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What is Desert Landscaping?

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  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 28 November 2016
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Desert landscaping is a type of landscape design that incorporates plants commonly associated with a desert environment into an overall plan. This desert garden may be by choice or by lack of other options. Desert landscaping is popular in places where arid weather stunts or kills other types of plants. However, it can also be utilized in other places, even when the weather is more suitable to the sustainable growth of other plant species.

In areas where there may be water restrictions, desert landscaping may also be a very popular option. Contrary to what many people may think, the desert environment can have a very diverse base of animal and plant life. This includes, in some areas, having a number of different flowering plants and greenery that can not only be captivating to look at, but also require next to no irrigation or other sorts of maintenance, which is great for those who do not have much time for gardening. Those who do landscape planning may suggest a desert landscaping theme even when there could be other choices in those areas where water restrictions are present.

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Another benefit of desert landscaping is that it does not require the entire conversion of the yard. While planting cacti may make an obvious statement about the intent of the theming, landscape plans involving desert elements can include many other types of plants. Some of these plants, such as oleander, purple sage and pampas grass, may not be readily identifiable as desert species by many who are not well versed in horticulture.

As with any type of landscaping, desert landscaping may require some special considerations. First, soil type may make a difference. Heavily organic, slow draining soil could promote root rot in some plants. Second, consider safety factors as well. Some plants may have toxins, or thorns, maybe even both. If these varieties are used in yards where children may be regularly present, those children may need to be educated as to what they can do to a person.

Also, remember that some desert plants and grass can go together. It is not necessary to have a rock yard, or a sandy yard, in order to enjoy desert landscaping. While some species may not tolerate grass around them, many others can easily share the nutrients in the soil. For those uncertain about which plants are compatible, consult a landscaper.

Above all, remember that desert landscaping may be only one of the options a homeowner has. While it may be a good option, depending on the circumstances, other types of landscaping options can also be chosen. In warmer climates, a variety of subtropical species of plant can withstand longer dry periods. This can further add to the eclectic mix of the yard.

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