Arizona’s summers are notorious for wreaking havoc on backyard landscapes and décor. Here’s five backyard design trends that won’t melt away the moment you complete them.

1. Responsibly Lush:

Similar to what we’ve done for Cadence at Gateway’s landscape architecture plan, layer drought resistant plants and succulents at various levels to create visual interest and a feeling of lush, inviting greenery, without exorbitant water bills. PPG Amenity arrival cadence arizona Plants to Pick: 
  • Dodonaea viscosa – Hop Bush or Tecoma alata ‘Orange Jubilee’ – Orange Jubilee for screening and height
  • Leucophyllum laevigatum ‘Rio Bravo’: Rio Bravo Sage and Eremophila maculata ‘Valentine’ – Valentine Shrub for medium sized shrubs that look best with minimal pruning
  • Lantana species for relentless color even in the hottest summers
  • Euphorbia biglandulosa – Gopher Plant and Hesperaloe parviflora – Red or Yellow Yucca for small/medium lush low water use plants

2. Edible Landscaping

  • Create non-traditional backyard designs by taking edible plants out of the garden and mixing them with traditional backyard landscaping. Line walkways, create pops of color around sections of grass or hardscape and highlight in decorative planters.
Options for Arizona:
  • Lettuce
  • Chard
  • Grapevines
  • Herbs of all sorts – Basil tends to do well in the summer!
sight line of building cadence mesa

3. Double Duty:

Installing landscaping and accents that can serve dual purposes will help transition your backyard form summer to fall. One option is to utilize large concrete bowls that can serve either as fountain into pools in summer or fire pits in fall and winter. DIY Option:
  • Southwest Pottery has large concrete bowls that can serve as planters, fire pits or the base for a fountain
Southwest Pottery 3610 E. Main St. Mesa, AZ 85205 fireplace and fountain cadence arizona  

4. Family-Friendly Plant Walls:

While hanging planters have been popular for several seasons, this summer’s trend is to plant succulents or gardens that children can help tend and grow. The clean lines of the planter boxes add visual interest while engaging family members of all ages to spend more time outdoors together. Local Retailer:
  • Flower Street Urban Gardens
Flower Street Urban Gardens 4401 E. Flower St. Phoenix, AZ 85018
We specialize in vertical gardens for urban areas and small spaces. Our vertical garden system is easy to install and perfect for walls and fences of all types.
flower street urban garden

5. Dark Accent Walls:

While increasing the amount of dark surfaces in your backyard seems counter intuitive in this summer’s heat, it dramatically changes the look of your backyard. Painting fences or exterior buildings and sheds a deep navy blue, forest green or rich charcoal gray will make your existing landscape pop. If you have small children or grandchildren, consider painting a section of deck or fence with chalkboard paint for creative summer memories. Visit for additional ideas. dark gray walls Photos courtesy Greey | Pickett and Flower Street Urban Garden