Landscaping in a desert environment such as exists in and around Tucson, Arizona can be extremely difficult and quite different than wetter areas of the country. Those moving from more humid climates to the desert often need professional landscaping assistance. If you are planning a move or have recently moved to the desert and want to try DIY outdoor improvements, you may find the following desert landscaping ideas helpful.
Review Your Property
The first step in successful desert landscaping is to review the home’s architecture and natural lay of the surrounding land. Any changes or additions you make should fit naturally into the overall view. You can then add steps, walls, pools, large stones, lava rocks, gravel, native or other desert plants, as well as decorations like wagon wheels, statues and ceramics that best fit into the available scenery.
Design like a Painting on Canvas
To create a painting, you first build a background with bold colors and objects and then add to that foundation finer detail until the masterpiece is complete. The same strategy is used for creating desert landscapes. Begin with large objects such as walkways, walls, stones and plants and then build on that foundation by adding more intricate details including pots, smaller and finer plants, gravel and stones.
Although some people prefer grass lawns surrounding their Tucson homes, they can be difficult to maintain in the city’s hot, dry desert climate. If you do choose to apply a lawn to your landscape, you will want to consider installing a lawn sprinkler system to keep it green and healthy. A great alternative to a lawn is applying a natural desert floor look that uses sand, gravel and stones with plants, shrubs, pots and other decorative items instead of hard to grow grass.
Use Proper Plants
Although many plants can thrive in a desert environment if watered frequently, you have to consider that water is a rare source and may not always be readily available or you may just get tired of battling the constant barrage of the intense desert sun. In order to overcome both obstacles, select plants and shrubs for your landscaping that naturally thrive in desert climates. Various desert plants and shrubs are available that add different shapes, color tones, textures, flowers and even fruits to your landscape.
Add a Splash of Water
Water is a rare and precious element in the desert and, therefore stands out when displayed. A wonderful desert landscape that attracts attention can be created by using a design combination wet and dry sources. Adding a swimming pool, fountain, or other water source in the midst of arid stone walkways and walls, rocks, cacti, palms and other desert decorations will make your desert landscape refreshing and aesthetically pleasing.