Desert style landscaping is becoming trendy throughout the United States, because it's considered more environmentally friendly. It also requires less maintenance and less watering while still providing your home with a pleasant, natural surrounding. Desert style landscaping starts with selecting hardy plants that are native to the climate you're planting in. By selecting native plants for your area, it's not uncommon to have an entire landscaped yard that doesn't need supplemental irrigation, fertilizer or pest control.
Desert mallow, California poppy, salvia and verbena are just a few of the colorful little annuals that can be grown in a desert style landscape. Whether you scatter them around an area to create a wildflower garden or field, or plant them in border beds for color and emphasis, they'll grow and bloom beautiful flowers with little to no watering or care.
California poppy flowers tend to be bright orange on a plant that grows just 12 to 18 inches tall. Desert mallow tends to produce buttercup shaped blooms in an apricot color, and the plants grow 2 1/2 to 3 feet tall. Salvia comes in a multiple colors including red, pink and purple and will get 12 to 18 inches tall as well. Verbena is a nice trailing plant choice for the flower bed edging, and it produces round circular clumps of tiny flowers in purple or lavender.
Standard turf grass has such a high water requirement that it can be difficult to keep up with. A variety of native grasses are a better option for desert style landscaping, including Bermuda, bahaia and zoysia grass because they're drought and heat tolerant. This naturally helps them grow more slowly, so there's less maintenance needed for trimming and mowing in addition to less water needs as well.
If a grassy yard is not important in your landscaping plans, consider planting a few patches of ornamental grasses instead. Ornamental grasses such as the feather reed and prairie dropseed can be quite showy, adding additional texture and color to your landscape.
Shrubs and Trees
Desert style shrubs and trees provide you with a very large variety of plants to choose from. Basic cactus and succulent plants such as aloe vera can fill in small places, or grow large enough to become focal points in your landscape design. Many cactus plants such as the prickly pear cactus produce unusual looking colorful flowers and edible fruit.
Desert friendly trees can grow quite tall and provide an excellent, wide spread shade canopy too. The mesquite tree, for example, grows quickly to 25 feet in height and spreads out 25 feet as well, creating a natural shade for your home and patio as well as a natural habitat for other desert friendly landscape plants.