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You may have noticed that this summer was a tad bit warmer than usual. You may have also noticed that it has lasted longer than usual and that the monsoon season was a bust. Blame it on global warming or just natural cycles but the bottom line is this, Arizona is experiencing a serious drought. So, if you are planning on building a new house in the Colorado River Valley, or have been giving thought to landscaping the current homestead, it might be a good time to give the professionals at Baron Services a call and discuss options for the present as well as the future.

The term for landscaping that minimizes water use by as much as 50-75% is xeriscaping. Creating a drought resistant yard begins with considerations about aesthetic appeal, sustainability, and maintenance costs. Irrigation systems are the foundation. From this you build a garden or yard that is both appealing to the eye, is tailored to low water needs and that ensures seasonal changes. So, the selection of appropriate plants is key.

There are several core principles of successful xeriscaping. Number one, consider what best frames your homes style. Just as with interior design, transforming a landscape idea or design from concept to reality is best done in stages. In discussion with the professional team at Baron Services, consider creating a workable time capsule.

Another reason to seek professional assistance, consideration of altitudes. A desert may seem like a desert but there is tremendous diversity that comes with just a few hundred feet difference in elevation. What grows and thrives in Kingman may struggle in Bullhead City, and what does well in Oatman may not survive up the hill in Goffs, California on Route 66.

When creating your landscape design give thought to shade as well as sunlight in different seasons. Spaces for basking in the sunlight of an Arizona winter should be balanced with shaded places to escape the scorching summer sun. Also, proper landscaping can aid in cooling the house temperature or giving it a warming touch come winter. So creative shade structures (think gazebo or portico) will make the yard more livable and inviting in any season.

Another tip to make the yard inviting are walkways. And of course, these can have practical applications as well. Choose a decor that compliments the home and landscape plan. Also to consider are drainage, how materials retain heat, and how slick steps can be when wet.

Number 5, the KISS philosophy. Keep It Simple … Succulents are a must with xeriscaping. Some of the benefits are obvious. First, they require very little watering and maintenance. Second, if properly selected they will compliment each other in regard to water needs, and will be better suited for the climate as well as seasons.

Yes, the desert, and landscaping that mimics the desert can seem stark on first appearance. But few things are more beautiful than a profusion of spring wildflowers amongst the rocks and cacti. Careful selection of plants as well as their placement with attention to their unique water needs can ensure a colorful garden throughout the year.

This may come as a surprise but our climate is conducive to the planting of select citrus and nut trees. With these additions added to your landscaping plan you have the two fold benefit of shade as well as healthy and tasty treats. These require a bit more water than succulents but with a bit of planning and a proper irrigation system they will work well in a low water setting. These type of trees as well as the section of flowering plants will have the added benefit of attracting birds, including hummingbirds, and butterflies.

Remember, your emulating the desert. To be more specific, you are creating a romanticized version of the desert that compliments your home as well as lifestyle. So, rocks of various sizes and colors can be used to create drain fields with eye appeal, assist with drainage, and frame plants. Rocks will also add a dimensional appearance.

Last, but not least, consider adding elevations to the yard that further mimic the look of the desert as well as give the property an appearance of depth. Accent these hills with rocks or items such as clay jars. Combine those elements with selected vegetation and flat spaces will be transformed, and the appearance that the yard is a desert oasis will be complete.

Transform that dream into a reality with just one call to Baron Services.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America