Those that live in dry or drought-prone regions often long for beautiful landscapes filled with lush vegetation and colorful blooms. To many, the term drought tolerant landscaping brings up unpleasant images of boring stretches of brown dry plants and little color anywhere. Today, this image is far from the truth of what even novice landscapers can accomplish even in more arid places. There is a bit more initial planning to get the type of landscaping effect that is being pursued. With a bit of research, time for learning and the necessary time and effort, everyone can have the landscape of their wildest dreams.
Why the Planning Stage is Considered the Most Important Step in Landscaping
While there are some unique challenges when planning a landscaped lawn or garden space in a dry and hot climate, most professional landscapers claim that the planning stage is considered the most important step in any landscaping project. Too many fail at this endeavor simply because they did not take the proper time to research how this kind of landscaping is done beforehand. Other important things to learn include what climate and growing zone your property is located in. This is important when getting to the part where the appropriate plants are selected.
Assess the Nature of Your Specific Landscape in Detail
Before embarking on an aggressive landscaping project, it is crucial to accurately assess the entire nature of your individual and very specific landscaping features that are already present. Figure out how dry the soil is and what it is composed of. Note where the sun shines and which areas are shaded. Look up your geographical region’s planting and growing zone information on a computer, in a landscaping or gardening book or consult with a local landscaping company or nursery for advice.
Determine What You Will Use the Landscaped Space for When Finished
Determine what you will want to use your newly landscaped space for when all of the hard work is finished. Many homeowners today are expanding their indoor living spaces outside. They are doing this by adding patios, building decks or landscaping their grounds to achieve their desired landscape platform base. If you want to use your yard as an entertainment spot for outdoor parties, you might want to divide the space up into seating/dining areas, have a cooking station or build out from an outdoor pool.
Choosing the Right Drought Tolerant Plants, Flowers & Landscaping Elements
The process of choosing the right plants, flowers and other landscaping supplies and elements is actually a fun part if one knows what to expect. This is part of the creativity of the project. For beginner landscapers, take time to view and learn about professionally done locations. Visiting different properties where the landscape is something that appeals to your inner spirit can spark your own creative spirit and provide inspiration.
Obviously, it is important to select the types of drought tolerant plants, flowers, shrubs, bushes or trees known to grow well in your location’s specific planting zones. After you decide on some plants that you like, look for plants that grow well and need the same types of environmental conditions to begin the artistic stage.
Some plants that do well in dryer Mediterranean climates (like Southern California) include:
- Agave – Plant two styles like Pairing Blue Glow with Blue Flame
- Look for colorful border appropriate flowering plants like Verbena, Rudbeckia and Antirrhinum
- Add succulents with hardy grasses, evergreen plants and layered flowering plants for increased depth and visual interest
Plant at the Right Time & In the Proper Location
Before running off and buying up your desired plants, be sure to research when the best time for planting each plant is and where they should be located. Cactus plants might do well in straight sunshine, but other drought tolerant plants like some shade. Also remember to give newly planted foliage, flowers and plants plenty of time to grow out their roots. This means that the plants will need some water and a bit of TLC until the plant and roots are established.
Many first time gardeners or those that want an easier start will hire the services of a local professional landscaper to advise or design the space so that this harder work is completed properly. Afterwards, the homeowner can take the tips and advice given by the landscaper and continue the care going forward.
Additional Features to Consider Adding to Your Landscaping Design
There are countless ways to design a custom landscape. Many landscapers like to add special features that can showcase their design elements and make the space visually intriguing and layered with various depth giving vegetation. Remember too that some plants change with the seasons giving gardeners even more options in their overall design.
Lots of individuals install natural flagstones, cobblestones and other types of materials to create different pathways that meander through their property. Knowing which stones, rocks and other natural features to use for improving the ground soil and water content is important when wanting to change the current land elements. Some arid counties stipulate that a border be placed to stop rainfall runoff from being wasted as it runs down towards required storm sewers and drains.
Some property owners incorporate a fence that complements the home’s architectural style or showcases the natural surroundings. These fences can be crafted from wood, metal, cement and many other types of materials. Gravel, small stones and wood chips can fill space where grass doesn’t grow well, and decorative planters, window boxes and hanging plants can all serve to make a landscape ever better and more original.
Many homeowners install water and fire features or build into the natural landscape by planting rock gardens and connecting the levels with steps ending at a patio. Having a vision of where you want to take your land can ensure that everything ties in together when finished. Gorgeous drought tolerant planting is possible!