Fall Foliage Ideas for Your Yard

While we might be suffering through the hot Arizona summer temperatures, it is never too early to start planning for fall. Bring out the best colors in your landscaping by adding some incredible fall foliage to your yard. Here are some ideas to help make your yard the best it can be:

Get That Fall Color Landscape

While most native trees in Arizona do not have color changing leaves, you can still plant some trees that will offer just that. For that fall color of yellow, orange, and even red leaves we recommend planting the following in your yard: silk tree, paperback maple, Chinese pistache, Japanese maple, and the Japanese persimmon. Each of these trees is hardy enough to survive Arizona’s dry, hot summers and the potential for freezing temperatures during the winter. These trees can take several years to reach an age where they start producing leaves that will change colors with the seasons, so make sure to plan ahead. Since rainfall is sparse throughout the year in Arizona you can optimize the yard by planting the trees approximately 6 inches lower than the surrounding level.

Let the Flowers Bring a Pop of Color

Trees are not the only way to achieve some color during the late fall season. Plenty of flowers can help compliment your yard’s aesthetic with their late bloom. If you want a yard that is full of color, we recommend planting rain lilies, which will be in full bloom during September through October. While these plants are also not native to Arizona, they are persistent perennials and survive well in the Arizona heat. Make sure the soil dries out between each watering as most perennials need in Arizona. Once you have your rain lilies properly rooted in the soil, expect a colorful and vibrant backyard you will want to show off!

Best Shrubbery for Fall

To finish up your yard for fall try your hand at planting some burning bush. This foliage is popular in Arizona for its burning red color that is on display during the fall season. If the bush receives at least six hours of sun a day, you can expect this vibrant color all season long.

Pristine Landscape Just in Time for Fall

Do not let the hot Arizona summer get the best of you and let the trusted experts at New Image Landscape and Pools get your yard ready for fall. Our experts can help you bring out all of the color and maximize space in your yard just in time for fall.

How to Maximize Space in a Small Backyard

If you have spent any time at all in Arizona, one of the first things you may have noticed, aside from the heat, is the size of the backyards in many neighborhoods. Land is valuable and developers seem to feel that bigger homes can fit on a smaller lot, and if you can shake hands with your neighbor just by sticking your arm out the side window, well, at least your bathroom is large enough for an entire family to live in! While not all Arizona yards are that tiny, if yours is one of the smaller ones, there’s no need to give up the hope of creating an oasis back there; just follow this guide to maximizing the space on your small piece of land!

Utilize Container Gardens

Gardening can be a beautiful way of reducing stress and helping families eat healthier, but a small yard will limit the amount of gardening you can do. Using planters and other containers, however, can make the space look beautiful and allow you to participate in your favorite hobby. Try making a salsa container garden and grow cilantro, jalapeños, tomatillos, and tomatoes in various pots and your family will love you forever!

Scale is Important

If your yard is small, furnishing the patio with a table for 12 or a full-sized outdoor sofa may not be the best way of utilizing the available space. Outdoor love seats and smaller patio tables offer a homey touch to the area without taking up valuable acreage!

Install a Hot Tub

Although you may get more use from a pool, if you move into a neighborhood with a community pool, installing a hot tub in your backyard saves space and can be a convenient way to keep muscles loose throughout the year. Inviting in ways a pool won’t be in the cooler months of winter, a hot tub offers romance and practicality in small spaces.

Divide the Yard into Zones

Creating different zones—one for dining, one for relaxing, one for gardening, and one for cooking—gives homeowners a structure for creating the environment of their dreams. Keep each spot tight and uncluttered and use lighting, outdoor rugs, and furnishings to define each area. Use the same materials throughout the space to make each zone seem larger.

Call New Image Landscape and Pools

The easiest way to maximize the potential of your small Arizona yard is by bringing in the experts. Give us a call today and let’s discuss what you can do to create an oasis of serenity and tranquility in your small space!

Spend Labor Day Weekend Next to Your New Arizona Pool

As summer arrives in the valley, the hot days stretch out long and seemingly unending before you. You try to fill the hours with trips up to the cool country, afternoons at the movies, or visits to the ice cream parlors in town, but by the time July rolls around, you shut the curtains, turn down the AC, and hunker down until cooler temperatures arrive! But summer in Arizona doesn’t always have to be that way; if you start now, it’s entirely possible you could be swimming in your new built-in Arizona pool by Labor Day Weekend!

So Soon?

A basic pool with nothing extra added can actually be completed in approximately 45 days (sometimes longer), but don’t let that force you into accepting something less than what you want. This is an investment into your future comfort, and a more complex pool can take up to 60 days, which depending on how soon you start, will still allow you to be swimming by Labor Day! If you want something really elaborate, there’s still a couple of months of swimming weather after Labor Day, so planning a fall party is always an option as well!

Planning a Labor Day Arizona Pool Party

However long it takes to get that pool in your backyard, there’s one more very important step to consider: planning the “opening day” pool party! Labor Day Weekend is a long one, so planning your pool party for Sunday would be the best choice; it gives your guests time to recuperate before going back to work on Tuesday! We’ll leave the food and drink menu to you, but we will guide you through the necessities of a pool party. From basketball hoops to floating drink holders and beach towels to shade spots, there are lots of accessories you may need to consider purchasing to make this party the talk of the block! Oh, and if you really want to be helpful, purchasing sunscreen from Costco will help keep your guests from burning as they swim and frolic in your new pool; the host with the most thinks of everything!

We May Be Getting Ahead of Ourselves

You haven’t even started the permit process and we’re already planning your Labor Day pool party, but we can’t help it; we get so excited helping our customers start on their way to nighttime swims and pool parties! Give us a call today and let’s change the view from your back windows with a cool and therapeutic Arizona pool!

Shade Structures to Consider for Your Yard

If you have spent more than five minutes outside during the summer in the valley, you understand exactly how important shade is to your health and wellbeing! That sun is bright, hot, and relentless, and although the shade may only lower the temps a few degrees, it makes a huge difference. If you want to spend any time at all in your own backyard, we advise building shade structures to help create a space that is both beautiful and cool. This guide to shade structures should give you some ideas as to what you want!

Shade Sails

Very little to no construction is needed for this simple and inexpensive way to create shade in your backyard. Consisting of sun resistant canvas style fabric that is generally shaped like the sail of a boat, it has ropes on each end that can be tied to roofs, eye hooks installed in the eaves of your home, or—and this is the only case where any construction might be needed—attached to a tall wooden pole that has been cemented firmly into the ground. Inexpensive and effective, it’s a great option for smaller yards or patios that are uncovered.

Pavilion or Canopy

Although the pavilion, also known as a canopy in some states, is more expensive, the costs can be dialed up or down a little depending on how elaborate you choose to make it. Built of aluminum, tin, or some other kinds of metal or wood, and open on all four sides, the roof generally consists of some sort of fabric. For a romantic and breezy look, white fabric can be used as curtains tied to the legs of the metal structure, but we suggest using a heavier, sun-resistant fabric for the roof.

Gazebo

A gazebo can be as elaborate as you wish and generally consists of an octagon-shaped shingled roof and wood posts. Half wooden fencing can be placed between each post, or it can be left open, much as a pavilion. Offering the perfect spot for a patio table for al fresco dining, the shade provided by a gazebo is much desired and the design adds a touch of charm to a bare backyard.

Find Shade Structures That You Love?

Give us a call today and set up an appointment; it’s the first step in creating a backyard sanctuary that is both cool and beautiful!

How to Keep Your Pool Chemicals Balanced

Whether you have just purchased a home with a pre-existing pool or you have just completed the building process of your brand new one, the number one fear most pool owners have is how to keep the pool looking clear, blue, and clean without having to do a lot of work! We understand completely. A pool with unbalanced chemicals is more than just an unsightly mess; it can bring along a host of problems that include odors, insects, and sickness. But if you follow these special tips our wonderful staff at New Image Landscape and Pools have provided for your convenience, you’ll soon discover pool ownership is even better than you dreamed it could be with the proper pool maintenance!

Start with a Clean Base

Maintaining a chemically balanced pool can be difficult if the water is old. There are different schools of thought as to how often a pool should be drained, but we think it should be drained at a minimum once every other year. Starting with a clean base allows the chemicals to do their job, which makes your job easier!

Frequent Testing

Department stores, grocery stores, and pool stores all sell testing kits that make it easy to determine if your chemicals are balanced. Simply dip the tester in the water and add the drops that come with the kit and compare the color of the water against the chart provided. Also have your water tested for total dissolved solids; without testing and treatment, the water soon becomes unmanageable! Checking your levels frequently allows you to keep ahead of any problems instead of trying to play catch-up with a green pool.

Keep the Pump Well Maintained and Running Enough Hours

Keeping the pump well maintained and running is as important as using the correct chemicals. Remember: The number of hours you run your pump will change with the seasons! In the summer when the temperatures are high and your family is spending a lot more time enjoying the benefits of its cooling waters, the pump should be run more frequently—approximately one hour per 10 degrees of ambient temperature during the heat of the day to keep algae from flourishing. In the winter months, running just a few hours a day is all that will be needed to keep your pool balanced and clean.

Contact a Professional 

When all else fails, contact a professional! We at New Image Landscape and Pools want our customers to be happy with their new pools, and if we built yours, we will be happy to guide you through the process! Give us a call today and let’s figure out together what we can do to help with your pool maintenance to keep your pool balanced and your family happy.

4 Hardscaping Options to Boost Your Backyard Appeal

Our homes and the yards attached to them are our little kingdoms. They are the places we retreat to at the end of the day, where family and friends gather to celebrate the good occasions and mourn the sad ones, and places we go to feel safe. As much time as you spend inside your home, we’re sure that you’ve developed exactly the style and feeling you love, but what about the backyard? When you look out the window do you see a private oasis that envelopes you in warmth and happiness? Or, like most people, do you see a pretty and colorful yard that somehow is still missing something? We tend to concentrate on the softscape additions, as they cost less and involve instant gratifications, but if you’re missing these four desert hardscaping options, chances are your yard will come up lacking!

Start Small

A fountain is one of our favorite pieces to add to any landscape. Providing tranquility with the sound and beauty with the style, fountains come in a huge variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, guaranteeing you can easily find the piece you love at the price you can afford. Hang a small one from the wall of your house or create a focus point with a large one in the center of your own enchanted garden; this is your kingdom and your choice!

Garden Paths Leading the Way

If your backyard is a large one, creating paths that lead to secret niches and hideaways adds an ethereal sense to your backyard. There are a variety of materials you can use to construct this path, from small stones (less than a ¼ inch in size is recommended) to brick, flagstone, cobblestones, or stamped concrete, all designed to make your backyard stand out in a sea of bland!

More Use for Flagstone

Chances are your back patio made of plain concrete does the job well, but sometimes the heart wants what the heart wants, and your heart is set on some flagstone additions that look just as pretty as they work! It doesn’t have to be flagstone, though; your patio can be recreated, extended, or rebuilt with most of the same materials as your garden path.

Gazebo/Pergola/Pavilion

Whatever you want to call the small open structure you often see built in the backyard, this hardscape option shows your neighbors and guests that you are serious about your oasis! They offer a cool respite from the sun’s scorching heat, a serene place to enjoy an al fresco dinner on nice nights, and in some cases, the opportunity to watch the big game away from the noise and drama that’s going on in the inside of your home! Many homeowners are choosing to include televisions under the eaves to increase the opportunities for relaxation.

Call Us Today

 There are many more options for desert hardscaping your backyard and we would love to share them with you! Contact our team today and we’ll help you build the backyard you’ve always dreamed about.

How to Substitute Desert Plants for Your Favorite Flowers

Everyone has their own idea of what their dream house looks like, and while the homes may vary widely, the general consensus is that colorful flowers and bushes make the dream come true! We all imagine a yard with emerald green grass, large shade trees, and, of course, a colorful profusion of sweet-smelling flowers. It’s a beautiful picture to be sure, but we live in Arizona, and most flowers require a lot more water than our desert surroundings can afford to spare. Fortunately, there are many desert plants that can survive the scorching heat and that don’t require a major daily soaking to survive. We’ve created this list of substitutions that can give you the Arizona landscape of your dreams without wasting precious resources.

Desert Rose

 This succulent plant is designed to withstand the harshness of the summer sun without thirst, and the colorful blooms will bring a smile to your face. Resembling the shape and color of the beautiful plumeria, it is the perfect plant for container gardens or ground cover. Just be sure to cover it on the rare occasions we get frost; the desert rose does not do well under 32 degrees in temperature.

Bougainvillea

 If you’re worried that you just can’t get the same dramatic appeal in your yard that you do with the flowers from back east, let us introduce you to the bougainvillea. Designed to bloom more with less water, the blooms come in a variety of shades—magenta is the most prevalent. Resembling the dramatic beauty of an azalea, this sassy dessert plant has a bite; long, thick thorns can be painful if you’re not careful!

Texas Sage

Featuring silvery grey leaves that are beautiful on their own, and cheery purple blooms during their flowering season, the Texas sage is, in our humble opinion, the perfect desert plant, especially when you consider how much these beautiful bushes—that offer some of the same appeal as hydrangeas—are adored by the endangered honey bee. Walk by any bush when it is in full bloom and hear the bees buzzing happily and be secure in the knowledge you’re saving water AND perhaps keeping the honey bee off the extinction list!

Roses

 Good news! Many varieties of roses thrive in the desert heat, creating a romantic and aromatic garden space that will be the envy of all your neighbors. Requiring a little more water than your typical desert flower, you can still keep water usage to a minimum with a drip system; this is one case where no substitution is necessary. A little extra research will teach you which varieties work best in the desert!

Or, Leave the Planting to Us

We at New Image Landscape and Pools love to make yards pretty, and our years of experience in desert landscaping ensures your yard will be desert friendly. Give us a call today and let’s get started on your Arizona landscape backyard oasis!

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!

Pool Features to Add for Summer Fun

In case you haven’t noticed simply by stepping outside and feeling the sun scorching your skin, the summer heat has begun and our days of hiking, biking, and enjoying al fresco dinners have come to a temporary end. For the next 5 or 6 months air conditioning and your brand new pool will be your best friend and protector against the evil desert heat! If you’re in the process of building your new pool, or even if you have an existing pool, these new pool features will ensure your summer will be filled with fun, laughter, and most importantly, much needed coolness!

Adding a Slide

Fun for children of ALL ages—and yes, that includes your 44-year-old husband—a slide adds hours of fun to your pool adventures and offers a great chance to get a little extra exercise in as well! After climbing up the steps, then sliding into the water, then climbing up the steps (you get the idea!), you’ll enjoy the tight muscles on your calves at the end of the summer! And because a slide can be added at any time, as long as you have the room, it’s a great addition to an existing pool.

LED Lighting

Night time is the best time to swim during the hottest days of summer. Even if the water is warm, it still manages to cool down your core to allow you to enjoy a deep and peaceful sleep. And while your existing pool light works perfectly fine, the array of colors available in LED lighting makes your night swimming more fun and provides a beautiful glow to your backyard setting.

Chasing Waterfalls Can Be Fun

The sight of water streaming over rocks is a peaceful one, and when that waterfall is in your pool, it serves multiple purposes. Adding a sense of peace, the sounds of serenity, and most importantly, it can cool the waters allowing you to swim comfortably for a much longer period of time. A pool with a waterfall can add value to your home, and while the procedure for installing one on an existing pool isn’t as simple as adding a slide or lighting, it can be done.

New Image Landscape and Pools Has Your Back

You deserve to be as comfortable as you can during our long and difficult Arizona summers, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools are here to help you achieve that comfort with exciting pool features. Give us a call today and let’s get started on making your pool not just functional, but a fun and welcoming spot in your own personal oasis!

3 Reasons to Get a Splash Pad in Arizona

Splash pads are getting popular these days among families with kids. There’s nothing like playing in the water on a hot summer day. It’s fun, safe, and keeps the kids occupied for hours on end. We may have just summarized the main reasons why you’d want to install a splash pad in your yard, but the truth is there are far more important reasons to get yourself a splash pad in Arizona for the kids to enjoy—especially if you’re concerned about water safety or would rather have your children play in the water in a safe environment.

Safer Than Pools

Water safety is the number one concern of many parents. Pools are fun and all, but they come with risks, especially for those with small children. Splash pads on the other hand have little standing water which makes for little or no risk even with small children. The spraying nozzles allow the kids to play in the water as much as they like without any danger. They can crawl, jump, run, and dance in the water without the need for an adult keeping constant watch on them as is the case with pools and other large bodies of water.

Helps with the Child’s Development

Children at a young age need a lot of interaction with the environment around them in order to build their confidence and self-esteem. The sensory experiences splash pads provide are quite important for a child’s development. The water is a different medium that offers a lot of triggers that help build their brain and motor skills. As the child experiments with the water and learns about its unique laws of physics, they expand their knowledge of the world around them. And the best part is, the child gets to learn on their own. You won’t need to hover over them and teach them things; they get it all at their own pace.

A Splash Pad Suits Every Size and Budget

Unlike a swimming pool, a splash pad can fit within any space. You can customize them to suit any shape or design you like. You won’t need a large area to install a splash pad either; any space in your yard will do. You won’t need to have a fence around your property either. You turn it on when the kids want to play, then turn it off and forget about it. They require significantly less maintenance than pools do.

Splash pads are a great alternative for pools and suit every budget and location. Call us today to learn more about our great offers.