It may be a lot easier to plan and implement a landscape design that is all on one level, but achieving this much interest on a flat piece of ground is difficult. There is just something about layers that instantly adds interest on well… so many levels. It gives you more depth and allows plants to play off one another in a way that they never could when planted on the same plane.
Normally we would need to use more types of plants to achieve the levels of interest seen here without the change in grade, and initially when plants are young a lot of the variation would not be visible. The stacking effect of three planting levels created with adding planter boxes to the sweeping masonry courtyard wall changes everything. It also gives this front yard two totally separate garden areas – a public view and one that is more intimate near the front courtyard door.
While it is popular to create some contrast with landscaping stone, there is something to be said about using a stone cover that blends in with the color of the house. This really makes the plants stand out and gives far more power to their coloring and architecture. There are a variety of foliage colors used here but they are placed in a manner that gives them flow. The bright golden barrel cacti grouped at the corner of the walk and driveway serve as both a vibrant accent to all the blues and greens, but also to direct traffic without the use of a sign. The visitor’s eye is naturally drawn to their surprising color as they point the way to the front door. With the more earth-tone fish hook barrel cacti repeating the shape but blending in with the groundcover near the curb makes them even more eye catching.
A succession of flowers will add accent and more beauty to this newly landscaped front yard for most of the year, including the fabulous night blooming cactus. Blue agave, red yucca and deer grasses planted in the naturalistic area in the stone all have spiky texture that against the pale wall make the eye want to look up. Simply by being themselves and echoing each other in shape and outline they too serve to subtly point out the source of entry to visitors. Even the masonry wall built on a curve plays its part in pointing out where a person wants to go on arrival.
With all that going on, this particular Scottsdale landscape design remains simple and low maintenance beneath its striking first impression. It will only grow more beautiful with time too as the newly installed plants mature and increase in size. Working them in around existing older trees definitely helps to make it appear on an overall basis as everything has already been in place for quite some time.