A Wild Place in Central Austin

After renovating their long time home, a retired couple asked BDW to design and install a bird-friendly garden in their Brentwood backyard. They had a pretty large lot that at the time was almost completely covered in St. Augustine.

Along the fence line we removed much of the grass to create a sweeping perimeter bed of native and well adapted plants. Down the center of the lawn an “infinity” shaped bed was installed with a naturalistic boulder fountain that could be viewed and heard from the deck. Plant selection was chosen with care to draw in birds as well as pollinators, and various size bird houses were installed around the property to provide shelter.

Hand selected boulders were core drilled to create a naturalistic fountain. Birds and many pollinators need a water source as well as food.

Hand selected boulders were core drilled to create a naturalistic fountain. Birds and many pollinators need a water source as well as food.

Another goal was to help integrate a shed into the landscape so it wouldn’t stand out as much as it previously did. An AKEZ screen was created around the bed with pots added on either side of the doors. Star Jasmine was planted around the screen to provide more flowers as well as fragrance for the nearby gravel seating area.

The existing shed was dressed up with a screen, vines, and flower pots.

The existing shed was dressed up with a screen, vines, and flower pots.

Other features included stone walking paths through the planting beds to provide more space to explore the garden, solar powered bird baths, bird feeders, arroyos to create natural looking drainage solutions, and a remote controlled retractable shade cloth over the new deck.

A flagstone walking path guides the visitor past a beloved rose climbing on an old laundry line post.

A flagstone walking path guides the visitor past a beloved rose climbing on an old laundry line post.

A view from the back corner of the lot shows off the large infinity shaped bed.

A view from the back corner of the lot shows off the large infinity shaped bed.




Shaded Natural Play

Often shade is considered a problem in the landscape - especially when you have kids and want to provide a nice lawn for them to run around on. At this project in Northwest Hills the backyard was heavily shaded and sloping. The homeowners wanted a design that included some “lawn” while maintaining a natural area that would foster creativity and unstructured play.

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To create a functional yet pleasing landscape, a section of the backyard was leveled with a short steel retaining wall and artificial turf was installed to create the feel of a traditional lawn. The remaining backyard was left slopping with large boulders providing access to the natural play space. Drainage patterns were enhanced with decorative arroyos built from on site boulders and river rock that was brought in. Cedar logs were installed over the creek beds to provide a bridge to the different sections of the natural area. The existing topography was enhanced to create opportunity to play and to enjoy nature.

The finished design is both modern - the steel and artificial turf terrace - and naturalistic - the remaining sloped area with arroyos, boulders, and “fallen” logs. The combination of these two spaces creates a versatile backyard with creative solutions for a shady and difficult site.

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Natural Water Feature

Recently, BDW Landworks + Construction designed and installed a whole new landscape around a recently renovated house in Bouldin Creek. The homeowners wanted a naturalistic water feature that would create a relaxing atmosphere. We used some of the limestone patio stone from the on site demo and supplemented it with limestone boulders to create the waterfall. New Mexico River Rock was added to the base and visually connected the water feature to a nearby arroyo installed to help divert water along the side of the property.

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Westlake Oaks Corner Deck

This composite deck creates a beautiful space that feels private despite being located in the heart of Westlake. The deck edges the stone pool patio and steps and wraps around a featured tree, visually drawing the dense oaks back into the enclosed outdoor room.  A fire pit adds additional seasonal interest, creating a versatile space that allows for large parties or quiet afternoons, no matter the weather.