Planning a garden, or even just some simple landscaping accents, can be a simple or as complex as you want to make it. Above all, it should be fun and educational! Our stance on garden planning is always grow native. By planting exclusively local plants, you are making the habitat around you sustainable and ecologically more friendly. Not to mention it’ll be easier for you to maintain because local plants are adapted to the low water requirements.

Here are some of the considerations to creating your local garden


Take a moment to view what nature has already provided. Your existing garden space may already have a natural form that can lend itself to a stunning garden!

Here are a few areas to consider:

  • Stone and plant shapes
  • Tree types (trees, shrub, herb, etc.)
  • Other forms to consider, e.g. topography, big rocks, other forms visible from the yard

We recommend that you take a series of simple hikes and make note of natural forms that catch your eye. These can be the key to unlocking the potential of your local garden!


View a few illustrations of the same form at different scales. Remember: many plants have similar types but at different scales. Your local gardening professionals can help you determine these species types.

Use different sizes of plants for different situations.

Creating differences in scale can create a sense of perspective and lend itself to what you could consider a professionally designed garden space.

Light & Contrast

Let the natural light of your garden do the work! This can create incredible elements that make your garden pop!

Follow these considerations:

  • The amount of sun a plant will get compared to it’s requirements
  • How the plant will compare and contrast with the rest of the landscape

Contrast is an important part of aesthetics because it will determine how visible your plants really are. Combining numerous plants together that are all the same color, shade or hue ends up making a monotonous cascade of similar looking foliage. By breaking these up you can vastly improve the look and feel of your garden.

Bloom Calendar

If you would like to know what blooms and flowers throughout Arizona, there is an excellent resource that is provided by the Sonoran Desert Museum that covers most types of plants, including flowers and cacti, and when they typically bloom.

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