Beat the Summer Heat with These Yard Features

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but if you haven’t stepped outside lately, you may not have realized that summer has arrived in full force! Temperatures are expected to rise up to 116 degrees, and if that isn’t bad enough, the monsoon has been taking a peek at the desert landscape, wondering if now is the time it should make its appearance! Fortunately, this is not our first Arizona summer at New Image Landscape and Pools, and we’ve learned a few things on how to stay cool over the last few years, even if we are outside hanging out under the desert sun! And because we don’t hoard our secrets like misers do their gold, here is our guide to how you can beat the summer heat with these yard features, you will thrive in your own backyard, no matter how high the mercury rises.

Sometimes Simple is Best

The sun is a merciless opponent for the balance of the summer season, but sometimes, the simplest solutions will be all you need to feel cool. Misting systems are one of our favorite ways to beat the heat and can range in price from less than $500 to just over $2000. Sending a fine mist of water into the air that chills the space around you, they work best when the dew point is lower; once monsoon hits, you may have to turn to other methods.

Throw Some Shade on It

Have you ever noticed how everyone always gravitates to the shady part of your yard, even on warm days? From caveman days to the high-tech world, we instinctively understand that less light causes less heat, and you can add shade to your yard in a variety of ways! And because you don’t always want to wait a few years for the saplings you planted to mature and shade the yard, you can start with something as small as an umbrella for your patio table. Sun sails that tie on to available corners are another popular option, much loved due to their low cost, but when you really want to do it right, building a shade structure may be what works best! Gazebos, pagodas, even pergolas are all examples of how to keep cool while maintaining the beauty of your yard, and your neighbors are bound to be jealous!

Splash Pads to the Rescue

We know that water cools, but families with young children are often hesitant to add a potentially dangerous pool to their yard; the cost can also be prohibitive. The good news is that the splash pads your children play in at the park have now gone residential, allowing you to bring water fun into your lives without having to break the bank! In addition, many of your favorite discount stores offer portable versions cost that very little and will be fine in a pinch, but the temporary nature of these items will have you purchasing them again and again. Permanent versions start at approximately $2000 and increase in price from there, depending on the complexity and size of the one you build. In any case, because there is little to no standing water (you may end up with puddles in the grass beyond the splash pad), parents won’t have to worry about a tragic accident occurring!

Pool Parties Are the Reason for This Season

Of course, nothing cools off your core body temperature than doing a cannonball into the deep end of your private pool! Available in a variety of sizes, shapes, and designs, these bodies of water are the best part of summer as you swim at all hours of the day and night and throw pool parties with the neighbors! Turning your yard into the one where all the kids want to be, you will become the family hero when you choose to make the decision to dig!

An Oasis of Chill with Our Yard Features

Finally, for those who believe you have to go big or go home, you can turn your entire yard into an oasis of chill by combining ALL the items listed! Plant trees with shallow roots, build a gazebo with a built-in misting system, combine a splash pad and pool, and feel the goosebumps rise on your skin during the hottest days of the years! If this sounds like a lot more effort than you are willing to put forth, never fear! These moments are what we at New Image Landscape and Pools live for. Give us a call today and we will set up a time to determine what items your yard simply can’t live without. The only limits are the boundaries of your imagination!

Your Guide to a Spectacular Splash Pad

You don’t need to look at your calendar to determine that yes, summer has arrived in the desert and boy is it HOT! It doesn’t matter if it’s a dry heat either, no matter what they say, because once the mercury rises over the 100 degree mark, there is no getting comfortable without a sturdy air conditioning unit or some kind of water play in your backyard, but are you really ready for the commitment of a pool? Your children are young, your yard is too small, and maybe you just aren’t ready for the financial impact on your bank account that building a pool may cause. We get it, a pool isn’t the right answer for everyone, but there’s still that sticky issue of the heat that could be forcing you to stay inside for the next four or five months, unless you consider constructing a spectacular splash pad for your private oasis at home! Once relegated to shopping centers and parks, today’s splash pads can be as small and simple as you want or as large and elaborate as you wish and are specifically designed with the needs of a residential property in mind. This guide will help you find the splash pad that will change your life for the better.

Keep it Simple

Arizona may have miles of mountain and desert landscapes, but what we don’t have is acres of yard space. Many homes are built on what are called keyhole lots in a move that allows builders to build a lot of homes on tiny plots of land. If your backyard is practically non-existent, you’ll want to start looking at the smaller, simpler splash pad kits, consisting of a few nozzles and a drain. These smaller pads are a more elegant option than a sprinkler and hose and can be far cheaper than the larger, more elaborate kits!

Safety Matters

Of course, if you have a little more room and a little larger budget, you can move up to the next size and include a safety surface that helps prevent the nasty scrapes and bumps that can accompany a concrete version of a splash pad. Coming in a variety of colors, it is designed to keep your child from skidding on the slippery base and can add a cheerful look to your backyard—especially if you choose the more popular blues and greens for the color! For more elaborate setups, fun designs can be added to the surface, and for the hot desert days, it is recommended homeowners stick with a lighter color to avoid burning sensitive feet.

Add a Little Shade and More Nozzles

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to venture into the creative by adding structures to your splash pad. A tall “tree,” a giant mushroom, or maybe just a sunshade strung from colorful poles built into the sides of your pad can turn a day of fun in the sun into a shady adventure! The trees and mushrooms do have the added benefit of coming with their own nozzles for more water fun, of course, but the sunshade and pole option can be less expensive.

Go All Out!

If you have seen the splash sections of water parks and thought how cool they were, you’ll be happy to know that even the most elaborate of designs can be constructed in your own backyard! Add slides and buckets that fill with water, dumping onto unsuspecting and giggling children’s heads when they least expect it, put in a giant “fire hydrant” with nozzles coming out from every angle, or stick with the desert theme of your backyard and add a gigantic “palm tree” with water falling out of the center of its fronds! The only limit to the fun accessories you can add will be the size of your yard and the depth of your pocketbook; prices do go up with each new toy added, of course!

But What If You Already Have a Pool?

The good news is you don’t have to nix the splash pad if you already have a pool. If your yard is large enough, go ahead and invest in both! Pools are great for exercise and keeping cool on hot summer nights, but splash pads can be the perfect addition for families with younger children; just set them up away from the pool and prepare for your little ones to have the greatest time of their lives!

The Options for Your Splash Pad Are Endless

Whether you choose the simple fountain type splash pad or the more elaborate water park type with all the bells and whistles, choosing New Image Landscape and Pools to help with the install will ensure you enjoy the new addition to your at home oasis for years to come. Give us a call today!

Fountains and Waterfalls for Your Pool

The average pool has come a long way since it’s invention all the way back in 2600 B.C.E. and even further since they became popular with homeowners in the mid-19th century. From its basic rectangular shape to the equipment and add-ons which increase the fun levels, today’s pools are a one stop shop for entertainment, and adding fountains and waterfalls to the pool will heighten its star power! We at New Image Landscape and Pools love the summer, no matter how hot it gets, because we love our pools and we love creating a watery oasis for our clients. This guide to fountains and waterfalls for your pool will help you add a little extra sparkle to the most important element in your backyard!

Fountains of Fun

The huge variety of fountains available for your pool may make the decision of which one to choose a little difficult, but we urge you to stick with your decision; a fountain is definitely worth it in the long run! Offering both form and function, these stylish additions to your pool can be as large or as small and as intricate or simple as you desire. Choose a simple stream of water splashing into the side of your pool or a bubbling fountain in the center and remember, keeping the water moving in your pool also works to keep the waters cooler in the hottest days of summer! For more dramatic changes, pool fountains can take the shape of lions “spitting” streams of water into the pool or for a more breathtaking look, mix fire and water in a huge copper bowl and be prepared to stun the neighbors with the dramatic beauty of your pool at night! Your pool parties will be the talk of the town as fire and water (and multicolored LED lights, if you want to go all out!) light up your backyard, creating a magical ambience that will be the envy of all. Build a seating area surrounding a fiery fountain and enjoy summer beverages and simple conversations with friends and family, doing your best to keep cool as the mercury rises to scorching levels. Some of these ideas may be best for new pools, but the simpler options can be added at any time and if small enough, your existing pool pump could be all that is needed to operate them. In the cases of more elaborate fountains, separate equipment should be used, including the pump, valving, and plumbing for full effect.

Waterfalls of Wonder

If you have ever witnessed the majestic beauty of a natural waterfall in real life, you already know the sense of peace and tranquility it can give a person and while a waterfall for a pool won’t be equally impressive, it still imparts the same emotions as it also helps keep the waters cooler. And as technology grows smarter, the size and intricacy of available waterfalls grows as well; as with a fountain, narrowing down your choices can be the most difficult part of your decision to add a waterfall. Simple scuppers allow water to cascade into the pools and can be all you want, especially if your pool is of more diminutive proportions, costing less than a full blown waterfall built to resemble one you will find in nature. Sitting on the patio at night, listening to the water as it streams out of the scupper can be the most relaxing part of your day.

For those with larger pools, however, a waterfall built of stones (fake or real) can add a dramatic charm that will impress visitors and increase your peaceful tranquility. Swim behind the waterfall on the hottest day of the year and feel the immediate change in temperature; some waterfalls are built with large shelves behind them, allowing swimmers to sit and enjoy the loveliness of a perfect summer day in the valley. Some waterfalls offer built-in slides, others include grottos that can provide cover for a swim up bar and still others can tower high, providing additional shade for cooling purposes.

Be Creative with Fountains and Waterfalls

It turns out that after centuries of following the same simple pool design, the pool industry is actually quite creative and the only limit to what you can do with your pool is your own imagination (and your budget, of course!). You work hard and deserve to play equally hard, so what are you waiting for? New Image Landscape and Pools wants to help you create an oasis of calm, peace, and beauty in your backyard! And although summer has already started our Arizona summers last twice as long as everywhere else, so if you start soon it’s possible you can be enjoying the fruits of our labors before summer ends! Give us a call today!

Summer Pool Maintenance Tips

For those of you who rely on calendars to inform you of the changing of the seasons, you may be a little surprised when you step outside your Phoenix abode and are hit in the face by extreme heat. In Arizona, we use calendars as ways of marking off the days until the cool weather returns, and we know summer officially arrived back in April with the advent of temperatures that reached the century mark! Because of the extreme summer temps, many Arizonans also know how to extend their outdoor play time as they spend hours hanging out by the pool. Unfortunately, the higher utilization of our watery playgrounds also means more pool maintenance. New Image Landscape and Pools knows your pain, and as such, we have created this guide to summer pool maintenance tips in order to help you spend more time in the water and less time hanging out by the equipment trying to keep the pool clean and safe!

A Little Extra Effort

Summer swim season is one of our favorite times of the year, but as we stated earlier, more use leads to more effort in keeping our pools swim ready! The warmer water is a perfect environment for algae and bacteria growth, so running the pool pump and filter helps to continuously turn the water over during the heat of the day to keep it from getting stagnant. You’ll know if you aren’t running the equipment long enough by the appearance of algae growth in the top 8 to 10 inches from the surface. Another thing to look out for is sun exposure; just as moss grows on the north side of a tree, algae will makes its appearance on the south side of the pool.

The More you Swim the More Pool Maintenance

Socializing with pool parties is very popular in the desert, but this activity comes with one major drawback. A heavy swim load can be the biggest element affecting your pool’s cleanliness and beauty. More bodies in the pool will cause a serious strain on your sanitizing chemicals as the body oils, sweat, and more will affect the chemistry of the pool. Many people believe that the problem can be solved by just dumping some extra chlorine in the water, but there’s more that needs to be done. Using more chlorine in you pool more often causes larger swings in the balance of other chemicals in the pool, such as the pH and alkalinity of the water. A happy pool requires a balance of chemicals, and if you overload one it will quickly be evident by the appearance of the water. Testing kits make it easier to determine which chemicals are lacking and of which there is an abundance; these are sold at most pool and home improvement stores.

Plant Growth is Only Pretty on Land

Everyone loves a beautiful garden, but vegetation growth is of a huge concern for pool water health. When plants and flowers are in bloom, winds pick up pollen, dust, and grass clippings from your yard and your neighbor’s yard and quickly deposit them where you really don’t want them to be—in your pool. It’s important to be mindful of what plants you put in your yard, or more specifically the pool area. Things that drop or shed a lot of debris or pollen can be counterintuitive to a healthy pool, because these particles supply the unwanted algae with a food source, turning your pool a most unlovely shade of green, yellow, or in worst case scenarios, black.

Phosphates can be chemically and safely removed from your pool water with a bottle of phosphate removal, such as Orenda Pr-10,000 Phosphate Remover Concentrate For Swimming Pools or Natural Chemistry Phosfree Extra Strength Phosphate Remover For Pools, both of which can be ordered online. These chemicals are relatively inexpensive and are imperative to keeping your pool sanitized, healthy, and swim-ready as we delve deeper into the hotter months of summer!

Dust Storms Can Wreak Havoc

That wall of dust you see rolling towards the valley on the news in July and August isn’t just dangerous to drive in; it can seriously wreak havoc with the cleanliness of your pool. Although there’s no way to prevent the storms, your quick response to the weather will help keep your pool in tip top shape. As soon as it’s safe to go out to the pool after a big storm, manually skimming the pool with a net and telescoping pole will be the biggest thing you can do to save your equipment and keep the green from developing.

So What Have We Learned?

As fun as having your own pool can be, responsible pool ownership involves a certain amount of maintenance, especially during the summer months. Warm stagnant water, sun exposure, improperly balanced water, bodies swimming and vegetation can all make an impact on having a clean and safe swimming environment for you and your family. If you’re still having problems keeping your pool swim-ready, give us a call today and we can work together to fix all your summer maintenance issues!

 

 

5 Water Features to Transform Your Yard

Not every yard can grace the cover of our favorite home and garden magazine, but we would all love to have an outdoor space that others would consider cover-worthy. As you stare out onto the barren landscape that surrounds your home, you can quickly become discouraged. You don’t deserve this desolate yard, but you may be unaware of how to change it. Fortunately, we at New Image Landscape and Pools don’t see things in quite the same way as many of our clients; that barren and desolate yard you see is something we consider a blank slate, full of possibilities! From adding secret gardens and constructing hardscape items such as pergolas or sheds to using any or all five of the water features listed below, we have the ideas and the knowledge to transform your yard!

A Fountain Fits Everywhere

Sometimes the smaller things can make the largest impact in your life, in your job, and of course, in your yard. Fountains come in a variety of styles and sizes, allowing even those with compact outdoor spaces to enjoy the peace and serenity of a water feature. And because unlike many of the ideas you will read about here, they can also be used in the front yard, giving your home some extra curb appeal, a fountain could be considered the unicorn of water features! Hang a small one on the wall of your condo patio or build an entire landscape designed around a three-tier one located in the center of your yard—the only limit is your imagination!

Hot Tubs Offer Romance

Even in the desert, a hot tub is one of the more popular water feature choices. Offering the perfect blend of form and function, owners can say goodbye to aching muscles and stress headaches as they enjoy the romance of the night sky on a quiet desert night. Built into the ground, they become a permanent part of your private oasis, while stand-alone units can be uprooted every time you move; both can be a spectacular addition to your not-so-desolate landscape! Your youngest swimmers may also enjoy swimming in the hot tub (under close supervision and without the bubbles, of course!) when its not heated up; it makes them feel as if they have their own private pool!

Construct a Koi Pond

Koi can be delicate creatures, preferring more moderate climates, but by adding a little shade to your yard, they can thrive. There’s just something peaceful about watching the brightly colored fish swim in the pond as you sit under the shade, feeling the stress leave your shoulders and neck. Feeding them can be the best part of your day—just be sure to only feed them once a day—and if you keep the temperatures of the pond between 34 and 90 degrees, they will survive for years to come. Making the pond deep and replacing evaporated water with cool water and even adding ice can help create a paradise for your koi, even on the hottest days of the year.

No Need to Chase These Waterfalls

A waterfall isn’t just for pools, and if your yard is large enough, we can create a small stream topped with waterfalls for a dramatic look that no one would expect from a desert yard! Best for yards built on an incline—a mountain hideaway, for example—a pond that starts at the top of the hill and stairsteps down to another pond far below offers hours of serene enjoyment. Add a meandering stream and lots of foliage in varying shades of green and watch your neighbors turn their own shades of green as envy shines brightly in their eyes! The secret to getting the water back to the top is simple and inexpensive, involving nothing more than a fountain pump!

You Knew We Couldn’t End This Without Mentioning a Pool

We live in the desert, and summers aren’t just hot, they are SCORCHING, making a pool the perfect addition to your Arizona oasis. Pool technology advances allow pool owners to display a variety of colors with LED and fiber optic lighting, and for the bold and the exciting, fire can be blended with water, creating a show at night that is absolutely spectacular! Swim-up pool bars, built-in loungers, and of course, grottos and waterfalls offer perfect ways to show your friends and family that this isn’t your grandma’s pool! Your yard will be the “coolest” on the block, even if you decide to skip some of the more extravagant extras and stick with a play pool; sometimes the basics are all you need!

Transform Your Yard – The Options Are Endless

We could go on and on about the benefits and beauty of water features in your desert landscape, but if any of these sound like something your yard could use, give us a call! We’re here to help you create the perfect backyard oasis!

Advanced Pool Design Options

Planning a pool is one of the greater joys in life, even if you are just going for the basic options, because you know that at the end of construction, your ordinary backyard will turn into an oasis of cool—at least for most of the summer! Being able to swim under the night sky will cool your core temperature as it eases your mind. We firmly believe that many of our personal problems have been solved by a quick dip, and we often find our Zen moments as we strain the pool for leaves and debris; standing by the pool, mindlessly reaching out with net and pole is strangely calming! And because less is never more when it comes to pools, for those of you that are considering something more, these advanced pool design options are guaranteed to increase your delight; your backyard can be something all the neighbors will dream could be theirs.

Infinity Edge

When you want a touch of the dramatic, an infinity edge will make your pool stand out from all others. Offering a near-seamless view of the water, as you peer out into the landscape of your backyard, it appears to be one with the land and the views of beyond. An infinity edge also offers an easier way to keep the surface of your pool clean, as the entire edge of the pool acts as one big skimmer.

Negative Edge

A negative edge pool is similar to the infinity edge with the difference being that only one side, or a portion of the pool, drops off into an exterior trough. This particular option will take your breath away if you’re one of the fortunate owners of a home in the mountains; it gives your backyard a view of infinite distance, not unlike the ocean when you stare into the horizon!

Beach Entry

Also called a walk-in entry, the beach entry gradually slopes from the deck as it transitions into the cool blue water of your pool. Providing a safe play area for smaller children to play—while being supervised, of course—it’s also an ideal choice for those with disabilities or those who may have troubles with their knees and/or hips, allowing swimmers to walk into the water without having to manage the steps that are your traditional way of entering a pool. It’s also a great place to lounge in a lounge chair, staying cool as you soak in the rays of the desert sun, perhaps reading that summer bestseller you’ve had on your nightstand for far too long!

Choosing Your In-Pool Seating

In the early days of pool construction, a single bench (often called a loveseat) along one side of the pool was about as good as you could get, but today’s options are only limited by your imagination—and your budget, of course! For simplicity’s sake, today we often find more than one bench, placed in the deepest areas of the pool, giving swimmers a chance to rest, sunbathe, or read if you don’t have a pool float. These benches can also be used for placement of volleyball sleeves and pool lighting, adding more amenities and a luxurious appearance to the body of water in your backyard. Benches placed under grottos are fun, especially as the water tumbles over the side, giving pool occupants the feel of being in a cave behind a waterfall. Offering a touch of romance for young lovers and a touch of adventure for young children who like to pretend they are pirates at sea about to make their mortal enemies (younger siblings, perhaps?) walk the plank!

Other seating areas, however, include tables and chairs that can be built as a permanent structure. Best for larger pools, you can create swim-up bars or entire seating areas that stay dry even as they are surrounded by water. And because needs change, removeable table and chairs are also available.

Resort-Like Pools

We’ve all spent a weekend or more in a big resort, enjoying the amenities, including the waterpark-like pool areas, but did you know you can construct a pool with many of the same extras? Your version may be smaller, offering only one waterslide instead of six, but it can still offer a scaled down version of the fun! Include a lazy river and a romantic bridge, add a residential splash pad off to the side for younger children to enjoy, and of course, the grotto we mentioned before! Fire pits in the water create a much talked about addition, and the shape of your pool can be a conversation piece as well. Musicians have been known to create piano or even, in one particular case, a cello pool using LED lighting to create the frets!

Be It Grand or Simple

Building a pool in your backyard is one of those simple luxuries that fast becomes a necessity for Arizonans. Give us a call today and let’s discuss how we can turn your backyard into the oasis of your dreams!

Planting and Caring for Fruit Trees

If you’re not from Arizona originally, you may have been surprised by the prevalence of palm trees and fruit trees that dot our landscape, thinking as most people do that both belong in the tropics. After you’ve been here awhile, you get used to it, however, and may begin to consider that adding fruit trees to your home oasis is the one thing you need most! And because we want our clients to have everything they want and need, we at New Image Landscape and Pools are providing this thorough guide to planting and caring for fruit trees, ensuring that your table will be filled with your favorite fruit (during the season, of course) for years to come!

Choose Your Fruit

Obviously, not all fruit trees do well in our desert climate, and even if your neighbor with the dark green thumb manages to grow EVERYTHING, you might want to stick with the ones that are guaranteed to do ok when you first start out. This means that citrus is where you want to start. Lemons, limes, and grapefruits do amazingly well in our desert clime, so well you may find yourself with bags and bags to give away after they have matured. Other trees that thrive include different varieties of golden apple, pears, peaches, apricots, and plums. Some fruit trees need a male and a female to be planted near each other, but citrus trees are self-fruitful, and you can get away with planting just one—a perfect choice in the somewhat smaller standard Phoenix backyards!

Seeds or Seedlings

We find planting bare root trees much easier than pushing a seed in the ground and waiting, especially if you seek instant gratification! Local nurseries offer a variety of sizes with a variety of prices guaranteed to fit any budget. A 24-inch box is generally not that expensive and provides an instant difference for those who just can’t wait! Remember, if you’re planting this tree yourself, you’ll need to make the hole twice the depth and width of the roots, so you might want to stick with a smaller 10 gallon tree and save yourself some work.

Find the Perfect Spot

Fruit trees require lots of sun (something we have no shortage of here in the desert) and soil that drains well. Planting a lemon tree in the shade of your two-story home is not a good idea, obviously, and one of the best places we have found in our own yards is out by the pool, far enough away that you don’t have to worry about skimming pears out of the water or roots bursting through your pool wall, but close enough to enjoy the rays of sun you enjoy yourself while floating around the pool. Fruit trees grow large, so be sure to plant away from power lines or sidewalks. They need plenty of space to grow tall and strong!

When to Plant

If it’s 115 degrees outside and candy bars melt in your hand before you get to open their packaging, you might want to wait a few months to purchase and plant your fruit tree. We’re lucky in Arizona, we actually have two planting seasons, spring and fall, with the fall having the most benefits. With that being said, spring is just a whisper away, and fruit trees do well when planted in the spring, so if you’re excited about the idea, you won’t have to wait much longer!

Juicy Fruits Need Lots of Water

In the beginning, as can be expected, you will need to water frequently; the rule of thumb is whenever the first two inches of soil have dried out. As the tree matures, you can lessen the watering times, but will still need to deep soak them periodically; a drip watering system can be your best friend!

Time to Fertilize

If your tree is growing taller every year, you may not need to add any fertilizer, but if its not thriving, very late winter or early spring is when you can add fertilizer safely; high nitrogen fertilizer is the best type to choose. Mixing a root stimulator in with the loose dirt you pulled from the ground when you dug the hole will help ensure its growth follows the generally accepted schedule!

What About Pests?

All gardeners have to fight the occasional invasion of pests, and that includes those planting fruit trees, but in Arizona we have it a little easier than other states. If you are finding yourself victim to pests, however, you really don’t want to use chemicals to chase them away; that fruit is eventually going to end up in your child’s mouth, and if you don’t want to eat the poison from the bottle, why would you add it to your fruits? Farming science has determined there are a variety of methods of controlling bugs organically, generally by introducing insects that are beneficial to the environment. Ladybugs, parasitic wasps, and lacewings have proven to work best!

Now It’s Time to Enjoy!

As you can see, there’s not a lot of work that needs to go into the planting and care of fruit trees, but if it seems like more than you are interested in taking on, give us a call today! Our knowledgeable landscapers can do all the hard work, leaving you to do nothing more than enjoy the fruits of our labor!

End of Winter Tasks – Getting Your Yard Ready for Spring

When you notice that you are no longer driving to and from work under the cloak of darkness, it quickly becomes apparent that winter in Arizona (such as it is) is ending and spring is quietly waiting in the wings for her turn to shine. And although we know that spring won’t last for long—the bold and brash summer is tapping her toes impatiently—now is the perfect time to start preparing your yard for spring’s promise. We’ve provided the following guide for tasks that will help get your yard ready for Spring before the temps rise any higher, ensuring your yard will continue to be the showcase it has always been.

Time to Deal with the Weeds

Although spring is when weeds typically take off with a vengeance, our milder temps in the winter can lead to early weed growth. You can use chemicals to spray the rogue greenery, purchased from your local home improvement store, but if adding poison to your environment is not something that interests you, using a garden weasel to pop them out works just as well. A homemade weed killer made with a gallon of vinegar, a cup of salt (or borax) and a tablespoon of dish soap has also proven to have great results.

Organization

The odds of you having spent any time cleaning or organizing your yard over the last few months are probably slim to none, but that’s ok. Use the quiet days at the end of winter to clear away the clutter. Removing broken branches that have fallen from the trees, old toys the dogs have chewed to an unrecognizable mass, and sweeping and spraying off sidewalks, patios, and driveways will create a blank slate for the beauty of spring.

Preparation

This might be a good time to check out your gardening tools from previous years. Did you loan some to friends? Seek them out and try to get them back or plan on purchasing new ones. Broken rakes can be replaced, dull lawnmower blades can be taken to the shop to sharpen, and if you don’t have that garden weasel we mentioned earlier, it might be time to add it to your collection! They will save both your back and hands and are reasonably priced. Head to the home improvement store now with your list!

What’s Missing? – Getting Your Yard Ready for Spring

Now that your yard is neat and in order, it’s the perfect time to decide what is missing from your yard. Maybe a gazebo to shield you from the summer sun? A pool for cooling off during those same sizzling summer days? It’s not too late to have either of those things built before the weather takes a turn for the torturous! Give us a call at New Image Landscape & Pools today and let’s start planning your home oasis together!

Rockscaping Options for Your Yard

There are so many imaginative and creative ways to design a landscape, but sometimes it’s the simplest designs that can create the largest impact. A desert landscape, a garden of wildflowers, or a rockscape that is earthy, natural, and offers a modern twist can be all you need to create a yard that all the neighbors will envy. And when it’s time to create your own showpiece, this guide to rockscaping options will ensure that you do it right!

A Garden Path

Not every rockscape is designed with massive boulders in mind. Sometimes an uncomplicated rocky garden path is all you need to create the yard of your dreams. Let it meander aimlessly around your yard and line the path with solar lanterns or use it to direct guests to the spots with the best views and garden benches. Smaller rocks and pebbles can be used for this purpose, or, if you are looking for drama, larger pieces of flat and colorful flagstones will offer all the drama you need!

Create Levels

Although most of our desert homes are located on flat pieces of land, there are some built into the mountains that surround the valley and those yards can be steep and not feasible for use. Retaining walls, however, can be made from rocks and boulders, holding back the soil and creating flat spaces for all to enjoy. Creating a low wall around flower beds or vegetable gardens will also give your boring yard a vertical lift that is pleasing to the eye.

Accentuate a Boring Corner

Now is the time that the larger boulders can be put to good use. Accentuate a boring corner with one giant boulder surrounded by plants and smaller rocks. Place a strategic stone or two to be used as borders on the edge of concrete stairs, in the corner of your yard, or anywhere you think needs something to punctuate its beauty!

Use Gravel to Create Separation

Build a pergola and fill in the ground space with small pebbles, creating a space for a patio table or a garden bench. Build a river of stone, creating areas of interest—a play area on one side, a dining area on another, and a place to sit in still others! Build a firepit and have a gathering spot on cooler nights or use different sizes and colors of stones throughout the yard, eliminating the need for sprinklers.

So Many Rockscaping Ideas

There is so much you can do with a rockscape in your backyard. Give us a call today and let us help you discover which design will work best for you!

How to Update Your Landscaping to a More Modern Style

Even the best of yards can appear to be outdated and lackluster after a time. What is popular today doesn’t always stand the test of time! Of course, there’s something to be said for the timeless beauty of an old English garden, complete with hedges and garden benches, but we live in the desert, and what works for the queen probably wouldn’t last here! This guide to update your landscape will erase the unfashionable and give your yard the modern edge you’ve always dreamed it could have!

Step 1: Remove What’s Broken or Dilapidated

The surest way to give your yard a modern update is by removing the ugly parts. Broken garden walls, wood benches that are dried out and disintegrating, and sad gravel areas that are faded and filled with weeds all add to the outmoded look you and your neighbors are growing to despise.

Step 2: Those Plants Have to Go

Leggy bushes with most of their leaves gone, overgrown shrubs that are blocking the view of the home from the street and are dead in the middle, or any plants that no longer please you are the next thing to ditch. Planting flowering bushes that are cheerful and attract bees and butterflies will bring a smile to your face every time you drive into your driveway or walk out onto your porch! Browse your local nursery and talk to the workers to find out which plants work best in our dry and arid soil; research will help keep you from having to revamp anytime soon!

Step 3: Follow the Trends

Just as fashion and home interiors change frequently, landscape design regularly follows new trends, and the word for 2020 landscape design is geometric for hardscape additions. Reuse the brick in your walkways by incorporating a design; chevron and basket weave are predicted to be popular this year!

Step 4: Trending Colors

Gray and white are on their way out and shades of blue that bring about the feeling of the ocean are in! Plant flowers with blue blooms, paint the gazebo a daring shade of aqua, or go an entirely different direction by bringing in a water feature, such as a pool, hot tub, or fountain!

Sometimes You Just Have to Ask the Experts – Update Your Landscaping

Give us a call today and discover all the ways you can make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood!