Color and Design in the Desert

Diposkan oleh alexandria joseph | 02.00


My next photo series will be on the Phoenix Botanical Garden coming up in a couple weeks. Note how the sunlight plays with the cactus glow.  Look at how the color plays an important role in bringing out the structured form of a cactus.  Look at how the background cactus were placed to look as if they were "framed" by the building.
The art of design in the desert is quite simple.  Use lots of bright color with flashy and structural plant displays.  It should include our sunlight and make a person pause and reflect on the magic of our Sonoran desert landscape.  Why have most people moved out here?  Because it's uniquely different from everywhere else in the US.  Let's face it....we live in one of the amazing places on this planet.  But where are the forests and lush green tropical landscapes?  We can't have that here, but what we do have is the ability to create a lush environment using our strong cacti and succulent plants to make a powerful statement.  When people come here, they see rocks and....well more rocks!  How do we make our superstars of the desert southwest stand out?  Simple.  Color and design. You'll forget the need for large massive trees in your yards if you follow these important rules.
A closer look highlights the fine detail of our cacti friends.
Nothing.  And I mean nothing is better than a clean landscape design full of cacti, xeric friendly plants, garden art, a water feature, and COLOR!  The secret to making a cactus stand out instead of blending in with the rocks that surround it is by using color.  In Arizona, the best cacti gardens utilize intense color to highlight our native plants.  Great colors to use are intense reds, purples, yellows, and oranges.  Stay away from green as the plants will blend in.    The pictures above were taken from the Phoenix Botanical Gardens which I will be featuring in a couple of weeks.  One of the things that I enjoyed about the visit was the use of color with their cacti gardens.  These particular gardens feature cacti and succulents from around world.  Here in Tucson, the Desert Museum also highlights their cacti garden with the use of intensely colored walls to feature their specimens.
What do you notice in this pic? Nothing sexier than a good landscape design!
Let's not forget garden art as it also makes a statement next to an agave or large cactus.  These little bursts of color highlight the beauty of a desert garden. Also think of how sunlight will play into the picture.  Simply put.....play with shadows.  How will the cactus look against a colored wall in waning afternoon sunlight?  Think shadow play.  Good garden design makes a statement and eases the mind. You don't need grass or a backyard forest to be transported to a happier place....plus it's less maintenance and friendly on the water bill.  Utilize color, art, and hardscape to create something special. Until next time....


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