XERISCAPE: LANDSCAPING WITH STYLE in the ARIZONA DESERT

       


Plant Design
Here are some tips for selecting low water use plants:
  • Consider the mature size of the plant. A plant that outgrows the space available will require pruning and may crowd other plants located nearby.
  • Consider color and texture. Foliage colors range from pale gray to dark green. Some plants bloom almost all year, while others display a great show of color only once or twice each year. You may want to choose plants with a variety of foliage colors that blend well together. For year-round color, choose a mix of plants that bloom during different seasons.
  • Include in your selection plants that attract wildlife, such as butterflies, hummingbirds and other beautiful bird species.
  • Keep poisonous plants and plants with thorns away from walkways and play areas.
  • Keep plants that drop spent flowers, leaves or seed pods away from a pool area.

A strikingly colorful combination of cacti, leaf succulents, and flowering perennials adorn the rock wall. Yellows and reds pop out of this plant palette while color combinations provide contrast:<br>
Red against green (fish hook barrel cactus against foliage of verbena), blue-green (Agaves) and purple (prickly pear and Hesperaloe) against yellow (barrel cactus and gopher plant).
Photo credit: Charles Mann, Charles Mann Photography

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Here are some great places to learn about low water use plants:
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A strikingly colorful combination of cacti, leaf succulents, and flowering perennials adorn the rock wall. Yellows and reds pop out of this plant palette while color combinations provide contrast:<br>
Red against green (fish hook barrel cactus against foliage of verbena), blue-green (Agaves) and purple (prickly pear and Hesperaloe) against yellow (barrel cactus and gopher plant). The plants in this newly installed landscape may look a bit lonely at first ... but after a few years, the plants will have grown and matured. In this photograph in the newly planted yard you can clearly see the flagstone path with sparse plantings on either side that define the planting areas. Grasses, shrubs and perennials have quickly filled in the empty spaces of this yard. These fast growing plants can add color and interest while larger trees that mature more slowly begin to grow. Tall, linear fencepost cactus is the focal point of this diversly planted landscape. This roomy yard shows off this collection of large specimen Agaves, cacti and succulents. Used as a temporary solution or as a staple in the landscape, wildflowers such as California Poppies, California Bluebells and Red Flax (shown here) provide a burst of seasonal color.

 
 
Additional Resources:
Landscape Plants for the Arizona DesertLow Water Plant List - ADWR
Choosy People Choose Desert PlantsLow-Water Cacti
Guide to Arizona Shade TreesDrop Your Water Use
Low Water Mesquite Trees
 
 


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