By Jenny Harrison
Special Contributor

Not looking forward to watering a lawn this spring and summer? Have you thought about replacing the grass with a vegetable garden? Growing your own fruits and vegetables in an organic garden has more benefits than we can list. Knowing that your food has no chemicals gives one peace of mind and keep them and their family healthy. 

Starting Up An Organic Garden

When you’re gardening without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, that’s called organic gardening. It doesn’t only require replacing manmade chemical foods with natural food – it is an entire system.

Jump for some interesting ideas for an organic garden to help you grow fresh, delicious, and chemical-free food. 

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When it comes to festive landscape displays, there’s one landscape designer in Dallas that does it up better than anyone: Harold Leidner Landscape Architects. So when we heard that Leidner’s skillful arrangement was in the running for HGTV’s Ultimate Outdoor Awards in the “Curb Appeal” category, we were intrigued but not surprised.

Though Leidner’s work is sought after in the Park Cities and Preston Hollow, you’ll also be seeking him on the competition’s web page. Find out how to see more photos of this lavish European-style estate’s gardens, and the competition, after the jump:

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Photos: Courtesy of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects

We’re big fans of artificial turf here at CandysDirt.com, as it’s a water-wise way to have a lawn without all of the seasonal maintenance of turfgrass. However, some homeowners associations have outlawed artificial turf despite its many benefits. One reader writes:

I am an interior designer who worked on a residential project for about three years, and was involved in every aspect of the the design of the home. The home is in a gated community called [redacted]. We submitted the plans to the architectural committee through the builder when we began the project and they were approved. Nowhere in the CCRs did it say that we had to submit further landscape plans for approval. When we got to the landscape design, we wanted a minimal look to coordinate with the home. We are empty nesters and wanted as little maintenance as possible. As a result, we decided to go with a combination of artificial grass, charcoal gravel, and minimal natural plants in both the front and back landscaping. The artificial grass is of a high-end quality that makes it very hard to tell if it is natural or artificial. 

Needless to say, our HOA sent us a denial notification giving us no reason. There is nothing in the CCRs that says you cannot have artificial grass. We’ve hired a lawyer to handle this and have had no success. We even offered to remove the artificial grass on  just the narrow crescent that aligns the sidewalk and they would not accept that. 

We would greatly appreciate any advice you have on this subject. With the new technology in artificial grass, there is no question that it is the way to go! With Texas heat and watering restrictions, this is a wonderful option. I really want to be the person that gets the board members, who are not keeping up with the times, to make a change! 

We asked our most-trusted landscaping expert, Harold Leidner of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, to weigh in on this obviously contentious issue:
 

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green

The Modern Home is set to complete this model home in May.

By Deb R. Brimer
Contributing Writer

Jimmy Tanghongs – president and CEO of The New Modern Home in Plano – is reinventing green homebuilding. Instead of following the industry flow and building traditional energy-efficient houses, he’s forging his own path by developing the nation’s first neighborhood of self-sufficient homes.

One of Tanghongs’ latest custom homes is currently on the drawing board, and will back up to Lake Ray Hubbard. 

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green

Keller Williams Realtor Beth Johnson (far right) helped bring the “green home” market to North Texas. Recently she spoke about the innovations and disruptions environmentally-friendly building has brought to the industry at a panel hosted by the Dallas Builders Association.

Beth Johnson has been championing environmental causes for decades. The Keller Williams agent was the first Realtor in the nation to achieve the green “Quadruple Crown.” She’s been certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), EcoBroker, NAR Green, and Certified Green Professionals.

In layman’s terms, that means she’s been trained and certified by the country’s major green accreditation programs, and knows a thing or two about building an eco-friendly home.

Before starting her real estate career in 2005, Johnson spent nearly three decades working in environmental advocacy for area nonprofits. During that time, she lobbied for clean air, clean water, and wilderness protection. When it came time to build her own custom home, she wanted to make it as green as possible.

However, she soon discovered that Realtors in the field literally didn’t know what she was talking about. She began to think that maybe there was a business model there. People like her needed someone who understood the issues and could match environmentally inclined buyers and sellers together. (more…)

GreenIt’s a theme week here at CandysDirt — and this week, we’re looking at “green” homes in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

You might see a home that has environmentally-friendly features, or you might see, you know, an actual green house. But today, we’re going to show you this gorgeous new construction in the Merion at Midtown Park, a gated community off of Walnut Hill and North Central Expressway that is close to just about anything you could want.

And, in keeping with our theme, it’s LEED certified, and it’s also close to the DART rail station, which means you can give Mother Nature a break occasionally and cool it with the fossil fuels by hopping the train to work or play with minimal fuss. (more…)

When should you start making your dream pool a reality? We asked the expert, Harold Leidner of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, for the answer to this question and more. (Rendering courtesy of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects)

Texans love to spend time outdoors, especially in their gardens and backyards. But what if you want to make your landscape even more attractive for spring and summer entertaining, or even those late fall nights that get dark early? When do you start planning your new pool, spring plantings, or landscape lighting projects?

In our Facebook group, Getting The Dirt, we queried our readers about what design projects they want to start planning. Then we asked the expert, Harold Leidner, founder of his eponymous firm, when we should plan to turn our dream pool, flower beds, and patios into a reality. Of course, the professionals at Dallas’ leading landscape design and installation company, Harold Leidner Landscape Architects, can make sure your backyard is ready for every season, no matter the project.

Find out when to get cracking on your landscape project now:

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Getting your home ready for winter and the holidays? Take some advice from the foremost in landscape design — Harold Leidner. (Courtesy Photo)

With freezing weather in the forecast, there’s plenty to consider when it comes to preserving the hard work you put into your landscape during the spring and summer. Luckily we have one of the best resources — Harold Leidner, founder of Harold Leidner Landscape Architects. What plants need special winter care? How should you winterize your pool and water features? And what’s the best way to over-winter your trees and shrubs?

Harold Leidner has the answers:

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