You may not think of Phoenix, Arizona as a place for green landscapes. If you do, you probably don’t imagine green landscapes in Phoenix as sustainable. You probably think landscaping in Phoenix requires massive amounts of water, which is in short supply in the desert. There are ways to have a green landscape without being a huge harm to the environment.
Xeriscaping and Low Water Design
In the desert, you have to do what you can to conserve water. Xeriscaping is often used to reduce the water footprint for people in dry climates. You may have heard people call it zeroscaping or xeroscaping, but the correct spelling is xeriscaping. It is a form of landscaping used to reduce or eliminate irrigation.
You may think a xeriscape must be drab and dry looking, but that isn’t the case. The featured image of this post is of a xeriscape garden. The use of certain techniques allows for lushness with very little water.
With low-water landscape design, typically native plants are used. If not native, plants that are from climates very similar to the one you’re in, especially when considering rainfall. Getting plants that evolved in your region will make them more suitable for the amount of precipitation that falls. You don’t have to water as much if your plants can survive on rain.
Improving the soil by adding organic material will allow the soil to hold more water. Organic matter is much more spongy than rock and sand, which is what most Phoenix soil is comprised of. Amending the soil will make it stay wetter longer.
Starting with a good design really helps reduce water usage, too. A design that works with the natural water flow in it will allow the landscape to survive better without additional watering.
Water Features in the Backyard
While not consistent with the tenets of xeriscaping, water features in the backyard will make the space more inviting. Waterfalls, koi ponds and other natural-looking water features draw people into them, especially in a desert. Man-made water features don’t use huge amounts of water and aren’t difficult to maintain.
Since these types of water features are have waterproof bottoms, you don’t lose any water from seeping into the ground. The main worry with these is evaporation. In the Phoenix area, especially in the summer, water evaporation is happening very quickly all around you. If the water feature is kept out of the sun most the day, it shouldn’t go through too much water.
Waterfalls and water features do sometimes need repaired. Thankfully there are dozens of waterfall repair experts just a phone call away. If you need help, just give one of them a call.
Green landscapes are all over Phoenix. You can do it yourself if you know what you’re doing. It doesn’t take a lot of water to make a green landscape in the Valley as long as you follow the principles of xeriscaping.