Project Description

Xeriscaping Interest: Scottsdale

You might wonder how one goes about getting great arid-climate landscaping. Scottsdale is in the desert, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in beautiful plants.  The trick to getting the most from your landscape design, in any climate, is all about color, shape, and mass.

A lot of desert plants that add height to a planting space are either very narrow and upright, or broad and spreading. Venturing beyond trees and tall cacti is where you find some really interesting choices for drought tolerant landscaping. Scottsdale and Phoenix homeowners who like sleek, modern style and things that are very unique will appreciate the plants in this front yard.

At the corner of the driveway and front walk, we used a pair of clean, upright Blue Yuccas (Yucca rigida), which are bold, yet simple in structure. To their right, we’ve offset their spareness with the contorted shapes of Octopus Agave. Though the basic outline of both plants are similar, they are wildly different in texture. Alone, these two plants are often not appealing, but in this landscape design they work very nicely having had their hard lines played against opposites.

Softening them in the foreground we have Gopher Plant and the fringe-like foliage of the Blue Palo Verde spreading overhead. While the boulders and large rocks scattered through the planting space are great ‘balancers’, what really completes this grouping of plants is reverse echoing the hard shapes of the taller plants. The tree, and both agaves closest to the house are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. The tight ball-shaped presence of Golden Barrel Cactus and Victoria Agave seals the scene, greatly boosting the interest. A few well-placed upright cacti scattered in front of the tall Yuccas echoes their bare trunks among the low-growing plants.

Magic happens in this front yard from late winter to early spring, with the Gopher Plant in bloom, that accent planting with Golden Barrel Cacti really stands out.

Opposites and echos make interesting landscaping, Scottsdale.

Everyone knows that good pairing comes from playing opposite shapes and colors against each other. It’s a common factor in getting dressed each day. But an outfit is much easier put together than an area as large as a yard. But working with Desert Crest makes organizing beautiful landscaping super simple.

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