Three Features Your Backyard Improvements You Could Be Missing

The real world outside the boundaries of your home and yard can be a cruel and tough one, making it that much more important that we create sanctuaries to come back to at the end of each day. Inside our homes, we create spaces that are soft, warm, and welcoming, but the peace and tranquility doesn’t have to end there. Our backyards, especially here in the Phoenix area, where we surround our landscape with cinderblock walls for privacy, can offer a sanctuary of a different type. If your “back 40” is missing these three backyard improvements, you may not be using it to its full extent!

Firepits for Winter

We desert dwellers are about to enter our favorite season. Winter is when the day temperatures stay short-sleeve cool, but the nights dip into winter coat temperatures, making a firepit the perfect backyard accessory. Keep it simple with a circle of firesafe garden blocks and lawn furniture topped with colorful and soft padding or add an elaborate sunken fire pit area complete with built-in seats and twinkle lights shining in the trees above. It’s time to discover the joys of family time spent talking, laughing, or telling stories late into the night.

Vegetable Gardens for Health

The one complaint we often have about living in the desert is the quality of the vegetables we purchase from the grocery store. Although they may be colorful and attractive to look at, they tend to taste bland and mushy, making it even more of a chore to convince our children the importance of eating their vegetables! Growing a raised bed vegetable garden in your backyard, however, can solve all of your vegetable issues, including getting your children to eat them. The joy they take in planting, caring, and then harvesting the veggies will entice them to eat them as well, making a vegetable garden a feature that will make your yard a dream come true! And because the care you take can bring a Zen garden appeal to your life, the vegetable garden can add to the peace and tranquility of your outdoor sanctuary!

Sheds for Sharing

The commonplace backyard shed has “shed” its boring tin and has become more than a place to store Christmas decorations and lawn mowers. Today’s sheds come in a variety of materials and are used in a variety of ways. Created to be she-sheds for moms who need private spaces, offices for parents to conduct business at home and be able to spend more time with the kids in the process, or extra sleeping space for all the guests who come to visit and take advantage of our incredible winter temperatures, the functionality of your shed can be customized to your needs!

So Many Ideas For Backyard Improvements

Our years of pool and landscape experience have given us so many ideas on how to make a yard an oasis, and we can’t wait to share them with you! Contact us today and let’s make your backyard the picture perfect place of your dreams.

Arizona Water Features to Add for a Sophisticated Look

When it comes to landscaping an idyllic backyard or lawn, a little water goes a long way. The experts at New Image Landscape and Pools are professionally trained to see beyond the basics and incorporate intricate details that create just the right ambiance in your yard. Arizona water features are a fantastic addition to any landscaping project and have the potential to add a sophisticated look to a home’s exterior. When you’re hoping to upgrade your home’s façade, start with one of these incredible water features that take your landscaping to a new level of exceptional.

Blue Tile Pools

The reflective nature of water makes it a wonderful element when it comes to enhancing the sophisticated look of a pool or spa. If you’re hoping to create a swimming space in the yard that reminds one of an upscale luxury resort, consider landscaping that incorporates stunning blue tiles. The blue of the tiles works to reflect the sun during the day and picks up on a warm glow from underwater lights at night. Blue tile pools are a water feature that provides the tranquility many homeowners are looking for from their home-based spa experience.

Copper Pot Fountains

Let your landscaping reflect the elegance of a European garden by creating a central focal point with a copper pot fountain. These large pots complete with intricate handles are perfect when placed within a sunken pool and surrounded by multiple flower beds. Finishing the copper pot fountain with a surrounding of delicate stonework adds to the intrigue and texture of this inviting space in the yard.

Glass Water Walls

There’s something undeniably magical about the addition of a glass water wall. During the day, this water feature keeps pools churning while at night, a glass water wall glows with the help of underwater lights. While the glass will effectively reflect lights during the day and evening hours, surrounding a glass water wall with lush foliage is a great way to contrast the delicate look of this whimsical landscaping feature.

Koi Ponds

While it’s the perfect landscaping addition when you’re looking to achieve Zen in a yard, adding a captivating Koi pond complete with a small cascade makes for a lovely look all the way around. Stacked stone edging and green foliage provide a natural and beautiful frame for the colorful fish that call these Koi ponds home. Consider incorporating a footpath leading to the pond for added intrigue and sophistication when it comes to this particular water feature.

Give us a call if you have any questions!

Time to Upgrade Your Pool?

One of the best parts of living in the desert is being able to swim in the pool for up to 90% of the year when the pool is heated or at the very least 75% of the year if its not! Walking out the door and slipping into the cool, clear waters no matter what time of day or night is a treat we never take for granted, but could that experience be even better? If your Arizona pool is serving you perfectly well, but you find yourself wondering if it could be even better, these Arizona pool upgrades could be just the extra bit of fun you’ve been looking for!

Lighting

The standard pool comes with a single boring white light; it does its job of allowing you to see at night but without any extra pizazz or sparkle. LED lighting, on the other hand, is easily added to your Arizona pool, uses less voltage (leading to lower utility bills), and comes with the ability to change into multiple colors! Exciting, brilliant, and offering a unique glow to the beauty of your backyard, it’s one of our favorite pool upgrades!

Automation

As the world evolves into a smart one, pool systems have not fallen behind. Automation options can turn your Arizona pool into a smart pool that is easy to maintain and exciting to spend time in! Managed by an app on your phone, you can control your pool equipment without having to be in the same state, let alone needing to step outside in the heat! Automation is also a money saving device, allowing pool owners to more closely monitor and utilize the equipment that previously was responsible for sucking the money of out of your bank account!

Extra Arizona Pool Style

Upgrades can be fun, and the addition of a firepit or even just fire accents to your pool is made easy, especially when you tie the additions into the automation upgrade! Fire on water isn’t something you see every day, but it should be! Deck jets that shoot water into the pool can be added to help keep the water cooler during the hottest days of summer, and if you’re up for a little construction, a waterfall built of stone or bricks can serve the same purpose; the extra style associated with any of these upgrades will ensure your pool will be the talk of the neighborhood!

Is it Time?

Give us a call today and let’s discuss all the upgrade options that are available for your Arizona pool. We at New Image Landscape and Pools are eager to help!

Arizona Garden Ideas and Watering Solutions for Your Yard

Gardening in the desert is a unique experience. We all long for the grassy yards and flowery gardens of our midwestern upbringing, but water issues may seem to bring an abrupt halt to the idea. Fortunately, we at New Image Landscape and Pools have made it our business to make your yard the oasis you dreamed it could be, and with a few tweaks to the types of flowers and plants you can add, our hints and tips will make it easy—especially when you consult this guide for watering solution and Arizona garden ideas.

Saving our Most Precious Resource

Water is not an unlimited resource in the desert and conserving it is of highest importance. You’re probably not surprised to discover that the standard oscillating sprinkler attached to a hose and left in the yard for hours at a time does not save water, and if you’re intent on having a lush green lawn, it is also not the best way to get there! Our favorite watering solution, an automated sprinkler system, may cost a little more in the beginning but will save you money in the long term. Programmable, it allows owners to water their grass for the optimum amount of time, and with correct installation of the sprinkler heads, every inch of your yard will be a verdant paradise! Adding bubblers for the plants and flowers gives homeowners a break from one of the many chores that accompany the pleasure of owning a home.

Planting Drought Resistant

For your garden needs, the best watering solution is to limit how much water is needed. Many desert plants offer brilliantly colored blooms that can outshine the more “needy” flowers of the gardens you may be used to! Bougainvillea, oleander, even lantana and different versions of sage are all flowering plants that can exist without much water. Your home will be a showpiece and the earth will be forever grateful when you add these vibrant and colorful plants!

Education and Arizona Garden Ideas

Overwatering is our worst way or squandering our natural resources, and the best way to avoid doing so is by educating yourself. The internet is a wonderful invention, and with just a little research, you can manage to have a green yard and flowering plants without over or underwatering. Another easy way to find watering solutions for your home space oasis is with a simple phone call. Call us today for more Arizona garden ideas and tips!

Saltwater Vs. Fresh Water Pools

There was once a time when pool variances were rare. Homeowners were able to pick from a small selection of chlorine pool styles and then would pay an arm and a leg, wait months for it to be built, and be happy; it’s no wonder the not very efficient above ground pool went through a brief period of popularity! Today, however, is another story altogether. Choosing from styles of all shapes and sizes, surface materials, depths, and even edge styles makes the process a bit more complicated, and when you add the choice of saltwater versus fresh water, it should make you glad that you have us on your side to help you interpret your Arizona pool choices!

The Popular Choice

Although chlorine works perfectly well, the benefits of a salt water pool make them the most popular choice in new Arizona pool builds. Saltwater pools are much better at maintaining the chemical balance needed for clarity and health, and because saltwater pools convert salt particles to chloritic acid, which is the purest form of chlorine, it helps keep the pH levels from fluctuating.

Another saltwater pool characteristic is the lower amount of chloramines that are produced by oxidation; chloramines are the irritants in chlorine that burn your eyes, leaving them red and irritated. And although many people worry that a saltwater pool will make the skin dry and itchy much as a swim in the ocean would, the levels of salt parts per million (ppm) in a pool average about 2800 to 4200; for comparison, salt levels in the sea run about 35,000 ppm. The softer water of saltwater pools leaves the pool running smoother, cleaner, and may help people with skin allergies suffer less reactions.

While a saltwater pool costs more to set up initially, maintenance costs are low enough to help pool owners make up the difference in the long run.

Still a Viable Solution for You Arizona Pool

The startup cost of a saltwater pool can make it difficult for homeowners on a limited budget to afford, so if a chlorine pool is all that your budget can withstand, go with that option. Chlorine pools can be converted to saltwater at any time, so choosing this alternative doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to chlorine forever—you’re just putting it off for a minute or two!

New Image Landscape and Pools Can Help

There are a lot of issues to consider when making the decision to build an Arizona pool in your backyard. Give us a call today and let’s get started on your personal oasis!

Gardening Tips for Fall

Arizona fall gardening can be substantially different than that of other states for many reasons, but perhaps the most important one is the heat. It just doesn’t start getting cool until the end of October, and no matter what the calendar says, in our eyes the season can be considered extremely late summer! True gardeners, however, are a hardy sort and rarely let the temperatures stop them in their mission to feel the dirt between their fingers, so we’ve provided this guide to gardening in the fall in Arizona just for you; time to pull out the knee pads and floppy hats!

Preparing Your Fall in Arizona Soil

In September it really is too hot for anything to take root, so take this time to prepare your soil. Till the area, cleaning out any old roots, dead plants, and rocks that may have found their way into the clay soil. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned and tilled, now it’s time to add nutrients. If you’ve planned ahead, now is when to add the compost that has been “simmering” in your compost pile or container. If not, purchasing an organic fertilizer from your local gardening store is perfectly acceptable. The final step in preparing your soil is watering; water thoroughly to allow the nutrients to “percolate,” and when the weather cools down, you will be officially ready to begin planting!

Now For the Fun Stuff

Once the mercury drops sometime in October, you can finally begin your planting! For those who are simply interested in making their yards beautiful for the upcoming seasons, this is the perfect time to plant the seeds of our native wildflowers—desert marigolds, larkspurs, and sweet peas, just to name a few! If a vegetable garden is in your future, this is also a great time to plant beets, onions, broccoli, peas, brussel sprouts and a large variety of other veggies either by seed or transplant, if you’re not comfortable in your planting skills.

Windowsill Adventures

Not all gardens are going to be grand adventures filled with a bounty of flowers to be picked or vegetables to be harvested. October is also a good time to start a windowsill garden of your favorite herbs. Chives, cilantro, dill, fennel, mint, marjoram, or even lemongrass, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme will thrive when planted in the fall. You may have to purchase your veggies from the grocery store, but once you taste a dish prepared with fresh herbs you’ve grown yourself, you’ll never go back to store-bought spices again!

While You’re Out There

As you toil in the soil under the desert sun, chances are you may notice a part of your landscape that is missing something vital, like a pool or gazebo? Give us a call today and let New Image Landscape and Pools help you figure out exactly what you’ve been missing!

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!

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!