Thanks to an amazing visit to the Scottsdale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden at Chaparral Park during Part 2 of our 10-part series, Lisa Osborne was inspired to start selecting plants she liked for size, form, color and function for her fab new landscape. She also learned about plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies, something she’d like include in her own backyard.

In this video, Episode 3 of the 10-part series, Cheryl Goar from the Arizona Nursery Association and the Plant Something campaign meets up with Jay Harper, owner of Harper’s Landscape and Gardening Centre in Scottsdale, Arizona where they share lots of great plant selection ideas with you.

To help even further, check out our page on Choosing and Planting Low Water-Use Plants. Finally, use these suggestions when plant shopping:

  1. Find a local nursery near you by visiting the Plant Something web site where you’ll find a nursery locater.
  2. Determine what plants you are looking for prior to visiting the nursery by using our helpful Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert plant selection site. Use the “Add to Wishlist” feature to print off your favorites prior to visiting the nursery.
  3. Make sure the plants you are selecting are the right plant for the right place (size, sun exposure, etc.) by seeking expert advice at the nursery from an Arizona Certified Nursery Professional.
  4. Don’t forget that planting a deciduous tree on the east, south, and west side of your home can provide great shade in summer, but allow summer sun into your home in winter to help you save energy.
  5. Purchase plants grown by local growers as they’ll already be adapted to our climate conditions and will establish more quickly.
  6. Avoid the biggest plant in the container as they might be root bound, causing the plant to perform poorly once planted.
  7. Understand that some desert plants don’t always look good in containers. Nursery staff will be able to tell you if the specimen is healthy but looks gangly or just typically unimpressive in the pot.

Keep in mind that planning is the most important (and likely the most time consuming) part of your landscape installation or makeover. However, it will pay off when your landscape performs beautifully and provides you great pleasure for years to come.

Come back next week for Part 4 in our 10-part series to learn about proper irrigation techniques, why it’s so important to water efficiently, and how to upgrade your outdated irrigation timer. And if you missed any of our first three videos, visit our Drab to Fab page.


Harper’s Landscape and Gardening Centre is a 3rd generation, locally-owned nursery serving the Valley since 1945. The nursery is located at 2529 N. Hayden Road in Scottsdale.

« | »
©2017 Park&Co