Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Xeric Transformation: An Arizona yard begins to reflect its environment

Gerald is using 40 tons of fill dirt to create hills and contours to manage drainage and provide for different levels of dryness in different parts of the yard. At left, a "Museum Palo Verde" (thornless) has been planted after being removed from a 36-inch nursery box. At right, is an Arizona Mesquite.

Originally, the home in Mesa had been planted with lush green grass in the front yard. During the time the house was unoccupied, the grass became unkempt; although the most recent owner appears to have installed rock and weed barrier, the grass promptly burst through, creating a messy lawn. What we wanted was an Arizona xeric landscape, but not the barren expanses of rock and gravel that some people install with only a bare minimum of token vegetation.

Front yard just before xeriscaping commenced.

In addition to the Palo Verde and the Mesquite, we have also selected a Saguaro (tall cactus) and purchased smaller desert plants, including Ocotillo, Golden Barrel Cactus, Rosewood, Jojoba, and Leatherleaf Acacia, plus small flowering plants for ground cover. It should look quite distinctive when it's all done!