Energy Efficient Backyard: Xeriscape

by Sheri Troy on April 13, 2011

Spring BloomsFrom elementary school on up, one thing that all desert dwellers are taught to be conscious of is water use.  Arizona averages around seven inches of rain a year, a fact homeowners should keep in mind when landscaping.  While the desert presents its challenges in terms of landscaping, there are many beautiful plants that require little water to survive.  Carefully crafted Xeriscape is a beautiful thing and can be just as stunning as landscape found elsewhere in the world.

Thinking strategically about your landscaping can help provide a colorful display for the spring days.

Plants like bougainvillea and oleander are known for their low water use as well as their durability.  The flowers from these plants can be found in many different varieties and make for a vivid show of colors when in bloom.

Agave is another great low water use plant one can have in their garden.  Growing in various kinds, agaves are highly decorative and can easily be planted to spruce up a yard.  They are a smart way to conserve water while maintaining a visually pleasing landscape.
Agave Cactus
If your yard has room for taller plants, you might consider planting Ocotillo.  Ocotillo is native to our desert and is spectacular when its red and orange flowers are in bloom. Combined with other flowers like the red bird of paradise, any home can have a low water use landscape while also looking spectacular.

From reduced water use, to impressive colors, there are many reasons to consider low water use landscaping.  Living in the desert we need to be careful of how we use our resources and desert landscaping is one way to conserve and make your home look beautiful.

Shea Homeowners often have a blank slate for landscaping.  What are some of the native desert plants you would like to have in your yard?

For more information on water conservation, visit

Beautiful Blossom Low Water Use Plants
Photos courtesy of Berridge Nurseries.

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