Our Favorite Shade Trees for Your Yard

The simple pleasures in life often become our favorite memories later in life. Playing board games with the family, everyone gathered around a table that may no longer be fresh and pristine, but the scars, chips, and occasional Sharpie marker “graffiti” gives the table a sense of family. Floating on a raft in the pool, cool beverage in the cup holder, and reading the latest best seller on a quiet weekend afternoon. And sitting under a tree, its canopy shading the yard and house, with all the neighbors, watching your children riding bikes in the cul de sac, playing with the same neighbor kids they have grown up with their entire life. These moments will not last forever and you want to cherish every second, but what if you do not have a shade tree in your Arizona yard? You could sit inside your air-conditioned house, staring out at the tableau of happy times feeling left out and alone, or you could take advantage of SRP’s free tree program and get out there and join in the action! This guide to some of our favorite shade trees will help you narrow down your choices, and the SRP program will help you save a little more money while you do!

But First, a Little More About SRP’s Free Tree Program

It may sound too good to be true, but it’s not! SRP will give you up to two desert-adapted trees at no cost; all you have to do is register for the workshop online. The workshops are only held at certain times of the year, so you will need to check back occasionally to see when they are holding class again, but seriously, this is worth the time. The classes teach you how to plant, care for, and keep the trees alive (not all of us are born with green thumbs), and the trees, once planted, will help you enjoy family moments such as the ones we listed above and save money. Having a shade tree planted near the house can noticeably reduce utility costs, a benefit we all need during the costly days of summer and they also help the environment, reducing carbon dioxide and adding over 200 pounds of oxygen to the air every year! Now, let’s move on to the tree suggestions!

Native Mesquite

The native mesquite is about as hardy as they come. Growing up to 30 feet and offering a canopy that spreads far over house and yard, this drought tolerant tree stays green all year and is really easy to take care of. The thorns on its branches, however, can be painful, and maybe not something you want if you have small children. This tree is included in SRP’s free tree program.

The Thornless Mesquite

See? We have all the solutions! This less pain inducing version of the native mesquite offers all the same benefits, including a root system that stands up to strong desert winds, and as the name suggests, lacks the thorns that can bite the hand that prunes them. The thornless mesquite is also included in the free tree program and adds a beautiful element to your desert landscaped yard.

Evergreen Elm

This tree is not included in the free tree program, but its beauty, strength, and wide-spreading canopy makes it a favorite of ours! Offering dark green leaves and a strong root system, the shade this tree provides is cooling and refreshing. This tree is deciduous, losing its leaves in the late fall and turning a gorgeous shade of gold before it does, making Midwesterners who are feeling homesick for the fall colors of their homes state feel as if they are once more back where they were born!

Arizona Ash

Another tree not on the free tree program list, but one that does amazingly well in the Arizona desert, is the Arizona ash. Like the evergreen elm, this tree offers a deep green canopy in the summer and also turns a bright gold in the late fall before losing its leaves. Requiring little water to keep it alive, the only downside to this majestic tree is its short life span. With great care and attention, it can survive for 50 years though, and it will be a stunning addition to your landscaping!

Willow Acacia

The last tree on our list, the willow acacia, is included in the free tree program, and although it may remind you of the weeping willows of your Midwestern home town, its drought resistant hardiness makes it perfect for desert living! Water is our most precious resource and being able to save while still adding beauty to your landscape is a bonus you will definitely appreciate.

Let New Image Landscape and Pools Help Make Your Home and Arizona Yard Stand Out

Give us a call today and let’s start planning!

Simple & Elegant Shading Options for Your Yard

Living in the desert, especially in the summer, has taught us more than a few life lessons. Electric bills are outrageously high, pools make the heat bearable, and how shade, precious shade, can save our skin are just a few that come to mind! We have also learned that you can save on those electric bills simply by shading the house. Shade comes in many forms, adding a touch of cool to the scorching days of summer. This guide to all the ways you can bring shade in your life can bring you relief and respite as you continue on your plan to turn your Arizona yard into the oasis you have always dreamed it could be.

Umbrellas

One of the least expensive options for creating shade is the umbrella. Propped up in the center of a patio table or stuck into a hole on either side of your pool, these basic contraptions are colorful choices that are portable and perfect for even the smallest of yards. Even those who live in apartments can pick up an umbrella for their balcony or uncovered patio, relaxing under its cover on the hottest days of the year. The only downside to umbrellas is their lack of stability during monsoon storms, especially when placed in the center of a glass table. Homeowners need to remember to close the umbrella prior to a big storm or risk having a flying table whose glass top shatters into a million tiny pieces.

Sun Shade Sails

Simply put, the sun shade sail is another inexpensive way to add shade to your yard, with costs starting in the $20 range and increasing with the size of the sail. Coming in a variety of colors, homeowners can choose something subtle that blends with their home or go bright and cheerful to create a summer sanctuary in the backyard. Made from a fabric that blocks 90 percent of UV rays, it is also easy to install; simply attach the ropes on any of the ends to the house, a tree, or pole. Spread out over the yard, it can provide a haven of cool, and when tied over your pool, it can let guests stay in the pool longer with less chance of vicious sunburns.

Planting a Tree

This all-natural method of creating shade in your yard can be super cheap if you start with a seed, but most people don’t have the patience for that seed to sprout into a full-grown tree, so most desert dwellers want to start with a tree that is already partially grown. Nurseries will sell gallon, five-gallon, and various sizes boxes of whatever tree you prefer, with prices starting in the same range as sun sails and increasing exponentially with the size of the box you purchase. Planting trees near your house offers multiple benefits, as they shade your home and help clean the air. SRP is currently offering a free tree program to those who decide to go this route. You are limited to a small selection of trees, all of which are drought tolerant and do not require a lot of watering, but overall, it is an excellent program in which to participate.

Building a Pergola in Your Arizona Yard

A pergola is a popular yard structure that is adds beauty, elegance, and of course shade to any yard. Usually built of wood (there are other types of materials used in construction, but wood is the most common) it generally consists of four posts topped by a grid of planks that are left open to the elements. You can stop at this point and it will still offer a hint of shade, but many homeowners prefer planting flowering ivy which will add to its charm as it provides even more life-saving shade. Another option is to cover the open area with canvas and perhaps add some curtains on each of the post, creating a space that is perfect for al fresco dining.

Creating an Oasis with a Gazebo

The ultimate shade structure, a gazebo, can provide hours of entertainment in your backyard in addition, of course, to providing the shade we all seek! This structure is similar to a pergola but is built with a roof, allowing the opportunity to be used no matter whatever the weather conditions. This is the spot you can place an outdoor table and chairs or add electricity and hang a ceiling fan from its peak for additional cooling options. Many pergola owners tuck away a television in the rafters, add a mini fridge, and seriously turn this shade structure into a secondary living space.

Summer Has Arrived

We desert dwellers know that the calendar does not dictate the seasons, and that even though we are living in the season traditionally known as spring, summer has arrived. Give us a call today and let our expert employees at New Image Landscape and Pools help shade you from the heat!

It’s Never Too Soon to Break Ground on Your New Arizona Pool!

This time of year, when the mercury drops and the rain starts falling, we tend to forget all about the broiling days of summer. Call it our brain’s way of protecting us to ensure that we don’t pack up and move away, but we begin to feel the chill will last forever. Which, of course, it won’t. In a few short weeks, the days will be longer, the nights will be shorter, and the golden orb that is perpetually hanging around the desert sky will bring broiling temps. And depending on what you do in the next month or so, you could be spending your summer days chilling in your new Arizona pool, or you could be doing the same thing you did last year: hanging your heaviest blackout curtains on the windows, turning the AC down, and wishing you could get out for a minute or two without self-combusting into a pile of charred embers! The choice is yours, and we’re here to help show you that it’s never too soon to break ground on your new pool!

The First Step is Choosing New Image Landscape and Pools

You’ve seen the images of our work in our gallery, and now that you’ve chosen us to build your own dream pool, it is time draw up the proper plans. The more detailed the plans, the less chance for mistakes, which is why you chose us in the first place! Your land will need to be blue staked next; this service is free and will help you avoid the deadly error of destroying any utility lines or gas pipes hidden under the surface. These beginning stages can be boring, but they are important to the integrity of the pool build, and before long, the fun begins!

From excavation, where we take your well-manicured backyard and turn it into a construction zone, to plumbing, rebar, and electrical work, you can follow the process daily from the windows of your home. Each day brings about a new and exciting aspect to your pool and soon, after inspection, it will be time for shotcrete, decking, and the waterline tile. The final step (before filling it with water) is shooting the interior. Today’s options are plentiful, and you can choose the color and the materials to make this pool look even better than you dreamed. Filling, then preparing the start-up is the final step, which as you can see, has been quite lengthy!

Arizona Pools – Now You Know

It generally takes a couple of months or more from the planning stage to floating on your flamingo raft with a tropical drink in hand, and if you don’t want to start pool season locked away in your home, calling us today is essential! Let’s make your summer dreams come true!

Winter is the Perfect Time for Outdoor Barbecues

If you lived in the Midwest, the idea of a winter barbecue might cause your eyes to bug out in disbelief, but we Phoenicians know winter is the perfect time for pretty much everything outdoors, and that includes outdoor barbecues! Our mild winter temperatures and still sunny skies (for the most part) have us wanting to spend as much time outdoors as we possibly can, which of course, is the exact opposite of much of the country! When the calendar turns to December, we are officially manning the grill nearly every weekend, and you could be too when you add a built-in barbecue to your Arizona backyard!

Your Arizona Backyard Doesn’t Have to be Fancy

Your choice of grills can range from the tiny hibachi you remember sitting on the balcony of your first apartment to a full outdoor kitchen that comes complete with a prep sink, mini fridge, and in many yards, a brick pizza oven! Chances are, if you are reading this, you’re past the age of hibachi on the patio grilling, however, and are far more interested in something with a little more style and sophistication! If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place! No one understands the need for creating your own private oasis better than we do, and our experience and skills make New Image Landscape and Pools the perfect people to help you make the right choices for your own Arizona backyard.

There’s a lot of thought that needs to go into your backyard rehab, and we ask all the right questions. How big is the space? How fancy do you want it to be? Do you prefer charcoal, pellet, or gas? Propane and electric grills are easier for novice chefs to control, but the diehard barbecue specialists will tell you that’s it not a barbecue without those little charcoal briquets flavoring your meat, and vegetables and a smoker had better be included! If you want to carry it a step further, lump charcoal, which is merely burnt down wood, offers an even more fragrant flavor to your food. The appeal to the new pellet grills that have become so popular today, aside from ease of use, is the flavoring the pellets can add to your meats.

The Decision is Yours

There’s a lot to consider when you start thinking about planning that first outdoor winter barbecue in your Arizona backyard, but fortunately you have some time to prepare! Give us a call today and let’s work together on the completion of your dream backyard!

How to Throw the Perfect Backyard Halloween Party in Phoenix

If we were to tell you that Halloween is less than 100 days away, would you be shocked? We get it, the weather outside is hot and horrid, not icy and cold, which makes it difficult to think about holidays, even though we are dreaming about cooler days! But it’s true, Halloween is coming, and along with the holiday comes outdoor parties as we savor the lower temperatures. Is your backyard ready? If not, these ideas to help make your backyard Halloween party in Phoenix the most talked about in the neighborhood will start you on your way—just keep reading!

Outdoor Speakers

No Halloween party would be complete without music. Songs like the Monster Mash, Thriller, and the theme song to Halloween (the movie) are staples for every party; installing outdoor speakers will add to the effect!

Fire Pit for Spooky Ambience

Although the day can still be warm, Halloween night never fails to come through with lower temperatures that chill our thin Arizona blood. A fire pit can keep your guests warm as it provides a spooky ambience!

Hot Tub for Warmth

Although you may use your pool most of the year, as the temperatures fall, the need for a hot tub rises! Bobbing for apples used to be the go-to Halloween game, but today humans bobbing in the hot tub can be the most fun! If you don’t have one already, now is the time to install one; it can take anywhere from three weeks to three months to finish, so don’t put off this major decision any longer than absolutely necessary!

Plenty of Seating

Nothing ruins a party quicker than not having enough places to sit, and while plastic lawn chairs could do the trick, your new gazebo would look so much nicer with a brand-new patio set! Set up your food on one end, add a table for dining purposes and extra chairs so every guest has a comfortable place to land as they enjoy the bash! Hang cobwebs from the rafters, decorate the tables with placemats that look like bats, and pick up a skeleton dog from your favorite Halloween store to complete the scene for the perfect party. No gazebo? We can fix that for you! Just give us a call, but as with the hot tub, don’t wait too long!

Call Today!

We love a good Halloween party, and now is the perfect time to start planning yours. Give us a call today and let’s get your backyard prepared for the bash your neighbors will never forget!

Romantic Landscape Features to Make Your Landscaping Special

For those that read The Secret Garden as a child, the magic and mystery of that special place have probably lingered, inciting readers to attempt cultivating a secret garden in their own backyards. Even those who haven’t read the book, however, can still appreciate a landscape that is verdant and rich with the romantic touches often found in movies, books, or even in the gardens of the royals we all follow with avid curiosity. When you choose New Image Landscape and Pools for your romantic landscape needs, we can help you build an oasis of romance on your property as well, and these tips are just the beginning!

Lots and Lots of Greenery

Plants, bushes, and trees in the backyard create an escape that also works to stay cooler during the hottest days of summer. Green, lush, and romantic, enjoying a glass of iced tea in the shade of your evergreen elm with the love of your life promises to be one of many high points this summer.What’s Greenery Without the Color and Scent of Flowers? Color makes us happy, and while the green is important, the reds, purples, pinks, and yellows of summer flowers is equally important, as is the sweet scent of the aromatic blooms spicing up your night!Plant some fragrant roses under your bedroom window,and on cooler nights, sleeping with the windows open will give you sweet dreams!

Create a Path Edged in Solar Lights

Now that you have the basics completed, it’s time to work on the hardscape portion of your romantic landscaping. A brick path that disappears into your foliage, lined with beautiful solar lights, is about as romantic as you can imagine! Find a spot in the center and place a softly upholstered two-seater swing; whispered conversations under the glow of the full moon mean more in your enchanted and romantic garden hideaway!

Sounds of the Sea in your Romantic Landscaping

We live in the desert, with the nearest large body of water located a long 3.5-hour drive away—in another country! But the sounds of the sea can be mimicked easily and inexpensively with the purchase of a fountain. Available in all sizes, styles, and shapes, a fountain can be the finishing touch to your romantic backyard oasis.

Just the Beginning

These are just a few of the many ideas we have milling our brains to help create a romantic retreat. Give us a call today and let’s get started working on yours!

3 New Arizona Pool Design Ideas to Make Your Backyard Stand Out

Remember the days when very few people had pools in their backyard, and those that did had to stick to two basic designs? With very few exceptions (Liberace’s piano shaped pool, for one!), the standard homeowner’s pool was built in the shape of a rectangle or a kidney. It made the design process a lot easier to complete but said nothing about the owner’s personality!

Today, however, the only limits to your pool design is your imagination—and your budget, of course! To get you started on the path to innovation, we’ve created this guide to three new Arizona pool design ideas that will make your backyard stand out.

Recessed Lounge Area

Your pool is guaranteed to be the talk of the neighborhood when you include a recessed lounge area that is perfect for socializing, tanning, and staying dry on those days you don’t want to worry about your hair! Built-in concrete seating, cushions, and a built-in table can be the focus of your backyard oasis; just add friends and alcohol (no glass!) and you have the ingredients for a perfect pool party.

Zero-Edge Pools

This breathtaking Arizona pool design idea(also called the infinity edge)has become popular in yards with a view,and your home in the foothills is perfect for the zero-edge look. Seemingly going on forever,as you sit in a lounge chair at the other end of your pool, your view of the valley will be enhanced by the crystal-clearwaters of your new pool. Add a firepit in the center or along the edges and your neighbors will be green with envy!

Create an Oasis

When you really want to impress, your cool new pool offers many opportunities to enhance its natural beauty. From cascading waterfalls to hot tubs to lazy rivers,your backyard will stand out against the sea of ordinary! Add a koi pond and a bridge that crosses the pond for maximum wow factor.Your backyard oasis is the one place in your life that will never let you down.

New Image Landscape and Pools for Great Arizona Pool Design Ideas

Going above and beyond the norm can be a scary experience, especially if you don’t have the knowledge to determine if what you are dreaming about can be done! When it’s time to stop dreaming and start constructing, give New Image Landscape and Pools a call. We have the knowledge and experience to give you the backyard of your dreams!

3 Tips to Make Your Arizona Landscape Stand Out

The exterior of your home says a lot about you as a property owner. The landscaping on your property has the potential to make your home more aesthetically pleasing while also offering a number of practical benefits. If you are looking for ways to make your landscape more appealing, here are three tips that can easily make your Arizona landscape stand out.

Colorful Shrubbery & Plants

There is something very appealing about a splash of color on your property. Adding lots of green trees and shrubs offers something to look at on the grounds. During the changing of the seasons, the addition of trees and shrubbery is especially noticeable and attractive. They also offer much needed shade and privacy. The addition of plants on the front and back of a property adds curb appeal and interest. Consider planting flowers that have varying blooming times. This ensures that you will always have foliage no matter the time of year. Make sure to properly care for your grass as your brown, dry grass is an eyesore.

Add Some Water

Adding a fountain or even a small bird bath is an excellent way to add dimension to your Arizona landscape. When considering the addition of a fountain, make sure that it is scaled for your landscape. You don’t want the fountain to be too big as it will take away from other aspects of your landscape. Likewise, you don’t want the fountain to be too small because it will get lost in the landscape. Also, consider using natural materials for your fountain as this will allow the fountain to blend in nicely among other portions of the property. Try using materials that are already incorporated into the exterior of the property whenever possible.

Lighting is Beneficial to Your Arizona Landscape

Lighting is a necessity to sure the safety and security of your property. It is also serves the purpose of accenting various areas of your landscape. Strategically placed lighting can make a major difference in the appearance of the exterior of your home. Consider using lighting for your walkway as well as to accent the front of your property. Lighting is also useful for creating ambiance such as creating lighting around a deck or patio or showing off features within a landscape such as rock formations or plant beds.

If you feel that your landscape could use a makeover, New Image Landscape and Pools can help. With over 35 years of experience, we have the expertise to help you create a visually and functionally appealing landscape. For more information on improving your existing landscape, visit our website or contact us directly at 480-654-4422.

5 Ways to Achieve a Southwestern Desert Garden in Arizona

Southwestern desert garden in Arizona are as beautiful as they are unique. A combination of rocks, desert plants, and flowering cactus can really make your garden pop. If you are interested in creating a southwestern desert garden in your yard, follow these simple steps to achieve a beautiful garden.

Place Exciting Plants Where They’ll Be Seen

Place large, big-money plants in areas of your yard where they will be seen. These plants can act as a centerpiece for your landscaping, or you can use them to frame the entryway to your home. Plants like the beaked yucca can grow up to 14 feet tall and are visually stunning.

Use Plants with Seasonal Variety

There are two types of plants: perennials, which look the same year-round; and annuals, which change with the season. Planting a mix of both perennials and annuals with help keep your garden looking good all year long. Annual plants will keep your garden looking alive year-round and perennials will add a splash of color during the changing seasons.

Prickly pear cactus is a common perennial that grows in the Southwest. During the spring, the cactus sprouts yellow flowers. Once the flowers die they turn into red colored fruits and during the winter the paddles of the cactus turn to purple. These bright colors really stand out against the desert background and can help your yard pop with color.

Landscape with Native Plants

Arizona doesn’t get a lot of rain, so the best type of plants to use for your landscaping is native, drought-tolerant varieties. These plants will be able to survive the harsh climate, will require less watering and maintenance, and will make your yard look healthy and alive all year long. Honey mesquite, gray desert spoon, turpentine bush, and creosote bush are all plants that grow well in this environment. They have small leaves, which helps the plants retain moisture.

Add Architectural Elements

Architectural elements can give your yard some depth and variety in height. Stucco-walled beds can create terraces in your yard which are a great way to make your yard more appealing. Different heights of plants, such as vertical plants like the yucca, can be planted in the beds below the raised terraces. Shorter shrub plants like dwarf oleanders look good in the taller stucco-walled beds and provide pops of color during the winter. Plants that flower will really stand out against the neutral colors of the stucco-walled beds.

Don’t Plant Grass

Grass requires a lot of water, maintenance, and can look out of place in your desert garden in Arizona. Instead, use a bed of chat to surround your plants. You can also strategically place large rocks such as lava rocks to add an additional element to your garden.

Help with Your Desert Garden in Arizona

If you would like help planning out your garden or are looking for maintenance services for your existing garden, contact us today. We have been providing lawn maintenance and design in Arizona for more than 30 years. Our specialty is in southwestern gardening and we would love to help you create your ideal desert garden.

Artificial Grass Benefits

Whether you don’t have the time to keep up the proper maintenance on your yard or you are sick of watering your lawn every day, you may want to consider switching to artificial grass. Artificial lawns can save you time and money and they look great year-round. Here are some of the benefits of switching to an artificial lawn.

Artificial Grass Saves Water

Artificial lawns save a ton of water. In Arizona, especially during the summer, you need to water your lawn daily to make sure it stays alive and looking well. An artificial lawn doesn’t need water, which will help keep your water bill down, and you won’t have to worry about your yard dying if you forget to water it for a few days.

Artificial Grass Is Low Maintenance

Our artificial grass requires almost no maintenance to keep it looking good. You will never have to mow your lawn again, and you can get rid of all the grass seed and fertilizer in your garage if you decide to make the switch to artificial lawns. While artificial lawns aren’t zero maintenance, the upkeep is minimal and only includes washing down your lawn if it looks dusty or dirty and raking up any large debris.

Artificial Grass Spaces Are Environmentally Friendly

In general, artificial lawns are more environmentally friendly than live lawns. Artificial grass does not require water to stay alive, so you don’t have to feel guilty watering your lawn during a drought, and they do not require fertilizer to stay alive. Live lawns sometimes need fertilizer to look healthy year-round, and this fertilizer can release potentially toxic chemicals into the environment. Artificial lawns do not require lawn mowing, so you also reduce your environmental impact by not turning on your gasoline-powered mower.

Your Yard Will Look Beautiful Year Round

The summers in Arizona are hot, but during the winter temperatures at night can cool down, which means you may need to plant two different types of grass seeds to make your lawn look good year-round. With an artificial lawn, you will save both time and money since you can skip the need to overseed your lawn each winter.

Artificial Grass Will Save You Time and Money

Artificial lawns do not require as much maintenance as live lawns, which means you will spend a lot less money on fertilizer, grass seed for your lawn, and gasoline for your lawnmower. Less maintenance also means you have more time to spend with your family instead of spending time keeping your lawn alive.

Artificial Grass Services

We have been in the landscaping business in Arizona for more than 30 years and can provide all of the services you need for your garden spaces, from planning to installation and upkeep. If you would like to learn more about getting an artificial lawn for your home, please contact New Image today!