The great thing about rock landscapes in the summer is you don’t have to water them. The not-so-great thing is that they absorb a lot more heat than grass does.
With some careful planning, though, you can save water without adding too much heat to your home and its surroundings.
Create some shade.
Outdoor awnings, canopies, shade sails, and other types of shade structures can shelter your rock landscape from the hot summer rays so the rocks don’t radiate so much heat onto your house and your yard.
You can also go for natural shade. Desert-adapted trees and shrubs can help keep your landscape cool without requiring nearly the amount of water that grass does. There’s a reason you see so many mesquites and palo verdes in the Valley of the Sun. They thrive in our low-water, high-heat conditions. They will need some irrigation to look good but not nearly as much as a big yard full of Bermuda grass.
Other trees that do well without too much water include acacia, hackberry, desert willow, and live oak.
Pick the right rock.
Remember what your mother used to tell you about dressing for the heat. Dark colors absorb more heat than light colors. So for rock that will be used in direct sun, choose those light shades. Pink Coral 1/2” or Autumn Gold 1/4" combined with Buff Flagstone for a walkway, and two or three Autumn Gold Boulders might work well, depending on your needs and your plans for the landscape.
Be smart about water.
In-ground installation is always going to be more efficient, both in time and water usage, than standing around with a hose. Unless you’re trying to grow grass, the most efficient way to water your trees and other plants is with drip irrigation. This type of irrigation emits small amounts of water right at the root zone of plants so you very little water evaporates or runs off to the sidewalk.
Because irrigation water lines need to go underground, it’s most practical to plan and install your irrigation system before you start planting and adding rock. If you aren’t comfortable doing that yourself, talk to a landscape professional.
Talk to the rock pros.
At MDI Rock, we're happy to help you choose the right type of rock and calculate how much you'll need. We supply a wide range of products for all sorts of uses at competitive prices. In addition to our many choices in decorative groundcovers, we provide rip rap, flagstone, topsoil, sand, gravel, and a huge selection of boulders.
Call us at 602-569-8722 or contact us online. We deliver anywhere from across the street to across the country!