Set Your Home’s Landscaping Up For Success with a Master Gardener

Landscaping can instantly transform the look and feel of your home. Although, if this is your first attempt at leveling up your home’s exterior, juggling maintenance and seasonal changes may seem daunting. With the help of Mark Penny, Master Gardener, we’re here to set you and your home’s landscaping up for success. With the right tips, tricks and tools, you’ll have your home’s exterior looking new and improved. Maestro, cue instant curb appeal.

Empire’s Collingwood Model Home

Get Educated

Information is your best friend, especially when it comes to home landscaping. Whether this is your first foray into the subject or you have a breadth of experience under your belt, it doesn’t hurt to become more educated about the process. If you’re looking for a curated collection of the best landscaping tips and tricks, look no further than the Texas Superstar. This online resource covers everything from planting, fertilizers and disease management to the efficient use of water.

Although, when it comes to yards and lawn management, Penny offers his own expert opinion. For those who experience thatch build up from time to time, Penny states that this is caused by becoming a bit too water and fertilizer friendly — actions which often result in drought and disease. To solve this issue, Penny recommends to rent a detatcher or to scalp your lawn — both will repair and rejuvenate the area. When your grass does grow back green and long, it’s important not to rely on fertilizers like Weed and Feed which Penny states “never work.” Based on his two-step approach, it’s best to get rid of your weeds first and then fertilize your lawn.

Brightland Homes (formerly Gehan Homes) Juniper Model Home

Choose the Right Plants

It’s not uncommon for Texas to experience periods of drought — making choosing the right plants that thrive in unpredictable weather conditions one of the most important steps to landscaping. To help homeowners choose the right plants for their properties, Penny recommends for them to become familiar with the Texas Superstars — an easily digestible resource of plants that are chosen, trialed and tested in rigorous growing conditions without pesticides, supplemental watering or freeze protection. This 40-page brochure includes information on each plant to help homeowners evaluate which are best suited to their landscape, their climate and their needs.

If you’re interested in planting shrubs that offer lots of color, bloom all season long and grow back each year, Perennials are for you. These Texas plants are known to draw bees, butterflies and even hummingbirds to your yard after planting. From reds to yellows, Penny gives his full list of recommendations below based on your color preferences.


  • Dallas Red Lantana
  • Cigar Plant
  • Turk’s Cap
  • Lord Baltimore Hibiscus
  • Pride-Of-Barbados
  • Texas Red Star Hibiscus
  • Firebush


  • Esperanza
  • New Gold Lantana
  • Grandma’s Yellow Rose

If less maintenance is what you desire, Penny recommends to plant Natives. From grasses and vines to trees and shrubs, browse the collection of plants in this extensive list and find the right one for you.

Plan Your Landscape

Planning your landscape is crucial to maximizing your home’s curb appeal. Sure, you can place trees, shrubs and flowers on the property, but what makes a well-designed landscape is the thought process that takes place beforehand. You don’t need to be a professional landscape architect or designer either — the Texas Superstar program will guide you through the entire planning process from creating your base plan and evaluating your needs to accessorizing your home’s landscape.