Xeriscaping with Style – Part 7

APPROPRIATE MAINTENANCE When properly designed and maintained, Xeriscapes save water, time and money through reduced plant water needs and lower maintenance requirements. But low water use and low maintenance do not mean no water use and no maintenance. All landscapes need some care and most plants need supplemental water in our desert environment. Proper pruning techniques can keep your yard …

Xeriscaping with Style – Part 6

THE USE OF MULCHES Mulches cover the soil and reduce evaporation from planted areas. They cool the soil beneath and also help to inhibit weed growth and erosion. There are organic mulches and inorganic mulches. The most popular organic mulches in our area are bark chips and wood grindings. These are often used in planting beds and other small areas. …

Xeriscaping with Style – Part 5

SOIL IMPROVEMENTS   Most low water use plants thrive naturally in our desert soils, so amendments such as fertilizers and soil supplements are usually not necessary. They do prefer good drainage, and soil should be loosened at planting time to encourage healthy root growth. Soil amendments most likely will be needed for turf areas and areas where more water thirsty …

Xeriscaping with Style – Part 4

EFFICIENT IRRIGATION In the Sonoran Desert, almost all new plants should be watered regularly to get them established; and most plants, low water use or not, need some kind of irrigation even after they become mature. The trick is to find out how much water your plants require and to apply only that much. When you design your irrigation system, …

Xeriscaping with Style – Part 3

Appropriate Turf Areas Although turf generally requires more water and more maintenance than low water use plants, sometimes only grass will do, especially if you are sports-minded or if there are children or pets at home. Small turf areas can be incorporated successfully into a Xeriscape if they are properly planned, installed and maintained. Don’t forget to consider artifical turf …

Xeriscaping with Style – Part 2

Low Water Use Plants There are hundreds of water thrifty native or desert adapted plant species available at local nurseries. Some varieties have been available for many years, while others are new on the market. They come in all shapes and sizes and serve a variety of purposes from shade to seasonal color to screening unsightly areas. Many low water …

Xeriscaping with Style – Part 1

Xeriscaping is a landscaping philosophy that uses as many native, drought-resistant plants as possible and arranges them in efficient, water-saving ways. PART 1: Good Landscape Planning and Design Creating a plan will help you get the most out of your landscape while considering issues like cost, function, aesthetic preferences, maintenance requirements, water efficiency and energy efficiency. You can tailor the plan …

Spring Bloomer 6 – Gardenia

Gardenia shrubs are hugely popular with gardeners because of their wonderfully fragrant flowers and glossy, bright, evergreen foliage which is attractive all year long. The gardenia is a heat loving shrub and will grow very well when planted and cared for properly. Growing gardenias in Arizona is one of the more successful landscaping shrubs you can choose. It takes preparation …

Ocotillo

The ocotillo plant (Fouquieria splendens) is desert shrub that produces a spectacle of bright red/orange flowers on whip-like canes. It is often called ocotillo cactus, but is not truly a cactus, although it grows in similar conditions. The plant is native to the Sonoron and Chihuahuan deserts. The canes may grow up to 20 feet long in nature but are …

Spring Bloomer 5 – Gopher Plant (Silver Spurge)

Gopher Plant also called Silver Spurge is an upright growing small shrub that is a beautiful tint of blue green that blooms a bright yellow bloom in late winter to early spring. These succulent euphorbia species have tight spirals of thick leaves that go up the stems of the plant almost creating arm like outreachers that spread in the planting …