Desert front yard Landscaping

March 6, 2019
A dry creek bed comes from

Place big-money plants where they'll be most often seen. Rasmussen always uses large plants and striking plant combinations to mark a home's entryway. Whenever possible, he incorporates plants that offer multiseason interest, like the patch of prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) that flowers with yellow blooms through spring; the flowers give way to reddish fruits, and come winter, the paddles shade to purple. A pink-flowering Mexican oregano shrub (Lavender Spice Poliomintha) provides fragrance, flowers, and waxy evergreen foliage. A palm-treelike beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata) supplies a dramatic crowning touch.

Get Inspired by Your Home

Take your cue from your home's architecture and the surrounding landscape. This home was built atop a lava-rock field, so Rasmussen incorporated black lava rocks in borders stepping up the slopes framing the wide steps. He placed plants so their forms would draw the eye toward the front door; he also positioned plants away from the stairs so they wouldn't intrude on the upward view or poke guests.

On the left side of the stairs, a rocky point ice plant (Malephora lutea) and silvermound artemesia soften the base of the garden, while a gray desert spoon and purple-flowering verbena add interest to the midground. Yellow bird of paradise trees (Caesalpinia gilliesii), which grow 10 feet tall, frame the top of the steps. In late spring they bear yellow blooms that attract hummingbirds. At the very top on the right, Rasmussen placed a giant sword flower (Hesperaloe funifera), a yucca-like plant that produces

Go with Appropriate Plants

Tired of hauling out the hose? Combine drought-tolerant plant varieties that can go long stretches without watering. Here, self-sustaining plants mirror the arched shape of a nearby stucco wall. Honey mesquite branches soften the foreground, while gray desert spoon (Dasylirion wheeleri) provides a contrasting vertical form and color behind shrubbier turpentine bush (Ericameria laricifolia) and creosote bush (Larrea tridentata). Like many desert plants, the two shrubs bear tiny leaves, which help plants retain moisture. If these plants won't grow where you live, get a desert look by incorporating small-leaf shrubs, such as potentilla or caryopteris, with plants with sword-like leaves, such as Adam's needle (Yucca filamentosa).

Add Architectural Interest

Stucco-walled raised beds show how desert plants can be combined to create more traditional gardens. "The idea here was to use plants to visually shorten the tall walls, " Rasmussen says. "So we planted trailing rosemary to spill over the upper walls and then planted vertical yuccas in the beds below to fill out the lower walls." Red-flowering yucca, a pink-blooming Mexican oregano shrub, and smoky-blue spires of Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) work in concert to brighten the upper tier. Pops of red emanate from dwarf oleanders (Nerium oleander), a mounding shrub with large clusters of blooms from spring into fall. Upright myrtle spurge (Euphorbia rigida), yellow-blooming paper flower (Psilostrophe tagetina), and pots of agave and yucca anchor the terraces.

If you live in areas where there's plentiful rainfall and high humidity, you can still create desertlike vignettes using plants suited to your region. Jeff Clark, a horticulturist at High Country Gardens in Santa Fe, recommends a sun-heated site with quick-draining soil; you'll find microclimates suited to xeriscape plants bordering west- and south-facing foundations, stone paths, rock walls, and in the "inferno strip" between sidewalk and street. Lighten soils with compost and coarse sand or crushed gravel. A good growing mix for xeric plants is 2 parts coarse sand to 1 part organic matter or soil topped with a gravel mulch.

Skip the Lawn

Instead of a water-hogging lawn, plant a desert garden suited to natural conditions. Rasmussen did just that across a client's front yard. He used a bed of chat and some strategically scattered lava rocks to tie the plantings with the adjoining landscape. Quick-growing clumps of Russian sage ably fill out the background, providing needed height and long-lasting color. Parry's century plant (Agave parryi) and yellow barrel cactus mix in varying forms and textures. Yellow-blooming desert marigolds (Baileya multiradiata) add splashes of sunshine amid the cacti and sage. They'll readily reseed themselves and naturalize among their companion plants.

Source: www.bhg.com
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Landscaping Tips

Though your home is your castle, there is no necessity to surround it with a moat. Here are 5 tips that will help you to make your landscaping feel more warm, welcoming and cozy.

1. Put some flowers nearby your entrance. Flowers make any area look more welcoming and attractive, so greeting your guests with Petunia, Snapdragon, Lily-of-the-Nile or some other garden flowers is always a great thing to do. What is more, to add some space between your house and the entrance, you can consider adding a little white fence. It will create an illusion that your front yard is bigger than it actually is. What is more, adding fence will create a great space for planting flowers to add some color and coziness.

2. Add rambling vines to make your yard look absolutely lovely. You can not deny that rambling vines always create romantic and even magical atmosphere. So why not to use this tip while decorating your yard?

3. To hide the unattractive driveway, consider adding some color, texture, and height. You can easily do it by adding various sorts of flowers. To start, create an island of green lawn right in the hub of a drive. Then add a couple of low boxwood hedges with flowers toward the back of your island.

4. If you want your yard to blossom and flourish bust still do not have enough time to maintain it, consider planting low-fuss lilies. Such flowers look absolutely gorgeous and come in the variety of rainbow hues, so you can pick the one you love most. What is more, low-fuss lilies do not care about the sort of soil, they love the sun and welcome hot, they do not afraid of drought. In other words, Crinums is an ideal flower for all those who are looking for low-maintenance solutions.

5. The last tip also touches the low-maintenance aspect. To make your life easier, group plantings into beds and islands. This will help you to avoid mowing and trimming around each individual plant, save a lot of time and even money.

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