The Best Drought Tolerant Trees for Your Backyard

Do you live in a dry climate? Planting trees that don’t need a lot of water is a great idea for your landscaping!

If you are living in an area that is very dry and doesn’t receive a lot of rainfall, it is only natural to look for plants that can survive this type of climate. Areas that have long, dry, and hot summers also need to have gardens suited to withstand these type of conditions. It is always exciting to see trees online that look beautiful but we have to be realistic. Can these types of trees survive in the conditions we live in? After asking for help from a lawn care specialist, I’ve put together a list of some drought tolerant trees that not only look great but don’t need a lot of water!

Evergreen Trees

Photos By: Unsplash

Cedar, oak, and pine all fall into the evergreen tree category. These trees are all deep-rooted and can handle long summers with little or no water. If you live in a climate that has little precipitation, evergreen trees are a good choice to plant around your home. They are fast growers, and can quickly become shade trees in just a few years of being planted. One of my favorite things about evergreen trees is that they remain green and functional through more than one growing season. This means that even in the winter time they will remain green without loosing their leaves. Most trees with completely lose their foliage during the winter and dry season, which is something you also want to keep in mind when choosing trees for your yard.


If you are looking for a tree that needs little maintenance, the hackberry is a tree known to landscape professionals as “one tough tree”. The hackberry can tolerate all kinds of conditions and can be seen planted all the way from Canada to Florida. It can survive a wide variety of temperatures and can tolerate little to no rainfall, strong wind, and lots of air pollution. If you are looking for a hardy tree, the hackberry is a good landscape choice that doesn’t need watering.

Southwest Shade Trees

These leafy desert shade trees work very well in hot climates with little precipitation. Most southwest shade trees are easy maintenance trees that have few pest or tree disease issues. Some of these species are actually native to places like Arizona and Southern California. They have evolved to survive and thrive in drought conditions, so if you live in an area like this a southwest shade tree may be a great choice for you! Some southwest trees include acacia trees, mesquites, and palo verde trees. They can all survive with little moisture and in the driest conditions!

Kentucky Coffeetree

The Kentucky Coffeetree is a very drought-resistant tree that works in a wide variety of dry climates. It can easily adapt to a variety of soils, that is why it is a very popular option for homeowners across the United States. An interesting thing about the Kentucky Coffeetree is that is is very tolerant of pollution, and is a tough species that thrives in tough climates. It can be used as an ornamental or shade tree to plant on your front lawn or backyard.

Fruitless Olive Trees

Olive trees are one of my favorite trees, but unfortunately they are banned in many US states because of their fruits clogging up road drains and attracting wildlife. Fruitless olive trees on the other hand are exactly what they sound like, olive trees that bear no fruit! These trees need well-draining soil and most fruitless olive trees are drought tolerant but need regular water until a good root system has developed. So if you have the time to water these trees in your garden until they can live on their own, they make wonderful trees that not only look beautiful but also retain their foliage even in the winter time!

Live Oak

The live oak is one of my favorite trees and you may recognize it as being an iconic tree of the south. The live oak can be seen today in the south lining many driveways and roads, and it is a very impressive tree that can live to be hundreds of years old. The live oak is tolerant to drought and can adapt to various soil types, can tolerate soil compaction and also salt spray.

Northern Catalpa

Most of the trees that we have listed above are typical shade trees. The northerm catalpa is something quite different and makes a beautiful decorative tree. The catalpa blooms with white flowers and has giant heart-shaped leaves that hang like bean seed pods. The trunk and branches twist which give it a unique and exotic look, perfect for your backyard. This tree is a fast grower and is very drought tolerant. If you are looking for a tree that doesn’t need much watering but also blooms with beautiful flowers, the northern catalpa may be a good choice for you.

There are so many beautiful drought tolerant trees on the market today, so do your research before planting a tree in your yard. A few things you want to look for are low maintenance and drought tolerance. If you can find this combination you will have one a beautiful tree that you and your family will enjoy for many years to come!


Garden Rooms vs Traditional Conservatories

Installing a conservatory is a fun project that your family will enjoy, here is why you should build one!

Photo By: ACNN Decor

When it comes to extending your home and creating some additional space, the most common choice amongst homeowners is to build an extension. However, this does require a lot of planning, time and most of all, money! All of which make home extensions something that isn’t quite achievable for many, especially if they want something that can be done quickly and affordably. The next option that homeowners have, is to install a conservatory. But with many known downsides, traditional conservatories have become less and less popular over recent years with more people opting for more modern-styled garden rooms instead. But why? In this article, we take a closer look at gardens rooms and some of the ways that make them different and sometimes a better choice than traditional conservatories when it comes to extending the space in your home.

The Differences Between a Garden Room & Conservatory


The reason why many homeowners are now opting for modern garden rooms over traditional conservatories is that they present a much more practical solution. Conservatories are infamous for becoming unbearably hot during the peak of the summer and shiveringly cold throughout the winter due to their often poor design. Making them usable for only a certain period of the year. Garden rooms, on the other hand, are far more practical and can be used all year round. With high-quality insulation and air conditioning, garden rooms offer a space that you can enjoy no matter the weather.


The materials which are used to create both structures are another factor that sets them apart. Traditional conservatories are designed and produced using UPVC and glass windows, or a brick base and glass windows with a polycarbonate/glass roof. This means that you typically only benefit from the top half of the structure being made of glass. On the other hand, a garden room is often made up entirely of glass, from the panels to the conservatory roof. This offers an aesthetic that is much more visually appealing and a structure that offers increased protection from the sun.

Planning Permission & Assembly 

The final difference between a garden room and a conservatory relates to the ease in which they can be installed and erected on your property. If both exceed a particular size, then you may need to acquire planning permission from your local council before starting any work. However, a great way to avoid all of the drama that comes with planning permission is to choose a ready-built structure that can simply be installed without any fuss! This is where garden rooms trump traditional conservatories, with the majority offering the ability to be installed in three-to-four working day – incredible!

And there we have it; the major differences between garden room and conservatories. If you’re in limbo about which structure to add to your property, we definitely recommend opting for a garden room. With their practicality, customisation and simplicity when it comes to installation, these offer a hassle-free solution for you and your home.


Benefits of Smart-Outdoor Lighting Systems for your Home

Install smart outdoor lighting for your home, you’ll thank us later!

Home automation systems have been around for many years. However, the costs of these systems have substantially decreased as devices themselves have become smart-devices that are able to connect to the internet and be controlled with Apps on your phone. Such items as smart-thermostats, garage door openers and light switches have made this technology available to more consumers in recent years. As a result of this technology becoming readily available there has been an increase in energy savings, automated processes in your home that save you time and money, and enhanced security features.   Recently, smart-outdoor lighting has joined this trend and enabled homeowners to benefit from incorporating automation into their outdoor lighting systems.

Energy Savings

Smart-devices and more energy efficient technologies have allowed for homeowners to reduce energy usage resulting in a product that is better for the planet and your wallet.  LED lighting technology has helped reduce the energy usage up to 80% when compared to the standard incandescent light bulb.   An additional benefit of the LED technology is the lifespan versus that of the traditional light bulb. This reduces the time, effort and costs of changing light bulbs.

The home automation features of smart-outdoor lighting enable even more energy savings by allowing for customized settings so the lights are on only when you need them.  Many of these systems allow for turning lights on at sunset and automatically shifting accordingly throughout the year. These systems will also automatically shift for daylight savings time changes.  This saves time and money by turning the lights on at exactly the right time year-round.

Home Automation

If you already have a smart-home or business, have an Alexa, or use Siri you already know some of the benefits of home automation.  While each lighting system on the market is unique, they come with a wide range of features.  At a minimum, typically the systems will allow you to schedule the on and off times of the lights and control them manually.  The more advanced systems will allow you to choose from a wide variety of whites and colors right from the App.  Some of these systems will also enable you to schedule the brightness and color options based on holiday schedules year-round creating the ultimate lighting experience.

Control from Anywhere

Have you ever made it to the office and wondered if you might have left the lights on? Perhaps you have been on vacation in another city when you remembered to turn on the pathway lighting for your pet sitter? Unlike standard outdoor lighting systems, which require you to be home to control your lights, smart-lighting uses WIFI. Some systems even use smart phone apps to manage lighting preferences. This means you can turn lights on, adjust the brightness, and more all from your phone or tablet, whether you are sitting in your living room, a conference room, or a beach in the Caribbean.

Safety and Security

The safety of your home or business is always paramount. Whether you want to brighten pathways at your business or you are a homeowner that would like to illuminate the dark corners of your yard, smart-outdoor lighting systems can do the job. It is simple to schedule the lighting at your business to turn on at dusk, allowing patrons to safely access steps and sidewalks. With bright outdoor lighting, you can also deter trespassers and unwanted activity, no matter the time of day or night. Some smart lighting systems even offer motion sensor lighting as an added layer of security for your home or business.

Smart Outdoor Lighting is the Smart Choice

We are in the midst of the smart device revolution that enables users to be in full control of everything. From energy savings to fun for the holidays, with the most advanced systems on the market, you are in control from anywhere in the world!  With smart-outdoor lighting, the possibilities are endless!

Author Bio:

Chris McCoy is the founder of Haven Lighting. Haven Lighting is a leading manufacturer of smart Wi-Fi enabled landscape lighting systems, featuring unique LED products with unparalleled brightness, vivid color and white temperature adjustment.


3 Reasons You Should Add A Porcelain Patio to Your Garden

Choosing the right material for your patio can be difficult, especially with so many different and appealing options on the market. One patio material that’s gained popularity over the past few years is porcelain paving!

Unlike natural stone paving, which can be quite a challenge to maintain, porcelain paving boasts a number of qualities that make it ideal for use in family homes with a high foot-fall. Today we’re going to look at four reasons why you should add a porcelain patio to your garden.

1. Porcelain paving is strong and durable

Some people perceive porcelain to be a dainty, delicate material – which in some cases is true. Delicate vases, pottery and dinnerware can be made of porcelain, but its uses don’t end there. Unlike these fine homewares, porcelain paving is designed to be incredibly strong and durable, more so than natural stones. The secret behind its strength is vitrification! A process of intense heat and pressure that causes substrates to occur within the tiles. The resulting porcelain tiles are strong and perfect for use in busy family gardens.

2. Porcelain paving is slip-resistant

If you’re going to install a patio in a British garden, you need to know that your paving can cope when it’s exposed to water and rain. There are some paving materials on the market that are naturally quite porous, sedimentary stones for example. These tiles have a tendency to take on water and if the water absorbed by the tiles freezes, they can quickly become very slippery – not ideal if you’ve got elderly people, young children or pets running around. In order to prevent natural stones from taking on water and becoming slippery, you need to treat them with a suitable top-coat annually. This is a job that’s both time consuming and expensive! In comparison, porcelain paving is naturally non-permeable, meaning it’s perfect for British gardens where conditions can become slippery in a split second. Porcelain paving won’t take on water & won’t freeze, so you can rest assured that there’ll be no accidental slips on your patio. Better still, you won’t need to spend hours applying top-coats, so you’ll have more time to enjoy your new patio.

3. Porcelain paving comes in a range of styles

Creating your dream garden is easy when you choose porcelain paving. It comes in such a wide variety of styles, colours and textures that you’ll be spoilt for choice. If you want to create a natural stone look, you can achieve this without having to worry about the upkeep that’s usually associated with natural stone! We’ve seen high-quality porcelain paving that emulates real slate, limestone and quartz as well as range of other natural stones.

Alternatively, if you want to create a trendy, unique patio with a wood-effect, porcelain paving will allow you to create this look too. Porcelain paving really is a versatile paving option that will allow you to create a patio that fits your garden design perfectly. 


Is Grey Composite Decking a Good Choice for Contemporary Gardens?

Contemporary gardens are great spaces for entertaining guests and relaxing with friends. Nowadays, people are moving away from traditional gardens and are instead opting to turn their outdoor spaces into extensions of their modern homes.

One of the key features of contemporary gardens that we see time and time again, is a monochrome colour pallete. White, blacks and greys are often favoured over bright colours and loud patterns because they make a space look simple and clean. You can see in the photo above that grey decking can be contrasted with white accents and chrome accessories to give an ultra-modern finish.

Arguably, grey composite decking is one of the best choices if you want to make your garden look more contemporary. But why choose composite decking over other materials, you ask? Well, composite decking has some special features that make it perfect for low maintenance modern garden designs.

Low Maintenance

Once you’ve gone to the effort of bringing your contemporary garden to life, the last thing you want is to be faced with hours and hours of maintenance every year. First of all, you’re going to struggle to find timber decking that’s naturally grey in colour. If you do decide to go down the natural route, it’s almost certain that you’ll be faced with the task of painting the entire deck annually, just to keep it looking grey. Sounds tedious right? Unlike other types of traditional wood decking, high-quality composite decking will never need staining or sealing. In fact, it has a polymer sleeve that keeps it pristine for years after installation. Choosing a low maintenance material is important because patchy, worn or faded decking can instantly ruin the allure of your modern space. All that composite decking requires is a quick wash down with soapy water, so you can spend less time maintaining your deck and more time enjoying your delightfully, modern garden.

Slip Resistant

Nobody wants a garden that they can only use for a small fraction of the year. Choosing grey composite decking will help you make the most of your contemporary garden all year round. That polymer cap that we mentioned before, is designed to prevent water ingress. This drastically limits the chance of mould or ice forming across the surface. slip resistant material! So, whether a drink is spilt during a garden party, you’re caught out by the rain, or you want to make the most of your garden on a chilly autumn/winter night, there’ll be very little chance of a slip or fall.

Hopefully this blog will give you an insight into why grey composite decking is an excellent choice for contemporary gardens.