Living in an area that is desert for the most part and overall hot and arid for the rest of it can present a challenge when it comes to gardening. You might even think that “desert” and “garden” have no business in the same sentence. Nothing could be further from the truth! Desert gardens are some of the most vibrant and enchanting places in the world, and all it takes is some knowledge and planning. Read on to find out how to make your hot home in Reno (or really any similar area) as rich and amazing as any haute mansion in lush greenery.
Tune your thinking to your climate
If you intend to cultivate a functional garden in a dry and arid environment, you will need to choose your hardscape and plants according to that. Opting for plants that are low-maintenance and require little to no water is an obvious point.
On that note, take care not to fall into the trap of thinking that cacti are your only choice. Cacti are actually a genus of succulents, so feel free to include their various cousins in your gardening plans as well. The Nevada Native Plant Society has some nifty advice to offer when it comes to acquiring and growing native plants, so check them out at this link: https://www.nvnps.org/node/153
Focus your planting efforts on ground covers and drought-tolerant plants, and design your paths, patios, and other areas in a way that will prevent water runoff and avoid absorbing the heat of the sun. Take the time to learn about the specifics of desert irrigation systems, and group the plants according to their particular needs.
Build some knowledge about the basics of desert style.
Due to hot days, cold nights, intense light, and water supplies challenges, desert gardens require thinking a bit differently. Keep in mind the SCS: Shape, Color, Scale.
Imagine having a line of tall, thin cacti in a flat yard. They may look like thorny soldiers guarding your home, or may appear stuck-up and monotonous. The way different plants grow can go a long way towards pleasing desert geometry. Short grasses can be manipulated into soft lines, while Whitethorn Acacia trees will yield fluffy round plumes at ten feet tall. These can make beautiful contrasts with typically strict and minimalistic stone constructions.
Color is a question of strategy in a mostly brown and gray environment. Think yellow, warm red, dull gold, bronze, and cream, and stay away from dark hues that absorb heat. Colored aggregates and stains on your stone areas can work wonders. Colorful plants can add magical accents.
Check out this page for some tips.
Finally, mind the heights and widths. Your walls and plants should not block out each other. Keep the scale balanced. Tall trees near your house will make it look shorter. Encircle tall decorative grasses with short shrubs. Define areas with larger rocks.
Remain open to hiring professional help.
Your desert gardening project may require some things that you might not be certain how to do, for example, conducting a soil test to figure out what nutrients are available in your ground and how you can supplement the substances that are missing from it. Maybe you will find yourself at a loss as to how to properly handle your irrigation and how to precisely set up your drip systems.
These things are crucial to successful landscaping in a desert area, and getting them wrong can seriously mess things up for you in the long run. Therefore, do not shy away from calling in some professional landscapers, such as the team at legendslandscaping.com. Pros like these make a point of tackling the challenging environment with creativity and making it work for you. Many of them also offer free consultations to any interested parties.
One particular thing you may want to leave to the professionals is setting up solar light systems in your new landscape. This tends to be beyond amateur hands, but is a genius addition really worth considering. It not only provides beautiful, powerful lighting solutions, but takes advantage of your tricky climate to cut way back on your energy bills.
Author – Michelle V. Katz
Michelle has always been a bookworm since she was a kid. She discovered her passion for writing through traveling and personal experiences. She works as a legal practitioner by day and a writer by night.