In Arizona, grass is scarce due to the dry, hot weather, and many homes are left with dusty, bare front yards. When you want to turn your front yard into a more attractive space, choose materials and plants that can stand up to the heat, focusing on landscaping options that suit your budget and maintenance options.
Create the feeling of a whimsical desert garden by setting up a winding path to your front door. Mark out the path using string or small rocks, and fill in the space with loose rocks in a solid color; you might also use stepping stones for a more functional path. In the curves created by the twisting path, put in green plants that can stand the Arizona heat: small, low cacti, yucca trees or succulents, for example. Choose plants in varying heights to create a sense of levels, and install them in the yard so that they grow together in a lush, oasis-like patch. You can use wood chips as the base for the plant sections, and find large bushes to fill in open spots.
For an Arizona landscape option that does not require a great deal of upkeep, consider a Zen boulder garden. Start with one or two colors of small landscaping stones, depending on the effect you want to create. For a dramatic look, alternate a light and a dark color in swirling patterns, lines, or patches; for a more traditional aesthetic, use a single pale color to imitate the sand in a Zen garden. Once your base is complete, scatter large, irregular boulders throughout the yard. Group smaller boulders together in clusters of two or three, and set one or two larger rocks apart. If you want to add a touch of color, consider planting simple sage bushes along the front of the house or along the edges of the Zen garden.
Even if you do not have a source of water in your Arizona front yard, you can create the feeling of a dry creek with landscaping. Use a base of small rocks that echo the colors of the surrounding landscape, mixing different colors to create a softer look. Using a stick, draw the pattern of your "creek", making sure it winds a bit and has a definite start and end point. Buy river rocks in different sizes and colors and pour them on the line to give the look that a creek once rolled through your yard. Use small bushes and boulders to line the edges of the river rock at varying intervals to complete the picture.