Residential landscaping in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Practices and preferences relative to covenants, codes, and restrictions

Chris Martin, Kathleen A. Peterson, Linda B. Stabler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

103 Scopus citations


In the Phoenix, Arizona, U.S., metropolitan area, community associations with legally binding covenants, codes, and restrictions (CC&Rs) impose limitations on landscaping activities in many new neighborhood residential communities. Studies were conducted in the Phoenix area to develop an understanding of residential homeowner landscape preferences and practices and how they might be impacted by CC&Rs. Residential yards in communities with CC&Rs controlling landscape activity had fewer trees, more shrubs and groundcovers, and less turf coverage than did landscapes in communities without CC&Rs. More homeowners identified their front yard landscapes as being a desert design type rather than an oasis or mesic design, with the percentage higher for homeowners living in neighborhoods with CC&Rs than for those in neighborhoods without CC&Rs. More homeowners preferred an oasis landscape design type to either desert or mesic designs, and roughly 70% of homeowners preferred a landscape design type that had at least some lawn area. More Arizona natives preferred mesic landscapes than did domestic migrants. Homeowners cited ease of maintenance and landscape aesthetics as the two most important traits for their landscape. These findings reflect the increasing influence and importance of desert landscape design in the U.S. Southwest as a contemporary landscape design style in urban areas bridled by an arid climate and suggests that the emergent popularity of desert landscaping in Phoenix is predominately a top-down social phenomenon directed by public and private interest groups for residential homeowner use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Arboriculture
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


  • Human issues
  • Landscape design
  • Landscape ordinances
  • Plant diversity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology


Dive into the research topics of 'Residential landscaping in Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. Practices and preferences relative to covenants, codes, and restrictions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this