17+ Front yard desert landscaping ideas on a budget (With Pictures)
Everyone wants to have a beautiful front yard. If you live in an area that is warmer year-round or has a scorching summer season, you may want a front yard design that uses little water. A great way to do this is by choosing a desert landscape design. The following are inexpensive desert landscaping ideas to make your home’s curb appeal ideal.
Just because you are looking for the perfect desert landscape ideas to get the best front yard does not mean you need to avoid all plants. You can have a beautiful yard with several different types of plants in an inexpensive way. Remember these ideas can easily give you the desert backyard of your dreams also!
An easy way to have garden beds full of plants that feature a variety of colors is by choosing drought-tolerant plants. Drought-tolerant plants are a great idea for those looking for plants that don’t need much water and require just a little maintenance. Some of our favorite drought-tolerant plants include flowers, tropical plants, succulents, ground covers, and trees.
Gerbera is a daisy with vivid colors. These colors can be red, yellow, orange, pink, and white. They grow 10″- 18″ tall, while widening between 9″ – 12″. They grow best in the full sun, or partial shade, They like their soil to be moist but well-drained. The hardiness zone for the USDA is 8-11. If you are living in an area that reaches zone 8, many people will plant these in pots or plant them as annuals. They bloom from summer to fall.
Beardtongues grow tubular flowers in spikes. The colors vary, typically pink, red, white, and purple though on occasion you may come across yellow though this is rare. They grow 6″ to 8 ‘ tall (that’s right 8 feet!). At their mature size their width is between 8″ to 20″. They prefer full sun and well-drained soil. The hardiness zones for these flowers are zones 3-8. They bloom from spring to early summer.
Black-eyed Susans look similar to daisies but, have bright yellow petals and dark centers. They grow 2-3 feet tall, and 1-2 feet wide. They prefer full sun, and moist but well-drained soil. The hardiness zones for black-eyed Susans are zones 3-7. They bloom during the summer.
Cosmos, marigolds, and Lavender are three more beautiful flowers we recommend adding to your desert garden.
Tropical plants are plants that grow best in hot humid climates. They have a range of colors and sizes.
Bromeliads produce red, yellow, pink, or orange flowers that last three or more months. They reproduce rapidly. They prefer low to full sun. They grow 1″ to 3 feet tall. The hardiness zones for the Bromeliad are zones 9 and 10. They bloom year-round.
Plumeria is a tropical flowering plant. They come in white, red, yellow, pink, and orange. They require full sun or partial shade. They are a large shrub (or small tree) though still tropical, so they can get up to 20 feet in their spread. They grow in USDA Zone 10. They bloom in early summer and fall.
Birds of paradise are orange or white flowers. They grow 3 1/2 to 6 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. They prefer partial or full sun. They live best in Hardiness zones 10-12. They bloom from late winter to early spring. These plants are toxic to pets.
Try adding bougainvillea, pineapple guava, and zephyr lily to your outdoor space also.
Succulents are a type of plant that stores water in its leaves. They typically have thick leaves. They thrive in dry, warm weather. They range in color, pinks, oranges, purples, and reds.
Aeoniums grow in rosettes. They can be low-growing or larger-growing. They are green but when mature can produce pink flowers. Their mature sizes range from 2 inches to 5 feet. They prefer full sun to partial shade. They grow best in hardiness zones 9-11. People typically grow them as potted plants. They bloom in late winter and spring.
Agaves have broad leaves and grow in rosettes. They are gold, light yellow, and green. They grow 1 to 3 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. They prefer the full sun. They grow best in hardiness zones 7-10. They are also considered toxic to humans and pets.
Hens-and-chicks are evergreen succulents that are arranged in rosettes. Their flower colors are purple, pale pink, and red. They grow 3 inches to 6 inches tall and spread 6 to 12 inches wide. They enjoy full sun and hardiness zones 3-8. They bloom during the summer.
Other succulents that we love for your garden design are crassulas, sedums, and EchevErias.
Perennial plants are plants that live more than two years, typically meaning you plant once and they come back.
Blanket flowers also look like daisies. They come in many shades of orange, yellow, red, and peach. They grow 24 to 36 inches tall and spread 12 to 24 inches wide. They need full sun and well-draining soil. They do best in hardiness zones 3-10. They bloom summer through fall. These are slightly toxic to humans so watch small children nearby.
Agastache has spike-like flowers. The Agastache comes in colors such as white, pink, orange, red, purple, and even blue. They grow 3 to 5 feet tall. They need full sun and thrive in hardiness zones 3 – 10. These flowers bloom in the summer.
Russian sage is a bush that produces blue and purple flowers. They grow between 3 and 5 feet tall with a spread of 2 to 4 feet wide. They thrive in full sun and hardiness zones 3-9. They bloom in the summer and in the fall.
A few more perennials we recommend are sedum, yarrow, and pine leaf penstemon.
Ground covers are types of plants that grow over larger areas of ground and protect the topsoil.
Creeping thyme is a ground cover that grows similar to vines on the ground. They have pink white and purple flowers. They grow up to 6 inches tall and spread up to 18 inches wide. They are best in the full sun and hardiness zones 2-9. Creeping thyme blooms during the summer.
Ice plants come in a variety of colors. You can find pink, red, purple, yellow, and orange as well as, bi and tri-colored varieties. They grow 3-6 inches tall and spread up to 24 inches wide. They too love the full sun and hardiness zones 6-10. They bloom during the spring, summer, and fall.
Epimediums are a type of carpeting perennial. They have flowers that can be red, pink, yellow, orange, purple, and white. They grow up to 12 inches tall and spread up to 36 inches wide. They prefer partial shade, hardiness zones 5-8, and bloom in the spring.
A few other ground covers to consider are periwinkle, Angelina Sedum, and Moss Phlox.
Desert Plants are plants that can thrive in areas with little rainfall. They do this by storing water in their centers and tissues.
The pancake prickly pear cactus is a hardy cactus. It has yellow flowers with some red or orange centers. They grow 6 to 12 inches tall and 12-18 inches wide. They enjoy the full sun, hardiness zones 4a -9a, and bloom during the summer.
Hedgehog cactus has free-growing clusters. They have purple or magenta flowers. They can grow up to 28 inches tall. They need the full sun. They grow well in hardiness zones 5 to 9. They bloom during the summer.
Barrel cactus will come in a golden yellow color. They can grow up to 4 feet tall and have a barrel shape. They thrive in the full sun and growing zones 9 to 11. These cacti are a popular type used to add visual interest to your front yard landscaping ideas.
Three other types of cacti to consider are the creosote bush, desert sage, and the brittlebush.
Native plants are plants that have grown in a particular area for thousands of years. Choosing native plants will be a good idea when planning your flower bed. Talking to someone at the local nursery will help you understand which plants will grow best in the area you are in. Choosing smaller, native plants are also an affordable way to have a beautiful landscape design in front of your house. A lot of time when you choose larger, more mature plants you will find that they cost a lot of money. This is where choosing a smaller plant is a perfect way to go. Though your new plants may need a bit more proper care, it’s a great opportunity to learn and save money.
Using Rocks and Mulch
Another way to add unique visual appeal to your yard would be with a rock garden. Though rocks might cost more upfront in the long run it is a cheap way to go. Rocks will not require an irrigation system and you are able to create great focal points. There are several different rock types to choose from. If you want more than just a rock design, you are able to use your imagination and include as many different types of plants as you would like with the rocks.
Pea gravel gives this garden a beautiful base. Pea gravel is made up of small stones with rounded edges. They are very small and come in a variety of colors. You may choose to use these small pebbles as a ground cover or as a pathway. Others choose to add pea gravel in a seating area.
River rocks are used here to create depth and layers to this desert-style water feature. River rocks are a type of gravel that is washed and known for being smooth and round, A design like this fits in small spaces and features little plant life. River rocks are used to line gardens, build walkways, create borders and decorate fountains. Though with a desert landscape you won’t be worried about drainage very much river rocks do encourage drainage while deterring weeds.
Using large rocks, large boulders and small pebbles give this yard a beautiful outdoor area. Take a look at the local classifieds, you might be surprised to learn how many people are giving large rocks and boulders for free.
Another option is using mulch in your DIY project. If you take a look at classifieds you may find that many people give away free mulch. Adding mulch to your xeriscape will give you a lush look while helping keep your yard free of weeds.
Tree trunks are used to make wood stepping stones in this desert garden. This is another option to consider on a tight budget, with a little work you’ll be able to find free stumps that you can turn into steps also. Another unique way to use tree trunks in your yard design is to use them as planters or seats.
Adding tall trees such as palm trees is the easiest way to add height and a bit of shade to your yard. Choose trees that will fit well in your yard and thrive with a lot of suns. When purchasing trees, like plants, choose smaller less mature plants to save money.
Front Porch / Front door
Window boxes are another cheap landscaping idea. A lot of the succulents and cacti grow well as potted plants. This opens up a variety of flower pots.
With the simple landscaping ideas above and just a few simple steps you’ll be able to get a new look without spending much money.