Best Shade Trees in Arizona for Your Yard

For a large portion of the year, desert living involves dealing with the scorching ball of fire that beats down on our heads for many hours of every day. Causing high electric bills as we stay inside as much as possible, when the summer months hit, the sun also causes a decrease in our quality of life, but there are ways to cool down your yard and spend a little more time outside, aside from building a pool or misting system. Shade trees are surprisingly helpful with blocking out the sun, cooling down houses, and of course, they also add a natural beauty to your landscape, creating an oasis that is welcoming and inviting. Our guide to the best shade trees in Arizona for your yard will ensure that you find the ones that won’t just survive in the heat but will grow full and strong and thrive under extreme desert conditions.

Willow Acacia Trees

These desert dwellers may not look as bushy and verdant as you would expect from a shade tree, but when they mature, they offer a great deal of shade while not requiring a great deal of water to keep them alive. Featuring beautiful yellow blooms, they attract bees and butterflies, adding natural beauty to the yard. Technically considered shrubs, they can grow to be as tall as 20 feet or as short as 10 feet and fit in narrower areas of the yard. These are true desert trees and can be the perfect addition to a desert landscape. In addition, if you are a homeowner that has SRP, they are offering a program called the Shade Tree Program in which they will give you two desert trees free of cost, and the acacia tree is one of your options. Recognizing the benefits of desert trees when it comes to conserving energy and water while beautifying the landscape, this free program is one of many reasons we love living in Arizona!

Evergreen Elm

Even living where we do, we still tend to want a landscape that resembles those of our eastern neighbors. We desire the lush green grass, cheerful flowers, and trees that provide shade in the summer and turn gorgeous shades of autumn colors in the fall, and the evergreen elm is one of those trees. Preferring the heat of full sun and requiring deep soil that drains well, these majestic saplings grow fast and provide the shade, cooling properties, and northern style we love. This tree is not a native one but it does well in the Arizona desert.

Desert Willow

We have come back to the native desert trees, as suggested by the name, with the desert willow, which also provides pink blooms that attract bees and hummingbirds to their branches in the spring, summer, and fall. Unlike other species of willow trees, the desert willow requires very little water to survive and can actually die if watered too much; less than 30 inches a year is all that is needed. Reaching a potential height of up to 30 feet tall, the upright nature of this tree requires minimal pruning, making it the perfect tree for busy homeowners. The desert willow qualifies for SRP’s Shade Tree Program as well.

Arizona Ash

As the name suggest, this ash tree is native to our state and offers a fantastic canopy of dark green leaves for shading people and homes. This deciduous tree loses its leaves in the late fall to the early winter, turning a brilliant shade of gold before it does, creating a dramatic backdrop for your yard in the cooler days. The best part of these thickly leaved trees is they are virtually drought tolerant while providing shade cover that is perfect for sitting under while children play in the yard. Simply water every so often during particularly hot and dry summers and watch it grow up to 45 feet and spread out over the yard, acting as a natural umbrella!

Blue Paloverde Tree

Flowering in the spring, the bright yellow blooms contrast nicely with the silvery green leaves of yet another desert dweller that is not just the State Tree of Arizona but is one of the free trees offered in the SRP Shade Tree Program. The blue palo verde, also known as the Parkinsonia florida, grows quite quickly (up to 25 feet) and has a canopy that will spread out over 25 feet, offering shade for Arizona yards. As with most desert trees, it requires very little water to survive, not even needing to be watered once the tree has become established (most trees will need initial watering times until they mature).

Ready for Shaded Trees in Arizona?

2020 has been a rough year, and many more Arizonans are working from home, making our energy bills rise dramatically and also making it the perfect time to add some energy saving trees to your yard. Give us a call today and let our New Image Landscape and Pools staff create a cool oasis of shaded trees in Arizona that can be enjoyed during all the seasons of the year!

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.

Dos and Don’ts for a Splendid Summer Garden

As we experience uncertain times in a world that has drastically changed, we are definitely getting a lot more done at home. Shelves are organized, refrigerators are clean, and now it’s time to start looking at the backyard. That large corner on the far end of your yard has become nothing more than a catch-all for kids’ toys and lawn equipment; wouldn’t it be nice to have a splendid summer garden to enjoy during this pause from the hustle and bustle we’ve become used to? We’ve created this guide to dos and don’ts to ensure your summer garden will be the envy of the neighborhood, even if they can only see it from periodic glimpses over the wall or out their bedroom window!

Choosing the Right Plants

First and foremost, be sure to choose flowers or vegetables that can survive the desert heat. When temperatures can reach 100 degrees plus, the wrong choices can lead to a big ugly dirt patch in the corner of your yard, instead of the picturesque green or floral landscape you’ve been imagining. Some flowers that thrive in the desert include hibiscus, lavender, and honeysuckle, all of which are colorful plants that survive in high temperatures and full sun.

If you’re planning a summer vegetable garden, choices can include sweet potatoes, okra, Armenian cucumbers, and basil. Summer vegetable gardens will do best in shaded areas, so perhaps you may want to choose to plant next to the gazebo you built last summer. Summer gardeners can also plant under a tree or create shade with shade cloth and garden stakes.

Conserving a Precious Resource

Irrigation is important as well. Considering an irrigation method such as a drip system can save you time, stress, and money, as well as saving precious resources. Determining how much water is needed is important and setting up a drip system ensures that you don’t have to think about it; the smart systems available today do all the thinking for you!

Even though it’s cooler for the gardener, night watering can lead to mold and diseases that attack the soil, so if you’ve been choosing to water the old-fashioned way with hose or water pail in the cooler hours of the night, you should probably reconsider your choice and think about installing a drip system and change your watering hours to morning; soaker systems work as well!

Protection from Storms

Although the desert is generally an arid space, during monsoon season the storms can be impressive, tearing through your carefully tended gardens, leaving a giant mess if not protected. Stakes, poles, and tomato cages can help plants stand strong against the worst of the storms, as can planting your garden in a protected area such as between the shed and the cinder block wall that surrounds your yard, under the eaves of your home, or under your covered patio, in the case of container gardens.

Mulch

This is a step many people forget, but the right mulch can serve a variety of purposes in keeping a summer garden healthy. Mulch can prevent the soil from drying out as quickly, keep the soil cool, and protect the roots of the plants you are growing. Bark mulch is a popular choice, but be warned: Scorpions thrive in bark mulch, so if you have a critter problem, this may not be an option for you!

Container Gardens and Shade from the Sun

Not all desert dwellers have large yards with room for garden space. Many of us have little more than a patio and a postage stamp sized yard, but that’s ok. Container gardens don’t need a lot of space and can add a cheerful atmosphere to a boring patio with one caveat: If you don’t want your flowers, herbs, and vegetables withering away into brittle pieces of straw, they must be kept shaded during the hottest parts of the day (between 10 AM and 4 PM). They also need more watering than garden beds do, so count on watering twice a day.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help With Your Summer Garden

Sometimes gardening manuals can be boring and slightly incomprehensible as they discuss the pathology of plants and the specific pH levels of soil in the desert. We love the landscape part of our job and can help you make sense of the madness. There may be wrong ways to garden, but there are no wrong ways to learn how to create the garden of your dreams, including asking your favorite pool and landscaping business for tips and suggestions! Give us a call today and let’s talk about what your simple summer garden needs to become a splendid one!

Spectacular Shade Structures for Your Yard

With all the changes that have gone on in the world lately, it should be comforting noticing the things that never change, except, of course, if you’re talking about summer weather! Even though the calendar pages have barely flipped over into May, we desert dwellers know summer has arrived, and boy is it HOT! It takes a certain type of person to survive these vicious temperatures, and if you’ve survived at least one summer here, we consider you the “right” type! You’ve probably already learned the secrets of staying cool during this season of torture; you have programmable thermostats in your houses, a swimming pool in your yard, and have discovered the joys of layering. Tank tops and loose pants and/or skirts, topped with a sweater make the transition from scorching to subzero air conditioning bearable on a personal level, as black out curtains, dual paned windows, and ceiling fans help keep you cool and comfortable inside your own house.

There is more you can do, however, to enjoy a cooler summer season when outside in your backyard, and this guide to spectacular shade structures is the perfect way to start! Dropping the mercury while offering an idyllic beauty to what could be a bland and boring landscape, these structures offer another tool to help homeowners deal with the scorching summer heat!

Planting Trees

Sometimes the simplest answers are all you need and planting a tree or two in your backyard can help shelter you from the heat as it helps save the environment. Planting a shade tree near the home, but not so close as to have root and plumbing issues, can also help drive down summer electric bills as the shade keeps the house cooler. There are, of course, other things you must consider, such as do you really want leaves in your pool, and any allergies you or your family members might suffer from, but at the end of a day, a beautiful tree can offer shade and style to your yard.

Use Patio Umbrellas as Shade Structures

Another, less permanent, idea, would be the addition of a patio umbrella. Designed to provide shade wherever it is placed and easily movable, these compact structures can be just the pop of color your yard needs. Monsoon storms, or any storms for that matter, can be a problem, especially if you forget to crank it down and put it somewhere safe from the winds or risk unintentionally gifting your neighbors with a new patio umbrella.

Install a Pavilion

Similar to a gazebo, a pavilion can be a semi-permanent solution to the lack of shade on your property. Generally constructed of aluminum, it is open to the elements and extra shade is provided with material; sheer curtains are beautiful, but lack the shade blocking abilities that a sturdier canvas fabric has, and so canvas is the more commonly used material in the desert. These sweet structures are often used in movies as spots for romantic dinners and have twinkle lights strung along the posts for an even more romantic atmosphere.

Make It Permanent with A Pergola

Pergolas resemble a pavilion, only they are usually constructed of wood, generally offer wood beams in the roof area that allow dappled light in from above and will be a permanent addition to your yard. Their versatility make them popular choices, as you can leave them uncovered during the cooler months or cover the with canvas to create the shade you desire in the summer. Planting flowering ivy around the posts will enhance the beauty and if you choose a jasmine or other aromatic plant, the scent will bring you peace whenever you spend time under its canopy.

Build a Gazebo

These permanent structures can be constructed as elaborately as you like or as simple as your budget can afford. Also known as pagodas, they don’t just offer a shaded spot in your yard; they are the perfect spot for hanging out wrapped in towels after spending time in the pool, enjoying an ice cream cone without leaving a sticky mess in the house, and even eating breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning. Stylish and inviting, these beautiful hardscape items can be the central focus of your yard, even with a pool fighting for acknowledgement!

A Taste of the Tropics

Resembling a tiki hut, a palapa is permanent structure topped with open beams and a thatched roof. Drinking mojitos under these structures is almost a law in many places, and the look of a palapa will give your yard the appeal of a tropical oasis in the desert. Blend your favorite adult beverage, tuck a flower behind your ear, and prepare for some cool relaxation on a hot summer night. The only possible downfall to this permanent structure is the thatching can dry out and need to be replaced periodically.

Believe It or Not There’s More!

We at New Image Landscape and Pools have been in the business a long time and know all the tricks to keeping cool on the hottest days of the year. Give us a call today and we can discuss the options listed as well as some we didn’t have the time to mention!

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!

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!

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!