Desert landscaping presents homeowners with a unique set of challenges. Arid climates are notoriously hot and dry. Soil conditions are usually poor, making it hard to grow most types of traditional landscaping plants. Hot desert winds and the relentless sun beating down on the surface of the soil add to the problem, making the process of creating an attractive landscape even more difficult.
For homeowners that are up to the challenge, however, it is possible to create a stunning outdoor space, even in the middle of the desert. You just have to know which plants to choose and how to arrange them to create a beautiful, welcoming space. Try incorporating some of these tips and ideas to build an attractive desert landscape that enhances your home’s curb appeal and adds to its value:
1. Choose plants that are native to your area
One of the biggest mistakes that homeowners make is planting grass, trees, or shrubs that don’t naturally grow in the desert. Trying to keep non-native plants alive is an uphill battle. It is far easier to choose plants that are already adapted to living in a desert climate.
Native plants stand a much better chance of surviving in the harsh conditions of the desert. They also usually have much lower water requirements, which is an important consideration in areas of the country where water restrictions are in place.
2. Incorporate non-living design elements
Landscaping is about more than just plants. It also includes other elements such as rocks, wooden structures, sculptures, walls, and pathways. You can use all of these design elements and more to enhance your space.
For instance, consider building multilevel raised beds out of stone that you can use for planting native plants such as succulents or cacti. These beds can be used to raise the plants up to varying heights, helping to create more visual interest in your outdoor space.
You can also use pathways to divide your yard, adding structure to an otherwise open space. The separate areas created by the pathways can each be turned into small gardens, making it easier to create a beautiful space. Arranging small groupings of plants in the divided spaces created by intersecting pathways is much easier than trying to figure out where to position plants and trees in a larger, more wide-open yard.
3. Use light-colored landscaping materials
No matter how you design your space, you should try to use primarily light-colored materials. Dark materials will absorb the sun, making your yard even hotter. Light materials, on the other hand, will help reflect the sun, making your yard a little bit cooler. This, in turn, can make it easier for the plants in your landscape to survive.
Desert landscaping presents an array of challenges that can be difficult to overcome. The key to success is to choose plants that grow naturally in your area. Using non-living design elements such as rocks, walls, or pathways to break up the space into small, distinct areas can make it easier to arrange the plants in an aesthetically-pleasing way. Finally, by choosing light-colored landscaping materials, you can help the space stay cooler by allowing it to reflect the heat of the sun rather than absorbing it.