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Winter rains and snows have transformed the desert. The rugged and rocky escarpments of the Black Mountains that loom about Bullhead City, Arizona and the Colorado River Valley are tinged green. Valleys and hillsides are awash with colorful displays of wildflowers.

But don’t be fooled. A hot dry summer is fast approaching. And in spite of a series of rains that led to some flooding in Laughlin and Golden Shores, northwest Arizona is still in the midst of a drought.

So, obvioulsy, transforming your home into a desert oasis with a sweeping green lawn and the deep shade of a weeping willow tree isn’t prudent. But with development of a comprehensive Xeriscape landscpape your corner of paradise can be transformed into water frugal, inviting, and even shaded oasis.

What is Xeriscape landscaping, you ask? Simply put, xeriscape landscaping is an integrated plan that reduces, or even eliminates, the need for an irrigation system. It is a comprehensive blueprint that includes every aspect of creating a drought resistant yard that provides shade to assist with home cooling, that is inviting, and that is low maintenance.

Ideally this plan would integrate drought tolerant plants, including trees and shrubs, rocks, gravel and water retention features, and timed drip watering systems. Ideally, plants selected would include some varities that are natural to the area, and as a reusult are naturally drought-tolerant.

Examples of drought-tolerant plants for desert landscaping include cacti and succulents such as barrel cactus. Also suitable are palo verde and mesquite trees, jade plants, pampas grass, and Texas sage.

Key to creating a balanced xeriscape oasis is integrating plants that are compatible and supportive. Grouping plants with similar water requirements will curtail water usage.

This simulated desert landscape is then linked to a comprehensible water system. To ensure minimum use of water without worry or adding to the work schedule a drip system with time release. Ideally a detailed plan would be developed first, and then the irrigation system, plants, and various components such as walkways, benches, and stone work would be installed as a unit.

Even though you are recreating a desert environment, attention should be given to soil preperation. As an example, the addition of organic compost at the time of planting improves soil health which in turn increases water retention.

Rocks and gravel are an integral component in a xeriscape landscaping plan. As an example, that are fitted closely together help retain moisture in the soil. And it will slow the rate of evaporation.

So, what is the first step into transforming your property into an inviting xeriscape landscaped desert oasis? A call to the professionals at Baron Services, one of the largest and oldest Colorado River Valley landscaping companies.

We can help devise a comprehensive plan. We can install the watering system, the soild, and the integrated plantings. But our services don’t stop there. We can also maintain your landscaping, and make adjustments when wanted.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America