Dry climates can prove challenging for landscapers who often struggle to sustain thirsty vegetation. Lush green lawns require significant time, attention and water. On the other hand, hearty, drought-resistant landscaping is a beautiful, low-maintenance way to create stunning natural spaces that flourish without consistent irrigation. Here are some desert landscaping ideas to help you create a beautiful outdoor space without a lot of watering.
Embrace Desert Palettes
Desert gardens won’t have the lush greens of woodland or cottage gardens, but they can bring their own intriguing color palettes unique to the dry climate. Desert sunsets and sunrises illuminate a garden with alluring muted colors. There are lots of opportunities to integrate subtle or bright hues using native vegetation. Explore the many different varieties of succulents and complement them with different-colored stones and containers in your designs.
A classic desert landscape palette will have earthy colors ranging from sandy tones and warm terra cotta to cool grays, blues, purples and greens found in cacti, succulents and desert wildflowers. You can enhance the look by adding bright touches of red or yellow to draw the eye. You can even add a vivid pop of color by including a few cobalt-blue glazed pots.
Dry Stream Beds
Dig a lengthy trench in a strategic place along your yard. Fill it up with gravel, pebbles, or small boulders to create the illusion of a dry stream bed. This will add a dreamy appeal to your outdoor space and look nearly as beautiful as an actual stream of water.
Consider Artificial Turf
When most people think about artificial turf, they imagine the plastic, miniature golf course feel of the Brady Bunch backyard. False turf has come a long way over the decades. These days, it comes in a variety of natural looking colors and textures. Artificial turf is a wise alternative to lush green lawns in desert climates. Simply spread your grassy turf along a portion of your yard and add some attractive desert plants such as Palm, Ficus or wildflowers.
Plant Drought-tolerant Perennials
There are a number of drought-tolerant plants that flourish in desert gardens. These include sedums, fountain grass, Russian sage, Agastache, and Mediterranean herbs such as lavender, rosemary and many salvias.
Use Oversized Planters
Oversized planters create fantastic focal points that are large enough to hold big cacti and small, drought-resistant trees. These plants can generally thrive while going many days without water.
Embrace the Agave
A desert landscape wouldn’t look complete without plenty of large agaves. You can dedicate a small portion of your yard to these beautiful plants. They are low maintenance, look modern and thrive in the sun.
Go Big On Ornamental Grasses
You can’t go wrong with ornamental grass. Select the most colorful varieties and pair them with local perennials to complete that contemporary, arid look.
Consider Mediterranean Flowers
A mix of cool and warm colors works well in arid desert gardens, which enjoy dramatic light at dusk and dawn. Many Mediterranean plants do quite well in dry, hot gardens while providing a diversity of color options.
Things to Consider
Even the most drought-resistant plants require a steady supply of water. You will typically have better success with drip irrigation. These systems leverage low-pressure delivery methods to ensure efficient water retention by pushing moisture deeper into the soil near the roots of your plants. While it requires a bigger upfront investment, drip irrigation is very reliable and efficient. It can also save you more money in the long run.
Whatever you do, it’s usually best to keep your desert landscape as low maintenance as possible. An elaborate landscape can be tough to manage during the hot, dry summer months. What’s worse, an improperly installed irrigation system could cause your vegetation to struggle or perish, resulting in a desiccated, dead-looking landscape and hundreds to thousands of dollars in wasted money.
The right setup can make a world of difference, allowing you to have a stunning outdoor setting that can flourish in the driest weather. It helps to get guidance from experienced professionals who know how to choose beautiful plants that will thrive in high temperatures and dry, desert weather.
At RMPS Landscaping, we provide a diverse variety of landscaping services, from stonework and plants / sod, hardscaping, trees and full-scale landscape renovations. Our skilled experts will collaborate with you to learn your preferences and develop a strategy that meets your needs. Contact our knowledgeable experts to find out how we can help bring your boldest vision into the real world.