– Desert Landscaping –
When you are looking at home listings in the Scottsdale area you will often see the description “Desert Landscaping.” What exactly does that mean?
Scottsdale is typically desert terrain complete with saguaros, other forms of cactus and a number of distinctive trees and bushes. Homes are built upon parcels of land carved out of this unique desert setting and are scattered among areas known as “NAOS,” or Natural Area Open Space. Almost two thirds of Scottsdale, north of the Central Arizona Canal, is affected by the Environmentally Sensitive Lands Ordinance (ESLO) which dictates how much land must be left in its natural condition. (Here is a link to the Scottsdale Government website relating to this subject.)
Many homeowners choose to have a more natural looking front yard by using desert landscaping rather than importing other plant material. Desert landscaping is achieved by using plants and trees indigenous to the area. The ground is typically a fine gravel or just dirt. Many homeowners also elect to have dirt/gravel driveways rather than pave them to further enhance the desert setting of their home.
To help you get a better idea of what desert landscaping looks like, I will use some photos I took at a home I have listed in Carefree, Arizona, just north of Scottsdale. The home in this post is an elegantly-designed Santa Fe style home and is a great example of the beauty one can have surrounding their home while maintaining a natural desert look.
Natural Desert Landscaping
This first photo is a shot of the side of the home’s lot which is natural and untouched. This will give you an idea of the true “natural” desert setting.
Desert Landscaping at Entryway to Home
The utilization of the natural terrain and plants of the desert enhance the appeal of this wonderful Santa Fe designed home. The garden is beautifully maintained while still blending in with the surroundings in a very natural manner.
Small Garden Utilizing Desert Landscaping
This photo is of a private garden off the family room that has desert plantings and a very “rustic” fence designed to keep out the “varmints” and invite in the feathered friends from the desert for some food and water. Windows in the home overlook this charming area.
Desert Plant Grouping
As you can see by this grouping of desert plants, the Mexican bird of paradise definitely provides a brilliant pop of color. The tall plant in the center is an ocotillo and will soon have green leaves and vivid red/orange flowers.
Palo Verde Tree and Cacti
This is a wonderful older palo verde tree that has been pruned into a wonderful, airy shape. The two different types of cactus planted nearby enhance the gravel desert setting against the low wall.
Using Desert Landscaping for Privacy
This is a wonderful example of how the desert trees and plants are used as privacy “fences” in the front area between the road and the driveway. Note the little “fence” built around the young succulent cactus – this is to keep desert animals from nibbling on it.