Desert Landscaping Ideas

Desert landscaping ideas for beautiful yards in dry climates
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One of the islands in our backyard.Being in High Desert have to find drought tolerant plants

One of the islands in our backyard.Being in High Desert have to find drought tolerant plants

If you live in an arid region where lush lawns are simply not possible, consider desert landscaping ideas with materials and plant life that work with your natural surroundings – and let your personality shine.

It’s easy to create dynamic desert landscape design plans when you keep these three things in mind: scale, color and shape.

The rocks, trees, shrubs and flowering plants in your yard should complement one another. That doesn’t mean everything should be the same size, but when creating accent areas within your property, let scale be your guide: a ring of short shrubs around taller desert grasses or flowers creates density and emphasis. Boulders or larger rocks can act as walls or to define a path or patio. Tall trees used next to a one-story house create an illusion of additional height; too many tall shrubs can dwarf a home.

Color is vital to any desert landscaping plan, because the earth in dry climates is often rocky or sandy and brown or gray. Any color must be introduced into the landscape design strategically. Warm red and yellow lowering succulents such as aloe or ice plants make great focal points and can be potted or sown into the ground. Mexican poppies and other wildflowers attract species of bees (and those can be a wonderful asset when creating a desert landscape design). Aloe plants come in a variety of colors to suit every palate. 

It may sound funny to think first about the shape of the plants in your desert landscape plan, but imagine this: if you’ve got a flat, rocky yard and you plant rows of tall, slender cacti, they could end up looking like an army of soldiers standing to greet you when you come home! Create soft edges with grasses such as Bouteloua curtipendula, a short species that goes from green to tan as the seasons change. White Thorn Acacia trees grow to about ten feet tall with puffy round plumes of vibrant green foliage and yellow flowers.

The materials you choose for your desert landscaping can be natural or synthetic, but should work well with your plant life. Rocks, stone, pebbles, sand and concrete are top choices because they require no water, little maintenance and are virtually indestructible. Whether you’re going for cool minimalism or a cozy desert hideaway, a desert landscape design plan is within reach. Visit your local garden center for ideas.

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