Letâs face it, the Southwestern Backyard is not the same as any other backyard. Try to plant a nice lawn, and you cultivate an expanse of brown crusty dead stuff. Or you will run up a water bill worthy of an Olympic swimming pool.
So how in the world do you make the most of what the desert offers to you? What can make the Southwestern Backyard special? Letâs just give it a shot! Come with me to my backyard, and Iâll show you how easy it is to add Southwestern pizzazz to that dry expanse of desert floor.
First, let me give you a list of seven great ideas to help you plan the perfect Southwestern Backyard:
Desert Plants - Learn here how Xeriscaping can create beauty with plants needing little water. Such plants not only save water, but provide cover and food for desert wildlife. Itâs vitally important to provide for the desert wildlife due to the encroachment of humans on their homes.
Hardscaping with Rocks - Rocks are not just rocks! Here we see that rocks can enhance our Southwestern Backyard and create beauty in our harsh environment. Native rocks are always best. Make use of whatâs readily available and your backyard will look like a part of the land, instead of warring with the surrounding environment.
Dry Creek Bed - Now make use of those rocks in a unique, Southwestern way by creating a Dry Creek Bed. No water needed for this little technique, but it creates the effect of water by insinuating the presence of the magical fluid. Erosion control is the key here because in the few brief moments when water does invade, there is danger of losing precious soil to the deluge.
Ramada - Unique to the Southwest is this rustic type of shelter, in many circumstances created with the castoff branches of Ocotillo or Mesquite. Donât let it fool you, though, cool shade and a comfortable place to sit and relax can be found beneath the lowly Ramada.
Kiva Fireplace - Equally at home inside or outdoors in your backyard, the Kiva Fireplace creates warmth, a cozy place to relax after a hard day, and a great place to roast your chilies. Some call this unique fireplace a beehive fireplace, but all the same itâs a unique and memorable addition to your Southwestern Backyard.
House Jewelry - Now hereâs something you may not have heard of before. House Jewelry is a term I coined myself to describe the practice of decorating the exterior walls of the home with distinctly Southwestern artwork. Depictions of the Sun, desert wildlife such as lizards and quail, and even the exuberant Kokopelli earn a place of honor on the Southwestern Homeâs humble adobe walls.
Look around you. Everywhere in the Southwest you find wonderful examples of creativity and unique ideas for the Southwestern Backyard. No longer is it necessary to consign your backyard to being dull and lifeless. Create a little zing! Have some fun, and make your Southwestern Backyard something to talk about.