3 Arizona Gardening Tips for Keeping Your Garden Healthy

There are so many tips and techniques to use to keep your garden healthy, no matter where you are lucky enough to have your garden. They may seem pretty basic, but if you get the basics down, you’ll have better success with your gardening. Here are our top three Arizona gardening tips for keeping your garden healthy.

Tip #1: Water

This may seem pretty obvious, but of course it’s pretty important, especially here in the Southwest. You can do everything else right, but if you forget to pay attention to the amount of water your plants are getting, they probably won’t make it. Of course, you can rely on Mother Nature to provide the right amount of rain at the right time, or you can do the watering yourself and not worry. Try using a drip system; it puts the water right where your plants need it. Even better, use a drip system on a timer. These systems are easy to adjust, so you can control the amount of water your plants get and when they get it. This is especially good if you have plants with different watering needs. And don’t forget to get a rain barrel or two and capture that free rain water!

Arizona Gardening Tips #2: Mulch

Mulch will provide a protective cover around the base of your plants. This protective covering will help protect your plants against those drastic temperature changes that occur so often here in the Southwest. Mulch also helps retain moisture in the soil, keeping the water where your plants need it. Organic mulches eventually break down, contributing to soil health (always a good thing), and a nice organic mulch will invite earthworms to your garden (another good thing). Mulching also helps with weed control; a 2”- 3” layer of mulch is all you need to keep those weeds down.

Tip #3: Clean Up

This isn’t just about keeping your garden looking pretty, that’s just a side benefit. No, cleaning up in and around the garden can also help cut down on pests and diseases. Clean up leaves as they gather on the ground and toss them in your compost pile. All sorts of pests (and not just insects!) can live under those dead leaves! And don’t forget about the plants themselves; clean away dead or damaged stems and leaves to keep your plants healthy. Use pruning shears for a sharp, clean cut at damaged stems.

Give us a call today more Arizona gardening tips and to schedule a consultation!

3 Ways to Make Your Garden More Private

A garden is a wonderful, aesthetically pleasing addition to any environment. Gardens are also quite practical in that they provide such conveniences as shade and privacy. When it comes to a garden, establishing privacy is important so you can enjoy your space to the fullest without the concern of prying eyes or interruptions. The following are three ways to make your Mesa garden more private.

Fence It in

Nothing says privacy more than a fence. The way in which you create the fenced barrier is totally up to you. Before investing in a fence for your garden, make sure that you have established your property lines. Regarding privacy, you have the choice of full-privacy or semi-privacy fences. Full privacy fences are made in a manner that eliminates gaps between the panels. The only way someone can see into your garden is by looking over the fence. There is also the option of semi-privacy fences which still offer a certain level of privacy while including the spaces between the panels,so people can see through the fence. These types of fences are available in different sizes and materials to suit your landscape.

Go Green for Privacy

Use the beauty of nature to create privacy for your garden while experiencing a greener, lush landscape. Hedge fences are an excellent way to create privacy with plants. To create the best hedge for privacy needs, choose a plant that grows tall such as boxwood or privet. Other green options for privacy include the use of flowering bushes such as laurels,as they can grow upwards of 8-feet. Planting trees and bushes around an existing fence is also another way to create more privacy for your existing Mesa garden.

Creative Cover for Your Mesa Garden

Try adding creative touches to your garden for more privacy. Hanging drapes or large pieces of fabric around the perimeter of a garden is a creative way to control the level of privacy in your garden. Consider installing a trellis that includes a climbing plant such as ivy. You can even incorporate a vertical garden into your existing landscape by planting tall plants in pots which helps to create a green privacy barrier.

At New Image Landscape and Pools, we can help you create the privacy you desire for your landscape. With over 35 years of landscaping experience, we offer a variety of innovative ideas to help you enjoy your garden to the fullest. For more information on creating your private garden, contact us 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.

Gardening in Arizona Frequently Asked Questions

When people first move here from eastern states, they frequently get excited about the entire Southwest lifestyle. They eat tacos on Mondays (not just Tuesdays!), buy stucco homes and decorate the inside and outside with statues of howling coyotes, and cover the ground with tiny sand colored rocks and plant only cacti. This all or nothing approach to gardening, however, can soon become sterile and hostile feeling, and they begin to miss the welcoming warmth of their hometown gardens they left behind. If this describes you, or you are just new to the gardening world, these FAQs about gardening in Arizona will help clear the way to creating an inviting garden in the desert that can be enjoyed by all!

Is It Possible to Have a Colorful Flower Garden That is Still Drought Tolerant?

Water is a precious resource in the desert, and it is important to consider the impact of your garden’s watering system. Fortunately, it is totally possible to have beautiful flowers and reduce your water usage at the same time. Sage bushes—which come with a variety of colored flowers—firecracker penstemon, and the Angelita daisy are just a few of our beautiful, colorful, and drought resistant flowers.

Are There Other Trees That Survive as Well as Mesquite or Palm Trees?

The evergreen elm, a deciduous tree, does well in the Arizona heat, doesn’t require a lot of watering, AND becomes a beautiful shade of brilliant gold in the late fall. Olive trees, Australian bottle trees, and live oaks are just a sample of some of the trees you can add to your yard to create a lush and green landscape.

How Do I Avoid Spending All My Time Watering while Gardening in Arizona?

In the summer it’s too hot to spend a lot of time outdoors outside of your pool, and the rest of the year, you’re too busy. That’s ok, you can still have a vibrant garden filled with colorful flowers just by installing a drip system that connects to your already existing sprinkler system.

How Can I Maintain an Outdoor Garden When I Can’t Keep My Indoor Plants Alive?

This is an easy one: Consider hiring New Image Landscape and Pools for your lawn maintenance and floriculture needs! We can create a warm and welcoming landscape and garden (with your input, of course!), and do the maintenance as well, to ensure your gardening in Arizona lives long and prospers! Give us a call today and let’s start the process of creating an exterior landscape that is as inviting as your interior!

3 Reasons You Need a Pagoda in Your Backyard

Home ownership can often be described as a never-ending quest to create peace, tranquility, and a haven from the world’s problems. With everything we have to deal with on a day to day basis, it’s nice to come home to a sanctuary, and a pagoda in your backyard can be the biggest contribution to your peace of mind! The original pagoda was a structure with many tiers designed to be used for religious purposes, but for our purposes today, we are going to discuss the backyard structure also known as a gazebo in certain regions of the world. Here’s a list of the top reasons you should include a pagoda in your yard’s landscape.

A Spot of Coolness in the Summer Heat

Desert living is not for the weak at heart, especially in the summer! Temperatures that reach in excess of 100 degrees have us seeking out shade from the sun’s scorching rays. Your pagoda can be an oasis of cool and a place to enjoy the tranquility of the yard you’ve worked so hard to make perfect!

A Place to Congregate for Outdoor Gatherings

Birthday parties, anniversary celebrations, even weddings are made more special when celebrated outdoors, and your pagoda will be the perfect spot for everyone to come together. Enhance the beauty of a wedding ceremony with the bride and groom standing under its elegant beauty as they start the rest of their lives together. A table piled high with colorfully wrapped presents will make a startling and exciting contrast to the warm wooden structure that you have stained or painted to your preference, making the birthday boy very happy. And when celebrating that milestone anniversary, seat the seasoned couple at the head of the table so they are the center of attention and can easily see the smiling faces of the family that would not exist, if not for them.

Adding Value to Your Home

You may or may not be considering selling your home right now, but for future reference, a pagoda adds significant value. Part of what sells a home is the welcoming and inviting nature of the backyard. Beautiful landscaping and a unique piece of hardscaping will make your home stand out in a sea of bland and sterile homes on the market.

Schedule an Appointment with Us Today!

We can turn that boring backyard into a space that is welcoming and inviting—give us a call!

Pet Friendly Plants for Your Garden

Decorating your garden with beautiful plants can be difficult if you have pets around. A variety of plants can be poisonous and even deadly for pets without you even knowing what you just planted. Such poisonous plants that you should avoid having in your garden include common flowers such as lilies, vincas, tulips, daffodils, morning glory, and many more. When planting in your garden, consider the following pet friendly plants to bring a little color.

Petunias

These colorful flowers are the perfect addition for any gardener looking to bring a little color to their yard. Petunias are great for a variety of locations, such as hanging baskets, pots, bedding, and more. These beautiful flowers are available in a variety of colors, allowing you to color coordinate flowerbeds. Petunias are a hardy annual, so trim down any dead flowers to prolong the life of his colorful flower.

Lavender

Lavender has a calming effect on animals and people alike, making this a worthy addition to your garden. It is perfect for drier climates and is able to take full sun all day long. Your pets will love the scent of this hardy plant.

Marigold

Perennials are great flowers that survive year round without the need for replacing them constantly. Marigolds are a bright yellow perennial that also do well in sunny locations. These flowers will give a peace of mind knowing they can survive the dry Southwest.

Spider Plant

Not all pet friendly plants need to be planted outdoors. Several indoor plants are available that cannot harm your pets. Spider plant is a perennial that can grow in direct sunlight and requires little water. This fun plant can be planted directly into pots and hanging baskets.

Impatiens

Another great pet friendly plant that is perfect for hanging baskets is impatiens. Unlike the other plants listed so far, impatiens requires moist soil and needs to be kept in the shade. This colorful flower would make the perfect addition next to a fence or bedding area.

And Many More

There is a vast amount of pet friendly plants that will make your garden as beautiful as ever. Make sure to keep a look out for orchids, roses, sunflowers, and African violets to add even more color that you and your pets will appreciate. Always make sure when purchasing new plants that you check to be sure our Arizona climate will support them.

Top Water Saving Trees for Your Landscape

Living in the desert, you learn that some things work a little differently out here. The bread on your sandwich goes stale when you walk away for a second, the metal on your seat belts will scorch your fingers, and water is a precious commodity. Planting trees that save on water usage will enhance your desert living experience. We all want that green landscape with lush trees that we remember from our days of living back east, but what works for Ohio may not work in Arizona, and even if it does, it probably wastes the water that needs to be guarded like precious jewels! There are trees, however, that save water, look great, and add that touch of green that makes our yards so beautiful—keep reading to learn what they are!

Texas Ebony

Growing tall and strong even in the hottest days of summer, the Texas ebony features a large, green canopy that provides shade for desert dwellers. Bred to endure the dry and compacted soil of the southwest, they prefer the sun, and during the spring and fall months, cream colored blooms provide a colorful contrast to the emerald green of their leaves.

Museum Palo Verde

You’ve probably noticed versions of the Palo Verde growing all over the valley, but the Museum Palo Verde is a hybrid that combines all the best qualities of the varieties of Palo Verde that grow in the desert. Water wise, low maintenance, and lacking the thorns that make the standard trees so hard to prune, the yellow flowers in the spring give any landscape a happy look with this trees that save on water usage.

Sissoo Tree

Of all the trees we discuss here, the Sissoo tree bears the most resemblance to lush green trees we love to grow in the eastern states but offers all the traits necessary to grow in the desert. This tree grows better and faster in the hotter months and has leaves that resemble the aspen tree. Tall and majestic with a generous sized canopy, the Sissoo tree is fast becoming a favorite in the desert!

Texas Mountain Laurel

It’s dramatic purple blooms in the spring will make your house the talk of the neighborhood—those flowers are stunning! This evergreen doesn’t grow very tall, making it a great tree that saves on water for your courtyard patio. As it is establishing itself, it will take more water, but once its established and adding a sensational touch to your already impressive landscape, this desert blooming tree will be a favorite for years to come!

Just a Sample

If you’re thinking about doing your civic duty and planting a tree that saves on water, now is the time to do it; give us a call and schedule an appointment today to learn more about the trees listed here, plus many others that are bred to thrive in our arid desert climate!

5 Features to Add to Your Yard in 2018

 Your home is your oasis, and you want the exterior to reflect that fact as much as the interior already does. What better time to start than now? 2018 is just starting, and what your future holds is yet to be revealed, so why not take this time to make sure your landscape offers that peaceful escape you’ve always dreamed it could be? We’ve looked into our crystal balls and determined that the five following yard features are going to be the hottest landscaping trends in 2018, allowing you to create a yard that all your neighbors will be envious of!

Low Maintenance Sustainability

Water is a prized commodity in the desert, so why should you create a garden filled with water sucking plants and flowers when you can just as easily create a lush landscape of green flora and colorful plants that DON’T require excessive amounts of water to keep them healthy? Drought tolerant plants are the wave of the future, requiring less water and less maintenance while still providing a lush appearance.

Simple and Sturdy

The use of hardscapes yard features in your exterior landscaping is still popular, but 2018 is going to be about natural, quality materials designed to last for decades. Stone and wood pergolas offer an eye-catching spot for your outdoor kitchen that will last far longer than some of the blingier models that were more popular in past years.

Water Features

There’s a reason lake and ocean vacations are one of the hottest landscaping trends: The sound of the water is music to our ears! When you add a water feature to your backyard oasis, you can feel a sense of serenity enveloping you like a big hug. From fountains to koi ponds to waterfalls for your pool, the peace you gain from your water feature is one of the most popular 2018 trends.

Bringing the Inside Out

When you live in a climate with more sunny days than not, it’s a given that you will want to spend as much time outside as you do inside—if not more! 2018 is going to be the year of the outdoor kitchen, outdoor living area, and who knows, maybe the outdoor bedroom as well!

Eco-Friendly Yards

As we venture further into this still-new millennium, we have moved green living to the forefront, and 2018 is no exception. Using easily replenished materials such as bamboo instead of wood, planting food gardens instead of flowers, and veering away from grassy yards that are water wasting allergens are just some of the ways you can go green for 2018. Schedule an appointment with us today and discover all the new ways eco-friendly landscapes can change our world for the better!

5 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Landscape and Pool

If you want to set a goal for this year, maybe you should set a goal for your Arizona yard. It’s a lot of space; you should use it to its full potential. Make one of these resolutions and you’ll be able to brag about them all year—once you follow through, of course!

Get Rid of Dead Space

You might have a little, you might have a lot, but odds are you have some spot in your yard that is nothing special—just dirt. Find out what you can do to make this Arizona landscaping more appealing, from rock features that complement the yard to small plants that lend some life to the picture.

Use the Patio Table

Like fire extinguishers, patio tables are way more common than their usage frequency might suggest. And since patio tables aren’t potentially life-saving, why have them? This year, go out and enjoy your patio table more! And if necessary, incentivize this by installing a pagoda, then hook up some fans, misters, and/or a TV. Before you know it, your friends will want to use your patio table, too.

Remove the Ugly Plants

Have you been leaving an ugly plant in your Arizona yard just because you don’t want to get rid of it? Be honest: Is that plant probably or certainly dead? This year, finally get rid of it—and discover what an opportunity you’ve been missing out on. With that space open, new ideas will flood to your mind—and if not to yours, ask us! We can even give you ideas on what that space could be before we take the old wood out.

Spice Up the Pool

In Arizona, you can use your pool six months a year or more. It’s good for relaxation, it’s good for exercise, it’s good for social occasions… it just isn’t always good to look at, and sometimes you look at it and just see a hole in the ground. This year, make your pool stand out. Install misting systems, jet fountains, or spillover spas to turn your aquatic playground into a work of art.

Cut Down Your Costs

You may find your backyard Arizona landscaping isn’t worth what it’s costing you. If that’s the case, pitch the current design or modify it to lower costs, including energy and, especially, water—landscaping is probably the most water-thirsty thing your house does. So, call up New Image Landscape and Pools and see why we’re one of the best Arizona landscapers.

New Year, New Image

If these resolutions sound good to you, contact New Image Landscape and Pools at 480-654-4422. We’ll help anyone in the East Valley improve their yard and their year with our fabulously-reviewed services. Find out why we’re one of the best landscapers in AZ!

5 Ways to Get your Landscape Ready for the Season

As the weather gets dreary and the nights get cold, taking care of your yard is never more important. You need to think of winter as your off-season in your annual landscaping game plan. With the right game plan, you can prepare your landscaping for the upcoming cold weather months to ensure that you are set up for the beautiful arrival of spring!

Aerate your lawn now

One major winter lawn care tip is this: Your lawn will fare winter’s weather best and come back with more vitality in the spring if you aerate while it is still green. Give your lawn some breathing room as it transitions into the cold season. Fall aeration breaks up the dry, compacted soil, allowing water and nutrients to reach the roots. Watering your lawn by hand during the dry winter months can help it green-up faster in spring.

Seed your lawn during Fall

A proper lawn care formula for success: fall aeration and overseeding helps to fill in bare spots to provide a thick green lawn. It also helps make your lawn less susceptible to disease by introducing a variety of hardy grass types.

Condition the soil beneath your lawn

Proper lawn care means caring for the soil beneath it as well. Soil conditioner will green up your lawn and help eliminate brown spots.

Fertilize your trees

As soils cool down and become more uniformly moist, tree and shrub growth resumes in the fall, making it the perfect time to fertilize trees. Fall fertilization increases the productivity of soil, both in increasing nutrient availability and encourages root growth. Trees and shrubs with a healthy productive root system are far more likely to overwinter with fewer dead branches and increased spring growth.

Cut down the stems of your perennials

Once temperatures hit the freezing mark and plants die back, cut back the stems of your perennials to within an inch or two of the ground. Later in the fall, consider adding light mulch such as hay, straw or pine needles. Renew the top few inches of mulch in your flowerbeds to protect perennials from the hard freezes. Keep mulch around trees looking more like a doughnut and less like a volcano. This will discourage critters from digging in and feasting on the tree.

These are just some of the basics from New Image Landscape and Pools to help you get started on your winter lawn care tip game plan!