Mar 30 2020Share

Proper Planning Will Transform Your Yard and Create a Perfect Landscape

By AMWUA Staff

Spring has sprung which means it is the perfect time to do some planning in your yard. It’s also a great way to get out of the house and enjoy some fresh air while actively participating in social distancing.

We all want to have a stunning and sustainable desert landscape that transforms our yard into a private retreat while ensuring we are wise with our outdoor water use. That’s why now is an ideal time to start planning for the planting season and looking at options for expanding your living space into the outdoors. However, knowing how to create a perfect landscape that is best suited to our arid climate can seem like a daunting task.

To assist you with designing your ideal yard, we have the perfect interactive resource for homeowners, businesses and anyone looking for a little extra desert-adapted flower power, with the Plants for the Arizona Desert website.

We know the desert offers a surprisingly diverse selection of low water use landscape plants and trees. They can be blended to create a distinctive palette of colors, forms, and textures that allows you to create plant combinations to suit any landscape scenario, but again it can be an intimidating task trying to figure out how to utilize these plants to their full potential.

This searchable site will help take the guesswork out of finding the right plants and trees for your yard. Here are some of the features that will assist you in your planning and planting:

  • Plant detail pages - whether you are looking for trees, shrubs, groundcovers, vines, cacti, succulents, grasses, perennials or annuals, these pages will give you the practical information you need at a glance, such as sun or shade requirements, hardiness, water use, growth rate, foliage detail, and show whether or not the plant attracts wildlife or creates litter.
  • Plant combinations - to highlight the endless options when selecting plant combinations for your yard that range in size, color, and texture, peruse the examples to get an idea of how to combine multiple plants to best suit your landscape.
  • Plants with a purpose – plants can help accomplish a particular task, including being pool friendly, attract wildlife, work best in containers or bring seasonal color.
  • Tools for a successful landscape – whether you are planning to update your landscape, are new to Arizona and trying to figure out how to water your plants, or looking to hire a landscape pro, there are plenty of resources to help.
  • Advanced Search – if you are looking for something specific, the advanced search allows you to filter to your exact needs whether it be size, sun exposure, or specific flower colors pulling up just the information you need and want to see for your perfect landscape.
  • Create your wishlist - this allows you to choose and save the trees and plants you are considering for your yard. Finding the plants you’re interested in at a nursery or demonstration garden is as easy as tapping your phone to see the wishlist you’ve created. Your wishlist can also be shared or printed for convenience.

Once you have your wish list complete, make sure you support your local nursery or garden center, which can be found here.

While we typically recommend visiting local demonstration gardens for inspiration, we understand that currently, that may not be an option. So instead, while out getting some fresh air in your local area, look for ideas and inspirations from your neighbors. It’s also helpful to take note of everything that is currently blooming. It’s a great opportunity to see samples up close and in action.

In the end, proper planning is worth your time. It will help you create a desert-adapted landscape that will save you time, water and money while playing a valuable role in building a sustainable future for all of us.

For over 50 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information visit

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