Welcoming plants to Culdesac Tempe 

At Culdesac, we’re as intentional about plants as we are about parking and placemaking. We’re counting down the weeks until we plant and place each and every climate-conducive beauty, from hardy trees to sun-tolerant succulents, at Culdesac Tempe. We’ve chosen every plant with care for how it will contribute to the walkable neighborhood we are building in our own corner of the Valley of the Sun. We’re landscaping Culdesac Tempe to embrace our home on the northern edge of the Sonoran desert, known for its arid subtropical climate and mild winters. From their ability to create shade and modulate heat to delighting all five senses, the plants that will call Culdesac Tempe home will help make our community a vibrant place for residents, neighbors, and visitors alike. 

There’s more to the desert than palm trees

When you picture Arizona, the first image that flashes to your mind might be a desert. Often people associate deserts with palm trees. While tropical and festive, palm trees are not best suited to our regional climate. First, palm trees are known for their above-average and significant water usage – not ideal in a place beloved for its arid desert ecosystem. Palm trees also do not provide the shade cover essential to reducing heat and ensuring our streets and sidewalks remain walkable and rollable year-round. Additionally, palm trees sequester a lot less carbon dioxide than other trees and even contribute to VOCs and ozone pollution. Culdesac Tempe is joining communities around the world in diversifying its urban tree cover and moving towards plants that are drought resistant, shade producing, and pollution mitigating. 

Plants have their own superpowers

Speaking of plant magic, we remain in awe of the brilliance of the natural world, from form to function. Take the Desert Museum Palo Verde. Known for its ample yellow blossoms and steady shade, you’ll find many of these trees at Culdesac Tempe, where they will require minimal water as hardy, sun-tolerant plants. Another beauty you will find year-round at Culdesac is the Winter Blaze Emu Bush, an evergreen shrub beloved by hummingbirds and people alike for its red flowers and tough-as-nails reputation. Nearby you’ll find Rio Bravo Sage, the epitome of a drought-resistant plant that loves the sun and needs little water while still producing lavender flowers from summer through fall. Whether you come to Culdesac Tempe to live, work, eat, shop, visit or play, you will find dozens of diverse plants that are conducive to our arid, sunny climate while still providing sensory delight through color and variety. Together, our varied regional and climate-appropriate landscape will conserve water, provide shade, lower heat, reduce soil erosion and storm runoff, trap pollution, and improve air quality – and enchant residents, neighbors, and visitors alike.

Plants as placemakers

At Culdesac, we are on a mission to deliver life at your front door by building walkable communities designed for everyone. Our core neighborhood pillars are community, mobility, and open space–and plants touch each one. Climate-conducive plants make open spaces beautiful, inviting, and comfortable through both form and function. Whether you value a tree for its shade on a hot day or a shrub for its vibrant color or fragrant blossoms, both invite you into the world outside your door. At Culdesac Tempe, our courtyards, paseos, and plazas are our outdoor living rooms at the heart of the community. Plants transform these shared open spaces and make them meaningful places to build community and gather. Last but not least, with their myriad environmental benefits, climate-conducive plants ensure it is physically comfortable to move through Culdesac Tempe year round however you choose – whether you’re walking to pick up a cold brew at Firecreek or wheeling to the metro stop. As you can see, a big part of creating walkable communities designed for everyone is ensuring you have the right plants to call home.

Plants are a big part of building cities for people

As you can tell, we love plants at Culdesac Tempe. We are proud of our home in the Salt River Valley in the Grand Canyon State. In fact, Arizona is the only state in the US to have all four North American deserts, and we’re here for it! We are excited to be a part of a wave of communities looking to embrace our surrounding climate and reduce our footprint. From our mild winters to our monsoon summers, we aim to build a walkable community in harmony with the broader Tempe ecosystem in part by choosing plants that preserve water and give back to the surrounding environment. We have a lot to learn from plants – from their resilience and adaptability to how to dress colorfully without clashing. Over 2,000 plant species thrive in the Sonoran desert – and we’re honored to live among them.