We started with a 2.2 acre parcel of property that had been relatively untouched by humans. We carefully selected the property using US Dept. of Agriculture soil maps, flood plain maps, aerial photographs and plant surveys. Our site contains an abundance of native trees, plants, grasses, and wildflowers. We preserved most of the site in its natural state and practice organic gardening principles to encourage biodiversity and wildlife. To read more about this process go to the Land Details. The name Four Cedars comes from four large Eastern Red Cedar trees that form a diamond shape pattern near the house site.
We designed the house with four major goals: energy-efficiency, environmental friendliness, low maintenance, and cost effectiveness. We chose a passive solar design with active solar water heating. The house was completed in September 1996. In 2012 we added solar electric generation. To learn more about efficient house design review the House page for the envelope and the Systems page for the mechanical and electrical systems. You can also view a detailed pdf presentation. See the results reflected in our low utility bills in the Utility Data section. Finally, the Tips page will provide tips for desiging a new home or retrofitting an existing home.
Shrubs and Bushes
Youpon Holly "Pride of Houston" - Ilex vomitoria
Compact Nandina - Nandina Compacta
Agarita -Berber's Trifoliolata
Texas Sage "Green Cloud"
Compact Abelia - Abelia Grandiflora
Mountain Sage - Salvia Regla
Grasses / Wildflowers
Indian Blanket / Firewheel
Side Oats Gramma
Buffalo Grass '609' - Buchloe Dactyloides
Turks Cap - Malvaviscus Arboreus
Horseherb - Calyptocarpus Viairs
Yellow Columbine - Aquilecia
Engleman Sage - Salvia Engelmannii
Mexican Bush - Salvia Leucantha
Mealy Blue Sage #1 - Victoria Salvia Farivacea