Landscape hum-drum?

Bonnie Nowicki, master gardener and Quail Creek resident

Do you want to dress up your Quail Creek landscape just a bit? Or1 do you wish you had a ‘wow’ garden? I have a few ideas that will make a pleasant difference either way.

For a difficult spot in your yard where nothing grows or if you have an unhappy, misplaced plant or tree, replace it with some focal point art. This may include a stone or metal sculpture, an interesting shaped piece of wood or a stack of rocks. (A man-made rock mound is called a cairn, after the Australian city, Cairn, and is often used as a landmark.)

How about ramping up your focus on foliage? Arrange plants for maximum contrast. This would be useful in container gardens as well as large scale landscapes. Try box leaf, gold spot euonymus, dracaena, dwarf pittosporum or varieties of hibiscus. Plant golden and burgundy foliage for more drama.

Also consider creating a theme garden, and display a special collection of pots or unique containers, grouped together. Pick a color palette that you love and replicate it throughout your landscape for continuity. Decorate your outdoor space with found, artsy objects or colorful tiles to accent an area, which makes it personal. If you view your garden as a compilation of areas or rooms, your landscape tasks will be less daunting and more cohesive.

Ground covers provide a weed-blocking carpet throughout your yard and connect garden rooms. Some suggestions include gold dalea, angelita daisy and green santolina.

Unusual plants steal the show. Perhaps your garden just needs an interesting plant or tree to add that ‘wow’ factor. And of course, a unique water feature can turn any garden into a showplace and will make the birds happy as well. So many choices and decisions!

Make the ten-minute drive to the University of Arizona Master Gardener Extension Center to discuss your options and ideas. The center is located at 530 East Whitehouse Canyon Road and is open 8:00 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday. The phone number is 520-648-0808. Happy planning and gardening!