[Pictured Arizona Landscaping]

Wish you could capture the warm Arizona landscape in your own yard? Here’s how we can recreate your perfect vacation spot, right in your own backyard!

Arizona: Averaging 67 degrees in the winter, it is no wonder this top vacation spot attracts so many snowbird Chicagoans during our arctic months. The minimalistic features, succulent plant life, and year-round outdoor usability makes it a top request for us to recreate here in the Northwest Chicago suburbs.

While we can’t capture the temperate arid climate, here’s how we can give you an Arizona retreat (almost) all year round. 

Succulents Are Everywhere

EverGreen Landscape Associate Succulent Garden

[Pictured Arizona Succulents]

Succulents and cactus reign free in the dry heat of Arizona. For us, we can easily replicate the beautiful lushness in your landscape with native plants. Varied sedum sizes and colors, paired with thyme, will give a nice ground cover with assorted levels and textures.  

There are also perfect small and broad leaf hosta in jade black, blue, striped, and lime that can mimic the look of succulent gardens quite well (as shown above). Plant among stepping paths or on mulch beds to match similar arid looks.

EverGreen Landscape Associates Sedum Ground Cover Collage

[Left: Arizona Succulents | Middle: Midwest Hosta | Right: Midwest Sedum]

The far left example is true succulents in an Arizona climate while the other two photos are a hosta formation and then a sedum ground cover.

Cactus Replicas

EverGreen Landscape Associates Cactus Garden

[Pictured Arizona Cactus]

Are you a fan of the unique cactus in the Southwest?

While this species does not thrive in cold conditions, we have alternative options. Weeping bushes and trees that mimic cactus like architecture. These create breathtaking shapes during summer and winter since it it keeps its needles year round.

EverGreen Landscape Associates Tree Weeping Cedar

[Pictured Midwest Weeping Spruce]

And just like cactus, they also do not require regular watering like other finicky plants. Because they are an evergreen tree, once they establish their root system, they are hardy and very rewarding.

Rock Gardens = Less Maintenance

EverGreen Landscaper Associates Chicago Backyard Stone Garden

[Pictured Arizona Landscape]

In Arizona, the ground cover comes from local stones, boulders, and sand. We are able to mimic the same look with beautiful rounded granite and jagged boulders in midnight blue, sandstone, and natural clay reds.

ELA Rock Garden Ideas

[Pictured Midwest Rock Features]

Here are examples we can replicate. Notice the natural steps with mulch and plugs of grasses surrounding. In the middle example is turquoise mounds with pencil grasses among small stones and a larger boulder for feature focus. In the third examples, see the natural toned geometric pavers or stone patio that curves around brown rocks and a pot water feature.

EverGreen Landscape Associates Stonework

[Pictured Midwest Rock Features]

Here is an example of a rock feature with a stone stepping path. Ivy and phlox create ground cover while a Japanese maple and spruce trees create a privacy screen. Classic rock garden plants for the northwest suburbs Chicago climate are evergreens that cascade, low growing junipers such as weeping Norway spruces. There is even a dwarf blue spruces which are more shrub than tree due to its show growth and funky shape.

Crushed Stone Paths & Dry Riverbeds

EverGreen Landscape Associates Crushed Blue Stone

[Pictured Arizona Landscape]

Nothing is more popular in Arizona as zeroscaping. That’s where minimal plants are used and stones are added. This are place between geometric pavers for walkways, paired with grasses and sedum. Crushed blue stone or granite can be used as a general ground cover for patio or fire pit areas. Then there is the beautiful dry river bed usage. This is where natural mounding is replicated for landscaping paired with small, medium, and large stonework with floppy grasses and floppy grasses.

EverGreen Landscape Associates Rock Garden Ideas II

[Pictured Midwest Rock Features]

Above shows how a front walk way could be designed with minimal grass and specific potting for tall showy grasses. The middle backyard example shows an organic crushed stone patio with mounds of grasses defined by grey stonework border. In the dry riverbed example, mulching is used to replace crushed stone to preserve moisture in the ground for plants. These are all excellent ways to incorporate zerospacing aspects into your “Arizona” yard.

Rustic Water Fountains

EverGreen Landscape Chicago Arizona Potted Fountain

[Pictured Arizona Fountain Features]

[Mexican Glass Orbs]

Because there is so much evaporation in the Arizona climate, smaller water features are used with bubbling fountains. Commonly these are decorated squares, oblong, or blue and orange clay pots. Some are even decorated with different glass beads or pebbles around the bottom or on top.

A favorite that we like to use for our landscapes is Mexican pebbles for the base of a water features. We especially like the dark blue and grey round stones that come two to four inches big. 


EverGreen Landscape Associates Outdoor Heat Lamp

[Pictured Arizona Fire Pit]

Let’s start with the ability to use your outdoors more! Here in Chicago, we get winter 6 months of the year, but there are creative ways to extend outdoor entertaining and backyard enjoyment into November, December, and March. 

Enter cozy fire pit patios and electric heating lamps. A feature like a fire pit can be the perfect touch to making a space feel cozy, give a space purpose and is definitely a key ingredient to getting longer seasonal use in Chicagoland.

EverGreen Landscape Associates Fire Pit Backyard

[Pictured Midwest Fire Pit]

You can even extend the length of the outdoors with gas or electric fueled heating lamps. Even summers can get chilly at night. Adding a heat lamp to your deck is a clever solution to extend the time you spend outdoors into November and even December.

EverGreen Landscape Associates Hampshire IL Coffee For Your Thoughts


Tell us how we did on your landscape design project and well give you coffee on us! This help us share the quality of our work with new people and spread the word about our work. Once your review comes through, we will reach out to send a gift card your way.

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