Heat-Resistant Plants to Add Green to Your Yard

There are a few things you have to be prepared for when you move to the desert: one, it gets HOT in the summer; two, the sun is far brighter than it was in your midwestern home town; and three, plants will die if you do not choose the right ones. Nothing is worse than purchasing a bunch of plants in the spring, only to watch them die slow and painful deaths as the summer months progress, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools want to save your plants! This guide to heat-resistant plants that will add color to your yard while giving the environment an extra helping of oxygen will ensure that you will make it to fall with a yard that is green, healthy, and the envy of your neighborhood!

Natal Plum

This rich green evergreen plant is surprisingly hearty due to its South African roots and adds a touch of elegance to your desert landscape. Offering cheerful white blooms in the spring through the fall, it can grow up to 3 feet tall and 3 feet wide, creating a beautiful contrast to your stuccoed home when planted in the bare space beneath your windows. These Arizona plants need to be watered at least once a week, and during the summer months should be watered deeper. When watered correctly, it will do wonderful in full sun.

New Gold Lantana

Environmentalists have been warning us for years about the importance of butterflies and honey bees and how their demise is causing the Earth to meet an untimely end, so having this cheerful golden plant in your yard is a great way to help! Attracting butterflies, the bright gold flowers offer a happy contrast to its dark green leaves, and its fast rate of growth allows homeowners to enjoy a verdant landscape within a short time. Doing well in full sun and needing very little water, this plant is often used as ground cover but can be used as low shrubs as well. The new gold lantana plant blooms in the spring and summer and adapts wonderfully to a desert landscape!

Bougainvillea

If you have lived in the valley for more than a few minutes, chances are you have seen (and felt!) this hearty South American plant more than a few times. Offering dark green leaves, bright fuchsia blooms, and long thorns that offer quite a bite when you accidentally back into them, the bougainvillea offers a dramatic beauty that stands up well to the desert heat and actually blooms more when it receives LESS water. Watering it deeply every three to four weeks will help it live a long and healthy life, and although it is quite common in desert yards, if you have a pool, you might want to avoid this plant, as the delicate blooms can clog up the filters!

Ficus Trees

This next plant is actually a tree that thrives in the desert heat as it provides a thick shade that is definitely enjoyed on summer days. The Ficus tree does not lose its leaves, and because their root systems go straight down instead of spreading out and up, they are often planted near pools. The only downside to this heat loving greenery is that it does not do as well in the cold and can suffer damage during frost seasons, so plant in protected areas if possible.

Jojoba

This plant is a popular one, growing wild easily in the desert; you have probably seen it planted in your neighbor’s yard without knowing what it was! The seeds and oil of the jojoba plant was often prized for their medicinal value in the past, and their ease of care makes them prized by today’s homeowners as well. Needing no fertilizer and very little water, they self-pollenate and can survive for over 100 years, doing best when planted in full sun!

Texas Ranger (Sage)

The Texas Ranger is known for its slightly fuzzy silvery green leaves, its bright purple blooms, and its hardiness that allows it to thrive in triple digit temperatures. If you walk by this fragrant bush when it is full bloom, you may also notice it buzzes, but that isn’t due to any electronics in the area; the Texas Ranger attracts honey bees, making it yet another environmentally important plant that will add beauty to your yard without needing a lot of water to keep it healthy!

Give Us a Call Today to Learn More About Arizona Plants

Your landscape offers the first and sometimes only impression your home and yard can make. Give us a call today and let us work together creating an environment that appeals to your sense of beauty as much as it endures. Your home deserves to be the showpiece you have always known it could be, and there is no better time than the present to make it so!

Desert Flowers That Bloom in the Spring

To be perfectly honest, the seasons don’t change all that much in the desert, and in many ways the months just past in a blur of summer, early summer, late summer, what in the world were we thinking of moving here summer, and oh my gosh, now I remember why we feel lucky to live here SPRING! Although the season doesn’t quite last the entire three months it is scheduled, these days are our favorite ones, as we go to spring training games, take hikes up Camelback Mountain, and sit out on our porches admiring the spring flowers that miraculously seem to bloom even during the drier years. If you are still working on your landscaping and are feeling the urge to stare at something pretty after a long day on the job, this guide to desert flowers that bloom in the spring will ensure you have time to stop and smell the roses without wasting the deserts most precious resource! These Arizona flowers require little water and are bred to survive the desert’s harsh temperatures.

Something Wild

Spring is when the wildflower seeds you sprinkled in the yard earlier in the season come to bloom, creating a rich and wild landscape that just makes onlookers happy when they see it! The wonderful thing about desert living, however, is that even if you didn’t sprinkle any seeds, you may still wake one day to red or orange California poppies, desert lavender, wild geraniums, or lupines waving happily in the spring breezes. It’s not magic, however, as you can thank the desert winds that blow strong or the birds that carry the seeds from your neighbor’s yard to yards all over the valley! Although the flowers require little to no watering on your part, the wetter the spring, the more they will flourish!

Prickly and Pretty Arizona Flowers

Residents who aren’t native to the desert are surprised the first time they see a beautiful bloom on a prickly cactus, but they soon get used to it and fall in love! April is the blooming time for many spiny cacti, including the prickly pear, whose fruit transforms into a stunning fuchsia colored bloom! The saguaro, Arizona’s state cactus, isn’t just a centuries old symbol of desert life and home to cactus wrens; rainy springs often bring about large white blooms with yellow centers, adding a touch of cheer to the mostly arid landscape! And although the barrel cactus is super prickly and rather plain most of the year, in the spring it flourishes with cheerful yellow and flashy orange blooms that create a colorful display you will love. Chollas, often called jumping cactus, offer orange or yellow blooms as well, but if you have children or pets, this is one cactus you might want to avoid!

Buzzing Bushes

Ok, the bushes themselves aren’t buzzing, but if you have lived here any amount of time, you have probably noticed silvery green bushes featuring yellow or purple blooms buzzing like crazy as you pass by on your spring evening walks. These sage bushes attract bees and butterflies and are a perfect addition to your spring garden, especially if you have a larger section that you want to fill in with something pretty! Another bush plant with incredible red or orange blooms is the Bird of Paradise, which will stay in bloom through the summer if the soil is kept moist and the plant is placed in full sunshine. This hardy desert plant thrives on the sun, and although it does require a little more water than most desert plants, the dramatic beauty it will give your landscape will more than make up for the little extra effort involved with keeping it healthy. This plant will not bloom if it is not mature or if it doesn’t get enough sun, but otherwise it is not temperamental!

Go Big and Stay Home

The benefits of a tree when planted close to your house are innumerable, including saving at least 25% on summer electric bills, but did you know there are also desert trees that bloom? The jacaranda tree is our favorite, presenting beautiful lavender blooms that give your landscape an ethereal feeling that never fails to awe! Blooming in April through early spring, even when the flowers fall to the ground this tree continues to excite as it creates a purple carpet that has to be seen to be believed! The mesquite tree also brightens the landscape with masses of yellow or yellowish green flowers that shine in the spring and early summer and since this tree was born to thrive in arid conditions, it is the perfect addition to your desert landscape, saving you money as it brightens your day!

Be Proud of Your Yard

Our homes are our sanctuaries, and we want to be as proud of the exterior as we are of the interior, so give New Image Landscape and Pools a call today and let’s get started making your yard bloom for spring!

Get Your Grass Yard Ready for Spring

Whether you are ready for it or not, spring is just around the corner, and we desert dwellers tend to have a love/hate relationship with the season. We love the warmer days, but we also know that the heat of summer is not far behind! But this season is still the season of growth and promise, and now is the perfect time to start preparing your grass yard to ensure that by summer’s beginning, it will be green, glossy, and a yard to be envied by all the neighbors. This guide to prepping your yard for spring will help.

Spring Cleaning Is Not Just for the Inside

As the days grow longer and the mercury rises, we often find ourselves cleaning closets and organizing the junk drawers under the guise of spring cleaning, but that habit should not be limited to the inside only. Your landscape has been neglected during the holidays and deserves a pick me up as well! Rake the leaves that may have fallen, pick up the broken branches from that last storm, and take the time to put away toys, bikes, or even gardening tools you absentmindedly set aside the last time you were piddling about. The best way to ensure a healthy summer lawn is to start with a clean slate.

Prepping Your Yard for Spring Is All About the Soil

Most of us don’t think about the dirt that lies underneath our bed of grass—unless the dog or kids track it in on a rainy day—but for healthy grass, the soil is extremely important! Purchase a soil test kit from your favorite home store and take this time to determine if your dirt is nutrient rich; if it’s not, the test will help you determine what is lacking and head back to your home store to find the additives you need. Following the directions on the bags will be easy, but if you are afraid you might mess something up, give us a call and let us help!

Time to Aerate?

Ask 50 landscapers when the perfect time to aerate is and chances are you will get 50 different answers, but our feeling is that there is no better time than in late spring. Of course, if you are new to grass landscape, you may wonder why it is important to put holes in the yard, especially when you spend most of your year trying to keep critters from making their own holes. Your grass, however, is dependent on air, and the holes created during aeration allow air, water, and other nutrients to reach the roots. Healthy roots will show in the rich dark greenness of the grass that has always been the envy of the neighborhood, and an aerator can be purchased rather inexpensively at a home and garden store!

Increase Your Watering Schedule

In the winter months we enjoy a break from crippling utility bills that accompany the summer’s heat, but when spring hits, it is time to start watering the grass once again—especially if the winter has been as dry as this one has! Your yard needs at least 1 to 1 ½ inches per week, and that number increases as the temperatures increase. Recent weeks in particular have already hit new highs, so you may want to increase the water to 2 inches. The best time to water your grass is in the early morning hours, and you do not need to do it every day. Break it down to 2 or 3 times a week and watch the winter brown start to change to a bright green! How do you know if you have watered too much? The first and most obvious sign will be the weeds sprouting up at an alarming pace. Other signs include the appearance of mushrooms, a musty smell in your yard, and a spongy feel when walking on the lawn. Scale back your watering schedule if any of these “events” begin to occur!

Say Goodbye to Winter Rye

That dark green hue of winter rye is a delight to be seen, but when night temperatures stay above 77 degrees, it will be time to say goodbye to the rye! Scalp your lawn as low as you can and start watering heavily (If you can irrigate, this is the perfect time!) and soon you will see your Bermuda grass peeking through the remaining rye. And although you do not want to overwater, in these early weeks of growth it is important that you water a bit more than normal to ensure that your summer lawn makes a strong appearance.

Every Yard Is Different

Your yard may be showing issues that we haven’t listed on here. Don’t be worried, though, just give us a call at New Image Landscape and Pools and we can work together to figure out the issue!

How Much Watering Should You Do in Winter?

In many areas of the country, the winter months offer a respite from the gardening chores that take up so much of our time in summer, spring, and fall, and as the snow falls gently to the ground, blanketing our yards and gardens in white, we watch warm and happy from the window in our living rooms. In Arizona, however, winter is not the break we may think we deserve! Mild temperatures and semi-frequent rainfalls make this season the one where a majority of the work on our gardens is done, but don’t worry; you will still get a break when summer rolls around again and scorching temperatures have you watching the world go by your window as you stay cool, comfortable, and happy inside your home sweet home! This guide to watering in the winter, will help keep your plants, trees, and flowers strong and healthy enough to endure the summer heat that you try to avoid.

We Don’t Water Trees, Do We?

This is a big misconception that many transplants from other states often share, especially if their home state is lush, verdant, and features frequent rainfalls. If you have spent at least one full year here, however, you probably have seen the results of not watering far too often as you drive by neighbors homes that are newly “decorated” with fallen trees and roots that are above the ground instead of under where they belong. It is important to water your trees, and most trees should be watered every two weeks during the drier winters and every four weeks during the wetter ones. Desert trees, such as palo verdes and mesquites, are drought tolerant will thrive with watering every four weeks—possibly five if the season has been especially rainy!

What About the Grass?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to winter grass in Arizona, and the answer on whether to water or not depends on which school you fall under. Those who want the lush and verdant green of winter rye grass will obviously have to water it to keep its rich emerald color; the question they may have is how OFTEN should the grass be watered? The answer changes with the amount of rain we have during the winter. In a rainy year, lawn caretakers can get away with watering every seven days, but if it is dryer than normal, watering every three days is recommended. If you belong to the group that prefers letting their Bermuda grass go dormant during the cooler months, no watering is necessary, as seasonal rain offers enough moisture to keep the grass alive.

Vegetable Gardens Require Less Watering in the Winter

There are a large variety of vegetables that do well in the desert, especially in the winter, including (but not limited to) the ABCs of vegetables—arugula, broccoli, and cauliflower. Watering needs do change when the mercury drops, and we at New Image Landscape and Pools have the info you need to keep your winter vegetable garden alive and thriving. The general rule is that one inch of water per week is the acceptable amount (and this includes when it rains), but if the season is especially dry, you should double the amount of water provided. As the temperatures rise over 60 degrees, consider watering an extra half inch for every 10 degrees of rise in temperature.

And Bushes?

As you may expect, nearly all plants, trees, grass, and yes, bushes, need water in the winter to survive, but for your bushes and hedges, they will need less than what you give them in the summer. As a matter of fact, they may do ok without water if the Phoenix area is experiencing a wetter winter, such as the one we lived through in 2018. There was so much rain that year, it often felt like we were living in the tropics, NOT the desert, and the wildflowers that bloomed that spring were spectacular! But fast forward to the winter of 2020-2021, and except for a few sprinkles interspersed throughout the weeks, it has been extremely dry, making it necessary to water regularly. Once a week should do it, but if the dry trend continues, you may want to up the watering schedule to twice a week.

The Beauty of Wildflowers in the Spring

Yes, wildflowers grow in the spring, and this article is about winter watering, but for dormant seeds to sprout, the more water they get, the better. Of course, if the season is a wet one, you can plan on watering less—about once every three to four weeks. In dry winters, however, the lack of moisture may signify a dull spring, as the wildflowers fail to bloom, but there’s always the hope that next winter will be wetter and your seeds will blossom fully!

Who Knew?

You may be surprised there is so much to think about when it comes to watering your plants, but we’re not! We make our living by ensuring we know all there is to know about landscapes and pools. Give us a call today and let’s get your yard in tip top condition!

Edible Plants That Grow Well in Winter

If you have recently moved here from less hot and dry places, you may be thinking that your gardening days are over—especially if you have only experienced summer in the desert! It can be hard to imagine anything growing in this hot and arid region as the temperatures rise to incineration levels, the blacktop on the streets melts into a sticky mess, and the ground on which you walk becomes harder than the concrete used to form the sidewalks in your neighborhood. Surprisingly, however, many plants, vegetables, and fruits do well in the desert, especially during the winter. As a matter of fact, you will not need to give up your gardening hobby when you move to sunny Arizona; you only need to shift your perspective of the best time to do so, and this guide to edible plants that grow well in the winter in the desert will help you find your green thumb once again!

Citrus Trees

As the days grow shorter and the temperatures begin to drop, you may notice a pleasingly sweet aroma wafting through the air in the early evenings. It is the smell of orange blossoms that flood the desert air, the first on our list of edible fruits that thrive in the winter! And although you may be well aware of the popularity of Florida oranges, Arizona oranges taste as sweet and grow even better than the “other sunshine state!” It is exciting to know how well the sweet orange grows in the desert, and you may be on the verge of rushing out to plant a tree of your own but wait, there’s more. It is not just oranges that do well, it is pretty much all citrus! Lemons, grapefruits, tangelos, and even kumquats (mandarins, pomelos, limes, and blood oranges) love our acidic soil and warm winter weather temperatures, ensuring that your household will have plenty of vitamin C when cold season rolls around once more.

Cauliflower

As dietary studies show us how bad breads, rice, and potatoes are for our health (and our waistlines), the simple pleasures of the cauliflower rise to the top. Did you know that this unassuming vegetable can be made into tasty rice and potato dishes? And did you also know that a pizza crust made from cauliflower is virtually indistinguishable in taste from a flour version? And finally, as we are sure you have suspected by now, we are excited to inform you that this vegetable that is all the rage these days will do exceedingly well in your winter garden, so feel free to plant extra for your neighbors that just do not have the green thumb that is your trademark!

Cilantro

There seem to be two types of people in the world these days: those that actively hate cilantro and those who cannot imagine a life without this green herb gracing their plates! If you are in the latter category, you will be happy to learn that cilantro is on our list of edible plants that do well in the winter. Pick up some fresh tomatoes and jalapeños at the store and blend together with the juice of your limes and the cilantro to create a salsa that will warm you from the inside out. (Yes, we do get cold in the winter, even in the desert!)

Plant a Salad With These Edible Plants that Grow Well in the Winter

Salads aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you love a healthy salad with your dinner or lunch, a garden of salad fixin’s will surely please! Lettuce, cucumbers, and carrots all thrive in the winter, as do onions and radishes. Spinach fans will be excited to learn that winter is the perfect time for this leafy vegetable, and when you are looking for a little extra color, why not add some beets to your salad garden? This super vitamin- and antioxidant-packed vegetable comes in a variety of exciting colors guaranteed to beautify your plate as the benefits of the beet gives you the healthy boost you need!

Potatoes

For many desert dwellers, nothing complements a meal better than the all-American potato, which coincidentally happens to be the next winter vegetable on our list! Versatile and soul warming, every meal can be made better with the addition of potatoes, and your winter garden is where you will find yours. Add a little dill—which does exceedingly well in the winter—a lot of butter, and give your family a taste of comfort in the darkest days of winter! Winter blues can happen in the desert too, and everyone knows that comfort food is the best cure for whatever ails you!

Build the Perfect Garden with New Image

Helping people makes us happy, and we hope this list helped you! Give us a call today if you have any other landscape or pool issues that need to be solved.

Plants That Thrive in an Arizona Winter

If you are experiencing an Arizona winter for the first time, we at New Image Landscape and Pools would like to welcome you to the desert! Arizona winters in the Valley of the Sun are a reward for surviving the scorching desert heat, making the season one of our favorites. But humans are not the only life form that thrive during the winter. Much to the delight of gardeners all over the Phoenix Metropolitan area, many of our plants and flowers happily come into bloom during the winter months, giving yards a lush and verdant beauty not always apparent the rest of the year. If you were born with a green thumb, you have come to the right place, and this guide to plants that thrive in an Arizona winter will give you the garden of your dreams!

Geraniums

Unlike the rest of the nation, winter is when our yards come to life, due to the beauty of hardy plants like the common geranium. Coming in a variety of colors (red geraniums can give your Christmas landscape a boost of holiday color), all they require to be happy is lots of winter sun and moist soil.

Bare Root Trees and Shrubs

Winter ends in March for most of the world, but here in Phoenix, January is generally the last of the cold months, making it the perfect time to plant any bare root trees and shrubs you have been imagining would be perfect for your oasis! For the novice gardener, this includes citrus trees; prevalent in the desert, January and February is also when orange blossoms come into bloom, offering their sweet scent to the entire neighborhood. Bare root pecan trees do well when planted during the cooler months as well.

Veggies in the Arizona Winter

We’ve all learned the importance of eating our vegetables and avoiding preservatives, but it can be difficult to spread the love for veggies to the younger generation—unless you make an adventure out of it with a garden in the backyard! Youngsters love to watch something they have planted from seeds grow into beautiful (and healthy) plants, and winter is the perfect time in Arizona to grow some of your favorites, including cabbage, carrots, lettuce, and potatoes. This is also the perfect time to plant bare root asparagus, needing nothing more than full sun and well-drained soil, making it an easy plant to take care of in busy winter months.

African Daisy

For many Phoenicians, the cheerful sight of African daisies in bloom can bring a smile of pure joy to their faces; it is difficult to stay down and depressed when faced with a beautiful orange flower! Thriving in the wintertime, the daisy can grow up to 10 inches tall and needs very little water. Preferring full sun, their happy faces contrast nicely with a shed in the backyard!

Beets in December

Yes, we discussed winter vegetables, but the beautiful contrast of dark green leaves and brilliant red bulbs makes the common beet an especially desired winter vegetable! Did you know, however, that beets come in multiple colors? Brighten your salad plate with a beautiful and delicious beet salad in shades of purple, pink, gold and pure white. And remember, planting in full sun and covering with a tarp at night ensures your harvest will be a sweet one!

California Poppy

This leggy transplant from our neighbor to the west does well when planted any time from September through February and adds a flash of sophistication to your home oasis. Growing up to 12 inches tall, the blooms will last longer and shine brighter if you keep them well watered. Do not worry about adding fertilizer; too much can prevent blooms, which is a side effect no one wishes to suffer!

Herb Gardens for the Win

The best part of having an herb garden is being able to go out and pinch off a fresh leaf for whatever dish you are preparing, adding flavor to what could have been a bland and tasteless meal. Keep a container herb garden in the window of your kitchen, on your covered patio, or even in a raised bed by the gazebo. For those who love being spicy instead of salty, creating a salsa garden in a terracotta herb jar planter is a fun and easy chore! Find your favorite salsa recipe and plant the ingredients in each open area. If you just want to plant the cilantro and jalapeños and purchase the tomatoes and tomatillos from the grocery store, no one will judge you for taking the easy way out!

Every Day Is Paradise

Winter is our favorite time of year in the Phoenix area, giving us the time and the right temperatures to get out there and plant. Give us a call today and let our helpful and knowledgeable staff at New Image Landscape and Pools help you create the garden of your dreams!

Best Plants for an Arizona Herb Garden

There was once a time in which convenience ruled over all else. Carpeted floors, frozen dinners, and dried herbs were a necessity of life, as they were quick, easy, and comfortable. But as the years pass, we have begun to learn that quick is not always best, and comfortable has many different definitions. Wood floors offer a timeless beauty and are easier to keep clean, fresh meals made with all natural ingredients are healthy and delicious, and the taste of herbs clipped from your own personal garden add an intensity of flavors that the dried stuff you have laying around in your cupboards just can’t provide! This guide to the best plants for your Arizona herb garden will be your first step in ensuring that every meal you prepare is just bursting with flavor and taste.

Basil

Every Italian meal is made even tastier when you add your own homegrown basil, and this herb does surprisingly well in desert weather conditions. They thrive when planted in the months between late February to May but can survive no matter what the season if you bring them to the porch in a pot. Interestingly, basil becomes even more flavorful and grows better when planted near tomatoes.

Bee Balm

Bee balm is not on any list of commonly planted herbs, but its health benefits make it popular for those looking for natural solutions for indigestion, bloating, or nausea. Best planted in February or March in spots that offer afternoon shade, the leaves can be harvested any time. It’s also great for the environment as it attracts bees and butterflies. This is another herb that does best when planted near tomatoes.

Cilantro

Whether you are native to our state or have only recently moved here, you probably already have strong feelings about this spicy herb. Most people either love it unconditionally or hate it with a passion, and if you fall in the latter category, you might want to scroll on by! This easy plant grows best from seed or by transplanting and is best planted in October through January. You’ll want to cut clippings from it on a regular basis, which helps keep the cilantro from flowering, as the flowers cause the leaves to lose its delicious taste.

Lavender

Lavender is more than just a pretty purple flower; it can be used in beverages and sweet snacks that include cakes and ice cream, and it also keeps mosquitos away. The lavender plant survives planting by seed, transplant, or by cutting and is best planted October through November and the end of February through April. Lavender loves the sun and thrives in soil that drains well.

Mint

A glass of Arizona sun tea garnished with a freshly picked mint leaf is one of life’s greatest pleasures, and this hardy plant grows profusely in spots that offer afternoon shade. Mint also has a split planting season, doing best when planted between February through April or October through November, and the leaves and stems taste best when plucked in their youth.

Oregano

We’re heading back to the old Italian kitchen with another popular spice that flavors old country dishes so very nicely! Oregano has a split planting season—February through April or October through November—and needs to be kept trimmed and flower-free. If you’re choosing to grow some oregano by transplanting existing herbs, you’ll want to rub the leaves between your fingers and plant the one that has the strongest scent.

Rosemary

This savory plant does exceedingly well in times of drought, making it the perfect Arizona herb for your garden! Surviving best when planted between October and January, the most flavorful stems will be the ones you pick right before the bush flowers. Plant in full sun with a soil that drains well. Rosemary isn’t just good for flavoring foods; it is known to keep away pesky insects that may spoil your garden.

Sage

Sage thrives in the desert and can be planted from February through April and October through November, allowing the cook to pick from its bush whenever needed. The soil sage is planted in needs to drain easily to avoid developing rot and this beautiful bush is also great for scaring away unwanted insects intent on devouring your garden! If cucumbers are a staple in your Arizona garden, you might want to plant the sage as far away as possible from the cucumbers, as the herb could interfere with their growth.

Thyme

We can all use a little more time on our hands, and when the thyme is a tasty herb, every meal shines! Plant this spidery plant from November through April and clip as needed. If your garden also contains a lemon tree, creating a creamy lemon thyme chicken dish will make your family love your cooking even more!

Give Us a Call Today

We love to make Arizona beautiful, and an herb garden is one of our favorite ways to do so. Contact us today!

Summer Water Saving Tips & Secrets

We live differently in the desert than in other parts of the world. We hibernate during the summer, staying inside as much as possible, and spend our winter months playing outside and sleeping with the windows open. We normally have an overabundance of sunlight, and in the summer a giant wall of dust is often spotted moving towards the valley. And because we recognize water as being more precious than gold, we have had to learn how to thrive on less in our gardens, our yards, and even in our homes! At New Image Landscape and Pools, we don’t believe you have to have a sterile and boring landscape even when you lessen your water usage. This guide to summer water saving secrets will help you with your mission to conserve more and still have the yard and garden of your dreams.

Explore the Beauty of Cacti

You live in the desert, so there’s no reason to feel ashamed of having a desert landscape. Cacti come in an extensive variety of shapes, sizes, and colors! From the signature cactus of Arizona, the massive saguaro, to the Blossfeldia liliputana—the smallest cactus in the world, measuring just millimeters across—this beautiful and water saving plant can make a distinctive presence in your yard. For those who want flowers, many cacti bloom in the spring, and for those who are worried about their children getting hurt, there are varieties that don’t have any stickers at all! Start your yard with a base of gravel, then plant a saguaro in the front corner, a few barrel cacti over in the back corner, and in place of a fence, plant a row of Mexican fence post cacti along the boundary between your yard and your neighbor’s for privacy!

Hardy Desert Plants

Of course, many of us are transplants from the Midwest, and the thought of a lush garden filled with plants and flowers makes our hearts beat a little faster! Fortunately, not all desert landscapes have to consist of crushed gravel, prickly cacti, and a few tumbleweeds doing their thing. There are many hardy desert plants that provide lush greenery and colorful blooms that last through most seasons! From the different varieties of sage plants to the cheerful beauty of a desert marigold, your yard can be as verdant and lush as an English garden with these water saving tips!

Accentuate with Hardscape

Building a gazebo, adding a shed, or even constructing a retaining wall in hillier locations may not seem like a water saving technique, until you consider that the more hardscape items that are in your yard, the less green space is left for gardens or grass! There’s no need to water your summer kitchen and painting a gazebo a cheerful barn red can provide the color you crave without necessitating more watering!

Consider Artificial Turf

Today’s fake grasses are not the ones of your parent’s time. In many cases, it’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between real and fake! And because it doesn’t fade, flatten, or change in length, it doesn’t just save water, it also saves you from frustration as it saves you time. There are a few disadvantages to this type of turf, however, first and foremost being price—especially in comparison to the cost of seeding or even sod for the real stuff. Costing between $5 to $20 per yard (installed), it could be prohibitively expensive for a large yard, especially when you consider it’s not a forever choice. With proper care it can last up to 20 years, though, so if you’re planning on staying on your property for a lifetime, you might want to skip the artificial turf.

Invest in an Automatic Sprinkler System

These systems are lifesavers when it comes to saving time and keeping your yard and plants alive, but did you also know they are water saving devices? Owners can program the systems to allow for just the right amount of watering, ensuring not a drop of water is wasted, but that’s not the only ways these systems save money. Many systems detect rain and will turn off when Mother Nature is taking her turn at watering your grass and plants! Costing a little more at first, the benefits of being able to have a lush and verdant yard while manage to conserve one of our most precious resources cannot be appreciated enough!

Easy to Do Water Saving Tips

It may take a little extra planning at first, but saving water is an easy thing to do, and we can help you create a landscape that is both bountiful and water saving! Give us a call today and we will work together to ensure you get the yard of your dreams without wasting a drop of H2O.

Common Mistakes Made by Novice Gardeners

There are many things in life that only improve with practice: driving, cooking, and although it looks easy, gardening. A beautiful garden is a sight to behold, overflowing with beautiful flowers, plants, and the occasional vegetable. We see them in the yards of our friends, our family, our neighbors, and we rush out to replicate their stunning presence in our own yards, but much to the dismay of novice gardeners from all over the world, it may take many do-overs to get the desired results, and in Arizona, our special weather conditions can add to the errors committed. This guide to common mistakes made by novice gardeners, however, is our way of helping you suffer less errors and show more successes!

Watering

We live in the desert, and the summer temperatures are scorching, so of course you want to make sure they get plenty of water. But did you know that overwatering can be just as destructive as underwatering? Too much water can cause rot to occur in the roots, killing the plants, leaving you with a soggy and occasionally smelly mess. Following the instructions for watering is of paramount importance. In the desert, sticking with native plants is equally important; water is a precious resource, and the less we use the better it is for everyone!

Soil Preparation

You may think dirt is dirt, but the reality is soil is different everywhere you go, and the difference between a flourishing garden and one that is straggly and withering can often be linked to the dirt. Arizona is known for having clay soil that is very alkaline, and if you’re determined to create a fabulous garden, you can actually have your soil tested for a more complete picture of what you’re dealing with. Using soil amendments (compost or manure are popular choices) and fertilizer to mix in with your dirt will often solve your problem, and as each plant requires something a little different, reading or depending on the advice of experts is key!

Timing

Planting anything in the wrong season is the surest way to fail, and here in Arizona we follow a little different schedule than other places, so consultation is important! We here at New Image Landscape have made our living growing plants, so we are always happy to be of help. Saving plants and flowers from too much heat or cold makes us very happy!

The Easiest Way to Avoid Mistakes as a Novice Gardener

If you’re still worried you won’t get it right the first time, give us a call today and let our knowledgeable staff help give you the garden of your dreams!

The Most Difficult Plants to Grow in Arizona

There are a lot of pluses to living in the desert, from warm weather in the winter to sunny days nearly year-round, but there also can be some difficulties. That warm weather in the winter is wonderful, but come July when temperatures jump over 115 degrees, you may find yourself asking whatever were you thinking when you moved here! Gardeners have learned that there are also issues when it comes to planting and making your landscape beautiful. What worked back east can fail woefully when planted under the scorching desert sun, and today we are going to take a look at the most difficult plants to grow in Arizona as we give you options for substitutions that will keep your garden looking fantastic!

Azaleas

Every southern girl knows the cheerful sight of the bloom of the azalea smiling up at you on a warm summer’s day, but unfortunately, this beautiful bloom doesn’t stand up to desert living, and the main reason may surprise you: It’s the soil that is the problem! Desert soil has a high alkalinity, while southern soil contains a more acidic mix. When it comes to azaleas, the aridity of the desert is not much of a factor!

A nice substitution could be as easy as throwing a handful of wildflower seeds in your yard and watching your spring garden, well, spring to life! Choosing a desert wildflower mix is your best option. Mexican gold poppies bloom strong and leggy with gorgeous golden yellow blooms, while desert bluebells offer blooms that are similar to azaleas in shape and come in rich cobalt blue with dark green stems and leaves. Many wildflowers are annuals, so in rainy years, they could continue to grace your landscape for years to come!

Hydrangeas

This beautiful flowering bush presents blooms the size of dinner plates in shades of white, blue, or pink and grows easily in an ocean climate—something you won’t find in the desert. Growing easily in the salty climates near the sea, it’s near impossible to repeat that success here, and finding a plant that is similar can be even more difficult. The Texas sage, however, does offer a beautiful purple bloom that adds a delicious spot of color in your desert landscape without wasting our most precious resource. A favorite of bees, it helps the environment, and although the blooms don’t last year-round, it is a perennial that you only have to plant once. The leaves of this desert bush are silvery gray and are beautiful on their own!

It Can Be an Adjustment

If this is your first season in the Valley of the Sun, you may be feeling frustrated and annoyed at your planting options. New Image Landscape and Pools wants to help eliminate the frustration and give you the garden of your dreams. Give us a call today! Check out these garden water saving tips.