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Clever Ways to Beat the Arizona Heat with a Shady Retreat

Summer is coming. As the days get longer and the temperature rises, one thing becomes increasingly precious in our back yards: Shade. We want to enjoy our back yard retreats in the warmer seasons, and shady spots help us sustain our outdoor enjoyment.

Of course you could opt for a tried-and-true patio umbrella, but there are much more innovative and creative ways to create some outdoor shelter from the scorching sun. We’ve listed a few of our favorites below.

Tiki Umbrella Bar

What’s better than a patio bar? A tiki bar that offers a shady shelter from the sun with a sprawling thatch-work tiki umbrella! When you’re not cooling off in the pool, head to the tiki umbrella bar to cool off with an icy beverage.

Canvas Patio Awning

Simple, portable and elegant – a canvas patio awning provides a wispy, colorful accent ceiling to your patio while furnishing a wide area of shady shelter for relaxing. Place a few lounge chairs under the awning or even a hammock and enjoy a breezy afternoon outdoors without all the sun.

Poolside Cabana

Not only does a pool side Cabana offer reliable, sun-busting shade for any size pool deck, it adds a resort-style accent to your pool area that turns your back yard into a vacation spot all its own. Available in stationary and mobile varieties, you can place them just about anywhere you need shade.

Dress Up the Pergola

Wooden pergolas are a stylish addition to any patio, back yard or pool deck. They’re also ideal for ‘dressing up’ with canvas awnings, sail shades and even simple bed sheets to create an elegant cover from the sun. You can improvise with coverings you already have on hand or procure specialty coverings designed for shady solutions.


One of my favorite back yard retreats is the trusty Gazebo. You can do so much with a Gazebo, and they look so beautiful in any back yard – but they also provide shade and even a shelter from the elements if you end up outside during a summer squall. The center of your gazebo can house anything from seating and lounges to bars and kitchens.

What are you doing to create your shady retreat this summer? Let us know!  Don’t forget, we can help you set up just about anything in your back yard, and Dream Retreats serves a huge span of Arizona with Landscaping and Back Yard projects, in Phoenix, Gilbert, Scottsdale and more!

Dream Retreats - Scottsdale Landscape Design

Three Unique Ideas for Phoenix Landscape Designs

Close your eyes and imagine your dream backyard, what does it look like?  Is it a quaint space that you can read a book and sip your coffee in the mornings?  Or maybe it would be a place for your kids to run and play.  With your vision and the expertise of a build and design landscape company, your dreams are in reach!  Here are a few ideas for your Phoenix Landscape Design:

#1 Water Features

Dream Retreats - Scottsdale Landscape Design

Dream Retreats – Scottsdale Landscape Design

Having fountains or waterfalls in a backyard makes for a more soothing vibe for your outdoor living area.  Who doesn’t love that?

#2 Fire Pit

outdoor fire pit

Dream Retreats – Phoenix Landscape Design

Can’t make it up north this weekend for that camping trip?  No problem, we can bring the camping trip to you!  Whether you want to open up the marshmellows for s’mores, or swap ghost stories or just sit back and enjoy.  It’s like your own little Arizona staycation.

#3 Meditation Gardens

Dream Retreats - Gilbert Landscape Design

Dream Retreats – Gilbert Landscape Design

To give your western home more of an eastern influence, a meditation garden is a private, quiet space for you to forget about the stress of life.  The goal of a mediation garden is to make the space a relaxing area to escape to, even if it’s only for a little while.

Design and Build Arizona Landscape Advantages

Arizona Landscape & Design by Dream Retreats

Arizona Landscape & Design by Dream Retreats

Design and build landscape ultimately means that the same company handles both the design and the building process of your Arizona landscape.  Design and build landscaping companies eliminate the third party, making the process hassle-free as well as more personal.  These type of landscape companies take pride in their work and making their customers satisfied with the outcome.

On top of this process being convenient and cost-effective, it also has other advantages.  The communication is much better since you are dealing with only one company.  The ideas that you have for your Arizona Landscape Design won’t be neglected, which also means that you will have more involvement in the process.  As well as having more involvement in the process, your project can also be completed faster since you will be working with a company solo instead of having a contractor as well.  This makes the landscaping process more efficient because you now have only once source to hold accountable.  Design and build landscape companies are aware of that which ensures better overall quality of the completed project.

Arizona Landscape & Design by Dream Retreats

Arizona Landscape & Design by Dream Retreats

Looking To Renovate Your Phoenix Landscape Design?

Arizona Landscape Spa with Water FeatureWith Arizona’s great outdoor living opportunities, updating for outdoor entertaining is always a good idea.  Family fun, personal enjoyment and increasing your home’s value are all benefits of an Arizona landscape design remodel.  Updating your outdoor living space can be a simple facelift by adding planter boxes, colorful plants or a water feature to creating a new outdoor room or kitchen.

  • Create a separate outdoor room.Arizona Outdoor Fireplace
  • Develop a space to be able to go to relax and unwind.
  • Add or extend a paver patio to increase your entertaining space and decrease your maintenance upkeep!
  • Create a gathering spot with an outdoor kitchen.
  • Add interest and color with planter boxes & pots.
  • Take a vacation in your own backyard!
  • This patio firepit not only provides family but serves as a beautiful centerpiece in this Arizona landscape design.
  • Good landscape designs are anchored by focal points.  One trend is to use water features.
  • Backyard BBQ's bolster a backyard's entertainment value.
  • Great way to hide pool equipment with a visually appealing wall.
  • Artificial turf on this sideyard creates a great dog run!
  • Our clients BBQ before we built a custom backyard BBQ in this spot.
  • Future spot of a patio firepit and seat wall for our clients to spend countless hours with family & friends.

Az Backyard Transformation in this Phoenix Landscape Design

We recently completed a Phoenix landscape design which transformed our clients backyard into a spectacular place to spend time with family and friends.  The design created an outdoor space which our clients can enjoy day & night.  Our clients can truly skip the resort and enjoy their own beautiful Arizona backyard design!  They now can have a “Staycation” in their own backyard!!

Choosing the Perfect Design for Your Arizona Backyard Landscapes

Good landscape design will enhance your home, reduce your work, and provide what you need and want in your outdoor living spaces.  Good designs should look good all year.  A well-designed landscape should provide a retreat where homeowners can rest, relax, entertain and enjoy the outdoors!  Whether you need a new landscape or it’s time for a redo, starting with a good landscape design will reduce frustration and increase your satisfaction with the end results.

Scottsdale Landscape Design

Scottsdale Landscape Design

Here are just a few helpful landscape tips:

Hardscapingwalkways, patios and  pool decks — should be roughly a third of the overall space.  Hardscaping can be attractive, servicable and it doesn’t require water or mowing.

Turfnatural turf or artificial turf — also can be about a third of the landscape space.  Natural turf is the most water, labor and pesticide consuming plant in the landscape, so keep just enough for visual balance and  play area.  Artificial turf or putting greens are becoming more popular in Arizona landscape designs because gives the look of natural grass without the maintenance and cost of water & pesticides.

Maintenance — Reduce maintenance on turf areas — Don’t plant shrubs, perennials and other lone plants in the turf and avoid turf on extreme slopes, narrow or awkward areas where the mower won’t fit or that will require a lot of edging.

Edging — Good edging will reinforce your design line and help keep grass in the lawn and out of other areas.  Pavers, brick and concrete are some of the more common materials used as a border.  If planting beds contain creeping ground cover and shrubs, it’s a good idea to separate the two with edging.

Plant Selection — Select plants that won’t take over beds.  Everybody know to choose plants that are native or adapted, but are you aware that some well-adapted plants may be spreaders?

Arizona backyard landscapes

Gilbert landscaping

Irrigation — A well planned and designed irrigation system is vital in your Arizona landscape design!  In Arizona we can’t depend on the rain to keep our plants alive.  It’s important to audit your existing system regularly along with changing your watering cycles with each season.  Often once an irrigation problem is identifed they are usually easy to fix.

If your thinking about starting your new landscape or wanting to renovate your older landscape, calling a reputable landscape designer and contractor could save you time, money and a lot of frustration in the long run.  At Dream Retreats we’ve been designing and installing residential landscapes in the Phoenix and surrounding areas for over 20 years.  We offer FREE in-home consulations.  Give us a call or contact us through our website!

Importance of a Good Design in Your Arizona Landscaping

Landscape design is an important part in creating a yard with good flow and functionality.  Planting random plants and trees around your yard is a good way to cause a landscape mess.  Different plants have different water and sunlight requirements and they grow to different sizes.  If you plant several plants close together without any idea they each get very big in size, you’re going to have some issues.

Chandler Landscape Putting Green

Chandler Landscape Putting Green

A yard becomes more valuable if it’s not only beautiful, but functional as well.  Whether you incorporate a patio seating area with a fire or water feature, a recreational area or an outdoor kitchen, a functioning yard allows you to enjoy it more often.  Figure out what you would like to do in your yard in order to create the perfect dream retreat!

A larger yard can be easier to deal with then you break it up into sections.  Create a dining space, lounging area, outdoor BBQ, garden and lawn by adding borders or even a patio.  Another idea is adding flower pots around a designated area to give a sense of being in a different “room.”  You could even place different sized pots throughout your landscape.  The different heights of pots and flower colors will liven up the space.  Keep like colors together for great visual flow but get creative with patterns.

The perfect landscape starts with research and ideas.  Landscape design is more than buying what you like, it is about incorporating what you like into a cohesive and functional space.  A good landscape designer or architect can assist you in creating a beautiful yet functional landscape design that will do well in the hot Arizona climate.  They will understand the growing conditions and select plants which thrive in the Arizona weather.

Sports Entertaining in your Arizona Landscape Design

Arizona residents are lucky to be able to enjoy year-round weather!  We have the ability to not only entertain in our homes but also have the option to entertain outdoors.  Sports entertainment is growing in popularity in backyard landscape designs.

Backyard Designs Arizona Sport CourtSport courts are a popular option in landscape designs.  If you have the room in your backyard a basketball or volleyball court make for fun entertainment.  You can be as fancy as having a professional court installed to being as functional as pouring concrete then having basketball and/or volleyball court lines painted.  Often clients request a half court or just a basketball key installed when their backyard space is limited.

Arizona Landscape Backyard Play AreaHorseshoes & bocce ball are growing in popularity in Arizona outdoor living.    Since side yards are often wasted space in many Arizona backyards, it’s an optimal place to build a horseshoe pit or bocce ball court.  Both options are relatively  inexpensive to install.

Arizona Landscape Design Play AreaFor those with small children, a spash pad with shooting streams of water is a fun option!  They are a safe way to keep the kids cool in the Arizona heat because there is no standing water.

It might be a great time to consider transforming all or a part of your backyard into a functional outdoor living space that offers sports entertaining!  Contact us for a FREE design consultation!

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