Plants Tom Hoff of Modern Landscape, LLC in Las Vegas Recommends for Vegas Landscaping

Iceberg Rose

iceberg-rose-300x225So many of the plants here in Vegas have such a short bloom cycle, that’s not the case with the Iceberg Rose.

For over 50 years gardeners have been using Iceberg roses in their gardens and enjoying the almost year round floral effect.

This rose looks best when kept at about 3 feet wide and 3 feet tall. The rose is available in white, pink or burgundy. Some care is needed occasionally to keep them in bloom. For the most part they are disease resistant.

Iceberg roses are a perfect fit for just about any style of landscape.

You can plant them with rosemary and Italian cypress to create an old world Tuscan look, or try using them in urns next to Mediterranean fan palm and an Olive tree (pictured left) in the background for a Mediterranean feel.

For tropical landscapes try planting them in masses with royal blue cape plumbagos and Tropicana cannas.

Iceberg roses will also feel right at home in a cottage style garden mixed with garlic and salvia.

Mexican Feather Grass

feather-grass-300x225Its delicate and graceful leaves makes it the perfect plant for softening around boulders and less graceful plants such as Agave and Cacti.

Just the slightest breeze will put them into motion.

Mexican feather grass also works well in modern or contemporary landscapes.

Use them in groups next to the straight lines of a concrete patio or walk way. Because of their petite size you can also use them in decorative pots.

Unlike many of the grasses here in Las Vegas, Mexican feather grass needs very little maintenance or water once established. Occasionally clean out the clumps of seeds and old leaves that form on the top.

Parryi Agave

parryi-agave-225x300There are many varieties of agave that do well in Las Vegas, but most need a lot of room to grow, that’s one of the reasons I love the small Parryi Agave Truncata.

The Parryi Agave is a very slow growing agave to about 2 feet wide.

Because of its compact size and low water use, it’s a perfect fit for Las Vegas landscaping.

It has a very cool greenish-blue color with dark black tips.

sago-palms-150x150I love planting them in small groupings in either desert or tropical landscapes.

Try pairing them with sago palms (pictured left) for a unique look. They also make the perfect container plant in my contemporary designs.

Parryi agave are also very hardy and can withstand even the coldest Vegas nights.

Oleander

Oleanders get a really bad rap here in Las Vegas, but you cannot find a more universal shrub/tree that thrives in our climate.

oleander-300x225

The oleander is available in red, pink, salmon and white. They are also available in dwarf sizes as well as tree form. So no matter the size of your yard, you will be able to add this beautiful plant to your landscape.

A lot of people tell me they are scarred of using oleanders because they are poisonous. While this may be true, but so are most plants in your landscape. Oleanders have a “toxic taste” to them so most animals won’t eat them and hopefully your pets and kids are not eating your plants and trees in the first place.

Another worry is pollen, but actually the pollen from oleanders are heavy and really stay trapped within the plant itself. Unless you are truly allergic to oleander then don’t let this stop you from using oleanders in some fashion.

In my opinion, there is not a better shrub in Las Vegas; from the wide range of colors and sizes, the rapid growth rate and hardiness–you can’t go wrong.

Oleanders are perfect for screening off from neighbors and adding a little privacy around your pool or patio. They fit right in just about any style of landscape. Try using them with Pygmy date palms and sago palms for a tropical oasis feel or use them as small patio trees in a Mediterranean landscape.

Palms

Born and raised in Southern California, Palms have been always been part of my personal landscapes… it’s a shame that some of Las Vegas neighborhoods are no longer allowing them to be a part of their landscapes.

I love every palm tree, from the large Canary Island date palms to the small shade loving lady finger palm (pictured below). For the most part palms are clean, low maintenance and stay green all year.

lady-finger-palm-225x300

For large scale landscapes, you can use any of these large palms:

  • California Fan palm
  • Mexican Fan palm
  • Canary Island Date palm
  • Queen palm
  • Date palm

There are some great small to mid-sized palms as well:

windmill-palms-225x300

  • Mediterranean fan palm
  • Windmill palm (pictured right)
  • Sago palm (not actually a palm but on my list anyway)
  • Lady finger palm
  • Pygmy date palm

The pygmy date palms and queen palms do need protection from frost when the temperature gets down under 40 degrees.

I wrap mine in burlap the weekend after Thanksgiving every year and keep them wrapped till March 10th.

It’s so worth the effort.

Palms are all heavy feeders. If you do not have a fertilizer system hooked to your irrigation, get one! You will love it. I install about 100 systems a year to keep my landscape projects looking great.

Xylosma

Pronounced “zy-los-ma”. This great evergreen shrub is mostly overlooked in nurseries. What starts off as a sparse, straggly green plant, Xylosma turns into one of the healthiest looking green shrubs in Las Vegas.

I have used Xylosma in quite a few of my landscapes.

They start off kind of wild but after a couple years they turn into a great hedge, or small patio tree (I have one that is a 12′ tall umbrella shaped tree over my Koi pond).

xylosma-225x300

Xylosma can take heavy pruning to create just about any shape desired. They make perfect screens to hide pool pumps, A/C Units and block walls. Their glossy leaves look as if they were just wet down with the hose.

Great for a backdrop plant… planting Tropicana canna lily in front of them will show off great contrasting colors throughout summer.

What Landscaping Can Do For Your Garden

Whatever the size of your garden, an attractive spot for rest and daydreaming amidst your plants is something you deserve to relish.

A preferential part of the garden or, in the contrary, a low-profile corner that nobody ever uses can very easily be transformed to a special place for relaxation and well-being.

Tip: Always draw your landscaping layout after careful examination of the garden’s orientation, the sun’s position throughout the day (and in the course of the year), the winds blowing in the area.

backyardYour garden should look fabulous, but, most of all, you should be able to live in it according to your specific lifestyle.

For example, you wouldn’t want to plant the sensitive mimosas in the path of the wild winter northern winds – and you definitely wouldn’t want to build a swimming pool or a porch that the sun visits no more than a couple of hours every day.

Landscaping design is done according to both aesthetic and rational standards.

Try to include as many environmental and personal factors that you know would influence the design of your garden. Think them over. Then, start drawing.

Small Garden & Medium Sized Garden Ideas Picture Gallery

In the following video, you will see how dull patches in the garden were fashioned into elegant and functional spaces, offering a special tone and a vivid atmosphere to the house:

Landscaping Before and After Pictures

Even if your garden looks absolutely desperate – as the one you will see right away – give your imagination the reigns and let it lead you to its wildest fantasies. Nothing needs to remain as you once knew it. Raise mounds, create ponds, split the area according to your own geography: you are a small god in this portion of land.

We have already talked about the importance of drawing a blueprint of your garden as you want it to look when finished. Not everyone is good with pencil and paper though – or, it may very well be that you would love to do it, but you don’t have the time. A simple, easy-to-use 3D Landscaping software will help you see your vision created on the screen, before you get too deep into actually building it.

Hard Landscaping: Laying the Foundations

One important distinction to make is the one between hard and soft landscaping.

While soft landscaping refers to working with the selection, arrangement, planting and handling of the verdure (something that most garden owners enjoy doing themselves), hard landscaping comprises all the preparatory work, such as

  • Retaining walls
  • Foundations for sheds and greenhouses;
  • Ponds and built-in swimming pools;
  • Porches, gazebos, decking
  • Paving, paths, driveways
  • Stairways, terraces, patios
  • Drainage and guttering

and it usually requires some prior experience with the digging, trenching and building involved. In certain instances, it may also require special tools and knowledge on the kinds of works performed. Just keep in mind that you’re not a professional, and feel free to ask expert advice at whatever stage of your project you think you may need some.

How to Transform Your Backyard into a Secret Garden

The happy owner in the following video displays a terrific landscaping project that took him four summers to complete. Many people find this sort of exercise fun and rewarding – building your own garden will certainly give you a sense of fulfillment and pride.

Hire a Professional Landscaping Company

Even if you want to relegate the task to a landscaping professional, remember that a garden is a living, evolving entity. The image you will get from your newly-constructed garden will be quite different from the one you’re going to enjoy in one, two or four years’ time.


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