Think before you Irrigate!

Posted by Arica Harrison on 5/17/2018

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Think Before You Irrigate

As summer quickly approaches, and temperatures are starting to rise, we should get outside and do all those yard projects we have saved up. There are many things that go into re-doing a yard or creating one. While irrigation is key to keeping all things in a yard thriving, there are a few items you should handle first.

  1. Have a Plan for Your Yard: Before you start any work, you need a plan. Pretty straight-forwards, right? It is important to know what you want the end-product to look like; whether you want big shade trees, cactus, or pops of color. You might also want to think about what kind of style or feel you want. Maybe something like a tropical getaway or minimal and clean. Whatever you want, you should start with a plan. At Moon Valley Nurseries, our knowledgeable design pros are available to help you create your vision. They can either point you in the right direction, or they can do all the work for you!
  1. Plant First: It might seem like a good idea to lay all the groundwork and irrigation before planting, but it can create more work for you. Planting all your trees, shrubs, and other plants first can help the project go smoothly. By planting first, you will be able to know exactly where you will need the irrigation system to go and which areas are important. This means that you know where the trees will be, so you know where the water needs to go. If you do the irrigation system first then plant your tree, there’s a chance you will decide the tree looks better elsewhere before planting. This could mean that all that hard work installing the pipes, valves, and everything else would need to be changed. So, plant your trees first, then install the irrigation system.

Moon Valley Nursery pros are available to help your dream landscape come together! By having one of our passionate designers assist you, they can help you find the perfect trees and create a plan for where both the trees and irrigation should go. Call or stop by today to see what Moon Valley Nursery can for you and your yard!

See Watering Guide!

Topics: Insider, Industry Expert

Top 5 reasons to plant shade now

Posted by Arica Harrison on 5/17/2018

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There’s nothing like sitting under a big shade tree to get away from the hot summer sun. We can all attest to that. But there are many other reasons why shade trees are great. Below are our top reasons to plant them now.

  1. Save on Your Utilities by Properly Planting a Tree-It is possible to greatly reduce the cost of air conditioning by up to half by planting trees. In order for this to be effective, we need to plant a few trees strategically around our homes to achieve natural cooling. Ask a Moon Valley nursery pro on the proper places to plant shade trees to cut your utility costs, and start saving!
  1. Trees Block Unwanted Things and Create Privacy-Trees and plants are often used for privacy hedges or walls, but they can do so much more. Trees can also be used as sound barriers from noisy streets or busy parks. Planting trees around our homes can also help block such things as wind and dust from bothering us. Is the view from your backyard unappealing? Trees can be used to disguise unwanted views and creates a beautifully, calming canopy of green.
  1. Trees Increase Property Value-By creating a beautiful and well-designed landscape, we can increase the property value of our homes by as much as 15 percent. And who doesn’t want that? It’s an easy way to make a good investment.
  1. Trees Mark the Seasons-Every passing season brings new things. And this is very evident with trees. By planting trees, we can add variety to our landscapes. Spring brings bright green colors, while fall gives us vibrant colors of reds and oranges. Wondering when the seasons will change? Look to your trees and witness the exchange first-hand!
  1. Trees Create Cooler Environments-Over the last 50 years, average temperatures have risen about 6 degrees. This is due to increase production of roads and buildings which are heat-absorbing, and the decline in tree coverage. By planting trees, we can help cool our environments by creating shade for our homes and streets. Trees help cool our cities, so why not do our share and plant some trees?

At Moon Valley Nurseries, we grow our trees on our own local farms to ensure the greatest quality of trees. And, since we grow locally, our trees are custom to thrive in the Arizona environment. Below are some of our favorite shade trees for Arizona landscapes.

specimen tipu treesTipu (Tipuana tipu) – This fast-growing, semi-evergreen thrives in intense desert heat and loves full sun exposure. It’s feathery, bright bluish-green foliage along with its golden blooms gives year-round interest to any yard. As a bonus, Tipu trees attract butterflies, creating a beautiful environment for relaxation.

 

 

 

 

 

42Box-Ficus-Nitida-with-PersonFicus ‘Nitida’ (Ficus microcarpa ‘nitida’) – With dense, lush green foliage, this evergreen tree provides ample amounts of shade to any landscape. The white, multi-trunks pop against the green canopy which grows into an attractive, open natural shape. Perfect for blocking out neighborhood sounds and creating privacy.

 

 

 

 

 

5Live Oak (Quercus virginiana) – Also known as “Southern Live Oak”, this shade tree is a classic that the whole family will enjoy. Children love to use this tree to climb, and due to its long life, go ahead and carve your initials into it for later generations to find! Live Oaks have dense, dark green leaves that make up the large crown that spreads wide around the dark trunk. These trees are extremely drought tolerant and require low water, perfect for the Arizona climate.

 

 

 

 

EVERGREEN_ASH_MESA_993x625Evergreen Ash (Fraxinus udhei) –  Can’t go wrong with a park-style tree! Evergreen Ash trees, also known as Shamel Ash trees, have thick trunks with full canopies of glossy, long, dark green leaves. This tree requires minimal maintenance and pruning, making it simple to grow! It is fast-growing so you won’t have to wait long to enjoy large amounts of shade.

 

 

Chinese-Elm-2Chinese Elm ‘True Green’ (Ulmus parvifolia) – The Chinese Elm tree is perfect for the Southwestern areas! This large, and easy-to-care-for tree thrives in full sun and loves hot areas. Moon Valley carries the ‘True Green’ strain that does not weep. The wide, umbrella-shaped canopy creates massive amounts of shade, perfect for a sitting beneath for a picnic or hanging up a swing for the kids to enjoy! True Green elms have an upright, rounded growth habit and small, deep green leaves that are a favorite among homeowners.

Topics: Insider, Expert

Top 5 Reasons to Plant Citrus and Fruit Trees

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 5/17/2018

 

The Many Benefits of Homegrown Fruit and Citrus

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Growing fruit at home is smart gardening. Below are five of the best reasons to plant citrus and fruit trees in your backyard.

For the Healthiest, Tastiest, and Most Economical Fruit

There is no doubt that growing fruit at home is rewarding. After all, we can grow a variety of fruits the way we want to. In other words, we can grow fruits such as apples, peaches, and oranges, and know exactly how and where they were grown. These days, unless you do your research, you have no clue what chemicals they sprayed on your favorite fruit. Feel free to grow the tastiest and juiciest fruit without pesticides.

 For a Gorgeous Spring Show with Fragrance, too!

Fruit trees are not just providers of the healthy fruit that makes our mouths water and fills our belly. Before bearing fruit, the trees can produce beautiful showy flowers. As a bonus, many of these flower bouquets are scented so that they can fill the air with a pleasing aroma. Flower bouquets such as those from a peach tree captivate the senses, adding elegance to any landscape scene. The scent of an apple blossom is one of life’s simple pleasures. When you grow fruit trees at home, you can have all this and more!

 Fruit and Citrus Trees Can Create Shade

Being able to find a spot outdoors with plenty of shade coverage is ideal. After all, the Phoenix sun during the spring and summertime can feel blisteringly hot. The great news is that there are many fruit and citrus varieties that perform exceptionally well growing in a spot with full sun exposure. Evergreen citrus trees have foliage that can provide shade that is perfect for the patio. For best results, we recommend planting more than one tree so that you can have more shade coverage. Plus, with proper planting around the home, these trees can help reduce the temperature inside hot rooms. Also, planting fruit trees are also a great way to add a natural border or to create separate spaces in your yard.

 For Incredible Variety and Flavors

Any “foodie” will tell you that not all fruits and citrus are created equally. You don’t have to be a "foodie" to enjoy the many different varieties and flavors available. Each variety has its own specific character. After all, there are thousands of different varieties of fruits. Some fruits appeal to those that love the tart taste while others are prone to sweet flavors and then there are those that lie somewhere in-between. We can use the many different varieties of fruit and citrus for creating international dishes to baking apple pies and making crafty cocktails.

 You Don’t Have to Leave the House

Imagine being able to pick the tastiest and healthiest fruit right off the tree, in the comfort of your own yard. It is a reality when you have fruit trees growing right outside your door. Wake up and pick oranges for fresh-squeezed juice or grab an apple and slice it up for a tasty snack for your child’s school lunch box. Plus, having fruit trees in your backyard means you can skip the traffic jam and save money on gas. 

Backyard Fruit Trees for Our Area

 

When planning for an edible garden, we will want to consider some things. We need to find out what the best backyard fruit trees are for our area. Knowing which fruit trees grow best for our area ensures that we can enjoy the tastiest and juiciest fruit. For instance, stone fruit trees in our area will need to be low-chill varieties. Luckily, many of the best tasting stone fruits happen to be low-chill variety fruits! We will want to speak with a professional landscape specialist to figure out the best backyard fruit tree layout. Many of the fruit and citrus trees available are dwarf and semi-dwarf trees, which means that they can fit in almost any size yard!

 

Fruit Trees that Fit Your SpacE 

There was a time when citrus and fruit trees or orchards were a common sight on properties. These days our landscape is much more crowded. Some of us live in neighborhoods with smaller yards and less space to plant the trees we want. The good news is that we can grow fruit and citrus trees that fit our area. So, even though times have changed, we can still enjoy the tastes of the season!

valencia-orangeOrange: Some of the best varieties for the Southwest also happen to be favorites. We can grow Arizona Sweet, Washington Navel, and Blood Orange trees and reap the rewards that these super juicy, sweet oranges provide. Start your day off with a healthy dose of vitamin C!

 

 

 

 

 

650x650-LemonLemon: Eureka, Lisbon, Meyer, and Pink Lemon are the best varieties to grow in our area. Meyer lemons are a favorite due to their many culinary uses and their thin rind that makes squeezing the freshest lemon juice a breeze! A pitcher of fresh-squeezed lemonade is coming right up!

 

 

 

 

 

lime_on_treeLime: When it comes to growing limes in our area, we can grow a couple of the best varieties - Key Lime (Mexican Lime) and Bearss Lime (Persian Lime). We can make Key Lime pie or use a slice of lime for any number of cocktails. Some of us may remember the great lime shortage that we had of a few years back. During this shortage, margaritas and fish tacos didn’t taste quite the same. Grow your own and never worry about a lime shortage again!

 

 

 

 

oro-blanco-grapfruitGrapefruit: Marsh Seedless, Ruby Red, Rio Red, and Oro Blanco are four of the juiciest and tastiest grapefruit known to man. Making things even better is that we can grow these grapefruit varieties in our region! Is the taste of grapefruit too sour? One bite into the sweet flesh of an Oro Blanco will change your mind!

 

 

 

 

 

avocado-1Avocado: Avocados are good for you, and growing them in your backyard means that you can reap the rewards! Haas, Bacon, Fuerte, and Zutano – these are some of the best varieties for our area. Haas is a favorite for use in guacamole and spreading them on toast is a tasty treat that is sure to please the taste buds.

 

 

 

 

peaches_1Peach: Eat a peach and savor the goodness that only a sweet and juicy peach provides! We can grow some of the best tasting peaches right here in our area. The best varieties that we can grow in our area include Desert Gold, Florida Prince, and May Pride.

 

 

 

 

 

dorsett-golden-appleApple: Low-chill apple varieties that grow best in our area include Anna, Fuji, and Dorsett (Golden). When it’s hot and bright outside, these trees can also provide shade coverage. These are excellent landscape trees that can add beautiful color to any yard.

 

 

 

 

 

royal_apricot_2Apricot: When an apricot tree is producing fruit, it is a sign that summer has arrived. Gold Kist, Katy, and Royal (Blenheim) are the perfect varieties for growing in our local climate. This is great because these are also some of the juiciest, sweetest, and tastiest apricots you will find!

 

 

 

 

 

650x650-Fig-on-TreeFig: One of the best varieties of figs is also ideal for growing in our area – the Black Mission Fig! Besides the nutritious and delicious fruit, these trees are also an excellent choice for any yard. These highly adaptable trees have attractive green foliage that can provide plenty of shade, too. Also an excellent selection for use as a beautiful seasonal screening plant for patios and decks.

 

 

 

 

santa-rosa-plumPlum: These fruit trees are easy to grow, and we can plant low-chill varieties such as the Santa Rosa Plum. Eat them fresh or make preserves, either way, once you taste them, it is easy to see why many consider this cultivar to be the best-tasting of all plums. These are excellent landscape trees that can produce showy flowers in spring.

Topics: Homegrown Fruit and Citrus Trees

Trees or Sod First

Posted by Arica Harrison on 5/11/2018

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This is the time that we are looking to revamp our yards and start big landscaping projects. And, most people think that they need to start with the sod and work up. Well, there’s a better way. Trees first, before sod! Sure, you might be tired of looking at dirt or patchy grass, wishing to see greenness wherever you look. But trees and plants are the key component to creating the desired feel and flow of a landscape. By starting the overhaul of your yard off right, the completed project you envisioned can come together quickly and with much less heartache.

First off, let’s talk about softscaping and hardscaping, two important terms in this landscaping process. Softscaping is all the trees, shrubs, plants, and flowers. Hardscaping is the more structural elements like pavers, rocks, and cement. For a great landscaping design, you need both softscaping and hardscaping.

So, when we say, trees first before sod, we mean softscaping before hardscaping. Natural before structural.  While sod is technically a natural item, think of it more as a permanent element, like you would a patio. If you wanted a patio around a large tree, you wouldn’t build the patio first then cut a whole and plant a tree in the middle. No. You would plant the tree first then build the patio around it. That is what it is like with sod and trees. There will be more work and potential heartaches if you lay sod down then decide to add trees and plants. If the sod goes down first, you will have to dig up portions where you want the tree, potentially damaging surrounding sod. And, if you need a crane or other equipment to bring in a large specimen tree, that could create ruts and more damage to your sod. So, why not bypass all those issues and plant trees first, then lay sod around them. No mess, no stress!

When new trees are planted into your yard, a Moon Valley Nursery professional planting crew will have to create a well around your tree to guarantee healthy growth. Why is that? The reason is because our boxed trees are grown in certain soil that will decompose after some time, and the tree will settle down about an inch. The well also helps hold water for the newly planted tree and then backfills the soil naturally. If the well is dug into the sod, there is the great possibility of the sod dying all around the area of the well. But, if the tree was planted first, you can lay the sod all the way up to the well with no dying patches. 

A bonus with planting trees first with Moon Valley Nurseries, you can get our Soil & Water Conditioner to help prep the soil for sod. The fertilizer will help balance out the salt levels and the Ph of the soil. It will make your normal watering and fertilizing of the new sod go further.

Visit your nearest Moon Valley Nursery location to start your yard revamp off right, with trees first!

Topics: Insider, Expert, Industry Expert, knowledge base

Best Trees by pools

Posted by Arica Harrison on 5/11/2018
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Everyone enjoys a nice refreshing dip in the pool during our hot Arizona summers. And we can help make that pool area even more enjoyable. By adding trees around a pool, you can create much needed shade, privacy, and a beautiful view. When looking to add trees to a pool area, it is important to look for trees that have little cleanup, non-invasive roots, and fit the style you want. Below are a few of our top trees to plant poolside.

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Pygmy Date Palm (Phoenix roebelenii):

These dwarf palms grow in both single and multi-trunk varieties, giving you options on the look you want. Their fine-textured, soft, curving leaves form a dense crown. Pygmy Date Palms are ideal for tight spaces and can even be planted in pots. We love to use them to fill in under taller palms and trees. Phoenix roebelenii roots are non-invasive and they are one of the cleanest palms available, perfect for around pools.

 

 

 

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Mexican Fan Palm (Washingtonia robusta):

This is the perfect palm for both tropical and resort style landscape designs. Its slender, slightly curved trunk can be “cigar cut” for a more formal appearance. Mexican Fan Palms have large, fan-shaped, bright green fronds with shorter leafstalks that feature a red streak on the underside. It thrives in full sun and requires little water once established, this makes it perfect for the Arizona desert.

 

 

 

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PIRU QUEEN PALM (SYAGRUS ROMANZOFFIANA ‘PIRU’):

Queen Palms have the go-to tropical look that we all love! Piru Queen Palms have thicker crowns, greener fronds, and thicker trunks than older varieties of Queen Palms. This durable evergreen palm has classic feathery, glossy palm fronds that are bright green in color. We grow these palms to be extremely hardy to heat, making them perfect for our local temperatures.

 

 

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Indian Laurel Fig (Ficus microcarpa ‘Nitida’):

The stunning weeping form has long, drooping branches that are covered with blunt-tipped leaves. The dense evergreen foliage of this tree has a two-tone effect, light rose to chartreuse coloring that contrasts beautifully with the white trunks. The multi-trunk Indian Laurel Fig is great to create privacy around your pool and, bonus, helps as a sound barrier. Ficus microcarpa ‘Nitida’ are grown to thrive in desert environments.

 

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Evergreen Ash (Fraxinus udhei):

Also known as Shamel Ash, this large, fast-growing shade tree is easy to grow and maintain with minimal pruning. It has classic, large-leaved, green foliage that adds to the classic park-style look of the Evergreen Ash. It is extremely tolerant and thrives in full sun. Shamel Ash have thick trunks and a full canopy that can provide shade as you relax in your pool.

 

 

 

Visit your nearest Moon Valley Nursery location to handpick the highest quality trees, custom grown to thrive in the Arizona environment at our local farms. Our knowledgeable nursery pros can help you find the perfect tree for the perfect spot. You can have your own pool paradise!

Topics: Insider, knowledge base

May Landscape and Garden Tips

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 5/3/2018

May-LandscapeIt’s May, and even though it’s starting to heat up around Phoenix, we can keep our desert garden healthy throughout the month and beyond. Yes, summer is coming, and we know what that means for our area – it’s going to get hot, really hot! The good news is that we still have a few more weeks left to plant during this excellent planting season. We can plant the trees that bloom beautiful flowers and create shade! Blooming cacti and succulents can also bring a splash of color to our landscape. Spring colors are here, and we want the vibrant colors to last.

Keep cool outdoors. Once the heat and sunlight intensifies, shade trees can come to the rescue. Here in the Phoenix area, we can plant trees such as the Tipuana tipu, one of the best shade trees for our area. They can create a massive canopy of shade, which can provide relief when we need to get outside for some fresh air during the hot summers. Of course, shade trees can also help cool the warmer parts of the home. And in addition to Tipu trees, we can also plant Chinese Elm trees that thrive in hot and sunny environments – perfect for Phoenix!

We still have time to prepare our landscape for the summer. Gardening in the desert southwest does have its challenges and plenty of rewards. Our goal is to make the task of keeping our garden healthy and beautiful easier. We asked our nursery pros for some tips and tasks for a healthy landscape this month, and this is what we compiled. Read about our landscape and garden tips for the month of May below.

Gardening and Landscaping Beginners Guide (May)

How to Water: We always want to keep a close eye on the watering schedule for our yards. And with the temperatures starting to warm up, it is essential that we monitor the temperatures, too. One of the best things we can do is to water slowly and deeply. If you seed Bermuda and warm-season grasses, apply one inch of water per week. We will want to be sure to keep our deciduous fruit trees well-watered.  If you want more information, click here for our informative watering guide. 

How to Fertilize: The early part of May is an excellent time to fertilize our landscape plants. The temperature is rising, and this is the time when we notice that our winter lawns are beginning to die out slowly. Don't worry though because the summer lawn is starting to take over. We will want to fertilize warm-season lawns. As soon as the soil warms up, we can seed Bermuda and warm-season grasses. We will want to continue fertilizing our rose bushes, too. For best results, add liquid fertilizers to rose bushes every two weeks. We will also want to keep fertilizing our vegetable and herb gardens as needed.

How to Protect Trees: Did you know that trees can get sunburn? It’s true, and unlike us, lathering up our trees in sunscreen does no good. What we can do is protect the trunk of a new tree with a Protective Tree Wrap. Young trees are susceptible to sunburn and need protection when the temperatures rise. We also recommend staking both new and old trees. Staking is also beneficial once the high winds arrive. Birds love fruit trees, too. We can cover our fruit trees with netting to protect them from bird damage. It is also a good idea to put a shade cloth over tomatoes.

Getting Rid of Weeds: Controlling weeds can feel like a never-ending task. Keep to your weed removal plan, and do it often. If you are going to pull weeds, be sure to do it in the morning or late evening. Remove the weeds before it gets too hot!

How to Mulch: It’s heating up in Phoenix, but no need to panic. Mulching is going to be very beneficial during the next few months. Mulch around any area that receives direct sunlight on the dirt. We can apply mulch around heat sensitive plants, and doing this can keep the roots cool and prevent water evaporation.

What to Prune: We can maintain plant health by removing dead, damaged or diseased portions. We will want to continue removing spent stalks of aloes, agaves, and other succulents. If we want our newly planted annuals and perennials to develop more flowers, we will want to pinch back the growth. We can prolong the flowering season of our spring annuals by cutting off the old blossoms.

Vegetable Garden: May is the perfect time to plant warm-season vegetables such as okra and sweet potatoes. We can also plant pumpkin, cantaloupe, winter squash, and sunflowers. Consider adding a shade cloth for the garden.

 

Lay the Groundwork for Better Home Value with these Trees and Plants

Keep your landscape tasteful, and you can help increase home value. We can plant the trees that provide a comfortable space outdoors and add plenty of colors, too. Shade trees are ideal for creating an outdoor entertainment space, especially when it starts to heat up in the Valley of the Sun.

bt-crape-myrtle-4_1Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia): Our climate allows the Crape Myrtle to explode with vibrant colors! They love the heat and are one of the few trees that can provide summer color. Plant them in any size landscape, and they can decorate your yard with shades of red, white, purple, and pink. Besides the colorful show, they can also provide shade. Homeowners and landscapers will appreciate their low-maintenance features.

 

 

 

 

JACARANDA-BLOOMING-IN-LANDSCAPE-650x650-MVNJacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia): This breathtaking flowering tree can bloom vibrant purple flower that can transform our arid landscape. Jacarandas are more than just one of the prettiest trees on the block. They feature unique fern-like foliage and a layered canopy that can provide some much-needed shade. These trees may look soft; however, they are very hardy trees and they can thrive during the warmer months of the year.

 

 

 

 

_piru_queen_palms_Piru Queen Palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana 'piru'): Plant this palm in your landscape and add tropical beauty and appeal. Our Piru Queen is custom grown in our local climate so that it is conditioned to thrive in our extreme weather cycles. These work best when planted in groups, where they can create shade and a peaceful feeling that can help you forget about how hot it’s going to be this summer.

 

 

 

 

tipu tree bloomsTipu (Tipuana tipu): If it’s shade coverage you want, look no further than the Tipuana tipu. When it starts to get bright and hot, you will appreciate the massive amount of shade it can provide! They can grow a massive canopy of shade quickly, and during the summer, they can produce eye-catching apricot-yellow colored flowers. Enjoy the great outdoors under a Tipu tree and take in the view!

 

 

 

 

Yellowbells_landscape_mvn_650x650Arizona Yellow Bells (Tecoma stans v. angustata): These shrubs can grow tall and wide, making them an excellent plant for fences and borderlines. They can light up your yard when the trumpet-shaped lemon-yellow flowers appear from spring to fall. Plant them in a spot that gets plenty of full sun exposure and let them grow – this is a colorful, low-maintenance shrub ideal for yards in Phoenix.

 

 

 

 

Gardenia_largeflower_MVN_650x650Gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides 'Veitchii'): Go outside, breathe in the air, and enjoy the sweet aroma of the Gardenia bloom! These low to medium-sized mounding shrubs produce sweet, fragrant blooms from late spring to fall. Their glossy, bright, evergreen foliage can add fresh color to our arid environment!   

 

 

 

 

 

Orangecapehoneysuckle_large_mvn_650x650Orange Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis): Add this beautiful evergreen to your landscape and enjoy the year-round interest it can bring! People love the easy-care attributes, and of course, the brightly colored orange flowers that are sure to attract all the right attention.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is not here yet, so take advantage of this weather and take care of your landscape. Visit your nearest Moon Valley Nurseries location and purchase the things you need to take care of weeds, the proper fertilizers that keep your plants healthy, and the mulch that allows roots to keep cool and moist!

Topics: landscape tips, gardening

How to Create the Perfect Meditation Garden

Posted by Paul Popoff on 5/3/2018

 

Be at Peace with the Perfect Plants

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Copyright: ipopba / 123RF Stock Photo

Creating a special place to relax can seem like an overwhelming task if you don’t know where to start. Our experts at Moon Valley Nurseries are here to help show and explain exactly how to create the most tranquil, relaxing meditation garden you’ve ever seen. The art of meditation goes back to around 1500 BCE and it comes from the Hindi traditions of Vedantism. Meditation is great for many reasons but our favorite reasons to meditate are to help relieve stress and clear our minds.

When you look at your backyard and see a pile of dirt or a dead lawn, that doesn’t seem relaxing to us! Imagine a backyard living and growing with beautiful trees, flowering shrubs, lacy palms blowing in the wind, and a beautiful water feature. Now that sounds like a relaxing place!

Where do you start? The first thing to start with is the perfect design. Creating your perfect meditation space is easy if you pick the right plants and lay them out properly. Start by building your area with tall trees and palms. This will give you privacy and create shade while reducing the noise of the outside world. Next begin to layer in tall flowering shrubs and dwarf palms. Doing this will add density to your garden, giving you the secluded feel you need to get into a deep state of meditation.

The final steps include using small flowering and non-flowering shrubs and ground covers to add color and vibrancy to an otherwise green area. To give you that Zen feeling, now is the perfect time to incorporate your water feature. Select one that you think has a soothing sound, nothing too loud that will be a distraction. Now the hard work is done. You can sit back and relax, clear your mind and enjoy your new meditation garden.

If you are not a landscape designer, that is ok. We have the perfect tools for you. The experts at Moon Valley Nurseries offer free in-store design consultations. We can even schedule to come out to your home for an on-sight consultation. Our experts will help you create the perfect Zen garden just for you. If you are more of the do-it-yourself type, then our Virtual Landscape Designer is perfect for you. Check it out here and start designing your meditation garden with our plants in your yard.

 

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The Perfect Palms

 

_piru_queen_palms_Piru Queen Palm (Sygrus romanzoffiana “Piru”) – Tall lacy leaved palms that work best planted in odd numbered groups to create shade and a tranquil feeling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

canary_island_date_palms-1Pineapple Palms (Canary Island Date Palms) – Larger growing palms with thick crowns and bases that look like Pineapples. These create shade and privacy while being extremely easy to grow.

 

 

 

Quad-Trunk-Pygmys-In-Landscape-CA-650x650-MVNPygmy Date Palms (Phoenix roebelenii) – Smaller multi trunk palm trees that are slow-growing and stay small. These are perfect to plant around larger trees like the Piru Queen Palm and Pineapple Palm.

 

 

 

 

 

Sago-In-Landscape-650x650-MVNSago Palm (Cycass revoluta) – Cycadas have been around since the Cretaceous Period and are living fossils. These palm-like plants are small with long stiff fronds. They work well planted with other palms under the canopies of trees.

 

 

 

 

 

Create Shade and Seclusion with These Trees

42Box-Ficus-Nitida-with-PersonIndian Laurel Fig (Ficus nitida) – These evergreen trees have dense thick canopies that create cooling shade and give great privacy. When planted together to create hedges, they will block out any unwanted views and reduce noise, creating a private retreat.

 

 

 

 

specimen tipu treesTipu Tree (Tipuana Tipu) – Gold blooms in late spring and again in early fall make this a perfect tree for a meditation garden. The beautiful color contrasted by green long, oval shaped leaves is a popular characteristic. This fast-growing tree provides shade and privacy, too!

 

 

 

 

Pink-Multi-Crape-Myrlte2-650x650Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) – These flowering trees come in many colors: red, pink, white, purple, and more! These are smaller trees with umbrella shaped canopies. Planted with palms and other shade trees, Crape Myrtles are a show stopper!

 

 

 

 

 

chinese_elm_Chinese Elm (Ulmus parvifolia) – Large umbrella canopies and unique trunks make these perfect for a meditation garden. These thick trees can grow quickly requiring little care. Once planted, these trees become extremely hardy and drought tolerant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berrinda-AshBerrinda Ash (Fraxinus veluntina “Berrinda”) – A park-style tree with medium sized leaves, fast-growing, and easy to care for. Growing a rounded canopy, these trees are beautiful and have exceptional fall color. Berrinda Ash leaves will flutter in the wind creating a calming sound throughout your garden

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Flowering Shrubs

 

White-Hibiscus-1Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) – Hibiscus have large flowers that come in many different colors: red, pink, yellow, white, and orange are some of the most popular. These plants can grow upwards of 4-6’ tall and work well with palms and other shade trees.

 

 

 

 

irene_lantana_1Lantana (Lantana camara) – Lower growing lantana species are perfect for a meditation garden. These will fit perfectly under palms and shade trees and towards the front of your layered garden. Many different color options are available at all locations.

 

 

 

 

 

JapaneseBoxwood_Pruned_MVN_650x650Japanese Boxwood (Buxus) – Small leaves and a tight growth pattern make these a perfect addition to a space where you are adding texture and privacy. Green year-round and easy to care for are just some the plants characteristics.

 

 

 

 

 

BoxwoodBeauty_Shrub_MVN_650x650Boxwood Beauty (Carissa macrocarpa) – These small, low growing plants have a white star shaped flower in the spring the pops against the dark green foliage. These small plants grow in a round shape staying close to the ground and look beautiful with colorful shrubs, shade trees, and palms.

 

 

 

 

Timberbamboo_landscape_mvn_650x650Bamboo (Phyllostachys bambusoides) – A member of the grass family, bamboo comes in many different varieties. The best varieties to use in a Zen garden would be the clumping varieties such as Golden Bamboo or Timber Bamboo. These thick monocots create shade and add a different shade of color year-round.

 

 

 

 

Orangecapehoneysuckle_large_mvn_650x650Cape Honeysuckle (Tecoma capensis) – Everyone is familiar with these sweet-smelling orange flowering plants. Their clusters of bright reddish-orange blooms are contrasted by thin, shiny dark green foliage. Cape Honeysuckle can grow 4-7’ tall and are easily trimmed to be maintained at your desired height. These could be planted in front of larger palms, contrasted by smaller ground cover or shorter growing shrubs to add a feeling of depth and tranquility.

 

 

 

Creating a meditation garden to relax has many health benefits. Clearing your mind and creating a stress-free environment can help reduce stress from daily activities. And, with the help of the experts at Moon Valley Nurseries, we can remove the stress of creating your Zen garden. Come in to any of our locations or click here to call and speak with one of our design pros. Let’s get you started on the path of relaxation!

Topics: landscape tips

How to Create a Succulent Garden: Growing Succulents Outdoors

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 4/26/2018

succulentCreate a succulent garden and enjoy a colorful landscape filled with a broad range of diverse plants that thrive in our dry climate! That’s right. One of the best things about succulent gardens is that they do not require too much water, time, or much maintenance to look good. Their ease of growth makes succulents one of the most popular plants for landscapes throughout the Phoenix area. 

Another fantastic thing about succulents is how they resemble living works of art. For instance, Euphorbia tirucalli ‘Sticks on Fire,’ is prized for its coral reef-like structure. Senecio serpens ‘Blue Chalk Sticks,’ is an excellent groundcover that can paint our landscape in a sea of blue. There is no doubt about it. Succulents are cool-looking plants with the bonus of being water-wise, fuss-free, colorful, and sculptural!

 

How to Care for Succulent Gardens

 

Creating a thriving succulent garden is easy. Of course, it requires more than choosing the right plants. We also need to be sure they get the right amount of light and water. Below are some tips on how to care for succulents.

How to Water: Yes, succulents do not require too much water. However, they are just like every living thing; they require water throughout the year. Deep watering is recommended. However, it is essential to keep the soil moist, but never soggy, as succulents do not like wet feet. Too much water can kill these plants. Once established, most of these plants can go for long periods without any water – water is stored in the plant!

Soil: Ensure good drainage. We can improve the soil by adding compost, sharp sand or pumice.

How Much Light is Required: Succulents love the sun and need it to grow. That said, here in Phoenix it can get very hot. We can provide some protection to our succulents with afternoon shade to shield from the blistering sun.

Fertilizer: In Phoenix, our succulents will experience the extreme heat and freezing temperatures of our desert climate. And while succulents are built to withstand these kinds of conditions, they could use a little help. The good news is that there is a Xeriscape specific formula made for our succulents, Desert Juice. This exclusive formula is infused with Calcium and Furst Liquid which can strengthen our cacti, agave, and succulents! Click here for more information on this beneficial fast acting liquid!

A Few of our Perfect Plants to Create a Succulent Garden

Agaves, Aloes, Euphorbias, Sedum – these are just a few of the unique species we can plant in our succulent garden. Where should we plant them? Arrange them like artwork! Below are a few of our favorite ways to create a succulent garden that is sure to attract all the right attention.

FIRE_STICKS_Sticks on Fire (Euphorbia tirucalli): It’s easy to imagine these stunning succulents growing underwater or in an aquarium. Of course, they are succulents, and they are going to be adding beauty above ground. We love these unique plants for their ability to complement a variety of other plants and landscape styles. These plants are one of the few plants that look better with stress. Through most of the year, they maintain their green and orange color. Once winter arrives, the tips turn to a fiery red color that you must see to believe!  

 

 

 

BLUE_FINGERS_Blue Fingers (Senecio serpens): Also called Blue Chalk Sticks, these are one of the few succulents that are blue. Plant them as an accent color and watch how they “pop” when planted next to other succulents in the garden. Mass planting them creates a colorful water-wise groundcover that is bold and beautiful. The pencil-thin leaves grow upwards, and in the intense summer heat, the tips can turn purple. We like to use these plants to cover up a bare spot in your landscape with a “carpet” of blue color!

 

 

 

Blue-Glow-AgaveBlue Glow Agave (Agave ‘Blue Glow’): The architectural look of this specimen can make a bold statement in any succulent garden. Blue Glow Agave features a compact form that fits in any landscape. Their dramatic blue-green foliage is edged in burgundy and form a beautifully symmetrical rosette that can transform any yard into a spectacular water-wise garden. In Phoenix, we will want to provide this beauty with some afternoon shade.

 

 

 

mexican_firecracker_Firecracker Echeveria (Echeveria setosa): As the name suggests, this Firecracker can make your landscape “pop” with color. Dramatic spikes of red and yellow flowers appear in spring and early summer, rising above the fuzzy, gray-green foliage. This colorful show is sure to attract hummingbirds to your garden! This fuzzy succulent is a must-have in any garden!

 

 

 

 

AEONIUM_PURPLE_QUEEN_Aeonium ‘Purple Queen’ (Aeonium manriqueorum): Add a splash of vivid purple to your garden. What makes these succulents different is the way they grow. While most succulents stay close to the ground, this ‘Purple Queen’ can grow upright and rise above the ground. We love the large purple leaves with light-green, tight rosette center. As it ages, the purple leaves become darker, creating an attractive two-tone color that adds instant curb appeal.

 

 

 

Ask Us How to Design with Succulents

Take advantage of our free landscape design when you visit any of our nurseries. We will be glad to help you create a succulent garden that you will love for many years to come!

Topics: landscape tips, gardening

15-Month Warranty – Trees Make Life Better!

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 4/20/2018

extended warrantyMoon Valley Nurseries is proud to offer the best warranty in the industry! Our incredible 15-month warranty is an excellent value for our customers. That’s right, with our industry leading 15-month extended warranty, you can feel more confident than ever purchasing the best trees on earth. This 15-month warranty is only available for a limited time, so act fast and rest assured that the best trees on earth will increase property value and make your life better!

You know what else makes this warranty so amazing? We will replace the tree during the 15-month period, no questions asked! No other nursery does what we do! Our warranty includes free double staking. Double staking is important because it supports the growth of the new tree and is recommended for high traffic and high wind areas.

 

What Comes with an Extended Warranty?

You might be asking yourself why this extended warranty is worth it. Well, first off, it includes free double staking if necessary, which is an up to $50 value! It also includes a 15-month warranty from the date of planting. Guess what else it includes? There is no charge for a return delivery/installation when the warranty is redeemed.

When Can the Warranty Be Purchased?

You will want to purchase the extended 15-month warranty before the installation date. Our nursery professionals will be glad to go over all the details. Visit your nearest nursery location and ask us about this limited extended warranty.

Buying trees from Moon Valley Nurseries is always going to be a great value. We value engineer all our trees so that you get the best quality tree at the best price. Visit us today and select the perfect trees for the perfect spot in your yard. Be sure to purchase our incredible 15-month warranty and let us do all the work!

Topics: Expert

Steps to Successful Design Consultation: Ready, Set, Go!

Posted by Felipe Benavides on 4/19/2018

customer_designIs there a right or wrong way to landscape your yard? The short answer is no. However, a good strategy is a crucial factor to success. Successful landscape designs can increase property value and make our quality of life better. A study by the Virginia Department of Horticulture found that you can increase the value of your home by up to 42 percent with well-designed points of interest in your front yard! Trees can change your life!

 

Look at Your Property as an Opportunity

 

For many of us in Arizona, we may feel overwhelmed about how to landscape our properties. After all, we have the challenge of getting plants to grow in our hot, dry climate without using too much water. The good news is that we are lucky to have many unique native desert plants that can thrive in our area.

We can work together to create a successful landscape design. We can get creative and have fun designing our yard to how you want it to look. We do not have to stick to just one type of theme, either. We can create a colorful desert courtyard or even create a lush landscape in the Arizona desert.

Our warm summers and mild winters provide us with the perfect place for year-round outdoor living. Pair a well-designed landscape with hardscape features such as a pool, built-in grill, or fire pit, and you can create your dream landscape. Enjoy your yard!

 

Come Prepared

Get ready for your nursery visit and landscape design consultation by coming prepared. Take some time to prepare and have a plan. Get inspired! A great way to get inspired is to take photos of the yards you love! Drive or walk around your neighborhood and snap photos of your favorite yards. You can also bring pictures from websites, magazines, and books to show to the designer. Having photos is an excellent way to get the designer familiar with the styles, plants, and colors that you love.

  • What part of your property do you want to landscape?
  • Does your existing landscape pose any problems or concerns?
  • How do you want to use your property?
  • Do you have any special plants you want to include in your design?
  • What is your budget for a landscape project?
  • What are your favorite colors?
  • Are you trying to block out any unwanted views or keep nosy neighbors at bay?
  • Do you have any themes you prefer?
  • Do you have any HOA restrictions?

 

Use our Virtual Landscape Designer

 DIY Designer-1Have you tried our Virtual Landscape Designer? This is our easy-to-use landscape design app that allows you to start planning your dream yard by using our drag-and-drop-tool. Upload a picture of your yard, and then drag and drop pictures of trees and plants into the spots where you want them. This fresh approach can help you have a better idea of a completed landscape project! Click here to try the Virtual Landscape Designer!

 

 

Nothing Beats a Visit to Our Nurseries!

DDesigner

Nothing beats an actual physical visit to our nurseries. Being able to see and touch the trees and plants you want in your landscape can inspire you. Once you select the perfect trees and plants, you can have a designer come back to your house. The designer will flag the yard and come back the next day so that the design is fresh on everyone’s mind.

If you don’t have the time to prepare, have no fear. Our landscape design specialists are professionals and will be glad to help you through the entire process. Best of all, our landscape design consultations are free at the nursery!

Topics: landscape tips, knowledge base

Welcome to the Moon Valley Nursery blog! Your place for landscaping news and ideas, garden inspiration, and tips from our nursery experts.

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