Backyard Xeriscape Design
Tips and ideas for xeriscaping backyards with low water use plants
This small backyard xeriscape design uses a natural stone drystack wall to create a raised bed and two levels in the yard. First, it makes an otherwise dull flat yard more interesting. Also, it gives the illusion of a bigger space in such a small backyard and more level planting areas which are necessary for good xeriscaping principles.
The path that winds through this landscape is both a cosmetic addition and a necessary idea for the design. While it doesn't really lead anywhere except to the other side of the yard, the idea does have purpose since it leads visitors all the way through the garden. We could have designed the Garden path as a straight shot to the other side. However, the way we did it creates more of an interesting "journey" to the other side. This also makes the landscaping seem larger by design.
- Blue Flax - Great For Mass Planting In Xeriscaping
- Blue Salvia
- Russian Sage
- Blue Fescue
- Feather Reed Grass
- Whilrling Butterflies
- Blue Grama Grass And Wildflower Mix Backyard Lawn Area
- Vitex Trees
- Desert Willow Trees
The planting ideas are completely of a Xeriscaping (low water use) nature. As you'll see from the finished design photos, Xeriscape design principles don't just mean a bunch of rocks and cactus. It can be very beautiful with a large variety of colorful plants.
Please note that even though this is a water wise garden design, there is still a need for a sprinkler system. While this yard may not need a lot of water after it's established, it will need periodic supplemental watering so it does need a sprinkler system. Also, an irrigation system in your lawn and flower beds will keep you from being a slave to your garden and especially when you have to be away or go on vacation.
The retaining wall created in this backyard is dry stack natural limestone that we picked up in the hills around our area. To build this retaining wall we simply poured a level 3" deep footing, allowed it to dry, and then started stacking rocks to the desired height. Before we filled the flower beds with soil and xeriscaping plants, we placed a sheet of weed barrier on the back side of the wall to keep the soil from flowing through the cracks. You can use plastic for this step as well.
If you plan to build a wall like this for your own backyard xeriscaping project, get more rocks than your design plan shows you'll need as this can be like putting a puzzle together. You'll need a lot of rocks to choose from to help level out the top of the wall.