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!

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!

Arizona Garden Ideas and Watering Solutions for Your Yard

Gardening in the desert is a unique experience. We all long for the grassy yards and flowery gardens of our midwestern upbringing, but water issues may seem to bring an abrupt halt to the idea. Fortunately, we at New Image Landscape and Pools have made it our business to make your yard the oasis you dreamed it could be, and with a few tweaks to the types of flowers and plants you can add, our hints and tips will make it easy—especially when you consult this guide for watering solution and Arizona garden ideas.

Saving our Most Precious Resource

Water is not an unlimited resource in the desert and conserving it is of highest importance. You’re probably not surprised to discover that the standard oscillating sprinkler attached to a hose and left in the yard for hours at a time does not save water, and if you’re intent on having a lush green lawn, it is also not the best way to get there! Our favorite watering solution, an automated sprinkler system, may cost a little more in the beginning but will save you money in the long term. Programmable, it allows owners to water their grass for the optimum amount of time, and with correct installation of the sprinkler heads, every inch of your yard will be a verdant paradise! Adding bubblers for the plants and flowers gives homeowners a break from one of the many chores that accompany the pleasure of owning a home.

Planting Drought Resistant

For your garden needs, the best watering solution is to limit how much water is needed. Many desert plants offer brilliantly colored blooms that can outshine the more “needy” flowers of the gardens you may be used to! Bougainvillea, oleander, even lantana and different versions of sage are all flowering plants that can exist without much water. Your home will be a showpiece and the earth will be forever grateful when you add these vibrant and colorful plants!

Education and Arizona Garden Ideas

Overwatering is our worst way or squandering our natural resources, and the best way to avoid doing so is by educating yourself. The internet is a wonderful invention, and with just a little research, you can manage to have a green yard and flowering plants without over or underwatering. Another easy way to find watering solutions for your home space oasis is with a simple phone call. Call us today for more Arizona garden ideas and tips!

3 Ways to Make Your Garden More Private

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

Fence It in

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

Go Green for Privacy

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

Creative Cover for Your Mesa Garden

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

At New Image Landscape and Pools, we can help you create the privacy you desire for your landscape. With over 35 years of landscaping experience, we offer a variety of innovative ideas to help you enjoy your garden to the fullest. For more information on creating your private garden, contact us at 480-654-4422.

5 Ways to Achieve a Southwestern Desert Garden in Arizona

Southwestern desert garden in Arizona are as beautiful as they are unique. A combination of rocks, desert plants, and flowering cactus can really make your garden pop. If you are interested in creating a southwestern desert garden in your yard, follow these simple steps to achieve a beautiful garden.

Place Exciting Plants Where They’ll Be Seen

Place large, big-money plants in areas of your yard where they will be seen. These plants can act as a centerpiece for your landscaping, or you can use them to frame the entryway to your home. Plants like the beaked yucca can grow up to 14 feet tall and are visually stunning.

Use Plants with Seasonal Variety

There are two types of plants: perennials, which look the same year-round; and annuals, which change with the season. Planting a mix of both perennials and annuals with help keep your garden looking good all year long. Annual plants will keep your garden looking alive year-round and perennials will add a splash of color during the changing seasons.

Prickly pear cactus is a common perennial that grows in the Southwest. During the spring, the cactus sprouts yellow flowers. Once the flowers die they turn into red colored fruits and during the winter the paddles of the cactus turn to purple. These bright colors really stand out against the desert background and can help your yard pop with color.

Landscape with Native Plants

Arizona doesn’t get a lot of rain, so the best type of plants to use for your landscaping is native, drought-tolerant varieties. These plants will be able to survive the harsh climate, will require less watering and maintenance, and will make your yard look healthy and alive all year long. Honey mesquite, gray desert spoon, turpentine bush, and creosote bush are all plants that grow well in this environment. They have small leaves, which helps the plants retain moisture.

Add Architectural Elements

Architectural elements can give your yard some depth and variety in height. Stucco-walled beds can create terraces in your yard which are a great way to make your yard more appealing. Different heights of plants, such as vertical plants like the yucca, can be planted in the beds below the raised terraces. Shorter shrub plants like dwarf oleanders look good in the taller stucco-walled beds and provide pops of color during the winter. Plants that flower will really stand out against the neutral colors of the stucco-walled beds.

Don’t Plant Grass

Grass requires a lot of water, maintenance, and can look out of place in your desert garden in Arizona. Instead, use a bed of chat to surround your plants. You can also strategically place large rocks such as lava rocks to add an additional element to your garden.

Help with Your Desert Garden in Arizona

If you would like help planning out your garden or are looking for maintenance services for your existing garden, contact us today. We have been providing lawn maintenance and design in Arizona for more than 30 years. Our specialty is in southwestern gardening and we would love to help you create your ideal desert garden.

Decorative Accent Lighting Tips for Your Home

During the winter, the shorter days darker may make your house look drab. This is especially important to address if you are trying to sell your home, as buyers will often come by in the evenings. One way to boost your curb appeal at night is by adding decorative accent lighting. If you’re trying to sell your house, or just want it to look alive at night, a little accent lighting will really make it stand out!

Choosing the Proper Decorative Accent Lighting

One way to figure out what type of lighting you may need is to look at your home at night. Figure out which areas are the darkest and where you may want to add light. Path lighting and motion detectors are a great way to light up your yard. In addition to lighting up your home, decorative accent lighting can also highlight your landscaping. If you have a favorite element of your landscaping, think about how you can draw attention to it with some creative lighting. Some ways you could do so are by putting string lights on the branches of a tree or using spotlights to silhouette a bush or shrub.

Another easy trick to adding curb appeal to your home is to light up the walkway leading to your front door. Visitors, potential homebuyers, and even you and your family will find the walk safer and much more enjoyable if there is lighting along the path. Low voltage path lights will add a gentle glow and add to your home’s curb appeal.

You can also ask your friends where they think lighting might be helpful. You look at your yard every day, multiple times a day, so getting a fresh perspective can be very helpful in deciding which areas of your yard could use more lighting.

If your house has an outdoor seating area, make sure this area is well lit. String lights are a great way to light outdoor living areas because they are cheerful and help buyers thinks of all the fun they can have on the patio.

Highlighting the architectural features of your home can also help boost the curb appeal. Uplights are a great way to highlight your home’s best features, and you can use them to highlight features such as rocks and columns.

Let the Experts at New Image Help

If you would like help with lighting your yard and creating more curb appeal, we offer landscape services that include modeling, design, and maintenance. We have been in the landscaping business in Arizona for more than 30 years and can help you with all your landscaping needs. For more information on our services, please contact us. Be sure to check our landscaping tips too!

Getting Your Lawn Ready for Spring

Although it may already feel like spring out there, the nights still get cold enough to allow for the fact that we are still deep in the heart of winter. Daytime temps in the 70s will bring bragging rights followed by jealousy from our eastern friends and family, and the urge to spend as much time outside as possible before the dog days of summer arrive make this the perfect time to start getting your lawn ready for spring! So, pull out your shorts and gardening shoes, grab a hat and some gloves, and let’s get out there and enjoy the weather—um, we mean, start preparing your lawn for spring!

Three Types of Arizona Gardeners

First, to begin getting your lawn ready for spring we need to determine which of the three types of lawn owners you are: one who over seeds with winter rye, one who lets their lawn go dormant, or one who has decided that a true desert landscape is the ONLY way to landscape the area around your house! For the latter type, you can close your laptop right now, pour yourself a drink, and head out to the patio with a good book; this article isn’t for you! Everyone else, keep reading. You will have plenty of time for a drink in just a few short hours!

For Over Seeded Lawns

This is the time of year that you may notice a change in your lush and green winter rye. With the warmer temps, the rye is starting to die out. Start by lowering the blade on your mower in increments, cutting more of the winter rye and leaving room for the heat and sun to get to your dormant lawn. Aerating can help with the process, but its important you don’t do it too soon; waiting until May is the best time. Next, you will want to reduce your watering time for about a week. Don’t stop watering, though, as your summer lawn still needs the moisture. As your rye is dying out, this is when you should consider fertilizer, being sure to use one that contains a high amount of ammonium sulfate, which will help weaken your rye while ensuring your summer lawn comes in green and beautiful.

Lawns That Have Gone Dormant

Want to know a secret? For those who have taken the winter off and just let their lawn go dormant, your spring lawn prep is almost as easy as those with desert landscape! Simply rake away the dead grass, wait until the nighttime temperatures reach at least 65 degrees for five nights in a row, and increase your watering time to 15-20 minutes per session. You can fertilize your grass now with a turf fertilizer, and when it starts growing in, start using an iron rich fertilizer to deepen the green. You’re done! Wasn’t that easy?

Final Step

This is also the time when you may start thinking about adding some hardscape, flowers, or even a pool after your spring lawn prep. Give us a call today and schedule an appointment with us to discuss your lawn options!

Summer Gardening Tips for Arizona

One of the best things about living in Arizona is the weather; unfortunately, that can also be one of the worst things about living in Arizona. Though temperate in the winter and spring, sunny skies and scorching temperatures make summer a difficult time to live through – and an even more difficult time to garden through!

With that in mind, it’s important to change one’s strategies when trying to garden in the summer, and make sure your landscape is ready for the scorching temperature increases! Here are our top summer gardening tips to make sure that your summer garden is as beautiful as can be

Remember that Not All Vegetables Do Well Here

With temperatures over 100 degrees most of the year, there are some vegetables you just can’t grow. Some that have been proven to do well, though, include the following; melons, cucumbers, herbs, and not surprisingly, peppers.

Desert – and Summer Hardy – Plants Can Be Beautiful Too

Sage is an especially desert ready plant and the silvery green backdrop to the colorful flowers that grow on the bush can take your breath away. Salvias, zinnias, and even some cactus varieties offer generous and colorful flowers that survive the summer heat without needing excessive watering.

Summer Gardening Tips: Use Hardscaping to Reduce Water Usage

Some of the most beautiful gardens are accentuated with paved paths, garden benches, solar lights, and even a structure or two. Adding any or all of these to your garden space increases the style and charm of your desert garden, while reducing your water usage. Remember; we live in the desert, and water is precious; do everything you can to make sure your garden is water savvy!

Use Bubblers and Timers for your Plants

Standing over a garden with hose in hand can be therapeutic, but it also can be a waste of a precious resource – water. Bubblers can be timed to run for preset times, giving you just the right amount of hydration to keep your garden growing beautifully!

Give New Image Landscape and Pools a Call

Sometimes the best way to adapt to new gardening styles is with the help of an experienced landscape company! Making your backyard beautiful is our specialty – schedule an appointment with us today! And remember, the best time to do your gardening in the summer is in the early hours of the day when the temperatures are low. Your garden won’t grow if you don’t take care of the gardener’s needs first!

Arizona Garden Watering Tips

If you have spent even one summer living in the Phoenix area, you finally have a better understanding of the phrase “It’s a dry heat!” While we do have our humidity (monsoon season, anyone?), the majority of our summers spread out before us as one long, scorching hot day after another, beginning long before and ending long after most other states. Summer takes up approximately half the year, drying out our skin, our hair, and our home’s landscaping.

Transplants from greener climates may find themselves loving the weather, but desperately missing the gardens of their home towns, and many try to re-create them in their backyard without much success. The fierce heat from the sun often doesn’t allow a garden like those from places with milder summer climates, but the good news is that you don’t have to give up hope altogether. We’ve compiled some Arizona garden watering tips to maintaining the garden of your dreams in a climate where water is at a premium; keep reading for more information.

Aridity Can Be Your Enemy

In any garden, keeping the dirt moist is of utmost importance, a chore that is made more difficult by the dry climate in Phoenix. If you are planning on growing a garden—vegetable or flower—you must ensure that you keep it watered. In the case of vegetable gardens, consider planting many plants closer together; this will help keep the soil moist longer.

Water in the Morning

Watering in the morning, when temperatures are relatively cool, allows for less evaporation, keeping the ground wet for a longer time. Watering at night is the second-best time. Never water during the heat of the day; you don’t want to cook your vegetables before they have even had a chance to mature!

Water Slowly

Our soil is hard and dry, and if you hurry through the chore, the water won’t sink in and quench the roots, but will most likely flow to a lower spot in the garden, causing erosion and damage along the way. Drip irrigation can be the solution to your problem if you don’t have the extra time to spend in your garden each day and is an excellent choice for flower gardens.

Arizona Garden Watering Tips: Consider Desert Landscaping Plants

There are many desert plants that look beautiful in a garden and require far less watering than regular plants. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to plant a cactus garden. Hearty flowering shrubs and bushes can be a beautiful addition to your home garden, and desert species require far less watering.

New Image Landscape and Pools Can Help You with Your Gardening Needs!

Schedule an appointment with us today and let’s work together to create the garden of your dreams!