4 Drought Tolerant Landscape Design Ideas

Looking for easy drought tolerant landscape design ideas for your home?

The ongoing drought hasn’t made it easy to maintain landscaping, so many homeowners are turning to alternative landscape design ideas to ease their need for water.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the facts, then explore the options.

Every keen gardener knows just how much water their yard can swallow up. When it’s at its thirstiest, it can use up 15% of your home’s total water usage. That’s a huge amount to be losing to your yard, and when drought is just around the corner, you can’t afford to be wasting that water.

If you’re looking to save water, or perhaps just create a yard that’s more resistant to drought, it is possible to do so yourself. Whether you’re landscaping a yard from scratch or re-evaluating your existing yard, these tips will help you use a lot less water to keep your yard looking good.

1. Pick Plants That Use Less Water

It sounds obvious, but if you’re about to start planting a new yard, you want to pick plants that need less water. If you’re starting out with hardier plants, you’ll lose less water in your yard. Your plants will also look better for much longer between watering.

In general, if you want less water hungry plants you want to look for those that are:

  • Narrower or have smaller leaves
  • Grey or silver in color
  • Fuzzy or furry leaves
  • Deep root systems

That’s just a general list of things to consider, but if you’re looking for ideas, this gardener has plenty that they’ve used in their own yard.

This list on the Telegraph has more ideas for plants you could also use in your landscaping.

2. Consider Using Artificial Grass

One of the biggest water guzzlers in your yard is your lawn. To keep it looking its best, you’ll need to be watering it from anywhere from 20 – 200 minutes a week. That’s a lot of water to be pouring directly into your lawn.

There are ways to keep your lawn green without using as much water, but there is another solution. Instead of having a water hungry lawn, replace it with artificial grass. Unlike real lawns, they don’t need watering, mowing or weeding. Once you have it installed, you’ll see a huge drop in your water bills straight away. Because your lawn won’t be reliant on regular watering, you’ll never have to worry about it becoming dry or brown, either. It’ll stay a lush green all year round, no effort required.

There are also some side benefits  that may interest you:

  • Artificial lawns are hardy, and take pretty much anything the weather throws at them. Heat, rain and snow won’t damage your lawn.
  • They’re pet proof, so your pooches can run around on the lawn without wearing it out. They can’t dig it up either. That means you won’t waste more water in reseeding your lawn.
  • They’re soft and pleasant, so you can sit on them in the summer comfortably. You can order samples before you buy, so you can feel for yourself just how comfy they are.

3. Pick Non Organic Options For Your Yard

Of course, if you want to have a truly drought resistant garden, it makes sense to fill it with things that won’t require water. There are plenty of options you can choose from including:

– Gravel: This is a low maintenance option that can look great on walkways or other often used areas of your garden. Before you introduce it to your yard, make sure you clear any weeds or debris first and make sure the area is level.

– Rubber tire mulch: If you like to recycle, this could be the option for you. This mulch is used from reclaimed tires, so you’re using a substance that otherwise would be filling up landfill. It also looks attractive without costing the earth.

– Bark: This is a similar option to the rubber tyre mulch, which is a great surface for kids to play on thanks to the soft surface it provides. You can buy it in multiple different colors, so you can find something that complements the rest of your garden.

Paving: You may feel as though this can look rather dull, but if you mix up patterns and tiles it can look fantastic. Follow the rule of no more than three different types of tile though, or it can start to look too cluttered.

4. Use products that will save water

There are lots of options if you’re trying to save water. You can harvest water that occurs naturally around your home and use products that will keep it in the soil for longer.

  • Save rainwater: If you do get any rainfall in your area, make the most of it. You can save the water in water butts that will take the runoff from your rain gutters. Then, when the weather’s dry you can use that water with no worries about your water bills.
  • Use gray water: Gray water is the water that’s already been used around your home. Think bath water, the water from your dishes, that kind of thing. Water containing regular household soaps won’t do any harm to plants, so you’re fine to use them. If it contains bleach or disinfectant though, don’t use that water in your yard.
  • Mulch: Mulch is a great idea in a drought resistant garden, as it makes the most any rainfall that you do get. Spread it around your plants and it will keep moisture in the soil, rather than letting it evaporate. Pick coarser mulch that won’t hold onto water for the best results.


Sprinklers are one of the top 10 water wasters.

In fact, some states have created restrictions regarding when you can use your sprinkler system, and how often.

In times of drought, you won’t be able to use them anyway. Plus, they can actually train your plants to rely on more water. Instead, go back to manual methods of watering such as hoses and watering cans. That way, you’ll only use as much as you need.

These tips will help you create a yard that’s truly drought resistant, while still looking amazing. You’ll have a yard you can enjoy whatever the weather, even if you’re not able to water it as often as you’d like.



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