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

Iceberg Rose

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So 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

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Its 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.

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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-225x300For 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:

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  • 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).

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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.

Dress Up Your Garden with Arbors and Arches

Garden ArborLandscapers are always hunting for great ways to improve their garden appeal the best way possible. One of the things that they mostly consider is the addition of garden arbors and arches. They create a special impact when they are installed in the right spot on your garden.

There are several ways to build garden arches or arbors – it just depends on your ingenuity on what materials you think would look great on your garden. You really don’t need a professional landscaper to create an impressive arch – your creativity is more than enough.

Garden Arbor01Perfect Location, Materials and Design

To ensure a stunning appeal on your garden, build an arch as an entrance leading to your actual garden. It is not costly and laborious as you think it is, start and see for yourself.

  • Small-spaced Gardens – arbors are not only for large and wide gardens, most landscapers recommend it to small gardens. An opening frame adds character and strong element on the garden. Also, vertical planting is really wise in small areas, so you can grow varieties of foliage on its structure.
  • Quality Materials – before starting on building your arbor, decide on what look you want to portray – soft, elegant, strong or wild. These arches usually give an impression on what personality you have as it reflects on your choice of materials.
  • Plant Species – yes, these structures are not just to add glamour but for functional purpose as trellis for your growing plants. You can choose whether you want a plant with vibrant flowers or just simple lush foliage all over your trellis.

Types of Garden Arbors and Arches

To successfully create an impact with your arbors and arches, there are some things to consider. It is important that you don’t simply construct an arbor without any detailed plan.

  • Lattice Arbor – there are several stores offering inexpensive arbors ready to install in your garden. You can either purchase an arched lattice arbor or the common box-style arbor. Either way, it will still add character as long as you have the right plants growing on them.
  • Crawling Vines Arbor – all arbors can be a great trellis for your climbing vines. When choosing the arbor, ensure that it is sturdy and appropriate for your growing plants. Consider the color of your vines and its properties, like bigger vines need larger arbors and vibrant flowering vines are perfect for simple metal arbors so not to overdo them.
  • Conversation Nook Arbors – to make it more appealing for guests to stay in your lovely garden, this style is just awesome. It is created with two benches facing each other. This is designed to entice people to relax while taking advantage of a good view.
  • Shade Arbor – this is also known as pergola. Though this is mostly seen connected after a patio, it can also be placed in your garden. The topmost area is not covered and you will only see beams supported by sturdy poles. This can create shade once plants start to crawl and wrap the beams with their leaves.
  • DIY Garden Arbor – this is perfect for individuals who want to display their creative side. PVC pipe is mostly used in this kind of arbor. You can choose the design you want, cut them and connect them using PVC connectors. This needs proper tools and skills to appropriately cut and combine the pieces together.
  • Plant Arbors – yes, it is possible to make your garden plants as your arbors and arches. Usually, a combination of shrubs or trees with growing vines will complete the look. If you want to achieve this look, it is important that the plants are trained at a young age. It is important that they follow a certain design that you want them to look, either through trimming them or binding them with cords.

To create a distinct garden appeal, arches or arbors are great elements to achieve it. Though the degree of skills depends on your arbor style, there are still garden arches that are easy to install so no need to create one. Always remember that the first step towards a good arbor design is an imaginative mind, don’t just simply decide and purchase, keep in mind to input your own style.

Starting Your Own Hard Landscaping Project

Hard landscaping adds character and unique beauty to one’s outdoor.

This makes no two-garden the same as each feature is distinct from the other. Hard landscaping may seem easy to some as you just need to add stones and certain water structures but if you are not familiar with what you are doing, this may worsen the look of your garden.

What you think might be simple is no easy task, so it’s best to ask assistance from the experts to maximize the space and appeal of your place.

What is Hard Landscaping and the Different Elements?

This is the term used to describe the different hard construction materials needed to enhance the beauty of a garden by design. It is contrast to soft landscaping which is known to be using plants as materials. This is more than setting up drainage in your garden or adding pavements along the driveway.

In this venture you can choose among varieties of materials – rock, stone, concrete, brick, gravel, metals, etc.

Just like any other garden project or home improvement, there are lots of things to consider in ensuring the quality of the results. More often than not, this is the most expensive process to beautify your garden as it needs lots of materials, especially if you have a wide garden area. Most homeowners hire architects to guarantee that everything is well built according to their desire and design choice.

#1 – Planning Your Landscape

To incorporate all your desired functions and structures, a good lay-out is a must. Architects won’t start the project unless they are sure that you have approved the plan. In the long run, this will save everyone time, money and effort.

#2 – The Design

The best way to deal with hard landscaping is to avoid the temptation of decorating the nearest section of your house.

It is important to give way to the farthest portion to avoid hassles that you might encounter in the future just in case the trend changes or you find better materials and design appropriate for your front garden.

#3 – Furniture

Don’t disregard the presence of furniture and benches in your outdoor area. You never know, you might want to throw a party anytime so they can be of great use. Or if you just want to take some private moment alone with a great view, you can do that by having furniture in your garden or landscape.

#4 – Consider the Trees

If you have big trees around, don’t create a patio near it or else you’ll end up disappointed as it can dislodge the structure with its roots over time.

#5 – Strong Foundations

It is always essential to improve the foundations of your driveways and paths as more often than not, they tend to carry massive weights. Hardcore materials must be used or else it will break or become uneven which may cause unwanted accidents.

#6 – Use Quality Materials

A good architect understands the value of quality materials. However, they must not compromise the beauty of the entire landscape when choosing the materials to be used.

Landscaping Works

There are several hard landscaping works that can be accomplished before you can consider that your garden is well-built. A simple and plain area either in your backyard or garden can be made into a fantastic place to stay and have fun for you and your family. There is no limitation for hard landscaping – only your imagination.

  • Pergolas – this is quite similar to garden arbors but bigger in size. This structure is mostly used to support climbing plants or vines. This is ideal if you want to add element and stature to your garden.
  • Edging – this is essential to separate boundaries between your plants from your lawn or plants from other plants. You can be creative in your edging and use various materials like brick, stones, glass and metals.
  • Pathway Construction – it is important that you consider durable paving solutions that will last for years to come. You can choose materials that match your edging or garden structures to make it look uniform. Or if you want to have a unique appeal, try using contrasting colors and edgy materials.
  • Decking – your deck is considered as part of your outdoor area, this should not be disregarded as most decks are overlooking a good garden or view. Your garden will look even more interesting if it is connected to a lovely deck, so make sure to choose materials that are durable and easy to maintain.
  • Creating Fence – fence is used to screen or limit boundaries between two spaces. In the garden, this can be added if you want to secure a place for your own privacy or if you want to create a mystique effect from the public eyes. Either way, this is ideal to incorporate in your garden to add another texture and character.

Hard landscaping is more than just adding a focal point in your garden or a simple shelter – this goes beyond simplicity. A homeowner will never be satisfied with a garden without the element of hard landscaping; it is always partnered with plants.

No matter what design, color, texture, dimension and character you want to add in your garden, hard landscaping can make it possible.

Ways to Landscape Your Garden on a Budget

Landscaping your garden doesn’t have to be costly like the ones you see on magazines and TV. There are several ways to create an appealing garden without breaking your bank. Your ingenuity and patience can save you hundreds of bucks.

When setting up your garden, it is important to make use of what you already have. Landscaping is all about creativity and you don’t need anyone else to make your own dream garden. After all, it is more fulfilling to see your own hard work paying off after everything is done.

Plan and Decide

Landscaping is a tedious job and you don’t want to have to repeat over and over again as that will just worsen the scenario. Before starting your venture, it is very important to create a layout. Sticking with a plan will avoid any hassles during work and will save you time, effort and money. In creating a plan, be illustrative so you will have an idea on what it would like in the end.

Purchase Only What Your Landscape Needs

As much as possible, avoid buying items that are not necessary for your landscaping venture. Always check the plan and purchase only the necessities -shrubs, perennials, mulch and tools. Also, checkout some bargain stores from which you can purchase plants on affordable prices.

Don’t be Afraid to Play

Though you have a plan to follow, you can still revise it as long as it doesn’t go far beyond simple details. It is your garden, thus it has to show your real self and personalities so don’t be afraid to add your personal touch. Play with the colors, add textures and choose contrasting dimensions. And to add interest, your pavement might probably need a concrete plan.

Add Some Collectibles

An interesting garden needs to have some character into it, simple bargain collectibles like baskets, trellis, birdhouses and gardening tools can make the entire garden unique and distinct.

Pots! Pots! Pots!

Potted plants are pleasing to eyes so they can create a different atmosphere in your garden if you know how to use them. You can have various colored pots for distinction and to keep pretty items on hand. If you want to have uniformed colored pots, then start painting them with your favorite color.

Add Furniture

To complete a garden setting, you can add some chairs, tables and benches where you can take some time to sit while enjoying the scenery. This is the perfect spot to meet with your friends or to read a book. With these items on your garden, you will probably be staying around more often.

Take Advantage of Nurseries

When purchasing plants, you will get a good deal if you purchase them from nurseries. These local nurseries have all the plants you need at a much cheaper price.

To create a breathtaking landscape, you don’t need to hire a pro to perform the entire job for you. You can actually do it alone. There are unlimited budget landscaping ideas that you can match with your personality and lifestyle. It is also important to be patient while performing the tasks because this will help you to keep control of thing. Landscaping is definitely the right venue to showcase your talent and creativity.

Landscaping Your Garden around Trees

To successfully create a landscape that is personal and appealing, it is important that you check the entire site to look for a specific gardening theme or plant species that will inspire you to accomplish your landscaping venture. Oftentimes it can spark your thoughts which can help you come up with good ideas. A tree for example can be the focal of your landscape.

Landscaping around trees is quite challenging, most especially for those who are not familiar on how to combine the colors of flowering plants and foliage. You need to be creative to enhance the look of your garden with a tree as your focal point.

Fill Spaces around the Tree

It is not always that a tree is involved in a landscaping project. With a tree in the middle of your garden, ensure not to disregard the spaces around it. You have several plant options on which among the different plants are perfect on your garden spot.

There are varieties of plants that can be used to fill out the entire section underneath the trees. To achieve your plan, it is always good that you creatively experiment on what suits your garden best. You can choose to have ground cover plants to grow in the area.

Decorate it with Ferns

Ferns are one of the most favorite plants in the garden because it is easy to grow and appealing at the same time. The best asset of fern plants is its fine and soft waving foliage which can add texture to your garden landscape. Furthermore, ferns grow well even on shady parts as most section underneath the tree is not well penetrated by the heat of the sun.

A Garden within a Garden

Underneath your tree, you can decide on adding more flowering plants. This means that you can make another garden within a garden setting. Your garden will look lovely if you were able to transform the boring area into something worth a glance.

It is very essential that you use up almost all the parts of that area. It will show your ingenuity in establishing a great garden setup underneath the tree in your garden. Apart from the beautiful flowers and healthy plants in the garden, the focal attracts more attention. If you are going to plant annuals, then you have to redecorate the area once a year.

The process of landscaping an area around the trees is more rigid and intensive. It is somehow similar to transforming a small shady garden. In doing this kind of venture, there are some factors to be considered – the shady sections, plants to use and limited area. Landscaping a small area is quite hard so it is normal to perform some experiments before coming up to a decision.

Trees in your garden need proper attention just like any other parts of your garden. Don’t disregard them as they can help in making your garden more appealing. There is no limitation on what you can do to your garden, so be creative always. There is no wrong or right in landscaping your own garden, only beauty and fun.