Colorful Outdoor Living Space with Southwest Landscape Design

Simple and rustic, yet colorful and quite functional, southwest landscape design is an intriguing, low maintenance garden style that is growing in popularity. This charming form of desert landscaping is influenced by a number of different styles, including Mexican Spanish mission designs as well as Native American.

southwest landscape design

Southwestern style gardens, also referred to as Santa Fe style, are very natural and reflect the arid, sunny climate of the southwest. Similar to xeriscape landscape design, southwest designs feature native plants.

Native plants can be colorful and vibrant, perfect for lively outdoor living spaces that require very little water or maintenance to thrive.

Materials in a Southwest Style Garden

Clean lines and minimalist patterns, paired with bold colors and rugged textures give the southwestern style its quaint charm. Create broad, straight walkways and wide terraces from natural materials with earthen tones.

  • Terracotta paving tiles
  • Smooth, unfinished wood
  • Rugged stone pavers in light, natural hues
  • Pebbles and gravel in an assortment of earthen tones.

 

southwest landscape design

Use similar materials to construct other hardscape features in your design, including driveways, large garden walls, and pergolas.

Water features are also popular. Consider a pond, a colorful fountain, or a refreshing swimming pool accented with bright slip-resistant tiling to create an oasis in your southwest landscape design.

 

Southwestern Garden Accessories

Achieving a southwestern look can be as easy as choosing the right outdoor décor. Because this garden style is so diverse, there are many possibilities for decorating your outdoor area. Choose bright colors, rough textures, and natural materials for a genuine southwestern flair. Unfinished wooden garden furniture, bright-colored woven rugs made of rugged, weather-resistant materials, and earthen pottery are ideal accents.

southwest landscape design

Shade features are also a prominent part of most southwest and Santa Fe style gardens.

A covered patio adds comfort while blending your outdoor space with the style of your home.

Integrated hooks are ideal for accenting your look with lush hanging baskets that complement the southwestern flair.

Patio dishes, wall accents, and other decorative accessories with a southwest theme are essential as well.

 

 

Plants of the Southwest

southwest landscape design

The southwest garden style is similar to xeriscaping.

Plants that require minimal watering and an overall low-maintenance design are essential.

For best results, choose native plants that are suitable for arid climates.

Cacti are trademark plants of desert landscaping, but there are a number of drought tolerant plants that can add color to your outdoor space while complementing the southwestern theme.

 

Some plants to consider include:

  • Geraniums
  • Coral bells
  • Violets
  • The waxflower
  • Fragrant lavender
  • The azalea
  • And many more.

 

Recent rain shortages across the nation and a rising concern for the overall condition of our planet has made the southwest garden style a popular option for homeowners outside of the southwest region.

Self-proclaimed blogger and founder of Landscape Design Advisor, I've traveled the world visiting famous gardens and their owners in the search for landscape design ideas that I can share with others. Many of these ideas can be found in my recommended eBook called Ideas 4 Landscaping.
Allen Quay
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