Beautiful Yard Even in Harsh Dry Deserts!

5 Materials
2 Days

If you live in a semi-arrid or desert region perhaps you have dreamed of a sharp looking yard with some succulent plants. This yard should inspire you with some ideas of your own! For around $100 you too can have a lovely yard, though it be small and located in a desert! The cost will depend on the cost of the retaining wall stones combined with your own tools and labor. In our area the wall stones can be bought at home improvement stores for about $1 each.
Here is just the very beginning. You can see this postage stamp sized yard is kept clean but is so plain with hardly any plants and gravel with scoria mixed in down to the street. Neat and clean is good, but how much better to give it some personality and contain all that gravel and scoria to your own advantage! Make it go from plain to attractive and the look of being well kept!
The stones were placed around the yard and the gravel and scoria moved back off the street. If you need more scoria or gravel for your own yard, it is cheaper to buy by the truck loads. You can get it in 50 lb bags at a home improvement store.
In a weekend this retaining wall was put up, staggering the blocks and keeping them level.
The ends were also held in with straight blocks. They come in straight or slightly arched lengths of about 30 inches and cost around $4 each in our area.
There are many succulents available where plants are sold in all shapes, sizes, and colors. They do well in harsh arrid areas and are great for people who need low maintenance yards. We love collecting various shaped lava rocks and even petrified wood for our side garden too.
It is fun to mix and match various desert plants and rocks. I love succulents because they demand so little water and NO attention! Many bloom and they come in a multiple of colors. Today succulents are so popular, you have a great choice to find what you prefer.
And the last section was finally completed. It is hard labor, but it is so worth it to finish the yard with a small retaining wall and a few plants. Anyone can have a yard that looks dressed, neat, well kept, and attractive with the use of some blocks and a weekend of labor.
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Have a question about this project?

3 of 4 questions
  • Cindy Caretto
    on Sep 23, 2018

    Which desert area are you located in?

  • Betsy L. Rudo
    on Sep 26, 2018

    Do the succulents come back every year?

    • Grandmasue10
      on Nov 16, 2018

      Yes, I picked up a prickly pear plant form a construction site. It overwintered fine in Colorado. Michigan is a little colder, but you could try it. Mine started taking over the front yard and had to be cut back. Use heavy gloves and tongs. It bloomed beautifully I late May or early June.

  • Clc04jhl
    on Oct 4, 2018

    I live in Michigan. Can this be done here.? Are late spring and summers are very hot. As a rule we don’t get much rain.

    Or can this be done with plants that need to be watered in the summer time.?

    • Jeanne Martin
      on Sep 6, 2020

      I'm originally from Michigan but I live in North Carolina now. I also thought Michigan summers were hot...ha! Now that's a laugh. Come to N.C. in August and you'll agree that summers in Michigan aren't nearly as hot as you thought. Aside from a few days of extreme heat here and there Michigan is not considered a "hot weather" State. N.C. broke a record this year for the most July days over 90 degrees. Scary cuz August is always our hottest month! And here i thought N.C. summers were some of the hottest around until I visited my daughter in New Mexico. Now that's true heat! And no, succulents would not survive a MI winter. You'd have to bring them inside every fall.

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