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.

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.

Flagstone: The Best Material for Pavement Landscaping

Flagstone has been widely used today as a material in flooring outdoor areas – usually the garden, patio and driveway. With a number of flagstones available, varieties can be confusing so this article will mainly discuss what you should consider in choosing flagstones as the main material for your garden pavement. The colors to choose and design that would suit your garden style will also be discussed.

The good thing about flagstones is its ability to fit in whatever design – either rustic or contemporary. Also, it never goes out of style so you are assured that your driveway or garden is always on trend.

Fit it in

The color and design of the flagstones should jive with your house design. It is always important to make sure that everything works together as one. Uniformity is relevant to create focus and not overdo it. Before anything starts, complete designs, colors and flagstone sizes have been conceptualized.

Simple Considerations

There are simple yet reasonable factors that you should think about to get the right flagstones for your outdoor flooring venture.

  • Price – You must think about your budget since prices vary for these flagstones. They are sold in ton or pound and not by pieces.
  • Thickness – this might not be given enough attention but inappropriate thickness can result to loss of time and money. Thick flagstones are also known as lay-down because they can directly set on soil without any mortar while thin flagstones are used the other way.

Informal or Formal

For rustic or informal style of design, choose flagstones that have rough edges with assorted shapes that complement each other so it will have a great overall look after the installation. On the other hand, formal setup means polished and fitted stones. Usually, stones are cut with a saw to have simpler edges.

Garden Pathway

Though patio installations are more rigid compared to garden pathways, style is important. Usually, they are laid in a mosaic manner or end to end arrangement for narrow pathways.

In addition during installation, do not forget to walk in them to feel if they are easy to walk on and whether their gaps are comfortable for normal strides. If you are planning not to use mortar, make sure to cover the spaces in between them with low grasses or mulch.

Step by Step

Apart from using these flagstones as flooring for pathways, they are also conveniently installed for steps. Flagstone stairs create an organic look in the garden making it more stylish. They create each step secured and stable – usually lasts for a long time.

The Drama

A garden has to keep a drama to be remembered. Colorful and great arrangements of flowers are given, but adding drama into it adds fascination. Design your focal point with flagstones – combine various shapes to create a masterpiece. A structure can add thickness and texture to the entire place.

Seats and Tables

Staying outside is more fun if you have seats and tables installed. Usually, steel or wooden fixtures are placed outside for a normal garden setup. To make it interesting, why not stack flagstones to your desired height and cap it with smooth capstones to sit on. This way, you are creating your own seats and tables uniquely.

It can be a bit tricky, but if you able to surpass the challenge there is no doubt that you will get attention from your family and visitors. You can go with the same flagstones that are in your patio for a monochromatic appeal but if you want to have distinction, choosing different colored flagstones are fine.

Flagstones are the most common material today, price and installation wise. So, it is just your creativity that will make you different from the rest.

Garden Idea: Sensible Landscaping Edging Proposals

Edging your landscaping design adds crisp on the visual appearance of your garden and is functional at the same time. This is where practicality meets imagination. Edging is a great way to give borders to the growing flowers in your garden. Also, this is an effective way to distinguish your beds from the lawn/yard and can fill up spaces left undone.

If you are still in doubt on what tricks to do for your landscaping edge, this article will discuss different styles and materials to be used for the project.

Concrete Garden Edging

Concrete edging lessens your work, so there’s no need to mow or eliminate weeds. It can also be a great pathway from your door leading to the garden. The uneven level of your landscape is no hassle as you can create varying heights depending on your chosen style.

Rock and Brick Edging

Installing rock or brick to separate sections in your lawn is easy and stylish. These are aesthetically pleasing and are cost-efficient at the same time. In rural areas, these rocks are free which makes it the perfect edging material to be used.

  • Diagonal Brick Edging Design – you can use old mismatch bricks installed in domino effect. Dig a trench and install each brick solidly on the soil one after the other. You can create a diagonal effect, all leaning in the direction.
  • Classic Brick Edging – this can be almost similar to diagonal edging. The only difference is the uniformity of the brick shape. This is also the best option for those who are in a limited budget, its widely available and the cheapest. Always take note that you have to minimize the spaces in between and set it evenly to avoid heaving.
  • Field Stone Composition – landscape edging using field stones is the most common choice in rural areas. Make sure to choose medium-sized stones so it won’t hinder the plants growth but not too small to look like just scattered stones – voiding its purpose.

Cobblestone Edging

This is perfect in creating a landscape shape to your garden. This is usually square cobbles combined with granite for great contrasting textures. You can create different styles using these cobblestones. With regards to installation, it is easy to align just like the typical brick edging.

Plants over Plants

This can be a fantastic style in any landscaping. Low, heaping foliage is the most appropriate plants to use in this fantastic edging technique. Use only one choice of plant species for uniformity purposes and to avoid confusion as much as possible. Some perfect plant selections include sweet alyssum, Artemisia, corabells and bouncing bet.

Reusable Bottles for Edging

Looking for a cool and funky way to infuse edging in your garden? Recycle used colored glass bottles for landscaping edging. These bottles will do the magic for you. Neck down, bury these bottles one after the after. Keep no spaces to avoid weeds from growing in between and for turfs to migrate on your beds.

One-of-a-kind Edging

Think of something unique and different from the usual edging materials, a basket weave is a perfect choice. How does it work? Install the basket weave in an upright position all around your garden beds. This is a unique style in blocking weeds from migrating on the beds. In addition, you can paint the weave basket with your choice of color, adding effect aesthetically.

Landscape edging design is essential if you want to add impact to your garden. Ways and stylish materials are mentioned above to help you out in your next edging project. You don’t have to spend too much to be able to create a unique garden edging – imagination works!

Oasis Landscape: An Escape to Paradise

The weather is warming up and summer vacation is finally here. While some may be planning their getaway, some prefer to have a “staycation”. It was found in a recent poll that about two-thirds of homeowners would like to sit at their patio and have some barbecue party with their family than head out and eat at a restaurant.

landscapingThis is the reason why creating an oasis in your backyard is such a trend these days. Most homeowners want to create an outdoor living space where families can gather together, relax and have a good time.

Oasis landscaping is the art of transforming your backyard into a beautiful outdoor oasis. You don’t have to spend too much money on remodeling your landscape because there are simple and easy ways to do it yourself. So here are some tips in order to have an outdoor living space that is both functional and aesthetical:

Consider your Home Style

It is really essential that what others experience inside your house is also what they should experience outside of it. You should have a full understanding of the architecture of your house so you can create an outdoor room with a similar ambiance.

The main point is your outdoor oasis must complement your house. Whether your home style is Victorian or ranch-style, it is essential that the yard reflects it.

Determine the Purpose

Once you understand the architecture and you have the idea of your landscape, then it is time to determine the activities that will be held in this outdoor oasis. If you want a place where families or friends gather together, then you can have tables and chairs set up covered in beautiful fabrics and a counter where food is served. You can also build some small stage for little entertainment.

If you want a solemn and quite outdoor room, then you can have benches around with pillows covered in fabric. You must sketch your entire plan.

Make it Greener

Green is, of course, the primary color for the garden so make sure green stands out. Make use of shrubs, trees and plants. You don’t have to completely redo your landscape.

Just make use of your flower garden around your patio or around a structure in order to enhance its appearance. Colorful flower beds are definitely a big plus for your landscape.

outdoor landscapingInstall Garden Fixtures

Garden fixtures come in unique designs and in different sizes. They are really inexpensive and you can easily install them on your outdoor oasis.

You can have string lights in different bright colors. You can also light up the pathway to your garden, pool or pond. You can also have them around the trees or branches. Well-placed lighting can also increase your home’s security during nighttime.

Make it a Fun Place

You can also create a playground for your children in your outdoor oasis. Just make sure there are no sharp objects that might harm them. Because your garden offers a relaxing and calming ambiance, it could be a perfect studying place for your kids.

Other Structures

Make use of stones and pathways to make your garden seem larger. You can also have water structures such as a fountain which is a relaxing sight for you and your guests. Then you can have lighting installed in this structure to make it stand out during the night.

Achieving an oasis landscape for your house is definitely easy these days if you have the right tools and a design in mind. Make sure to use the beauty of your plants and flowers in order to create an outdoor space that is entertaining and relaxing at the same time.

Low-Landscaping Tips: Less Time for your Garden, More for Yourself

If you find yourself tending to your flowers and gardens until the sun goes down or your water bills are continuously going up, then maybe it is time to step back and think about whether you spend too much time maintaining your garden and less time for yourself.

landscapingYou may have realized that you invite your friends, relatives and visitors to your garden to show off but for some unexplained reason, no one seems to notice your beautiful landscape or how gorgeous your flower gardens are. It seems the only one who can appreciate it is your pets that make your garden a good place for their private business.

It is really possible to make your garden attractive without straining yourself to maintain it. It is easy to have green surroundings, do a bit of work on the environment or make use of your green thumb abilities without having to spend too much time on your garden. If you plan to enhance your yard, then it is essential that you have a blueprint of what you have to do. An easy-to-tend landscape is the one that is properly planned at the very beginning.

Maintenance is such an overwhelming task for some homeowners, but is important to keep in mind that you still need to do those landscaping chores. You still have to sweep those dried leaves in order to keep your garden clean and beautiful. Spending even a bit of your time in planning your landscape will let you achieve a functional garden that doesn’t need much time and money.

Choose your Plants

This is the initial step when planning your landscape. It seems that homeowners tend to choose flowers and plants because they look beautiful on their garden. They buy them without thinking what their needs are.

Then, you find a good place for your flowers and soon after, they will bloom enhancing your landscape. But what if they start to die down and the leaves start to drop?

If you have researched something about the particular plant, then this would not be a problem for you. If you tend to continue considering what plants look good for your garden, then you will definitely lose the aspect of a low-maintenance landscaping.

Make sure to choose low-maintenance plants such as the variegated ribbon grass, peonies, winter king hawthorn and velvet cloak smoke tree that will make your home cool and hot according to conditions. Also these plants need little sweeping time.

Make sure you make your flower garden large or combine little ones into a big one to save you sweeping or mowing time. For the lawn, you can use an alternative grass such as clover since it is resistant to insects. It does well with the weeds as well so you don’t have to mow it often.

Consider the Climate

Climate in your area is essential in planning your landscape. This will determine which plants you opt to have in your garden.

If you live in warm areas, make use of xeriscaping or a landscape design that can withstand very hot or drought conditions. If you live in extreme cold temperatures, then you have to choose plants that can withstand soil which has too much water. You also have to consider the plants that are native in your area for they will surely survive even on their own.

Use Less Water

Water is a necessity for plants so you have to make sure each has enough to survive. Water is also essential to achieve a low-maintenance landscape. Make sure to choose plants that can tolerate drought rather than plants that consume too much water.

landscaping tipsYou have the option of having a rock garden rather than the traditional plant garden. You can have alpine rock garden and Japanese Zen garden where the focus is more on rock positions rather than the plants. So less time for mowing, weeding, sweeping and provides relaxation time for your alone-time.

Maintenance time is really unavoidable but certainly these tips will prevent your water bills go up and you don’t have to spend too much time tending for your plants. You will not only enjoy the beauty of all your efforts, but also you have time for yourself.

Dress Up your Garden in Inexpensive and Beautiful Ways

landscapingLandscaping accessories are your finishing touches to your garden to make it more beautiful and personal. After you have treated your soil with mulch, painted your fence and filled the pool with water, it is time to enhance your landscape. These accessories will make your garden complement the exterior look of your home.

From water structures to furniture and to garden fixtures, you can find a wide variety of outdoor accessories that can make your landscaping project a success. Make sure you choose ones that are made up of durable materials since they are constantly exposed to harsh conditions. They should also be treated with care for them to last long.

There are a lot of websites offering affordable sturdy accessories so make sure to select them according to your landscaping needs. Here are some great landscaping accessories that will make your landscape a head-turner:

Hot Tubs

They are really wonderful accessories and they are easy to install. Some tubs have a plug-and-play feature so there is no need for installation.

If you want to save money on electricity, then buy a tub that has high efficient energy management system. These hot tubs will make your backyard very attractive.

Table and Chair Set

This set is very essential especially if you want to adore your garden. You can sit and have your coffee while enjoying the green scenery and calm ambiance your garden offers. You can place them in the patio where you can gather your friends to have tea while showing off your landscape.

Beautiful Borders

Trellises and arbors are usually used in order to create beautiful borders for your landscape. They are usually made from wood and can be decorated with flowers or veins to enhance the look. Arbors are wonderful entrance to your garden.

Your visitors will be truly amazed of such welcome. Trellises are like fences that you can use to separate your flower garden from the rest.

Planters

Planters will surely enhance your overall landscape. Place your most elegant plants in planters and have them in dull areas in your yard. Keep in mind that you have to choose planters that will complement the exterior and interior appearance of your house.

You can place them at the front yard to attract more attention. You can also have them around the pool, your window, near your patio or along the fence. There are countlessways you can make use of planters.

Fountains

Fountain is a beautiful water structure for your garden and they are really relaxing to look at. They are mesmerizing for you and for your guests.

However, you can make it stand out by placing flower gardens around it. You can also make the fountain more attractive even at nighttime by placing garden fixtures on it. You can do a lot of things to incorporate your fountain in your garden.

Ornaments

From statues to gazing balls to signs, you can make your landscape beautiful with these assorted ornaments. They don’t have an important function but they give your garden that attractive look. However, don’t overdo it or you will end up with damaging the yard’s beauty.

landscaping tipsGarden Light Fixtures

These garden light fixtures will surely make your landscape unique. Light up your yard even at nighttime with these gorgeous light fixtures. Also they improve your security in your house since intruders don’t have shadows to hide into when they get near your home. You can have a safe outdoor space with the help of these light fixtures.

Placing these accessories can be done by yourself since you know which areas do and don’t need improvement. Remember, well-placed landscaping accessories will give your garden that unique and inviting look.

Xeriscape Landscaping

gardenXeriscape landscaping, also known as Xeriscaping or Xerogardening is a specific type of landscaping and gardening which is done by reducing or eliminating the need for additional watering or irrigation from an external water source.

While it can be done in any part of the country, it is especially popular in regions that experience frequent droughts and restrictions in the amount of water people are supposed to use for non-essential things.  It is one of the most environmentally-friendly options available when it comes to gardening and can help you reduce your monthly water bill. This will save you enough water for your necessities and help you save money to spend for other needs.

Advantage

There are many advantages in using this type of landscaping, including the fact that it reduces the need for imported or ground water.  It can also greatly reduce the amount of time you need to spend in your yard as most of the plants will grow quite nicely without any extra work done on your part.  You will be able to plant most of these plants and then let them grow in a natural manner and only intervene for a couple of times per year to trim them or perform other basic tasks.

Factors to Consider

 

Types of Plants

The types of plants used in xeriscaping will depend on the region you’re in.  One of the basic tenants of this type of gardening is that you almost exclusively use plants which are native to your region.  This is because if they grow naturally in this area, they are likely well-suited to the climate and will survive on the amount of water which they can get naturally through the rain.  If you live in a desert region, you’re likely going to have things like cacti and other plants which need very little water.

You can also use beautiful rocks and other non-living items to diversify the area without needing to bring any water.  In areas where rain is more plentiful you can use a variety of other plants.

Capturing Rain Water

If you want to use a specific plant in your xeriscaping project but worried that it will need more water than it will get naturally, you can supplement it with water using a system that captures the rain water.

There are several products available in the market that is designed to catch and hold rain water for weeks or even months at a time. This can really help allow greater diversity for your project and save you time and energy from getting it manually watered.

X-Ratings

For those who are serious about embracing this type of landscaping, they can apply to get their xeriscaping rated by the Denver water department.  While this is an informal rating, it is a fun and comical way to bring attention to this method of growing plants.  The ratings range from X to XXX depending on how much water is required to use in each project.