Back in 2009, we decided to do something about our backyard. Back then, it looked like an empty lot. We wanted something lush and colorful. We took a home equity loan, spent 3 months on research about Southwest desert plants, and started the work in Dec. 2009. We divided the space into various sections, including a dog run area, a patio and grass area. For the dog run, we added sand and a four foot tall wall to give our greyhound Simone a little privacy. To hide the garbage bin area and the hot water tank, we used metal screens for the "Cat's claw" vine to crawl onto (which loves the Phoenix sun and produces beautiful yellow flowers in this spring).
The Emu bushes are amazing. They grow fast, wide, and tall (5 X5) and are easy to trim. To cover the ground and in between the Texas Sage and Emu bushes, we opted for the Morning Glory and Blackfoot Daisies. The flowers are white and very resistant to the heat and easy to tend.
Our garden is pretty low maintenance, since we installed a drip system, and gets its full vivid color in the spring season. The Poppies are now blooming and the Desert Blue Bells keep reseeding themselves (we love this flower, they cover a lot of ground within no time).
Our garden has provided us some great family quality time to relax and play with our daughter. Though summer time in AZ is more dedicated to the indoors, we can still enjoy it from the kitchen view. In the future, a house extension and French doors opening to the patio would be ideal, and of course a pergola to provide shade would be a must and will complete the project.
Thanks, Barry and Cecile!
(Images: Barry and Cecile)