Tips for a Desert Landscape
If you live in the desert, creating, and maintaining a beautiful yard may seem like an unattainable dream. Contrary to common misconceptions, desert landscaping is relatively simple and can yield some truly gorgeous results that will increase the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space.
Why Desert Landscaping?
When planning a garden within a desert climate, it is important to consider the efficiency of your yard. You want to reduce the amount of water necessary for the upkeep as much as possible. This is imperative when living in dry climates where the cost of water along with the time required to maintain grass or other non-native plants is not worth the effort.
Also, important to understand that landscapes with lush, green grass and babbling brooks, while visually appealing, will look out of place in the middle of the desert. Desert landscaping allows you to respect both the beauty and health of the surrounding area by displaying and enhancing its naturally fascinating features and minimizing the environmental impact of your garden.
Why Artificial Turf is Beneficial
Needless to say, artificial turf is the way to go when it comes to having a lawn in the desert. It is entirely possible to forego a lawn altogether and still achieve a stunning landscape, but for those who want that grassy look, there is no better alternative than artificial turf.
Lawns are expensive and somewhat impractical when it comes to living in the desert. By having artificial turf installed, you will prevent yourself from having to pay a ridiculous water bill, and you save yourself from becoming frustrated at your futile attempts to keep grass alive and green in such a dry climate.
Artificial turf looks and functions very similarly to natural grass. There are many different brands, types, colors, lengths, and textures to choose from, so you are guaranteed to find something that suits your taste. It is also exceedingly durable and provides a solid amount of traction which helps prevent falls or injuries.
Types of Plants that Will Survive the Heat
Thankfully, desert landscaping doesn't mean you must give up all plant life. There are very many plants that thrive in dry climates and will enhance the beauty of your outdoor space. Here are some of the most common and interesting types of plants that you can incorporate into your desert landscape:
- Succulents- These “fat plants” can retain a significant amount of water for long periods of time, making them ideal desert plants. Named for their thick, fleshy leaves and stems which store water, succulents can survive droughts and serve as a dramatic eye-catcher. Agaves, yuccas, Sago Palms, and Aloe Vera are some of the most popular and instantly recognizable plants in this category.
- Trees- Trees offer a towering source of natural beauty and shade for your yard. Their permanence and benefit are almost unparalleled by anything else you're likely to have in your landscape. Because of the time and space required to grow a tree, it is important to choose a variety that will blend in with the surrounding environment and thrive in the desert climate. Trees that do best in such dry areas include the Afghan Pine, Guajillo, and the Mexican Blue Palm.
- Shrubs- Introducing different types of shrubbery into your desert landscape is a quick, easy way to add interesting texture and color to your outdoor space. You can use one as a stand-alone, living ornament for your yard or plant a row of smaller shrubs to line paths and walkways. Some of the best shrub varieties you can use are the Baja Fairy Duster, Flame Honeysuckle, Flattop Buckwheat, and the Woolly Butterfly Bush.
The walkway which leads from the sidewalk to your front door is one of the defining features of your front yard. Naturally, you want your walkway to be readily visible and easy to walk across, yet still blend in with the aesthetics of your desert theme.
Luckily, having a walkway installed or altered to match the surrounding landscape is a relatively simple and affordable project. Of course, some materials will be more expensive than others, but most of the materials used for walkways in desert landscaping tend to be a bit on the cheaper side.
- Decorative gravel is one of the best options available. It is affordable, easy to walk across, and fits in quite well with any desert landscape. There are many different types of gravels available within this larger category as well. Crushed gravel is ground up more finely and has tiny jagged edges to provide better traction, whereas river run gravel is rounded and smooth and provides a more colorful, unique visual at the cost of being spread out of place more easily.
- Cobble stone technically falls within the gravel category, but the stones are much larger. Each individual stone must be hand-placed and is sometimes cemented down when constructing the path. It is important to note that these paths serve mostly as a decoration or barrier between different sections of your garden. Walking on these stones is quite uncomfortable due to their unevenness.
- Pervious concrete is another economical option which fits in seamlessly with your desert landscape. Pervious concrete is made using larger aggregates (groups of stones, slag, etc.) as opposed to the smaller aggregates used in typical concrete. This makes it extremely porous and allows any water which lands on the walkway to seep right through down into the ground below, ensuring every drop of water is used.
How Great Pros Can Help
A desert landscape in Arizona is a great way to highlight your personal taste and creativity. If you need any help with your yard, feel free to use Great Pros to find a professional who is licensed, bonded, insured, and background checked. You can get free quotes by filling out questionnaires specific for landscape design and installation, maintenance and lawn care, patio/deck/walkway installations, and tree services. Let us know if we can assist you!