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Western Landscaping Ideas

ruota west image by AlessandroContadin from

The West means wide open country, rolling hills or grassy plains. It also means high country mountains covered with pine trees. It's difficult to think of the West and not think of cowboys, cattle drives and Old West towns. Create a Western landscape using plants, colors and accessories that have a Western theme.


Stick with a color palette that says desert sunset, such as dusty rose, purple and gold with lots of neutrals like taupe, beige and cream. Another color combination would evoke the Old West with red, medium blue and browns. Pick up the colors in the plants, pots and furnishings of the landscape and patio areas.


Landscaping in the West is mostly grass, scrub trees and cacti, although homesteaders would often plant vegetables and fruit since the closest store could be a day's ride away. In higher elevations in the mountains, pine trees prevailed. A rose cactus garden edged in small boulders is suggests the West. Cacti that reliably bloom in the spring include hedgehog with brilliant fuchsia flowers, prickly pear with pink blossoms and jumping cholla with yellow flowers. All of these have prickly needles so keep them away from pets and children.

Create a faux creek with river rocks accented by groupings of lantana, penstemon and desert marigolds. Plant a tree to provide shade at one end of the creek for an alfresco picnic area.

If you've chosen the Old West color scheme, plant red geraniums, blue salvia and bright yellow black-eyed Susans.

Accesories and Furnishings

Continue the Western theme with accessories and furnishings. Surround the yard, or perhaps just a corner of the yard, with split rail fencing. Build an arch over the entryway to the yard with your brand burnt into an old wood board at the top of the arch.

Add accessories such as wagon wheels, a watering trough, horseshoes and branding irons. Keep patio furniture rustic rather than modern. Leather sling-back chairs in brown or black would fit in the scheme. Keep them out of the rain and direct sun. Place a wooden table and benches in the shade for dining. A fire pit is reminiscent of cowboys camping out during a cattle drive.

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