Make a Wish List
If you don't already know what you want from your landscape, now is the time to decide. Ask yourself these questions:
  • What do I want my yard to look like?
  • What functions do I want my yard to serve?
  • Do I want color and shade in my yard?
  • Do I want my landscape to help conserve energy?
  • Do I want to create wildlife habitat in my yard?
  • Do I want a play area?
  • Do I want a quiet place to relax?
  • Do I want an entertainment area?
  • Where would be the best places for functional areas like a pool or spa, a play area, a relaxation area, a vegetable garden - close to the house? away from the house? in plain view? out of sight? - and how large should they be?
  • What do I want to see when I look out my windows?

Start a wish list by writing down the answers to these questions. After completing the list, put it away for a while. Then look at it again to see if you have changed your mind or forgotten anything. Revise the list accordingly.

Low-maintenance plants and rip-rap stabilize and adorn the slope around this backyard entertainment area.
Photo credit: Marc McKeown, McKeown, Inc. E.L.P.

Make a Wish List
Need Ideas?
Draw Existing Site
Learn About Plants
Learn About Materials
Draw Preliminary Plan
Design Irrigation System
Draw Final Design
Prepare Cost Estimate
Next Step >>

Low-maintenance plants and rip-rap stabilize and adorn the slope around this backyard entertainment area. Outdoor living in the Sonoran Desert - native plants provide shade, color and texture. (Palo Verde tree- by chair, Ocotillo - center, Desert Marigold - yellow/foreground. Blanket Flower - orange and yellow/foreground and Penstemon - dark red ri This raised bed planting area is an attractive, water-efficient way to grow vegetables. Like the rest of the yard, it is watered with a drip system. A small water feature surrounded by desert plants (Autumn Sage - red, Desert Marigold - yellow, and Parry

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