63 Xeriscape Ideas for Your Front or Back Yard
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63 Xeriscape Ideas for Your Front or Back Yard

Traditional gardens, though green and flourishing, need a considerable amount of water. This is where Xeriscapes come in. A Xeriscape is a garden or landscaping form designed to require little to no irrigation or other maintenance. 

Although Xeriscape comes with its pros and cons, it’s extremely popular in arid regions. Following are a wide range of Xeriscape ideas both decorous and simple to suit any plot size.

63 Xeriscape Ideas for Your Front or Back Yard

1. Ornate Deck and Pathway

Brisbane botanical garden reed plant
Image credits: Brisbanecolours via Canva

Have a gander at this vivid layout, a pathway aligned with petite boxwood bushes and ornamental reeds that guide the eyes upwards to the vibrant sumacs bordering the deck above. The placing of the plants creates a layering effect that allows the house to be the focal point.

2. A Multi-Purpose Yard

Suburban lawn landscape forms green grass
Image credits: mniebuhr via Canva

Are you looking for a backyard design suitable for family and friends to come together and relax? This design provides all that and more; a soft patch of grass perfect for children to play in and right next to it, a patio for dining decorated with potted plants. With much space to spare in the dining area, you could place a barbeque stand to be more present or a water feature to add an ornamental flair to the space.

One feature that stands out in this design is the redwood fence that encloses the setting. The shaded planks are an eye-catching backdrop for the trees planted against it, and the matching bench acts as a storage space for outdoor toys and seating.

3. Pavement and Pebbles

Pebble border
Image credits: Orchidpoet via Canva

This simple design is neat and low maintenance. Instead of a stretch of grass, chalky pearl-grey pebbles curve with the earthly-colored pavement stretching to the wooden fence.

The pebbles, pavement, and wooden fence all bear telluric tones that are contrasted with bursts of green from the elfin juniper trees.

4. Succulents to Spare

Succulent Colored Rock Garden
Image credits: MeeshFitz via Canva

This teeming garden comprises a variety of succulents from flower-patterned echeverias, tree houseleeks, and dudleya to the rock-bound Oregon stonecrop that sports yellow petals.

At the base is a bed of sacred bamboo whose maroonish leaves match the mini torii gate atop the plant bed. The torii gate, along with the posing buddha statue, adds a calming touch of eastern spirituality to this swarming garden.

5. Plain and Paved

close view of a xeriscape garden with plants and rocks
Image Credit: Solidago on Canva

This design is ideal if you’re a beginner at Xeriscapes and want a low-maintenance layout to begin with. The dusty, greyish-brown pallet of the setting may seem underwhelming, but in fact, it is a brilliant canvas for the bushes, trees, and potted plants to stand out. 

The way the pink flowers of the bougainvillea shrub pop out against the pale brick is one example of the modest palette well at work.

6. Cactus Garden

Multiple cactus planted in sand against white wall
Image credits: Taylor Simpson via Unsplash

With a design like this, your front yard will be hard to miss. This mob of cacti is a distinctive sight boasting a variety of cactus species, namely florid blue agaves, barrel cacti, and toothpick cacti. The design is a hundred percent drought-tolerant and still makes for a unique scene, a little desert in your yard.

7. Eichler-Esque Design

Image credits: JRLPhotographer via Canva

Joseph Eichler, a renowned property developer in California during the 1950s and 60s, inspired this design. His name is synonymous with mid-century modernism, also known as MCM. This style suits vintage and modern homes alike, and is characterized by clean lines, muted tones, vibrant colors, as well as unifying the indoors and outdoors with ornaments.

These characteristics are present in the featured layout, where the slope is terraced and decorated with beds of drought-tolerant plant life. The plant bed is framed with composite panels bearing a matt finish. The combination of flat colors, geometric shapes, and sprouting plants give this backyard a contemporary feel.

8. Outdoor Tiling

Covered patio space looking out on planted rock garden
Image credits: andrea casti via Pixabay

This design comprises a neutral palette, decking and tiling along with patches of grass, and a beautiful flower bed. The bright whites, metallic side tables, and sharp corners of the furniture give this design a modern appeal.

To soften the sharp lines is the bed of assorted bushes, namely lavender, the common boxwood, and pink perennials, all of which suit arid climates.

9. Cactus Island

Cactus garden
Image credits: Alejandra Estrada via Canva

This design adds more excitement to the flat stretch of grass by giving the eyes some contrast and height to appreciate. The distinct line between the grass and the garden frames the cacti, making the island the focal point of the layout. The garden features wheel cacti, spiky grass palms, and leathery bromeliads, all standing at different heights.

Though the difference between the grass and the soil is stark, the island is bordered by shorter plants, which are followed by other plants that progressively increase in height. Although the two plains are equal, the organization of the plants adds more interest to the design.

10. Your own Woodland

Woodland Garden
Image credits: jerryhopman via Canva

This design is ideal if you’re located in an area with surrounding woodlands and would like to incorporate them into your layout. Aside from the sprawling trees surrounding the house, the main garden features some drought-resistant plants and a small koi pond. The stone walkway gives the setting a cottage-like feel and makes the pond appear as though it is naturally occurring.

The plants include the grass-like sedge blue zinger as well as the yellow-green Japanese forest grass, both of which are considered drought-beaters. The area surrounding the pond is furnished with an ornate bench, a veneered fireplace, a playground, and a set of cushioned chairs for lounging outside. The surrounding tree adds a sense of privacy for greater absorption of the scenery.

11. Open Air and a Firepit

brick fire pit surrounded by lawn chairs on a cement patio
Image Credit: Brandon Ruckman on Canva

This backyard layout is exactly what you’d want to retire to for some quality time around a fire as the sun sets, introducing the evening sky. Starting with the surrounding features is a lively garden comprising Topanga shrubs, spiky palms, and an assortment of succulents which are potted in colors that compliment the overall color scheme. Onto the focal point that is the welcoming fire pit.

Although it is surrounded by a full garden, none of the plants are intrusive, which makes the fire pit look more open. The pit is elevated atop a gravel base with reclining chairs on one side and a curved bench on the other. The curved bench is positioned on the patio in line with the chairs on the gravel. Nearby is a minibar and barbeque cementing the congenial atmosphere this layout can attain.

12. A Sun-Baked Terrace

Image credits: JRLPhotographer via Canva

This design implements hardscaping for a trim and less rugged desert look. Hardscapes are man-made features that contrast vegetation; paths and walls are examples. This front yard has direct exposure to the sun, and so the xeric plants placed, which are the sago palm and agave, can withstand the harsh heat.

Both the high and lower levels of the yard are covered in sandy-colored gravel, which evens and adds consistency to the tone of the plane. Bordering the lower level plants is a retaining wall that matches the gravel and makes for a nice transition between the two levels. With an even plane, the plants and their vibrant leaves stand out better.

13. Add a Water Feature

Rustic fountain
Image credits: volschenkh via Canva

A water feature is a classic ornament that gives character to the space it occupies. Whether it bears a grandiose design or has a more modest appearance, it can serve as art and a conversation piece. This large water basin exudes elegance, and the trickling water adds an audible element to the layout.

The surrounding area is tiled with stone slabs and small white tiles to complement. There are also plant beds that are slightly elevated that feature small aloes. Raised slightly higher is the fountain placed on a bed of pebbles. The pebbles are also used to border the plant beds, which is a pleasant play of attention to detail.

14. Dining Terrace

Patio dining area
Image credits: SeanPavonePhoto via Canva

A great way to save yourself from the lawn trap is to build over the area. This design embraces the soil and enhances it with tiling and a wooden deck. The surrounding tree and Japanese maples add a pleasant touch of color to the nude palette of the layout, and the cascading fountain exudes a tranquil quality.

The partially shaded cedar deck makes for a relaxing dining or seating area and provides a little bit of privacy.

15. Play Around With Some Perennials

Edge of Perennial Flower Garden with Wood Chip Mulch
Image credits: skhoward via Canva

Flowers are a lovely feature to add to a garden. However, they usually only have a lifespan of about a year before they die and end up costing you more than bargained for. Perennials are ideal for a Xeriscape because they regrow every spring for several years, granted with a shorter blooming period. Despite that, you can uproot perennials and plant germinated blooms around your yard, saving you time and money.

Part of this yard is covered with a teeming garden of xeric plants such as perennials, shrubs, and succulents. Most notable are the long yellow flowers, the silver-edged horehound next to the small agave, and the common sneezeweed towards the back in all its red splendor. The blooming purple shrub is a purple rockcress that falls under the genus alyssum, which boasts 100 to 170 species of annual and perennial plants, so there’s a wide selection to choose from.

16. Flowers and Climbers

white Linderheimer's beeblossom flowers close up
Image Credit: Leif Juergensen on Canva

This design uses low-maintenance blossoms to achieve an engrossing florid scene. The plants featured are evening primroses that exhibit a pallid shell pink and a climbing bougainvillea shrub. The bougainvillea shrub is the shrub with a difference; most shrubs require a decent amount of water. However, this frilly bush is much tougher than it appears.

The availability of some flowers and climbers depends on the region you are in. However, bougainvillea shrubs are quite prevalent and can produce blossoms that lie between red and purple.

17. Mid-Century Modernism

New modern home features a backyard with patio
Image credits: irina88w via Canva

Here is another take on mid-century modernism: the elements of clean lines, muted tones, and ornaments are all present. The composite walk board, the large concrete stepping stones, and the post-beam roofing that extends into the outdoors represent these elements.

For a touch of green, a small patch is covered with blue fescues, which are low-maintenance ornamental grass with an amazing texture that contrasts the flat and hard lines of the main decor. Another eye-catching feature is the marble-like sculpture that exhibits an abstract design, quite the modern figurine.

18. A Front Yard Composition

Modern front garden
Image credits: U. J. Alexander via Canva

This simple design can serve as a template for decorating small and idle parts of your yard. For one, you can never go wrong with gravel. The base of this composition is grey gravel stones which are topped with larger rocks from which emerge ornamental purslanes, also known as red spice plants.

What makes this plant so fascinating is that it can thrive in a rock garden with little water or care. Another plant featured in the composition is lavender. This shrub grows in mounds, which means it covers a lot of space. It is due to all the room their roots take up underground, which makes them perfect for covering awkward or barren patches.

19. Backyard Stage

Stage outdoors
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If you, your family, or the guests you entertain are more artistically inclined, a stage could be a wondrous idea for your backyard. This stage comprises a gorgeous slate patio that continues off stage indoors. The floating stairs lead onto the stage that features a wooden foldable door that closes the stage off from the indoors.

Along with the outdoor lights on stage are up lights at the base of the stage shining past some planters. The indoor to outdoor transition is seamless, with the tree branches creeping in, signaling the change in setting.

20. Front Yard Lounge

Social front yard during a sunny day
Image Credits: Canva

This paved front yard is taken to the next level with additional furnishings. The reclined deck chair and table set allow for comfortable lounging amid the perimeter of reed grasses and maple trees.

21. Front Yard Focal Point

Succulent Garden
Image credits: Tom_coultasvia Canva

They propped a large agave succulent as the centerpiece of this layout. The use of different colored gravel stones gives the design a creative flair.