Landscape design

Horses rear in one of my Western landscape designs

Why do some people think that drought tolerant landscaping means you have to have a garden that looks like a lunar landscape or a cactus garden? First of all, there are so many choices in drought-resistant plants that you can have a wide range of colors, foliage types and looks. Design in features and décor that will create the backdrop for a theme and you can have a splendid tropical, Southwestern, cottage, Oriental or any other style garden all using water-wise plants.

If you do like the look of a cactus or succulent garden, this can be a very attractive way to design drought-resistant landscaping. Some of these water-retaining plants come in fascinating sculptural forms and some bloom with showy flowers. Yet others sport leaves that glow in hues of blue, red, orange, yellow, purple or almost back. There are succulents splashed, striped and spotted with designs of their own.

In addition to decorating a drought tolerant landscape with these low-water plants, you can find decorative water-wise plants in natives from all over the West Coast, Texas, the four corner states or into other countries like the Mediterranean, South Africa, Australia and more.

You can not only create color and form with a whole selection of drought tolerant plants, but you can also design in areas of natural stone, rock and gravel that can be made into permeable paving for paths and patios that are as decorative as the plants themselves. In fact, you could even design a whole garden with no plants at all — a no-water landscape!

Think about all the ways you can create a no-water garden by using different colored stone pavers, blocks or gravel and draw designs, like mosaics on the ground. Divide parts of the garden with pathways built with decomposed gravel, stepping stones or go magical with tumbled glass to glitter in the sun. Then design seating into these areas and you can enjoy entertaining or having a delightful lunch al fresco while admiring your handsome garden.

There are many ways you create drought-tolerant landscaping and have an astonishingly handsome garden. Below are some pictures of some of the water-wise designs I’ve worked on to give you some ideas. Once you’ve started researching all the possibilities in design, you’ll realize there are already too many wonderful plants to choose from and you won’t miss any of the water-guzzlers at all!

Landscape design

A Mexican Southwestern design

Drought tolerant plants

Some forms in succulents

Cactus landscape

Cactus-succulent landscape

Landscape bridge

A little whimsical lighting for the bridge over a dry river bed