|The second objective is to make every effort to be as eco-friendly as possible. I recycle or reuse all packaging materials. I buy local products when available. I use eco-friendly construction materials (like a.k.a. green in Scottsdale). I am working on a battery recycling program as well as a car pool incentive program for employees. My plant nursery is entirely succulents, specializing in Gasterias, Haworthias, Aloes, Agaves, Cacti, and other xerophytes from around the world. Two big advantages to growing my own succulents are that they are Arizona Grown, therefore adapted to local conditions -- unlike Californian specimens so commonly found in big-box chain markets. My plants are "greener" since there aren't any additional shipping costs associated in their production.
The most enjoyable part of xerophytic landscape work is creating a design. When I design a new garden, I actually sit down and look at the space, sometimes with the client, sometimes without. I reflect on what views need to be preserved, how to create privacy, what the flow is through the space, what architectural elements can be picked up in the landscape layout, etc... I know it sounds crazy, but many spaces really just design themselves if you know how to look and listen.
A lot of friends, clients, and even strangers at a party will ask about which plant will do well in certain areas of their home or landscape. To answer a simple question without seeing the space is difficult. Even for a small area a large amount of thought goes into a design. There are at least 10 questions I must ask:
- How much light will the plant receive?
- Which direction is north?
- How often do you water?
- Do you have afternoon shade?
- Are the plants inside or outside?
- If inside, how high are the ceilings?
- How close to direct light are the plants?
- What is your existing plant palette?
- Where are you heading with your overall plan?
- Do you like succulents?
- How much maintenance are you willing to do?
- Can you afford monthly maintenance services?