How to Incorporate Personal Touches Into Your Outdoor Space

An outdoor space is no longer just a backyard. Rather, it is a special getaway where you have plants, a seating area, a pool, or other assets that enrich your body and mind. If you look at your landscape and are not sure where to start, take a deep breath and relax. In this article, you’ll find ideas to incorporate personal touches into your outdoor space, so you can get your zen moment on.


Annuals, perennials, and shrubs may be one of the easiest ways to incorporate your personal touches into your landscape. Start with the color(s) and varieties you like. Plants come in hundreds, if not thousands, of colors. You can have a blue garden or red if that speaks to you. Perhaps you love tropical plants and want to create your very own island getaway. Well, you’re in luck. Many tropical species grow well in the Dallas area year-round. Just make sure whatever variety you choose can take the heat.

Types of gardens

From low-maintenance natural gardens to high-maintenance vegetable producers, gardens come in all shapes and sizes. Plant a pollinator garden full of Texas natives where you can enjoy butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flitting among the flowers and fruit.

If furry friends are more your style, you can also consider a wildlife garden filled with trees and shrubs that produce nuts and berries. These plants are vital food sources for local wildlife like birds, squirrels, and other small mammals.

If you love vases of flowers indoors, plant a cut-flower garden. Low-maintenance annuals are inexpensive and easy to grow. They bloom all summer, even in the Texas heat, set seed, and die. They also make beautiful cut-flower bouquets that cost a lot less than the supermarket.

No ground? No problem. Grow plants in containers for your patio or balcony. Even many edibles, such as lettuce and herbs, are easy to grow and perfect for pots. There is a garden for every homeowner including fragrant, water, and shade. Search for your desired attributes and always make sure the plants will do well in your Texas USDA Hardiness Zone.

4 Tips For Growing Perennials

Most grow best in full sun, which is at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Plant tags tell you where to plant specimens and the mature size to expect.
Flowering and food plants thrive when watered regularly.
Remove spent flowers (called deadheading) to encourage the plant to keep blooming. Deadheading tricks plants into continuing to bloom because more flowers mean more seeds.
The more you cut flowers for indoor use, the more they will bloom. And the same goes for edibles. Harvesting edible plants also encourages them to produce more.

Water Features

For many people, water in the garden is a pleasant addition to their personal space. Water sources can minimize the sound of traffic while flowing water creates a relaxing sound and a perfect space for a bench, lounge chair, or hammock.

A pool or pond may be just what you need coming home from work on a hot, North Texas, summer day. A quick dip in a pool, or perhaps swimming laps, would be a great way to unwind.


Art in the garden can serve a couple of purposes. It can be the landscape aspect that speaks to you. A sculpture, an antique newel post, a beautiful stone, a fancy urn, or whatever pleases you.

Art is usually a focal point in the landscape. It can be a surprising reward at the end of a winding pathway, or you could go for a more eclectic look: with gnomes, fairies, or even toy trains. If you want to put a gnome in every bed, do it. It’s your landscape to enjoy and art is all about expressing your inner self.


Enjoy your landscape and create a comfortable outdoor room with furniture. Consider styles that complement your home’s aesthetics like teak, mid-century modern, or ornate varieties. Furniture creates an inviting place to sit, eat, and enjoy the outdoors. It can also be part of a larger vision to create a complete outdoor kitchen to entertain some of your Texas neighbors.

Consider placing a bench or small seating area near your garden beds to enjoy the pollinators visiting your landscape. Additionally, a seating area near a pool or pond is a relaxing way to unwind after a long day.


A fence is more than just a property divider. It can also be a design statement. From traditional privacy fences and decorative wrought iron varieties to living hedgerows, a fence is another chance for you to express yourself in your landscape and complement your home. For a tropical vibe, consider bamboo stakes, woven twigs, or even a wall of succulents. If your home is more traditional, opt for a cedar or pine fence. You can even install an ornamental metal panel or fence on one side of your yard for a modern aesthetic.

Personal Touches

If incorporating personal touches into your outdoor space seems overwhelming, work with a landscape designer or contractor. Take it slow and don’t feel like you have to accomplish everything all at once. Break up the process into small projects. When complete, enjoy the satisfaction of creating your very own personal space brimming with you.


 Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp was the founding editor of Indiana Living Green magazine and she frequently talks on the topic of how to live a green life. She is an award-winning garden writer, editor, and speaker. Known as a hortiholic, she frequently says her eyes are too big for her yard. She blogs at