80 best desert landscaping ideas to make your home awesome
A couple of years back, when I first moved to the Southwest, I feared how I would survive in the arid and scarcely populated region.
As a gardening and xeriscaping hobbyist, I was skeptical about pursuing my love for growing and maintaining vegetation in this scorching-hot region. I had to stay there because of my job, but not being able to pursue my hobby was killing me from the inside.
But that’s where I was wrong!
While surfing subconsciously one night, I came across landscaping ideas that were suitable for deserts. With my newfound knowledge, I decided to create one for myself.
I went through plenty of designs to select the 80 best desert landscaping ideas that I considered were awesome for improving your residential condition. I am pretty sure that you are going to love them too!
1. Cactus Garden Walkway
Adding a bed of cacti with a rocky walkway in the middle might be an excellent option for you. With such a setup, you will not have to worry about frequent watering and irrigation needs for this type of landscaping.
2. Panoramic Swimming Pool Landscaping
If you have a decent-sized backyard or front yard area, then a roofed patio with a swimming pool could be a prudent choice. You can cover a single wall with desert-friendly flora to make it look more appealing.
3. Flowering Cactus Bunch
The good thing about cactus is that it is available in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. That makes it an appropriate choice for clustering them to create colorful decorations for desert landscaping or xeriscaping.
4. Desert Lawn
Desert landscaping might involve minimal plantations, but that should not stop you from being creative. Choose creative pottery, skull, and various rocky designs to bring out the best artistic looks in your landscapes.
5. Close-Quarters Desert Landscape
The best thing about planning a xeriscape is that it requires minimalist plantation to create a self-sufficient landscape. Because such plants barely need your attention, you can create a fantastic design with such flora.
6. Mesmerizing Blue With Pipe Cactus
Cacti, too, have beautiful flowers – just like the one in the image. Here is a creative way of highlighting their beauty by adding a pipe cactus plant or plants in the middle, surrounded by small flowery ones.
7. Brick Wall Desert Landscape
This simple yet enthralling layout is one of our favorites because of the red-textured stucco blended with greenery. It reflects real beauty if the soil near your location is reddish in texture.
8. Simply Southwest
This minimalist xeriscape speaks for itself. Even though the area is lacking grass, the presence of trees, bushes, and cacti in the region add life to the scenery. The desert pink color of the house adds in a balmy presence as well.
9. Creative Front yard
This one looks great if your house front yard connects directly to the road. Adding a bunch of greenery to both sides of the garage and front door entrance gives it more detail. Moreover, it looks even better when all the houses follow the same pattern along the way.
10. Paved Roads With Cactus Pots
Paved roads with potted plants on the sides is another way of improving the landscape around your residence. Choose big pots to make the area more comprehensive. Furthermore, choose plants that need occasional attention for irrigating and nurturing.
11. Vibrant Desert Vegetation
Choosing desert vegetation with vibrant colors makes the place become more lively. That’s what this scene in the image illustrates. Find plants that have light colors, and fill them up around the front of your house to make it look intriguing. You can also use potted plants near the porch area.
12. Front Porch Cactus Garden
If you have a narrow alleyway that reaches the front door to your house, then you can align one side of the way with flora of your choice. Moreover, it is much easier to water them as they all are aligned together. Scatter the space with plants of all sizes and shapes to add more detail.
13. Bushy Landscaping
The benefit of bushy shrubs and plants is that they can cover more space with just a few plantations compared to pipe cacti, etc. Thus, this type of landscape could be a good fit if you are looking for something like it.
14. Backyard Desert Landscape Pool
Here is another pool-based design that is great for the backyard. Add a nice view to a wall with desert plants in cemented pots to make it blend in the wall. You can also create a dining area with a roofed patio just like in the image to add sophistication.
15. Front Yard Brick Wall
Sometimes simple landscapes can be enhanced by choosing the right color combinations. You can see in this layout that a paved lane with a bricked wall connects to the front. Add green vegetation to the wall area for beautifying the scene.
16. Scattered Rocky Landscaping
Here is another rock formation design that involves scattered vegetation around the house. This one is also fit if you have red rocks present in the area. That way, you make the scene more appealing with the reds and the greens.
17. Concealed Walls
Water dries out quite fast in arid areas. But, you can avoid that to some extent when you grow plants right next to house walls, as the areas tend to be less affected by the wind and direct sunlight. Not to mention, the water retention is better if you have clay walls (Source).
18. Luxury Pool Patio
Adding a pool can make a backyard stand out for sure. If you have water sources present near your house, then designing a pool with flora can be a good way of decorating the landscape.
19. Desert Waterscape
If you have the sources to create a shallow pond around your house, then you can do that as well. That way, you create a landscape or xeriscape that needs little attention or nurturing – just like this one shown in the image.
20. Paved Greenery
Grassy turfs are not always the way to go in arid terrains as you will require a lot of water to irrigate such gardens. Instead, you can design paved front yards and leave small cubicles or areas to grow plants. That makes it easier to manage the location.
21. Colored Cactus Balls
If you like it colorful around your house, then these colored cacti could be worth an investment. As you can see that such cacti, when clustered, can give a nice look, which can be suitable for patios, etc.
22. Giant Cacti Xeriscape
For minimalist vegetation, you can plan on using limited plants. However, make sure to choose giant plants and trees like this cactus in the image. Its presence adds a unique look to the arid surrounding. Plus, it barely needs nurturing.
23. Foliage Landscape
It’s not just your house that needs landscaping. Even other structures like a barn and shed on your premises require enrichment. Look at this foliage placement around the shed to make it look more meticulous in the surrounding.
24. Wooden Stair Porch Design
Why leave the front of your wooden stair porch naked, when you can use a plethora of plantations around it? That’s what has been done in this image. Covering the sides of the porch adds an illusion of a larger property as well.
25. Simple Green Turf
Yes, it will involve irrigating the area with water frequently, but if you can afford the time and effort, then you will see a beautiful turf growing around your home. Check up with your local seed store to know the right kind of grass for your area for this type of landscaping.
26. Wood Wall With Cacti
Sometimes a simple wooden wall plank layout is enough to add a beautiful exterior. You do not necessarily have to lay a line of cacti for such a setup. Other desert-friendly plants can do just fine too. If you like, you can paint the wall of any color that you desire.
27. Agave Succulents
Are you tired of just adding cacti to your xeriscape model? Then, why not implement agave succulents as well? These beautiful plants are much like their prickly counterparts, but with pointy leaves. These also need very little water to survive in the arid conditions, which is a plus point!
28. Rocky Cactus And Succulents
Landscaping does not just need large plants. You can use small succulents and cactus plants with a pebble and rock bed to create a beautiful view. This one would be great if you can use blooming cacti that create a colorful effect in the landscape.
29. Flowers Surrounding Cacti
We showed you a pipe cactus in the middle, surrounded by blue/purple wildflowers in one of the ideas above. In this image, you can see that its vice-versa is also pretty neat! Try it out and explore your creativity.
30. Pebble Rock Bed Xeriscaping
One of the major benefits of adding pebbles to your DIY landscaping projects is that they prevent the formation of dust in arid regions. A few wildflower plants here and there will further add a nice contrast to the sandy pebbles.
31. Pebble Borders
If you like to keep the sand from rolling over to the pavements and roads around slope-based xeriscapes, then pebble borders would help. Lay them in various designs of your choice to add more details to the layout.
32. Sandstone Slopes
A good way to design home landscapes with slopes all around is by the use of sandstones. The grainy surface of these stones come in a variety of shades, like beige, gray, red, and yellow. Use the appropriate one to pave beautiful slopes with dark-colored succulents.
33. Pillared Roofs Foliage
A standalone pillared roof might look monotonous without beautiful greenery covering it. Even in the deserts, you can use certain plants that add more value to pillared structures, like the one in the image.
34. Sandtone-White Combo
Here is a nice contrast added by blending sandstone walls with white ones. Using an array of cacti and agave plants in a minimalist setting around this front yard makes it look appealing. If water is not scarce, then you can even add a turf of grass for further enhancement.
35. White And Charcoal Gray Landscaping
Sometimes it is not about the plants, but the base that you use for creating a beautiful home landscape. For instance, this white house lays a charcoal-gray-colored pebble rock bed pathway to create the perfect mix.
36. Vintage Style Paved Backyard
Check this scene out! Look how beautifully this backyard has been designed with not just plants, but vintage props and metal chairs to create a colorful look. Add variegated plants in pots, and plant desert trees, like Joshua or velvet mesquite near the walls for a comprehensive look.
37. Sandstone Serenity
I found this one really fascinating because the designer planned the front yard pathway with huge sandstone tiles with stone bedding on the sides. This beige and sandy look blends with the dark-colored shingles present on the roof of the house flawlessly!
38. Stucco Walls With Foliage
Stucco walls not only give the outer walls a beautiful texture, but also revamps and shields cracked walls. This one adds a nice touch of French windows that give you a nice view of the smartly-planned foliage pathway.
39. Vibrant Hues Backyard
This one is a perfect example of a small-sized backyard that needs xeriscaping. Witness how the back stairs lead to a pebbled bed. Adding vibrant colors to the sitting area further enhances its mesmerizing beauty.
40. Pebble Rock bed Xeriscape
Small pebbles are quite flexible to design, as they can take any shape. See how sandstone pebbles create the grainy base with medium-sized rocks with pipe and ball cacti. Add a few wildflower shrubs too if you want to enhance such a xeriscape.
41. Succulent Growth On Wooden Wall
If you love succulents hanging with their long branches over walls, then this technique would be suitable. It would be a good option specifically for wooden walls with dark gaps in the middle add a crate-like effect!
42. Isolated Cacti Pots
There is plenty of stuff going on in this landscaping. However, look at the cacti in the cemented and squared pots created on each side of the pathway. Don’t they feel stunning? Notice closely and you will see animal cuttings as well, pretty cool!
43. Giant Cactus Landscaping
One thing I love about Totem Pole Cactus, like the one in the image, is that they can grow to impressively-large sizes. The vibrant green that they reflect due to the falling sunlight makes landscaping graceful.
44. Front Porch Landscaping
A beautiful front porch always adds value to a residential property. But, you do not need to decorate the area with complexity. Just make it symmetrical like this one. See how two Totem Pole cactus pots and wildflower pots are kept on each side of the porch stairs.
45. Swimming Pool With Jacuzzi
Why not construct a Jacuzzi in the desert? That’s what you can do in your residential premises if you have a good water supply in the region. The design of the pool and jacuzzi can vary as per your creativity.
46. Soil Xeriscaping
If a pebble rock bed is not your choice for landscaping, then a soil-based one might interest you. Check how the paved area connects to the soil with a thin line of pebbles in the between.
47. Curb Landscaping
If you want to have an area comprising mostly of wildflower shrubs, then this type of design might be a nice touch to your front or back yard. Use colorful plants around a paved pathway for best effects.
48. Pebbled Pathway
A good and affordable method of creating a pathway for your DIY landscaping projects is by using pebbles. This way, you can avoid the time and expenses utilized on a paved path.
49. Surreal Agave Beauty
Agave succulents in this image surely deliver one of the best landscaping scenes. The variety of plants used in a small pebbled area makes it pop up the area with beauty.
50. Charcoal Gray Path
If you have a simple cacti-based setup for your front yard or backyard, then you add something that instantly catches the eye of the viewer – like this charcoal gray pebbled pathway.
51. Xeriscaping Steps
This one is a great fit for you if you love the concept of step farming. Witness how each stair is nurtured with an array of agaves to add elegance to the scenery.
52. Platform Landscaping
This might be a prudent choice for those who love landscaping on a raised platform. In this image, a similar setup lays right next to the front gate. Use different types of pebbles for the rock bed for this one.
53. Bonfire In The Desert
The name for this one speaks for itself. You can experiment with the xeriscaping for such an arrangement. Make sure that you have space for a bonfire area, as that is the main attraction in this concept.
54. Sandy Bed
The best thing about cacti is that they barely need water to stay alive. You can utilize this benefit by creating a sandy layout featuring rocks, agaves, and ball cacti like the one in this image.
55. Serene Pool
This might be a good choice for those who have a large area to spare for a detailed desert landscape. Check how the owner adds a pool, pipe cacti, rocks, and paved pathways in this huge scene.
56. Minimalist Backyard
This one involves a geometrical pathway with pebbles, wooden flooring, and sandstone to create the infrastructure. Adding limited greenery to the scene highlights the non-living constructions more vividly.
57. Peaceful Foliage
A paved path with succulents, cacti, and other desert trees on both sides adds a sense of quietness in this area. Try it out if you love such a concept.
58. Arch To Prickly Delight
Archways can show up to mesmerizing scenic beauties like the one in this image. Witness the beautiful path engulfed with cacti, trees, and prickly shrubs of all shapes, colors, and sizes.
59. Desert Broadway
This would be a perfect option for those who prefer Broadway paths with foliage scattered all over the area. It also depicts a view of an actual desert.
60. Front Wall Lighting
Small or large cacti plants, this wall lighting reflects their shadows majestically to create the illusion of an exquisite and sophisticated layout. The addition of the curb-styled succulents in the also displays symmetry.
61. Pathway Lighting
Just like the previous one, this landscaping uses lights as well. The only difference is that it has a path right next to the highlighted wall. It could be great to show off the area around the place.
62. Multi-colored Agaves
You would love to design something like this where you can use multi-colored succulents and desert shrubs for the design. I specifically like the little twin flowered agaves that settle like small, needle-like balls.
63. Rocks Over Pebbles
This particular one is different than the rest because of adding large sandstone rocks in the middle of the pebble bed. Adding rocks helps make the soil settle down firmly to keep the water retention high for desert foliage.
64. Vivid Cactus Garden
This might be a good choice for individuals who prefer xeriscaping using cactus and needle-based plants only. You can see in this image that leafy and bushy plants are not present. Furthermore, it involves less irrigation as well.
65. Detailed Siding
Siding exterior walls beautify a house and keep the rainwater from entering inside. This particular siding design has a pebbled bed with cacti laid in front of it for embellishing its looks. Try it out around your house if you have sided walls instead of stucco.
66. Rocky Stairway
This stone-based stairway comprises a rocky formation on each side that lead to the main entrance of the house. Witness how the foliage is planned over the rocks to add intricacy to the front of this beautiful house.
67. Sandstone Pebbled Bed
Here is a simple layout that involves a pathway in the center surrounded by sandstone pebbles. Add detail to such a scene with ball and pipe cacti plants, or foxtail and cabbage head agaves, if you like.
68. Rocky Entrance
This one shows another entrance that has a pile of huge rocks laid on one side of the path. Add a mix of desert flora and vegetation to add life to such landscaping.
69. Green Turf With Pebbles
This would be a great fit for your backyard if you have a huge flattened area. You can see in the image how it uses green grass turfs with thick pebble borders. You might need to get an irrigation system installed for the grass if you go with this idea.
70. Unsymmetrical Steps
Desert landscaping does not necessarily have to be geometrically accurate. Check the stairs designed in this particular scene. None of them connect with each other edge to edge. However, to balance the irregular pattern, the plantation in this one is quite well-formed.
71. Desert Fortress
I like the rough look of this particular desert-colored house that smartly uses the space around its entrance. See how the steps on the right side lead to the main door. Witness the beautiful purple wildflowers, needle cacti plants, etc., laid surrounding the rugged walls to create harmony.
72. Wooden Block Stairs
Arid regions can be great for wooden constructions. Use Acacia wood, etc., to create staircases if that is your preference. With stairs, you can highlight vegetation with more elegance like the one in the image.
73. Indoor Landscaping
This one has a xeriscape indoors, but you can notice the curved opening on top to let these plants get occasional rain showers too.
74. Clustered Agaves
Unlike cactuses, agave plants have a darker shade that looks beautiful when these plants are grouped together. This particular field beautifully depicts a scene with curbed landscaping.
75. Perfect White
The French window gives you a view of the white marble bed with pebbles all over in this stunning backyard xeriscaping. Try it out for a minimalist approach.
76. While Stairway Scaping
This one has been planned in a desert but gives you a tropical feel with the use of white stones with green vegetation. White color has the ability to highlight dull scenes if you accompany them with the right shades of green.
77. Gray And White
Besides white, gray can also be a great way to highlight landscaping to make it look more tropical. Adding a swimming pool on the premises further enhances its beauty.
78. Serene Bridge Landscaping
You can be a little creative like this one and add scenic props like a bridge. If water is easily available in your area, then even add a little stream below the bridge.
79. Multi-colored Clusters
Check how beautiful this cluster of agaves is. Highlighting these in the middle, with dark green succulents on the sides, makes it become the center of attraction.
80. Sunny Side up
I call it that way because of the natural rays this particular landscape received from all sides. The pebbled rock makes the place more suitable for the growth of these desert plants.
Landscaping is a way of showing your creation for sure. But, it also is a great way of nurturing and adorning a place – especially, these arid regions of Southwest America that have been notorious for the scorching heat.
However, if the right landscaping stones, textures, and irrigation techniques, you have the power to create wonders even in these scarcely-populated lands. Plus, they are great at controlling soil erosion! I hope you liked the designs we shared.
Let us know if we missed something that you would like to share in the comments below!