Mix it Up
An easy way to add visual interest is to mix plant shapes, colors and sizes. You can lay them out in a regimented design, such as this one, or group them in more natural-looking vignettes. Xeriscapes (landscapes featuring water-wise plants) can be beautiful. Learn more about xeriscaping here.
What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing, if you live where there’s plentiful rainfall. But this home is in Las Vegas where landscape watering is often restricted or banned. Be kind to the environment (and save money and maintenance costs) by using native plants—those suited to desert conditions. For instance, you could substitute stone mulch and patches of succulents for the lawn grass seen here. Learn more about succulent groundcovers.
Create a Stage
Desert landscapes often include smaller plants without the visual stopping power of, say, a large shade tree. Give them a stage in your backyard, as seen here with a rock-lined planting pocket. Call further attention with meandering stone paths leading to the stage.