Growing any other form of vegetation besides cacti and succulents in the Sonoran desert is a challenge. Here, plants and trees demand more water to stay green and healthy. But no house looks complete and inhabitable without a green lawn and a few leafy or flowering plants around. Of course, succulent plants such as agave, euphorbia, and cacti look great and don’t require much maintenance. But these plants have a drawback – they don’t provide shade.
Moreover, most HOAs have guidelines worth considering. But landscape architects will save you a lot of money in the long run. Why? Because they know how to group plants with the same water needs. They also recommend the best variety of grass for your lawn and will make your house more appealing to potential homebuyers.
With only 8 inches of rainfall in a year, gardeners’ creative muscles are really put to work. In fact, avid gardeners moving from the north often ask the real estate agents in Scottsdale about the plants they can grow here. They may not be experts, but over the years, they’ve stolen a few pieces of advice from landscapers and plumbers so these tips should come in handy:
The vegetation around the house drinks up to 70% of the household water. Across the country, households use only 30% of water for their landscape design. Conserving water is encouraged by the local administration through tax credits and rebates. So, how can you keep the cost of water under control? One fantastic resource for desert transplanters is the book titled “Landscape Watering by the Numbers” – a guide packed with information which is also available online.
Another way to lower the water bill would be to install an automatic irrigation system. For lawns, opt for rotary sprinkler nozzles that distribute water more efficiently. To minimize the loss of water to evaporation and wind, schedule waterings during the night, right before dawn. Are you looking for considerable savings of time and money? The next tip is for you.
Choose artificial turf
After finding “fertile ground” in stadiums and other sports fields, artificial grass starts to replace the maintenance-intensive lawns in residential neighborhoods, especially here, in the South-West. When living in the desert, this is a small compromise that saves a lot of water for better purposes.
Other benefits of synthetic grass:
- Green grass that lasts up to 20 years.
- No mowing required.
- No irrigation system and automatic sprinklers.
- No need to reseed.
- Promotes year-round physical activities.
- Attracts fewer bugs and insects like ticks, ants, and even termites.
Artificial turf still needs to be cleaned from debris and watered from time to time during the summer. But for this operation, a garden hose is enough. Another useful tool would be a leaf blower and vacuum.
Plant shady trees
Between June and September, surfaces get hot when the temperature jumps above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Fast-growing trees that provide shade are a must around the house in Scottsdale.
- Just for shadowing
The Majestic Ash is among the best sellers at Moon Valley Nurseries. Weeping willow, Eucalyptus, and Chinese Pistache are also popular choices.
- Edible delights
Better than growing ornamental trees, though, is to grow fruit trees. Not only do they provide shade, but they also allow you to save your hard-earned money by consuming their ripe fruits. And yes, you can grow fruit trees in Scottsdale, too! Think about figs, citrus trees (orange, grapefruit, tangerine), and Nectarines. Or what about the less thirsty Pomegranate trees?
Cover the soil with pebbles
Pebbles and rocks cover the ground and prevent weeds from spreading. They are a better alternative to lawns. When used in landscaping, especially when designing with cacti and succulents, decorative pebbles and rocks keep the soil moist. Get some inspiration from the following landscaping projects.
Improve the curb appeal
The ultimate goal of a landscape design done by the book is to preserve a home’s value and to make the job of real estate agents a lot easier when owners sell. The plants and trees you plant around the house can add as much as 10% to the selling price. Sooner or later, your investments in gardening will pay off.
While interior decorations provide comfort and coziness inside, a great landscape is a treat for the eyes, outside. Depending on the size of your lot, some tips may work better than others. Now that you have a better idea of what Scottsdale landscape design is all about, pay a visit to a local garden center and rediscover the flora of the Sonoran Desert. You’ll love it!