Lovely landscaping doesn’t need to be expensive, or high-maintenance, either. Here in our Southern Nevada desert climate, there are many clever and cost-saving ways to create an outdoor environment you’ll enjoy spending time in (without having to work so hard to keep it that way).
Here are a few tips to help you get started making the most of the trees, plants and ground-coverings that flourish here in Las Vegas – without breaking the bank to do it.
Avoid lawns. We’re in the desert – so why pretend it’s the Augusta National Golf Course? In fact, many local regulations won’t allow you to plant lawns now – but there are plenty of alternatives . . . from multiple levels of artificial turf to attractive hardscapes, or sculpted rock paths and formations. Let’s make it a point to save our water when we can. (And this is the place to begin.)
Use Desert-Friendly Plants and Vegetation. Common plants that thrive in our desert climate include mesquite, sage, yucca, bottlebrush, aloe and agave. Plants native to the desert Southwest will look best because they will be in their ideal growing conditions. They’ll also be cost-effective, as they won’t require expensive fertilizers. Choose plants that don’t require a large amount of water, and plant them in thick bunches to create a lush feeling. Questions about other plants you’re interested in? Just ask your local nursery for their recommendations.
Plan a Cactus Garden. It’s classic and economical. Begin with a foundation of sand-colored pebbles to form the base (i.e., “go cheap” on this part). Next, plant several types of cacti scattered throughout the yard. To add flair and character, add a few finishing touches – you can line pathways with potted plants, flowers, and herbs, or accents with solar landscape lighting.
Think Perennials – Not Annuals. They’re pretty when you see them everywhere in the spring and summer – those bright and enticing flats of annuals. But “annuals” mean just that. You’ll have to replace them every year – and that is definitely not kind to your budget. Perennials, on the other hand, will amaze you with their longevity. As they go through their growth, blooming and dormant seasons, they’ll continue to get larger and more beautiful each year.
Room for a Dry Stream? It won’t require much in the way of work, supplies, or maintenance. Just map out a spot in your yard for a small twisting stream—giving it beginning and end points. Fill out the area with river rocks or your choice of medium-sized rock. Finish with a couple of large boulders on the stream banks; add a small bush next to each rock – and voila! Instant landscape feature!
Seek Out Alternative Resources. Think outside the box. Check your local rock quarry to see what options are available to you for only a few dollars a ton that will handle your hard surface groundcover needs. Or keep your eyes peeled for demolition sites – because broken concrete can also be an inexpensive alternative. If you want to add definition to your design, pick up some affordable bender boards and stakes from a garden supply store to create pathways and/or contained areas of rock. Be creative – keep your eyes open – and you just may find the perfect, zero-cost method of turning your yard into your personal outdoor playground.
Whether you just moved into a new home and need to decorate on a budget or if your yard needs a facelift, there are a number of ways to landscape your yard with limited funds. Enjoy making your new home “The” place to be for your friends and family this season!