How to Add Vertical Appeal to Your Yard

There once was a time when the goal of every homeowner was to have a yard that looked like every other yard on the block. Standing out in a sea of sameness was not a desired attribute, and the neighbor with the different yard would be judged appropriately. Today, however, different is better, and when you want your yard to stand out in that sea, perhaps you should look up for a change. And no, we don’t mean up to the sky; we mean by adding a touch of vertical appeal, a change that challenges the uniformity of most Arizona landscapes. If you’re still unsure as to what we mean, this guide to adding vertical appeal to your personal oasis should clear things up!

Vertical Gardens

The most literal translation of vertical appeal would be adding a vertical landscape to your yard! Hang pots from the patio wall from the ground to just under the eaves or build a wall out of leftover wood (a good use for any extra pallets you may have lying around) and tuck an array of greenery into the niches and crannies and place the wall wherever you think needs a little extra panache.

Add a Fountain

When you look at your backyard, chances are that with the exception of your home, nothing stretches taller than the chairs you relax in to watch the sunset, but if you add a tall fountain, you create not just vertical appeal, but a sense of peace. Fountains come in many shapes and sizes and can even be hung on the wall; you just have to choose your favorite!

Plant Trees

A mature tree can be a majestic sight to see, adding a vertical appeal that also improves oxygen levels and breeds a healthier environment. Planting the wrong tree, however, can take away from the appeal, so we desert dwellers should stick with desert trees. The paloverde, mesquite, and Arizona ash are just a few examples; the Arizona ash is a deciduous tree that brings color to the landscape every fall and grows tall and beautiful.

Build a Pergola

If it seems as if we are always recommending pergolas, it’s for very good reasons. Pergolas offer shade, beauty, and in this instance, a vertical appeal that will add the perfect finishing touch to your backyard oasis. Train vines to climb up around the poles; jasmine is always a good choice, offering flowers and a soft aromatic scent to your landscape for that extra finishing step.

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Popular Landscaping Trends to Consider for Your Yard

Recent transplants to the Valley of the Sun may be surprised to discover that all Arizona landscapes are not comprised of cactus and desert sand. Many yards offer lush and verdant landscapes that remind some residents of their eastern upbringing. Over time we have learned ways to cheat, using desert plants that don’t need a lot of water and special automation equipment that lessens the time needed to keep our yards looking spectacular. And because we at New Image Landscape and Pools like to keep up with the latest landscaping trends, we are often the first place residents look at when seeking yard updates!

Double Duty Design

Many Arizona yards tend to be smaller, so incorporating design options that serve multiple purposes is a very popular option! Retaining walls that also offer seating options, trellis gardens that provide extra privacy as fencing, or outdoor pizza ovens that keep the heat out of your kitchen while adding to the glamour of your outdoor kitchen are just a few choices to consider adding to your own home. Multi-purpose is multi-functional!

Pergola Goals

The pergola is a piece of lawn furniture that has grown to new importance, evolving from simple wood structures that flowering vines cover with aromatic beauty to buildings that hide televisions, outdoor kitchens, and everything you could need to make your backyard an oasis! Desert heat has us staying inside during the dog days of summer, but with a pergola in your backyard, you can extend your outdoor adventures a few weeks longer!

Pretty in Pink

Design trends don’t always need to be grand and expensive. Sometimes adding color is all you need to update your backyard! Pink has been the color of the year, and if you can’t find yourself painting your home this rosy hue, or even just the trim, never fear; planting flowers in different shades of pink works just as well!

Modern Metal

Not everyone wants that family yard with acres of grass and punches of pink flowers; some of us prefer the sleeker and more modern look that can be obtained with metal! Iron gates, steel firepits, and copper flashing on the pergola are just some examples. The use of metal in your yard will only be limited by the boundaries of your imagination!

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Fall Maintenance Tips for Your Pool and Landscape

As the temperatures drop and the leaves turn to their brilliant fall colors, we in Arizona grab our warm sweaters and sigh a deep breath of relief that the end of summer has arrived—oh, who are we kidding? If you’ve lived in the desert for any length of time, you understand that fall temperatures aren’t truly cool until after Halloween. We still have quite a while to go before we pull out the sweaters and long pants, but there are still some important upkeep matters we can take care of once the temperatures drop below 100 degrees, and our tips will ensure your Arizona landscape and pool will be beautiful all year long!

The Bounty of Your Fall Arizona Landscape

Fall, or at least after the monsoon season has ended and the triple digits have dropped to double digits, is the perfect time to start work on the landscape that more than likely you have neglected due to the heat! Fall is when we fertilize to keep the ground healthy, but it is also the best time to start planting flowers and that vegetable garden you’ve dreamed of starting for years. Now is when you work on maintaining your trees: planting new ones, staking young ones, or pruning branches before the “cold” weather of winter begins. If you’re anxious for your yard to look colorful, this is the time when the fall annuals bloom; pick up a bowl or flat from your local home store and your yard will soon become a breathtaking display that will be the envy of all your neighbors!

Keeping That Pool Pretty

When we are actively swimming in the pool in the summer, we tend to be a tad more vigilant about keeping up with the chemicals and other routine maintenance, but once we aren’t out there as much, we kind of forget the pool exists. Out of sight, out of mind can lead to unwanted consequences; it’s easier and less expensive to maintain a balanced pool than it is to play catch up with the chemicals!

For those with heated pools, there will be no change in chemical additives, but for non-heated pools, you CAN step back on the chemicals you add. Draining your pool at the end of fall, once the ambient temperature has dropped below 80 degrees, is something that should be done every other year or every couple of years to keep your pool equipment working in prime condition and lessen the hard water stains on your pool walls.

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Give us a call today and let New Image Landscape and Pools help get your Arizona landscape ready for the next season!

Choosing a Finish for Your Arizona Pool

While the interior of your pool may not be the first element you think of when designing your Arizona pool, it is an element that can change your whole pool’s fundamental look, bringing it to a new level of luxury and style. There are several types of pool finishes to choose from, including plaster, tile, and aggregate finishes, and each finish offers an array of colors and textures. Whether you are building a new inground pool or doing renovations to your existing pool, here are some of the options for choosing a finish for your Arizona pool.

Plaster Finishes for Your Arizona Pool

Plaster finishes are the oldest and most common type of pool finishes. A simple mix of water, cement, and marble dust or silica sand, the plaster appears white in color which makes your pool water look bright and clear with a light blue tint. Plaster is a popular choice because of its smooth, classic finish.

Plaster can also be mixed with colored pigments or dyes to give your poolscape a more dramatic appearance. The most common colored plaster is medium gray because it gives your pool a blue tint. Darker grays and blacks can give your pool a reflective look for an even more dramatic design. It is often used to make your pool look more natural, like a lake or pond, and your landscape will often be reflected off the surface of your pool.

Plaster finishes typically last 5 to 7 years before there are signs of wear and chipping.

Aggregate Finishes

Aggregate finishes are the newest type of pool finishes and something to consider when choosing a finish for your Arizona pool. They combine white or colored plaster with glass beads, river stones, pieces of quartz, or granite. The finishes can come either exposed or polished. Aggregate finishes are popular because they give your poolscape a refined elegance. Aggregate finishes are also more resilient to chemicals and stains than plaster finishes.

Polished aggregate finish contains crushed pigment, stones, quartz, or granite with a clear finish that helps the stone shine and makes the surface smooth. Because of the added stone and polish, polished aggregate finishes can last anywhere from 12 to 20 years before they show signs of wear.

Exposed aggregate finishes allow the texture of the glass beads and stones to coat the bottom of your pool. With almost an endless amount of textures, blends, and colors, an aggregate finish will give your pool a unique look.

Let Us Help You In Choosing a Finish for Your Arizona Pool

If you are building a new pool or updating your existing pool, our experts can help you pick the perfect finish for your pool. We have been working in the Arizona pool and landscaping industry for more than 30 years. For more information on our services or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.

3 Reasons You Need a Backyard Pagoda

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

Backyard Pagoda: A Spot of Coolness in the Summer Heat

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

A Place to Congregate for Outdoor Gatherings

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

Adding Value to Your Home

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

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5 Ways to Save Water with your Outdoor Landscape

As the hot months of summer roll around, homeowners in the Phoenix area are faced with the annual predicament of keeping their landscapes looking healthy without using a ton of water. There are many ways to reduce the amount of water necessary either by taking steps in changing your yard to be less water reliant or by learning a few tips for watering your plants more efficiently. These are a couple of simple solutions to having a beautiful yard while using our most precious resource responsibly when you save water!

Plant Desert Friendly Plants

There are many plants that grow naturally in the Phoenix area which will greatly reduce your water requirements. Any kind of cacti is a great addition to your yard that will give a charming Southwestern look without the need for much of any water. Celebration Bermuda and Zoysia grasses are great solutions for those that love the green lawn, as they are durable and require relatively little water. There are also many trees and bushes that respond well to the climate in Phoenix.

Use Efficient Watering Techniques

Drip irrigation is one of the most efficient ways to make sure that your plants get the water that they need without wasting any water. It is also a good idea to develop contours in your yard so that any excess water will flow to the areas that it is needed most. If you need to water your grass, you should be doing it a couple hours before sunrise. This greatly reduces the amount of water that you lose to evaporation.

Add Mulch

Adding mulch to your yard is a simple and effective way to make the water you apply go much further. By pouring organic material across the ground around your plants, you ensure that the water is absorbed into the roots more effectively and soil temperature is kept much more even.

Get Rid of the Grass

Everyone loves the look of a beautifully green grass lawn. But in recent years, many homeowners have resorted to getting rid of their plots of glass and replacing it with gravel accented by more desert-oriented foliage. When done with the help of the professionals, this gives your home an elegant and sustainable yard. The grass is lovely, but it simply requires a great deal of water to maintain.

Collect Rainwater

The little rainwater that we get annually can really go a long way if you know how to harness it. In recent years, it has become very popular and economical to install a rain collection system feeding into some type of water storage vessel on the side of your house. The easiest way to collect the most water possible is installing gutters that lead to your water tank. Then you can disperse this water to your plants that need it very efficiently, without paying a cent for the water used.

Get Started Today

This information will give you a good start in caring for your yard in a sustainable way, but there is still so much more that can be done. Contact the professionals at New Image Landscape and Pools to get the most out of the water you put into your yard.