32 Inexpensive Desert Landscaping Ideas For a Perfect Drought-Tolerant Garden
You might be thinking how unfortunate you are by living in an area where there are no lush green gardens and blooming flowers all year round, right?
Well, there are drought-tolerant plants that are really beautiful and could create a garden oasis in your front or backyard.
We have selected some inexpensive desert landscaping ideas that you can choose from and make your own green paradise even in a desert-like area.
- How do you make a desert landscaping?
Use drought-resistant plants like succulents, sedum or salvia – there are native plants that will resist the full-sun heat. Create patterns with rocks, mulch and pebbles to make a unique landscape.
1. Add a Seating Area
A rock garden gets a colorful boost with a seating area.
Bring the flagstone pavers closer together to create a small patio section. Bright orange cushions and pillows add color.
2. Add Entertainment Areas
How many entertainment areas are there? There’s a fire pit, a second stove near cushioned chairs, a pool, and a picnic bench under the tree.
Lighting, a saguaro, and tall trees around the perimeter tie it all together.
Aloe is a low-growing succulent. They need little in the way of maintenance and have a clean, compact appearance.
They work well here in a bed of pea gravel next to the walkway.
4. Bridge on a Red Brick Path
This narrow area has a lot going on. Red and gray bricks were laid out on the main walkway. A small bridge crosses the dried riverbed.
Succulents rest in large planters. The fence supports a trellis that’s home to climbing roses.
5. Build Up to Scale
A large stone wall and building debris would have been expensive to excavate. The solution was to add cacti, flowers, and ground cover in and around the site.
Saguaro and Organ Pipe cacti will match the height of the wall. Prickly Pear cactus fill in some gaps.
6. Cacti in a Rock Garden
It’s difficult to maintain a white rock garden when the reddish-brown clay clings to everything.
Using brown stones allows colors like the blue agave and the sticks on the fire plant to pop.
7. Cinder Block Planters
Plant ferns such as foxtail asparagus inside standard black concrete blocks.
via Blue Heron
8. Columnar Cacti
Drop stepping stones onto pea gravel to create paths. With only one window, this side of this home looked barren.
Adding columnar cacti like the Mexican organ pipe cactus and Peruvian apple cactus break up the space and add color.
9. Create Areas of Interest
Instead of trying to level out a yard, play with this slope. The rocks follow the slopes as if they’re the water following the landscape.
Unlike other examples, there was no need to dig into the ground to add the rocks.
10. Drought Tolerant Grass
Just because you live in a desert climate doesn’t mean you can’t have a green lawn.
There’s an entire industry dedicated to growing green lawns without water. Look at Ruschia lineolata as an example.
11. Drought Tolerant Purple Plants
The golden hues of this home are enhanced by the green and purple vegetation that surrounds the path.
Try drought tolerant plants such as Wandering Jew and purple sage bush.
12. Drought Tolerant Trees
In daylight, we see the Joshua tree still stands as a focal point for this garden.
Other trees that do well in arid climates and sandy soil include Pecan, Catclaw Acacia, and Texas Ebony.
13. Faux River Bed
Using bluish-green succulents.
14. Fill a Corner
This corner garden is filled with all types of cacti, flowers, and succulents.
Large rocks fill in and around the vegetation. A window frame hanging on the back wall adds interest.
A firepit needs a lot of dry surrounding area.
This is easily done by laying down weed-blocking stuff, pea gravel, and a portable fire pit like the one shown.
16. Flagstone and Ground Cover
The homeowners extended their walkway to the street by adding flagstone pavers on pea gravel.
Drought tolerant ground cover such as Dymondia fills in the small areas.
17. Flower Beds of Wildflowers
Wildflowers can be contained in natural-looking beds.
They add plenty of color without looking like they’re out of control.
18. Garden Oasis
This backyard is a jackpot of desert garden ideas. The hill is dotted with drought-tolerant vegetation.
Square pavers create a path through the heat-loving grass. Desert palms add a dramatic backdrop to the pool and patio area.
19. Large Boulders
Bringing in large boulders adds interest to this yard.
The contrast of marigolds, golden barrel cacti and desert ice flowers is captivating.
20. Medium Size Rocks and Cactus Garden
Break up a large yard into sections using medium-size rocks. Golden barrel cacti are contained in one section.
21. Minimalism With Patterns
Plants are planted with a purpose to create a high style in this garden.
The magnificent Joshua tree towers among the orderly agave plants.
22. Paths and Pools
The homeowners created a path through the middle of a rock garden with a line of succulents.
The path follows the pool to the patio area.
23. Pattern and Texture
The golden barrel cactus look fuzzy in the garden beds. Square earthen bricks add contrast.
The trees add height to the entrance.
via Studio Nabena
24. Pea Gravel Path
The path around the side of your home doesn’t have to be left out of the fun.
Add a path that leads to the backyard. Red bricks and plants like the purple desert salvia keep the small gravel from scattering.
25. Plant Beds
The wall contains Sansevieria trifasciata, which is another variety of snake plants.
They’ll grow over two feet high.
26. Raised Beds
Garden beds don’t have to showcase flowers.
Create interest in the tiers with simple plants and flagstones. The top tier showcases bonsai trees.
27. Rock Gardens
Decorating with rocks doesn’t mean it needs to be monochromatic.
Light and dark brown gravel are separated by an edge pattern of small bricks.
28. Rocky Waterway
This riverbed idea is almost exclusively made up of rocks. You can create a feature like this using large boulders to create a bridge.
It’s a visually interesting yard that takes advantage of its natural slope and requires no maintenance.
29. Walkways and Vines
Fill a walkway with pea gravel and add a brick path in a herringbone pattern.
Varieties of flowering vines that tolerate heat are clematis, common trumpet creeper, and honeysuckle.
30. Waterfall on a Hill
A waterfall reaching a small pond is featured.
Take note of the cacti and boulders resting on the tops of the cement-poured retaining walls.
31. Work Around Boulders
If you have boulders in your yard, use them as a starting point for inexpensive desert landscaping ideas. Bricks are laid out in a diagonal basket weave pattern.
A small circular rock and cacti garden were built next to the boulder. Bench seating was built next to the boulder against the brick half-wall.
32. Xeriscape Paradise
Stick to a neutral color palette to create a high-end, calming desert landscape. A few traditional cacti dot the pea gravel.
Flagstone pavers rest on the walkway. Small golden barrel cactus rest in a row of lava rocks.
33. Yellow Wildflowers
This rock garden got a colorful boost when yellow wildflowers were added around the base of the ironwood tree.
Depending on the climate in your area, look into Brittlebush, Mexican Gold Poppies, and Yellow Cups.