I was asked about desert landscaping this week, so I thought I’d do a little post on it.

I believe that lush desert landscaping can help your property values. Look at this image to see how the presentation improves.

Plus, Arizona does have a legitimate issue with where it will meet its long-term water resource needs. It feels good to do good by saving water in the desert. Plus, there is that little thing about saving money every month –which, of course, varies depending on how much grass you had before switching to desert.

The important part is to plan it all out. Many people fill their front yard full of rock (they may or may not kill off all of the grass) and it just looks like a parking lot.

The key is in the word “lush.” You can make a plan that reduces or eliminates grass, which is dense, lush and which has flowers all year around.

(I have to insert my apologies to my neighbors right now. My transition from grass to lush desert is taking longer than I thought it was. I’m a perfectionist.)

However, don’t expect that you will be able to have plants that only survive when it rains. Even desert plants need watering, especially when you first get them.

To do this right, I suggest the following:

Vision: a  yard with a number of lush desert plants that each bloom at different times of the year, thus bringing bird, hummingbirds and butterflies, but which don’t require much water.  

I got rid of my grass and saved so much water, that I put in two fruit trees, and I’m still using less water than before.

5961) Study and reflect on what you like.
— Go to the Phoenix Botanical Gardens and just look around at what you like.
— Check out the very handy SRP landscaping guide.

2) Draw a plan for yourself about what you would like.

3) Contract with a landscaper to lay out the irrigation system that you will need, if you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself.

These systems are relatively easy to put in, so you will be able to do some work yourself to save money if you want. Talk with the landscaper to see what you can do. For instance, you can choose the rock you like and have it delivered. You can spread that out yourself in a day or two.

Personally, I try to do this part myself. It usually entails about 50 trips to Ace Hardware. In my most recent yard, the disaster of an irrigation system left by the previous owners necessitated that I get a professional landscaper.

Here’s a great resource to find a landscaper who understands desert landscaping.

4) Don’t worry about putting every plant in right away. Just lay out the system to where you want plants to be and know that you can add plants as time goes on, if you can’t afford them all at once. You can also build in an area dedicated to wildflowers if you want.

Expect the cost to include pulling up old sod (it goes deep in to the soil), laying down irrigation pipe and drip hoses and laying in new rock (maybe build a decorative mound).

I do believe that a lush desert landscaping job will make your house stand out and it will give you plenty of beautiful things to look at every day.

If you have more questions, or if you need help planing out a purchase or a sale, please contact me at 602-456-9388 or at ken@getyourphx.com

Written by phxAdmin