Earlier this week, I went out for my first visit to a new landscape project…

As you can see, they aren’t quite ready for me to step into this project.

This church had to have all of its stucco redone.

Many of the plants were removed, but some are still intact.

Today, I went around and tagged plants (with red paint) that will need to be removed since I won’t be using them in the new design.

The reasons for this is that the members want more color near the church building – AND they want plants to be blooming in winter when most of the members are here.  (Many spend their summers in cooler places – sometimes, I wish that I could 😉


Of course, I didn’t recommend removing all of the plants.  

Believe it or not, those round, green shrubs are actually trees.  I’ll recommend letting them grow up into trees.

**When designing an existing landscape, I try to keep at least a few of the plants present, if not more.  The reason for this is that a brand-new landscape looks quite sparse for the first few years until the new plants grow a bit.

Keeping some of the existing plants helps to alleviate the sparseness of a new landscape.  Besides, I don’t like pulling out plants that can still benefit the landscape.

Once the scaffolding comes down, I will be back after Christmas.

I’ll keep you updated as my latest project progresses, including what plants I select and the reasons why.
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

2 replies
  1. dryheatblog
    dryheatblog says:

    Sounds like fun…especially that they not only integrated a landscape overhaul with building updates , but are doing the re-stucco before plantings! Can't wait to see it all come together.

    I also like your pointing out of the dialogue with the owner that you're in, to let those trees become trees, as well as which plants to keep so it doesn't look as sparse. Too few landscapes I am hired to redesign have much in the way of plants to save or use…wrong species, terribly placed, etc. Anything to save is worth it!

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