Why You Should Consider A Pergola For Your Yard

When spring rolls around, native Phoenicians are of two minds. The first is determined to stay outside as much as possible, attending art fairs, hiking in the Superstitions and playing in their backyard oasis as much as possible. This group is grilling and chilling, reveling in the last of the cool days, watching the desert breezes ruffle the curtains they have decoratively hung from the posts of their pergolas while they sip Arizona wine and devour the freshly grilled meats with friends and family. The second group, we at New Image Landscape and Pools will call these the scared and unprepared, are turning on their air conditioners and staring longingly at their barren backyards, avoiding sunburns and heat stresses while being bored out of their minds and wishing fervently that they had started to build that pergola they have been dreaming about! This guide to why you should consider a pergola for your yard is guaranteed to give you a gentle nudge that will push you out of the unprepared group and into the grilling and chilling one!

The Decorative Touch Your Yard Craves

You may have a pool and a beautiful garden, but somehow your yard still looks as if it were missing something, something important like a beautiful pergola rising out of the ground. Coming in a variety of sizes, shapes, and styles, it is easy to find the one that fits your yard in all those groups. Choose a simple model with sleek lines and open roofs knowing that your jasmine plants will fill in the empty spaces creating shade and a sweet aroma that will fill your yard. Pick a fully covered pergola where you can hide an all weather television under its eaves and watch the big game, your favorite home improvement shows, or enjoy a movie night under its shaded depths late into the scorching season. These models and everything in between are destined to fill the empty spots and give your yard the finishing decorative touch that will be the envy of the neighborhood.

The Importance of Being Shaded

If this is your first summer in Phoenix, we would like to welcome you and inform you of the benefits of shade. The mercury is guaranteed to shoot through the top of that thermometer and any time you can make use of a shaded spot, be it a tree in a corner of the Fry’s parking lot or a pergola that you are building in your backyard, do it! Pergolas are our favorite way of throwing shade (yes, even more so than trees) because their versatility allows for so many outdoor adventures. The picnic season lasts so much longer when you can enjoy your feast under cover of a pergola’s shade and pool season demands a shaded spot to rest and get out from under the suns scorching rays! Summer pool adventures are enhanced when kids and adults get to sit under a pergola and just relax, chat, and of course chill. Add a mister system to the edges and add extra coolness or hang a ceiling fan from the center for a nice breeze on a hot day. Many companies are making outdoor fans that can handle even our extreme temperatures in the summer.

Family Fun Among the Arizona Landscape

We love our families but we sometimes have difficulties in scheduling time to just hang out with no ulterior motives and when you transform your backyard into the oasis you have always dreamed about spare hours in your day can become family togetherness times spent under the shading canopy of your pergola. Want to find out why your tween has been extra sulky lately? Meet them under the pergola, perhaps with a cold soda and an understanding shoulder to cry on and work together to find a solution to the drama in their lives. College students may not be home often, but a mini fridge stocked with cold beers located under the shade of the pergola can be an easy way to entice them to visit more often! Learn about their classes, let them advice you on your clothing choices, and maybe when you bring up the idea of a pool party so you can meet their current flame, they won’t totally shoot you down. We’re not saying that pergolas are miracle workers but we are saying that family togetherness is a lot more fun when gathered around that glass patio table under your pergola and if your teenager actually cracks a smile at one of your dad jokes, you can take all the credit. (But it probably is due to the magic of the pergola!)

Choose New Image Landscape and Pools

The best part of installing a new pergola is knowing you don’t have to do any of the dirty work! Give us a call today and discover what magic this beautiful Arizona landscape feature can bring to your yard and your life!

Start Your Journey to the Perfect Summer Sanctuary Now

In the desert, we try not to think about the summer months, especially during the winter when the weather is so absolutely wonderful, but there is one time we at New Image Landscape and Pools think you should make an exception. The beautiful weather has us puttering around in our yards, cleaning up the kids toys that were abandoned when the temperatures soared and adding beautiful bowls of color to help us enjoy our yards even more. This is our favorite time of the year to be outside, so why not take advantage of these moments and start preparing a sanctuary that will make the summer days bearable?

Your Arizona Lawn Journey Starts Now

When summer hits, the first thing you seek is the coolness of shade. Many hours will be spent lounging in colorful Adirondack chairs, watching your children play in the sprinklers, in the pool, or even riding their bikes around your carefully blocked off cul de sac. But without a tree, there will be no shade, and with no shade, these types of memories will not occur! So, get out your shovels, mulch, and root stimulator, and let’s plant a tree. SRP offers a program for free trees, as they help lower utility bills and clean the air, or you can go to your nearest nursery and plant the one you like the most. (Fall is the perfect time for planting trees, in case you were wondering!) For instant gratification, you may want to go for one of the larger boxes; big trees do cost more, but the shade, beauty, and style they impart to your Arizona lawn are worth the added expense!

Throwing Even More Shade (In the Best of Ways)

Trees are a healthy and beautiful way to add shade to your yard, but they aren’t the only option, and for those who don’t have large enough yards or those worried about the proximity of roots to their pool, we suggest adding a gazebo or pergola to the space. These hardscape structures can be made as large or as small as the area can handle and can extend your outdoor fun time late into the summer season. Add a small television and an outdoor bar and your gazebo can become party central, all the while adding a warmth and interest to your landscape that will make it your favorite place to be. Add soft white curtains, tied to the posts when not in use, and candlelit dinners will make your evenings romantic even as you stay cool under its protective awning.

Color Brings Your Yard to Life

Desert landscaping is a popular option, especially as water conservation is imperative in our arid climate, but unlike many versions you may have noticed in your travels throughout your neighborhood, it doesn’t have to be sparse, stark, and severe. Many drought-friendly plants create amazingly colorful blooms, including the purple Ruellia, desert marigold, and the richly dramatic Bird of Paradise with its vibrant red blooms. Line the front of your home with colors that stand out against your beige, tan, or gold stucco, plant a garden of fiery sombrero salsa red coneflowers, or add some planters to your porch, filled with colorful and pot friendly blooms. There doesn’t have to be a plan; some of the best gardens have been planted haphazardly over the years, growing wild and free and adding romance and style to the yards in which they are planted!

Water Features for the Win

The peaceful sounds of water trickling in a fountain will calm you on summer evenings when you think you just can’t handle another minute of the chaos that is your real life. Fountains come in many shapes and sizes and are an easy addition to your oasis, no matter how large or how small your yard may be. Choose one that hangs on the wall of your compact townhome patio and feel the stress leave your body as you sit nearby, perhaps sipping your favorite chardonnay and contemplating the beauty of the full moon that glows overhead. Go all out and build a serious structure that can be the centerpiece of your front yard, surrounded by more of those desert blooms. Or choose something in between as you realize that the peace you seek can be found in the simple things and a table top fountain works as well as more elaborate ones!

The Sanctuary You Deserve

The negatives of summer in the desert can be outweighed by the beauty you add to your personal oasis, and there are many more ways to create a yard that welcomes and embraces; give us a call today and let’s work together to create the sanctuary you deserve!

Winter Lawn Care Guide

In other parts of the world, winter lawn is a concept that is not really understood, as they fight snow, sleet, and ice and their winter lawns are brown and hidden under a blanket of snow. In the Phoenix metropolitan area, however, winter months are the ones in which we play outside the most, and when we do so, we also want pretty grass to complete the picture of another perfect day in paradise! And because winter rye is not just for golf courses, this guide to keeping your yard lush, green, and welcoming through the final season of the year will give you great satisfaction as you pull into your driveway every day of the week!

First You Prep for the Arizona Winter

Unlike your regular grass that comes back to life after being dormant each year, your winter lawn will need to be reseeded. The first two weeks in October are the optimum times for this but the rule of thumb is whenever the nighttime temperatures stay below 65 degrees on a consistent basis. If you are reading this now, it has been a warm October so you may still be able to get your green if you start prepping now! Start by cutting down your existing lawn by lowering the blade to about ¼ to ½ and inch. If your yard is extremely thick, you may need a power rake which can be purchased or rented at your local home store, but however you get there you need your lawn to be cut down to a stubble with some bare earth showing. Once your yard is ready, it is time to start overseeding. The amount of seed you will need varies, but on average a residential yard can take approximately 12 pounds of rye seed per 1000 feet; who knew you would one day be happy for the smaller lot sizes of Arizona properties?

Next Comes the Smelly Part

If you have lived in Arizona for any length of time you probably already know what we are about to talk about next! Once you have laid the seeds, it is time to ensure they grow and that is achieved by layering over top a thick and stinky layer of fertilizer! Starter fertilizer (a 6-20-20 or 15-15-15 mix of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium)is what you need here, especially as you haven’t started watering yet. Follow the directions on the bag as to how much you should use and how to best spread this eye watering combination. This next step, applying mulch, is optional but should be considered if you do not irrigate or are not able to water the 4-5 times daily in the beginning stages. It also should be considered if you waited too long to overseed and the temperatures are too cool and spreading about 1/8 inch over your entire yard will help the germination process.

Watering Your Winter Lawn

Living in the desert we can pretty much always be assured that rain will not fall and as such, you will need to water your winter lawn 4 to 5 times per day (if you don’t have an irrigation system) and since most of us aren’t able to spend almost 2 weeks (10 to 14 days) running out to water our grass 4 or 5 times a day, an automatic sprinkler system will definitely come in handy. The biggest expense will be installing pipes and sprinkler heads, but the automatic waterer is relatively inexpensive and easy to use. Today’s systems even come with apps you can run through your phone, turning off the scheduled watering if by some miracle rain does fall! After the first two weeks, watering only needs to be done every other day, until the temperatures start to rise again. That spring period before your dormant grass comes to life and the rye grass dies out will require nightly watering when the temperatures are lower.

Basic Lawn Care

From this point on, taking care of your winter lawn will involve the same steps you take in the summer. Mowing the grass can begin at 10 to 14 days after germination, depending on how long you like your grass to be; if you prefer longer you can actually wait up to 21 days after germination, just be aware that your HOA might have something to say about that! Regular nutrition is needed about once a month, ensuring that the grass will stay dark green and healthy until it reaches its natural conclusion!

This Is the Best Time

Fall and winter bring such joy to our hearts and when your yard reflects that joy, the entire world shares in your happiness! If you want an Arizona winter lawn but aren’t sure you are able to put in all the work, give us a call at New Image Landscape and Pools and let us do the work for you! Call us today!

Groundcover Plants for Your Backyard

Desert landscapes tend to be a bit different than the ones many remember from their youth in the Midwest, as we try not to squander one of our most precious resources, water. Although you will find lawns and yards covered in water-sucking grass, many of us try to do our part for desert life, turning to rocky landscapes filled with drought-tolerant plants, trees, and groundcover. Because we at New Image Landscape and Pools care about the environment and try to do our part to save water, we have spent many a minute discussing the various Arizona plants and trees that will add beauty, charm, and environmentally sound style to your yards, and today it is time to discuss ground cover! Bringing the cheerful color of flowers to your private oasis without wasting water, these varieties of groundcover promise to be the happiest and lowest maintenance part of your landscape.

Foxtail Fern

If you have a garden bed that you want to fill with beautiful plants that don’t require a lot of work, the foxtail fern is the perfect plant for you. Requiring partial shade and a medium amount of water, it isn’t the most desert friendly plant on our list, but it is guaranteed to be an impressive addition to your yard, staying a soft green year-round and producing red fruits quite frequently.

Lantana (Gold)

Lantana offers a variety of cheerfully colored mini blooms, including pink and purple, but the gold version makes us the happiest! The tiny blooms cluster together in bunches, creating a dramatic beauty, and the nectar they produce make them attractive to butterflies and hummingbirds. Flowering all year and requiring a moderate amount of water, everyone will be charmed by the colorful butterflies and hummingbirds that flock to your yard, and the peace you will feel as you watch the insects and birds delicately flit from bloom to bloom is yet another benefit you will receive from planting lantana!

Morning Glory Bush

This elegant and cheerful groundcover bush may be the plant you have been waiting for all your life. Preferring full sun and low water, we really can’t think of a better desert-friendly plant, and its white blooms blossom fully in the spring. Strategically place a few different plants in your yard and sit back and watch as they come together to create a dark green and white landscape you will never tire of viewing.


Another popular desert plant, the verbena is often used in skin care products. (Be careful if you experiment with your own, though, as it can cause an allergic reaction in many people!) Requiring a little more water in the summer, it is overall a drought-tolerant plant that prefers full sun and attracts butterflies as well. Offering tiny blooms in shades of pink, white, lavender, lilac blue, and purple, its blooming season lasts from spring through fall, and its cheerful flowers offer yet another happy note to your yard.

Lily Turf

Still wishing you could have grass in your yard? Lily Turf is a dark green grass-like ground cover that offers spiky purple blooms that resemble hyacinth and will satisfy your craving for turf! This plant is one that prefers the shade, so planting under a tree is a good idea, ensuring your plants will live a long and happy life. This plant requires more water than most we have been discussing and blooms in the spring only.

Ice Plant

The name of this striking groundcover makes it a perfect addition to your Phoenix yard, conjuring up chill and cold on the hottest days of summer. (It doesn’t actually make your environment cooler, though!) This light green plant features almost succulent style leaves and offers icy yellow, magenta pink, and purple blooms that do well in full sun, except in the summer. Hailing from the desert’s favorite fishing village of Rocky Point, evening shade is recommended during the hottest months of the year. Late winter and spring are the blooming months, and this charming bit of flora requires very little water.

Ruellia Katie

As we come to the end of our list of groundcover, the Katie Ruellia is a plant with which you could end up having a love/hate relationship. Offering dark green leaves and beautiful purple, pink, or white flowers, (purple is the most well-known choice) this plant thrives in the desert heat and can run wild in your yard, making it difficult to eradicate if you decide to go in a different direction somewhere down the line. Requiring a moderate amount of water and preferring full sun, the blooming season lasts the entire year, which makes it a favorite of flower lovers!

Not a Complete List of Arizona Plants

There are far too many groundcover plants for us to be able to list in just one article, so give us a call today and we can start working on creating a yard you will never want to leave!

Design the Perfect Backyard Seating Area

As opposed to other parts of the country, the Valley’s outdoor entertaining season has arrived and no one is more excited about this than we desert dwellers! Gone are the long, hot days during which we spent more time inside than out, and as such, it is time to turn our attention to our Arizona backyard entertaining areas. Chances are your back porch right now is dusty and covered in spider webs and perhaps pool toys that you just haven’t put away yet, but what we are interested in talking about today is your seating areas. The pandemic created an at-home lifestyle that enticed many of us into turning our yards into private oases, and if you haven’t quite reached that point yet, NOW is definitely the time to do so! We at New Image Landscape and Pools have created this guide to designing the perfect backyard seating areas, allowing you to open up those patio doors and let the outside in for the first time in months!

The Basic Al Fresco Dining Experience

It is still a little warm in the daytime, but as the sun sets and evening breezes start to pick up, being able to eat outside accompanied by the sweet music from your windchimes you have hanging on your patio cover is definitely one of life’s greatest luxuries, and the options come in all shapes, sizes, styles, and best of all, prices! Maybe you live in a townhouse with a small patio and an even smaller budget, in which case a bistro dining set would be perfect for you. Generally coming with one small table and two accompanying chairs, this type of seating option adds charm and grace to your cozy space. But for those with a larger yard and covered patio, you have even more options, that come in a variety of materials. Go for all wood for a farmhouse look, but you will need to keep it conditioned or risk it falling apart in our dry climate. Choose a sleek metal and glass style that is easy to care for and adds a modern style to your backyard oasis or go for the faux wicker that maintains the charm of real wicker but is much more enduring, standing up to the elements far better than the real stuff. All of these options can be added to your back patio, or, if you prefer, a gazebo placed near the pool, offering a place for swimmers to get out of the sun for a few minutes during the summer months!

Keep Warm on the Coldest Nights in Your Arizona Backyard

It never fails to amaze us how cold the nights can get in the Valley when the sun drops behind the mountains, and although there is a good portion of the year when you won’t need this next option, there is nothing cozier than sitting around a roaring fire, staying warm and sharing stories. Fire pits have come a long way from the early days when we simply set up a circle of blocks in the far corner of our yards; as a matter of fact, many Midwestern transplants may fondly remember the days of bonfires with no distinguishable boundaries! Desert life, however, and the ever-present chance of wildfires will keep the bonfires as a fond memory and a firepit will help you stay warm safely. Coming in a variety of styles as well, the easiest firepit is a sleek and modern electric one, offering an ever-changing selection of colorful flames, and generally surrounded by padded chairs that add comfort to your outdoor “campfire!”

Propane firepits are another option that are easily ignited and can be purchased in the perfect size for your yard. Keep it simple with an oversized bowl shape and use the seating from your table if you are space conscious and enjoy a night of quiet pleasures with your favorite people. Finally, going old school with wood burning firepits and Adirondack chairs with wide arms to hold your beverages or plates offers a campy charm to your yard, but you have to remember that high pollution days in the valley can also be no burn days, so you may not be able to use this type of fire pit a good portion of the fall and winter!

Don’t Forget Your Pool

As of the time of this writing, many newcomers to the Phoenix Metropolitan area are still swimming and soaking up the rays, so that brings to mind another set of seating options. From built in lounge chairs and love seats IN your pool to the chaise lounges that surround your pool, this space is destined to be entertainment central throughout all seasons of the year. We recommend staying away from aluminum chaises that burn tender skin in the hottest months and choosing padded loungers that offer all the comforts of home!

Call Us Today!

Sometimes we know we are looking for something, but we just don’t have the vision to figure out what that something is. Give us a call today and let’s figure it out together!

Spa Design Options for Your Backyard

As you continue your quest of turning your backyard into at home oasis, it is time to turn to the issue of adding a spa. You may wonder, for a moment, if one is necessary, as you debate whether adding a new source of heat to the desert is a wise option, but then you remember that winter nights in the valley can be cold ones, and the simple luxury of sitting in a bubbling tub under the stars is one that you deserve! At first glance, the options may be overwhelming, but with New Image Landscape and Pools at your side, you know that we help make the process easy and before long you will be soaking away your aches, pains, and troubles in the spa of your dreams! This guide to spa design options is where we shall start along with your first lesson of the day. For those who have wondered what the difference is between a hot tub and spa, the answer is a simple one. Spas are built into the ground and can be a part of the pool, and hot tubs are above ground and portable. Now that you have learned a little something, let’s take a look at your options for an Arizona spa!

Hot Tubs

The great thing about hot tubs is their price and versatility, making them the perfect option for homeowners on a limited budget and for ones whose backyards are too small for larger built-in spas. Ranging in price from $2500 up to $16000, it’s the size and the bells and whistles that will determine just how much you spend. You may have seen smaller versions for unbelievably low prices at certain discount stores, but remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for!” There is a difference between inexpensive and cheap, and that is all we will say about the lower priced units!

In any case, when you begin making the decisions on your hot tub, once you have determined budget and space, the real fun begins! The smaller and less expensive models will generally seat two people and have a limited number of jets and bubbles. They get the job done, and if you are a single person or a couple, this choice will do what you want and more than likely will not require any extra installation costs; these are usually designed to use a 110V connection. Made from molded plastic, these are also the lightest and most portable of your options. The median range will bring you more room for more people to join in the fun, extra jets, lighting options, and fancier exteriors. Be prepared for these models to be less than energy efficient and to increase your energy bills, but if you primarily use them in the winter months, that may not be a big deal. Finally, we come to the high-end models, ones that will do everything but make you toast in the morning! These offer a more sophisticated and reliable jet system, lighting options, and even sound system options, allowing you to relax accompanied by your favorite music. These hot tubs may cost more, but they are designed to last and are energy efficient, which can counterbalance some of the extra costs.

The Arizona Spa

The built-in spa is one of our favorite choices for the backyard oasis, adding an architectural quality to your yard while offering peace, tranquility, and a place to heal. Coming in a variety of shapes, sizes, and design styles, they can be simple—round or square in shape, dug into the ground, with just cool deck surrounding—or elaborate—built up a little above the pool, with the exposed sections covered in architectural bricks and additional lighting options. If you choose to heat by propane, it won’t add to your energy costs, but you will have the cost of propane and the necessity to keep the propane filled. Electric versions will add to your energy bills but can be a much more reliable choice. If adding on to an existing pool, don’t expect there to be much difference in the cost of the spa in comparison to the pool, as it requires much the same construction effort, just in a smaller space. If you live high on a mountain, consider placing it where the scenery is the most breathtaking and making one edge an infinity edge. These spas are going to play an important part in your well being during your well-lived life, and although you may have to replace the motors and resurface after about 20 years, this model will be with you for as long as you own the house!

We’re Here for You

Whether you want to go big or small, we’re here to help. Give us a call today and let us make the choices easier!

Landscaping Trends to Revitalize Your Yard

When you look out into your backyard, what do your feel about what you see there? Are you excited about spending time out there? Do you imagine yourself relaxing in those comfortable chaise lounges you purchased 10 years ago? Do you still WANT to be out there enjoying the comforts of your personal oasis? If your answer is yes, you can skip over this article and go about your day, maybe spend some time reading our pool articles to see if there is anything you missed! But if your thoughts when looking at over your landscape are less than proud, sit back, get comfortable, and be prepared to learn about some of the newest landscape trends guaranteed to put the wow factor back into your tired Arizona landscape.

Plant a Vegetable Garden

In addition to adding a lush beauty to your yard, a vegetable garden can add a healthy deliciousness to your table! Keep it simple with a potted jalapeño garden on your porch, growing tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, even onions and garlic, most of the items needed to toss together a spicy homemade salsa. If you think that owning your own small piece of “farmland” might bring you to your Zen, go all out with raised beds filled with your favorite veggies! Offering a rich and substantial beauty to your natural landscape most of the year, a vegetable garden can be your first step in revitalizing your backyard.

Flower Gardens That Keep the Pests Away

Don’t you just love things that serve multiple purposes? A dining room table that works as a game station, a sofa that doubles as a place to sit and a place to nap, or a flower garden that looks beautiful and keeps those pesky mosquitoes away! We, of course, are more interested in the last bit, especially this summer, as the monsoon season has created an environment the little pests are thriving in! Add a pot of purple lavender to either side of your front door, plant a bed of marigolds close to your covered patio, and add a potted herbal garden to the pots on your porch, being sure to include basil, and you have a naturally beautiful mosquito repellant garden.

Create a Secret Escape With Your Arizona Landscape

We once knew a gentleman who lived in an ordinary 80s ranch style home. From the front, it blended in with all the other homes on the street, but when we walked into his backyard, our gasps of joy could not be withheld. In a regular-sized Arizona lot, he had transformed the space into his own secret paradise, building secret gardens with gravel paths that meandered through, hiding a comfy bench behind a mature tree at the back of the lot. A fountain bubbled merrily, blocking out the sounds of traffic, music played quietly, offering even more noise that formed a pleasant barrier against freeway sounds, and the smells of aromatic flowers created a space of peace and comfort that we never wanted to leave!

Add a Koi Pond

This blast from the past is hot again, and if you have the time, space, and stick-to-it-ness, a koi garden can transform your own backyard oasis! The desert, as you very well know, can reach unbearable temps in the summer months, but if you place the pond under mature trees and surround it with cooling plants, your koi will thrive. Remember, however, that they can grow up to 36 inches long or more, so be sure that you have the space they will need when they reach full maturity.

Lighting Transforms Your Space

Maybe your lawn is perfectly acceptable during the day, but as soon as the sun sets, it loses all its glory. It is hard to appreciate a big black hole when sipping wine on the patio, but with the addition of lights, your oasis becomes a 24-hour paradise! Twinkle lights in the trees, solar lanterns along the paths, or for pool owners, an LED color changing light in the pool are all great options. Consider up lights, step lights, or for those special occasions, citronella tiki torches that can keep the mosquitoes away from your guests while providing a festive ambience. (This last idea is solely for special occasions or when you are going to be out in the yard, as you should never leave flames unattended.)

Go High-Tech

Although this last tip won’t change the look of your yard, it will definitely change the way you appreciate your landscape, lessening your chores and increasing your enjoyment. Smart technology can be run from your phone, keeping the pool equipment working efficiently, and can be added to your watering system, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the flowers without having to be constantly out there watering. Also used for lighting and music systems, the options are virtually limitless when you go high-tech in your own backyard!

New Image Landscape and Pools Has the Answers

Interested? Need a few more questions answered? Give us a call today and let New Image Landscape and Pools help you bring the wow factor back to your yard!

Low-Cost Design Ideas for Your Yard

Our homes are our castles, and every castle deserves its own private oasis, a place we can go to celebrate the good times, contemplate our places in life, or simply relax and enjoy the sounds of urban living. On the weekends, the distant sounds of children’s laughter mingle with the low buzz of lawn mowers and splashes in the pool, but in your Arizona yard, the quiet serenity soothes the rough edges of your soul. You want your yard to be a place you turn to in all the seasons of your life, and if it’s not quite there yet, this guide to low-cost design ideas can help you create the space you desire without breaking the bank! There is always time to add big ticket items such as a pool or outdoor kitchen, but today, simple and inexpensive are the key words in our vocabulary—and fun and relaxing as well.

The Basics Are There

Chances are, you do already have the basics in place. No backyard oasis is complete without places to sit, dine, and prepare food, and the easiest additions can be the patio table you eat at on a cool fall evening, the lounge chairs you relax on in the summer months, and of course, the barbecue grill that is the focus of every meal. These pieces are a part of every home, but if you do not already have them, you probably have ideas on where to get them. Warehouse stores, discount stores, and the internet offer selections that are as varied as your personality.

If you do have these basic pieces already, now is the time to make them shine and show off the personality of your oasis! Add colorful cushions to the dining chairs, creating comfortable and cheerful pops of beauty. Your lounge chairs will be more restful with their own cushions, and here you can add a throw pillow for an extra touch of comfort; a fabric called Sunbrella is sturdy, fade resistant, and created for outdoor spaces! Throw an outdoor rug under the patio set. An outdoor rug brings a coziness to the space, but if you have animals or young kids, you might be worried about how well a rug will stand up to the shenanigans of either; in this case, it is time to show off your creative side and PAINT a rug! The design can be as simple (a block of color with a few geometric shapes tossed in) or as elaborate (paint it to look like a beach) as you like, and because there are paints designed for this purpose, it will definitely stand the test of time!

Finally, the last part of this basic equation for an oasis is your barbecue grill. No, we are not suggesting you paint it or add a frilly apron front, but we can suggest building a simple structure for which your “baby” can rest under, giving it a focal spot in your yard. Fence posts for the legs, corrugated tin for the roof, and a couple of bags of cement to keep it in place during the big storms will create a rustic centerpiece that is beautiful and functional too, as it can shade you from the worst of the sun’s rays!

Can You See It Coming Together?

Outdoor design is so much fun, possibly because of how inexpensive additions can make a huge difference, and you can probably already see an amazing change in your yard! Now is the perfect time to add planters filled with your favorite flowers and a couple of fruit trees in either corner of your yard—lemon, grapefruits, and orange trees doing exceptionally well in the desert. Most of us have that large expanse of gray cement wall (or wood slat fence) surrounding our backyards, and the options for beautifying both are only limited by your imagination! Artistic types can paint a mural along its great expanse, adding a touch of whimsy to your yard, or non-artistic types can paint it to match the house. Remember, the sun is harsh, and once you start painting you will have upkeep to consider over the years. One of our team members has discovered a beautiful way of dressing up the walls and fences that surround their yard by hanging a collection of colorful and happy suns on their walls that they have collected during their travels; this inexpensive hobby brightens up their yard and eliminates boring blank spaces!

So Many Options for Your Arizona Yard

As you can see, there are many options available to give your yard the feeling of your own private oasis. Give us a call today and we can work together to come up with more than a few more—New Image Landscape and Pools aims to please!

Patio & Walkway Material Pros & Cons

Our homes truly are our castles, protecting us from bad forces, sheltering us from the elements, and making us feel better at the end of some very long days. Last year we spent more time than ever before inside their walls as unprecedented happenings occurred around the world, and although we have not completely reached the light at the end of the tunnel, it is growing brighter by the second. Chances are all that time you spent at home, however, had you looking at your landscape with a new eye and today, with all the monsoon rains we have had in the valley lately, you may be turning toward the pathways that lead up to your front door, through your garden, or around your pool. The dirt does nothing to enhance the look of your home, and you have been putting off doing something about it for far too long; this guide to patio and walkway materials will give you the pros and the cons of some of the most popular choices, giving you a clearer idea as to what you can expect from your Arizona landscaping!


Desert landscapes often begin with a gravel base, and the stones can also be used to mark paths through the garden or to create an area on which your patio table can stand. Inexpensive, quick to install, and easy to lay, it can be the simplest way to give your landscape structure. The downside to gravel paths and patios, however, can having you look in another direction. It can be difficult to keep the gravel where it is supposed to be—such as in your pool—weeds can grow through it easily even if you start with the weed barrier that is supposed to prevent their growth, and the uneven surface can hurt your feet when you have to walk over the gravel, no matter how small the size of the pebbles.


Concrete is a popular and relatively inexpensive option, giving your landscape that finished look that we all crave. Easy to maintain after installation and able to be stained, stamped, or even painted, a concrete path, patio, or sidewalk can be the perfect way to express your creativity without costing a fortune. Unfortunately, as with many materials at this time, installation costs are on the rise, and unless you have construction skills and experience with concrete, you will definitely need to hire someone to do the work, driving up the installation costs even more. Also, it is best not to lay concrete in temperatures over 90 degrees or under 40 degrees, so this is a project that is best done in the winter, late fall, or early spring.


The natural beauty of flagstone makes everyone want to add it to their landscape, as it gives a feeling of warmth and welcoming to every yard it graces. A flagstone patio topped with pots of colorful flowers, a garden path leading to a secret bench under a mature evergreen elm, or even a deck that surrounds the pool—there are so many ways to use the material, and every one of those ways are beautiful. Costing more than concrete or gravel, you have to factor in the expense when you make your decision, and you need to know that the stone reflects the sun and can be slippery when wet, so it may be ok for a shaded area but it is not the best choice to lay near pools. In addition, the size of the flagstones can be difficult to handle and the natural irregularities in the stone can make it more difficult to level when first installing.


Travertine tiles and pavers are often used in Phoenix area landscapes and have been a natural building choice for centuries, adding an elegance to your at-home oasis that will be an envy of all your neighbors! Strong and able to withstand the elements, the surface stays relatively cool on the hottest of days, and if kept in its natural state, is perfect for areas with a lot of moisture (especially around pools) as it offers a natural non-slip surface. They cost more but can also add to the value of your home, so if you are thinking of selling in the near future, it is a great material to use. However, travertine can stain, it is heavy and more difficult to install, and as we mentioned, it can be expensive, prohibitively so in some cases. An amateur landscaper can do it themselves if they have a steady hand and a strong back, but it is best to hire someone to do the work, adding to the expense of installation.

Choose New Image Pools and Landscape for Your Arizona Landscaping Needs

You are busy and it is really hot outside; do you really want to use up all your free hours installing landscaping materials? Give us a call today and let us do what we do best while you rest and relax in the cool air conditioning!

Ways to Make Use of Arizona Monsoon Season Rainwater

There are a more than a few things we have to get used to when we first move to the Valley, and although the heat is definitely number one on the list, the aridity runs a close second. Every day is a repeat of the day before, and as the sun shines over the valley, those clouds we see off in the distance may raise our hopes only to dash them once again as they dissipate, revealing blue skies again! As such, we have learned to plant drought resistant plants and do our best not to waste the desert’s most precious resource, but every once in a while, the skies do open up and flood our dry and arid land with cool, life-sustaining rain!

On those occasions when flash flood warnings scroll along the bottom of our television screens, you may have wondered idly if there was a way to save up that water and use it at a later date. Because we at New Image Landscape and Pools have wondered that as well, we did a little research and found out that, yes, it is 100% possible! This guide to making use of our Arizona monsoon season rainwater has been created to share the information with our favorite people of all, our clients and customers who have made the desert their home.

Something Interesting

You may be wondering if it is even worth it to try to harvest rainwater, and so may be surprised to learn that just from one inch of rainfall, nearly 600 gallons of water can be captured from your roof alone, more if you have a roof that is larger than 1000 square feet! So yes, it is definitely worth it, and with proper precautions, you can lower your water bill as you do more than your part of saving the environment. This water can be used for watering your lawn and garden, as drinking water for your animals, or even drinking it yourself; there are filtering systems designed to rid the water of impurities or anything that might cause illness, but to be honest, we would probably just use rainwater for our lawns and gardens!

Now for the Details

There are a variety of ways to capture rainwater, with the most basic setup involving gutters, barrels, and pea gravel in case of overflow. You want the excess to be able to drain off easily and not cause any damage to your foundation, so do not skip the gravel or you could regret it later. Interestingly, most Arizona homes do not come with gutters, so if you are doing this, you will need to invest in an entirely new gutter system, one that includes filters for debris. Place the barrel under the downspout, being sure that your downspout does not end up on the side of your house near the electric box, or if your yard has a septic system, keep away from that spot as well. Overflow ports and first-flush diverters will be needed, and the barrels should be maintained every few months; also, it may seem like a waste of water, but your barrels must be drained every 3 to 5 years. Go ahead and drain it into your yard, perhaps at the beginning of watering season so nothing goes to waste!

Get Creative This Arizona Monsoon Season

You can purchase any size barrel; 55-gallon drums are most common, or you can build one yourself using a large plastic waste can with a lid and screen material for the filter. The barrels designed for capturing rainwater are made from PVC and have a spigot for easy watering, though, and because they are not too expensive, this may be what you want to use. True water containment systems are made from a variety of materials and come in a variety of sizes, allowing you to purchase the one that works best for you! Colors can vary as well, from clear plastic to black, red, or green; one online retailer even makes a gorgeous copper one that has a 5-liter capacity and adds to the beauty of your landscape. The Rain Wizard Rock is designed to look like a piece of granite, something that looks amazing in a desert landscape, and comes in dark, light, sandstone, and red brick designs. A terra cotta version holding up to 65 gallons and resembling a large vase can be ordered from your local Target, and we even noticed a rain catcher created from plastic tarps and poles that simply sits out in the open; the water drains into plastic containers not unlike those you would use for drinking water.

Sounds a Bit Complicated?

Give us a call today and let us work together to create an environment that is friendly, welcoming, and kind to the desert!