Romantic Landscape Features to Make Your Landscaping Special

For those that read The Secret Garden as a child, the magic and mystery of that special place have probably lingered, inciting readers to attempt cultivating a secret garden in their own backyards. Even those who haven’t read the book, however, can still appreciate a landscape that is verdant and rich with the romantic touches often found in movies, books, or even in the gardens of the royals we all follow with avid curiosity. When you choose New Image Landscape and Pools for your romantic landscape needs, we can help you build an oasis of romance on your property as well, and these tips are just the beginning!

Lots and Lots of Greenery

Plants, bushes, and trees in the backyard create an escape that also works to stay cooler during the hottest days of summer. Green, lush, and romantic, enjoying a glass of iced tea in the shade of your evergreen elm with the love of your life promises to be one of many high points this summer.What’s Greenery Without the Color and Scent of Flowers? Color makes us happy, and while the green is important, the reds, purples, pinks, and yellows of summer flowers is equally important, as is the sweet scent of the aromatic blooms spicing up your night!Plant some fragrant roses under your bedroom window,and on cooler nights, sleeping with the windows open will give you sweet dreams!

Create a Path Edged in Solar Lights

Now that you have the basics completed, it’s time to work on the hardscape portion of your romantic landscaping. A brick path that disappears into your foliage, lined with beautiful solar lights, is about as romantic as you can imagine! Find a spot in the center and place a softly upholstered two-seater swing; whispered conversations under the glow of the full moon mean more in your enchanted and romantic garden hideaway!

Sounds of the Sea in your Romantic Landscaping

We live in the desert, with the nearest large body of water located a long 3.5-hour drive away—in another country! But the sounds of the sea can be mimicked easily and inexpensively with the purchase of a fountain. Available in all sizes, styles, and shapes, a fountain can be the finishing touch to your romantic backyard oasis.

Just the Beginning

These are just a few of the many ideas we have milling our brains to help create a romantic retreat. Give us a call today and let’s get started working on yours!

What is the Difference Between Hardscape and Softscape?

Creating the perfect landscape for your property requires balance. Having both structural as well as greenery elements is important. Too much or too little of either can make a landscape appear lacking. Knowing the difference between hardscaping and softscaping allows you to better understand the existing design of your landscape and make the necessary changes to make your landscape more aesthetically pleasing.

What is Hardscape?

When it comes to landscaping and design, hardscape is the structural components within a landscape. This includes solid features such as paving, walls, stairs, reflecting pools, and planters. These are usually the features that have to be installed or completed before greenery is added to a landscape. Hardscaping features play an important part in the landscaping process as they usually require digging or physical changes to the existing landscape. More often than not, hardscape features are a main focal point of the landscape. Whether it is an outdoor fireplace or a trellis, hardscape features are often the main pieces that matter when designing a landscape.

What is Softscape?

Softscape is the horticultural details in a landscape. Oftentimes, these details are used to accent an existing landscape. Some examples of softscape include a vine plant that is strategically placed over a trellis, plants that are added to installed planters on the grounds, trees that are planted around the perimeter of a property and installing flower beds throughout a landscape. When incorporating softscaping features into a landscape, it is important to choose greenery that adds aesthetic value. Something as simple as adding some brightly colored flowers to a landscape has the potential to change the exterior appearance of a property significantly.

Using Both for Landscaping

Hardscaping and softscaping are best used together when designing and creating a landscape. Too many hardscape features can make your landscape feel “cold,” while too many softscape features can make your landscape feel like a mini forest with no real sense of functional purpose. Thus, it is important to balance the two. For example, if you install a new stone walkway, the addition of bright-colored flowers or noticeable greenery along the path of the walkway offers a balance between man-made structure and nature. The assistance of a reputable landscaping company is valuable in optimizing the existing hardscape and softscape features of your current landscape.

If you are looking to take your existing landscape to the next level, let New Image Landscape & Pools help you. With over 35 years of experience, we have helped numerous people create the landscapes of their dreams. For more information on the landscaping services available, visit us online or contact us directly at 480-654-4422.

3 Tips to Make Your Arizona Landscape Stand Out

The exterior of your home says a lot about you as a property owner. The landscaping on your property has the potential to make your home more aesthetically pleasing while also offering a number of practical benefits. If you are looking for ways to make your landscape more appealing, here are three tips that can easily make your Arizona landscape stand out.

Colorful Shrubbery & Plants

There is something very appealing about a splash of color on your property. Adding lots of green trees and shrubs offers something to look at on the grounds. During the changing of the seasons, the addition of trees and shrubbery is especially noticeable and attractive. They also offer much needed shade and privacy. The addition of plants on the front and back of a property adds curb appeal and interest. Consider planting flowers that have varying blooming times. This ensures that you will always have foliage no matter the time of year. Make sure to properly care for your grass as your brown, dry grass is an eyesore.

Add Some Water

Adding a fountain or even a small bird bath is an excellent way to add dimension to your Arizona landscape. When considering the addition of a fountain, make sure that it is scaled for your landscape. You don’t want the fountain to be too big as it will take away from other aspects of your landscape. Likewise, you don’t want the fountain to be too small because it will get lost in the landscape. Also, consider using natural materials for your fountain as this will allow the fountain to blend in nicely among other portions of the property. Try using materials that are already incorporated into the exterior of the property whenever possible.

Lighting is Beneficial to Your Arizona Landscape

Lighting is a necessity to sure the safety and security of your property. It is also serves the purpose of accenting various areas of your landscape. Strategically placed lighting can make a major difference in the appearance of the exterior of your home. Consider using lighting for your walkway as well as to accent the front of your property. Lighting is also useful for creating ambiance such as creating lighting around a deck or patio or showing off features within a landscape such as rock formations or plant beds.

If you feel that your landscape could use a makeover, New Image Landscape and Pools can help. With over 35 years of experience, we have the expertise to help you create a visually and functionally appealing landscape. For more information on improving your existing landscape, visit our website or contact us directly at 480-654-4422.

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!

Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

When you live in the desert, if you don’t want to spend all your free time outside watering your grass, flowers, and plants, an automatic sprinkler system can be your best friend, as well as an eco-friend to our most precious resource. Allowing you to use just the right amount of water to keep your landscape healthy and green, the benefits of a sprinkler are obvious, but as with every mechanical device, maintenance is needed to keep them working at optimum levels. Here’s a list of sprinkler maintenance tips that will keep your system working for a long, long, long time!

Keep Them Clean

To maintain maximum performance, you need to make sure the nozzles remain clear and unobstructed. Dirt, leaves, and even trash can keep your sprinklers from working well. Simply take off the sprinkler heads and rinse them off with a hose, then replace. It’s not necessary to do this daily or even weekly, but if you start noticing some dry spots on your lawn, most likely it is due to a blocked nozzle.

Check the Pressure

Overwatering can be almost as damaging as underwatering, and sometimes you will discover that the reason your yard is being overwatered is due to improper pressure. Your sprinkler manual will show you how to check the pressure.

Adjust the Schedule as Needed

Weather changes not just from season to season, but day to day, minute to minute, and even from year to year. Last summer’s heavy rainfall meant you didn’t need to water as often or as long, but after 100 plus days without rain this year, you probably will need to increase the watering schedule to keep your lawn healthy. Pay attention to your lawn’s needs and adjust the schedule as needed.

Keep an Eye out for Leaks and Other Sprinkler Maintenance Tips

It not difficult to find a leak if you’re looking for it; if an area appears unusually green and feels squishy beneath bare feet, your sprinkler has sprung a leak—especially if the dark spot isn’t near the head. It may require a little digging to find the exact spot where the leak is, but by remaining vigilant, you can expect your sprinkler system to serve you well for years to come.

It Really Isn’t That Difficult

But we understand that in the busy world we all live in, sometimes it’s the little things that get pushed under the rug. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything you need to do. Sometimes you need a little help, and that’s where New Image Landscape and Pools comes into the picture. Our years of experience in the landscape business allows you the opportunity to relax and have a little fun without having to worry about your sprinkler system. Give us a call and see what we can do to help make your life easier!

Top Reasons for Choosing New Image Landscape and Pools for Custom Landscaping

Your home is more than likely the biggest purchase you will ever make, and as such, every decision you make regarding the care and upkeep becomes important. No one wants to hire a company that takes their money and then provides shoddy work, but sadly, when you don’t do the proper research, this happens more than you’d care to think about. We at New Image Landscape and Pools, however, have your best interests at heart; we are passionate about our work and we aren’t satisfied until our customers are 100% in love with the landscape we provide.

Knowledgeable and Personable Staff

If you don’t like the people who are working on your yard, chances are you won’t like the work that is done! Our staff has years of experience in the landscape field, and because we love what we do, it doesn’t just show up in the lush and beautiful landscapes we provide; it shows in our interactions with our clients!

Our Creativity Gives You More Options

In a cookie cutter world, we all yearn to stand out, and our landscape designers have learned to think outside the box, giving you more choices and options to show your flair. Our landscapes will be the envy of your neighborhood and the talk of the town!

State of the Art Technology

Even though our favorite thing to do is play in the dirt, that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate the importance of technology, and our use of 3D landscape models is just one way we stay ahead of the times. Blueprints can be difficult to understand and even more difficult to appreciate how wonderful your yard will look once we’ve finished our work. 3D landscape models allow our clients to not just see how the finished product will look, but also to take a virtual tour through the design and experience the magic of your completed landscape!

Custom Landscaping Done Right Can Increase the Value of Your Home

People like to look at pretty things, and when done right, your custom landscape can be the impetus that potential buyers need to make them fork out the extra dollars! Even if you’re not quite ready to sell today, the lasting beauty of our designs will bring you higher prices when you are finally ready to make the big move!

Schedule an Appointment with Us Today

As you stare out the windows at a landscape that is boring and bland, doesn’t knowing that a change is just a phone call away bring a smile to your face? Give us a call and let us help you make your home the envy of your entire neighborhood!

5 Ways to Get Instant Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is one of the most desired aspects for any home. It makes the neighbors happy, can help sell the home quicker, and can offer a sense of welcome to its owners at the end of a long day. Unfortunately, it can also be difficult to achieve and frustrating to homeowners when, after multiple expensive and time-consuming attempts at creating that curb appeal, their efforts fail. New Image Landscape and Pools understands this frustration, however, and offers this list of five ways to get instant curb appeal; everything is easier when you have a helpful friend on your side!

Window Boxes

Sometimes it’s the smallest things that make the largest changes, and a simple window box can be that big change. Create a box yourself out of scrap wood you have in your workshop or buy something new from your local home improvement store and fill it with seasonal flowers that can add a happy, cheerful, and inexpensive appeal to an otherwise boring exterior.

Paint the Front Door

Painting the entire exterior of your house can be an expensive proposition, but many times, all that may be necessary is a new coat of paint on your front door. A gallon of paint, on average, only costs about $30, so this is an innovation you can dare to go bold with; nothing says welcome more than a sunny, yellow front door!

Plant a Tree

The secret to an appealing landscape is layers. Starting low with green grass and building up to a special tree that provides shade, style, and yes, that all-important curb appeal, can be all you need to make your home stand out from all the rest. If you’re patient and/or worry about the skills needed to plant a tree, start small. A 5-gallon size tree can cost about the same as a gallon of paint and is as easy to plant as the flowers you already have in your garden. The larger boxes can cost a lot more and may require the help of a master landscaper.

Lighting

A dark home at night isn’t just boring and bland; it can also be a security risk. Burglars like to remain unseen, so don’t make it easy for them! Light up your house and increase your curb appeal at the same time! From porch lights to path lights to up-lights, coming home to a brightly lit home will be the perfect way to end your work day. Electrical can be tricky, so hiring an expert is recommended.

Tear It Out

Overgrown bushes, untrimmed trees, and flowers that have insinuated themselves into the cracks of your sidewalk can make your home look scary and uninviting, but this may be a task you don’t want to handle yourself! Give us a call today and schedule an appointment to sit down and discuss your options on giving your house the curb appeal you always knew it could have!

Best Strains of Grass for Arizona Lawns

You want a good-looking lawn year-round, and the best way to achieve this is to lay sods that are best suited for the arid Arizona environment. There are a number of drought-resistant, luxurious grass varieties, and like anything, each has its pros and cons; one of the challenges homeowners face is the staggering number of varieties of certain types of grasses. Weeding through masses of information can be downright frustrating, so we’ve done the research for you about the best grass varieties for Arizona lawns.

Sod Groups

The first thing to understand when choosing a grass variety is sod groups. There are two sod groups: Warm Season and Cool Season. These groups are dependent on the time of year you are installing your lawn. Warm Season sods include zoysia, St. Augustine varieties, and Bermuda grasses. Cool season grasses include tall fescue, perennial ryegrass, and Kentucky bluegrass. The majority of Warm Season grasses do not produce seed, so must be installed by sprigging, plugging, or laying sod. If you wish to seed start your lawn or overseed an existing warm season sod, choose a cool season grass variety.

Top Grass Choices

The best and most widely planted grasses in Arizona are Bermuda grasses. Adapted to high sunlight and air temperatures, salty, shallow soils, and heavy traffic, Bermuda grasses are excellent for low-lying desert areas. There are several popular Bermuda grass varieties that are commercially sold; Bermuda grasses also perform well in the higher elevations (3,500 – 4,800 feet). Bermuda grasses are not shade tolerant. For areas that receive constant shade or experience summer temperatures below 80º Fahrenheit, we recommend St. Augustine grass varieties.

Midiron

Midiron is a great all-purpose grass. A bright green, low-maintenance turf with a medium to dense growth habit, Midiron is the most popular turf grass in Arizona. In the winter Midiron enters a dormant state, so in desert valley areas such as Tucson, Yuma, and Phoenix, it is often overseeded with perennial ryegrass in late summer/early fall to create a lush lawn year-round. Midiron can be mowed with a rotary mower and is happy with heights ranging between 1.5 to two inches, though it can withstand cropping as short as ½ an inch with a reel mower.

Tifway and Tifway II

These varieties have a finer blade and deeper color than Midiron, and can tolerate a low mowing height, which is best achieved with a reel mower. Often used on sports fields and golf courses, the Tifway varieties are also excellent for home lawns. Tifway is a fast-growing grass, requiring two to three mowings per week to look its best; it is tolerant of heights up to 2.5 inches. Though Tifway requires more frequent mowing, it is highly desirable, as it can be mowed with a rotary mower and taller grass heights require less frequent watering.

Palmetto St. Augustine

A semi-dwarf St. Augustine variety, Palmetto is excellent for both shady and sunny areas and is the most heat-tolerant of all the St. Augustine cultivars. Palmetto has a coarse texture and a broad blade; it is best mowed with a rotary mower and does well with heights up to 2.5 inches.

For more tips on yard and pool maintenance, or to add a new feature to your backyard like a pool or custom barbecue, contact the experts at New Image today!

Top Vegetables to Plant in Your Arizona Garden

If you’ve spent any time at all in the Midwest, one thing you might miss about summer is the opportunity to enjoy fresh vegetables that have been grown in a backyard garden. Arizona summers are so hot, you probably think any gardens you try to start will end up offering already cooked veggies! The good news is, however, that you CAN grow vegetables in the Phoenix area, even during the hottest months of summer. Many plants you may prefer to grow during the cooler months, and that’s perfectly fine. The only issue is that your typical summer crop may not be available until fall and that delay is ok; you probably won’t want to be tilling and weeding and watering during the heat anyway.

The Best Phoenix Vegetable

Surprisingly, green beans are the best vegetable to grow in the Phoenix area, and they don’t take up a lot of room. It’s best to plant them in November, but because we do occasionally get frost in January or even February, pay close attention to the weather and cover them if a frost warning is issued. Sugar snap peas are a close relative to the green bean, and the tips for planting them are the same.

Warm Season Vegetables

Because of our mild winters, the Phoenix area has two full growing seasons, warm and cold. Vegetables such as corn, tomatoes, eggplant, pumpkin, and peppers are warm season vegetables and do best when planted in February. They will continue to provide their “fruits” through June and July, but it’s imperative that you remember to keep them watered. Where you plant these veggies is important as well: Too much sun and they will fry, too little sun and they won’t produce.

Cool Season Vegetables

The earliest you can begin to plant your cool season vegetables is the middle of August, but most do better if you wait another month; you don’t want to be fussing in a garden in the middle of August anyway, it’s too hot! Cool season vegetables include plants whose leaves are edible: cabbage, salad greens, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peas, and onions. Your cool season garden will produce through April—any later and it is just too hot.

Arizona Gardening Isn’t Always Easy

There’s a lot of trial and error involved, even for seasoned professionals like ourselves, but we think that when you take that first bite of your home-grown carrot, you will think it’s worth it! Schedule an appointment with us today and let us share our expertise with you.

Top Plants for Your Desert Landscape

If you’re a new resident to the desert, there are a couple of things you may have already discovered. Desert summers give new meaning to the word scorching, air conditioning is your new best friend, and your hydrangeas that flourished in your Massachusetts backyard just won’t cut it in your brand-new Phoenix home! It’s not just the need to withstand temperatures high enough to allow you to bake cookies on the street in front of your house that makes you need to avoid most Eastern plants; it’s also the lack of rain, the different soil alkalinity, and the need to withstand summer monsoon season that will have you scratching your head in dismay. We at New Image Landscape and Pools can help you find the right plants to give your yard a lush and green appearance that will be able to withstand the hottest summer days and the windiest desert haboobs.

Autumn Sage

Not all desert plants are prickly and sparse. The silver green leaves of an autumn sage handle the heat like a champ and sprout colorful flowers in shades of red, pink, and purple from late summer to the end of fall.

Bunny Eared Cactus

Cacti can be cute too, and the bunny-eared variety is a great way to add a touch of the desert to your landscape without any of the dangers usually associated with the cactus. This version doesn’t produce prickly thorns, but does grow colorful flowers in the spring.

Texas Red Yucca

The ocean regions have their sea oats, while the Texas red yucca blooms supreme in the dessert. Having a silvery-green grass-like appearance, the fiery blooms that sprout out of the center provide an exotic look that attracts all the hummingbirds to your yard.

Bougainvillea

This brightly colored flowering plant grows like a weed, but has a prickly side as well, so if you plant it, be sure to keep it away from walkways if you don’t want to cause harm to your family and guests! Requiring virtually no water, this true desert plant shines year-round and only requires a sunny and dry spot to thrive!

Jacaranda Tree

With leaves that appear to resemble the feathery plumes of a fern and stunning purple flowers that bloom in the spring, the jacaranda tree is one of our favorite desert trees, and can be found growing proudly beside many homes in the Phoenix area.

Culture Shock is Real

Whether you are a Phoenix native or have only recently moved to the valley, you may discover that planting a lush and thriving garden isn’t as easy as it seems! Schedule an appointment with us today and we can sit down with you and develop a landscape plan that will make your neighbors turn green with envy.