Brad's Featured Plants:



The Bougainvillea is another one of my favorite plants. Although Bougainvillea can be quite controversial due to sharp thorns it is one of the most colorful plants in the landscape.





More commonly known as the Mexican Bird of Paradise and sometimes called the Yellow Bird of Paradise. This is another outstanding plant for any desert landscape.



Palo Verde


The Palo Verde comes in several different species and new hybrid varieties. My favorite is the Cercidium Preacox or the Sonoran Palo Verde.



Living Desert Landscaping

Planting Tips




Nature has done its part now it is our turn.  Plants have evolved over the years with many adaptations to survive in a specific location.  It is very important to take into account the location where a plant is planted.   Your yard is full of micro climates.  Desert plants have acclimated to very harsh conditions and can be placed in full sun.  Tropical and sub-tropical plants usually grow best in shade or part shade.  A general rule of thumb is the smaller the leaf the more sun it will take.  In nature the Palo Verde tree is a nurse plant for the Saguaro.  The Golden Barrell a native of Baja grows in the shade of the Sonoran Palo Verde in its native surrounding.  Thus, providing a micro climate in the desert.







Growing your own vegetables is very rewarding.   We can achieve this in our urban landscapes without the defined space of a traditional garden.  Make vegetables a part of your landscape.  Instead of an ornamental landscape plant in your yard, a vegetable.  Squash, Egg plants, and Artichokes all make great landscape plants.  Their yield will surprise you.








Deciduous trees are nature’s original sustainable plants.  A well placed deciduous tree can reduce temperatures by 15F.   A deciduous tree will provide valuable shade in the summer and the warmth of the sun in the winter.







Adding soil amendments helps in many ways.  Increasing the organic matter in the soil helps to increase the water holding capacity.  It also helps to reduce the alkalinity of Arizona's desert soils and increases the availability of Iron.  Iron is an essential element necessary for healthy plant growth.  Iron is often times present in the soil but, not available with high alkalinity.  Iron is what makes the leaf green.  Applying a cup of vinegar to a gallon of water is another way to reduce the alkalinity of the soil.  This works well on Gardenias, and Hibiscus.  Phosphorus is also an essential element in plant growth.  Phosphorus promotes flowering and root growth.  Phosphorus must be cultivated into the soil for best results.  The fertilizer Bone Meal is a great amendment for flower beds and flower gardens. 








We are fortunate here in the desert because of all the different plant shapes that are available.  Desert plants make great focal points for example the Agave and Yucca plants.  Saguaros are the signature plant of the Sonoran desert and make quite a statement in a desert yard.   The Sago palm is a great focal point in an entry way.  Art is also a great way to create a focal point in the landscape.