January 20, 2015
Making your yard in Phoenix look like Southern California
As you can see here in my backyard in Glendale, Arizona, it's possible, but it takes a few tricks to make it work.
Luckily, there are a lot of similarities between Phoenix and Southern California, as a lot of people in Los Angeles are discovering. They're both deserts that get very little rainfall. So the first thing you have to do is to set up a watering system.
Here in my yard I have two watering systems, both designed for minimal water use. Water costs money, and should not be wasted! I have a low-pressure *drip* system with sprayer heads and an ordinary misting system (like the kind that you see on restaurant patios). They are set on inexpensive battery-powered timers.
For plant selection, avoid plants that require high humidity. Ferns won't grow in the Phoenix area, it doesn't matter how much you water them. Ask me how I know! The plants that I have here that kind'a look like ferns are actually cycads. Google them. They're more expensive than ferns but they're as tough as nails, and look great. I also have a good assortment of other succulents, as you can see. And most importantly, I have no grass. That's artificial turf.
I just love the lush look of a tropical paradise in a Mediterranean climate. I lived in Santa Barbara, California, and that's where its at its best in the United States. But, don't get me wrong, I love living in Phoenix, where I can actually afford a house, and I don't have to sit in traffic all of the time, but I just want that tropical feel.
Posted by Brad Hall