Southwest-style landscaping is not just for homes in the Southwest. With its bright, bold colors, minimalist aesthetic and emphasis on environmentally sustainable, water-efficient growing, Southwest landscaping has an appeal that transcends geography. Make the most out of creative hardscape and selective planting to create an efficient, low-maintenance Southwest landscape.
Southwestern gardens are designed to conserve as much water as possible, a concept called xeriscaping. You can use small patches of drought-tolerant grass, such as buffalo zoysia grass, and cover the rest of your yard with rock mulch and native low-water plants--such as prairie sagebrush, yucca trees, cacti and succulents. Group plants with like water requirements together in compact groupings to minimize water usage; use drip irrigation or another water-efficient method to water them.
Stones are an important element in Southwestern landscaping. Set off your garden beds behind low rock walls, then place a few boulders nearby as features. Use two or more different colors of gravel to divide your landscape up into sections. Add a rustic stone bench under a favorite shade tree to sit on during hot afternoons.
Ceramic tiles, bricks and art objects are a big part of Southwestern design. To make a big impression, construct an adobe garden wall or retaining wall. Use terra cotta pots to hold your plants and add a clay sculpture to your garden. Decorate your fence gate or the front of your house with mosaic tiles.