The way your yard looks can have a dramatic impact on not only the value of your home, but the impression it gives to passersby and the way you feel about your home in general. Even if you take great care of your yard, it’s essential to think about making changes at times to help keep it fresh and enjoyable. The following are reasons you should consider updating your landscaping and creating a whole new environment for your yard.

Improve Curb Appeal

You want your home to appear welcoming and inviting to anyone who may visit. The best way to do this is to add some beautiful landscaping features. A few well-placed bushes and some colorful flowers can go a long way to creating a beautiful home in which your visitors feel welcome. It also improves the overall look of the neighborhood, helping your neighbors feel happier and more at home as well.

Reduce Maintenance

Another reason you should consider making changes to your landscaping is to reduce the amount of maintenance it requires. If you have a larger yard and cutting the grass has become a major chore, you may want to consider adding a few more planting areas or some bushes and trees to cut back on the amount of lawn that needs mowing. If watering is an issue, consider adding features that won’t require regular watering. Drought-tolerant plants are an excellent addition to any Arizona home.

Increase Functionality

When you think about your landscaping, odds are you don’t really think about how useable it is. However, this is an important factor for any yard. Is it difficult to make your way to your front door? What does your yard look like when you pull up the driveway in your car? Again, you want your home to feel welcoming so it’s essential to choose features that will convey that feeling and will give individuals who visit your home a sense of belonging. It’s also necessary to make sure your home is easily accessible for everyone and doesn’t provide the ideal conditions for burglars to gain access to your home under cover. This can be a delicate balance.

Improve the View

Your landscaping doesn’t just affect the way other people see your home. In fact, it can also play a role in how happy you are with your view. Not only do you want to use plants and other landscaping features that enhance the look of your home and your yard, but you may need to strategically place items for other purposes as well. For instance, perhaps your neighbor keeps their garbage cans within eyesight of your front window. A well-placed bush can hide these trash cans and help improve your overall experience when you look out your front window. Look for other eyesores and determine the best way to hide them from view and improve the overall look of your landscaping.

You Need a Change

Sometimes you look out at your yard and just feel like you want a change. This is a common factor among those who make landscaping changes to their backyard. If you don’t enjoy your yard like you once did, making a few changes to the types of plants you have or to other features you may want can make a world of difference in creating an inviting oasis in your backyard. The options are virtually endless.

If you’re ready to make some landscaping changes to your yard, regardless of the reason, it’s important to hire the professionals who have the insight, tools and expertise to help you make the right choices and create a yard you can truly be proud of.

Do you have a pool? For many in Arizona the answer to this question is yes. We have one of the most beautiful climates for the majority of the year and we love to use our “outdoor rooms.” Sometimes pools are installed as an afterthought and the surrounding landscape pays the toll. Having a knowledgeable designer change the areas can be key to creating an outdoor oasis to fit your lifestyle.

Here are a few elements to consider when installing or working with a designer to renovate a pool area.

  • Decking, this can be renovated or replaced.
  • Artificial or real grass can create a functional “green” space.
  • Landscaping, choosing the right plants for the space.


Decking is where you can have some fun with colors and textures to suite your tastes. Many pools are installed with cool decking or acrylic lace decking; this is a textured product which is available in several colors. There is some maintenance required, and resurfacing after a number of years.

If you have had cool decking, you may want to seek an alternative. You can do anything from concrete pavers to artistic pavers, travertine pavers or flagstone. Each comes with its own set of pros and cons for example concrete pavers are hot and can easily stain with our hard water, travertine is cooler but can be slippery when wet depending on the style and flagstone is a natural stone which spalls and chips overtime as well as absorbs stains. To get the full list of information and to design a plan for you, talking to a designer who is knowledgeable about hardscapes is advisable.


Many of our Valley residents have moved here from states where they are used to seeing lush green lawns and beautiful flowering shrubs. Both of which can be incorporated here, the use of artificial turf has become a popular option to achieve this lush aesthetic while adhering to water conservation.

Since artificial turf can be used in narrow spaces, around hard-scapes to create extended sitting areas when hosting parties and requires very little maintenance it has become a go to for around pools. Be sure to contact a designer for a full list of pros and cons in choosing the right turf for you.


The most important element of the landscape is what we call “softscapes.” This can include trees, plants, groundcovers and decomposed granite.  Choosing the right plant material relies heavily on the type of exposure, space, nearby patios or pools, and the look you are trying to achieve. With each plant there are many things to consider root expansion are they invasive? Is the plant poisonous to humans or dogs? How does it reproduce? Will it freeze? Is there a lot of litter? There are so many variables to take into consideration this is best done by talking one on one with a designer.

Water Features 

Incorporating decorative water features will add to the overall aesthetics of your pool. Anything from natural waterfalls to contemporary scuppers can enhance the overall ambiance of your yard. These can be installed after the pool has been built but it is important to ensure proper water flow, stability around the existing pool and a seamless design to make sure it doesn’t look like an afterthought.

Creating a landscape can be difficult to conceptualize on your own, that’s why we use 3D Design software to help you visualize your dream in action. See some of our pools and projects here.


Let us help you bring your ideas to life call 480-922-9497 or contact us here.


Bill Jenkins Bill Jenkins  is a second-generation landscape contractor with a passion for providing quality products and service to the valley          for over 30 years. He enjoys gardening and growing roses, his grandfather was a champion rose grower and shared his love of          roses with him when he was young. His father set an example for him to use only the   best quality products and to give clients            exceptional service.

Triple digit heat is here and everyone with lush green grass is sweating bullets trying to maintain their lawn. In our last blog post, we talked about the pros and cons of artificial turf but there are other ways you can have a sustainable landscape without high maintenance. Xeriscaping is a type of popular landscape design using native plants and usually requiring less water. In addition to saving money and being practical, xeriscapes can also be beautiful and inspiring.

Get to know a Pro

A professional landscape designer will know which plants are suitable for your area and which ones will thrive in combination with each other. The best option is to find a design/build company that will help you bring your ideas to life on paper and in the ground.

A licensed landscape designer will be able to lay out your arrangements in the best way possible. Choosing less thirsty plants and arranging them wisely will save you time and money since you will need to water less frequently. A well-designed irrigation system will also soak the foliage without wasting water, giving your plants enough water to establish strong root systems.

Some people keep part of their property as a grass lawn and use native desert plants to create beautiful landscaped areas as well. Low-water-use plants come in all different shapes, sizes, colors and textures. A professional landscape designer will help you choose plants you like and that will also complement your home. Together, you can design an arrangement of plants that uses less water and looks stunning.

Choose Drought-Tolerant Native Plants

Gorgeous landscapes can be created using a mixture of trees, shrubs, flowering plants and ground cover. Cacti and succulents are great choices when it comes to drought-resistant plants, and some of them have beautiful and striking appearances. Agaves are flowering cacti that produce leaves in the shape of rosettes, and some of them have impressive bloom spikes, like the Foxtail Agave.

Your agave will do well in the partial shade of a taller plant like the Arizona Rosewood. This is a large shrub or small tree that grows to be ten feet high. It’s a dark green, leafy evergreen that fills out to about eight feet across. It produces white clusters of flowers in the spring and early summer, and the Arizona Rosewood can thrive in full sun. It’s great for creating an informal hedge and is very attractive to bees.

Justicia is an evergreen shrub that has long red blossoms that bloom for much of the year. It’s a desert plant that does well if you water it infrequently but deeply. The Chuparosa, a Justicia plant native to the Sonoran desert, can grow to six feet tall and wide. This provides shelter for wildlife and, as a matter of fact, hummingbirds are highly attracted to the flowers.

Consider Sustainable Landscaping

Other types of sustainable landscaping include artificial turf and hardscape. Artificial turf looks lush and green, requires no mowing and doesn’t need to be watered, just cleaned now and then. Although it’s expensive, using artificial turf means you don’t have to invest in sprinklers or a yard service. Artificial turf is made of plastic and it can get hot, so using it in shady areas is the best idea.

For an outdoor area that you don’t want to maintain and that you want to use for recreation, there are many selections when it comes to installing a hardscape. Just a few suggestions include installing pavers around a fire pit, creating a patio area and sculpting a few winding walking trails. An experienced landscape designer can help you determine the best place to put plantings, hardscape and artificial turf on your property.

Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Not taking into account how much space mature plants will need.
  • Choosing plants that will require a lot of maintenance.
  • Not planning irrigation around ground gradients and water flow.
  • Leaving out some of the costs of a project in your initial plan.
  • Not designating enough outside area for relaxation and recreation.

You will want to make sure to leave space for future projects. Are you planning to install a pool or an outdoor kitchen at some point? Now is the time to decide where your future project will be sited. It’s very difficult to move existing landscaping once it has taken hold.
When you consult with a landscape designer, all of these issues will be considered and you’ll be one step closer to making your landscape dreams come true.

Bill Jenkins

 Bill Jenkins  is a second-generation landscape contractor with a passion for providing quality products and service to the valley for over 30 years. He enjoys gardening and growing roses, his grandfather was a champion rose grower and shared his love of roses with him when he was young. His father set an example for him to use only the   best quality products and to give clients exceptional service.



Adding a water feature to your backyard is surely tempting. What better way to liven up the desert landscape, right? You can create an oasis right in your backyard! While all of this is certainly true, you should consider a few things first before you dive right in. Below are some pros and cons to help you decide if a water feature is the right choice for you and your backyard landscape.

Pros of Adding A Water Feature.

  • Beauty. There’s no doubt water features are beautiful, sometimes breathtakingly so. Moving water itself is soothing, sparkling, and clean. Contain this water in one of the huge varieties of ways available, and you can create true beauty.  A well-designed water feature can complement the rest of the landscape design.
  • Focal Point. A water feature can prove to be an outstanding focal point for your backyard. They easily make a centerpiece you can create around. Given the amount of options you have, you could make it a focal point on the patio, yard, or even incorporate it into an outdoor kitchen area. Build up the space around it and watch the transformation take place.
  • Unique. Water features can be customized in many ways to make them unique to what you want. With a simple Google search you can get a good idea of how much freedom you have to design your water feature. You could choose to have a leafy oasis, a clean, modern feature or a rocky natural hideaway. (link to the desert oasis project)  Your feature could be visually stimulating, or it could be calming. The possibilities are almost endless.
  • Many Options. Simply choosing your type of water feature has so many options.  From a simple pre-manufactured fountain, to full custom pools, waterfalls, streams, spillways, and containers. There are many different materials to choose from as well, and those materials even come in a wide variety. You can choose from metals, glass, ceramics, plastics, tiles, and stone. Each material comes in many different colors, sizes and shapes. Combining more than one together adds even more choice. You can design and build the right water feature to fit exactly what you’re looking for with the help of a good designer.


Cons of Adding A Water Feature.

  • Pests. Adding water to your home can also invite pests. Mosquitoes, bees, and other bugs. There are steps you can take to help prevent these pests, but they may not entirely keep them away. Also consider that you may attract wildlife in general, such as frogs, and other critters.  Watching birds bathe and frolic in the water is nice and wildlife may be a huge attraction, but can also be a nuisance in some cases.
  • Maintenance. Now the hard part, water features need a lot of maintenance.  Water features can be a challenge to maintain. They are a lot like having a mini pool. The water level requires observation, the equipment requires maintenance, and sometimes chemicals need to be added to keep the water clear.  Leaf litter, dirt and other debris can build up over time and cause problems.  Pumps wear out, filters need cleaning.  Calcium build up may need to be cleaned from surfaces from our hard water.  You need to ask yourself if these are things you are willing to deal with on a regular basis.
  • Expense.  A well-designed water feature can be a pleasure to own, however a poorly designed water feature can be a nightmare to maintain. The parts themselves can add up quickly. Parts can include pumps, filters, pump vaults, liners, water levelers and plumbing, just to name a few. The right design and installation is imperative since having poor design can make the feature more expensive to maintain. Some features may require extra maintenance.  Ask yourself are you willing to take the time to regularly maintain the water feature or do you want to hire someone to do it for you, with the added expense of the service.

White Noise: A Pro or Con?

It’s no secret that moving water comes with noise, so you should also consider if this is a pro or con for you. Will it be soothing to you, or will the white noise created prove to irritate you? White noise can be soothing, and has actually been linked to increased cognitive performance. For some people, however, the white noise proves to leave them feeling frazzled and annoyed. You will need to decide if hearing the constant rushing or trickling of a water feature is a good fit for you personally.  A good designer can create a water feature to make the right amount of noise to mask other unwanted background noises.

Making Your Decision.

The pros and cons of having a water feature are a lot to consider.  Having a good designer at your side can help you decide if it’s right for you, but a truly good designer will incorporate your water feature as if it is a natural piece of architecture.  Find a designer that you feel comfortable talking to and that listens to your concerns.  It has been our experience that if you can have an honest discussion about the cons of constructing and maintaining a water feature first, including a frank discussion about the ongoing maintenance and costs then it’s safe to move on to the fun of designing a water feature for your landscape.

We have helped clients navigate these tricky waters on numerous occasions. See some of our projects here or call us to schedule a free consultation with one of our design experts.

Bill Jenkins Bill Jenkins  is a second-generation landscape contractor with a passion for providing quality products and service to the valley for over 30 years. He enjoys gardening and growing roses, his grandfather was a champion rose grower and shared his love of roses with him when he was young. His father set an example for him to use only the best quality products and to give clients exceptional service.


Top 3 questions to ask yourself before designing your backyard.

It’s exciting to plan new landscaping ideas, but jumping into it without a well thought out plan can cause big mistakes that may become disappointments in the future. By approaching your landscape plans with clear ideas of your needs and professional assistance, you can ensure your landscape will serve your needs for a long time to come.

1. What purpose will your new landscape fulfill?

Planning the basic structure of your landscape is as simple as identifying your needs, your hobbies and the purposes for which it will be used.

 Here are a few questions to ask before you get started:

• How do you see yourself using your new yard?
• Do you plan to use it for entertaining or primarily as a playground for your children?
• Do you have a dog or other animals?
• Are there sports you’d like to play on your property?
• Do you like to garden?

Depending on the size of your property and your budget, it’s possible to create spaces for several different purposes. If your space is small, you may need to prioritize your needs for maximum efficiency. You also will want to take the layout of the property into consideration; if it is important to you to grow fresh vegetables each year, you’ll want to designate the sunniest part of your property for that purpose.

frenchCreative ideas like a putting green or splash pool are fun ideas to add to your property and may even add value to your home. But while a putting green may seem as simple as carving out a patch of lawn, the infrastructure and ongoing maintenance of a high-quality putting green will require expertise, time and money. These are questions your designer can answer with professional knowledge, skill and experience.

2. Dream Big: Scale Down

To ensure all your landscaping needs are met, put all of your big dreams on paper with no regard to budget or space. Make a grandiose list of everything you’d like to have, then work with a designer to prioritize and pare down into achievable goals. The idea here is to be honest with yourself about all your wants for your new yard.

Don’t forget to include essential items such as lighting and irrigation systems.
A good landscape designer can help you identify practical needs while balancing your dreams. A designer will also help you identify hidden costs such as ongoing maintenance you may not have considered. It’s good to know from the beginning if you plan to hire maintenance services for your landscape.

At this point, you can decide on a target budget and start determining what items on your list will be incorporated into your landscape. You’ll also want to consider what some of the accessories for your landscape will cost, such as the fancy new barbecue grill for your outdoor kitchen or the safety fencing for your swimming pool.

3. A Trusted Landscape Designer

Working with a professional landscape designer can make all the difference in making good choices for your landscape and enjoying an excellent outcome. Take the time to speak with each designer you are considering. View their portfolio and speak to references.

You don’t necessarily need to love every project the designer has completed in the past, but it is important your taste and style is well communicated with your designer. If possible, ask for references that will allow you to see the designers work in person. The key is to find a designer you are comfortable with, that you can talk to, and that listens.

A landscape that matures gracefully without major adjustments is a sign of a designer who possesses the skills to look at the big picture when designing a landscape; creating a space that naturally meshes with the home and surrounding area.

A Beautiful End Result

The ultimate goal is to create an outdoor living space to enjoy moments with friends and family or maybe some peace and quiet by yourself.

If you are considering a new landscape, contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our highly skilled designers. The work you do in the beginning will be well worth the time and effort when planning the landscape of your dreams.

Bill Jenkins Bill Jenkins  is a second-generation landscape contractor with a passion for providing quality products and service to the valley for over 30 years. He enjoys gardening and growing roses, his grandfather was a champion rose grower and shared his love of roses with him when he was young. His father set an example for him to use only the best quality products and to give clients exceptional service.