Shade Structures to Consider for Your Yard

If you have spent more than five minutes outside during the summer in the valley, you understand exactly how important shade is to your health and wellbeing! That sun is bright, hot, and relentless, and although the shade may only lower the temps a few degrees, it makes a huge difference. If you want to spend any time at all in your own backyard, we advise building shade structures to help create a space that is both beautiful and cool. This guide to shade structures should give you some ideas as to what you want!

Shade Sails

Very little to no construction is needed for this simple and inexpensive way to create shade in your backyard. Consisting of sun resistant canvas style fabric that is generally shaped like the sail of a boat, it has ropes on each end that can be tied to roofs, eye hooks installed in the eaves of your home, or—and this is the only case where any construction might be needed—attached to a tall wooden pole that has been cemented firmly into the ground. Inexpensive and effective, it’s a great option for smaller yards or patios that are uncovered.

Pavilion or Canopy

Although the pavilion, also known as a canopy in some states, is more expensive, the costs can be dialed up or down a little depending on how elaborate you choose to make it. Built of aluminum, tin, or some other kinds of metal or wood, and open on all four sides, the roof generally consists of some sort of fabric. For a romantic and breezy look, white fabric can be used as curtains tied to the legs of the metal structure, but we suggest using a heavier, sun-resistant fabric for the roof.

Gazebo

A gazebo can be as elaborate as you wish and generally consists of an octagon-shaped shingled roof and wood posts. Half wooden fencing can be placed between each post, or it can be left open, much as a pavilion. Offering the perfect spot for a patio table for al fresco dining, the shade provided by a gazebo is much desired and the design adds a touch of charm to a bare backyard.

Find Shade Structures That You Love?

Give us a call today and set up an appointment; it’s the first step in creating a backyard sanctuary that is both cool and beautiful!

Why You Should Install an Automated Watering System

Whether you have just moved to the desert for the first time in your life or have lived here your entire life and have always dreamed of the kind of yard and garden you see accompanying homes in the eastern US, there’s a lot you will have to consider before getting started. From knowing where the sun hits throughout the day to the hardiness of the plants or grass to the necessity of installing an automated water system, a desert garden has different rules and requirements. New Image Landscape and Pools is here to guide you through the wilderness, so to speak! Today, we’re going to discuss the various reasons as to why installing an automated watering system is important to your successful gardening experience.

Time-Saving

It is possible to grow your garden or have a yard full of rich green grass without an automated watering system, but you will need the time and dedication to make it so. Standing around with a hose in your hand for hours at a time every day and/or night may sound like a reasonable prospect in theory, but you work hard, you play hard, and quite frankly, you have much better things to do with your time!

The Science of It All

There’s a lot to know when it comes to maximizing the effectiveness of watering; you need to know your soil type, how much water each individual plant needs, and when is the best time for maximum water absorption without burning the delicate structure of what you are growing. There are entire books written on these topics, but when we install an automated watering system for your yard, we’ll do the programming for you; all you need to do is sick back with your favorite beverage and watch your lawn and garden flourish.

No Overwatering or Underwatering with an Automated Watering System

Automated watering systems offer a rainy day “escape clause,” a rain sensor bypass for all zones attached to the system, eliminating soggy yards and water-logged flowers. And because we program the correct specifications, underwatering is never an issue either; we’ve got you and your landscape covered!

Choosing New Image Landscape and Pools is the Smart Choice

Your home is your biggest investment; it’s understandable that you want the outside world to love it as much as you do. And just like a special outfit makes you or your spouse feel attractive, a lush green lawn and colorful flowers do the same for your home. Choosing New Image Landscape and Pools for your landscape needs will ensure it stays attractive for years to come—give us a call today!

Gardening in Arizona Frequently Asked Questions

When people first move here from eastern states, they frequently get excited about the entire Southwest lifestyle. They eat tacos on Mondays (not just Tuesdays!), buy stucco homes and decorate the inside and outside with statues of howling coyotes, and cover the ground with tiny sand colored rocks and plant only cacti. This all or nothing approach to gardening, however, can soon become sterile and hostile feeling, and they begin to miss the welcoming warmth of their hometown gardens they left behind. If this describes you, or you are just new to the gardening world, these FAQs about gardening in Arizona will help clear the way to creating an inviting garden in the desert that can be enjoyed by all!

Is It Possible to Have a Colorful Flower Garden That is Still Drought Tolerant?

Water is a precious resource in the desert, and it is important to consider the impact of your garden’s watering system. Fortunately, it is totally possible to have beautiful flowers and reduce your water usage at the same time. Sage bushes—which come with a variety of colored flowers—firecracker penstemon, and the Angelita daisy are just a few of our beautiful, colorful, and drought resistant flowers.

Are There Other Trees That Survive as Well as Mesquite or Palm Trees?

The evergreen elm, a deciduous tree, does well in the Arizona heat, doesn’t require a lot of watering, AND becomes a beautiful shade of brilliant gold in the late fall. Olive trees, Australian bottle trees, and live oaks are just a sample of some of the trees you can add to your yard to create a lush and green landscape.

How Do I Avoid Spending All My Time Watering while Gardening in Arizona?

In the summer it’s too hot to spend a lot of time outdoors outside of your pool, and the rest of the year, you’re too busy. That’s ok, you can still have a vibrant garden filled with colorful flowers just by installing a drip system that connects to your already existing sprinkler system.

How Can I Maintain an Outdoor Garden When I Can’t Keep My Indoor Plants Alive?

This is an easy one: Consider hiring New Image Landscape and Pools for your lawn maintenance and floriculture needs! We can create a warm and welcoming landscape and garden (with your input, of course!), and do the maintenance as well, to ensure your gardening in Arizona lives long and prospers! Give us a call today and let’s start the process of creating an exterior landscape that is as inviting as your interior!

Top Ways to Improve your Garden

If you have ever had a garden, you know that it is not always sunshine and daisies. That is to say, there are difficulties that inevitably come with attempting to keep a healthy garden throughout the year. This is especially true in a climate that can be as harsh as the one in Phoenix, Arizona. The good news is that there are many methods that are easy to employ to greatly increase the health and aesthetic of your garden.

Focus on Species that Thrive Locally

While you are not restricted to species that occur naturally in the area, it is always a good idea to plant a good amount of vegetation that thrives in the natural conditions of your area. This ensures that your garden will be healthy, all the while reducing the amount of work that you have to put into your garden. It is a win-win. Plants that grow very well here in Phoenix include peppers, green beans, desert marigold flowers, and countless more.

It All Starts with the Soil

If your soil is not of high quality, then you are guaranteeing yourself a lot of work down the line which will likely be met with minimal success. Start by using fertilizer along with organic matter with the soil before planting. This will guarantee that the soil can hold nutrients well. Nitrogen and phosphorous are the most important components of any fertilizer before planting. Finally, make sure the soil is not wet when you are working with it, as dry, crumbly soil is the best for planting, harvesting, etc.

Do Not Overwater

Since rainfall is uncertain in the valley, many people tend to overwater their garden. The simple rule of thumb in watering is you do not want the soil to be wet, but rather, damp. When water begins to pool in the soil, it restricts the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the root zones, thus hindering growth. During hot periods, you should soak the soil around one time per week.

Take Early Steps to Combat Weeds

You can spare yourself a great deal of pain and suffering by thinking about mitigating the effects of weeds today. The easiest and most effective step is mulching around your plants. Putting a layer of mulch around your plants creates a buffer between them and the weeds, preventing the spread of disease and slowing weed growth. Mulch can consist of anything from leaves and wood chips to newspaper and cardboard.

Regardless of what type of garden you are growing, these are good first steps for improving its health and its beauty. There are plenty more ways that you can cultivate a better garden without spending all day working on it. Doing your own outside research is a great way to boost your gardening skills. Happy gardening!

Summer tips for gardening in 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 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.

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!