It doesn’t matter where you lived before or what that place looked like. It also doesn’t really matter what you want your yard to look like, if you live in Las Vegas you are going to need to make some changes to the way you do things. We live in a desert community, which translates to not only adapting to the weather ourselves, but also adapting our homes to the weather. We get very little rain here, and because of that fact it is difficult for plants that have not adapted to the desert to survive. It also gets extremely hot in the summer, and goes below freezing in the winter. This means that even though it might look like California outside through your windows, it isn’t. Temperatures will stay over 110 degrees for weeks straight in the summer, and the lack of rainfall will kill off your plants that are not adapted within days. In Las Vegas, we need to figure out ways to make our situations beautiful using the elements that are natural to the environment, and we also need to stop trying to accomplish things that will not work here.
The best style of landscaping for the Las Vegas desert is xeriscaping, or desert landscaping. Xeriscaping is a term to describe a landscaping style that uses no water at all, and desert landscaping uses plants that are native to the desert as accents. Used in visual groupings and combinations, these forms of landscaping can be quite dramatic and beautiful, even though they do not use the typical elements that would be seen in landscaping in milder climates. Yes, it might not be as colorful as youa re used to, but this is one of the aspects of living in the desert that we must become used to.
Another aspect of life in Las Vegas is water conservation. We need to save water for people to drink, because we have a limited supply around us. If we were to run out, people who rely upon the public water supply to sustain their lives could be in jeopardy. In order to conserve water effectively, we must remove the elements of landscaping that serve no purpose except decoration, and which consume large amounts of water to survive. The greatest offender is grass lawns, and people who have installed sod in order to capture a look that is more like the east coast. Grass lawns are not appropriate in Las Vegas, and waste millions of gallons of water every year. It is our responsibility to encourage conservation by removing grass lawns and replacing them with desert landscaping or artificial turf. No matter what your preferential look is, it can be accomplished without using plants that waste the water we need. So do your part to save water, and if the home you live in has a lawn, remove it. Take advantage of the rebates that are at your disposal, and install landscaping that is both water smart and beautiful. The choice is yours, but it impacts us all.