A landscaped garden adds elegance through color, height, design, and theme. Many homeowners have desired garden features they have always wanted to implement but lack the knowledge and time to realize these projects on their own. Landscape architects can help you realize a vision or a long-held dream when it comes to designing your backyard landscape. If you want to incorporate a garden design into your landscape, learn how a landscape architect can work with you to implement your project.
Popular Garden Themes
A cactus or dry garden is ideal for Arizona yards, and a good choice environmentally. Cactus and succulents need little to no supplementary watering, are native to the area, and thrive with little care. Naturalistic elements — like dry streambeds or stone pathways — add visual interest and intrigue to desert gardens.
Incorporating elements of hardscaping, formal gardens are simple and strong. Many have walkways designed to bring viewers through the garden and even into small seating areas. Formal gardens tend to be restrained in design and color palette, focusing on order and structure. Water features, decorative urns, statuary, and garden art mix with shrubs and plants in a formal garden. Mock orange or boxwood work well in Arizona yards and mimic the formal English shrubbery common in these gardens. Vining plants like primrose jasmine, cape honeysuckle, or bougainvillea can be trellised along an arbor for a dramatic formal garden entrance.
Even in the Southwest, you can have a Japanese-style Zen garden. Monochromatic greens mix with rocks, gravel, dwarf trees, and other plants. Zen gardens are a natural match for shade yards. Desert shade plants for Zen gardens include foxtail ferns, Asian jasmine, heavenly bamboo, Japanese boxwood, and umbrella grass. Cactus and succulents can be interspersed in the Zen garden to add dramatic visual interest.
Mixed Grass Meadow
Mixed tall grasses add privacy to the home, and delight with texture and color. Desert grasses and wildflowers are colorful, visually interesting, and can be low-maintenance. Deer grass, blue grama, pink muhly, and Mexican thread grass are among the desert grasses suitable for landscaping.
It’s best to consider climate when choosing a garden design. Plants will thrive best and require less care when they are native to the Arizona climate.
Working With a Landscape Architect
Once you have an idea of which type of garden you want, gather inspiration. Browse online galleries of arboretums or gardens, walk around your neighborhood and take pictures of yards you love, or read garden magazines and tear out your favorite images. Be mindful of the Arizona climate when selecting these plants.
When interviewing landscape architects, it can be helpful to have a theme in mind. This way, you can discuss the scope of your project with your landscape architect and select someone who has experience designing the type of garden you want.
Any landscape architect will have a portfolio of past projects, which you can review. By looking at the portfolio, sharing inspirational images of your garden wish list, and talking about your goals with the landscape designer, you can select the right person for the job. Then you can work together with the landscape designer to approve sketches, select preferred plants, and sign off on the final plans.
Ultimately, a garden design is a collaboration between you as homeowners and your landscape architect as the garden builder. It’s essential to choose a landscape architect who has the skills, vision, and knowledge to fully implement the garden you want.