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Desert Landscaping Ideas

Desert landscaping ideas are good not only if you live in the desert, but in any area where you want to save water. If your area is experiencing drought, xeriscape, or the practice of utilizing native and drought-tolerant plants, may appeal to you.

Since the first rule of thumb when landscaping in the desert is to use as little water as possible, look at native plants. Native plants are already adapted to the climate, and will thrive will little attention from you.

It is amazing how lush your yard will look even in the desert if you use plants that are used to the small amount of rainfall and the large amount of sun.

The other benefit to native plants is they won't require a large amount of fertilizer to keep them happy.

Your most important concern when landscaping in the desert is the efficient use of your water.

Group plants together that have similar watering needs. Choose methods of water delivery like drip lines instead of sprinklers, which waste a lot of water through evaporation. And make sure you mulch your plants. Mulch will help keep the water from evaporating too fast, so the plants have more time to utilize it.

Many states have deserts, even though you may not expect it. From Arizona to Washington State, you can find areas of dry, hot desert in the summer. When you are trying to conserve water, you don't want to be sprouting seeds every year. Perennials are your friends. They come up all by themselves year after year with little to no effort on your part.

Desert Landscape Plants

Some popular drought-tolerant perennials to add color to your desert landscaping ideas include:

"Moonbeam" coreopsis, which is a pale yellow daisy-like plant. Coreopsis is known for its long-blooming season and copious amounts of bright flowers.

Lamb's ears gives you an unusual fuzzy texture on a silvery plant. It has bright yellow clusters of small flowers when it blooms, though it is better known for the silvery leaves. It can be invasive, but if you're looking for an unusual groundcover, this may fit the bill.

Purple coneflower, or echinacea, is a long-lived plant with daisy-shaped purple flowers. You'll need to divide it every few years.

Yarrow is a nice tall plant with fern-like leaves. It comes in a variety of colors now, and makes a nice backdrop to some of these smaller plants. They readily self-sow every year.

Shasta daisies are another favorite that is surprisingly drought-tolerant. They grow in large clumps that keep flowering as long as you deadhead them. They give any yard that old-fashioned look with their cheerful daisy blossoms.

desertlandscapingideasAnother favorite in any dry area is lavender. Not only are there many varieties available now, they are fragrant and add a silvery contrast to other plants like the daisies and yarrow.

Some low growing drought-tolerant plants that are popular in rockeries include yellow alyssum, which is not an annual like the white alyssum. You may see it under the common name of "Basket of Gold." The foliage is blue-gray, and grows about 1" in height.

Snow in Summer is a small silvery plant with white flowers. They are quite pretty, although they can be considered somewhat invasive, due to their habit of spreading through runners.

Another group of plants you may want to consider for your desert landscaping ideas are the succulents. Succulents would include hens and chicks and sedum, although these two plants are only the tip of the iceberg. These two are extremely easy to grow, however.

Ornamental grasses also do well in desert landscapes. Most have very thin blades, and you have many to choose from, including: maidengrass, blue fescue and sea oats are just a few.

Of course you can also add accents to your desert landscaping ideas with large rocks, lighting and artwork or furniture. Adding these accents will not only set off your plantings, but they will become focal points of their own, adding a little more of your own personality to your yard.

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