A lot of desert plants that add height to a planting space are either very narrow and straight up, or broad and spreading. Venturing beyond trees and tall cacti gives you some interesting choices for your xeriscaping landscaping. Scottsdale and Phoenix homeowners who like sleek, modern style and things that are very unique will appreciate the plants in this front yard.
At the corner of the driveway and walk to the front door we used a pair of clean, upright Yucca rigidas, which are bold, yet simple in structure. To their right, we’ve offset their spareness with the contorted shapes of Octopus Agaves, though the basic outline of both plants are similar, they are wildly different in texture. Alone, these two plants are often not appealing, but in this landscape design they work very nicely having had their hard lines played against opposites.
Softening them in the foreground we have Gopher Plant, and the fringe-like foliage of the spreading Blue Palo Verde overhead. While the boulders and large rocks scattered through the planting space are great ‘balancers’ in the overall design, what really completes this grouping of plants is reverse echoing the hard shapes of the taller living elements. The tree, and both tall agaves closest to the house are wide at the top, and narrow at the bottom. The tight ball-shaped presence of Golden Barrel Cactus and Victoria Agave seals the scene, and turns up the interest a great deal, and a few well placed upright cacti scatter in front of the Agave rididas echoes their bare trunks out into the low-growing plants.
Naturally, playing one color against another gives you depth and variation that is so important in Phoenix and Scottsdale landscape design. When the Gopher Plant is in bloom in late winter to early spring, that Golden Barrel Cactus accent plant really stands out.