming pools, dipping pools, diving pools, infinity edge pools, lounge pools, zero entry pools and in the end a pool is just a pool without the environment around it.  At ELI land design we make your pool a custom outdoor living space.  We want you to be able to utilize the square footage year round.  In the summer, we want your fingers and toes to prune up because you never want to leave your pool.   ELI’s staff has multiple years of experience working on high end resort design in the areas of Miami, Fort Lauderdale, The Bahamas and even Dubai designing some of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.  

No, we aren't pool contractors but we are the icing on their cake and so we work together with them to make sure that the design fits your needs for the long run.  Too many times we see a pool installed that is dull and lifeless or even worse built by a pool contractor that doesn't know what they are doing.  The pool contractor can make or break your entire design (and sanity) with shotty construction.  We've seen cities tied up in litigation for years due to going with the lowest bidder on a pool installation and the construction going so badly they have to redo the work completely (the pool literally popped out of the ground).  In other words at ELI we've worked with some amazingly talented pool contractors and some that, let’s just say, can really burn a hole through your budget.   This goes for all installations of any type of water feature on your property.  

ELI is a great resource when it comes to local Houston area pool contractors whether it is residential or commercial.  As we have found in the past working closely with the pool contractor at the conceptual level of design can insure that the pool not only compliments the home and its surroundings but can also be an outdoor entertainment space and a living painting -so to speak- to view from your doors and windows.   Take a look at our portfolios for a sampling of our local Houston area custom pool landscapes.

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The Woodlands Landscaping

Many Woodlands property owners landscape was hit hard by the drought this year. The professionals at E.L.I. land design can help you plan your landscaping design in order to survive the heat, drought and water restrictions that are in effect in some neighborhoods.

Fall is a great time to replace lost plants and trees and repair patches of dead lawn. Areas of poor irrigation on your property will also be more noticeable during this time.

E.L.I. can do a full property survey and determine the best plants and trees for different areas of your property. For example, more robust species can be used in dry areas of the property that receive full light. Contact us to schedule an appointment and survey of your property.

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Cypress Landscape

Cypress Landscape. Just Completed by E.L.I.

The E.L.I. team just completed a beautiful front yard renovation in the Fairfield subdivision located in Cypress Texas. The project was done for some close friends.  The project goals were to establish an expanded gathering area centered around shade trees to enjoy life with family and friends. The shade trees chosen for the new landscapes were a Shumard Red Oak, Quercus shumardii, and a Live Oak, Quercus viginiana. The renovation was a huge success! Below are some pictures of planting day and the final result.

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The Woodlands Water Restrictions

The Woodlands announces new water restrictions effective August 11, 2011

What do the new water restrictions mean for your landscape? For well established landscapes, those 3 years or older, the odd/even cycle as defined by The Woodlands Township for stage 3 restrictions will not be the death blow to your landscape. Landscape lawns will brown but not lost.  Some smaller plants such as annual color will be extremely stressed and may be lost. Large plant material will survive. Each property owner is going to have to be their own irrigation controller in our current conditions. My recommendation is to walk your property daily and provide direct watering via a garden hose directly to the stressed plant material. How much water? That depends, but the plants will generally tell you.  The goal here is to keep your investment alive while not wasting water. Therefore, don't leave water running at a trickle and walk away. It is to easy to get distracted and leave water running with the trickle method.

The water restrictions for new landscapes are a completely different animal. For our clients with new landscapes we are working closely with each of them to navigate the current conditions on a project by project basis. If you have a new landscape and are not getting assistance with results from your landscaper please do not hesitate to reach out to us through our contact page. We will be happy to help.

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