Living in a dry, desert climate like southern Utah means that water is almost always on our minds. And with drought conditions never far away, one of the best ways to save water—and save money—is to be smart about landscaping.
The picture-perfect ideal of a lush, green lawn from property line to property line simply isn’t the best or most cost-effective choice for a desert area. It may look nice, but it takes a lot of care, maintenance, and water to keep it looking that way. That means it also takes time and money.
It’s also not the most interesting thing you could do with your outdoor space.
Before you go out and plant a whole yard with grass, here are some creative, productive, and beautiful alternatives that you can incorporate into your landscaping.
Not only will you reduce your lawn area, you’ll have a yard you love so much more.
Whether it’s a patio, a deck, a gazebo, a firepit, even an outdoor, create an attractive outdoor gathering space perfect for entertaining and family get-togethers. You can show off your beautiful yard to family, friends, and neighbors, and you’ll also have a comfortable place to go when you want to spend more time outdoors on your own.
Take advantage of the beautiful geological gifts our area offers, from stunning red rock to striped sandstone to black lava rocks with their distinctive shape and sheen. Use them for decoration scattered among plants, as dividers between beds, or even on their own. They make beautiful additions to your garden, and best of all, they don’t need to be watered.
There are a number of materials you can use to create paths through your yard and garden. Whether you lay flagstones, bricks, or pebbles, making a path can add charm and help define different areas of your garden. You can even plant flowers or other plants along the borders for an even charming and rustic look.
You can buy wooden frames for raised gardens or build your own. These are especially good for vegetable gardens. You add the soil yourself, so you can choose a variety that will hold water better than our sandy native soil. And having built-in borders helps prevent runoff.
Whether or not you choose to plant them in a raised bed, planting a vegetable garden is one of the most productive and rewarding uses for your outdoor space. Learn how to care for them (and other plants, for that matter) without over watering.
Being a desert doesn’t mean there isn’t a wealth of beautiful local plants to choose from to beautify your own garden. Cacti and other succulents are only one of many. Consider reserving a patch of ground for wildflowers.
Even if you don’t choose plants that grow here naturally, pick ones that are drought-resistant to reduce the need for watering. Evergreens are another good choice, since they look good all year long and provide shelter for birds.