How to Design a Desert-Themed Yard

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Are you in need of some inspiration for designing your yard? It can be challenging to come up with a theme that wraps together your whole property. Luckily for you though, many ideas are floating around that will help you enhance the curb appeal of your property.

One idea to consider is a desert-themed landscape plan. Depending on where you live, it could be a very unique idea, or it could blend in with the surrounding environment. Either way, a desert-themed yard is one that will be ready for hosting a party.

If a desert-themed landscape idea sounds good to you, we came up with a guide to make this idea a reality.


The Right Materials

You won’t find much green in the desert. Instead, you’ll see browns and oranges. So, you want to use materials that have a similar color. For a classic desert look, you’ll want materials that resemble mud or dry stone.

Accent Wall

To make your landscape pop, you can add in certain elements that have a “wow” factor. One of those elements is an accent wall. Whether it be an addition or utilizing exterior walls of your property, paint one of the walls a vibrant color like a rusty orange. It fits into the color scheme of a desert theme, and it adds an extra pop of color. It will also help make any plants stand out that much more.

Dry Creek Bed

Quite often when you hear the word desert, you think of dry or drought. That is because deserts are known for having a minimal amount of water. That is what gives the landscape its look. You can have that same effect in your yard by adding in dry creek beds.

You want to have the rolling hill effect from a creek. Do this by pilling mounds of soil in different areas and softening the hills out. Create a mini valley where you would add gravel and stones to mimic the bottom of the creek. Lastly, add shrubs around the creek that are drought-tolerant and cover lots of ground.

Plant Cactus

Cactuses are a common plant that you think of when talking about a desert. So, it would make sense to include some cactuses into your desert design plan. They are tough plants since they must survive some of the harshest climates with little to no water. Add a variety of cactus to your yard for the ultimate desert look. (There are also more “desert-friendly” plants that you can add to your landscape, see a more comprehensive list provided by WikiLawn.)

Additional Features

You don’t have to stop at cactus, rocks, and clay. There are other features you can add that will really bring together your desert theme. Something like an animal skull is another image of the desert. Mix that in with your cactus or over by your dry creek.

Keep it Minimal

The desert, although it can be very beautiful, tends not to have as much going on compared to a tropical landscape. So, when designing your yard, keep that in mind. Your plan should be simple and minimal. Think, less is more when it comes to designing a desert. Too much can look overcrowding. Not enough, though, and you may not get the point across.

Enjoy planning your desert-themed landscape. You have many options to mix together that will give you the perfect yard for your own desert getaway.

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